My daughter Isabella and I are making these fun ornaments to giveaway to family members for the holidays (shhh….). I love how they came out! Here is a tutorial showing you the steps to make unique one-of-a-kind special holiday treasures.
UPDATE: We have an updated version of this tutorial including Buy & Try programs available to make your own!
- Easy Mold Silicone Putty
- Brass Metal Stamping or Vintage Button
- Epoxy Clay-Crystal Clay
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment-Red
- Wet wipes
- Toothpicks or headpins
- Gloves Timer
- Plastic Bag
- Business cards or card stock
Select a Nunn Design Brass Stamping or a vintage button. Brass Stampings or found objects with a lot of relief make the best molds. For this tutorial, I used both a vintage button and a plated brass stamping of a snowflake.
Pinch off two equal sized balls of Part A and B of the Easy Mold Silicone Putty. Getting the knack for mixing just the right amount of putty will take some practice. You might mix too much or too little putty the first time. Try your best to guess how much putty you will need to have approximately 1/8” putty around the outside edge of your bezel’s rim. You will also want the thickness of the silicone putty to be approximately 1/8.”
The Easy Mold Silicone Putty has a 3-minute working time before it begins to harden and not take the impression. Knead both part A and part B together until the putty is blended completely and has a uniform color.
Roll the fully mixed Easy Mold Silicone Putty into a round ball and flatten slightly. Make sure the putty is smooth and not wrinkled (the creases in the putty will show up in the mold). I like to use the lid of the Easy Mold Silicone Putty to create a nice flat smooth disk. Place the mixed silicone ball onto a small plastic bag and press the lid evenly down into the putty. Remove the putty from the lid of the container and press the button and brass stamping into the silicone putty, but not so far into the putty that you hit the bottom. Leave the button and brass stamping in the putty for 5 minutes or until the putty is hard to the touch.
Once the molding putty is hard to the touch, bend back the sides and remove the button and brass stamping.
Use a wet-wipe or q-tip with rubbing alcohol to clean the insides the Nunn Design bezels.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the handling and mixing of the Epoxy Clay-Crystal Clay. While wearing gloves, pinch off two equal sized balls of Part A and Part B and blend together fully until the clay is no longer marbled and uniform in color. You have approximately 90-120 minutes of working time before the clay starts to harden, so take your time. Once the clay is thoroughly mixed, remove your gloves to make it easier to work with the clay. For this tutorial, I mixed a Whopper Malted Milk Ball size of both Part A and B of clay because I wanted to create multiple ornaments. For each ornament I pinched off a large blueberry ball of clay.
Roll the thoroughly mixed Epoxy Clay-Crystal Clay between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball. I like it to be smooth because it prevents from having creases once the impression is made. Press the ball into your bezel with your fingers to create an even smooth surface in the clay.
Tip: It is easy to get little fibers mixed into the clay. Use a toothpick to remove them from the clay and pat the surface smooth again.
If you put too much clay inside the bezel it will squish out the sides and you will have clean up to do. If you don’t put in enough, you might not get a good impression. Regardless, both are easy things to fix, so it might take a little experimenting to get it just right.
Place the Crystal Clay filled Bezel face down onto the putty mold and press down evenly. To make sure I have a really good impression, I like to pick up the mold and press the mold into the clay, as well as pressing the bezel down into the mold.
Tip: If filling the corners with Crystal Clay are a challenge on the square and rectangle shaped bezels, use a toothpick to press the clay up into the corners of the bezel. Pat down the toothpick marked clay with your fingers until smooth.
I also created an impression in one of the ornaments with pressing the brass stamping directly into the Crystal Clay, instead of using a mold.
Using a wet-wipe, clean up any excess Crystal Clay that might have been left on the bezel. The Crystal Clay hardens like cement, so cleaning it up now and being tidy as you go makes the process easier and the results so much nicer. Allow the Crystal Clay to dry for at least 2 hours, or until it is hard to the touch.
Read the resin instructions for safety concerns regarding the Nunn Design Resin.
When I work with resin, I always:
- Place a large plastic bag over my work surface and tape it down.
- I make sure I have ventilation in my workroom.
- I wear gloves.
- I wear glasses (readers because I can’t see anymore. Plus it protects my eyes!).
- I have a pile of wet wipes handy.
- This is a great blog post that covers 20 Habits for Successfully Using Nunn Design 2-Part Epoxy Resin. Even if you are a seasoned resin mixer, this might be worth a read.
Place one cup (included in the Nunn Design Resin Kit) onto your table. For curing purposes, it is very important that the resin be an exact 1 to 1 ratio of Part A and Part B. I suggest getting your eyes level with the resin so you can see the lines on the measuring cup. Pour Part A of your resin kit up to the ½ fluid ounce mark on your measuring cup. Pour Part B of your resin kit into the same cup until it is filled to the 1 fluid ounce mark. It is important to pour Part A first and then Part B. It is some chemical thing about the part A being heavier or something.
Set your timer for 2 minutes. Using the stir stick from your kit (a popsicle stick or coffee stir stick will work great too), slowly and carefully stir your resin scraping the sides as you stir. Stir for a minimum of 2 minutes. If your resin is still cloudy continue to mix until clear. After mixing is complete and your resin is clear, scrape both sides of your stir stick on the edge of your resin filled cup.
To colorize the resin, pour the clear mixed resin into a separate mixing cup up to the 1 tsp mark line. To create a red resin, add a toothpick of the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment Red to the mixed resin. The opaque red pigment is very potent, so you will only need a tiny bit to colorize the fully mixed batch of resin. It is always best to add too little pigment and to add more if needed. Mix the resin fully until the red color is consistent.
TIP: When adding Castin Crafts Opaque Pigments to Nunn Design Resin, the pigment color amount cannot be greater that 10% of the resin. If it is, it will effect the resin’s ability to cure properly.
Drizzle a small amount of colorized resin onto the surface of your Crystal Clay impression. Using a stir stick or toothpick drag the resin over to the side edges. You can also use the stir stick to remove excess resin. Once the resin is applied to the surface of the Crystal Clay, place the bezel on a small business card to cure. I like using business cards because it makes it easy to pick up the ornament and move it around while it is curing.
Using a wet-wipe, clean off any resin that might be on the sides of the bezel. Let the resin cure for 12-14 hours. It will be hard to the touch, but resin continues to cure for the next 72 hours. Place a small plastic container over the bezels to prevent dust from getting into the resin as it cures
Add a ribbon or ornament hook to finish off the ornament. Lovely!
Download PDF Tutorial: How To Make a Holiday Ornament
What is a Nunn Design Buy & Try?
This Holiday Ornament Workshop is a Nunn Design Buy & Try Offer. The Nunn Design Buy & Try Program encourages jewelry makers; both wholesale and retail, to buy the products needed to try something new.
It is always exciting to see new techniques and projects, but sometimes it takes forever to gather the supplies for that afternoon of creating. The Buy & Try Program allows you to be inspired and purchase just the items needed to explore the technique we are featuring. “Buy & Try” offers might contain items that we don’t typically have in stock such as the special silicone molds used in this tutorial.
How the Wholesale Buy & Try Program works:
- Minimum wholesale quantities for “Buy & Try” items are waived, allowing you to receive the lowest tiered price possible.
- No need to purchase a wholesale minimum order of $100.00 on “Buy & Try” items. You can add these items to your cart and check out with just the items you will need for a day of creating!
- “Buy & Try” items cannot be combined with other wholesale products. Sorry it may be a bit confusing, so email Cheryl at Cheryl@nunndesign.com if you have any questions.
- The Buy & Try offer expires December 9th at midnight.
- After December 9th, 2018: Buy & Try items will stay up for purchase, however you will be required to purchase full bulk packs of findings, the $100 Minimum order back in effect and the molds will not be available for purchase.
- Easy Mold Silicone Putty
- Brass Metal Stamping
- Epoxy Clay-Crystal Clay
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments
- Nunn Design Grande Pendant Navette
- Nunn Design Grande Pendant Circle
- Ornament Hooks
Leave me a comment if you want a mold of my vintage button! Let’s see what we can do for you!
How to Purchase Wholesale?
If you are interested in becoming one of the many designers who trust their jewelry to Nunn Design Findings, please join us by registering to become one of our wholesale customers!
Nunn Design primarily sells wholesale, but we do offer Retail DIY Kit supplies for certain projects. For all other findings, please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe to our blog. Here are 10 Reasons Why to Subscribe and a place to do so!