Introduction: How to Make a Dragon Eye Pendant

Hello, everyone! 

  This Instructable is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a dragon eye pendant.  It will show you how to create the cabochon, which will be the eyeball itself, how to sculpt the area around the eye, how to form the wire loop that the pendant will hang on, how to paint it, and how to finish and protect it.

  These pendants can have a variety of different looks, making them good for giving as a personalized gift.  You can also personalize them to fit your own personality and tastes.

  This pendant is great for dragon fans or fantasy fans!  Fans of Skyrim, the Inheritance Cycle, Game of Thrones, or any other dragon-filled tales will be most appreciative.  Fantasy nerds UNITE!  :D

  It is also a very unique piece of jewelry and art.  The best part is, you don't have to be a good artist to create it.  No experience necessary!  Even if you're no Picasso, you can create a lovely work of art!   ;)

Have fun and let your inner nerd shine through!  ; - )

heavy gauge wire
Air drying clay (I used Jovi brand)
1 large round glass stone
2 Popsicle sticks
Printer ink
Printer Paper
Internet access
Photo editing software
Paint (1 base color and black)
Ice Resin
Thin glue (Mod Podge, watered down Tacky Glue, watered down Elmer's Glue)
Paintbrushes (1 large, 1 small)
Glass of water
Needle-nose pliers

2 Cotton swabs

Step 1: Making the Cabochon

  The first step in making these pendants is to create the cabochon that will become the eyeball.  You will need to search the internet for an image of a dragon eye that you like.  If you are feeling particularly creative, you could even create your own image.  When choosing an image, take into consideration the colors you want for both the eyeball and the surrounding area.

  Once you have found an image, size it to fit your glass stone.  I use Nova Photo Explosion to size my eyes, but you can use whatever you have that works for you.  From there, simply print and cut out the image. 

  You do not have to be too precise when cutting the image out.  The back of the cabochon will be completely covered, and you will not see the edges if the image is sized correctly for the glass stone. 

  Next, you will need to attach the image to the stone.  Mod Podge or any other thin glue is the best option.  I just water down Tacky Glue and use that, but you could also water down Elmer's Glue.  Just use a paintbrush to brush a very small amount of the glue onto the glass stone, then lay your image face down on the flat side of the stone.  Be sure to push out any air bubbles that form under the image in the glue.

  The last step is to smear a small amount of clear resin on the backside of the image.  When it comes to resin, a little goes a long way, so you don't have to use very much!  I use the back of a spoon to smear the resin, but a Popsicle stick will work also.  Use whatever you have handy!  The resin will protect the image while making it show through the stone more clearly.  This is the resin I use:

  Leave the resin-covered cabochon out to dry.  I let mine dry for around two days, but you can use your own judgement to decide when it is done.

Step 2: Sculpting

  This part of the Instructable may seem daunting, but it isn't as hard as it sounds.  Sculpting the area around the eye is primarily just rolling out clay snakes.  (Everyone has made their fair share of Play-Dough snakes ;)) Be sure to keep some water handy to periodically wet your hands with so that the clay doesn't dry out. 

  Start by flattening out enough clay to cover the bottom of your cabochon, leaving a little extra to fold over the edges of the cabochon.  Basically, you just want to make a base for the cabochon. 

  Next, roll out two clay snakes of nearly the same length.  Attach one of the snakes to the top of the cabochon, and attach the other one to the bottom of the cabochon.  Pinch the two snakes together at the sides of the cabochon.  Make sure that the snakes are pinched in a larger point at one side than the other because this will distinguish the outer corner of the eye from the inner corner.  The smaller side will be the inside corner, and the larger side will be the outside corner.       

  Then, create one long thin snake for the top eyelid.  I like to curl the eyelid up at the outside corner, but if you want to make your dragon eye seem more masculine, I would suggest ending the eyelid without a curl. 

  Next, create one one very short snake.  Place this snake under the ending of top eyelid in the inside corner.  Place it according to the picture.  This is part of the bottom eyelid.

  Then, make another snake that is a little longer than the last snake.  Bend and place this snake in the outside corner of the eye as the picture shows.  This completes the bottom eyelid.

  Finally, roll a small ball of clay that will fit between the cabochon and the eyelids in the inner corner.  This simple dot adds a lot of character to these eyes!

  It's okay to get clay on the cabochon because it will wipe away with water.  Simply wet a cotton swab and wipe the clay away. :)

Step 3: Create the Scales

  Next you will create a scale pattern on the area surrounding the eyeball.

  This is a very simple step.  All you need to do is use a knife to create a recurring triangle pattern in the clay.  This pattern does not need to be exact, and it does not need to be carved into the back of the pendant.  I only create the pattern on the front and on the sides of the pendant.  You could also make different shapes, or vary the shapes if you would like to. 

Step 4: The Wire Loop

  This is another relatively simple step.  In this step you will create the wire loop that the pendant will hang from.

  Using a pair of needle-nose pliers (jewelry or ordinary pliers), create a loop with a length of straight wire below it.  Lay the straight part of the wire in the clay at the back of the cabochon, taking care to let the loop of the wire remain above the very top of the pendant.  When, take a little bit of clay and cover the wire thoroughly.  You make wet your fingers and smooth this clay so that it blends in with the pendant better, though I don't bother to. 

  Now, set the pendant out of the way and let it dry completely. :)

Step 5: Painting!

  This is the fun part of making these pendants!  In this step you will paint the pendant.

  First, paint the entire pendant the base color of your choice.  Once this is dry, take a small paintbrush and paint all of the lines you created when forming the scales.  I paint the scales black, but a darker shade of your base color would also look wonderful!

  After you fill in a line, rub your finger across the scales to remove the excess paint, and to distribute some of it across the rest of the pendant.  This will give the pendant a ton of dimension! 

  Other than the scales, you should also paint the areas surrounding the eyelids.  Doing this adds depth the the pendant.  Basically, you are using black or a darker shade of your base color to shade the pendant.

  Using a wet cotton swab, wipe away any paint that you may have gotten on the cabochon.

Step 6: Polyurethane

  This is the final step.  Woo-Hoo! :D  In this step you will dip your pendant in polyurethane.

  Suspend a length of wire somewhere that you can place a can of polyurethane under it without it spilling.  Then, string the wire from the loop you made on your pendant and dip the pendant into the polyurethane.  Next, use a Popsicle stick to wipe away the drip that forms at the bottom of the pendant.  Then just let it hang where it is to dry! 

  The polyurethane will protect the pendant and give it a lovely shine!

  I hope it turned out wonderfully and that you had fun making it.  Thanks for reading!   :0)

Jewelry Contest

Participated in the
Jewelry Contest