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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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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  • I adore this! Thanks for such a great idea, I’m going to try this on Sunday! Fingers crossed all goes well!

    Kiren

    www.highheelshighhopesblog.blogspot.co.uk

  • You’re so good-looking Emma Chapman. Have a belated Merry Christmas from me, and good luck with book clubs, and reading. -Nadeem A.

  • I’ve made jewelry like this before and think it’s so fun! I love the buildings you used!

  • Hi Paula! It’s our Canon printer http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/top-picks-from-our-crafting-pros?cm_mmc=eStore-_-Craft-_-Printer_toppicks-_-001 🙂 -Jacki

  • Oh wow! I am so excited to make this. If I wanted to make photo beads with holes in them (to string on cord or to make a pendant), do you know how I’d go about that? Thanks again for posting so many inspiring projects!

    http://mostlysalty.blogspot.com

  • Not my favorite diy for sure,probably could work as magnets or something..but not something to wear

  • How cute! I love the final product. I’ve never used epoxy, but it looks like fun! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Not super crazy about the bib – but would definitely use it as decor! I love your blue sandals – we need the details 🙂

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    www.littlewildheart.com

  • Hi Mckenzie! You’re in luck! We’ve done a couple tutorials:

    https://abeautifulmess.com/2014/10/diy-colorful-epoxy-topped-desk.html

    https://abeautifulmess.com/2014/05/diy-epoxy-resin-table.html 🙂 -Jacki

  • Love epoxy! Could you guys do a tutorial on making an epoxy resin table? I’ve tried finding one to no avail, and I desperately want a bright yellow epoxy kitchen table.

  • This is really creative and would be a great conversation starter. I just started a job and am learning how beneficial it is to have “conversation” starters! lol! Way to go on a new twist on an older (but still cool) diy necklace!

  • Super cool idea. Now I just need to collate pictures that I love.

    http://thinkworkandgo.blogspot.com/

  • Such an interesting DIY, but I’m not sure I would be able to pull off the bib-style necklace, but I love the idea! It look absolutely beautiful. I haven’t ever experimented with epoxy before, but I might give it a try.

  • Neat! I make jewelry with epoxy resin and a little tip is to coat your pix before putting them in the resin. Otherwise the paper absorbs the resin and it darkens the images. Also, blow on the resin through a straw to pop any bubbles that may appear.
    theredscorpio.com

  • Great idea! I have a few photos I that I couldn’t think of a good way to use, but this is wonderful! 😉
    Xx, Isabella
    P.S. I can’t wait for livestream!!

  • Love the idea of using this to create a pendant style necklace and maybe even cute kids faces for the pictures?? Hello awesome Mother’s Day idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • I love how you can make these so different and personalized. The ribbon is also a cute touch. I think you have successfully made epoxy less intimidating!

    Monica – Mocha and Moccasins

  • When I saw the first picture in this post, I thought that you had done epoxy photo rings! That seems like could also be really fun and would be easy enough using the same steps. I am really into big statement rings lately – and this could also be such a fun and special gift for someone.

    x Kathryn
    Through the Thicket

  • Hmm, a very interesting DIY. I haven’t experimenting with epoxy before, but I love the idea of creating such personalized jewelry.

    :] // http://www.itscarmen.com ▲

  • Now I know you gals at ABM love the art teacher necklace look and to me, this is it! I think kind of kooky and only a select few can rock it, but Emma styled it in a very wearable way. This kind of thing is why I love reading ABM. You gals aren’t afraid to take risks and you’ve got keen eyes for style 🙂

  • I love this DIY,great idea :*

    Valentina from http://fashionwithvalentina.blogspot.com

  • While I’m not so sure the bib-style necklace would work for me, I love the idea of making beads using photo! They look so totally unique and beautiful, like something you would find in a boutique shop.

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

  • Yay, I’ll definitely give that a try! I’m just one of those ladies who can’t quite rock the peter pan collar or bib necklace 😛

    Thanks, Emma!

  • Yes, you could easily use this same technique but add a jewelry hoop to the top of the beads. Then you could use them to make earrings, necklaces or a charm bracelet. I just like bib necklaces so I went for it with mine. 🙂

    -Emma

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