For as long as I’ve been crafting- which is a very long time indeed- I’ve always been completely in love with the process of making my own jewelry. There’s just something I adore so much about creating such lovely things from scratch! Sure, there’s plenty of jewelry that I could buy in stores, but wearing something that I made myself is always much more satisfying. Lately, I’ve been into very chunky pieces and using slightly more unconventional materials, so I don’t think anyone around me was surprised when I merged my age-old love for jewelry making with my other current DIY obsession: homemade cement projects. That’s how this necklace wth a concrete pendant came to be!
In fact, that’s how several of these necklaces came to be, since I was so happy with the first one that I made a few more as gifts for friends and also documented my crafting process in case other DIY lovers and jewelry making enthusiasts might want to try it out too. Check out these step by step instructions complete with photos! If you’d rather follow along with a video tutorial instead of written words, scroll to the bottom of this post to find just what you’re looking for.
For this project, you’ll need:
- DIY fine particle cement
- A mixing bowl
- A spoon
- A paintbrush
- Rose gold acrylic paint
- A straw
- A silicone form
- Satin macrame cord
- Ribbon Clasps
- A screwdriver (or something similarly hard and thin)
Gather your materials!
Add water to your DIY fine particle cement mix and stir it with you spoon until it’s free of clumps and has the right consistency. Follow the directions on the back of your package to get the correct ratio of water to powdered mix, since it varies from brand to brand.
Cut two straw sections that are the same length or width as the part of the concrete shape you’re making that you’d like to be able to string your cord through in your pendant. I chose to string mine through the middle of my gem shape, so I measured the straw sections to be the same length as my mold’s widest point across the middle. Fit the straw sections into your mold where they’ll run straight across so they hold space in the middle of your finished concrete shape and make a hole in the centre for your string.
Use your spoon to fill your molds! You’ll pour the wet cement mix in right over your straw sections. Fill the mold shapes almost to the top, without spilling over, and use the back of your spoon to smooth out the surface and give the finished shape a flat bottom. You can also lightly tap the bottom of the mold on the tabletop to even out the surface and get rid of any air bubbles. Once you’re done (I decided to make more than one at a time), set the mold aside to dry al the way through.
Once your concrete shapes have dried thoroughly and entirely, pop them out of the mold! Use your screwdriver (or a similarly narrow and strong metal tool) to poke out any thin layer of concrete that might have covered the ends of the holes on either side resulting from the straw you placed through the middle of the concrete shape to make a hole in your pendant. Clear it out at the ends so your cord will fit through later when you string the pendant onto the necklace.
Use your paintbrush to paint the entire surface of your pendant and then set it (or them) aside to dry. I chose to paint one of my shapes metallic rose fold and one metallic blue.
Once your paint has dried, cut a piece of cord, string, or whatever you’re using together with the pendant to make your necklace, measuring it out as long as you need to have the pendant hang as low or high as you please. I made mine long enough to rest in the middle of my chest. Once you’ve cut the string as long as you need, thread the end through the hole in one side of your pendant and out the other. Pull the string through until you’ve got an even amount on either side.
On each end of your cord, place the tip in a ribbon clamp and squeeze the clamp shit (either with your fingers or pliers, depending on how hard the metal is to move). Make sure one end has a jewelry ring and the other has a clip to clamp onto it.
You’re all finished your necklace! Feel free to use this basic concept as a technique guide but play with different paint colours, embellishments, and cement mold shapes. Just in case you’d like to try this project out for yourself, here’s a fantastic tutorial video to help you!