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BookSmithStudio.com | Nikki Smith Book & Visual Artist

Handmade books and various art explorations

Posts Tagged ‘jewelry’

A Musical Affair: paper necklace tutorial

March 9th, 2013 by Nikki Smith

I’m lovin’ the paper necklaces that my friend Andreea and I made on our art date last week. The concept is as simple as can be (though it requires some patience) and the resulting jewelry is stunningly elegant, lean-in-for-a-closer-look, touchable and oh so fun!

We were inspired by a project by Jason Thompson in his book, “Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book.” (I highly recommend it!)  Of course, we put our own spin on the project and learned some tricks and tips along the way.  If you would like to make a similar necklace for yourself, here’s how:

Total project time: 2 to 4 hours.


Paper — Fun ideas include: sheet music, a recycled book, old maps, colorful magazines, text in foreign languages, an illustrated children’s book, etc.

Paper punches —  A hole punch and a circle punch or other fun, simple shape.  I used a double-heart paper punch instead of two punches.  While not identical, this is the closest I could find online:

Necklace — chain, wire, leather, etc.

Optional — beads for spacers, glue, paintbrush, wooden skewer & cork (for holding punched paper)

Creating the Necklace:

Tip: Determine how many pages your punch can cut through at once.  I started out punching these shapes one at a time (yikes!) and it would have taken me days to complete if I hadn’t realized this simple time saving trick.  My friend was able to cut six sheets of paper at a time with her newer punches, while the double-heart punch I used could cut about four sheets at a time.

If you are using a punch that already has a hole in the middle (as I did with the double heart punch shown above) then line up your papers and start punching.  Otherwise, begin by using the small hole punch to make the holes for the centers of your paper shapes.  Next, turn your circle or shape punch upside down so you can see through it and line up the punch so that the inner hole is as close as possible to the center of the final shape.

Punch, punch, punch and punch some more…  (Turn on some tunes!)

Bonus Tip:  My hands got tired and sore after a few hours but I was determined to keep going.  Then it dawned on me that I could also punch on a hard floor using my foot and the heel of my shoe rather than the palm of my hand.  This won’t work with every style of punch, but it sure helped my hands feel better.  🙂

Optional:  I placed my cut paper shapes on a wooden skewer with a piece of cork at the end for easy storage while I continued punching.

Now for the fun part!  There are a few ways to proceed from here, depending on what style you like best…

Version 1:  String your paper shapes onto the necklace and try it on. The paper shapes will tend to lie flush with each other, perpendicular to your skin.

Version 2:  Use beads (or even paper beads) to space the necklace out.

Version 3:  This is my own variation, which I love!  To make the papers overlap nicely so that details can be seen all along the necklace (as shown in the photos here), you will need to glue a few small clusters of paper shapes together and space them around the necklace.  I took groups of four to six hearts and threaded them on to my wire necklace, gently overlapping them.  I applied a small amount of glue (I used ModgePodge) with a paint brush to where the papers overlapped and then let the set dry on the wire.  You can see one of these clusters in the lower-right corner of the photo below.  I made about eight of these clusters and spaced them around the necklace.  All other hearts are loose, individual papers.  The clusters have the effect of forcing the other papers to lay at an angle and overlap.  Beautiful, and so touchable!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial!  I believe this is the third sheet-music necklace I’ve made, each in a completely different style.  One was a charming little booklace (mini-book on a necklace) as featured on CraftGawker, and another was based on a tear-drop shaped piece of vintage sheet music coated with ice resin for a transparent look.  I’m passionate about music, and I love expressing this passion in my artwork, especially in such a touchable form!  How have you incorporated music in your artwork?

Dragonfly Necklace – Ice Resin Paper and Wire

June 14th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

I have been having so much fun with the Ice Resin techniques I learned last weekend from Deryn Mentock (Something Sublime)!  This dragonfly was created as a gift for my neice, Beta, who loves the color yellow.  The translucent wings on this dragonfly necklace are actually from a napkin with yellow lemons that has been treated with ice resin.

Dragonfly Ice Resin Necklace

The inspiration for this piece comes from one of Deryn’s creations which you can see on her blog here.  Deryn actually teaches a class on her “Winged Things”, and she’ll be in College Station in October at the Bead Fountain to do just that.  I fell in love with these when I saw them on her site and couldn’t wait to try it for myself!

This necklace began as a wire form sculpture with copper wire and beads.  The lemon napkin was treated with Ice Resin and allowed to cure for three days.  Then the wings were cut-out slightly larger than the wire wing shapes.  They were glued with white craft glue to the back of the wire wing shapes.  I had to add more glue twice to ensure that no daylight was visible around the edges or at the juncture with the body.  Then the necklace was arranged in a bowl of rice so that the wings were level and more ice resin was carefully added to the tops of the wings to fill-in the wire shape.  Another three days to cure and the necklace was ready to wear.  I couldn’t resist trying it on before giving it away.  Now I want to make one for myself!

I’m looking forward to Deryn’s class in October.  I’m sure she’ll have some tips to make these easier and faster!

Ice Resin Jewelry Workshop

June 6th, 2010 by Nikki Smith

Yesterday my mom Linda, my friend Andreea and I attended a fabulous Ice Resin jewelry workshop taught by Deryn Mentock (Something Sublime).  It was a blast!  Here are a few of my creations:

Ice Resin bezel jewelry by Nikki

And these were made by my mom, Linda Long:

Ice Resin bezel jewelry by Linda Long

Andreea was very creative and used some antique spoons for her bezels – I wish I had remembered to take photos when we were in the class, they were absolutely beautiful!

Below is one of my favorite pieces – I found a pair of big earrings for $0.50 at a garage sale and disassembled them.  My mom and I each used one half to create these necklace charms.  The background is some prepared ice resin paper that Deryn shared with the class.  The vintage pages become transparent when treated with ice resin – a very cool effect!  A tiny bit of glue around the edge of the paper seals it and prevents leaks, then the top is filled with more ice resin and allowed to cure for three days.  (It will set in 24 hrs, however you can still leave finger prints on it at that point – best to wait!)

Ice resin necklace 551 by Nikki

We also learned a technique for filling open-backed bezels using a bit of clear packing tape to seal it from leaks.  Here is one I made with ice resin paper and watch parts:

Ice resin open-backed bezel by Nikki

Tip: a bottle cap makes an inexpensive bezel.  Besides small images pretreated with gel medium, Mom and I also added a few inclusions like watch springs, gold leaf flakes, and flower petals:

Ice resin bottlecap with flower inclusions by Nikki

I finally got a chance to use my MRI images in a piece of art!  Here is my brain with the gears a-turning:

Ice resin charm - Nikki's brain

We also learned how to make ice resin paper for use in jewelry or journaling projects.  Today, Mom and I cleared off space on my big craft table, spread out garbage bags to protect the surface and got to work!  We had a variety of papers that we treated including maps, vintage paper from falling-apart old books, dictionary pages, foreign language text, sheet music and napkins.  Below is an in-progress napkin.  It should hopefully turn translucent as it cures.  (Vintage paper will also become transparent, but most modern paper is coated and will stay opaque.)

Ice resin paper in progress: lemon napkin

The class was a blast and I’d definitely recommend Deryn as an instructor!  If you have a moment, go check out Deryn’s blog to see her great jewelry art pieces.  Best of all, she’ll be back in October at the Bead Fountain in College Station to teach a class on “Bees and Butterflies” jewelry.  I can’t wait!

For more information on Ice Resin, see: IceResin.com