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Brass has the richness and warmth of gold, at a fraction of the cost. These blank bracelets, rings, and charms are so affordable -- starting at just 50 cents apiece! -- that you have the freedom to try endless enamel-paint combinations. Before you know it, you’ll have enough modern, colorful pieces for all your loved ones on Valentine’s Day.
As brass jewelry ages, it acquires a patina that contrasts nicely with bold paint colors. You can find so-called brass blanks at metalliferous.com and fancifulsinc.com, and through craft-supply dealers on Etsy.
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Freshly mixed paint can drip and run off rounded or vertical surfaces. Let the mixture thicken for three hours before painting rings.
Square brass rings (BRN 330, BRN 331, BRN 332), from 85 cents each, metalliferous.com
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Try a twist on a classic: Let two charms dangle loosely on your decolletage, and fix two others in place (by threading jump rings through the chain) on the side of your neck.
Fine cable-chain necklace, in Gold-Plated Brass, neck-0002, 18", $7.50, artbeads.com
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Craft gifts for loved ones: Linked cuffs come in circles and squares as well as the ovals shown.
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Photography: James Ransom