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Beach Necklaces

Are you one of those people that come home from your beach vacation with a bag full of little shells, chunks of coral, rocks, and sand? What do you do with those precious memories once you return home with them? I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS come home with these things, and most often they end up in a drawer somewhere, tucked away. I’ve recently come up with a great solution to wear these little memories in a stylish piece!

BN1

I have all of these great little shells and tiny pieces of coral from my favorite place to spend time… on my friends beach, on the Caribbean waters of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. I also had a handful of extra Nunn Design Bezels laying around that I didn’t have a plan for, as well as some crystal clay. One late night in my jewelry studio, these items all found their way together, and I’m so happy with the results!

I think they look beautiful, organic, and I’m so happy to be wearing these little treasures from my favorite place rather than letting them sit in a drawer somewhere!

In case you are not familiar with Crystal Clay, let me fill you in….

Crystal Clay™ is a two part epoxy clay that is easily mixed and formed into any shape. Working time is approximately 1-1/2 hours after mixed and clay is fully hardened in 24 hours.  Simply mix and knead both parts of the epoxy clay together for several minutes. It’s common to add Swarovski stones or chatons to bling it up. In this case, I used the pieces of coral and shells in the same way to create a much more organic look.

Nunn Design offers such a great variety of classy looking bezels to use for a project like this. Not just bezels for pendants, but this could be a great earrings, ring, or bracelet project too!


Materials:

Round Necklace #1

Directions:

Round Necklace #1

  1. Figure out which items you want to fit into your bezel. I did this by choosing different shells and pieces of coral, and arranging them in the bezel until I felt like I had the right mix of items how I wanted them. I laid these items aside in the order the I wanted them to be in the Bezel.
  2. If you are new to Crystal Clay, read the instructions in your package thoroughly first. Be sure to mix the Crystal Clay really well before placing a small amount of it into your bezel. I smoothed the clay out and made sure there was just enough to fill the bezel just a touch below being level with the edges. This way when you add your shells and objects, it won’t be over flowing.
  3. Place your shells or objects into the bezel in the arrangement that you want to. At first, just set them on top, and make sure you have them arranged how you want them to be before giving them a gentle push into the Crystal Clay. A gentle push into the clay is all that is needed. The Clay cures very hard, so as long as your shells/objects are pushed slightly into the clay, they will hold well!
  4. I like to let my clay cure overnight before assembling the rest of the necklace, but that long certainly isn’t necessary. If you are careful and the clay is mostly hardened sometime later, you are good to assemble the rest.
  5. Take your 18” length of chain (obviously longer or shorter if you would like your necklace to be longer or shorter) and find the center link of the chain. Use your Jumpring Oval Small 20G Silver Plate to attach the center link of your chain to the top loop on your pendant.
  6. Open the last link on one end of your chain, and attach the lobster clasp, and close the link just like a jumpring.
  7. Use your Jumpring – Round 6mm to attach your  Cabochette Pendant to the bottom of your pendant!

Presto! You are Done!

Materials

Rectangle necklace #2

Directions

Rectangle necklace #2

  1. Figure out which items you want to fit into your bezels. I did this by choosing different shells and pieces of coral, and arranging them in the bezel until I felt like I had the right mix of items how I wanted them. I laid these items aside in the order the I wanted them to be in the Bezel.
  2. If you are new to Crystal Clay, read the instructions in your package thoroughly first. Be sure to mix the crystal clay really well before placing a small amount of it into your bezel. I smoothed the clay out and made sure there was just enough to fill the bezel just a touch below being level with the edges. This way when you add your shells and objects, it won’t be over flowing.
  3. Place your shells or objects into the bezel in the arrangement that you want to. At first, just set them on top, and make sure you have them arranged how you want them to be before giving them a gentle push into the Crystal Clay. A gentle push into the clay is all that is needed. The Clay cures very hard, so as long as your shells/objects are pushed slightly into the clay, they will hold well!
  4. I like to let my clay cure overnight before assembling the rest of the neckalce, but that long certainly isn’t nessisary. If you are careful and the clay is mostly hardened, you are good to assemble the rest.
  5. Cut your chain into 2 x  9” lengths, for an 18” necklace. Adjust accordingly if you want a longer or shorter necklace.
  6. The  Textured Cable Chain is not fused, so you are able to open and close the links just as you would a jump-ring. Use one link from the Small Textured Cable Chain and attach it to the top of your rectangle pendant and close it. Then use a link from the Large Textured Cable Chain to go through the small one you attached as well as going through an end link of each of the pieces of chain that you cut. I found that using this extra link of the large chain helps to have the pendant lay flatter on your chest and not flip over backwards as much!
  7. Attach your lobster clasp to the end of your necklace by opening the end link of the chain like you would a jumpring, and closing it.
  8. Use your Jumpring Oval Small  to attach your feather charm to the bottom of the pendant.

Presto! you are done!!

Variations:

  • There are endless possibilities of items you could use instead of seashells and coral. Many found objects could work in these pendants!
  • As always adjust the length of the necklace appropriately for you, or the person you are creating for, and choose the chain that you like the most for a project!
  • The bezel selection available in the Nunn Design line is large, so don’t limit yourself to the 2 that I used in these projects. Pick the ones you want to work with, and maybe make a matching ring, earrings, or bracelet?
  • Also remember that the bezels come in multiple finishes, so maybe you want to use bright silver, gold, or copper instead?
  • There are also endless charms and crystal drops available to drop from the bottom of the pendant, or you could choose to use a bezel with only one loop on the top, so that you have no drop.

As always, I encourage you to make this your own by choosing what items you are drawn to working with!

Happy Creating!

Shelly

BN2

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