Introduction: No-Budget Toothbrush Surfboard Pendant
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This instructable will teach you how to make a surfboard pendant from a lowly toothbrush! You will be able to use the same techniques shown in this instructable on other jewelry making materials such as gemstones or precious metals. Plastic is an easy and cheap way to try these techniques for the first time. If you like this instructable please vote for it above! :)
Step 1: Supplies
- Toothbrush: you want a completely transparent one for the nicest effect. You get all kinds of colours so choose your favourite color.
- Small jump ring, wire or paperclip. To hang the finished pendant you will need a tiny jewelry making jump ring, or a piece of wire or paperclip to bend into a ring, all will work but a ready made jumpring would be easiest. You can sometimes find tiny rings like this on keyrings, so you should be able to easily scavenge a tiny ring from somewhere.
- Sandpaper: Its not hugely important what grade of sandpaper you use, but a rough piece and a smooth piece of sandpaper will be sufficient for sanding and shaping the pendant. Alternatively you could use a rough and smooth rock.
- Any kind of saw to cut the toothbrush with. A knife or rotary tool could also do this.
- Drill or a spiked object like an awl or rotary rool.
- Polishing compound: For example Brasso or Silvo, which is used to polish metal household items. If you really can't find any, toothpaste would work also but it may just be less efficient. Try to find the most abrasive toothpaste you can if you don't have polishing compound.
- A piece of cotton scrap like a sock or clothing (for polishing).
- Optional: A rotary tool can help a lot in cutting and sanding the pendant.
Step 2: Plan Your Pendant
You should now inspect your chosen toothbrush and plan where you want to cut it to make your surfboard. Depending on how big, small, long or short you want it, decide where you will make your cuts.
Step 3: Cut the Rough Shape Out of the Toothbrush
I used a rotary tool with a cutting wheel to save time (pictured), but you could use any saw or a sharp knife to do this too. Carefully saw the rough shape out of the toothbrush going slowly and gently. If using a rotary tool put it on its slowest speed. Be careful not to accidentally snap or crack the toothbrush in the wrong places as plastic gets very weak and brittle when it is very thin.
Step 4: Shape and Sand the Pendant
Using either a knife, sandpaper or a rotary tool, slowly sand and shape the pendant, slowly forming it into a realistic surfboard shape. You may wish to make the surfboard slightly thicker where the ring will be mounted, to make it stronger, since thin plastic is weak and brittle.
As mentioned, plastic can be weak and brittle so be careful not to apply too much pressure or force to the surfboard, especially at the tips which will later be thinner and therefore weaker. The general process is to start off with rougher sandpaper, and then working towards smoother sandpaper. Each grade/roughness of sandpaper removes the previous grade's scratches, and thus the pendant gets smoother and shinier with each step.
Step 5: Polish the Pendant
Once you have gotten the pendant as smooth as possible using sandpaper, it is now time to polish it. Using brasso, another polishing compound or toothpaste, put a little bit on a piece of cotton, like a sock, and then rub the pendant fast and hard to polish it. You will see that it slowly gets more and more shiny and polished.
Step 6: Drill a Hole in the Pendant for the Ring
Using a rotary tool, drill or spikey object, very carefully drill a small hole in the top (or thickest end) of the surfboard for the ring. If it is initially too small, you can carefully wiggle the drill whilst its running inside the hole to enlarge it slightly. Be very careful with this step because the drill bit can often jump away from where you want the hole initially. Once the hole is drilled, carefully attach the ring from which the pendant will hang.
Step 7: Enjoy Your New Pendant!!!
Well done, your pendant is now complete! You can now hang it from a cord or chain for a necklace, or use it as a keyring, charm or decoration wherever you like. A bonus of this pendant is that it is waterproof so if you surf or are adventurous, you don't have to worry about it being affected or damaged by water. I hope you enjoyed learning this instructable. You can use these same techniques on gemstones, so if you enjoyed making this pendant, you could try making pendants or jewelry from more valuable gemstones.
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