While in Houston at International Quilt Festival, one of our customers turned me on to a great product called Little Windows. It’s an easy way to turn photos into jewelry, but I immediately thought of using kaleidoscopes instead of photos.
I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve been having the past few days making some pendants with our new Template Mini-Packs! I’ve already used up the resin in the starter kit I purchased and ordered more.
The resin is truly low-odor (though I still wear a mask as a precaution when using it since I plan on making a bunch of these for gift giving, i.e. greater potential for chemical exposure.) I won’t go into detail on how to use the resin since that process is explained quite well on the Little Windows website, but I’ll give you some hints as to how to size & cut out the kaleidoscopes.
I’ve made two styles of pendants. The first is a cast pendant. The starter kit comes with a mold with three 1 inch squares. When creating your kaleidoscope, be sure to add a background color/texture when using any template shape other square. Save your kaleidoscope to a file with a size of at least four inches at 300 dpi. Little Windows provides a free online photo cropping tool which will perfectly size your kaleidoscopes to fit in the mold that’s in the starter kit. Use it – it’s great! For the pendant below I chose to crop just a quarter of the kaleidoscope, but I could have chosen the entire kaleidoscope if I wanted. Notice how the sides of the cast piece reflect the printed design!
The other style of pendant that I made is a domed pendant. You are free to print & cut any size when using this technique since it is not dependent on a mold. I made my domed pieces double-sided, so I needed to print two identical kaleidoscopes for each piece. Because the two pieces need to be identical in size, I used a circle punch to cut out the circles. I sized my kaleidoscopes to be 0.1 inch smaller than the punch size and added a 0.2 inch print margin when printing the kaleidoscopes. (Remember to turn the punch upside down so that you can line up the printed kaleidoscope inside the punch. See my blog post on our CHA Make-n-Take project for more details on punching.)
After punching, go around the outside edge of the kaleidoscope with a felt tip marker in either black or a color that matches the kaleidoscope. This will give it a more finished look. Then follow the instructions for doming on the Little Windows website.
After the resin hardened, I used a high-tack tape to adhere the two pieces to one another and then drilled the hole for the hanging wire. I chose to purchase pinch bails for these first pendants which are super-simple to attach – just pinch into the drilled hole! You should be able to find pinch bails at any bead shop or wherever jewelry findings are sold.