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Show off your finds! Sand, shells, beach glass, seed pods, dried petals, a lock of hair or any tiny trinket that is memorable and meaningful! Easy to assemble, these handmade glass containers are like wearable museum vitrines, housing your own rare and delicate treasures.

Step 1: Materials for the Vitrine

• Watchmaker’s tins with glass-window tops; you’ll need two of the same size
• Metal foil tape
• A tiny treasure, like a tablespoon of sand from your favorite beach, a broken shell, a dried flower, anything that will fit!

Step 2: Materials for Decorating the Rim (there Are Several Options)

• Scissors
• Ribbon, cord, or wire to hang your pendant
and
• Fabric, ribbon, or yarn
or
• Wire
or
• Seed beads
• Beading thread
• Beading needle

Step 3: Making the Vitrine

Assemble the watchmaker tin tops (you need the glass-window tops only, not the bottoms) and a piece of metal foil tape. Cut the tape so that it will cover the circumference of the tin top and overlap just a little bit.

Step 4: Start With the Bottom

Put one tin top on your work surface, glass side down.

Step 5: Fill 'er Up

Place your treasures inside the tin top. You can put in sand, shells, crystals, seeds, glass – whatever combination you like. Just be sure not to fill it too full, or the second tin top won’t fit flush with the first tin top.

Step 6: Top It Off

Place the second tin top over the first so that the edges are flush.

Step 7: Seal Up Tight

Peel the backing off the metal foil tape. Attach the tape to the seam between the two tin tops. Wrap the tape all the way around the tins and be sure the seal is tight. Rub the tape with the back of your fingernail to make sure it is adhering to the aluminum of the tin tops.

Step 8: Admire Your Work

Your vitrine is done! Hold up the tiny case and admire your treasure!

Step 9: Embellish!

Now, you can embellish the outside rim and create a bail to hang it on.

Easy embellishments
Wrap a wide ribbon around the perimeter of the vitrine, or if you are skilled at wrapping and bending wire, you could create a little cage for your vitrine. Crochet or knit a band to fit, or sew a fabric cozy.

Complex constructions
I like to create bands of seed beads around my vitrines. This takes longer, but I think it looks very cool. You can use a variety of bead weaving techniques to cover the rim. I often use a right angle weave technique, which is very easy to learn. Right angle weave also lends itself to more complex, three dimensional structures. You can make your band as simple or as fancy as you feel comfortable. Other beaded options include peyote or brick stitch, netting, or looming; there are literally hundreds of beading techniques and styles you can use.

Crafting a bail
Again, this can be easy or complex. If you want the rim of your vitrine to be covered with fabric or ribbon, you can simply sew a jump ring on it and string a cord through. If you’ve made a beaded rim, you can either make a simple bail by beading a small circle on top of the vitrine, or you can make a more complex bail using right angle weave or peyote stitching. If you want to hang your pendant using coated wire, you can simply pass the wire through a couple of beads at the top of your band.
This is a lovely idea!<br> <br> I wonder how just using the whole vial would work. I've seen some that are relatively flat while still having a large enough diameter for a decent pendant size.
Great idea! I've been poking around for other container options to expand upon as well.
This makes a very pretty keepsake pendant!! Since I do beadweaving, I'm going to use your idea to make a few things. Those tins with glass lids are pretty expensive and I don't want to 'waste' any. But I'm sure if I hunt around, I'll find something else I can use as I'd like to make one in a smaller diameter. <br> <br>Another idea modifying your design - <br>A tiny photo of a special person OR something like the scene of that special beach where you got the sand and shells from can be glued on the other side. Make that 2 photos, back to back, so they can be viewed from both the inside and outside of the lid. They should be protected though so the keepsake wouldn't scratch up the photo. It would make the keepsake pendant all the more special memories-wise!
Excellent suggestions, thank you! I have a couple of other designs that use just glass discs rather than the tin tops, I'm hoping to get an Instructable up on that approach soon. I like the idea of using back-to-back photos - a great idea for commemorating a special anniversary!
This is great!
Thank you, I'm glad you like it! :)
That looks beautiful! I just love it with the beads around it :)
Thank you Penolopy, I appreciate the feedback!

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