A pendant necklace can be a great project for kids, teens or adults. With just a few simple supplies, you can create your own line of wearable art. If you like to draw, paint or decoupage, then this is a craft you may like to try.
The one pictured was created from a simple wooden disk. I purchased this wooden disk at a craft supply store, but many hardware stores are now carrying small wooden pieces for crafts at an affordable price.
Although it doesn't really show the 3D effect in the picture, I found this craft works best if the piece of wood is concave, or with a slight hump or rounded part in the middle. It makes it look heavier than it is and gives it a better effect for your artwork.
What you will need:
One inch diameter unfinished wooden disk or circle (you can make it bigger if you want but I found the one inch was a nice size for a pendant necklace)
Drill and small drill bit, to drill a tiny hole for your cord or chain.
Cord or chain with clasp. This is where you can save some money. Instead of buying the parts separately, simply head to the dollar store and find a necklace and take off their bling and reuse the cord and clasp for your own artwork. This way that part only cost you a dollar, and many of the pendants they sell are on leather cords, so it doesn't look cheap.
Fine paint brushes
Thick high gloss varnish - you can get this at craft supply stores. You can simply dip the finished piece into this gloss and it will give it the look of many coats of varnish and almost a "porcelain" look. It will not look like wood when you are finished.
Toothpick - This is to keep the drilled hole open when you coat it with the gloss.
Drill a hole in the top of the piece for your cording.
Take your wooden piece and simply paint anything you want. When you are done, let it dry, and then paint the back so that there is no plain wood showing. Remember it is a tiny piece, so you don't need it to be to complicated for your first try. Sign your piece on the back, after all, it is your original piece of artwork!
Now take the gloss varnish and following instructions on the container, either dip or paint your piece. If you prefer to use regular wood varnish, keep in mind that it will yellow any white in your piece unless you use a water based type. This is where I put the toothpick into the drilled hole so that the varnish doesn not dry in that space.
The craft glosses you can get at the craft store, are usually water based and won't yellow your lighter colours, although sometimes that has a great "aged" effect. I used the thick craft gloss with a high shine to give it a porcelain look, it is hard to see that in the scan, but it looks nice when it is very shiny.
Now let it dry, (don't forget to varnish the back as well).
Now feed your cording through the hole. If you used a "ready to use" one from the dollar store like I did here, then you should be ready to go.
Now you know how to make a pendant necklace, that looks good, is a great way to show off your creativity, and is something a little different.
With the different pieces of wood and the high gloss craft varnishes on the market, you can take that simple piece of wood and create your very own work of art. You could also switch out the leather cording for a chain or anything you want.
If you don't like to draw or paint, you could decoupage pictures onto this piece of wood. I like to use the wood pieces, because they are light weight. If you have a woodworker in your family, then you could get them to cut you pieces. But the wooden pieces you find in craft stores and hardware stores are light weight.
This would make a great craft for teens too!
When it comes to making crafts, you don't have to use a craft store for supplies, consider the dollar store or discount stores for some ideas. Sometimes you can simply take apart a piece and use it. Another great money saving trick for any art you would like to frame, is instead of trying to purchase the frame separately, simply purchase a piece of framed art from the discount store and use the frame.
You can get supplies from all over, including garage sales, and estate sales. I actually found a box of small wooden pieces in a garage sale. I had to take the box of odds and ends for 5 dollars to get them, but there were a lot of useful arts and craft supplies inside.
The one product though, that I would definitely purchase at a craft store or craft supplies online, is the thick craft gloss for these smaller projects. It just has such a professional look when it is done. Save everywhere else, but when it comes to the finishes, it can make all the difference. You don't want to have brush marks on this pendant necklace.
You need to set yourself up in an area where you can let it dry. I dipped my wooden piece into a high gloss varnish and then with the toothpick I had through the drilled hole, I stuck it into a piece of flower foam carefully making sure it didn't touch anything until it was dry overnight.
These are great ideas for gifts. You can also make homemade earrings using the same process. I actually sold quite a few of these at craft shows. They are fun to make, and are one of a kind. So, have some fun and create your own wearable art pendant necklace.