Introduction: Wooden Air Plant Necklace
Do you love having a little bit of nature with you all of the time? If so, this is the necklace for you. It's part playful jewelry, part plant holster, and all delightful. It's fairly easy to make using tools that most people already have or can borrow easily. The only downside is that you'll have to fend off people left and right who are complimenting you on your necklace. ;)
- A wooden dowel rod (size of your choosing)
- A white candle stick or some clear wax
- Some beeswax
- Stain, varnish, watercolor paints -- whatever your heart desires to color your wood
- A cord for the necklace (I used braided macrame cord)
- 2 necklace closure clasps
- 1 Lobster necklace closure
- 2 eighth-inch jumper rings (1 to connect the Lobster closure, the other for the other end)
- Jewelry glue
- 1 quarter-inch Jumper Ring (to connect the pendant to your necklace cord)
- An air plant!
- Hack saw
- Drill + 5 drill bits of varying size (depends on your
- 3 Large C clamps or 1 Vice
- Medium gauge sandpaper
- Fine gauge sandpaper
- Small Paintbrush (for coloring your pendant)
- 2 sets of pliers
Step 1: Select and Cut the Dowel Rod
When you're choosing a dowel rod, choose one that will be wide enough to hold a plant, but small enough not to look awkward as a necklace. The one I chose was just under an inch wide.
Cut your dowel rod into the length and shape you want your necklace to be. I cut about 8 different lengths and angles, just to see what I liked best. Also, I lost about 3 due to cracking while drilling. So make sure you cut enough to leave room for mistakes.
Step 2: Drill Baby Drill
If you have a vice, great! Use that. Otherwise, use 2 clamps to secure a third clamp to a table. Then use that clamp to hold your undrilled pieces in place.
- Select 5 drill bits from a tiny one all the way up to nearly the size of your dowel rod. You'll want to leave space for at least 1/8" of an inch of wood around the edges.
- Clamp the dowel piece securely, but not so tightly that the wood gets stressed and becomes hard to drill.
- Start with a small drill bit and drill a pilot hole.
- If you're a little off-center, don't worry.
- Stop about 1/4" from the bottom of your dowel piece.
- Go up in drill bit size and repeat until you've done all of the drill bits.
- You'll probably split a few of your dowel pieces in this process, but that's why you made extras.
- Using your largest drill bit, carefully bore out more of the wood so your edges are even.
- Lastly, use your smallest bit to drill a hole 1/8" down from the open end. You'll be running your jumper ring through this hole.
Step 3: Give Yourself a High-Five for Getting Through the Hard Part
Seriously, that's the hardest part. The rest is easy peasy and can be done without too much ruckus.
Step 4: Sand
Using the rougher sand paper, knock off all of those saw and drill marks. Then use the finer sand paper to make your surface smooth. Roll up a little piece of sand paper to sand down the inside edges too.
Step 5: Add Color
For my project, I used my watercolor paints; however, I also recommend getting creative with your stain. Since you'll be wearing this, you may not want to use a stinky varnish. Experiment with tea or coffee or whatever makes you and your plant happy. Then let it dry overnight.
Step 6: Seal the Wood With Wax
Rub the entire pendant with beeswax. Get enough on there for an even coat. Then using a cloth (I recommend canvas, denim or something hardy that won't transfer color to your project), rub the wax until it is evenly coated. You'll find it gets easier to buff when it gets warm. It will look crappy at first. Keep rubbing.
The beeswax will be a little sticky. Let it cool down. Then rub a harder wax on top. I used a white candle from the grocery store. This worked really well because I could stick the small end of the candle into the open end of the pendant really easily.
Then just like before, rub the wax until it is evenly coated. Then let it cool.
Step 7: Make Your Cord
Estimate Cord Length
Loop some cord around your neck and hold up the pendant so you can decide where you want it to hang. If you're braiding your own cord, add 3 inches to that length, partly for the shrink that happens during braiding and partly for the ends you'll lose when you attach the loop fasteners.
Braiding the Cord
If you plan to braid your own macrame cord, I recommend these two braids:
This Flat Style: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/369084131934090046/
This Round Style: http://www.seekyee.com/Slings/howtos/4strand.htm
Attach the Metal Loop Ends with Glue
To finish the ends of your cord, add a little jewelry glue to the inside of the enders. Place your cord inside, then pinch closed with pliers.
Attach Jumper Rings and Clasp
Once your Glue is dry, use pliers to open 1 small jumper ring. Place one side of your finished cord in the jumper ring and put the lobster clasp in that jumper ring too. Close the jumper ring. Add the other small jumper ring to the other side of your cord. Yay! You have a finished cord!
Step 8: Attach the Cord to the Pendant
Using the pliers, open and slide the large jumper ring through the little hole in your pendant. Run the cord through the jumper ring. Close the jumper ring.
Step 9: Stick an Air Plant in It!
Depending on the size of your plant, you may want to consider using a little bit of glue to keep your air plant in place. I did not glue mine and my plant has jumped out a couple of times.
Step 10: Go Forth Into Public and Gather Compliments
These necklaces are pretty nifty and people get pretty excited when they see mine. I hope you enjoy toting your little plant friend around as much as I do.
Be sure you learn about how to care for your plant. My air plant likes sunlight and to be misted with water twice a week.