You know how much I like making small things. And that includes shadow boxes! These are usually much larger and designed to house nostalgic items. But I thought why not shadow box pendants for our smaller mementos?

Shadowbox pendants are made from a combination of similarly sized laser cut wood frames and shapes glued together. What you put in them is entirely up to you and also what will fit!  Beads, buttons, bits of lace, lapel pins, gemstone nuggets, sea glass, polymer clay - the list is long!

(Important : Do not fill the shadow box pendant with epoxy resin unless you seal the inner seams where the frame and wood shape meets. Otherwise leaks will occur.  The voice of experience here but more about this another time.)

I have different laser cut shadow box/bezel pendant styles available in my store. 

The polygons are larger so there is more space to put things. Even if you are not into shadow boxes, these items give you pairs of frames and shapes without having to choose say 2 frames or shapes when you would rather have one of each.

The basic tutorial shown here uses the domino size ones.  I lightly sanded and stained them. See this tutorial on How to Sand, Stain and Seal Laser Cut Wood Jewelry for more tips and tricks.

The memento I happen to use is a blue resin bird I created some time ago when I had some leftover resin. Memories of that resin jewelry project! I used Wilton's Nature Designs Fondant Silicone Mold .

The blue bird looked rather dull until I gilded it with Inca Gold Gilder's Paste! (I did have to reapply more to the top after I finished wire wrapping the bail as I accidentally rubbed off some.)

Nothing wrong with keeping it simple with the wood and a rustic looking bird. 

But I preferred a colored background.  As this particular pendant is domino sized, there are many digital art designs available to choose from to really jazz up the background. Or you could do what I did and select Japanese metallic paper which I bought from my local art shop.

It is easy enough to trace and cut around the main shape (minus the bail). Cut slightly smaller than the shape so that the paper will not stick out when you sandwich it between the two pieces of wood. I used ordinary white glue to stick the metallic paper.

If you are NOT using metallic paper, then any spray glue will do, too.  The solvent in spray glue and some glues like the super glue varieties will strip the metal color from the paper.  This is the reason why I used E6000 to glue the two wood pieces together,

The wood pieces together results in a thicker bail area.  Jump rings do not work well in this situation so use a large pinch bail or create your own wire work bail.

I have different pinch bails for pendants such as these in my supplies section.

Notice the jump ring which connects the two halves of the chain to the pinch bail?  This is my recommended tip for necklace construction so the clasp does not move down to the front!

Alternatively, you can go with a custom bail. I made a simple wire wrapped bail from about a 7 inch length of wire.   Feed the wire length through the hole and wrap so that one wire end is shorter at 2 inches.

Create the loop with the round nose pliers and wrap the other wire end around the stem.

Straighten the wire ends with nylon jawed pliers and trim to about 1.5 inches each.

Create wire scrolls by first rolling a small loop with the tip of round nose pliers.

I like to scroll using the nylon jawed pliers to hold on to the scroll. This prevents tool marks.

I added another length of wire through the hole and around the wood bail to anchor it. Then I did another pair of wire scrolls just to be different!

Viola!  A funky, fun pendant!  How will you fill up your shadowbox pendant?

All shadowboxes are 10% off this week until Sunday February 2!

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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