DIY Epoxy Statement Necklace

How to turn photos into beads for jewelryAs you may have already noticed, we are fans of epoxy resin here at A Beautiful Mess. Last year I made an epoxy coffee table and Josh created a colorful epoxy desk for Elsie's office. It's just amazing how many different things you can make with this stuff once you're over the hump of I'm-too-intimidated-to-try-it. I used to not be over this hump. If you're there, maybe this project will inspire you. This is probably the least intimidating epoxy project I've ever seen.

DIY bib necklace with photo epoxy beads (abeautifulmess.com)Did you know that you can make beads filled with photos or small items to use in jewelry?! It's awesome! Working with our friends from Canon USA, I recently created a bib style necklace with beads filled with photos I took while on a trip to Charleston with Elsie. I LOVED all the houses on rainbow row. So pretty! So, I wanted to create something fun and wearable with a few of those photos. 

Although I used photos of houses/architecture for my beads, you could easily customize this project with any photo or found paper you like. Maybe a statement necklace filled with photos of your pug? (Yes, this might be my next planned project. Ha!)

Print your imagesSupplies:
-printed photos
-epoxy resin kit (I used Easy Cast because it makes small amounts, for jewelry projects)
-mixing cup
-disposable mixing spoon or popsicle stick
-casting tray
-leather or stiff material for the back of the necklace
-beads
-super glue (I used Loctite as it works well with mixed materials)
-ribbon
Canon PIXMA MG7520 printer

First, print your photos. I printed mine with our PIXMA MG7520 printer and I LOVE how vibrant the colors turned out. To me this project is all about those colorful houses on rainbow row, so a quality print is clutch. πŸ™‚

Using Easy Cast to make epoxy bead necklacesNext, cut out your photos to fit the molds. Mix the epoxy according to the package directions. Be sure to wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area because usually epoxy resin gives off a strong smell while it cures. Pour the epoxy into the molds so they are 2/3 full, add the photo, then fill to the brim. If your photos try to flip or turn on you, use a toothpick to push it back in place. 

Allow the epoxy to cure according to the package directions. Mine needed 24 hours before I could remove them from the molds.

How to make a bib necklace  Then I cut the leather according to a paper pattern I made. I wanted to make sure the bib necklace was a shape that I liked wearing, so I made a pattern from scrap paper and held it in place in front of a mirror to check. 

Glue the epoxy beads and other embellishment to your necklace.

Glue on the beadsFor the outside edge I simply added glue then poured white and clear beads over the glue to get the shape I wanted. I did this in a small casserole dish (as you can kind of see in the above photo) so the beads didn't go rolling everywhere. 

DIY bib necklace with epoxy beadsLast, add ribbon and a back panel to the bib portion of the necklace and allow to fully dry. You could choose to stitch all the beads on instead of glue… but, uh, I didn't. πŸ™‚

How to make a bib necklaceBack of my necklaceHere's what the front and the back of my bib style necklace look like when it's on. I prefer wearing it with shirts with collars, and I love how easy it is to tie in the back. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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