Frodo’s Journey Bezel Bracelet {tutorial}

Welcome to the Travel edition of Blog With Friends!
I haven’t been working with jewelry for very long, but I learn something new every time I go to create something.  And, in keeping with my track record, nothing went according to plan with this one.  However, I love the final result and will be sad to see it go if it sells.
In a way, I took the easy way out with one of the elements: the bezel bracelet.
If I continued with my need to (over)achieve my visions, I would have collected the bezels separately, found a way to attach them, and, if things had gone as planned, used clear glass cabochons to finish off the settings.  The Big Guy likes to joke that, instead of clocks or TVs, I’m going to collect jewelry to take apart and see how it works.  But like I mentioned – things didn’t go as planned.
So this time, the bracelet came as is.  I made some minor adjustments, but they were unnecessary and if you find one intact like this, go ahead and leave it as is, as long as it fits.

I spent most of my life thinking the only metal and color worth wearing was silver.  Most of the jewelry I own is sterling silver or white gold.  Now that I’m making jewelry, I’m finding all these wonderful colors like this bracelet, which is copper-plated; I also like the brushed nickel look and an upcoming project will feature stainless steel!

When I bought the bracelet, it did not specify the size of the bezel circles, but luckily I have a caliper just perfect for measuring jewelry elements.  The circles are 10 mm in diameter, so my paper elements had to be as close as possible.

The circular images from the map I used were not 10 mm.  Luckily, copies don’t cost very much and you can enlarge or, in this case, reduce the percentage until you get the size of image you want.  Kinko’s loves me.  (not)  TBG and I just eyeballed it while at the store and got lucky – we were spot on.

Aren’t they fabulous!?  After using the bezel to trace the first circle, I cut it out and used it as a guide for the rest.  As for the actual mapped plot points, I centered the area I wanted and drew the circle around it.

Use pencil – just in case you don’t like where it’s positioned!

Before you press your paper into the bezel, you will coat the bottom thoroughly with Mod Podge® glue using a small paintbrush, making sure to get into all the corners for a tight seal.  Place the paper in and coat over it with another layer of glue, minding the corners.  You don’t want bubbles in the paper on the finished product.  Smooth out as best you can with the paintbrush or small rounded edge.

Allow each layer to dry at least 20 minutes before adding another.  I recommend at least 2 layers for best coverage.

Here’s a tip: if using printed paper, don’t start this step right off the printer.  I’ve heard the colors may run.  It might be printer paper altogether, so for best result, use copies, from a copier.

When all your bezels are papered and glued, allow to dry an hour or so, although this is not required. Mod Podge® dries fairly quickly, but better safe than starting over!

The next step is Dimensional Magic.  This product was new to me and I was not sure I was going to achieve the desired outcome with it, but I’m glad I bit the bullet, because it’s super easy to use.

Don’t just squeeze into the bezels!!  It has a tendency to create tiny bubbles and for a flawless finish, you don’t want that.  Start the stream on a piece of paper and then maintain a steady stream while filling.  If, by chance, little bubbles form, you can pop them with the sharp tip of a pin or toothpick.

Below you’ll see the image taken directly after filling the bezels the first time.  It is milky white, but it dries clear, so don’t panic!

Looking at the above image, you might think it’s nicely filled, creating a domed effect, as I did.  We’d both be wrong.  It sinks and creates a lustrous coating, which looks nice, but not what I had in mind.  Again, don’t panic (like I did).
First layer: let dry at least 3 hours as per instructions on bottle.  It’s better to leave it overnight on a flat surface.

It sure is glossy though.  Shiny!

Luckily, after some frantic Internet research, I found I could add more layers.  Phew!  Since it dries clear, you can add as many layers as you need.
I only needed 2 in order to achieve my goal.  I had planned on using clear glass cabochons – basically clear vase fillers.  But I couldn’t find any at the craft store in a 10 mm round size.  Creating a domed effect with the Dimensional Magic was the next best thing!
It’s not perfect, but I still love the final product.
Second layer: allow to dry overnight on a flat surface, just like the first layer, before handling.

I used the extra jump rings from taking the bracelet apart to add the clasp and make it symmetrical.

Done and done.  Due to drying times, this project is time consuming, but the amount of actual time working is less than 15 minutes.

In summary, the items you need are:

  • bezels, or pre-made bezel bracelet
    • chain, clasp, and jump rings if using singular bezels
  • scraps of paper or specific paper design elements
  • small paintbrush
  • Mod Podge® Gloss glue-sealer-finish
  • Mod Podge® Dimensional Magic
In the side by side below, I hoped to show you the contrasting images from the map I chose.  Most of the bezels have rendered images of specific plot points that were already circular.  For those that didn’t, in strict regards to Frodo’s Journey to Mount Doom, I found them on the map and created the circles.

I’ll be honest.  I couldn’t find an angle or light (with my limited knowledge of photography) that captures the epicness of this bracelet, especially for a Lord of the Rings fan.  I hope you are able to get the gist and I will work on my photo skills in the meantime!

This journey has come to an end, but another one is just beginning!  Onward and upward, precioussssses:

Karen has a tasty travel treat with her Fruity Lemonade Snack Mix.  Yum!

Melissa has tips for summer travel with some Road Trippin’ Technology:

Stacy show us how to make these adorable Special Vacation Pajamas – Mandrin Style.  I want a set!!

Why not make these DIY Toiletry Bags from Eileen?  They can be his or hers.

Lydia is sharing her Tips and Tricks to Traveling with Baby:

Travel on, precioussssses.  Travel on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s