DIY Star Wars Glass Cabochons Necklace
Learn how to make your own necklace with any photo, image, or clipping that's special to you using glass cabochons and round bezels.
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Today's project is for the Star Wars fans out there, and also for anyone who would love to learn how to personalize a glass necklace with images, book clippings, maps and more. I used a scrap of wrapping paper to create this geek-chic accessory, and all you need are a few basic supplies!
- Glass and bezel pendant set
- Coordinating chain - length will vary to your taste (18-36 inches)
- Mod Podge
- Paint brush
- Craft Squeegee or plastic card
- E6000 or other heavy-bond adhesive
- Interesting paper or image
Today I'm using a swatch of wrapping paper to create my custom cabochon. Get creative! I've also used maps, clippings from the dictionary and my favorite books, scrapbook paper, photos and more. You can get a good preview of how your necklace will look by placing the glass cab over the section of paper you like.
When you're satisfied, just trace around the cabochon, and cut the section out with a pair of scissors.
A note about using photos with this technique: you will need to print your own at home on regular paper (not photo paper) for a necklace that holds together long-term. Photo paper is not porous enough for the glass to attach in a way that's both secure and permanent using this tutorial, and you will lose some resolution when printing to regular paper at home. It still makes for a beautiful necklace, but I want to give that caution before you get started so that nobody is disappointed before beginning! Additionally, you may want to treat your photo with a paper sealant or wax before beginning, to ensure that it doesn't bleed under the glass - ink bleed will vary based on your home printer.
Give the top of your image a generous coat of Mod Podge, making sure it's fully covered. Full coverage is important since you will be able to see through the glass, and if there are gaps, they will be visible.
Apply the image to the flat side of the glass cab. Center it carefully, and press it down. You will get some ooze over the sides, and that's nothing to worry about just yet - it will clean up easily in the next step.
To ensure that the image is fully adhered with no bubbles, use a craft squeegee to squeeze the excess Mod Podge out from between the image and the glass. If you don't have a squeegee, a plastic card like an old membership card will also work - technically you could use a credit card or ID but it's about to get messy, so I wouldn't recommend it! I work first in one direction (for example, right to left) and then a second time in a perpendicular direction (bottom to top).
Wipe any big blobs of Mod Podge off the glass with a paper towel, but don't worry about thin layers of residue. That's more easily cleaned off when it's dried. Give the backside of the image TWO coats of Mod Podge, allowing them to dry for about 10-15 minutes in between.
Once the cabochon has dried, take a damp paper towel and wipe off any dried Mod Podge on the front surface of the glass. Finally, add a VERY thin coat of E6000 inside the bezel. I cannot stress enough that a little goes a long way, here! If you get too much, it can cause dark spots to appear on your paper, which will be visible through the glass. I have found that by applying it mainly to the outer part of the bezel, if you should happen to get a small dark spot, it will be away from the center of the image, at least. Add your glass cabochon to the bezel, and to further thin out the adhesive, twist the cab around in the bezel for good measure. Finally, make sure that the image is straight within the bezel, and set it aside to dry for a few hours (I typically leave E6000 to dry overnight).
All that's left to do is to string it on a chain, and it's ready to wear! This style of pendant is one that can be worn at different lengths for different looks. I like to add mine to 30 inches of chain (a long style that hits between most women's chest and waist) - but you can also use chain as short as 18 inches for a more traditional length.
Because the glass is domed, this piece looks much clearer in-person than it does in photographs (where getting a non-reflective angle is just about impossible, haha). This is a really fun way to showcase the things you love best, whether it's Star Wars, books, a special place, or any of your other passions!