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  • Writer's pictureKristine Hurd

How to Turn Art into Jewelry

"How do you make these?" "These" being the art pendants and earrings I sell. This is a question I've been asked a few times so I thought it would be a good topic for my blog.

I wish I could say that I'm just really good at painting tiny pictures, because that would be very impressive! But it's actually quite simple. In fact it only takes me a couple of minutes per pendant or pair of earrings.

I often use scraps of paintings I didn't like enough to sell, but that have areas of interesting texture or color. If I want a particular color scheme I'll occasionally paint something small and then I coat it with Kamar and UV protectant before I use it.

Blue Alcohol Ink Stud Earrings by Kristine Hurd Fine Art
Rose Gold and Blue Stud Earrings

Materials you will need:

  • A painting or photo, or whatever you want to put under the cabochon;

  • Jewelry blanks (available on lots of places online but I usually buy mine from Canadian shops on Etsy);

  • Domed glass cabochons. They should be the correct size to fit in the jewelry blank (i.e. 10mm blank and 10mm cabochon). Again available online and I get mine from Etsy;

  • Adhesive. I know there are special glues for jewelry, but I've only ever used clear, double sided adhesive that I get from Magnolia Tree Supplies on Etsy. I buy the same size sticker as the cabochon and blank. If the same size isn't available I get a larger sticker and trim them;

  • A self healing cutting mat;

  • A precision/hobby/utility knife;

Supplies for making alcohol ink jewelry
Supplies you will need

Step 1: Choose the Art That Will Show Under the Cabochon

Find an area of the painting that you think would look interesting under the cabochon and place the cabochon over top. If you're happy with how it looks move on to step 2. If you aren't sure, keep moving the cabochon around until you an area you like.

Alcohol ink painting and cabochons for making earrings
Select the art for the earrings

Step 2: Add Adhesive to the Cabochon

Before you add the adhesive, make sure there are no finger prints or dust on the cabochon. I add isopropyl to a piece of paper towel and rub the bottom of the cabochon on it. Then I peel one sticker off the adhesive sheet and carefully apply it to the bottom of the cabochon, pressing firmly and smoothing it to get rid of any bubbles.

Adhesive for making alcohol ink earrings
Applying adhesive sticker

Step 3: Be Careful

Remove the paper from the other side of the adhesive (if using stickers), or add more glue under the cabochon and place it over the section of art you chose. If you're using stickers you will not be able to move the cabochon once it's been placed, so make sure you get it right the first time.

Alcohol ink painting and clear cabochons
Cabochons glued to art

Step 4: Don't Run with Knives

Use your craft/utility knife (or scissors but they won't be as exact) and cut around the cabochon to remove the cabochon and attached art from the original painting.

Cutting Alcohol ink art with a sharp knife
Cut around your cabochon

Cabochons with alcohol ink art glued underneath
Art adhered to the cabochon

Step 5: Add More Adhesive

Apply another sticker (or more glue) to the bottom of the cabochon/art. Press firmly. Remove the paper from the other side of the sticker and stick the cabochon adhesive side down, in the jewelry blank. Press firmly.

Sticking a glass cabochon in earring bezel
Sticking the cabochon in the earring blank

If you're making a pendant you're done! If you're making earrings or anything with more than one blank, repeat the same process.

A finished pair of French lever earrings with alcohol ink art by Kristine Hurd Fine Art
Finished pair of French lever earrings

And you're done! As you can see, once you have the materials it's pretty easy. But it's even easier if you buy yourself a pair from my site here!


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