I have been experimenting with some new jewelry making ideas and methods. I like the idea of using unusual items like shells or urchins as jewelry. You may remember a few weeks ago I showed you how to make a sea urchin incense holder. Today's tutorial uses the steps for the incense holder urchin but takes it a bit further and transforms it into a funky pendant. I gave a sneak peek of this necklace on my Instagram account last night. Make sure to follow my accounts, Crafty Little Gnome and Crafty Little Gnome Blog for all the behind the scenes action and to get the first look at all my jewelry and projects.
- Sea urchin
- air dry clay
- 16 gauge craft wire
- wire cutters
- pearls or beads
- super glue
- clear water based sealer
- necklace chain
You can get all of these supplies from your local craft supply store except probably the urchin. If you don't have any sea urchins on a beach near you then you can buy them online on sites like Etsy or Ebay.
Start by spraying the urchin with the sealer. This helps to make the shell stronger. The urchins are delicate and will break easily if you don't handle them with care.
Once the urchin is dry, take a small amount of air dry clay and press it into the inside of the urchin. Add more clay until the urchin is full. Pack it in tight.
Next you will need to find a way to attach the necklace chain to the urchin. I found the best way was to twist a small piece of wire and insert it into the back of the urchin, right into the clay. Then I put more clay on top of the wire to hold it in.
Flip the urchin back over and press a pearl or bead into the opening on top of the urchin. This is just so that the clay takes the shape of the bead so that you can glue it in permanently after it dries. Depending on what type of bead you want to decorate the urchin with you can insert a head pin into the bead, trim it down and then press it into the top of the urchin. You should remove the bead and pin and then after the clay dries you can apply some super glue and insert it back into the hole.
The clay will take a day or two to fully dry so you will have to set it aside to dry before you can permanently glue on your beads or pearls.
There are lots of different ways you can adorn your urchin. Pearls, beads, beads caps, decorative head pins- try out lots of options and see what you think works best.
I like to spray my sea urchin necklace with some additional coats of clear varnish to help protect it.
Once it's completely dry you can string it onto the necklace chain of your choice and place it around your neck.