This was an idea that came to me while looking around Hobby Lobby before Valentines day. I was originally going to enter this in the Valentines day contest but I was really busy and couldn't get it done in time, so now i am entering this in the jewelry contest; so please vote if you enjoyed this project. It's is a very easy project that doesn't take a lot of time and the supplies can all be purchased at Hobby Lobby. In a couple of steps and a couple of hours you can have a nice custom photo bracelet for that special someone or for yourself. Lets get started shall we!
Step 1: Supplies
- $3.47 Metal bracelet (round or square or whatever shape you like that you can find)
- $11.99 Jewelers grade clear epoxy
- $0.00 Straw (any fast food joint)
- $8.00 Photo paper (came with my printer but can pick it up at Wal-Mart)
- $7.47 Modge podge (the link is to super gloss I just used regular it wasn't on there online store)
- $1.33 Paint brush, roller, or foam whatever you prefer
- Computer and some kind of photo editing program (I assume you have a computer)
- Patience and a little bit of your time
$24.26 total (if you have photo paper)
You can probably find this stuff cheaper online.
Step 2: Photo Editing
You want to start of course by selecting the pictures you want. Be sure to keep in mind that if you do have a round bracelet (or any other shape) your picture will need to fit the bracelet without getting cut off.
You will need to crop the picture and make it perfectly square (or rectangular based on your shape), you can do this in windows office photo editor or whatever program works best for you.
Step 3: Photo Editing (cont.)
To do this you need to set the dimensions of the picture and also the pixels per inch. I used photo-shop to do this mainly because I don't know how to change the pixel per inch in paint which is really important. If the pixels per inch is unchanged when you print the photo it will be blurry do to the low resolution. Gimp is a free photo editing tool you may be able to accomplish this with, sorry but I haven't really messed around with it to give you any advice.
The right size will take a lot of toying around with to get right. To get close (hopefully spot on) I measured the portion of the bracelet the photo would take up to get the inches for the size settings. I converted the fraction from my measurement to a decimal to enter it in the settings. Be sure to lock the height and width.
Once complete hit OK and save the image.
Step 4: Photo Editing (almost There)
Now we need to make the picture fit the shape of your bracelet. The bracelet I made was round so I made a new layer and used the clone stamp tool to make a copy of the picture on the new layer. Its easier than it sounds.
Create a new layer by selecting the create new layer button in the lower right corner.
Select the clone stamp tool from the sidebar. Then go to the top toolbar and select the size. I set the size to 208 pixels for my tool size. To get the size look at what your picture was re-sized to, and go a couple of pixels higher till the tool lines up with the edges of the picture. Then set hardness to 100% and select the hard round brush.
Hang in there were almost done!
Line up the tool with the picture getting it centered on it. When you have that done hold down alt and left click the mouse. This defines the set point.
Click on the layer you created earlier and click on the eyeball on the layer with the picture. This hides the picture so you can line up the tool on the blank layer (you can leave it and line it up with the other layer its up to you). Once your good and centered left click to apply the image to the layer. Now delete the layer that was the original picture, there you go now you should have a nice round picture (see it wasn't too bad). Now save your hard work.
That is it now repeat for all the remaining pictures... (once you have the process down it doesn't take long).
Step 5: Printing....and Printing...and Printing
Open the photo in paint and set the size properties to 4x6 to print to a standard photo. It is important to open the photo you were working on and not to create a new one in paint and paste the picture in it; you will not have 300 pixels per inch if you do that.
At this point you can print the picture to make sure the size is right before finishing.
Once everything is verified you can finish everything up. Open another photo in paint from the folder once again like before and cut and paste the photo to somewhere to collaborate the pictures. Keep opening all the pictures in paint in separate windows and cut and paste in the one set to 4x6. It's a little daunting but you'll get there.
Once you have all the photos on one page save and print.
That's it now you can get ready to cut it out.
Step 6: Seal It
This is just a precaution so the epoxy doesn't soak in and ruin the picture, so be sure to soak the picture with modge podge instead.
Step 7: Put It All Together
Congratulations! now you or someone you love can enjoy this beautiful custom bracelet.
A few pointers
- You may want to use a little modge podge to glue the pictures to the bracelet, I didn't and wished I would of thought about it. The pictures came up in some areas when epoxying.
- Also if you get bubbles in the epoxy do not freak out that is what the straw is for, gently blow on the top and the bubble will rise to the top and pop.
- Make sure to use a flat surface when laying your bracelet out the epoxy will cure uneven if you have it on an uneven surface.
I hope you enjoyed this instructable take care and enjoy the new bracelet (or watch somebody enjoy it).
Have fun and happy making!