Heritage Photo Pendants- a great family gift

My old friend, Diana Glasgow had a wonderful idea for family reunion gifts.  She made everyone in the family a photo pendant.  It was a huge hit with her family. She generously agreed to share her project with us. Read her story below:

It began with a 1936 family photo and a family reunion scheduled for this July.  The photo came to me as an emailed file of not the highest quality, but it included every descendant of Grandpa Bergner alive in 1936, including all the spouses and children of his 8 children.  Three generations in their living entirety at that moment in time, a winter day in 1930’s dust bowl Oklahoma. I had been toying with the idea of using resin to make heritage photo pendants of my family, and had even ordered some brass settings from Earthly Adornments to make them with.  It occurred to me now that it would be fun to make gift heritage photo pendants for every female descendant who came to the reunion. And so I began, fortunately with 6 weeks of lead time.

By the time of the reunion I had made 24 necklaces or bracelets and one pin!  I learned to use Mod Podge with ICE Resin ™ or glass domes. And I used a selection of vintage style pendant settings and chain from Earthly Adornments.

My favorite pendant setting was b9-0596, because it had a lovely antique brass patina and reminded me of the homestead farm area where we all spent at least part of our childhoods. The images included (to my mind) wheat, wild grape, sand plum, sunflowers and wild purple asters, each one a precious part of our rather bleak natural world.

I bought a pair of fine craft scissors to cut out individual family members in silhouette, like paper dolls! I could then group individuals…mother, father, child or children into a single 30x40mm bezel in collage fashion.

Some tips for you, learned the hard way:

  1. Read the directions that come with Mod Podge and ICE Resin ™.
  2. Copy your images on a laser printer (not ink jet). I used a local print shop.
  3. Resin, brass, and ink on paper don’t mix well. Seal your images in Mod Podge first…front, back and sides. The Mod Podge acts as both a sealant and an adhesive to fasten the image down to the brass setting. Let the Mod Podge dry well before proceeding to the resin stage.
  4. ICE Resin ™ is an easy, high quality resin to work with in the dual syringe package. Use as little or as much as you want; the rest is sealed and ready for future use.
  5. Don’t “pour” the stirred resin directly into the brass setting. Dip a craft stick into the stirred resin, then move to the setting and let it ooze off into the bezel.
  6. The best antidote for bubbles in resin is a butane lighter, the kind with a long handle used to light a gas camp stove. Pass the flame across the top of the freshly poured resin until bubbles rise to surface and pop.
  7. Work on a (heavier) white plastic garbage bag surface. It catches the resin drops and they peel off when dry, so your jewelry, if the resin overflows, won’t get stuck to the work surface.

Good luck!

P.S. Everyone loved their heritage pendants. Surprisingly, some of the most appreciative and emotional responses were from older male relatives (yes, I saw tears) who had never seen photos of just themselves with mom and dad.  A bit of collage magic that worked.


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