I'm interested in making memorial jewelry and am experimenting with jewelry using pieces of recycled clothing. I made my daughter a bear from some of her grandmothers clothes which she finds comforting and began to wonder about rings featuring small pieces of loved ones clothing as a way to help make them feel close.
So I decided to make a ring with a fabric inlay. In this case I used a strip of denim, but it could just as easily have been any strip of fabric. Of course, the fabric doesn't have to be a memorial and the ring I made was just from an old pair of my own jeans.
This ring was really quick and easy to make and I love how it turned out, I hope you like this instructable and that it provides some inspiration.
You will need:
- A ring Core, these come in all shapes and sizes, the one I used is an 8mm wide stainless steel band with an inlay channel already cut in it. I sell these cores on my ETSY store at https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/701727957/8mm-wide...
- Denim from an Old Pair of Jeans ( or any other recycled fabric )
- CA Glue (Super Glue) , I used 2 viscosities of super glue, medium and very thin, but you can get away with what you have.
- CA Accelerator, this is optional but will speed up the process
- Sand paper (various grits) I went from 120 grit to 1000 grit, you don't need this big of a range but you will want to go quite fine to get a good finnish
- Polishing compound, I used Yorkshire Grit and plastic polish to get a glass like finish.
- A knife, scissors or trimmer to cut the denim
- Something to spin the ring to make sanding easier. This is optional, you can sand by hand but it will make things a lot faster, I used a lathe but a cordless drill would do just fine.
Step 1: Cut Your Denim Strip
I used a paper trimmer to cut a strip just wide enough to fit in the inlay channel but this could be done with a pair of scissors or craft knife. It just needs to be long enough to wrap round the ring once. Try and make it the right width but it's better slightly too wide than too narrow as you can squash it in when gluing.
Step 2: Glue Denim Into the Channel
I used medium CA Glue ( Super Glue) to glue the denim into the channel. start with a small dot of glue, press the denim on with a tooth pick / cocktail strip and wait until it sets. You can use accelerator to speed things up here if you wish.
Once the 1st point is stuck down, carefully work round the ring pressing down the denim until the glue sets.
When you get to the end try and cut accurately to length but once again, a bit too long is better than too short as a gap will show through and a small overlap can be pushed down with your cocktail stick.
Step 3: Fill Channel With CA Glue
In this step, you want to slowly fill the remainder of the channel with CA Glue. I used a thin viscosity glue but you can use a medium glue, it will just take longer to set and may need a bit more spreading out with your cocktail stick.
The trick here is use do lots of very light coats to help it to dry quickly.
You can use accelerator to help the glue dry, I did but use it very sparingly and from arms length or you may find the superglue goes cloudy.
Make sure you fill to at least the level of the top of the channel, a bit extra is OK as we'll sand it back in the next step.
Step 4: Sand and Polish
Now comes the sanding, start with 120 grit sand paper and sand the glue so that it is level with the top of the channel. If there are any dips or pits, go back to the previous step and fill them in.
Don't worry that it will look like frosted glass at this stage.
Work up through your grits to remove any marks from the previous sand paper.
If you don't have very fine sandpaper, one option here is to put some CA glue on a paper towel and wipe it quickly around the surface of the ring, then let it dry. The glue will make the paper towel smoke as it gets very hot when it sets, don't panic but make sure you have somewhere safe to discard it.
Once you have a good finish, you want to polish to get the glass like shine. On my ring, I used Yorkshire Grit regular and fine, which are abrasive pastes used by wood turners and then some plastic polish. You don't necessarily need all these steps but it's what I've found gives a really good glass like finish to the CA glue.
Step 5: Finished: Ideas for Changes / Improvements
So your ring is finished, I hope you found this helpful.
There are loads of other options for inlays as well as fabric, I use Synthetic Opal, which I also sell in my ETSY shop https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SteveErhardt, I've also used sand from the beach of a memorable holiday, my wife and daughter both wear sand rings. ( I'll make instructables with these inlays in the future)
The key for this technique is that anything you use as an inlay must be very dry, any dampness will make the glue cure very fast and go cloudy.
All in all, this ring took me about 30 minutes to make, it would take a bit longer without a lathe but even so you could still complete in under an hour if you are careful with the CA glue
Participated in the
1 Hour Challenge