How to... · Nunn Design · Rings · Vintaj Natural Brass

Burnished Cicada Ring | DIY Tutorial


Sometimes necklace, bracelets, and earrings get all the glory. When I see a beautiful component, how to make it into a ring isn’t usually my first thought. But after my bug-loving friend pointed out how well these Vintaj cicadas fit along her finger, I’m going to try to keep my mind more open.

I promised I’d figure out how to make a cicada into a ring for her—and so, this simple, chunky ring was born. If you’d like, you could also add a patina instead of burnishing for a more colorful look.

Keep reading for materials and instructions!





  1. Using your flush cutters, cut off the cicada’s legs. Sorry cicada! When cutting off the front legs, be careful not to cut off the eyes (you may need to do multiple small cuts). Use the sandpaper face of your reliefing block to sand any rough edges.
  2. Gently sand and and then buff the finish of the cicada to give it more dimension. Paint a thin layer of glaze so that the finish will not re-oxidize, then let dry (or use a heat gun to dry it faster).
  3. Cut off a pencil eraser-sized chunk of both parts of your Crystal Clay and combine until mixed. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly, then place it in the underside of your cicada. (You could use about half as much as I did in the picture—I ended up scraping a lot of it off.)
  4. Eyeball where to place your ring band so that the ring will be most comfortable for your hands. I decided to place my ring band about halfway through the narrow diamond on the edge of the cicada’s wings (see the first image in this post for reference).
  5. Squish your ring into the Crystal Clay until it is as deep in as it can go. Trim any excess Crystal Clay and use your fingers to smooth the edges. Make sure not to get too much Crystal Clay in the head of the cicada, as your knuckle needs to be able to rest in there.
  6. Let the Crystal Clay set for 14-16 hours.
  7. The inside of my ring turned out pretty messy looking, so I painted it with black acrylic paint to make it look more unified. (I was inspired by the red soles of Louboutin shoes.) It could also look great with emerald green, yellow, or blue.


Let me know if you make it and what you think!

What’s your favorite way to make rings?

3 thoughts on “Burnished Cicada Ring | DIY Tutorial

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