Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries, Holiday Designs. Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. Holly leaves and berries are the perfect embellishments to use with winter and holiday themed jewelry as well as ornaments.

Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries

by Judy Larson
  • Category: Holiday Designs
  • Technique(s): Forging, Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Beginner
Holly leaves and berries are the perfect embellishments to use with winter and holiday themed jewelry as well as ornaments. The best part about making holly leaves is that perfect cutting is not necessary because all leaves are different.

Materials

22 Gauge Dead Soft Sterling Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H8-22SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $44.02
  • Gold Club Price: $33.02
Add to Bag
22 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-22SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $48.36
  • Gold Club Price: $36.27
Add to Bag
18 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $4.82
  • Gold Club Price: $3.61
Add to Bag
4mm Round Sterling Silver Snapset for Faceted Gemstone - Pack of 2
K2-1
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $1.97
  • Gold Club Price: $1.48
Add to Bag
6mm Round Sterling Silver Snapset for Faceted Gemstone - Pack of 2
K2-2
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.67
  • Gold Club Price: $2.00
Add to Bag
4mm Round Ruby Corundum - Pack of 5
E5-14R
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.60
  • Gold Club Price: $2.70
Add to Bag
6mm Round Red CZ - Pack of 2
E5-16H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $1.30
  • Gold Club Price: $0.98
Add to Bag
Add All Items to Cart

Tools

Silver Solder Paste Medium SS70 - 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.15
  • SOL-822.15
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
Add to Bag
Basic Sawing Kit
G15-7
  • G15-7
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $34.95
  • Gold Club Price: $26.21
Add to Bag
chisels
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
5/8 Inch Double Rubber/Nylon Head Hammer - Pack of 1
G3-26
  • G3-26
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $4.97
  • Gold Club Price: $3.73
Add to Bag
5 1/2 Inch Nylon Flat Jaw Pliers with Replacement Jaws
G2-1
  • G2-1
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $9.97
  • Gold Club Price: $7.48
Add to Bag
Steel and Rubber Bench Block 4x4 Inches
G17-44
  • G17-44
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
Add to Bag
Basic Soldering Kit
G15-4
  • G15-4
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $58.95
  • Gold Club Price: $44.21
Add to Bag
Add All Items to Cart
Instructions
Step 1
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions for the space you are working in as well as all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies you will be using to complete the project.

HOLLY LEAVES

Scale the Holly Leaves Patterns to the desired size. For your convenience, multiple sizes of each leaf are included on the template as well as a ruler for size reference. Print the templates on paper to glue to sheet metal, which is the method used here, or cut out a plastic template or stencil for tracing on metal with an ultra-fine point retractable Sharpie marker.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 2
Glue the template images to 24 gauge sheet metal-first photo. Making Holly leaves is a great way to use up larger scraps of sheet metal, too-second photo. Auditioning paper templates or cut leaves will give you an idea of how many and what sizes of leaves would be needed for any project you have in mind-third and fourth photos.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 3
Holly Leaves templates B1, B2, B3, and B4 can be cut with metal shears. However, because small, tight curves are difficult to cut with shears, it is best to cut out the A and C Holly Leaves using a saw.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 4
Remove the paper templates by soaking the pieces in water or remove any Sharpie traced lines remaining using an alcohol-soaked pad or bit of paper towel. When the pieces are dry, sand both sides of each leaf to minimize imperfections and scratches that may have been on the sheet metal.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 5
To impart an artisan quality and look, texture the leaves by hand. Reverse a few of the leaves. The first step is drawing the midrib down the center of the leaf using an ultra-fine point retractable Sharpie marker.
Pro Tip: An alternative would be to use a rolling mill to impress rubber tree leaf skeletons into the holly leaf shapes. If this is done, skip to Step 11.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 6
A variety of chisel widths (5/8", 3/8", and 4mm) were used to stamp the leaves made here-first photo-but other sizes may work better for you depending on the size leaves being made. Remember, chisels are very sharp and can easily cut through sheet metal if struck too hard. Practice on a piece of scrap sheet metal before using them on precious metals.

Draw the midrib line on each leaf with an ultra-fine point retractable Sharpie marker.

Stamp the midrib line with the widest chisel, starting a bit in from the leaf tip end-the apex-second photo.

If the midrib line is longer than the chisel, do not lift the chisel from the metal.

Slide the chisel down the stamped indentation and stamp the base end of the leaf so there will be one continuous line-third photo.

Remove the Sharpie line with an alcohol-soaked pad or bit of paper towel.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 7
Use an ultra-fine point retractable Sharpie to draw three vein lines on either side of the midrib stamped line. These lines do not have to match up to each other on the midrib.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 8
Stamp the vein lines with the chisel width that best fits the length of the line, which is usually the smallest.

The stamp in the first photo is from an inexpensive stamping set but one could easily be made by sharpening a short, thin rod of steel.

With larger leaves, up to a 3/8" line may be needed-second photo. Remove Sharpie lines with alcohol-soaked pad or bit of paper towel.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 9
The leaves curl a bit during stamping. Place the leaves on a bench block and flatten them with a small rubber/nylon mallet.
Step 10
Anneal the leaves. If this is not done, the tip of the scratch awl used in the next step will dull very quickly. Also, the scratched lines will not be as deep, and therefore, not as visible in the finished product.
Step 11
Now for the fun part! Use a retractable Scratch Awl/Scribe to scratch deep lines between the veins on either side of the midrib. This provides a bit of dimension and shading to the finished leaves.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 12
Refine the edges of each leaf using files and sanding pads. If the tip of a leaf is sharp, it should be rounded a bit. The leaves can be tumbled at this point, if desired, but it is not necessary.
Step 13
Leaves can be shaped before use or left flat. Use a flat nose or flat nose soft jaw pliers to slightly bend each leaf along the midrib line-first and second photos.

As always, all metal must be clean for a good solder join, so clean the leaves with an alcohol soaked pad or bit of paper towel. Bent leaves are shown ready to be soldered in place-third photo.
Pro Tip: In my mind and on paper, I was excited to finish this holly leaf ornament. After putting all the pieces together and before soldering, I decided the ornament was going to be too large so took it all apart. Don't be afraid to change direction. You can always find a use for the leaves.
Holly leaves need berries to complete the look. Holly berries are seen clumped together in many professional photos but not necessarily in groups of 3.

From a visual standpoint, they fit into designs and work nicely in groups of three. Balls or snap sets for CZs do not need to be attached to a backing but it is easier to secure them into designs that way. Of course, if the berries are to be placed singly, they do not need a backing.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 14
Make three silver balls by melting the following for each
LARGE BALL BERRY TRIO, which will be similar in size to an 8mm snap set size trio: 1.31 grams of silver scrap, 3¾" of 18 gauge wire, or two 18 gauge 13mm ID jump rings;
MEDIUM BALL BERRY TRIO, which will be similar in size to a 6mm snap set size trio: .81 grams of scrap silver, 2-3/8" of 18 gauge round wire, or 1¼ 18 gauge 13mm ID jump rings;
SMALL BALL BERRY TRIO, which will be similar in size to a 4mm snap set size trio: .32 grams of scrap silver or 1½" of 18 gauge round wire.

To make sure each ball is the same diameter round when melting the silver, remove the heat immediately after the outer "rough skin" seems to peel to the side revealing a very shiny molten ball.
Pro Tip: When removing balls from a soldering surface, some of the solder board will stick to the balls. To help alleviate that, sprinkle the balls with warm or hot water while they are still a bit hot. The balls will come off the soldering surface with a cleaner back.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 15
Clean the bottom of each ball. Lightly sand each back a bit flatter on 320 grit sandpaper on a bench block. Perfection is not important. Even if there is a depression in the bottom of the balls, seen in the front few in the photo, they will be fine to use.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 16
Place a small dab of medium paste solder where each ball will be placed on a scrap of 24, 26, or 28 gauge sheet metal. Press the balls into place. Place on a soldering surface and heat until the solder flows. Allow the berry unit to cool naturally. If using sterling silver, the piece could be pickled, but it is not necessary.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 17
Trim away the excess sheet metal around the berry clump. Use files and sanding pads to clean and refine the sheet metal edge so it is not too noticeable around the berries.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 18
When using snap sets, it is important to remember that the prongs will spread a bit when capturing the CZ. Therefore, proper placement and spacing on the backing is important.

It is important to ensure that the snap sets do not move during soldering and end up too close together. Place a balled piece of 18 gauge wire-1/2" for 8mm snap sets; ¼" for 6mm snap sets; 1/8" for 4mm snap sets-on a small dot of medium paste solder in the center of a piece of 24, 26, or 28 gauge scrap sheet metal-first photo.

Place three small dabs of medium paste solder on the backing where the three snap sets will be placed-second photo. Press the snap sets in place, making sure that one prong faces the ball in the center and the snap sets are equally spaced apart-third photo.

Optional: Place balls the same size as the center ball on a dot of paste solder between each of the snap sets. This will help evenly space the snap sets-fourth photo.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Step 19
Place the berry unit on a soldering surface. Heat until the solder flows. Since snap set prongs can very easily be melted, keep the flame a finger width away from the prongs while heating. It will take only a bit longer for the solder to flow, but it is worth it to not ruin a snap set.

Note: Don't mind all the extra paste solder in the photo. My hands were shaky some of the days I was working on this project-it was a good thing I was not working on fine detail work, lol. Since all the excess sheet metal was to be cut away, it would not be a visual problem later and need to be cleaned up.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Step 20
I use Argentium almost exclusively because it is a beautiful white metal and does not have fire scale after soldering, unlike the sterling silver snap sets being used here. After pickling in a Sparex solution, I purposely did not immediately neutralize the pieces in baking soda water.

After rinsing in plain water, most of the time the sterling silver will dry with a bit of a golden cast. Pickled and neutralized, white silver will blend into the silver background they were to be used on. By not neutralizing the pieces, the golden color makes it easier to see how they would look in different design iterations.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Step 21
Trim away the excess sheet metal around the berry clump. Use files and sanding pads to clean and refine the sheet metal edge so it is not too noticeable around the berries.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Step 22
Place a piece of 320 grit sandpaper on a bench block. Lightly sand the back of the ball or snap set berry clumps. The berries are now ready to be placed in designs. CZs will be set when a project is completed.
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - , Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, snap sets
Step 23:
Ways To Use Holly Leaves
There are so many ways to use these leaves that you may find you just can't stop making things with them!

Ornaments
I had extra leaves left from making ornaments. I laid them out to decide what I might want to make with them What will you do with your leaves?

A charm or tiny pendant and possibly a pin or tie tack
Earring Jackets
A Brooch
Angel/Fairy Wings
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - Ways To Use Holly Leaves, Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - Ways To Use Holly Leaves, Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - Ways To Use Holly Leaves, Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - Ways To Use Holly Leaves, Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - Ways To Use Holly Leaves, Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries
Judy Larson's Happy Holly Days Leaves and Berries - Ways To Use Holly Leaves, Holiday Designs, Forging, Forging Jewelry, Jewelry Forging, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, holly leaves and berries