When metalwork projects intrigue you, it’s easy to get lost in the research and planning. The next thing you know, days have passed, and you still haven’t started working on anything. But, if you take some time to learn about various metalworking projects, you can ease yourself into the hobby.
Below are 12 different metalworking projects, each with a brief description. With some dedicated time and effort, you can complete any or all! of these projects and have some great pieces to show.
1. Homemade Knife
A knife is a creative place to start if you’re new to metalworking. You can use various metals, and there’s a lot of room for creativity in the design. Plus, it’s a useful item you can give away as a gift if you choose not to keep to yourself.
To make a knife, you’ll need a piece of metal (steel is a good option), a hammer, and an anvil. You’ll also need other tools to shape and sharpen the blade.
To start with, you’ll need to heat the metal until it’s red. You can heat it with a forge, a furnace, or a campfire. Once the metal is heated, you’ll need to hammer it into shape on the anvil. This is where you’ll start to form the blade of the knife.
After having the basic shape of the blade, you can use a grinder to sharpen it. Then, you can add a handle and finish it however you like.
2. Wrought Iron Cross
A wrought iron cross is a beautiful and unique way to show your faith. This project requires basic blacksmithing skills but is doable for a beginner. You will need a few tools, including a forge, anvil, and hammer.
When all the supplies are gathered, start by drawing your design on a piece of paper. This will be used as a guide when you start shaping the iron. Next, heat your iron in the forge until it is red hot. Once it becomes hot enough, use a hammer to start shaping the iron into the cross shape. After you have the basic shape of the cross, use a chisel and hammer to add any details or embellishments you want. When you are happy with your design, allow the cross to cool completely. This will help it retain its shape.
3. Metal Candle Holder
A metal candle holder is an amazing way to add elegance to any room. You will need a stainless steel angle, a candle, and a drill. First, use the drill to make a hole in the center of the sheet metal. Next, cut a circle around the hole using a jigsaw or a rotary tool. Finally, insert the candle into the holder and enjoy the warm glow of the flame.
To make this project even more special, try using a metal sheet with an interesting texture or pattern.
4. Metal Flower
There’s something about metal flowers that makes them seem extra special. This project is a bit more challenging, but the result is worth it.
You will need a piece of thin metal (preferably copper), a metal flower punch, a hammer, and a small torch. Begin by punching out your desired shape from the sheet of metal. Use the hammer to curl the petals inward gently. Next, use the torch to heat the metal in different areas. Be careful not to overdo it, or you could end up melting the metal. If the shape of the flower pleases you, let it cool and enjoy your handiwork.
5. Fire Bowl
This project is perfect for a summer evening spent outdoors with friends. You only need an old metal bowl, sand, and a few rocks to create a beautiful and functional fire pit. Be ready with a hammer, chisel, and some elbow grease to complete this project in the afternoon.
Start by setting the metal bowl upside down on a solid surface. Use the hammer and chisel to punch a hole in the bottom of the bowl. The hole should be large enough that it can fit a few rocks and sand. Next, fill the bottom of the bowl with sand and arrange your rocks around it. Finally, light a fire in your new fire pit and enjoy the evening!
6. Metal Wall Art
For a creative wall art project, try using metal. You can find old pieces of scrap metal at a flea market or garage sale or use new sheets of aluminum or other metals. Cut your materials into the desired shapes and patterns. Use a strong adhesive to attach the pieces to the wall, then prime and paint them for a unique and modern look.
7. A Doorbell
A doorbell is a handy project, especially if you live in a multi-unit dwelling like an apartment complex. You can make a doorbell with just a few household items and basic electronics knowledge.
To make a doorbell, you will need a small metal box, a button, a buzzer, wire, and batteries. Begin by wiring the button and buzzer to the battery using the wire. Next, attach the button to the outside of the box and screw it in place. Finally, screw the lid on the box and you’re finished!
8. A Custom Bottle Opener
Whether you’re a beer drinker or not, a custom bottle opener makes a great gift or addition to your home bar. You can make one from almost any material, but a metal bottle opener looks the best. You can etch a design or logo into the metal or engrave it with a name or phrase.
To start with, you’ll need a sheet of metal. You can use aluminum, brass, or steel if you want a heavier opener. Once you have your metal, use a saw to cut it to the shape and size you want. A simple rectangle or oval works well if you’re unsure what shape to make it.
Next, use a file to smooth out the edges of your opener. Once the edges are smoothed, it’s time to start engraving. If you have a design in mind, you can use a stencil to help you get it just right. Once you’re happy with the design, hammer and nail punch holes along the outline.
Finally, use a drill to make a hole in the top of your opener. This is where you’ll attach a ring or chain so it can be hung up. Now all that’s left to do is finish your opener. You can leave it as-is for a rustic look or paint it any color you like.
9. A Custom Keychain
A keychain is one of those things that everyone needs but no one ever really thinks about. That’s why a custom keychain would do an awesome metalworking project! You can personalize it with whatever design or message you want, and it’s a great way to show off your skills.
To kick off this project, you’ll need some basic supplies like a piece of metal, a hammer, and some wire. You can use whatever type of metal you want, but something sturdy like brass or aluminum is recommended. Once you have your materials, it’s time to start crafting!
Start by sketching out your design on a piece of metal. Once you have a plan, use the hammer to start shaping the metal into your desired shape. If you’re not confident in hand-eye coordination, you can always use a stencil to help guide your work.
If the shape of the keychain pleases you, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Use a file to smooth out sharp edges, then wire to create a loop at the top. This will be where you attach your keychain to your keys.
10. Basic Bracelets
If you’re looking for an easy project to test your metalworking skills, why not try making some basic bracelets? All you’ll need is some thin sheet metal, a few tools, and some patience. Cut out the desired shape of your bracelet using shears or a saw, then use a hammer and anvil to create a smooth, even surface.
Start by creating a simple design, then add embellishments like stamps or engravings once you’re confident in your skills.
11. Copper Cups
This project is perfect if you want to experiment with different metals and techniques. For this project, you’ll need some thin sheet copper, a few tools, and a bit of creativity. Start by cutting out your desired shape from the copper sheet. Next, use a hammer to texture the surface of the copper. Once you’re happy with the results, use a torch to heat the metal and create a beautiful patina. Finally, finish your project by adding a handle or stand to your cup.
12. Silver Spoon Ring
Rings made from silver spoons are all the rage, and this project shows you how to make your own. All you need is an old silver spoon, a hammer, and a few other basic tools.
Start by bending the spoon, so the bowl is shaped like a ring. Use a hammer to flatten out the spoon gently. After achieving the desired shape of the ring, use a file to smooth out any rough edges. Finally, polish the ring to give it a shiny finish.
With a little preparation, you can tackle these projects and create beautiful pieces of art or functional items for your home. If you decide to sell them, you may have potentially found a new side hustle for yourself. So get out your tools and get to work!