Sand Dollar Anklet – Making Jewelry DIY
Did you get a chance to hit the beach this summer? Or maybe you have sand dollars from a previous summer? Whatever the case, you'll feel like you just left the beach each time you wear this sand dollar anklet that you made yourself!
To make the sand dollar charm that goes on this anklet, we will be coating the sand dollar in resin. If you've never used resin before, don't worry! It isn't anything to be afraid of. Resin is a 2-part mixture that dries clear and hard - perfect for turning a fragile sand dollar into durable jewelry. Similarly, crafting coin jewelry follows a similar process, making it accessible for beginners to create lasting and unique pieces.
Supplies Needed To Make the Sand Dollar Anklet
- Small Sand Dollars
- Resin (I used Ice Resin)
- Doming Tray (use the trays from your child's perler bead addiction)
- a paintbrush you're willing to throw away
- jump rings
- jewelry clasp
- jewelry pliers
Preparing the Sand Dollars to be Jewelry Pieces
Start with your sand dollars first to prepare them for making your jewelry.
You will want them clean and dry. For many craft projects using shells, you bake the shells to kill off anything that might be lingering. We'll be completely encasing these in resin, so you don't have to do that here. But, if you have sand dollars you've already baked, those are fine.
Mix Your Resin
You won't need much! Make the minimum amount suggested, following the instructions on the package. Let your resin sit for a few minutes while you prepare the sand dollars. This thickens the resin a little. Thicker resin works better for the doming technique we're going to use.
Open and Apply Your Jump Rings
99.9% of the time, when you open a jump ring, you twist either side with pliers in opposite directions to open it, and then reverse that movement to close. This keeps the shape of the jump ring. In this case, we aren't worried about the shape of the jump ring, we just want to open it a little to fit it over the edge of the sand dollar.
Put your pliers in the center of the jump ring, and pull open slightly. Gently put the opened jump ring over the edge of the sand dollar, then place on the doming tray.
Using your paintbrush, carefully coat the top of each sand dollar with resin. Make sure that the jump ring is pointing the right direction. Once the resin hardens, you won't be able to move it! Be careful not to allow resin to drip over the sides, if you can help it.
Let your sand dollars sit until tomorrow. Leave them in a flat, dust-free place, free of curious little hands.
The next day, turn over the sand dollars, mix up a new small batch of resin, and coat the other side. Allow to dry for another day.
If you see any bubbles in your resin while it is wet. To remove these, blow hot breath onto the surface of your bubbles (the open-mouthed hhhhaaaa you use to warm your hands when it is cold), and your bubbles will disappear!
If your resin drips to the other side of your sand dollar, you can fix it. When the resin is dry, firmly pull it from the tray. Use fine grit sandpaper or a nail file to file away any rough spots, then coat with a thin layer of resin to erase any sanding marks.
Creating the Anklet Chain and Charms
Once your sand dollars are coated in resin, it is time to make the chain. Measure the length of chain you want for your anklet - if you want a bracelet or necklace instead, the process is the same, just measure more or less chain. Use clippers to cut the chain the desired length.
Add a jump ring to one end, and the jewelry clasp to the other. Remember to open your jump rings the right way. Hold the jump ring with two pairs of pliers, one on each side of the gap. Twist one hand towards you and one hand away to open the jump ring. Reverse this motion to close the jump ring. This will ensure that your jump ring stays circular, and the ends match up properly.
Open one more jump ring to attach your sand dollar pendant.
Your sand dollar anklet is complete. Each time you wear it, it'll remind you of ocean waves and sticking your toes in the warm sand!
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