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I was looking over the ThinkGeek catalog, when I noticed an item. It was a necklace that had a missing image placeholder graphic instead of a normal picture.

"Brilliant!" I thought.

Then I saw the price. "Twenty dollars!?!? For a tiny piece of plastic. You can't even replace the image if you get tired of it."

The original appears to be a solid piece of 1'' x 1'' plastic, which limits the customization. My take would be able to accept any image of the same size, allowing you to have a way to wear your favorite forum or game avatar wherever you go.

However, I will include two options (Since it would be a waste to just print one icon picture)

1) A close copy of the original product. A single piece with the embedded image of your choosing. (Several placeholder graphics will be available for use at the end of this 'able.)

2) A version that has a slot allowing replacement of the image to suit your mood/company.
(This version is being made for Neokatis's birthday. Happy B' day Neo!)

Step 1: Materials for the Basic Model.

I'm going off of what I can find and already have, if you have materials that work better for you, then by all means use them. Most of the jewelry bits are at a craft store.

For the static version you will need:

-A sheet of plastic. I used a ~3mm thick sheet, cut from a cat litter bucket. It should be thick so it will hold up to abuse. We have a metric crap-ton of them. One of these days I'll cut them down to sheets.

-Something with the image printed on it. I used 4x6 photo paper. My images are multisized for the two types.

-Something to seal the piece with. This protects the image from damage.

-A white or other color paint. It needs to be a plastic safe paint, there are many choices. You may be able to get a small spray can of model paint at a craft store or hobby shop.

-A small loop to hold the cord. The original has a ring.

-A cord that fits around the neck of the user. The information says its 17" leather cord, use whatever works for you.

-A clasp. It says a sterling silver clasp. Once again, It's up to you.


Step 2: Making the Solid Version.

Start by making the blank.

I used a dremel with a cutting wheel. Whatever you use, WEAR YOUR SAFETY GEAR!

After I rough cut the piece from the bucket, I ignored advice and cut the clean lines with a pair of mid-duty scissors. It's not good for them, but I've never been good with accuracy on the dremel.

I cut mine to 1 1/4 in, because I liked the size better.  Just remember to have the printed image the right size.

Next sand down the sides cleanly, and round off the corners. Take just enough that the point is gone. At this point, you should have a rounded square.

(If the edges are fuzzy, run a lighter over the offending sides and the fuzz melts away.)

Now drill a small hole in the top as shown.

This is the blank!

Next you want to paint it. I'm using RUSTOLEUM Semi-gloss white. I use this stuff for a lot of my projects.
Hang the blank from a thin string, keeping the thread horizontal so it doesn't block any part of the blank.

Follow the directions for your paint and go at it.

Now that the paint is drying, go ahead and get your image. I've included several at the end of this 'able, or you can make your own. I'm using photo paper for that extra gloss look.
I printed mine exactly the size of my pendant piece, which means that I'm going to have to cut it down some. In retrospect, I'd make it a bit smaller. You want it to center like in the original one.

Once you have the image, go ahead and cut it out. I have one of these nifty roller paper cutting contrivances, but scissors or xacto is fine too.

Go ahead and test fit the image onto the piece, you want it to look good. (I apologize for the sloppy example, I remembered the edge trick after I painted.)

After you like the way it will look, glue the image on. I have tacky glue. Try to keep the glue light, there's less mess that way. Get it into all the corners so you don't get peeling later.

 Once that is dry, give the front the sealer. Once again, follow those directions!

With a mostly complete item, your remaining job is to add the ring, and attach the cord and clasp.

I'm using white plastic lace. Something to keep in mind, is that this is light. It isn't going to weigh down a stiffer cord.

Step 3: Materials for the Deluxe Version.

As this has a bit more adjustment done to it,  you may not be able to find the parts. Look for similar parts if needed.

-Frame. I found metal tag rims at my craft store by a company named makingmemories. The smallest in the pack is a 1 1/2 in, so I'll print some larger on the 4x6.

The name on the package is tag makerrims value pack.
(There are a lot of rims in the pack, so you might want to look around for something similar unless you think you are going to use them all.)

-Backing. I chose to use the same plastic as before.

-Something with the image printed on it. I used 4x6 photo paper. The smallest in the pack is a 1 1/2 in, so I'll print some larger on the 4x6.


-Something to cover the window(Optional). This protects the image from damage.

-A white or other color paint. It needs to be a plastic safe paint, there are many choices. You may be able to get a small spray can of model paint at a craft store or hobby shop.

-A small loop to hold the cord. The original has a ring.

-A cord that fits around the neck of the user. The information says its 17" leather cord, use whatever works for you.

Step 4: Making the Deluxe Version.

(I'm leaving out some of the images from this one, since they are mostly the same, just look in the basic step if you are having trouble)

Make the blank the same as the basic model, and try to get the blank as close as possible to the frame size. Leave some space extra on one side, enough for the hole to go above the frame.

Make sure to use the frame as a guide and complete the blank.
(If the edges are fuzzy still, take a lighter and holding it CLOSE to the edge, trace around the sides and the rough spots melt away.)

Paint the blank as in the basic model.

Now that the paint is drying, go ahead and get your image. I've included several at the end of this 'able, or you can make your own. I'm using photo paper for that extra gloss look. Remember that as this is the deluxe version, you can swap them out, so pick your favorites and lay them out in a image file.

MAKE SURE that the print size is the same as the media you are printing to, or else the images are going to be the wrong size. You want it to just fit in your frame, so it should be a smidge smaller.

Print them and cut them out. For this model, I had a recipient in mind, so I took the liberty of raiding her pictures/avatars folder.

The frame has pieces on the back side that can be folded down for holding the tag inside. What I did was smash one side (The top) down flat, to accept the images once it was installed, and lift the others to help keep the picture(s) in. Needlenose pliers work wonders here.
 I next test fit the frame to the blank.
Glue it on with something light to hold it on.

Since raised metal to plastic has more potential for damage down the road, I went with my big guns. Epoxy putty. A thin snake down each side blended with each other holds it in. Sand the dried  putty afterwords.

Step 5: Show Off Your Poor Image Linking Skills!

And there you have it! Your own broken image/avatar necklace.
(And if anyone has a obscure or otherwise forgotten by me image placeholder, feel free to post the answer to my shortcomings.

I hope you've enjoyed my first published Instructable.

If I can remember to take pictures more often, I'll see about posting more of them.
Haha, what a funny idea! Perfect for any geek/nerd, like myself!
Neo is a major funny picture person, so I figured it was appropriate.
This is really cool i like it !
Why thank you. Neo seems to have as well.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I've got two family members on here with me at this time, Neokatis and PezMom. I like building props, and little things that either ... More »
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