Saturday, May 07, 2011

diy {fingerprint jewelry}

Have you seen those personalized fingerprint necklaces? I think they are stunning and as a mom I love the concept of a piece of jewelry with my child's fingerprint on it. These beautiful sterling silver pendants usually come with a pretty price tag of about $100-$200 so I began to think if there could be an easy way to make these lovely pendants diy style. I came up with an idea, tried it out and was quite pleased with the results. I think this is something every mom would love and this just happens to be Mother's Day weekend so if you're looking for a great last minute gift, you're in luck! Here is how to make your own...

Supplies:
-oven bake clay
-metallic spray paint
-clear acrylic coating spray clear gloss polyurethane (Varathane, gloss-indoor) **see update below
-necklace chain
-jump ring and a clasp
-needle and pen (not pictured)
Take a small piece of clay, roll it into a ball with your hands and then use a pen as a mini rolling pin to flatten it out a bit.
 Press your child's finger into the clay
With a needle make a small hole at the top.
Place the pendant onto a baking pan lined with foil and pop it in the oven. Follow the directions on the clay packaging for temperature and baking times. (I baked mine at 275F for 15 minutes.)
Spray paint the pendant with metallic spray paint and when dry, seal it with the clear acrylic coating. **update** I found that the acrylic spray didn't give me the durability and protection I was looking for so for better results, use a clear gloss polyurethane (Varathane, gloss-indoor) to seal the pendant.
Attach a jump ring to the pendant, assemble your necklace and...
 Voila! Simply stunning.
 Here is a zoomed in photo so you can see the detail of the fingerprint.

66 comments:

  1. WHAT a CUTE idea!!! I will definitely be doing this. have you tried using that clay that is already metallic? did it work? these are GREAT last minute mother's day gifts. :) thank you. thank you.

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  2. Hey Nona, thanks for stopping by :)
    You know what, I haven't tried the metallic colored clay but that is a good idea! If you happen to try it please let me know how it turns out. Cheers!

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  3. Such a refreshing take on the big clay hand print plates or tacky laced up embroidery rings that I have to memorialize my childhood.

    I will definitely be taking this on for my (future) kids! Thanks for the idea!

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  4. Wow! I found you via Plushka's Craft and am now following your blog! This necklace is delightful! I will definitely be doing one with my 9 month old!
    Thanks for sharing your clever ideas! Love your jewellery tutorials! :)

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  5. I love this... I should make one from Sylvia...

    http://marriedfoodie-cynthiameza.blogspot.com/

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  6. Just wanted you to know I love this project- and featured you this week on A Law Student's Journey!
    http://threeyearsofdeath.blogspot.com/
    Thanks!
    Kitty

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  7. Love this idea. My kids are little anymore, but their fingerprints are still priceless to me! Thanks

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  8. oh, my, this is a wonderful and easy idea! I'm nannying for a dear friend going back to work. This will be a great project to make with the kids and surprise her with. thank you for sharing. :)

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  9. THIS IS GENIUS!! Oh my gosh, I love it. I saw this on Pinterest and I'm so glad I clicked through. I love it times a million.

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  10. I have been wanting these http://www.imprintonmyheart.com/ for years but they are so expensive! The kids and I will be making your necklace this weekend for their dad for fathers day :) I'm going to try the metallic clay. I'll let you know how they turn out.

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  11. I was thinking of making these for the kids I babysit, but... How much do you think these would sell for, if anything?

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  12. Mia, I think this would be hard to sell unless you set up a shop, had people pay in advance, do the fingerprint and either pick them up once complete or mail to their address. Most people won't buy a random fingerprint, no matter how cute.

    I'm going to do this for my 3 mo old's fingerprint...and maybe get a group of my mommy friends together too. I love it!

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  13. I was just wondering if you could add small jewels to the outside of the fingerprint?? It would b nice to b able to put ur childrens birthstones on these necklaces after u bake them, but I've never worked with clay b4. Could u add the indent prior to baking the clay, then glue the jewels on after the process is finished?? If any1 knows about doing this, please respond!! I love this idea

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  14. How do they hold up? Can you wear them in the shower???

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  15. These are great! My MIL had one made for my husband after his dad passed away. I liked the idea for a child more, but like you said - they are a bit pricey. I think I might give these a try with my kids. I like how you use everyday tools - ie, the pen for a rolling pin. It makes it much more "approachable".

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  16. I think will do this as a christmas great for my mom off my daughters fingerprint and add the jewel and maybe even mod podge a picture of my daughter on the back before I clear coat it! Thanks for a great idea!!

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  17. Love this. Would also be cute to stamp the finger print into the indention before clear coating it.

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  18. My Son and Girlfriend just had a baby girl, I could easily get baby's fingerprint on some metallic clay (I thought that would be best) at my next babysitting gig!
    Then I was thinking to the people wanting a 'jewel' added- I got some inexpensive 'birthstone' earrings for babies (metal and glass)- I would stick the posts(maybe bent or curled) into the clay to help earring stick in clay, and then bake. The metal posts and glass will not be harmed by low temps. Or, find a bail that has the birthstone on it, and attach the fingerprint to a chain with that bail! So many options with this idea! Thanks for the super ideas:)

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  19. I wanted to try this idea and bought the metallic colored clay. It had a bit of a sheen to it that took away from the fingerprint; you could barely see the fingerprint even close up. I went back and bought white clay and used my own finger prints since I had no small children on hand! Even with the pressure I put on the clay, you can barely see the print. Is there something I'm doing wrong? I haven't painted the white ones yet, maybe after I paint them the print will show up a bit more? My next step is just to take regular paint/ink and make a print. Any advice would be most helpful! Love the idea, just haven't been as successful!

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  20. What an awesome idea! Thanks So creative!

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  21. I just made this over the weekend with fingerprints of my two little ones and it is beautiful, thankyou so much! I used the metallic sculpty :)

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  22. I linked to this post in my blog! Thanks for the great idea!! :)
    I will be doing this for many Christmas presents this year...most of them will be ornaments instead of necklaces!

    http://extraordinaryspace.blogspot.com/2011/12/confessions.html

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  23. Can I just tell you that I felt the same sticker shock when I came across them. I never thought to use clay! So genius! I will definitely be adding these to my last minute Christmas gifts for grandparents. Thanks for providing this!

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  24. @Susan Susan, I used the white clay and couldn't see the print, but once it was painted, it was very obvious. It turned out beautifully!

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  25. What a sweet and clever idea... Thank you for sharing...

    Merry Christmas,
    Spencer

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  26. I'm gonna make keychains out of this idea for a last min christmas present! since my dad and mom don't wear necklaces, it will be perfect to put on a keyring! i'll see if i can figure out how to post pictures once i get them done :)

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  27. I made these last week and they turned out great with only one problem. I sprayed the pendant with a silver paint, it has been 4 days and the paint is still wet! Did you spray the clear coat before the silver dried or am I doing something wrong?

    Regardless, thanks for the amazing tutorial!

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  28. You are awesome!!!! Just found this via pinterest and I am addicted!

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  29. I've made this two ways now, once w/metallic clay (for myself) and once w/white clay & spray painted (for my students). Both turn out cute, but the fingerprint is easier to see in the white clay w/spraypaint.

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  30. I can't wait to make this! My boyfriend is going overseas for the military soon and I'm going to make him one of my print and his sons. Thank you so much for the idea!

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  31. SO CUTE! I am going to have to make this, but I think you would just be able to use silver clay too.



    www.allthingsblogs.blogspot.com

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  32. I tried to reply to individual comments, but it wouldn't work. Susan, you wrote on Nov 6, 2011 that your fingerprints didn't show up very well. I don't know how old you are, but I had to have fingerprints taken for a teaching job once. The police officer told me that as we age our fingerprints become smoother, although they never go away. Children's prints should make a deeper impression.

    Courtney, you posted on Dec 25, 2011. The chemicals that are used to make spray paints and clear coats almost always will cause a problem with polymer clay. Sometimes it seems to work at first, but as time goes on, the clay will get sticky. Seems like yours got sticky right away.

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  33. Just wanted to let you know that I featured your cute necklace on my blog!

    www.sweet-raisins.blogspot.com

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  34. Linda,
    You posted 2 posts above that the spray paint and clear coat almost always causes a sticky problem. On these necklaces will they just all be sticky? Did anyone else have a "sticky" problem? I don't want to make a whole bunch just to have them turn sticky on me over a few months. Thanks, N

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  35. Absolutely love this idea. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  36. its so simple and unique with the print!! :)
    awsome idea :D

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  37. Does anybody know if the metallic clay stuff worked??

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  38. on one website for the metal fingerprint charms, it says that for children under 9 months since the fingerprints are very fine until about then. most likely there are some folks who have done this with younger children and been successful, but just in case you haven't be successful it may be that you need to wait until the child is older. these other websites suggest a toe print instead as well. so that is their take on.
    very clever way to do this. thanks for sharing.

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  39. Love the bird's nest-hope to make one for my Mother. Fingerprint is a unique idea. You might want to print the child's name and dob if enough room. thanks for sharing,
    Patty

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  40. I can't even begin to tell you how completely excited I am about this. I feel like a kid in a candy store! Between this tutorial and the birds nest necklace tutorial, I can't help myself!!! I won't be able to sleep tonight!

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  41. How much did this cost you???

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  42. I tried this and they came out great... Until I sprayed in the polyurethane. They've been sticky for two days now! Help!!

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  43. The silver metallic spray paint (the dull/matte one not the shiniest one) made my boys' fingerprints pop! But I had a problem once I applied the polyurethane. It made the silver paint wash off. I am hoping that once it dries I can paint over it and see how to proceed from there. It sure looked nice before the polyurethane! If worse comes to worse, I will just do it again and stop before the gloss step and let the grandmas know to take it off before showering and such.

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  44. Just wanted to drop an idea here. If the spray paint is giving you issues you may want to try using a metallic silver acrylic paint and hand painting them. Acrylic paint is great for polymer clay. Also just about any sealant that says its for acrylic paint should seal well. Going to give this a shot this weekend with my three little ones! Can't wait. Thanks so much for the project!

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  45. Just wanted to drop an idea here. If the spray paint is giving you issues you may want to try using a metallic silver acrylic paint and hand painting them. Acrylic paint is great for polymer clay. Also just about any sealant that says its for acrylic paint should seal well. Going to give this a shot this weekend with my three little ones! Can't wait. Thanks so much for the project!

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  46. I have been wanting to try this, but instead of using oven bake clay, I was going to use a resin clay that already looks metallic - have you ever worked with those? I am waiting on my order of Klay Resin to get here - to try it out, but this is exactly the process I was going to use. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I haven't worked with those but I would be very interested to hear how it goes for you. Let me know how it turns out.

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  47. To be honest, I rarely comment on all of the great ideas I find but I just had to tell you how much I love this idea. I have a daycare and I've done a ton of hand print crafts with the kids for any and all holidays. This is so unique and personal, I can't wait for the next chance to do this with my kiddos. It's so adaptable for any age child (even my babies). I love this. Thank you!!!

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  48. I've been trying to do this but my kids fingerprints never come out, they just look like a pressed-in area, no real line markings. Is there a trick to get clear prints? Don't know if it's the clay I'm using.

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  49. This is all great in theory. Until you go buy all the stuff and you realize your three year old nephew doesn't have fingerprints that are pronounced enough to make one yet. Lol.

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  50. Maybe this would work better; make the indentation in the clay with the back of a small spoon. Bake as usual. Paint with the silver spray paint. Then lay the child's finger on a black stamp pad (like the do in the hospital when they are newborns), lay their wet finger on the baked clay in the indentation. Then when the finger print ink dries, spray on the acrylic protective coating. This may work best & the finger print would be more pronounced.

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  51. You are amazingly creative. I gotta love your work!

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind comment :)

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  52. We're doing this today. Perfect for a rainy afternoon! Thanks!

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    1. Awesome! I hope you had a fun time and that it turned out well for you :)

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  53. Beautiful idea and great tutorial--I hope to try it soon. Just a thought for those wanting to make the print more pronounced. You might want to try the paint, then wiping off idea in the tutorial here: www.makeit-love it.com/2012/09/stamped-clay-jewelry-and-keychains-and-gift-tags.html

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  54. Beautiful idea and great tutorial--I hope to try it soon. Just a thought for those wanting to make the print more pronounced. You might want to try the paint, then wiping off idea in the tutorial here: www.makeit-love it.com/2012/09/stamped-clay-jewelry-and-keychains-and-gift-tags.html

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  55. You are so creative, very nice tutorial.
    I'm gonna try this on a rainy day, thanks!!

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  56. Yes!! I have found a diy gift for my daughters grandparents! Doing this asap!

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  57. I really love this! I took my grandson's thumbprint and painted some gold and some silver then glued them to flattened bottle caps. Some were put on black bead cord necklaces for his aunts, some on gold chain necklaces with charms to dress them up for the grandma and his mom. For grandpa and dad, I used them on a carabiner ring for a key ring. Everyone thought they were very cool.

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  58. I used your idea to make a version where I mounted the clay thumbprints on flattened bottle caps. I made them with bead cord for my grandson's aunts, antique gold chain and charms for his other grandma and my daughter, and carabiner clips for his dad and grandpa. Everyone thought they were really neat and unique. Thanks for sparking that idea!

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  59. Another idea that you can do to make the print really stand out is after the silver spray paint dries, brush the clay piece with black paint and then immediately wipe it off with a damp paper towel. After it dries then you can coat it with the poly. This will give it an antique finish. I always like to do that when working with clay and salt dough.

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  60. Thank you for sharing. These pendant necklace are so adorable, so cute. I'd like to make a letter necklace for myself.

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