Intro: Bezel Inlay Jewelry
Here you will learn how to make simple and beautiful jewelry. In jewelry design 'bezels' act as cups to hold stones. However, here I will show you they can hold much more! Recycled materials, old beads, wax, aluminum foil and paper make great textures and details to your everyday pieces of jewelry. Happy creating!
Step 1: Materials
Bezels (You can order from Riogrande.com in different styles, shapes and metals for really reasonable prices. I am using gold filled for the pendants and ring and stainless steel earring bezels. The smaller bezels will require a steadier hand when creating your inlay.)
Inlay Materials (You can use whatever you'd like. Here I will be using beads, aluminum foil, wax sheets, recycled plastic and paper.)
Clear Epoxy Resin (I am using Devcon Home 5 Minute Epoxy. You can buy clear epoxy resin at any hardware store. Make sure it's 'clear'!)
This is all you need.
Step 2: Design Your Bezels
Here you need to cut and fit your materials into the bezel cups.
Layout your designs within the bezels before you start to mix your epoxy resin. Laying out your materials will help ensure the epoxy resin drips over the designs without movement.
Make sure your bezels lay on a flat surface so the design does not shift during production. I used an old shoe box to poke holes in for the earring posts and ring.
Step 3: Resin Dripping
Take equal amounts from each epoxy resin tube and mix thoroughly with a toothpick. Try to keep epoxy resin in a small surface area in order to utilize most of the mixture. Mixing smoothly will help eliminate any bubbles forming within the mixture.
Use the toothpick to gather the epoxy resin and let it drip onto your bezels. Dripping helps eliminate bubbles and helps create in even flow over your designs.
Do this step for only one or two pieces at a time or else your epoxy resin will start to get gummy and will be harder to spread. Using the toothpick, make sure the epoxy resin spreads to all sides of your bezel in an even coating.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Even though most epoxy resins say '5-10 minute dry time', I let mine sit for at least 12-24 hours to ensure maximum hardness.
If any epoxy resin drips off your bezel you can take fine coarse sandpaper to clean up the edges.
This is the last step and then you are free to wear you beautifully, homemade resin inlay jewelry!
Get creative with what you use in your inlay!
Other ideas I had for materials were: small rocks, fabric and sand.... what would you use? :)