I love making these sparkly, colorful pendants. They're one of my favorite and most versatile projects.
These faux jewels are created with glitter and epoxy resin. They are very durable and can be even be personalized with paint, photos and charms. They make terrific gifts, but plan ahead because of the drying times. Depending on your colors, they can be worn by anyone. (And are tough enough for kids!) Also, you can set up a big batch to make at one time and each one still comes out totally unique.
Step 1: What You Need
glitter (any kind you like)
bottle caps - these can be recycled or from a craft store
small hole punch - I use a small punch with a hand grip. You could also use a helicopter punch or even an awl.
round nose pliers
21 gauge wire or paper clips
2-part clear epoxy (long drying, not the 5 minute kind) or resin - you'll need about a tsp per cap
stirrer and disposable cup (pill containers work great)
other bling (optional)
Step 2: Add Hardware
This VIDEO shows exactly how to punch the cap and add the bail:
This is an easy way to make a sturdy bail to hang your pendant from when it's finished.
1 - Punch a hole in the side of the bottle cap so that the raw edge ends up on the inside of the cap. The metal is soft, but punch carefully. I use a tiny hole punch from the craft store.
2 - Using the round nose pliers, make a loop on one end of your wire or paper clip (about 6mm) as shown. Trim the wire to about 2cm. Then insert the cut end into the bottle cap hole, with the loop perpendicular to the cap.
3 - Seal the hole around the wire on the inside of the cap with a rice sized piece of clay. Any polymer clay works great. I also sometimes use epoxy clay, though this has a long curing time. This step is super important because the hardened clay is what keeps the resin from leaking out.
4 - Harden the clay according to the instructions on the package. (Bottle caps are fine in the oven.)
Step 3: Ready to Fill
This cap is ready for the next steps. Note that the bail loop raises one side of the pendant, so I'll have to make sure it's even before filling. (See step 2 in Get Your Glitter On)
Step 4: Optional Step
If you want, you can paint the inside of the bottle caps with acrylic paint or line the bottom with a glued-in photo. A 1" round craft punch makes a perfect sized photo for the caps. The paint or glue must be dry before the next step.
Pendants with photos of special places or people, accented with glitter, make excellent handmade gifts.
Step 5: Get Your Glitter Ready
1) Set out the bottle caps, glitter and glue supplies on a sheet of waxed paper on a very flat surface that won't be disturbed.
2) I sometimes put each cap on a few coins to raise them up off the surface. This evens out lopsided bottle caps and keeps caps out of any resin drips. (Optional)
3) Mix the epoxy according to the instructions on package. Wait a few minutes until bubbles rise and pop.
4) Add a little bit of glitter to each cap. I use tweezers to make this easier. Brush aside stray glitter.
5) Pour a dime-sized drop of epoxy into each cap and mix with the glitter. Use a toothpick for mixing.
6) Make sure you have glitter covering the clay and wire so they don't show.
7) Now is the time to get creative. Add a little more epoxy and more glitter in any pattern you want. If you have bling you want submerged, add that too. Fill the cap to just below the top edge with as much or as little embellishment/resin as you want.
Note: You can do this step in layers if you want, by letting the epoxy cure fully and adding another layer later. This is very time consuming, but looks great. You will need to mix smaller batches of epoxy then if you fill the caps all at once.
8) Wait until the rest of the epoxy thickens up, but still pours easily. Like thick honey.
9) Then slowly add more epoxy to each cap. If you can get the epoxy to just begin to form a dome that's ideal. (See photo in the next step) But don't worry if you can't. It's very hard.
10) Wipe up any drips with a bit of paper towel.
11) Let cure for the full time on the package before moving.
Step 6: Domed Resin
This is the ideal surface, but hard to achieve. Fortunately, flat looks great, too!
Step 7: Worth the Wait
Depending on the weather, it can take a couple of days for the epoxy resin to fully cure. When it's done the surface will be smooth and hard like glass.
Step 8: What I Used
For the gemstone pendants, I used tiny cat's eye cabochons and several kinds of glitter - flakes, strands and fine. In the photo pendant I enhanced the hills and grass of this Livermore Valley scene with fine green glitter.
Step 9: Wear It!
When the resin is fully cured, your pendant is ready to be worn. Find a nice cord or chain and get ready to shine!