Handmade seashell necklaces: the sparkles would make your heart beat

seascapenecklace handmade round pendant with glitter and shells2 (2)
The seascape necklace pendant with shells, a starfish and a pearl bead.

Yep, I’m pretty excited too! After much experimentation, I came up with this round, handmade pendant that just sparkles with the ocean’s deepest blue!

When I make pendants I think of them as tiny pieces of the sea that women can wear close to their hearts. Made of durable, epoxy resin, and the glitter mixed right into it, the seashell pendants add sparkles to any outfit, casual or not.

The process

The first layer

mold

To make the colored pendants, I actually mix the resin twice. The first, clear layer has no paint in it, but the resin, seashells, starfish, beads, and whatever else I decide to put inside the pendant.

If you decide to do it, reserve at least two hours for this step. Clean the seashells and think of their arrangements inside the mold. You have to think backwards because what you put inside becomes the outside. And you’d be surprised to learn that many of them just don’t fit inside the molds! Spray the mold, warm up the resin and follow the instructions to their last letter to make it work.

The second layer

mold
Here you can see the resin cure for 24 hours before I can take the pendants out of the mold.

When the first layer dries, I mix the resin again and add a few drops of acrylic paint to it. It sets a lot faster now, and I pour the mix over the shells promptly. Another 24 hours passes, and I’m ready to take them out of the mold.

If you do this, not all colors work the same. Yellow might not harden as well as other colors do. Reserve 2-3 hours for this step.

seascapenecklace handmade heart shaped pendant yellow shell2
The heart-shaped pendant with a shell and a piece of seaweed. Here I mixed some glitter with the acrylic paint.

Now, it all sounds very easy to do, almost like an afternoon craft project for the kids. But…the devil is in the detail. There are numerous things that can go wrong with it, starting with the mixing of the resin and ending with the right type of glue.

pendants out of the mold
Handmade seashell pendants are taken out of the mold.

The myriad of problems:

The resin mixes well only in a very warm space where the room temperature wouldn’t fluctuate by much. I’d say about 76-80F. The warmed up bottles must be mixed in equal parts to avoid the soft spots that can happen in cured resin, if the resin is not mixed properly. The glitter and paint might not intermix evenly. The edges might be too uneven, if the mix is not poured well. The seashells change their position and float around the mold quite a bit until it sets somewhat in about one hour. And finally, the pendants might not come out of the mold or might have white spots, if the spray release was wiped off too early or not well enough.

Other difficulties rise with the glue used to attach a bail to the pendant. Yep, I tried 4-5 different glues to stop at the epoxy glue that dries clear and bonds to the pieces really well. The only problem with it is its messiness! I have to mix it in equal proportions as well and it takes a long time to set, so bails tend to float away and change their position being glued to the pendants. So I have to watch them for at least an hour to reset their position, if needed.

If this still doesn’t turn you off from trying to make them at home, the photography will. But I’ll brag about it next time! 🙂

don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

Until then,

Veronica

seascapenecklace pendant shells 3
The 1,5 inch pendant made of resin with acrylic paint, seashells, and a seahorse.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/288790139/seashell-necklace-starfish-with-blue?ref=shop_home_listings

Seascape Necklace Seascape line round pendants with starfish
Handmade round pendants with real starfish and seashells.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/275423654/seashell-necklace-starfish-shells-ocean?ref=shop_home_listings

 

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