I documented the whole process in a blog post that can be found here.
I tried to do this as a simple beginner project using basic tools many would have on hand already. For my metal I snipped off a couple lengths of 6 gauge bare copper wire, usually available as a grounding wire from the home improvement stores.
With an old auto body hammer and/or a simple claw hammer I forged out the bent rods into a flatter, straighter shape. (Of course, real forging hammers could be used too.) I did this on my anvil, but many large vises have a hammering plate on them that could function as an anvil plate as well for light duty work such as this.
Hammering just on one side I formed a curve on one end of the rod.
Here are the two sides with curves roughly forged in. I will clean them up more with files and a belt sander.
Here's an image of the first rivet starting to be formed. I am using fine silver for the rivets because I use it in my work, had the scrap around, and so why not make my regular use tools a bit more fancy. ;)
This is after the second rivet is done.
These are the finished copper tongs. I made them longer than is standard because my pickle tub is deeper than most so is handy to have a longer set of tongs.