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How to Make a Jewelry Bezel for Resin Without Soldering

Updated on August 31, 2013
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How to Make a Bezel without Soldering

Bezels are fun and creatively liberating because they are blank slates for your designs. You can fill an empty bezel with virtually anything - photos, scrapbook pieces, printouts, charms, beads, shells, buttons, pressed flowers, coins, stamps, you name it!

The problem is, it seems like commercially available bezels are either the wrong dimensions too shallow, or cost way too much. Luckily, it is fairly easy to make your own bezel. You can add a bail to turn it into a pendant or adhere it to a different setting. You can even use it to make your own resin pendant!

Vintaj altered metal canvasses and K&S metal sheets are the highest quality, readily available metal sheets you'll find at craft and hobby stores. In my experience, other, cheaper metal blanks are usually impure, which tends to make them overly soft and more difficult to work with.

Materials Needed for a DIY Bezel

  • Metal. A small sheet of 22 gauge brass or copper works well.
  • Metal shears. Make sure they are metal shears, not metal snips. Tin snips, also known as aviation snips, cut at an angle and leave a jagged edge. Metal shears cut in a straight line.
  • Ruler.
  • Fine tip permanent marker.
  • Pliers. Flat jaw, nylon pliers are helpful because they do not mar the metal's surface, but any pliers will do.
  • Metal file, sanding block, or sandpaper. A metal sanding block/buffer works best.
  • Optional - small metal anvil or draping block, jewelry/ball pein hammer, tape.

Making the Bezel

The instructions below make a 1" x 1" square bezel that is approximately 1/4" deep, but you can easily modify the dimensions to suit your own needs!

1. Mark off a 1.5" square on your metal sheet. If it is new and has straight edges, you can use the precut sides to form half the outer square's edges, saving yourself a lot of work! Permanent marker ink is easily removed from metal with rubbing alcohol, so do not worry about the lines detracting from the finished bezel.

2. Make a second, smaller square. Measure in .25" from each edge of the 1.5" square to create a 1" square centered in the 1.5" square.

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Make a 1.5" square on the metal sheet.Then make a smaller, 1" square inside the 1.5" square.
Make a 1.5" square on the metal sheet.
Make a 1.5" square on the metal sheet. | Source
Then make a smaller, 1" square inside the 1.5" square.
Then make a smaller, 1" square inside the 1.5" square. | Source

3. Carefully cut along the larger square's edges, as shown.

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4. Cut tabs, as shown below, to form two 'long' sides and two 'short' sides. Be careful to only cut 1/4" in - just to the edge of the inner, 1" square.

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Double Nylon Jaw Chain Nose Pliers Tool for Wire Bending
Double Nylon Jaw Chain Nose Pliers Tool for Wire Bending

Nylon pliers help ensure an attractive finished product!

 

5. Carefully bend one of the 'long' sides up to a 90 degree angle. If you have a small anvil or metal draping block, you can place the folded metal along its edge and give the bezel in progress a few light taps with a ball pein hammer to make the fold more crisp.

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6. Fold the other 'long' edge up.

7. Fold the short tabs in, as shown below.

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Vintaj Metal Relief Block For Filing, Buffing & Sanding
Vintaj Metal Relief Block For Filing, Buffing & Sanding

This is my favorite metal buffer. With a course side for heavy duty smoothing and a a side for fine polishing, my Vintaj metal buffer hasn't let me down!

 

8. Fold the short edges up until they are flat against the folded tabs.

9. If any extra metal is sticking up (it probably will be!) from the folded tabs or edges, use your metal shears to trim the excess away. Then, use your metal buffer, file, or sandpaper to smooth the edges, ensuring that no snags remain.

Uneven edges?
Uneven edges? | Source
No problem! Simply trim away the excess and sand the edges smooth.
No problem! Simply trim away the excess and sand the edges smooth. | Source
Finished DIY bezel
Finished DIY bezel | Source

There you have it! Your very own, custom bezel pendant. If you want to mount it, you can:

  • Solder a bail to the bezel's back.
  • Use a clear silicone adhesive to mount a bail or mount the bezel to a flat surface.
  • Mount a hanger or bail in resin inside the bezel.

Modifying the bezel so you can use it with resin is very easy - simply secure tape around the bezel's corners, as shown below, to prevent any resin from leaking out before it hardens. After the resin is cured, simply remove the tape and any sticky residue by using Goo Gone, nail polish remover, or alcohol.

Secure the bezel's corners with tape to use it with resin.
Secure the bezel's corners with tape to use it with resin. | Source

Working with resin is a lot of fun. Fellow hubber Tammy Swallow has some great resin resources. In fact, reading her hubs is what first piqued my interest in working with resin! You can learn more about resin and how to create jewelry with bezels by reading her hub about creating vintage-feel jewelry with scrapbook paper.

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To show how deep and versatile one of these handmade bezels can be, I used the bezel I created for this tutorial to make a multi-layered, nautically-themed pendant. With a bottom layer of scrapbook paper, a stamped compass on a transparency sheet, and two small charms, I look forward to making this bezel the centerpiece of a necklace.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and use it to make custom bezels for your own creations. As always, I am happy to answer questions and hear suggestions!

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    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you!

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      This was so informative. Great photos too!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Sure! Trimming the excess away with wire cutters is a good start, and then you can finish evening up the corners and sides with a large metal file. I hope that helps!

    • profile image

      David Gangl 3 years ago

      Loved the bezel making. I would like to take it a step further and cut off excess on the sides and do something nice with the corners for a more professional look... Any ideas?

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you! Glad you liked it.

    • profile image

      olga 3 years ago

      I just want to say I LOVE YOU!!!Thank you for this great tutorial!

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      They sure would work for that! I hope you hateful and thanks for stopping by.

    • talfonso profile image

      talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Now you've got me an idea of making my own bezel! I sometimes buy them if needed. Those homemade bezels are also great for two-part epoxy clay!

    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks! Yeah, bezel isn't a word mist people use in normal conversation.

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I had no idea what a Bezel was until I read this. Looks like a fun project! Great photos :)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you!

      I kind of go in and out of love with making jewelry, but I really enjoy the pieces I turn into necklaces/earrings.

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 4 years ago from Wales

      What brilliant instructions! Your photos are so good. I'm not really into jewelry making but you never know when the urge will strike!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      You can make really nice ones if I you feel like soldering, but this is far easier! I may offer an 'advanced' soldering tutorial in the future, but I'll have to get someone else to take the photos. And I'll have to practice a little more first! Honestly, I hadn't thought about making my own bezels until petty recently, but now I love the versatility and making them exactly the size I want.

      I am glad you found it useful!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I have purchased bezels but never thought about making my own. I may get inspired now! Thanks for the great tutorial.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you for stopping by! I'm very glad you enjoyed it and found it helpful.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Too cool! I am going to run with this! What clear instructions and lets me know I can do this just like you have! Thank you!