How to create a piece of jewelry from a child’s drawing
My nephew drew a picture of his dog for his school’s art show. He is incredibly proud of his masterpiece, and his mother thought it would be fun to preserve the memory in a resin charm.
To get started, you will need a digital copy of the art. My sister scanned a copy of the image and emailed it to me as a .jpg file. I chose to use it with rectangular cabochon mold 412, so I needed to resize the image with Photoshop. I printed several sizes of the picture (just varied the pixel size a smidge) with my color laser jet printer. If you’re looking for some free options to be able to edit your picture, you can try PicMonkey (web-based) or Google’s Picasa (downloadable program).
Trim the image away from the paper. I did a few sizes, then placed them in the mold. I wanted to see which size fit in the vertical middle of the mold, since I knew I wanted to pour two layers.
Tear off a piece of clear packing tape and place it onto a hard surface with the sticky side up. Put the printed drawing onto the sticky side of the tape. Place another piece of clear packing tape on top. (You’re creating sandwich.) Rub the two pieces of tape together to push out any air bubbles, paying close attention to the area of tape next to the edge of the picture.
Note: I could have sealed the image with a couple of layers of glue, but I chose the tape method so that I could use it right away, instead of waiting an extra day for the glue to dry.
Trim the tape away from the drawing. When doing so, be sure to leave a gap of tape around the edge of paper, otherwise the exposed edge will wick in moisture from the resin.
Not shown: Spray a light mist of Castin’ Craft mold release over the mold and allow to dry. Once dry, mix together your desired resin and hardener according to label directions. (I used the Resin Obsession super clear resin.)
Before placing the sealed imaged into the resin, put it in your mixed resin. By coating both sides with resin first, you will break the surface tension and make it less likely it will trap bubbles underneath.
Place the sealed paper into the resin mold. You will want to do this on an angle to avoid trapping bubbles. You can also gently tap the paper once it’s in the resin to release any bubbles that may be trapped underneath. Once you have it placed the way you like, cover and allow to cure.
Mix another layer of resin to be the second layer behind the picture. In this case, I wanted a white background to accent the piece, so I added some Castin’ Craft white opaque pigment to my next layer. Another option, as shown here, is to add some glitter to the back. When adding the glitter, you will want to wait until the resin partially cures, otherwise your resin may sink to the bottom. Cover and allow to cure.
Not shown: Once it has cured, demold the resin charm by gently twisting the mold while pushing from the back.
Sand the resin charm edges with some wet/dry sandpaper. You don’t have to sand a lot, but sand off the sharp edges which occur when the resin ‘creeps’ up the side of the mold.
I used a bail with a large backplate because I wanted to have as much surface contact as possible. I used E6000 to glue to the two pieces together. If you want something that looks prettier with the back or front, I would suggest an Aanraku bail. (In case you have never used E6000 to glue bails, we have a video showing the techinique on our youtube channel.)
Hang the finished pendant from a necklace. (or in this case, so that my nephew could hang it from his backpack, I included a zip tie.)