How to Make a Pair of Earrings with a Vintage Button (with glass shank) by Becky Nunn

SKU VID-0496
Designer: Becky Nunn
In this video tutorial watch as Becky Nunn of Nunn Design makes a pair of earrings out of a vintage button (with glass shank), bezel, Crystal Clay, and chatons. Besides showing this great project from start to finish, Becky also shows other examples of how you can incorporate odd shaped vintage and found objects into jewelry.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
Hi this is Becky Nunn of Nunn Design and I'm a guest designer for and today I'm gonna be showing you a fun project what you can do with odd shaped findings that you might already have in your own stash including buttons with shanks on the back or maybe just pieces that are too big to fit in any of the bezels that you might have. This is the project that we will be making with some vintage finds of these buttons that I had in my own personal stash and so what you'll be needing for this are your personal stash, you'll be needing some ear wires, some mini links, some crystals and some crystal clay. Inside of the crystal clay comes with this handy beeswax toothpick the first step is going to be taking equal size balls of the crystal clay and in the package you want to read the manufacturer's instructions you want to put your gloves on during this mixing process so once you have two equal size balls go ahead and knead them together until they are no longer marbled and depending on how many times you've used your gloves I've used these a couple times. It starts getting stickier and stickier and might be a little bit challenging but just bear with, it doesn't last very long. You just go ahead and mix the clay until it's no longer marbled sometimes if my clay is super hard like maybe I didn't wrap it up as well as I should of because these all come in little saran wrap containers and then they have a little sticky thing to keep them nice and moist inside of they're airtight containers but if you didn't do it what you can do is put it into a little ziplock and put it into some warm running water and that will make it soft again so you don't have to work your fingers out too much, kneading them together this is what it should look like when it's all mixed and it's no longer marbled Once you have your clay mixed, you want to do a little bit of guesstimating. I'm guesstimating that I need a ball about that size to go inside of my mini link. I was totally wrong so I can go ahead and pinch off even a smaller size ball sometimes you know it just really takes time to get a gauge of how much clay you'll need so its best to always under mix your clay I think you can always add more to it but if you want to watch a great video on how to use your excess clay you can do that on as well. So I've just taken a small bit of it and I pinched it off and pressed it inside of the bezel and sometimes I can get clay on these outside edges, this kind of a groove area it looks neat but sometimes it's not so great with crystal clay getting stuck inside of there so I always have a handy wet wipe right beside where I'm working so that I can wipe away that excess clay on my piece. I'm also just making sure that my fingers are nice and clean too so that I don't get clay all over the back side or anywhere else that I don't want to clay. So I pressed a little bit in and as you can see my found piece that I wanted to embed this has a shank that I could not cut off in anyway I'm gonna press it inside of the clay and as you can see I have a little bit of a gap and that's what this video is about it's about how do you clean up or make attractive something that is too big or too large or won't go all the way in there and how we're going to do that is by snaking out a bit on the clay to go around the outside edge and then we're gonna put the crystals on top of that. Once you have that into position you're gonna take some more of the clay that you might have handy if not then you'll go ahead make up some more and I'm just snaking it out into a nice not too thick this time was gonna go ahead and kinda, I'm pulling on it a little bit and then I'm going to take it and start to push it down inside of that little crevice that I had that I wanted to fill up and I'm trying to keep it consistent as best as I can and I'm pulling on this clay as I wrap it around see if you break it no big deal, just kinda put it back where it was squish it down a wee bit and then just continue to go around until you get to the other end and once you get to the other end you're just gonna pinch off a little teeny bit that I had leftover and then blend that little seam right there you can also use your toothpick to blend it together too. So once I have my clay in position, I'm going to go ahead and pat it down and I'm pressing it down into that gapped area just trying to make it as nice and even and smooth as I can this is what it looks on the topside, this is what it looks like from the side. So once I have my clay kinda snaked out and inside of there you can try different size stones to see which ones that you like the best. Let's see how this one works So did you see how I did that when I was picking up those crystals. Sometimes they're turned over so I'm using my beeswax toothpick to flip them over and then pick it up on the front so that pointy part is facing down now this is the part where I have to put on my dorky glasses thank goodness I'm in a video. I can no longer see this sort of level of detail and this dark stone on a dark clay makes it kind of challenging and then you just keep on going all the way around I probably could have used a little less clay but if I was using a larger size chaton then that would of have been really nice inside of there these are super super tiny so if you can imagine you could have extra size big buttons that maybe don't fit inside of a bezel or maybe you have some crystals I have tons vintage cabs that I just collected from garage sales I don't know about you guys but once somebody knows that you're like a beader you like this kinda stuff, they start like giving you bags of junk that they don't want anymore that's broken, I know everybody has that personal stash that is what is so great about being a crafter, is that you get to utilize all that stuff that you would of have otherwise, somebody probably just would have been done loving with but you can bring it to life in a fun little piece and it also gives meaning to pieces that you might want to give to somebody else. It's like you remember that really cool pair of earrings that you loved so much that you couldn't use anymore because you lost the one, well I made you a fun little one and you'll be a superhero, then everybody will be bringing you junk and wanting you to make stuff and then the next thing you know you'll be making a bunch of pieces. Yahoo! So as you see I'm just pressing them in there and I'm not pressing them in there too terribly deep at first because it's really hard once you start getting cattywomped sticking them down in too hard it kind of bends the clay on both sides. You're just pressing them down there very nicely and then I'm gonna come back in and press it down a little bit harder and so I'm totally embedding them down into the clay you see what I mean they are a little bit high and now I'm pressing them down inside the clay so I'm also being really careful, I'm just noticing that I'm having a little bit of the beeswax come off on the crystals and that shows up a lot on the darker stones, it's not so much on the crystal but you see a little extra residue right there don't worry about that, when it's cured to be about two hours, it'll be fully cured at fourteen but it'll be cured as far as you won't be able to embed anything else inside of it you can take a wet wipe and then wipe away that excess. Now if I wanted to I could of brought that clay all the way down to the base and done three rows of these crystals and brought this crystal up a little higher on these other pieces that I did I hardly put any crystal clay inside of there so I have a nice even clean edge right there and I think the clay was maybe even a different color can't remember when I did that but you can see the difference of a lot of clay which gives it a nice looking itself and then no clay or very little clay, just filling up that gap. Once your piece is secured, I let it sit for at least a couple hours because you won't have any risk of having the crystals pop out. You're gonna want assemble it and I'm using some lever back earring wires and I'll need to create a way in which to hang properly. So I have one small jump ring and one medium sized jump ring you're welcome to use whatever jump rings you might already have whether they're small and small but you will need to have two and so I just threaded that on and then I'm using my needle nose pliers to bring to a close and then I'm going to thread on my other jump ring on both sides first that one and since this is going to be the front. I'm thinking about how my earring pendant is going to go on. It's going to go on this way, see how that worked and I'm going to close that up and we have a beautiful earring using some found pieces that you might have in your own personal stash Here are some other examples of using pieces that you might have in your stash that are just too big for the bezels or in some cases too small for the bezels and this one I did the same thing that we saw earlier. I snaked out that side and put it in. That's pretty cool. I did it right here in the necklace piece as well and two reference how to make fun beads using bead caps and crystal clay like these samples here, you can see another Beadaholique video for that one. Here the crystal was way too small and was also super high so I put the crystal clay into the base. I put the crystals all the way around the outside and then pressed the stone into the center and did a matching to create a fun little set. Go to to purchase beading supplies and to get design ideas!

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