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Resin ornaments and Girl Scout SWAPS

Part of Facet's series of articles on making jewelry with children
Resin ornaments and Girl Scout SWAPS

These cute SWAPS can be attached to a backpack, worn as a necklace or placed on a Christmas tree as an ornament.

spacesuit

As part of our holiday coverage, Facet is featuring craft projects to do with the children in your life.

For our first project, we are making pendants or ornaments using resin. You can make a wonderful keepsake by adapting this project to use your child's artwork or drawings, or even a family photo, to create a charming necklace or keychain to give as a Christmas gift, or as an ornament.

The first time that I tried this project, it was for a very special reason. This year, my daughter was fortunate enough to go to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. It was a huge milestone for her: she flew by herself to a different state where she didn’t know a single soul. She had a fabulous time and her new career of choice is astronaut.

When Girl Scouts go to camp, there is a long-standing tradition of exchanging SWAPS. What are SWAPS? “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.” The girls exchange SWAPS as small tokens of friendship to new girls who they meet on their travels. Eighty-six girls from all over the world exchanged SWAPS during her week at Space Camp.

She wanted to make a cute, relativity inexpensive keepsake to express her creativity that the girls might actually use in the future. My daughter loves to draw, but she also likes to make jewelry. She decided to combine her interests by making resin-filled pendants to showcase her Space Camp artwork.

She found 90 - 1 ½ inch metal bezels on eBay for about $30.  While she waited on the bezels to arrive, she got started on the prep work.

First, she created artwork to fit in the bezel that was scanned into Photoshop. She duplicated the design several times onto one document that was printed on coated paper stock. Next, she cut out each of the circles. To save time, she used a 1 ½ inch scrap-booking hole punch that was borrowed from a friend. If you don’t have a hole punch, they can be easily cut out by hand.

At the Bead&Button Show, we met Jen Cushman, the co-author of the book  “Explore, Create, Resinate Jewelry: Mixed-Media Techniques using ICE Resin." She explained to us the next steps in this video. We are using the brand ICE Resin here, but any brand of two-part epoxy resin can be substituted, just follow manufacturer's instructions. 


swaps_ice_resin_paint
Apply paper sealant to the cut-out printed images.
swaps_bezels
Put the dry cut-outs into the empty bezels.

Supplies

  • Bezels
  • Paper cut-outs
  • Paper sealant (such as white craft glue or decoupage glue)
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Two-part epoxy resin
  • Craft cup and stir stick
  • Mat or waxed paper

Instructions

1. Protect your work surface with a mat or waxed paper. Using a paintbrush, apply paper sealant to the cut-out printed images. Make sure to seal the edges. Allow time to dry.

2. Place the dry cut-outs into the empty bezels.

3. Prepare the resin according to manufacturer's instructions. Mix the resin and the hardener in a craft cup, then stir slowly for two minutes with a stir stick. Try to avoid getting bubbles in your resin by folding the mixture together with your stir stick. Set the mixture aside to rest for five minutes.

4. Using the stir stick, slowly drip the resin mixture into the bezels until the bezel is almost full. Resin is self-leveling, and will form a natural dome on the top of your bezel.

5. Allow to dry overnight.

After we made the pendants, we realized that if we finished them with a little bit of left-over Christmas ribbon, they would make cute holiday ornaments.

Tip!

We used the ICE Resin reusable multi-purpose Studio Sheets to protect the table while we made our project. I highly recommend going this route. The resin was easy to remove from the sheets while our table stayed nice and clean.

FIND MORE: resin , holiday , pendants

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