Quick and Easy Summertime Jewelry: Make a Sparkling Shell Ring
It’s officially summer! In addition to splashy swimming pools, juicy watermelons, and blooming roses, nothing says summer to me like a warm sandy beach. I’m constantly inspired by long walks on the beach, picking up shells, wave-worn rocks, and sea glass.
Making jewelry using shells is a great way to keep a special vacation with you all year long–and to remind yourself, in the dark days of winter, that summer isn’t so far away. Celebrate summer with me by making this blingy, sparkle-tastic shel ring by Eleanore Macnish. You can purchase the shell ring or use one you find during a beach stroll; then just follow Eleanore’s simple instructions to bling it up using Crystal Clay and rhinestones.
Sparkling Shell Ring by Eleanore Macnish
Crystal Clay kit
crystal rhinestone “chatons”
extra toothpick with pointed ends
|1. Following the package instructions, take equal amounts of parts A and B (about the size of a pea) and knead them together for about two minutes so they are completely mixed.|
|2. Roll a small amount of the clay into a long, thin snake.|
|3. Clean the ring with alcohol and apply the snake of clay to the spiral indentation of the shell. Press slightly to anchor the clay.|
|4. Using the extra toothpick, shore up the sides of the clay snake coil to make it deeper and not as flat.|
|5. With the beeswax-coated toothpick included with your Crystal Clay, pick up a rhinestone and apply it to the clay, starting at the base.|
|6. Use the opposite (flat) end of that toothpick to push the rhinestone into the clay. Ideally, the outside edge of the rhinestone should be flush with the surface of the clay or a little bit deeper than the surface of the clay. Repeat until the coil is covered in crystals.|
|7. After you have set all the stones, using the pointed end of your extra toothpick, make an indention in the clay between each rhinestone, on the outside edges of the spiral of stones. This will form a “bezel” setting for each stone. Use your toothpick to pick off any extra clay as well.|
|8. Let your ring cure for 24 hours and enjoy!|
3 Great Tips for Better Shell Rings
1. Mounting putty is great to work out your ring designs and also for seeing how much clay you will need before mixing the two-part Crystal Clay. Be sure to clean off the shell ring with alcohol after you remove the putty and before you apply the epoxy clay.
2. You can also use texture plates to emboss designs in the clay.
3. You can achieve wonderful effects by lightly pressing the clay in mica powder (always wear a face mask when using mica powder), such as Pearl Ex pigments, before the clay cures.
Wait 24 hours for the clay to cure and scrub with a toothbrush under running water to remove the excess powder. —EM