View Full Version : Tutorial : Glass Pendants

08-03-2008, 10:02 PM
Hi all!

Here's a little tutorial on how to make the glass pendants I've been obsessed with for the past few weeks. Any questions, let me know!

First buy glass squares. You can buy them on Etsy or Ebay, or tons of other places. The usual size for a pendant is 7/8” square. You’ll also need to purchase either Diamond Glaze, or a paper glaze like Aleene’s Paper Glaze, or you can use an epoxy resin. The epoxy makes the pendant waterproof, but sets up superfast. Remember that when it gets on your countertop. Speaking of which, my countertop is covered with papertowels, dry for the pendants to set up on, wet for the glue that is absolutely, positively going to end up everywhere.

The next purchase is Aanraku bails. This is an offset bail, comes in silver or gold, large or small. For the 7/8” pendants I purchase the small bails. The guy I purchase them from on ebay is LytrayDichroic (http://stores.ebay.com/LytrayDichroic)
He’s fast, cheerful and just a nice guy. A definate 5 star kinda guy.

Now lets get to the good stuff!

Next we’ll cut out our photo, piece of wallpaper, piece of notecard or whatever your little heart desires. I bought a paper punch that’s 7/8” square. It works almost perfect, except I need to take one little sliver off 2 sides so no paper overhangs the glass. Use scissors or a craft knife to trim your picture to size so it fits just inside the edge of the glass. For this pendant, I’m making a turtle who’s swimming off into the wild blue. If you are copying off photos from your own printer, make sure you use a little heavier paper than just the cheap wally world stuff. It works fine too, but has a tendency to tear and the photo usually bleeds through to the other side. Card stock is almost a bit too heavy, and sometimes the edges will curl up and not lie flat.

Your glass piece, quite sneakily, has 2 sides. One side is nice and smooth, the other a bit rough. The rough side is the one we want to spread the Diamond Glaze on. It will magically fill the bumpy holes and your picture will lay nice and smooth. If you aren’t positive which is the right side by feel, set your picture under first one side, then the other. One way your picture will look distorted, the other perfectly clear. Remember which is which!

I use a little sponge brush if I’m making quite a few pendants, otherwise you can squirt a little dab (Brylcreem - a little dab'll do ya!) of Diamond Glaze on the rough side of the glass and spread it around with your finger to all areas of the glass, especially the corners. Have a paper towel handy so you can wipe your fingers off. Next grab your picture and center it on the glaze, picture side down please! =) Smoosh it around abit to make sure the glaze covers all the glass and the photo. You have about 15-30 seconds to pull this off, so don’t wander off to watch tv! Once the picture is centered, take a bone folder or an old credit card and gently smooth from the center out to all 4 corners. Get those air pockets out of there!

At this point, if your photo is on crooked, or your photo has torn, you can still salvage the glass. Toss it in a paper glass with some hot water, come back a few hours later and voila, the paper peels right off, leaving you your glass intact and ready to start again. Any residual glaze comes off with a little elbow grease and fingernail polish remover.


08-03-2008, 10:03 PM
Here’s my little turtle under glass. Nope, he’s not off center, it’s just the scanner catching the side of the glass too. Let him/her dry for 15 min or so, and we’ll move onto the next part. *this is a good time for a potty break, or checking to see what’s happening on American Idol*

Okey dokey, lets move onto the gluing part. I use E600. You can see by the shape of my tube I'm not particular about squeezing from the end or the middle. It's the same way with my toothpaste. If you’re particularly attached to another type of glue (get it? Attached? Glue??) hehehe….oh I crack myself up…anyways, feel free to use it. Spread a little bit of the E600 on the part of the bail with the crosshatches. This will be the side that goes against the back of your picture. Not too much glue or it will squish out the sides, and then press it firmly against (hopefully) the middle of the back top of your pendant. Your bail will always look exactly on center - until the moment the glue dries. Then it's always just a bit to one side. One of those cold hard facts of life.

Seen from the front isn’t it adorable!

And from the back - you caught me! I DID use the cheap paper from Wal Mart and yes, now you can see how it bleeds through. It doesn’t bother me at all, but I know that for some of you it will. So use a heavier paper, or a two sided print if you just can’t stand the thought of it looking this way on the back! You can even print off your pictures on colored or parchment paper to give the backside of your pendant a little "class".

Now we put the Diamond Glaze or epoxy to good use. For the glaze, use the tip and go around the entire bail, then around all edges of the paper making sure it gets sealed. Then fill in the rest of it until there’s a nice lake-smooth finish to the back. Don’t use so much that it runs over the sides – but if it does you can still fix it with fingernail polish remover. If you’re using epoxy, use the same technique, but I use a toothpick or a little plastic paddle to smooth it all.

Set your pendant aside. If you’re in a dry climate it may take just a few hours before it’s dry. Humid climate? Let it sit for 24 hours just to be safe!

Slide a chain, cord, or ribbon on – your choice! And you’re stylin….

Enjoy your new pendant!


08-03-2008, 10:21 PM
Carrie, Great job! Going to bookmark this one. Just noticed that we can't give mentor points anymore. Will rate the thread at least.

08-04-2008, 12:59 AM
Awesome tutorial Carrie!! Thank you!! LOVE the turtle picture btw! :)

08-04-2008, 01:31 AM
Thanks Carrie, Wonderful Tut and I gave you an Excellant!!!! It is simplier (is that a word) than I thought. Great job!

08-04-2008, 11:07 AM
Carrie, your tutorial is great! Like Gladys, the process is more simple than I had thought it would be. Might have to give it a try for my granddaughters!

08-04-2008, 12:39 PM
What a super tutorial, and made me laugh too! Many thanks for sharing Carrie.

08-04-2008, 01:13 PM
Thanks for sharing your info and giving me a good chuckle or three!!! :heart:

08-04-2008, 09:18 PM
Thanks Carrie - you did a great job with this!!! It sounds fun :)

08-04-2008, 09:28 PM
Great job Carrie, thanks so much for sharing your process with us, it's very easy to understand AND entertaining! :D

08-05-2008, 09:50 PM
Carrie, just had to let you know that it is all your fault! I just ordered a little starter kit from a girl on Etsy and I'm going to give this a try. Need something different for my granddaughters for birthday and Christmas this year.

I bet her tutorial won't be as much fun as yours but it comes with the kit. I'll let you know how the process goes for me!

08-09-2008, 01:40 PM
Carrie, great tutorial!! I have been wanting to use photos to make pendants for a couple of years, but never could find any glass until I joined ETSY. I'm ordering some glass - probably from the same place that Gwen is. Don't know if I will sell them, but it will be fun to be able to wear some of my garden around my neck, Lol! I'm looking foward to seeing yours Gwen!

08-09-2008, 02:53 PM
thanks everyone...and I hope you give it a try! It's so simple, and you can use anything to make a pendant! Photos, wallpaper, notecards, stationery, etc. Gwen and Cheryl, let me know how they turned out - warning it's addictive! =)


08-13-2008, 02:21 PM
Hey Carrie, I recently ordered silver plate necklace bails and earring bails from lytray on ebay. He was very easy to work with, thanks so much for recommending him!


08-13-2008, 05:08 PM
you're welcome jen! i once emailed him at 3pm, said i needed 3 packages sent out that day, can you do it? and by golly he did....waited til i got my order in, ran to the PO and had them sent right out...now that's customer service!