How to Make Fingerprint Necklaces

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With so many ideas already out there, creating personalized jewelry can be quite the task. Instead of picking your brain for an entirely new design, try using fingerprints in your next piece. This makes an amazing gift idea for Mother's Day or birthdays and it's extremely budget friendly. The personalized element creates a darling memento to be cherished for years to come. You can use any finger, but thumbs apply the most even amount of pressure. Here are two ways to turn a fingerprint into a wearable work of art.

Fingerprint necklaces can be made in two different ways.
Fingerprint necklaces can be made in two different ways. (Image: Handmade Thumbprint Necklaces)

Version 1: Clay Fingerprint Necklace

Oven-bake clay appears in the supplies list of many crafts, but it's especially useful for making jewelry. This version uses clay and ink to showcase a thumbprint. If you prefer a softer effect, simply skip the ink. Before you start, heat your oven to the temperature indicated on the clay package. Most brands require a temperature somewhere between 230 to 275 degrees F.

Make a momento from a special someone with a clay thumbprint necklace.
Make a momento from a special someone with a clay thumbprint necklace. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Supplies

  • Ball of oven-bake clay (about 3/4" wide)
  • Medium (6-8 mm) jump ring
  • Large (10-12 mm) jump ring
  • Solid cylindrical object (such as a bottle of nail polish)
  • Toothpick
  • Dark-colored ink pad
  • 3-in-1 jewelry pliers
  • Chain (this project used 36")
  • Metal cookie sheet and parchment paper (not shown)
A light to medium-colored clay works best for this project.
A light to medium-colored clay works best for this project. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 1

Using the cylindrical object, flatten the ball of clay into an oval shape. Make the oval slightly bigger than your thumb.

Nail polish bottles, thick markers and cans of spray paint can all be used to flatten your clay
Nail polish bottles, thick markers and cans of spray paint can all be used to flatten your clay (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 2

Firmly press your entire thumb onto the ink pad, then directly onto the clay.

Light-colored clay works best for this project.
Light-colored clay works best for this project. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 3

Let the clay sit for a few minutes to let the ink dry. If necessary, adjust the shape of the pendant with your fingers.

Press your print and adjust the shape of your pendant.
Press your print and adjust the shape of your pendant. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 4

Using the toothpick, pierce a hole at the top of the oval. Center the hole as well as possible.

Create the hole for the chain.
Create the hole for the chain. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 5

Cover an oven-safe plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper and put the pendant in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or as indicated by the clay's directions.

Make sure to follow the directions on the clay's packaging.
Make sure to follow the directions on the clay's packaging. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 6

While the pendant bakes, connect the ends of the chain with the smaller jump ring. This can be done by opening the jump ring with pliers, sliding on both ends of the chain, then closing the jump ring.

For longer chain necklaces, you can skip the jewelry clasp.
For longer chain necklaces, you can skip the jewelry clasp. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 7

Once you take the pendant out of the oven, let it cool. Attach the pendant to the chain using the larger jump ring. You just completed a clay thumbprint necklace!

To protect your pendant, you can apply a layer of clear nail polish or decoupage glue..
To protect your pendant, you can apply a layer of clear nail polish or decoupage glue.. (Image: Clay Fingerprint Necklace)

Version 2: Framed Fingerprint Necklace

Another option is to use a frame pendant for a more modern look. Frame pendants are essentially tiny frames that hold photos, just like real frames. Just like chain and charms, they're available in a variety of metal finishes like brass and silver. From the colored ink to the bead embellishment, this version has more room for customization.

Frame pendants can be found on Etsy or in the jewelry section of your local craft store.
Frame pendants can be found on Etsy or in the jewelry section of your local craft store. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Supplies for Framed Thumbprint Necklace

  • Ink pad
  • Scrap paper
  • Frame pendant
  • Chain (this project used 22")
  • Eye pin
  • Bead
  • 6mm jump rings (3)
  • Jewelry clasp
  • 3-in-1 jewelry pliers
  • Scissors
The bead embellishment is optional but adds a nice touch to your creation.
The bead embellishment is optional but adds a nice touch to your creation. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 1

Press your thumb into the ink pad, then onto the paper. Let it dry. For a more colorful twist, try using pastel paper or vibrant ink.

Create your thumbprint.
Create your thumbprint. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 2

Depending on the type of frame pendant, there will be a metal backing or glass insert. Remove this and place it on top of the thumbprint, using it as a guide to cut the paper.

This step will make sure that the paper fits into the frame.
This step will make sure that the paper fits into the frame. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 3

Slip the paper into the frame. Re-insert any parts that you removed.

Complete the frame.
Complete the frame. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 4

Add the bead onto the eye pin and trim the excess, leaving about 1/4". Feel free to use any type of bead that fits your style!

Add a bead embellishment.
Add a bead embellishment. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 5

Using the round-nosed ends of the pliers, create a loop at the end of the eye pin. This step turns a bead into a connector.

Create your bead connector.
Create your bead connector. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 6

Attach the bead to the frame pendant. The beaded connector adds a little extra something to the frame pendant.

Connect the bead to the frame.
Connect the bead to the frame. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 7

Add a jump ring to one end of the chain. On the other end, attach the jewelry clasp with a jump ring. For shorter chain necklaces, you need to add a jewelry clasp.

Complete your necklace by adding a jewelry clasp and jump ring.
Complete your necklace by adding a jewelry clasp and jump ring. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

Step 8

Using the last small jump ring, attach the frame pendant to the chain to complete your new necklace.

To finish your necklace, add the pendant to the chain.
To finish your necklace, add the pendant to the chain. (Image: Framed Fingerprint Necklace)

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