In In my closet, Style, Upcycling Projects

More DIY Upcycling Jewellery Projects – Part Two

I started on the second set of jewellery – rings and jewellery, playing with old chains, and channeling artists. The first one is very much in the style of one of my favourite artists’ Adina Mills.

STUFF I USED

Fimo Professional Clay

I used this because I researched everywhere, and it seems like the Professional version is the most versatile of all of them. They have other versions like Soft, and so on, and another brand called Sculpey, but I wanted something that wouldn’t crumble, be strong, and stay solid, and this one seems to hit all of those points based on what I read.

I chose it in the colour white, but in hindsight I should have purchased black, dark grey, or other darker colours as I planned on painting over the clay with acrylic paints afterwards, and since I had chosen white for the clay, it REALLY showed through the metal chains, and I had to spend a lot of time with a small paintbrush trying to get into the corners because the white was just so… WHITE.

I learned from my mistake, and picked up black, navy blue and champagne for my next round, as colours for clay. I can always change the colours afterwards, but it is better to have a background that is already coloured rather than white, to make my life easier.

Folkart Acrylic paints

These paints are great. I use them for everything, and I have a whole range of colours. I need more metallic paint however, I am seeing that I will use more of it in future projects.

Vintage chains

I also have vintage and old thrifted chains to upcycle that I added to the necklaces and so on.

Statement stones and so on

I hunted a few on eBay and Etsy, and looked for items 3″ – 4″ because I wanted a really BIG statement rock for my pieces but they are quite… expensive, around $30 – $60 per stone, as people use them for healing/chakras, and tend to pay a lot.

The smaller rocks are okay, but you need to add way more clay to make it a bigger statement piece as a result.

I am trying a few suppliers but haven’t found any that is “cheap” and of high quality yet.

#6 – The Diana Necklace

It looks pretty badass on, I must say. I love the bright magenta drusy inside with the hints of gold. I would have done the entire outside in gold, except it seemed like the bronze paint spoke to me as the perfect colour for the chain and the stone itself:

I started by having the stone in my hands, and working it over, thinking how I wanted to position it, either horizontal or vertical. I tried it horizontal but it didn’t feel as if it worked.

So I tore off all of the clay and redid it in a vertical position instead:

I decided on creating a strong set of shoulders on the stone, as I was inspired by really strong exaggerated shoulders in beautiful dresses, and this drusy stone seemed to call out for a similar vibe.

I moulded the hook where I knew the chain would go, and to give it some interest, I scored the sides.

I must have spent a good 2 hours on it, just moulding it into what I wanted, thinking about how I wanted it, and so on.

The final result! I had thought about doing a braided necklace out of upcycled fabric straps, or a satin rope, but when I pulled out all the chains to look at what would go with it, I realized the bronze chain would fit the best.

 

It just matched.

I also added very little rose gold metal swipes around the pendant to highlight some of it, but I don’t want to do too much to it, I like it just as it is.

 

Bold and striking.


I named it Diana because it reminds me of two strong women – Diana the Huntress and Diana, the real name of Wonder Woman! It’s a strong necklace that needs a strong role model and name.

It just fits the necklace so perfectly.

#7 – The Hera Necklace

This necklace is made from a few pieces, upcycled and with vintage gold chains. I knew I wanted to link them together somehow, and this turned out completely differently from how I originally envisooned it but I like it even more now than I thought.

I decided on antique gold chains as the look for the necklace, and it all came together organically after I created each piece, I realized it needed to twist and turn into something different, and this is what it ended up being.

For the hanging pendant piece, I decided on really using this beautiful chain as an accent for the necklace.

The painting of this actually gave me trouble because I knew I wanted it to be dark and moody but I kept mixing random colours together until I got to what I wanted as the perfect swirl:

It all started with this upcycled necklace. I bought it a few years ago just because I liked the colour, the shape, and how minimalist it was. It turns out, that I don’t wear dainty pieces but I REALLY liked the pendant, and knew I wanted to feature it somehow.

I also had these 3 malachite ovals that I thought would look fantastic as a three-tiered piece somehow. If only I could create a necklace that would hang like this without any chains or so on, it would look fantastic but I knew I’d need to drill holes in these items (not happening), or wrap them in clay and make beads out of them.

I wanted to take this necklace and incorporate it in somehow because it was a light green and in the same tone of the necklace:

 

I started playing around with necklace combinations, thinking I would glue, or put clay around the pendant and then tack it onto the necklace, and create some sort of hanging trio for the bottom:

Then I removed one of the malachite slices because I wanted to make a ring out of it, and instead, subbed in a purple drusy pendant to add some texture and interest:

I picked the antique chain to go with it:

Then I switched the purple amethyst drusy pendant to hang off the bottom because I felt like it gave more weight to the entire necklace, to hang at the bottom, and to have the green pendant to match up with the malachite slices:

 

The combination is perfect:

Then I started creating the holdings for the slices, and decided to add the chain on the bead so they could hang off each other:

I originally had the clay flat, but then I started added grooves in it:

 

I decided on the pendant being the ‘star’ of the first part, but to make it look more substantial and to tie in with the chain, I took the chain and wrapped it around the pendant to give it some heft:

I knew I wanted the purple amethyst drusy as the ending pendant, and to make it tie back up to the chain, as well as the pendant where I circled it in chain, so I also wrapped it in chain, but I wanted it to just peek out, rather than be a huge piece:

To do this, I put the clay on the back and made the chain peek out like lace:

When I was done, it looked like this in my head:

After I started painting each piece in dark forest green tones, I added gold as the highlights to match the necklace, and it evolved into this instead, where the chain seemed more fitting than the bright chartreuse green stone that seemed out of place once I started matching it together with the finished pieces.

It just looks better like this. It looks like the chain ties in with the top pendant, the bottom pendant with the amethyst drusy with chain around the edges to match, and the gold grooves to go together:

I named it after Hera, the wife of Zeus because it seemed to be very dark and exactly up to the stories about Hera. Deep, revengeful and glamourous. It fits her. And I can imagine her wearing it, with a dark black silk ballgown.

#8 – The Eris Ring

I took the third malachite slice and made a ring out of it because it screamed for it with the dark green circles.

I started like this – clay, moulded around the slice:

 

I finished it with gold around the edges and grooves:

The back of it I just finished in random green and gold:

#9 – The Eugénie Ring

I had another ring that I thought looked too boring (it was a pendant I made into a ring), so I added clay around the edges. The stone is labradorite – moody, dark and beautiful.

I added clay around the edges and made it thick, so I could groove it again:

Then when I started painting, I mixed a petrol blue out of cobalt blue and black, and swirled it everywhere:

I added gold in the grooves to highlight it because it just looked more regal that way, rather than being a flat blue:

I named it after Empress Eugénie, after reading The Queen of the Night (Alexander Chee), which is not about Empress Eugénie, but she features in the novel, and the snippets I read of her, made me think of her name as the perfect one for this ring.

The ring is dark petrol blue and gold, to go with the labradorite. and those are very royal colours to me for some reason.

#10 – The Asteria Ring

This ring gave me the most trouble in terms of colour for the outside border… This is probably the 5th layer you are looking at:

But I think it finally turned out into what I wanted, because I struggled hard with this, and it looks pretty good. I had a galaxy ring that I found really boring as-is. I needed to jazz it up somehow, so I decided on wrapping some clay around it:

I had such a TERRIBLE TIME trying to figure out what to paint this. Nothing seemed right. NOTHING. I tried petrol blue, black, dark blue, navy blue, magenta, dark pink, etc…. it’s crazy. I finally hit on looking at it like part of a galaxy, and I decided to make it a galaxy ring.

I did it as a dark solid colour, etc.. and then it hit on me to make it with gold splatters to make it look like a galaxy; you can see my first attempt here:

I just felt like something was OFF. IT looked wrong. Or not quite right. Then Little Bun chirps up: “Mommy maybe you need more MAGENTA!“.. and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot, so I spread a little thin layer of it over the colours. It looked a little bit better, but I would have to touch up the gold again. And see it in natural light…

So I took it out the next day after it dried, added more gold splatters, and now I think it’s FINALLY where it should be, as the petrol blue I layered on, turned more of a purple that matched the stone with the addition of the thin layer of magenta and it looks much better.

You can now see gold splatters all over (like in a galaxy), with some plum and dark purple tones, mixed with blue all around. I named it Asteria after the goddess of the falling stars, or “The Starry One”, for the galaxy theme.

It just seems like the perfect name for a galaxy ring.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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What I bought: February 2018

Posted on March 7, 2018

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2 Comments

  1. Becka

    I am really fascinated by this jewelry hobby of yours. I love jewelry, but after having worked in jewelry sales for several years and becoming accustomed to retail , where they only sell gold , platinum and sterling with diamonds being the end all of everything, I find your appreciation of unique gemstone and design very refreshing.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Wow, what a compliment thank you. I think what helps is I don’t really have anything to ‘lose’, per se. In the sense that this isn’t precious, they aren’t diamonds, I am not ruining heirlooms.. I am just having fun with it and trying to see what I can do with what I have.

      Reply

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