In this Instructable, I will show you how to take a piece of wood and turn it into a beautiful (and fairly easy to make) Native American style style pendant.
You will need:
A stick or a piece of wood that is about one inch thick and the same wide
- A utility knife or some other kind of knife to carve the wood with
- Acrylic paints
- Paint palate or paper plate
- Small to medium paintbrushes
- Six to ten small wooden beads of different sizes and shapes
- Wood filler (optional)
- Small knitting needle
- Twine or beading thread
Step 1: Choosing the Wood
First of all, you will need to find a nice piece of wood. I had some small scrap pieces of hard wood that I used on my first pendant.
For this pendant though, I used a dry pine stick that was about one inch thick. So, you can basically use any wood that you feel more at ease working with. I found that I liked the pine stick better than the hard wood scrap that I used at first.
Step 2: Start Carving
At first for this pendant, I started off using a piece of scrap wood again. As you will see by the pictures... it didn't really work out.
Start out by narrowing down the end of the piece of wood until you have a long narrow tip. Once you have the shape that you want, start to carve down the middle to make the wood thinner. If you start to have little "hairy" pieces stick out of the end, carefully chisel them down until the tip is smooth.
Step 3: Carving the Groove
Next, make a 3/4's inch deep cut going around the circumference of your piece of wood about 2 1/2 inches from the bottom tip. Start cutting around the groove with upward strokes until you've created a slanted groove that stops at the cut. Take your knife and cut downwards to remove the extra wood shavings. DO NOT pull out the shavings because they will not come off clean. when you are finished, you should have something that looks like in the last picture.
Also, if you are working with a piece of wood that has extra wood on top, do the same but the oposite way, and keep deepening the groove until you can break the top part off without too much effort.
Step 4: Mistakes
As I mentioned earlier, I made the mistake of using a piece of wood that was not very soft. the results were a dented, uneven and "maimed" piece of wood. if yours does come out like this but you still want to keep it, use wood putty to fill in the dents or keep it the way it is.
Step 5: ...Half Way There...
Once you are done cutting the groove, your pendant should look something like in the pictures. If you are not satisfied, you can always make a new one... practice makes perfect!
Step 6: Drawing the Animal/symbol
For this pendant, I chose to paint a loon. You can use a symbol (yin, yang), or whatever you want really.
First, draw the animal/symbol on a piece of paper. I chose to draw it simple to make it look more native American-ish.
On my last pendant, I painted a woodpecker, though on paper, it looked more like a parrot, lol.
Step 7: Painting the Pendant
First, squirt a decent amount of white acrylic paint (enough to cover your entire pendant) and mix a dab of yellow and/or brown into it. Paint your entire pendant with this.
Let it dry.
Next, take a bit of brown and/or yellow and dab it onto the bottom of the grove to give it a worn appearance. you can do this on the tip and sides of the pendant as well. Rub off the excess to let some of the white underneath show to make it look worn.
Putting on the brown and the yellow paint is optional. I did this to make it look antique, but if your aren't going for that look, the go ahead and keep it white.
Next, squirt out enough black acrylic paint to cover the entire top of the pendant. Now paint the top black.
While this is drying, you can wipe some of it off to make it look worn... the white will show from underneath and make it have a beautiful antique look.
Step 8: Painting the Beads
For this pendant, I used a pattern that had the beads equal on both sides. You can see the pattern that I used in the picture above.
Take out all of your beads. for this pendant, I painted patterns on them, but if you aren't planning on paiting them, then skip this step.
Place one of the bigger beads on the tip of a knitting needle or an object that will allow you to keep the bead in one place. With the paint color of your choice, paint a line going along the middle of the circumference of the bead. do this to another bead of the same kind. When the paint is dry, paint tiny dots on the top and bottom of the line. do this to the other bead as well. Next, paint a line going around the entire circumference of top of the bead. do this on the bottom as well. For the two smaller beads, I painted them a solid color, but you could paint a patterns on them as well.
Step 9: Painting the Animal/symbol on the Pendant
Using black paint and a tiny brush, draw the outline of your animal/symbol on the front of your pendant. I have put pictures of how I drew the loon. Next, paint it the colors that you chose. I painted mine yellow and red.
NOTE: DO NOT do this step until your pendant is COMPLETELY dry. If you do, then you will regret it. the black paint will mix in with the white, and you will have blurry lines. (well, I guess if you want blurry lines you could do that... but I HIGHLY suggest that you don't. It doesn't look as nice.)
Step 10: Attaching the String
Take a piece of twine or beading string (a few inches longer then you want it) and find the middle of it by holding the two ends together. Super-glue the middle to the front of your pendant. Next, wrap the string around it twice, then knot it at the back. Now super-glue the knot above the groove. To make it extra secure, glue all of the string on the back of the pendant the wood. this will ensure that the knot won't come loose.
Step 11: Putting on the Beads
Just below the top of the pendant, tie two knots. Next, string on your beads in the pattern that you desire. Once this is done, go ahead and tie two knots above the beads to keep them from moving around. Make sure that the knots are right above the beads... unless you want them to move up and down some.
Step 12: Finishing Off
Take the two ends of the string and hold them to the middle of the opposite sides. Tape the middle of them together as shown in the picture. Next, take one end and make a knot around the string as shown in the picture. do the same to the other side. Now take the tape off and grab the string on the outside of the two knots. pull them towards each other so that the knots meet at the end. You can pull them apart to make the necklace smaller, or pull them together to make them bigger.
Step 13: Done!
Now you are done! stand back and admire you new (but antique looking) Native American style pendant!
I also made some other varriations. My favorite onee are two bear pendants where the bears face each other.
If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them! I would also love to see what you made :D
Until next time,