Favorite Project of the Week: Silver Sugar Skull Pendant

Happy Halloween! I do love this holiday. I love the costumes, I love the parties, I love the candy. (Particularly the candy.) But I especially love Halloween decorations. My favorite decorations are skeletons and skulls. I have several cool carved skulls on my desk, and I placed a bunch of skeletons on my front porch for the occasion. I really like the posable skeleton sitting in my porch chair, just chilling out. He’s a blast.

skeleton on Karla's porch

Sure, skulls are creepy and scary — and they make great props for Shakespearean dramas. But they can also be beautiful and make awesome jewelry.

skull for halloween


Lexi Erickson’s Silver Sugar Skull pendant from the September/October 2015 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist is a great example of taking a theme that could be considered scary and turning it into something stunning. (And the great thing about that particular issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist is that it has a Halloween theme. In addition to Lexi’s skull, it includes Roger Halas’s Alien Vs. Predator Ear Cuff, a demo on making Whimsical Carved Skull Jewelry, and a feature article on “Jewelry on the Dark Side.” Plus, the Smokin’ Stone for the issue is a combination of carnelian and black onyx, the classical Halloween color combination.)

Lexi Erickson's Silver Sugar Skull Pendant project

Lexi Erickson, Silver Sugar Skull Pendant;
Sterling silver sheet, copper sheet, sterling wire, sterling Bali beads

The Sugar Skull pendant takes sterling silver and copper sheet, sterling wire, and delightful little silver Bali beads and makes a thing of beauty. Somewhat spooky, yes. But gorgeous nonetheless.

  • It’s a great Halloween or Day of the Dead piece, but it’s elegant enough to be worn any time.
  • While the design looks very complicated, it can be done fairly easily with basic metalworking techniques.
  • The tiny Bali beads give the pendant its unique texture — and an awesome 3D look.
  • While this particular design is a skull, you can use the same materials and techniques to create whatever design you’d like — for Halloween, another holiday, or a fantastic everyday piece of jewelry.
  • Have a spooky day!

Project Details
Required Materials:

  • 20-gauge sterling sheet
  • 20-gauge copper sheet
  • 20-gauge twisted sterling wire
  • A variety of sterling Bali beads
  • Tracing paper
  • Fine-tip Sharpie
  • Glue stick
  • Double-stick tape (optional)
  • Required Tools:
  • Scissors
  • jeweler’s saw and 4/0 sawblade
  • bench block
  • #2 and #4 hand files
  • needle (or smaller) files
  • sharply pointed burnisher
  • center punch
  • flex shaft or dremel
  • small drill bits
  • round-nose pliers
  • bail-making pliers
  • soldering set up
  • T-pins
  • double A tweezers
  • 1-inch hard felt wheel on a mandrel
  • red rouge
  • 3M ultrafine sanding sponges
  • Dawn detergent
  • Liver of Sulfur

Required skills: Basic metalsmithing

Get these spooky delights in the Interweave store.