Sometimes I make jewelry just because it’s fun and I enjoy it and sometimes I make jewelry because it’s something I really want to wear. This ring was BOTH! The turquoise stone is set in with a newish product on the market called Crystal Clay, which is a two part epoxy that comes in a variety of colors. If you like making custom jewelry you will love working with this product.
- Ring Base by Nunn Design – these come in a variety of finishes and shapes and they are all adjustable which is a big plus. The backs are pretty too!
- A feature bead to fit inside the ring base
Finding the perfect bead is part of the fun of making one-of-a-kind jewelry. Try looking for beads that are slightly smaller than the inside of the ring and don’t stick up too far above the edges. This is because you will see part of the bead hole on the side of your ring if the bead is too deep. I lucked out when I found a turquoise bead that fit into the oval shaped ring, but I had to adapt it slightly to hide the holes.
CRYSTAL CLAY TWO PART EPOXY CLAY
- 1 package of Crystal Clay Two Part Epoxy Clay – color used: dark brown
- Toothpick or plastic knife
- Plastic Gloves
The package of Crystal Clay comes with a pair of vinyl gloves, but they fit like clown gloves on me so dropped by a drug store to pick up a box of gloves that fit.
1. HIDING THE BEAD HOLE
See the hole at the end of this turquoise bead and how the brownish matrix runs through it? Just press in a little bit of the brown clay to fill in both ends and hide these holes.
I think the main reason the clay worked so great to fill the holes because it was a good color match for the stone. Crystal Clay comes in a number of colors so keep that in mind when picking out the color of your Crystal Clay and beads.
2. ACTIVATING THE EPOXY CLAY
- Wearing your gloves, pull off equal amounts of Part A and Part B.
- (There is a material in the epoxy that can cause an allergic reaction for some people so the manufacturer suggests always wearing gloves.)
- Try to eyeball the amount you think you will need and then go with a little bit less.
- Knead the two parts of clay together until the clay is uniform in color and no longer looks marbled.
- Roll the clay with your fingertips until it looks smooth and thoroughly mixed.
- If you end up over-estimating how much you need, which I did, slice off a chunk with a toothpick.
- Wrap the left over amount up in plastic so it doesn’t dry out.
3. PRESS THE CRYSTAL CLAY INTO THE RING
- Form the clay into an oval shape and press into the ring base.
- Smooth out the clay by pressing down on it lightly.
- The tighter your gloves are, the easier this will be. The wrinkles in your gloves will show up on the clay which can be a little maddening when your goal is to smooth it out.
4. TEST THE BEAD
- Test the bead to see if it fits.
You might have noticed that I removed the glove from my right hand. After you mix the clay together a tiny bit of it will be left on the gloves. I was taking pictures of each of these steps and didn’t want to risk getting epoxy clay on my camera. So I used my left hand only to touch, mix and work with the clay from this point on which was actually pretty easy to do. The gloves are kind of a pain – especially the ones that don’t fit! But it does get easier with practice.
5. REMOVE THE EXCESS
I still had more Crystal Clay in the ring than I needed so I scooped out a little bit more with a toothpick.
6. PRESS IN THE BEAD
- Finally! After you get the bead to sit in the ring base just right, press the stone firmly into the ring base. Use a toothpick to scrape away any excess clay you don’t need.
- Use the toothpick again to scrape off any extra clay that might be sitting along the top edge of the ring.
- Once the clay is mixed, you will have about 2 to 2- 1/2 hours to work with it before it starts to harden.
8. USING UP THE EXTRA CRYSTAL CLAY
I’ve learned the hard way from some of my other projects (Ice Resin Book Charms for one) that when you mix something and you’re not sure of the amount you need, have a couple of other projects ready to go so you aren’t wasting product and your money.
This was the amount left over so I used the extra epoxy clay for a second ring.
The shape of this bead made it a little trickier to smooth out the epoxy clay, but all the same steps as above applied.
I love wearing turquoise, especially in the summer, and I think these might be some of my new favorite rings.