DIY Fashion Jewelry: Dia De Los Muertos Necklace

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This chunky necklace is not only beautiful but it can be modified according to personal tastes to show off your spiritual side. It uses a split complementary color scheme which uses one color, and then both colors to the side of that color’s complement. This scheme allows for contrast without the high impact of a straight complementary scheme.

Step 1

- Sterling silver wire, 22-gauge
- Medium-weight beading wire
- Image to fit inside bezel
- Bezel for focal
- Soft gel medium, gloss
- Small rhinestone chain
- Two-part resin such as ICE Resin
- Small vintage rhinestone earring
- Five 10–15 mm faceted green chalcedony beads
- 7 mm vintage rhinestone dangle
- One 6 mm jump ring
- Thirteen 25–30 mm kunzite gemstone beads
- Two 12 mm faceted aquamarine nugget beads
- Three 15 mm faceted flat aquamarine beads
- One 15 mm faceted amazonite bead
- One 11 mm faceted rondelle aquamarine
- One 9 mm faceted square moss aquamarine bead
- 2 mm sterling crimp tubes
- Vintage rhinestone clasp

  • Pliers: round-nose, chain-nose
  • Crimp tool
  • Jewelry hammer
  • Rawhide mallet or dead-blow hammer
  • Bench block and bench pillow
  • Flush cut wire snips
  • Power Max flush cutters
  • Metal file
  • Fine-grit foam sanding block
  • Small paintbrush
  • Scissors

Step 2

For the focal, trim the image to fit the bezel, and coat both sides with gel medium three times, allowing the medium to dry between coats.

Step 3

Affix the image inside the bezel using the gel medium. Trim the rhinestone chain to fit around the inside of the bezel; adhere with gel medium. Mix and pour resin according to the package instructions, and allow the resin to set for at least twenty-four hours.

Step 4

Cut off the earring back and file smooth. Make a wrapped link using one of the smaller chalcedony beads, and attach the link to the earring bottom and the top of the bezel, making sure to add the dangle using a jump ring, before closing the bottom loop.

Step 5

String gemstone beads onto about 8" (20.5 cm) of beading wire similar to the necklace shown; attach with crimp tubes on either side of the earring and to either side of the clasp. To make the necklace longer or shorter, adjust the length of beading wire and amount of beads.

Step 6

Design Tips:
- For this necklace, the artist made and soldered her own bezel from 14-gauge sheet metal and 24-gauge bezel wire. She attached new filigree by soldering and riveting. For a super quick-and-easy version, use a purchased bezel and fill it with any image.
- Rhinestone chain adds sparkle to the resin-filled bezel. Glass glitter is a great alternative. If you use glitter, lay down a line of gel medium to hold the glitter in place; otherwise, it tends to float and obscure the image. Whatever inclusion you use, it’s best to adhere it in place before pouring the resin.
- Kunzite can be an expensive stone to use. The soft, violet/pink color fit with my color scheme, but you can use whatever gemstones you like.
- For the rhinestone connector, I used a vintage earring. If you don’t have an appropriate earring, a rhinestone button or small pin will work.

Step 7

This tutorial is excerpted with permission from "The Jewelry Maker's Design Book: An Alchemy of Objects" by Deryn Mentock and published by Quarry Books.

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