Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to make a picture necklace with Sara Vogel from AGBF, Baltimore Artist.

My name is Sara and I am the shop owner of A Ghouls Best Friend on Etsy. In my travels I get a lot of questions about how I make my necklaces with the pictures in them. When I was given this opportunity to make a tutorial on one of my many craft projects, I knew it was a no brainer that I had to share how I make my necklaces. I never had a tutorial to show me how to make these necklaces, so I had to Iearn through trial and error. I hope you enjoy my tutorial and take away a few tips when it comes to making these types of necklaces.
There are several types of settings that you can use. This picture shows a few various types of cameo settings made in different sizes and out of different materials. You will find some made out of metal and resin with different types of designs. For this tutorial, I am specifically using a resin cameo setting with an 18X25mm oval shaped space for the image I will be using. 
Supply List!
1. The setting you wish to use
2. A bail if your setting has no hole to add a jump ring. (This is how you attach the chain you will be using)
3. A chain (ribbon and any type of chain will do)
4. The image you wish to use (Mine is a picture of Baltimore legend, Divine!)
5. An epoxy resin sticker that is the same size as the space on the setting meant for the picture
6. Super Glue (I have two types of different strengths that I use for different step as you will soon see)
7. Scissors 

Most of these supplies can be found at a craft store or from suppliers on Etsy. If you don't mind waiting for supplies to arrive, you will find better deals from sellers on Etsy than you will at a retail store.

The first step is to glue your bail to your setting. The picture I am using is a portrait so I will be gluing the bail in the middle of the top of my setting going long ways from top to bottom versus left to right. (Portrait versus landscape.) The glue I am using is Gorilla brand glue. I like this glue because it is stronger than most super glues and dries quickly. Sometimes you will find super glues that dry quickly, but don't have the strong hold that is needed for projects like this. It is important to remember that the bail is what connects the chain to the cameo setting and to make a quality product you want your glue to stand the test of time and daily wear and tear.
After you apply the glue, press the bail and the setting together and hold it for at least 30 seconds. This helps to secure the bond. When you use the glue, remember that less is more. You don't want to use more than a drop of glue because you don't want to have a mess when you press the bail to the setting. when you get run off there is also the chance of accidentally gluing yourself to the setting or anything else in your craft area. 

This is a picture of how your bail and setting should look once they are attached.
The next step is to put your epoxy resin sticker on top the image you have chosen. There are a few important details I want to give you before you proceed with this step. 

First off, choose a picture you would wear yourself. I always do this and it has never failed me. I like to add my personality into every piece that I make and it's amazing how many people have similar tastes and styles as I do. Now, as far as the picture, you can cut something out from a magazine or newspaper, but beware, when gluing these to your setting there is a high possibility that your image may come out cloudy when the glue dries. I will explain this more later on. My recommendation is to print out your own images and use photo paper. It may cost more, but it is worth it! 

My last tip, is take your time. Once you have place your sticker in place you cannot remove it without messing up the picture and ruining the sticker from being used again. So take your time and even measure if you need to because you don't want to waste supplies. 

Once you have your sticker in place, rub the sticker to make sure it has attached itself to every part of the image. This helps to avoid getting bubbles within the sticker and makes your necklace look so much better. If you are having trouble doing this, flip the image face down and run the bottom of a spoon against the backside of the area where the image is. I highly recommend this if you are using a large epoxy resin sticker. I use these with my pill boxes and buckles as well.
Your next step is to cut out your image. Be very care while doing this. You don't want to accidentally cut the sticker, which is very easy to do. These domes are meant to protect your image being used and improve the quality of your necklace so you don't want to accidentally cut your sticker so that it doesn't look like a perfect oval.

Okay, now you are almost done. You should have a cut out image with a epoxy resin dome on it and a setting with a bail attached. Now you are ready to combine the two.
When I glue my picture onto my setting I always put the image in the spot I am gluing to make sure that it is going to be a good fit. I then use Crazy Glue to glue the image in place. I prefer Crazy Glue that comes in a bottle with a brush much like nail polish, this way I can evenly apply the glue. I apply the glue to the setting first and then add the image. 

Again, remember that a little goes a long way. You want to avoid run off and dried glue where it can be visibly seen. Also, if you are using an image from a magazine or something that isn't thick like photo paper, the more glue you use, the more likely it is that your image will come out cloudy once it has dried. 
Once you have your picture in place, hold it down for at least 30 seconds to ensure a secure bond. 

Once you are done this is what your cameo should look like. At this point your last step is to add a chain and you are done!

When you think you are comfortable with making these types of necklaces you can really have some fun. This picture is of a Frankenstein necklace I made. I used a thick metal setting, a jump ring, a metal chain, and a toggle clasp with a skull and bone. I put the chain together myself and printed the Frankenstein image out on photo paper with my photo printer to get the crisp, clear image. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and picked up a tip or two. In the end practice makes perfect and once you get into making these types of necklaces it becomes insanely addictive and the ideas and possibilities are endless!

Thanks Sara Vogel, Baltimore Artist, for this awesome tutorial! Visit her here:

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Really cool can't wait to make one myself! :)