Reported by Julia Stainton
Always on the lookout for new creative ideas, I came across this Simply Swank Soldering Kit and had to try out it. I’d seen my husband using solder under the sink before and it never inspired me (wink), but this pretty pink packaged kit with some cool and feminine projects on the package totally did me in. I couldn’t wait to get started. After all…how hard could this be?
If you’re not quite sure what a soldering kit is… it’s a way to heat seal metal around an object (in this case glass slides) to create beautiful usable projects. Perfect for jewelry making and altered art projects, you simply place your art between the glass slides, wrap the edges with copper foil tape and then apply your acid free flux and solder to finish the edges. I especially love the fun unique ways that I can combine this soldering art as a variation to the papercrafting designs I already create.
Simply Swank Soldering Kit
What I love about this kit is it includes everything you need to get started. This keeps the guess-work to a minimum. I always hated investing in new supplies only to find out that I need to go back and purchase something I’ve missed. The Simply Swank kit provides enough glass slides to complete four projects and still have solder and copper foil leftover. While there is enough to get you started, there are a couple extra items I found extremely helpful although not necessary to start off with. If this is a craft you think you will want to immerse yourself in, purchase extra glass slides and also the Simply Swank Locking Hemostat Pliers. These help tremendously when trying to solder on jump rings and other embellishments.
So…what exactly is included in this kit?
- Solder Iron
- Lead-free solder 2 oz
- Acid-Free Liquid Flux
- 5/16″ wide Copper Foil Tape
- Large and small holding clamps
- Jump ring assortment
- 4 – 1″ x 3/4″ 1mm Clear Glass
- 2 – 1 1/4″ x 3″ 1mm Clear Glass
- 2 – 2″x3″ 1mm Clear Glass
- Instructions and safety information
This kit comes with full-color photo step by step instructions and explains each aspect of your supplies very clearly. Before jumping in and getting started, it is well-worth your time to ready all the tips and instructions first. I’m a jump-in-with-both-feet-first kind of girl and I would have saved myself a few headaches if I had slowed down just a tad! Really…this craft is very easy to learn and within a few projects, you’ll be very pleased with your results. One resource I would really like to recommend would be a fabulous tutorial written by Ellen Hutson that helped me out tremendously.
Soldering your project is really quite easy to do and just takes a little practice. Create your art the size of the glass slides you intend to use and then sandwich it between the two pieces. As you can see both sides of the design, don’t forget to add art to both front and back. Carefully wrap the edges with your copper foil tape and fold side edges over the glass on both the front and back sides. Fold corners neatly and burnish the foil to the glass to remove wrinkles and produce a secure frame. Hold your project with clamps provided as it will be too hot for your fingers. You will also need a heat-proof work surface. You can purchase a heat mat, use a large tile or as I do, use a glass cutting board. You don’t want small bits of molten solder ruining a beautiful counter or desktop. Plug in your soldering iron and heat well. Before adding solder, paint the copper foil tape edges with flux to help the solder spread evenly across your surface. Hold the solder to the top of your soldering iron to melt solder and then touch top of iron to copper surface. This will allow the solder to flow onto your copper. Lift the soldering iron up a little and move soldering iron along to allow solder to flow down onto the surface. It is best to apply small amounts of solder at a time. You can always go back and add more coats for a smooth beautiful finish.
You can create many types of beautiful projects using this soldering kit. Adorn your special cards or scrapbooking layouts with stunning custom-made embellishments. Create beautiful jewelry by designing unique pendants and charms. You can also solder lovely holiday ornaments for your home, add a magnet to the back for a special fridge magnet or a charm to ribbon for a special bookmark. When creating art to include in these projects, there are a few things to keep in mind. Due to the heat process…you need to use product that will not be adversely affected by the heat. Use only non-glossy papers when creating this type of art.
Thomas Kinkade Christmas Series Paper Pack by Cornish Heritage Farms
Simply Swank Wavy Copper Foil and Simply Solder kit, Embellishments by Heidi Swapp
- Fun, unique way to create personalized projects
- Includes all the basics that you need to get you started
- This is a great craft with lots of room to expand by adding to your supplies
- Soldering iron is extremely hot. Please take care not to burn yourself. Trust me! It is not fun
- I would have liked to have seen a few more glass slides included in this kit
- You need a steady hand to attach the jump rings. I found that the hardest thing to do
I purchased my Simply Solder kit from Ellen Hutson’s on-line store. If you like to shop in person…the Simply Swank on-line site provides a list of brick and mortar stores where you can find their products here. Ease of Use: 8 This kit was fairly easy to use and well put-together. The main thing to consider is the heat tool and so I factored the care you need to take with working with the high temperatures. Value: This kit is a great way to get started in soldering. After pricing out the kit elements separately, there is a small savings in purchasing the kit but it is extremely convenient to buy this way and also includes your instructions. At approximately $55.00 US to purchase, this kit is not inexpensive but compared to getting involved with other crafts, the initial out-lay is not high at all. As the tool part of this kit will give you many years of use, I feel that it is a great value and worth-while purchasing. Rating: I love this kit and would give it a rating of 9.5 out of 10 As it says on the web-site…”this ain’t your Daddy’s solder iron”. Super swanky in pink, this is one tool that has successfully made the journey out of the toolbox and into the craft room. I’m loving this new way of expressing my creativity and the fabulous results it creates. Much easier to do than it looks, if you’re looking for something unique and beautiful…this is a great craft for you. Have you tried the Simply Swank Solder Creative Art Kit? We’d love to know what you think!