Tiny, Wearable Art

18 Apr

If you have young kids, it’s a pretty safe bet that you have a LOT of artwork around the house.  At our house the space on the Refrigerator Gallery as at a premium, particularly great stuff is framed and on the walls, we’ve scanned it in and made cards, and there are STILL more stacks of special work all over the place.  We are LONG on art, which is exactly how I like it.  But, it seems like a shame not to share more of it.  So, with Mother’s Day in mind, consider turning some of that art into fine jewelry that any Grandmother would be proud to wear (at least in the presence of the artist).

Tiny, Wearable Art

Turning original artwork into an art pendant is super easy.  The artwork starts out at regular size (making the production/artistic process so much easier) and then with magic less dramatic than Honey I Shrunk the Kids (i.e. your computer and/or scanner), the artwork is brought down to a tiny size – perfect for art you can wear.  In this example, each of the kids created one drawing on letter-sized paper.  I scanned them in, shrunk them to size, and stacked them so that both drawings would fit in a single pendant.  You could create one pendant per person or string several pendants from different artists on a single chain.  It’s up to you and the art crew.

Items you will need:

  • Metal Pendant: found in the jewelry section of craft stores, there are tons of styles and shapes, be sure to pick one that has a raised edge so that it can be filled
  • 3D Crystal Lacquer: often found at craft stores, but also available online
  • Scanner and printer
  • Scissors
  • Rubber cement or spray adhesive
  • Toothpicks
  • Chain, ribbon, or necklace for stringing the pendant

Get to work:

  1. Select the best artwork ever, or have your artist create some new work designed with the recipient in mind
  2. Take a photo of the artwork or scan it so that you have a digital version
  3. Shrink the image to the match the size of the pendant. Depending on your computer skills, you could do this with photo editing software or use your printer to scan and reduce the size until it will fit.
  4. Using a scissors, cut out the artwork so that it will fit in the pendant. I had the best luck by creating a template with scrap paper so that I knew it would fit in the pendant, then placed it over the tiny artwork, traced it, then cut it out.  This way, all the fine tuning is done with scrap paper and not the art copy.
  5. Using rubber cement or spray adhesive, apply a fine layer to the back of the cut out artwork.  Let it dry (no one ever wants to do this, but it will work better if you do).
  6. When the adhesive is dry, apply it to the inside of the pendant and smooth it flat.
  7. Fill the pendant with the lacquer, careful not to overfill.  If the paper buckles or ripples in the first minute or so, use a toothpick to poke it back into place.
  8. Set the pendant somewhere out of reach where you will not be tempted to touch it to see if it is dry.  Let sit for 24 hours to fully dry.
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