Ladybug Mosaic Pendant
Hi, folks! Since our monthly challenge was “mosaics” and I have a particular fondness for bugs, I decided to make some ladybug pendants for my little girls. I had never worked with paper clay before, but thought this was a good chance to finally break open the package I had purchased several years ago. This project takes some time, but most of it is drying time. The finished jewelry piece is very lightweight and the paper clay itself is quite easy to work with. You do not have to use paper clay, though – if you want to make a ladybug mosaic for a card or layout, simply begin to follow from step #2.
Here is what you will need…
CC-items: Echo Park cardstock (Seasons Greetings), MME Lush ribbon trim, Making Memories Paper Reverie Gems & Brads NOIR and MM Paper Reverie Gems & Brads SIENNA
Non-CC items: paper clay (Creative Paper Clay Co.), jewelry bail, Mod Podge (Plaid), black paint (Making Memories)
Tools: cookie cutters, rolling pin, drinking class… whatever you want!
Step #1 – Making the paper clay pendant
You will only need a small amount of paper clay to make one pendant. Whatever excess you have, you can either discard or use for other shapes, such as ornaments or wall hangings (you can bag up the rest of your unused paper clay for another project). Once you have broken off what you need, knead the paper clay, adding a little water as you go, until the consistency becomes smooth. The feel is a slightly from from real clay, since paper clay is as it sounds – made from paper. Once you have a smooth ball, place it on top of wax paper (to protect your surface) and cover the ball with a layer of plastic wrap before rolling it flat – this is to prevent your rolling pin (or whatever you decide to use) from sticking to the paper clay.
Once you have rolled out your paper clay flat (mine were about one-eighth of an inch, but you can make it as thick as you would like – the thicker it is, however, the longer it will take to dry), use a cookie/fondant cutter/drinking glass to cut out your shape. If you are going to make a pendant, insert a bail (your ribbon or chain will go through this) while the paper clay is still wet. If you do not have a jewelry bail, fear not! You can just make a hole with a toothpick and then allow the piece to dry.
Step #2 – Adding the rhinestones
The paper clay will take at least 24 hours to dry. I laid my pieces on wax paper and flipped them over every once in a while, because the pieces will tend to curl slightly during the drying process. Also, periodic turning will probably facilitate the drying process. If the curling is excessive, you may want to put something flat/heavy on top to help maintain flatness. Once the pendant is dry, paint (front and back) the pendant several times. When the paint has dried, you are ready to add some bling.
Now, it is time to Mod Podge! Since my pendant piece was small, I used a paintbrush to apply my Mod Podge – this will easily wash off with water. Although the rhinestones have an adhesive, I laid a drop of Mod Podge underneath each one for additional security. Follow the pattern that you have chosen and do not forget to add the eye spots!
Step #3 – Adding the spots
In order to have the black rhinestones *pop*, I layered red circles beneath them. To save time, I used a hole punch, but you could certainly make them any shape you wanted. I applied a layer of Mod Podge before adhering the red circles, allowed it to dry, and then added another layer of Mod Podge before adding the black rhinestone.
Step #4 – Covering the ladybug shell
Okay, this is the hardest part, but only because you are dealing with small bits of paper. I found it easiest to outline the shell with small rectangles/squares. After that, you fill in the empty spaces with various paper pieces. You can pick any shape, depending on the space that needed filling. Before and after you add each piece of paper, be sure to add more Mod Podge.
Step #5 – Topping off the Pendant
When your mosaic is finished, simply add a few more layers of Mod Podge, to ensure the little paper pieces are securely glued down. I did not cover the tops of the rhinestones, but I did try to get Mod Podge all around them. If the jewelry is for small children, you will want to add super glue to where the bail is attached, after your project is fully completed. When the pendant is completely dry, thread some ribbon through the bail and find a cute little girl (or your charming self!) to put the pendant on!