When I posted to the Pennywise Yahoo group that I was too cheap to pay $4 for a single bezel I got lots of great input, ideas and links! Debbie Warren shared this photo of how she turned big brads into bezels by breaking off one leg and curling the other: This was something I definitely had to try myself! Finding the big 32mm brads turned out to be a bit tricky, they seemed to be sold out everywhere I turned, even JoAnn’s and Michaels craft stores. I was finally able to locate some online $3 for a box of 12 – a price I can really sink my budget into!
The brads I liked are from Karen Foster Design and are called Big Time Brads, Antique Metal.
I was able to find the brads in smaller sizes but I really liked that the big time brads matched a circle punch I have! Ü
Making the bezel was super easy. The metal is soft and easy to manipulate into a curl with a pair of round jewelry pliers. The important thing is not to bend it all the way at the base but rather curl it into place. Stressing the metal at the base caused my first attempt to break off. The extra leg broke off easily and I sanded the rough edge it left with a sanding block.
The rest of this article is really a diary of trial and error and trying again and again. I’ll admit up front that I still haven’t found the “perfect” process for me, but I think I am getting close!
I punched a circle with the “keys” from some old K & Company papers that I have. I tacked the image into the bottom of my brad/bezel and put Diamond Glaze over the whole thing. I set a smaller decorative brad into the goo (on the left side) and sprinkled a colorful mixture of micro beads on top. I struggled with air bubbles and their determination to not be popped. The decorative brad sunk, the color on the fuchsia micro beads bled and the Diamond Glaze dried with a muddy yellow hue and a sunken dip in the middle. I filled the dip two times, evidenced by the light lines you can see on the right side of the pendant.
The paper in the background shows the original coloring that the paper had before being coated. I wonder if my Diamond Glaze is just old.
Basically I did the same process as before. The fuchsia micro beads bled again and as the pendant dried the beads that were all nicely scattered about pulled together into groups. Weird. The Diamond Glaze is still yellowish so I moved to using Glossy Accents.
This time I put some gems on the paper before I put the goo in. Don’t do that. While I was sleeping the glue just lifted the gems up and they floated wherever they wanted until drying NOT where I put them. The Glossy Accents definitely finished more clear and didn’t discolor my background image as much (compare in photo above). It’s quite possible that my Diamond Glaze is over 5 years old, so I’m not going to rule it out as a future possibility in case age has something to do with the discoloration.
Note to self: The fuchsia beads bled again. Apparently there is something different about that coating because none of the other colors bled. So stop putting them into these pendants!
More things to make you go “hmmmmmmmmmm” on this subject tomorrow!