How to Make a Collage Pendant

June 5, 2010

My latest obsession has become creating collage pendants. The possibilities are endless, but I particularly enjoy vintage and art nouveau themes.

Making a collage pendant is not difficult, but does require some time and thought. Here is the process I use:

Supplies: Image or photo, pendant frame, E-6000 glue, glaze such as Diamond Glaze. You will also need simple tools such as an Xacto knife – or a paper punch, toothpicks or wooden craft sticks, and waxed paper.

1. First select your pendant shape and style – circle, oval, square, rectangle. Decide on either a simple frame or an ornate one with fancy edging. Since I like vintage style jewelry, one of my favorite places to purchase frames isVintageJewelrySupplies.com. This site offers good products at reasonable prices and fast free shipping.

2. Next, select your image to fit the frame. You can use wrapping paper, magazine photos, and greeting cards. Or you can purchase collage picture images already sized and shaped for common pendant frames. I purchase many of my images on Etsy where there is a wealth of styles and themes from various sellers.

3. Prepare your image. If you are printing out a collage sheet or other image from your computer, first be sure to use the best quality settings for your printer. I find printing on photo paper works best. Next seal your image to prevent the ink from running and smearing during gluing and glazing later – I use Aleene’s spray acrylic sealer which I purchase at Michael’s craft store – you can choose either a matte or glossy finish (both work fine.)

4. Cut out your image. If you are “free styling” (not using a pre-sized and shaped” collage sheet) then make a template of your shape by tracing the shape on a piece of paper – preferably thick cardstock type. Then cut out the shape leaving a circle (or whatever shape you’re using) opening in the paper. Then you can place the template over your desired image, trace with pencil and cut it out. I usually leave about 1/8 inch around the edge to trim later – this makes for easier handling. Use a craft knife or xacto knife to cut your image – be careful as they are quite sharp!

A quicker easier method for cutting your image is to purchase a paper punch at a craft store such as Michael’s. These come in standard 1 and 2 inch circles, ovals, squares and many other shapes. I recommend this method if you are going to be making a number of pendants.

5. Glue your cut out image to the pendant frame. I use E-6000 glue (I purchase from Michael’s) placing a small amount on the back of the image and pressing it onto the frame. Use a toothpick or small wooden pointed craft stick to clean off excess around the edges. But if you leave some E-6000 dries clear and excess can be cut off later with your craft knife. E-6000 becomes tacky in 2 minutes and begins to set in 10 minutes – but takes 24 to 72 hours to fully cure. After drying, you can trim the edges of your paper if needed with your Xacto knife – if you used a paper punch, this step is usually unnecessary.

6. Now it is time to apply glaze to seal and protect the image. Be sure to allow the glue from step 5 to dry sufficiently – I usually allow several hours (4 hours or longer.) Although not fully cured yet, this is enough time for proceeding.

I use Diamond Glaze which can be purchased at various sites on-line. One site I have used is CreateForLess.combut there are many others – even Ebay where this product can be found.

Applying the glaze is a bit tricky but not overwhelmingly so. Place your pendant on a flat surface where it will be able to sit without being disturbed for at least 24 hours. I use a flat chopping board with waxed paper placed on top for easy clean up.

First squeeze out a small dab of the glaze onto the waxed paper to expel any bubbles. Then without turning the bottle back upright, immediately squeeze the glaze onto your image – I start from the center and work my way outward in a circular motion. If air bubbles develop, pop them with a needle or even your fingernail.

Now let the glaze dry and cure. It will be sufficiently dry to carefully move after 24 hours, but takes 72 hours before fully curing. If not fully cured, you can leave smudges and indentations on your glaze with handling.

7. Now you are ready to place your pendant on a chain or cord and proudly wear!

Following are some collage pendants I have recently made:

Victorian Beauty Art Nouveau Pendant

Vintage Roses Collage Pendant

Antiqued Gold Bluebird Collage Pendant

Art Nouveau Mucha Pendant

Art Nouveau Butterfly Pendant

La Grande Roue Old Paris Pendant


Mother’s Day Jewelry Picks

April 26, 2010

Here are some of my favorite items from my Etsy shop that would be perfect for Mother’s Day:

Crystal Pearl and Antiqued Brass Earrings: Petite Swarovski crystal pearl dangle sweetly from these antiqued brass round French hook earrings. Crystal pearls are in soft “cream rose” color, accented with antiqued brass bead caps. The antiqued brass against the luster of the crystal pearls gives these earrings a nostalgic vintage style charm.  Drop is 1 3/4 inches.

Crystal Pearl and Antiqued Brass Earrings

Vintage Floral Bouquet Cameo Necklace: This pendant is created using a rare vintage glass cameo cabochon which I set into an ornate antiqued silver setting. The floral bouquet glass cabochon measures 13x18mm; with setting the pendant is 25x30mm. Pendant dangles from a delicate antiqued silver chain with lobster claw closing.  Measures 26 inches long.

Vintage Floral Bouquet Cameo Necklace

Swarovski Crystal Pearl Book Thong: Splendid vintage inspired book thong. Book thongs are a type of bookmark made to lie between the pages of your book.  Created using Swarovski crystals in clear and “black diamond,” Swarovski glass black pearls, antiqued pewter bead caps, silver-plated beads, and silver-lined glass seed beads.  Measures 17 inches.

Swarovski Crystal Pearl Book Thong

Purple Passion Crystal Heart Earrings: Splendid purple amethyst Swarovski crystal hearts dangle from antiqued sterling silver chain and earring wires. These vintage style earrings have a very romantic and nostaligic charm. Drop is 1 3/4 inches. Crystal hearts measure 10mm.  All sterling silver metal components. Earring wires and chain are oxidized giving the silver an old and nostalgic appearance.

Purple Passion Crystal Heart Earrings

Violet Gems Lampwork Beaded Earrings: These earrings feature magnificent lampwork glass beads that I call “Violet Gems” because of their beautiful jeweled look.  Lampwork glass rondelle beads have rich intricate swirls of different hues and shades of violet. Accented with antiqued pewter beads and small faceted round amethyst beads. They swing prettily from delicate antiqued silver chain and antiqued sterling silver earring wires.  Drop is 2 inches.

Violet Gems Lampwork Beaded Earrings


Bright Lampwork Glass Jewelry

March 13, 2010

I found these pretty lampwork Czech glass rondelle beads at fusionbeads.com and fell in love with them!  They remind me of bright little lanterns because of their radiant glow.  I used the bright hot pink beads with an antiqued silver setting and the cherry red beads with antiqued brass.

PASSIONATE PINK ANTIQUED SILVER EARRINGS: Perfectly beautiful bright fucshia pink glass lanterns dangle beneath antiqued sterling silver earring wires. I love the contrast of the vivid pink against the dark antiqued metal giving these earrings a vintage victorian style charm.  Lampwork rondelle glass beads are ccented with Swarovski crystals in brilliant AB (aurora borealis) finish and antiqued pewter bead caps. Gunmetal headpins are wire wrapped and beautifully compliment the oxidized antiqued silver earring wires.

Passionate Pink Antiqued Silver Earrings

PASSIONATE PINK ANTIQUED SILVER NECKLACE: Same bright fucshia pink glass beads  are used on this jeweled pendant that dangles on an antiqued silver chain.  I wire wrapped a gunmetal headpin with a sterling silver jump ring to form a simple and elegant bail. Lampwork bead is 12x8mm. Pendant with bail is about 1 1/4 inches.  Necklace finished with an antiqued pewter hook and eye clasp. Measures 18 inches. Drop is 2 inches.

Passionate Pink Antiqued Silver Necklace

RED CHERRY LAMPWORK EARRINGS: These antiqued brass earrings have cherry red lampwork glass beads that glow like bright little lanterns. Lampwork rondelle beads are accented with antiqued brass bead caps. They swing freely on a few links of antiqued brass chain.  Antiqued brass earring wires. Drop is 1 3/4 inches.

Red Cherry Lampwork Earrings

RED CHERRY LAMPWORK NECKLACE: This antiqued brass necklace has a matching cherry red lampwork glass bead.  Suspended on antiqued brass chain. Measures 18 inches. Pendant adds another 1 1/2 inches. Lobster claw clasp closure.

Red Cherry Lampwork Necklace


Rose Chintz Lampwork Beaded Earrings

February 26, 2010

My newest fascination with lampwork beads continues on this week with these nostalgic floral creations.

I absolutely love these lampwork beads because of their soft romantic rose pattern and wonderful mix of pink, lavender, blue and green colors. Accented with pretty antiqued pewter bead caps and small genuine amethyst round bead dangles.  Sterling silver french hook earring wires. Drop is 2 inches.

I found the beautiful handmade lampwork rondelle beads for these earrings at CrazyLadyBeads.etsy.com.  Although I paid a bit more than at some of the mass producers/suppliers I think they were well worth the cost!

Rose Chintz Lampwork Beaded Earrings

Rose Chintz Lampwork Beaded Earrings


Gunmetal Vintage Style Jewelry: Mystical Crystal Ball Necklace and Earrings

February 21, 2010

This week I experimented with using gunmetal chain and findings.  I must say I am quite pleased with the end result – gunmetal lends a naturally nostalgic and vintage style charm to jewelry items.

I call these coordinating pieces Mystical Crystal Ball Necklace and Earrings.  The 14mm fire-polished crystal orbs are truly stunning even on their own and resemble old fashioned crystal balls with mystical powers for reading the future.

I added ornate antiqued pewter bead caps to the crystals and topped them each with a Czech glass jet black bead. I then formed a gunmetal wire wrapped loop.  The contrast of the silver pewter bead cap against the black gunmetal is really striking.

For the necklace I used two gunmetal jump rings for the bail and hung it on a simple gunmetal chain. Finished with a gunmetal lobster claw clasp. Measures 20 inches.

For the earrings I used short lengths of gunmetal chain to connect the crystal drops to gunmetal kidney shaped earring wires.  Drop is 2 3/4 inches.

Supplies:

Gunmetal chain, findings and earring wires:  YadanaBeads.etsy.com

Fire-polished crystals and antiqued pewter bead caps:  firemountaingems.com

Mystical Crystal Ball Necklace

Mystical Crystal Ball Earrings


More Lampwork

February 13, 2010

Lampwork jewelry has always been one of my favorites to create.  One day I plan to learn to create my own lampwork beads, but for now I am content to continue using beads created and designed by others.  Some of my favorite beads come from venetianbeadshop.com which carries beads they directly import from Venice and Murano – their beads are truly spectacular!  There are also many sellers on Etsy who handmake beautiful lampwork beads.  Some of my favorites are  GlassAtticBeads and CrazyLadyBeads.  I have also used lampwork beads from suppliers such as firemountaingems.com which carries a wide array of types and styles.

Smokey Glass Lampwork Heart beads from firemountaingems.com.

Sunlit Gold Lampwork Heart beads and Copper Glow Heart beads from venetianbeadshop.com.

S

Sunlit Gold Lampwork Heart Earrings

Sunlit Gold Lampwork Heart Necklace

Copper Glow Lampwork Heart Earrings

Copper Glow Lampwork Heart Necklace

Smokey Glass Lampwork Heart Necklace

Smokey Glass Lampwork Heart Earrings


I Love Lampwork

February 6, 2010

This week I have been beading with lampwork beads.  Every time I create a lampwork design I become more amazed with these delightful beads. Lampwork beads are created with rods and tubes of clear and colored glass which are worked over an open flame, then blown and shaped into beautiful glass treasures.  Since these beads are handmade, sizes and shapes can vary slightly.  Some lampwork beads have sterling silver or gold foil submerged within the glass – such as in the Blue Paradise necklace and earrings below which have silver -lined foil.  Other lampwork pieces are created with interesting combinations of colors and designs submerged within clear glass – such as the large focal bead in my Bold and Beautiful design below.

Blue Paradise Lampwork Glass Beaded Necklace and Earrings: I beaded these Blue Paradise items on a cold dreary day with somewhere balmy and tropical in mind. Beaded with bright aqua blue lampwork beads and Czech glass fire-polished beads in clear and dark aqua. Lampwork beads were handmade in Italy with silver foil submerged within the glass producing a rich radiant glow. Larger beads on the necklace are spaced with tiny sterling silver beads.  Finished with sterling silver spring ring clasp. Measures 18 inches.

Blue Paradise Lampwork Glass Beaded Necklace

Earrings are beaded with the same bright tropical blue lampwork beads and Czech fire-polished glass beads in clear and dark aqua. Sterling silver earring wires. Drop is about 1 1/2 inches.

Blue Paradise Lampwork Glass Beaded Earrings

Bold and Beautiful Lampwork and Cats Eye Beaded Necklace: Bold and Beautiful describes the interesting combination of beads on this necklace. The lampwork focal piece at the center is a large colorful sphere with a rich mix of blue, red, orange, yellow, gold and green hues. It has incredible depth and catches and reflects light beautifully as it rolls and twirls at the neckline.  Vivid blue Cats Eye beads are mixed with gold satin glass Czech beads. Two topaz Czech glass beads are beaded near the large lampwork bead, and a clear fire-polished bead at each end. Delicate blue glass seed beads are spaced between the larger beads and along the center with the lampwork bead.  Sterling silver S-clasp. Measures 18 inches.

Bold and Beautiful Lampwork and Cats Eye Beaded Necklace