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How to Make a Sea Glass Shadowbox Pendant | Tips and Tricks


I first introduced my original miniature shadowbox pendants and tutorial a couple of weeks ago. These miniature shadowboxes are my original idea - shadowboxes are usually much larger!  That first tutorial was for "dry" additions where the objects are glued.

This tutorial will deal with "wet" additions where you might want to encase mementos with epoxy resin.  I will also be testing out Starbond's Superfast Thin glue which is very liquid and imparts a glossy finish. It might be a reasonable substitute for those who don't want to use epoxy resin.


One note of caution, please test porous materials like fabric with any glue or resin - you may need to seal them before contact.  See this tutorial post about real flowers with my wood frames for tips with organic material.

You can use any of my shadowbox pendant shapes.  The pendants which garner the most interest are these probably because they are the classic jewelry shapes. The square and round ones have more space.

Choose the polygons (shown below) for extra room too.



FIRST ATTEMPT
My first attempt was with the square pendants.  I first sanded and then stained the wood shapes.  See my post on How to Stain, Seal, Paint and Seal Wood Jewelry for tips.
The next step is to glue the two pieces together.  I used my all time favorite and recommended glue, Starbond's Medium glue, applied it to one side of the frame and pressed both pieces together. I use this premium super glue a lot - it is especially durable, dries clear and performs far better than E6000. This premium superglue dries in a few minutes.


I then assembled everything I wanted for the shadowbox pendant including small pieces of sea glass from Nova Scotia where I once lived.

Starbond's Super Fast Thin glue is very liquid so it is able to penetrate in the tiny spaces around all the sand granules etc. It is designed to seal and stabilize fragile things like the tiny sea shells I was using.  It also leaves a gloss finish.

After testing out my design placements, I emptied the shadowbox. I then added the stone granules and drops of the Super Fast Thin glue all over to ensure the granules stuck.  The rest of my materials went on top. And more Super Fast Thin Glue over everything.


What happened next was unexpected....one of those learning experiences!  The Superfast Thin glue began to seep out from in between the two frame halves which were not sufficiently bonded together. So when I lifted up the pendant, the glue started to drip everywhere. The Superfast Thin glue takes several minutes longer to cure. So I was forced to move the pendant several times around on my protective waxed paper surface until it stopped dripping and dried sufficiently enough for me to put it down.

There are no photos for this stage of the tutorial because, duh, I had superglue on my fingers.  My fingers did not stick together but so much dried residue on my skin was hard to remove even with warm water and soap.

I tried nail polish acetone or rubbing alcohol but neither worked.  Then eureka! The Karma Organic Beauty Natural Soybean Lavender Nail Polish Remover which I had on hand, did.  The solvents in that nail polish remover are propylene carbonate and soybean oil methyl ester. Both are used in cosmetic applications.  Starbond also has a debonder if you made a mistake with your work.

So lesson learned.

SECOND ATTEMPT
I took extra steps for my second attempt.  First, I made sure I used little clamps when I first bonded the two shadowbox pendant halves :







The next precaution is to seal around the inner edges where the two halves meet. I used the Starbond Medium and also a white glue.  The latter did work but took ages to dry, so I abandoned that experiment.



I again used the Super Fast Thin glue to bond sand onto the bottom of my shadowbox.


Then, like before, I added my other inclusions and used the same thin glue to bond and cover everything.


Success!  This time round, I did not have any seepage. I left the pendant overnight to fully cure although everything probably bonded fairly fast.

I noticed that using sand in my second attempt (polygon frame) made the final result duller.  This is likely due to the fine dust particles which ended up distributed over the inclusions.

Remember that the double frame and shape requires large pinch bails (or your own wire work).  I have different kinds in the supply section of my shop.



Before You Go:

Photography
I used  my iPhone 8+ for final product photography in natural light. I used the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography of my tutorial steps in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 Plus is excellent. I use the Foldio3 because I need the room for tutorial photography.  Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar .sign up for the notification so I can let you know when my online class is ready.

Disclosure
This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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4 comments:

  1. These are adorable!! I love to wear "memories" of places, events, people, good times...

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    Replies
    1. Memories are important! I have some antique beads from my mother which I hope to also save in the same way!

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  2. These are so pretty, Pearl! The tips on the process are highly appreciated, as always!

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome. I share not only the tips but the boo-boos!

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