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Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Colorize Metal Jewelry - Bracelet Tutorial

A few days ago, I promised that I would share one of my methods for colorizing metal jewelry components.  This is extremely easy to do and much less expensive than enameling.  Personally, I love the rich, expensive look that colorizing gives to plain metal components.  The sky is the limit with this technique - and I promise you - this will be the beginning of many colorized pieces you will make for your own projects.  It really is that much fun and an added plus is the results come together fairly quickly.



Cover your work surface.  For just about all of my projects, I use wax paper to cover my table.  It's cheap and a roll lasts a long, long time.  Since I craft just about every day, that says a lot. :)

Select your component.  I used one similar to the one pictured below:

Ideally, you will colorize you metal before you attach any embellishments to it.  However, I had already attached my cabochon of the Virgin Mary to my component before I decided to colorize it.

I knew that I wanted to use colors that complemented my portrait, and I wanted them to be metallic.  I didn't have any metallic red colors that suited me, so I made my own using Ceramcoat Acrylic Metallic Gold paint and Pearl-Ex Russet Red powder.

Squeeze a drop of paint onto the work surface.  Use a dry brush and scoop a small mound of Pearl-Ex onto the drop of paint.  (Use more or less depending on the look you want.  I wanted a deeper, richer color, so I added powder and mixed until I achieved the results I wanted.)

 This is what my paint looked like after I achieved the desired color:

Use the paintbrush to add details to your component.  I used red on my flowers:

and Dark Patina green on my leaves and stems.

  (I used DecoArt Dazzling Metallics for the green color.)   Let the paint dry.  Not shown:  To ensure your painted piece will not flake, lightly brush the colored areas with clear nail polish and let it dry for at least an hour.

I still wanted more depth to my bracelet, so I attached flat-backed Swarovski crystals to the center of each flower.  I used G S Hypo-cement glue because it has a fast-grab, a precision applicator and it's virtually waterproof; I applied the crystals with tweezers.

Here is the finished component:

Now you can complete your bracelet.  I attached a simple heavy bronze chain and lobster clasp to my bracelet, as I wanted it to be adjustable.

Please feel free to email me with pictures of your designs.  I'd love to see what you make with this technique!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ornate Jewelry Creations and an Intro to My Daughter's Rosary Designs

It was a very productive weekend for me in the jewelry-making department.  It's no secret that I unwind from the stress of the work week by creating.  It's proven to be good for the soul and it keeps me out of trouble, too. :)

This weekend, I created the following one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces and want to share them with you:

Bronze and Blue Crystal Virgin Mary Statement Necklace

Bronze and Blue Crystal Virgin Mary Necklace (Pendant Detail)

Red Filigree and Crystal Virgin Mary Necklace

Red Filigree and Crystal Virgin Mary Necklace (Pendant Detail - Check out the red rhinestones framing the image.)

Hand-decorated bronze Virgin Mary icon bracelet

All items are currently for sale in my EBay and Etsy stores.  By the way, if you like the look of the bracelet, stay tuned for details on how to decorate your own metal components for your jewelry projects.  I'll be sharing a tutorial on this very subject on my blog later in the week.

While I'm on the subject of ornate designs, I want to take a minute to introduce you to my daughter, Brianna's rosary designs.  Brianna started making corded rosaries and rosary bracelets while she was still in high school. 

She also became enamored with making automobile and full size crystal and gemstone rosaries.  These have proven to be pretty popular among her peers. She recently posted some of her latest creations on her Facebook page and sold every single one of them.  Is that awesome, or what?

She's decided to take her rosary making to a whole new level - she has begun selling them in her Etsy store, the Saint Philomena Store.  She also accepts custom orders, so if you'd like a sparkly, well-made rosary of your own, please don't hesitate to contact Brianna.  I know you won't be disappointed. :)

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