Wood Pendant Necklace





Introduction: Wood Pendant Necklace

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Turn scrap pieces of wood into jewelry. In this instructable I made pendant necklaces by sanding small pieces of wood and stained them with a non toxic stain. Use different types of wood (cherry, maple, ash etc) for different colours and picking wood pieces with an interesting grain pattern makes for unique jewelry.

Step 1: Material:

  • Wood
  • Pendant bails
  • Mineral Oil (baby oil)
  • Strong coffee


  • Wood cutting tools (saw, Dremel etc.)
  • Sandpaper (varying grits)
  • Pliers
  • Paint brush
  • Rag

Step 2: Shape Wood

  • Cut the wood to the shape and size that you like with a saw or Dremel tool (one of the pendants I made was about  32mm X 25mm in size with a thickness of 5mm.)
  • Round the edges of the wood, I used 60 grit sandpaper for this.

Step 3: Sand Until Smooth

Sand the wood with increasing grit sandpaper until it is nice and smooth, I used 80,100,150,180, 220, then 320 grit.  Always sand with the grain, and don't skip more then one grit size.

Step 4: Drill Hole for Bail

  • With a pencil mark the centre of the pendant where the hole for the bail should go.
  • Drill hole with a small bit (1/16th).

Step 5: Stain

Since I will be wearing the wood necklace near my skin, I didn't want to use a polyurethane stain.  So I choose a natural, non toxic way of staining the wood, coffee.
  • Brew some coffee stronger than you would drink, I made it about 4X stronger. Filter and let cool before you use.
  • Apply the coffee stain with a small brush, this may take several coats ( I did 5 coats), dry between coats.
  • Since it is a water based stain, it will make the wood a bit rough (it raises the grain) so lightly sand to make it smooth again.

Step 6: Oil

I used mineral oil as a non-toxic finish.  It also deepens the colour of the wood.  Pour a small amount of mineral oil on a rag, rub it into the wood and wipe off the excess.

Step 7: Add Bail and Chain

Put the bail on and squeeze shut with pliers and add a pretty chain.



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    Very cool and you could do some chip carving on the pendent and or simple wood burn design as well.... Do not for get to wax the wood for a nice final polish Minwax or Johnson Past Wax would do the job too....

    This is awesome and I want to make it for my friend, can I engrave on the wood? I want to write something on it

    Sure, engraving the wood would totally work.

    what about using a non toxic water based paint such as the (cheap) basic watercolors that are made for little kids? i imagine that would be cool to use for colored pendants... also if one wanted to go for a completely organic approach, you can make a really dark dye out of black walnut husks (the green shell around a black walnut). you soak the husks overnight in water, then boil them in the same water the next day until you get the desired shade. you can store extra in upcycled plastic bottles in the freezer. if anyone tries this though, you do want to wear gloves at all times when handling the husks/dye...it's powerful dye and stains take FOREVER to get off of hands and won't come out period of carpet/clothing/hair (yes i got some in my hair) etc. This can be used for multiple purposes, not just wood staining. should you fancy a natural hair dye, there are instructions for using it for that online, as well as dying material and obviously wood...

    the problem with using water colors, is that even after they completely dry, if they get wet again(from sweating or otherwise, the paint woulld come off on you or your clothes.

    this is a neat idea!! the black stain from walnuts....

    Blue stain/paint from duck droppings(their poop)

    Various other colors from different flowers, reeds, grass, etc...

    I have never tried the walnuts, but I have made paint from roses, & from the ducks...

    Instead of walnut dye, use oak gall, the ink from oak galls is what the US Constitution was written in, also there is a pretty comprehensive list here: http://pioneerthinking.com/crafts/natural-dyes

    I've heard of using walnuts. Roses and duck droppings sound interesting.

    just make sure the droppings are not fresh. *wink* LOL

    If you tie-dye at all, the fiber-reactive dyes like you'd use on cotton or rayon also make pretty interesting stains. This guy's a massive inspiration: http://www.dharmatrading.com/autogen/featuredartists/html/202/

    I figure if the dye's safe enough to put in clothes...

    Thanks for the link, his stuff looks amazing!