Thursday, June 2, 2016

DIY Quartz Pendant Necklace



#tbt to the first blog post I have ever created! I compiled this post all the way back in February before I even officially launched the blog! I meant to release it way before now, but I kept creating other, more time-sensitive, posts that kept pushing back the publishing date of this one. So now, after four months in storage, I present to you my DIY Quartz Pendant Necklace tutorial!

Now, you're going to have to bear with me. My writing was a little less articulate, the post is lengthy, and the pictures are grainy, but I decided to keep everything original to the post. Nonetheless, you will still have a beautiful necklace by the end! Pull out your materials and let's make it!

{ I absolutely love the quartz necklace pendants trending right now! They come in so many cute colors and sizes and tend to be long chain necklaces, which look so cute with tank tops!

I've seen plenty of these necklaces in stores and online but I didn't fall in love with any particular style until I came across this pin on Pinterest. Among the collection of neutral-hued pendants was a white marble quartz pendant that I simply HAD to make... I'm such a sucker for white marble anything!

So I pulled out my polymer clay and whipped up a tutorial for you guys so you can make your own quartz pendant(s) too! What's nice about making your own jewelry is that you can completely customize it and create something truly unique. Plus if you have extra materials (and are crazy for these things like me) you can make as many as you want!

Also, a fair warning that this project is definitely more advanced. If you want to make a simpler jewelry piece, check out my DIY Choker Necklace post. Or channel your inner Picasso and go for it!

Keep scrolling for the full tutorial!





Materials

Polymer Clay | Exacto Knife | Pliers | Thin Wire | Bead Glaze/Clear Nail Polish | Necklace Chain



Get your black and white clay and start warming it up in your hands.

To marble the clay, take a chunk of white clay the size you want your pendant to be. Then take a chunk of black clay less than a quarter of the size of the white. Go small with the black- you can't take it out once you mix the two together but you can definitely add more!

Carefully mash the black and white together in your fingers until you get the marble effect you want. The key here is to go slow and stop before the colors become too mixed. 



Now you're going to shape the clay into an elongated rectangle. Here, I'm lightly pressing the clay with my fingers to create a rudimentary rectangle shape.

This step is to get the thickness and length you want for your pendant. Be really careful about how you're handling the clay- you don't want to ruin the marbling!

Your fingers will inevitably leave the shape pretty rounded. The next step will make the edges sharper and the sides flatter.

P.S. Yes, I painted my nails myself! I took these picture back in February so that's my Vera Bradley design.


Pay attention here! 

Rest your rectangle on a flat, even surface. Take the flat side of your exacto knife and lightly press each side of the rectangle down. The goal is to create a flat, even, square shape for your pendant.
    
Notice I am NOT cutting the clay into a rectangle shape. This will ruin the marble effect completely! If your pendant is a solid color then you may cut it into shape. But cutting marbled clay will change the look of the marble since the inside has a different pattern than the outside. I made this mistake but luckily was able to fix it. If you like how your marbling looks on the outside, don't cut it!
































Now we're going to make those nice, prism-shaped ends and yes, you will cut it now (but just the ends)!

Take your exacto knife and place it near the end of the rectangle. How high or low you place it is up to you depending on how big you want the end facets. 

Now tilt the knife at an angle so the cut will stop at the center of the rectangle's end. Swiftly cut down. Repeat on the other three sides, taking care to start at the same distance at each edge and cutting at the same angle.



It should now look something like the above picture. The peak should be in the center with four even sides. 


Do the same on the other end. Be really careful about not squashing and misshaping the end you already cut. 

You'll get some really pretty clay shavings at the end of this too!



Now we need to get that octagon shape. This is where you're going to have to cut the body of the rectangle, but at a minimum!

For this part, I very carefully and lightly held the clay in my fingers. The picture shows the clay lying down because I couldn't do this step and hold my phone to take a picture! So, the picture is what I did while holding the clay. You could lay the clay on a flat surface but you risk smushing and rounding out the sharp, clean edges you're about to create. Find what you're comfortable with but handle the clay very delicately!

Line up your knife with one of the edges on the peak. Very carefully cut straight down, just shaving off a thin layer. Repeat on the other four edges of the body.



Now the peak has to get the octagonal shape too.

Hold the clay lightly in your fingers and cut the four edges on the peak. Repeat on the other end.



You should now have eight sides on the body that line up with the eight sides on each peak. Everything should be sharp and evenly shaped.

You will also have an abundance of gorgeous marbled clay shavings!



Next we have to poke a hole so we can actually make this thing into a hanging pendant!

I didn't include this in the materials section because it'll vary for everyone, but find some sort of tool that will poke a fairly large hole in the clay. I found a wire that's about the thickness of a large paper clip.

You have to be really careful with this step- you don't want to smush all your hard work! Lightly hold the pendant in your fingers, take your tool, and slowly wiggle the tool through the top of the body of the pendant.

The hole should be wide enough so you are able to wrap your thin wire through it a few times, as we will do later.


With everything hopefully still looking good, bake the pendant according to the clay's instructions. 



Once the clay is cool, take your thin wire and thread it through the hole so it's even on both sides.



Now take one of the wire ends and loop it around the pendant and back through the hole. Pull tight.


It should look like this.

Repeat to the other side, looping the wire around the wireless side and through the hole.



With everything pulled nice and tight, it should look like this.



Now meet the two wire ends at the peak of the pendant. Twist the wires together, making a tight coil that extends straight up from the tip of the peak.



Take your pliers and bend the coil into a loop. There will be excess wire that you can continually wrap and crimp around the loop. The idea is to ensure that the loop is secure and has no spaces where the jump ring can fall out.


Two steps here!

The first step is optional. If you want your pendant to have a matte look, you can skip this step.

You can also do this step before you do all the wire-wrapping. I did it last because, honestly, I forgot to do it earlier! But I found it adds a little more security to the wire on the body.

Anyway, take your bead glaze/clear nail polish and coat an even layer onto your pendant. Let it dry.

The second step is to attach your jump ring onto the loop and connect the necklace chain.



You made it!

I love my quartz pendant necklaces. I've been wearing them all winter with my pullover sweaters and slowly incorporating them into spring outfits! Also, if you want another jewelry tutorial, check out my DIY Choker Necklace tutorial here!

Stay crafty xx }



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