Triple-Strand Necklace and Earring Set with Swarovski Crystal and Vitrium® Clay

I love finding old chain at flea markets. I can never seem to get enough. Old chain is harder to come by than I'd like so I'm always making my own from stuff I have laying around. I also love dogwood trees. The allure for me is how by all appearances they seem to have missed that it's spring, and then you step outside one day and see that they are filled with a cascade of frilly blooms.

For this dogwood necklace project, use air-drying cold porcelain Vitrium Clay to replicate the beauty of dogwood flowers. Then combine it with old-looking chain created from eyepins and seed beads to get a springy necklace that'll reward you big for your crafting efforts.
- Jamie

Flower and Leaf Components

STEP 1
Use a neon pink highlighter to color a 60mm ball of translucent Vitrium Clay. Separate it into a 40mm and a 20mm ball. Place the 40mm ball on a silicone mat. Using an acrylic roller and 1mm acrylic slats, flatten the clay.

Tip: Place clay not being worked in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out too soon. Mist with a bit of water if needed.
STEP 2
Make a 60mm four-petal dogwood blossom template on paper. Lay paper template on rolled out pink clay and trace around it with a marker and cut out.
STEP 3
Use a paper hole punch to cut half-round notches out of the center tip of each petal. Use a coffee straw to punch a hole through the center of the flower. Use the texture ball tip tools to shape, texture and create veining on the petals. Retouch petal tips with pink highlighter. Set the flower in a plastic vial. Place a 14mm glass pearl into the center of the flower to weight it down and maintain the shape while drying. Repeat to make a 40mm flower and then set it in the vial's lid to dry.
STEP 4
Repeat Step 1 using a dark green marker and a 20mm ball of clay. Gently roll over the top of a natural leaf onto the clay to produce texture and a cutting line. Repeat for a second leaf.

Note: Avoid rolling over the center vein of the natural leaf as this will cause the leaf to cut through the clay.

Once textured, use scissors to cut out two dogwood leaf shapes from the clay. Use fingers to slightly stretch the edges of the leaf to create a soft, ruffled effect. Then cut a deep curve out of the base of each leaf. Using a paintbrush, apply gold mica powder onto the front side of the leaf. Rest the leaf in the gap between a pair of tweezers to maintain its shape as it dries.
STEP 5
Repeat Step 1 using a yellow marker and a 50mm ball of clay, skip rolling it flat. Separate into a 10mm ball, a 13mm ball and about twenty-five 1mm balls. Use the end of a marker to create a concave dome shape in the 13mm and 10mm balls. Press the end of a coffee straw into the top and edges of each dome to rough up and give texture. Use a paint brush to apply Vitrium liquid to the surface of a dome and then use tweezers to place 1mm rounds onto the surface, starting at the top and working your way down to the edges. Repeat to add a second layer of 1mm balls. Retouch the top center balls with a few points of metallic green paint with a dry brush to add dimension. Repeat for the other dome.
Allow all clay to dry for 24 hours.
STEP 6
Use a beading awl to scratch cross hatch marks into the center of each pin back flat pad. Mix a generous amount of Devcon® 5 Minute® Epoxy. Fill the reservoir of one pin back with the mixed epoxy and then place a leaf into the outer edge of the epoxy. Then press a dogwood flower into the center of the epoxy and press down so that epoxy oozes up through the center hole. Apply another glob of epoxy to the center of the flower and then set a yellow dome onto it. Once the epoxy is nearly cured, disguise any exposed epoxy with a tiny bit of mica powder on a dry brush, keeping away from the petals as much as possible. Repeat to assemble the second flower.

Necklace Chain

STEP 7
String one #6 seed bead onto one antiqued brass-finished 1-1/4 inch eyepin. Using round-nose pliers, bend the straight end of the eyepin in half creating a ''U'' shape. While forming the ''U'' shape, insert the end of the eyepin into the seed bead to create a long loop. The seed bead will be held secure between the long loop and the eye of the pin. Use flat-nose pliers to adjust and straighten the loop. Repeat to create a total of eighty-four seed bead links.
STEP 8
Using antiqued gold-plated 5mm jumprings connect fourteen seed bead links, eye loop to long loop. Repeat to create a total of six chains.

Necklace Strands

STEP 9
String onto a 1-1/4 inch eyepin one 6mm ribbed bead cap, one Swarovski pink coral 6mm round pearl and another 6mm bead cap. Form a simple loop. Repeat to create a total of two 6mm links, ten 8mm links, two 10mm links, two 12mm links and six 14mm links. String onto a 3/4 inch brass headpin one Swarovski pink coral 11x8mm pear pearl and one 6mm ribbed bead cap. Form a simple loop. Repeat to make five pearl drops.
Open loops on pearl drops and attach to loops on five of the 14mm pearl links.
STEP 10
Cut two 16-inch lengths of nylon Invizi™-Cord. Using a crimp bead attach one length of nylon cord to the long loop on one end of seed bead chain. Repeat to make a second crimped chain.
STEP 11
Open the pin back of one dogwood flower brooch and thread onto it one matte peach #6 seed bead, a crimped long loop, two matte peach seed beads, an un-crimped long loop, two matte peach seed beads and a crimped long loop. Close the pin back.
STEP 12
Thread onto the top nylon cord five light pink silver-lined #11 seed beads. Then begin stringing a pattern of one #11 seed bead, a 6mm ribbed bead cap, a 6mm pink coral pearl, a 6mm bead cap, a #11 seed bead and the loop of a 6mm pearl link. Repeat this pattern to thread on a total of 18 sets, graduating the pearl links in the following order: one 6mm, five 8mm, one 10mm, 12mm and 14mm. Reverse order to string other half of the strand. Crimp the cord end to one of the remaining long loop chain ends.
STEP 13
String onto the bottom strand five #11 seed beads. Continue stringing a pattern of one #11 seed bead, one ribbed bead cap, one 6mm pink coral pearl, one ribbed bead cap, one #11 seed bead and the second loop from the first link on the first strand. Repeat to string a total of two 6mm sets, six 8mm sets, and one 10mm set. String one 14mm drop between the last two 8mm sets and between the last 8mm set and the 10mm set. String one 14mm drop. Reverse the stringing order to finish the second half of the strand, continuing to string on the corresponding pearl links on the top strand into your pattern. Crimp the end to a long loop end of chain.
STEP 14
Open an eye loop of the seed bead chain and thread on a loop of a 3-strand slide lock tube clasp. Close loop. Repeat to connect all beaded chain lengths to the clasp.

Earrings

STEP 1
String one matte peach #6 seed bead onto one antiqued brass-finished 1-1/4 inch eyepin. Using round-nose pliers bend the straight end of the eyepin in half creating a ''U'' shape. While creating the ''U'' shape insert the end of the eyepin into the seed bead, creating a long loop. (The seed bead will rest against the small loop at the end of the eyepin.) Use flat-nose pliers to straighten the long loop.

Repeat to create a total of twelve seed bead links.
STEP 2
String the following onto one antiqued brass-finished 1-1/4 inch eyepin:
  • One antiqued gold-plated 6x1.5mm ribbed bead cap (curved end facing away from the end of the eyepin)
  • One Swarovski pink coral 8mm round pearl
  • One antiqued gold-plated 6x1.5mm ribbed bead cap (curved end facing the pearl)
Using a pair of chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers and flush-cutters form a simple loop on the straight end of the wire creating an 8mm pearl link. Repeat to create a total of two 8mm pearl links.
STEP 3
String onto one antiqued brass-finished 3/4 inch headpin; one Swarovski pink coral 11x8mm pear pearl and one antiqued gold-plated 6x1.5mm ribbed bead cap (curved end facing the pearl).

Form a simple loop on the straight end of the wire creating an 11x8mm pear pearl drop. Repeat to create a total of six 11x8mm pear pearl drops.
STEP 4
Open the small loop on one seed bead link. Pass the loop through the long loop on a second seed bead link. Close the loop.

Open the loop on one 11x8mm pear pearl drop. Pass the loop through the long loop on one end of the connected seed bead links. Close the loop.

Repeat to create a total of six sets of seed bead and pearl drops.
STEP 5
Open the small loop on one end of one seed bead and pearl drop. Pass the loop through the loop on one end of one antiqued gold-plated 18x17mm diamond link.

Repeat to attach one seed bead and pearl drop to the loops on the right and left side of the previous loop.
STEP 6
Open the loop on one end of one 8mm pearl link. Pass the loop through the loop on the opposite end of the antiqued gold-plated 18x17mm diamond link. Close the loop.

Open the loop on the opposite end of the 8mm pearl link. Pass the loop through the loop on one antiqued gold-plated earstud. Close the loop.

Attach one antiqued gold-plated earnut.
STEP 7
Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to create a second earring.

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