I use things found in nature in all of my DIY botanical jewelry projects. It is an easy way to make your jewelry line cohesive while also giving your jewelry a personal and unique look. I have made bead earrings to preserve petals from my wedding bouquet and keep memories from vacations. Sometimes, I just walk into my backyard, grab a few weeds and make beauty out of something we would throw away. Even though this tutorial is focusing on earrings, these beads can be used for necklaces, bracelets, and even keychains.
Resin supplies for the beads:
– Flowers, Leaves, Petals, etc.
Resin supplies for the earrings:
-Earring Hooks (2x)
-Bead Caps (4x)
-Decorative Dangle (2x)
-Eye Pin (2x)
-Jump Rings (4x)
STEP 1: Mix resin
For this project, you only need approximately 1 oz total of mixed resin (that is ½ oz resin and ½ oz hardener), but I always pour a little extra just for any ‘oops’ moments. Be sure to mix thoroughly and walk away for about 5-10 minutes to let some of the larger bubbles pop on their own. For this project, I like to keep the small surface bubbles. This will make the bead look a little sparkly at the end.
STEP 2: Add resin to a bead mold
Silicone molds require no release spray, but be sure the mold is clean and free of any leftover particles from previous projects. Once your mold is ready, I pour into each mold to a little over halfway full. I start my pour holding the mixing cup close to the opening of the mold. Be careful that you are only allowing a small drizzle out. Once you have a small but steady flow, slowly raise the cup a little to create extra little bubbles.
STEP 3: Add botanical items
Once your molds are filled a little more than halfway, it’s time to add our natural items to our DIY botanical jewelry project. I tend to use 2-3 items per bead depending on the size. This can be a little challenging at first because flower petals and leaves are flimsy and delicate. A trick that works for me is to place the tip of the petal or leaf into the mold and then curl it deeper around the center of the mold’s stem. The items I chose to use for this project I simply either crumbled or broke off little pieces. If your petal has a pretty side, be sure it is turned outward.
The items I am using are:
- –Part of a shrub I have in my backyard.
- –Dyed and pressed Queen Anne’s Lace (In the summer I pick my own, but I bought these.)
- –Not shown is a black rose petal I had from my wedding bouquet (pressed and dried for crumbling).
In this project, the rose petal was the only thing I had to prep ahead of time. The greenery was plucked right from outside (the only thing in my yard that is not dead) and placed into the resin. With this specific greenery, it has a waxy texture, so I don’t have issues with browning or fading. Then the orange Queen Anne’s Lace, is something I found online already dried.
STEP 4: Finishing filling with resin
With the remaining resin, top each bead mold off using the same method as in step 2. Try not to completely cover the mold’s middle stem for that would be covering the hole for your bead. Wipe any excess off with a paper towel.
STEP 5: Demold
Wait a full 24 hours for your resin to cure, then pop them out of the mold one by one. They should release easily when you press on them from the bottom. If any of your beads have rough edges on the top, either sand them down or use an exact-o knife to trim, but for this project, it isn’t necessary since we will be using bead caps.
STEP 6: Finish with findings
Enjoy your adorable DIY botanical jewelry beads! Continue on to step seven if you wish to learn how to make them into earrings.
[OPTIONAL] STEP 7: Add ear wires
Take your eye pin, bead caps, and one of the resin beads you just made and layer them together as shown in the photo (bead cap on first, then bead, and then topped with the other bead cap).
STEP 8: Make a loop
Cap off the eye pin with another hook so that the bead is between two closed loops. To do this I use a handy dandy contraption I found at Joanne Fabrics a few years ago. It makes a perfect loop every time! But if you don’t have one of these bad boys, then you can use your pliers to create the same thing.
STEP 9: Finish with jump rings and ear wires
Use your pliers to open and attach jump rings to both ends of your beads. On one jump ring attach your earring hook. On the other jump ring attach your chosen decorative bead or dangle. Be sure to properly close your jump ring so that the ends are once again touching to ensure your earring doesn’t break.
STEP 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the other earring and ENJOY!
What do you think of this DIY botanical jewelry project? What would you put into resin beads?
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