Friday, 20 April 2018

Crochet Inspired Cabochon Jewellery

Lately, I've been feeling a little left out of the latest campaigns on discussing how crochet has been great for mental health. Don't get me wrong, it is fantastic to focus the mind, help with quitting smoking for example, and help with recovering from an illness, but for me, well, my story is a little different. 

As a designer, and prolific pattern sharer, either on YouTube or my website, I sadly can't remember when I last crocheted something and wasn't stressing about writing the pattern down, what colour combos work best and if a design will work, and that's even before I've started getting the camera out lol! And I definitely can't remember the last time I crocheted from someone else's pattern and did something just for me. It's almost like I can't anymore as a little voice inside me says, "just design your own!" Sounds terrible I know, and on occasions crochet has become quite overwhelming and I have to actually take a break from crochet for the sake of my mental health!

But all is not lost as I have a lot of other creative interests that I refuse to let become anything other than hobbies. Something I can keep to myself and at my pace, and that is really important for staying sane. When a hobby becomes a job, it is no longer enjoyable and you need to keep that balance. So to keep that balance with crochet I often take a break from time to time (I even travel without a hook... deliberately sometimes!!) and try maybe some embroidery (you can follow my embroidery art journey here), or my other passion, jewellery making. So today I thought I would share with you how to make Cabochon Jewellery with a crochet theme. I hope you enjoy and feel inspired! 

You will need; (all these items are available on Amazon)
- A picture of your choice; either designed on paper or cut from pretty paper
- Pendant tray
- Matching glass cabochon to fit pendant tray
- Mod Podge sealant glue (or similar)
- Rubbing alcohol or some kind of solvent cleaner (I actually used a CPU cleaner being a geek)
- Large hole punch, preferable the same size as your cabochon (mine was 1" in diameter)
- An old brush you don't care about
- Kitchen roll or tissue
- Glue gun (optional)
- Scissors
- Strap or chain for necklace

Step 1 - Design/cut your image
You can use pretty paper if you like. Mollie Makes magazines are good for this as each issue often has designer papers for your various craft projects, but you can also use wrapping paper or even dried flowers. Just make sure that whatever you use isn't too thick. Once you have your chosen design (I designed my own), cut it out either using scissors or much easily by using a large 1" hole punch. Note* A clever way of making sure you see what your punching out is to hold the image and hole punch upside down before punching. That way you can line it up perfectly!

Step 2 - Clean
Once you have your image, put on your gloves and clean your cabochon glass bead with some alcohol solvent cleaner. This will remove any dirt or smudges, like fingerprints, from the flat edge, which you don't want appearing on your final necklace. Just dab a few drops onto some kitchen roll or tissue and wipe as necessary. Leave to dry. 

Use parental help if young as you don't want to get solvent cleaner on your skin or in your eyes.

Step 3 - Seal your image
Now you want to stick your chosen image or flowers to your cabochon glass bead. The best product for this is definitely Mod Podge as it works as a glue and sealer at the same time, and the best way to do this is to place a large drop in the middle of your picture, then stick the cabochon on top. When you do this it will spread out the glue to the edges naturally as you push down, leaving no brush marks! Wipe off any excess gently with your brush or a tissue and move your image around as needed. Leave to dry.
Once dry add extra Mod Podge around the edge to seal and secure in your paper to your cabochon. You want to avoid any moisture creeping in and damaging your paper. 

Then add a layer or two of Mod Podge to the back of your image, sealing in your image totally. 

Allow to dry in-between coats. It should take about 10 minutes or so to dry. Try not to add too much at once as it may soak the paper.

Step 4 - Attaching
For attaching your final cabochon image to your pendant tray you can either;

1. Add a drop of hot glue to the centre of your pendant case and very quickly push your finished cabochon into the casing. 

The glue will spread out as you press down, but you must do this very quickly otherwise the glue will dry too quickly and the cabochon won't fit.

Or 2. You can add a layer of Mod Podge to the interior or your pendant case along the bottom and around the inside edge and then push your cabochon inside. 

Either option works fine as the cabochon should sit inside your pendant case even without glue, so it is only to secure it in place in case it falls out. 

I prefer the second option with the Mod Podge because as you push your cabochon inside it will squeeze out a little Mod Podge around the edge sealing it in further against moisture. 

Wipe off any excess glue from either method and leave to dry. Any excess glue should scrape or peel off easily when dry.

And now you're finished! Add a chain or strap of your choice and enjoy. 

I hope you enjoyed this quick photo tutorial. 

Please do share your cabochon creations, or any of your HappyBerry creations with me on either Facebook or Instagram! I love to see what you create! And remember, stay happy, keep smiling and most of all, keep enjoying what you do!

This article is NOT sponsored by Mod Podge, Mollie Makes or the weird CPU stuff I used.

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