Introduction: Make Your Own Lava Essential Oil Beads!

About: Clay and Jewelry Artist; All-around Creator

Essential Oils are all the rage and for good reason. Known for healing properties, essential oils also make a good alternative to synthetic perfumes. For some, though, the use of essential oils on the skin can be an irritant *, but they still want to enjoy the scent. Essential oil jewelry is an option for anyone who has sensitive skin or just wants to wear their essential oil with some style. These pieces are made from wood, lava rock, cotton, or other absorbent materials. Essential oil is applied to the jewelry piece instead of on the skin, and the jewelry absorbs the liquid and then puts forth a long-lasting scent.

However, these jewelry items are often expensive, and sometimes hard to find. Therefore I decided to make my own homemade essential oil jewelry out of plain ole' lava rocks from the landscaping!

*Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil or water before applying directly to skin

Step 1: Supplies

1. Lava Rocks: Often used in landscaping, you may already have some in your backyard. If not, you can ask a friend who does! Mine came from such an obliging friend.

2. Safety Glasses (and perhaps gloves and a mask)

3. Hammer

4. Flat-head Screw Driver ( I used a large one and a small one)

5.Sandpaper (I used 80 Grit)

6. Drill with a small, tough bit (mine says 180 degrees and that it is capable of drilling metal, but that is all that is left of the package

7.Round Nose pliers and Wire Cutters (mine is a two-in-one)

8. Jewelry Making Supplies I have jump rings of varying sizes, headpins, eyepins, chains for necklaces, lobster claws for making clasps, earring hooks, and 18 gauge copper wire. All of these selections are personal preference and depend on what you like and what you want to do with your beads.

Step 2: Breaking the Rocks

Wearing the safety goggles (and perhaps gloves and mask), select the lava rock that you will make your beads from. My lava rocks are red, not black, so I cannot speak for using those. Placing the lava rock on a hard surface (I used concrete) and holding it steady with your hand, put the larger flat head screw driver against the rock. You will use it like it is a chisel. Using your hammer, gently tap the screw driver. Slowly, the screw driver will become embedded in the rock. Pull/twist it out of the rock, place the tip of the screw driver alongside the first hole you made, and continue to tap it with the hammer.

At this point, my rock broke in half. If it doesn't happen that soon, just repeat the first bit until it breaks. It will depend on how big your rock is.

For small pieces, do the same steps, but use the small screw driver. This gives your more control over making smaller pieces.

To refine big shapes for pendants, use the small screw driver as you did before and break off the jagged edges. Don't worry about it too much because we will be sanding later.

Step 3: Refining the Shape

Taking your broken lava rock pieces and your 80 grit sand paper, sand the rocks down until they are no longer jagged and are a relatively smooth shape. You are probably not going to get a perfect circle, but you can come pretty close.

You can also use concrete for your sandpaper if you don't have any or if you can't get the sandpaper to work very well. Just keep in mind that your concrete may become "bruised", so don't do it on your patio or porch (like I did).

I made two large beads and some smaller beads.

Taking the drill and the small drill bit, you will now drill holes through your beads. Make sure you are still wearing your protective eye wear during all this! I found that it was best to place the drill bit tip in one of the air pockets that were already in the stone and then drill from there. Hold the rock tightly to prevent it from moving and watch your fingers. Drill until you have made the hole go all the way through. You can place a piece of rubber, foam, or wood under the rock so that you don't drill into any thing important when the bit comes through.

Step 4: Making Jewelry: Caged Pendant Necklace

The hard part is over, now to the fun stuff!

The first design I decided to make was a simple caged bead design. Taking the 18 gauge copper wire, I measured out around 15 inches of wire. My bead was about 2 cm in diameter. I cut off the copper wire with the wire cutters, and then I made a loop at one end of it. Make a 90 degree angle with the wire and then take the end of the wire in the pliers. Roll the pliers until the end meets the straight wire, making a circle.

*Tip: Cover your pliers with masking tape if you are worried or have trouble with your pliers making marks on your wire.

Mark your wire about in the middle with a Sharpie (this is optional and I didn't do that).

Gripping the loop flatly with the pliers, I moved the copper wire around the loop to make a spiral. Keep changing the position of the pliers and wrapping the wire until you come to the middle of the wire. Go the the other end of the wire and make another loop like the first one but facing the opposite way and wrap the wire around it also until you have two spirals facing opposite of each other.

Pick up the spiral and close the two spirals on each other as if it were a clam. Using the round nosed pliers, gently pull up the first center loop until it stands straight up. Do the same on the other end, or leave it, as you prefer.

With your fingers (and possibly the aid of the pliers) carefully pull open the two spirals until you have one spiral that resembles a spring. Open the spring in the middle and put the bead inside. You may have to wiggle it a bit and adjust it to get the bead to fit when you close it. Now you have a caged bead.

For extra charm, I added a hanging glass bead on the bottom of the spiral. I made a simple eye pin (if you don't know how, I will explain in the next step), opened it with my pliers, and attached the the loop to the bottom loop of my spiral.

To attach the spiral to a necklace. You could simply insert a small chain in the top loop, but I used a jump ring. Open the jump ring by twisting the ring sideways with your pliers (don't pull it apart). Insert the ring into the pendant loop and the chain. Close the ring by twisting the metal back with your pliers.

Your caged pendant is finished.

Step 5: Earings

You will need two small beads (or however many you choose), earring hooks, and headpins or eye pins.

I put one bead on an eye pin. You could do more than one bead if you chose. Cutting the excess wire shorter, I bent the wire with my pliers to make a 90 degree angle. Taking the end of the wire with the pliers, roll the pliers to make the wire form a loop. Continue to turn the pliers until the loop meets where the wire was bent. This is how you make an eye pin. Cut of whatever wire is left over.

As you can see in the photos, I kinda goofed, but it turned out ok.

Now the bead should be secure. With your pliers, open the earring hooks by twisting the loop end open (just like the jump ring in the previous step). Place the loop of the eye pin in the hook's loop, and then close the earring hook loop.

Make the second one just like the first one. Now you have a pair of essential oil earrings.

Step 6: Alternative Pendant Type

Another pendant type would be to take a headpin (or an eyepin) and thread smaller beads on the pin. Finish the pendant off with an eye loop and attach it to necklace the same way that you would the pendant in the previous step: using a jump ring.

Step 7: Applying Essential Oil to Your Jewelry

Take your favorite essential oil (or a combo) and apply one to four drops of essential oil on the lava rocks. Rub the oil all around the rock with your finger. Let your jewelry sit for about 15 minutes to allow the stone to absorb the oil, and then wear freely.

Do be warned: I have read that essential oil can possibly stain some types of clothing. Keep this in mind when wearing any essential oil jewelry.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Jewelry!

Thanks for reading this Instructable, and I hope your jewelry turns out great!

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