How to Make Own Photo Jewelry


You can turn your memories into beautiful jewelry. You can upcycle gorgeous invitations, brochures, old posters or damaged dresses into wearable art. This tutorial will show you how to take your favorite photograph or other attractive paper or fabric, cut it out, place it in a lovely bezel and seal it with two part epoxy resin to create lasting, very special sterling silver jewelry.

Things You'll Need

  • photo, attractive paper or fabric (these can include party invitations, brochures, old posters and any other attractive papers or fabric that you would like to upcycle into jewelry)
  • epoxy resin
  • sterling silver bezel setting (pre-fabricated or custom)
  • Gather your tools and materials. Select the bezel and photograph (or party invitation) you would like to use. You can find bezel settings at your local bead shop, jewelry supply house or craft store. Note that glossy photo paper will work best, especially if you are printing out digital images on an ink jet printer.

  • Check to be sure that the photograph will fit inside the bezel. If the photo does not fit nicely inside the bezel you can use a photo editing program like Photoshop to adjust the size of your image so that it sits nicely centered in the bezel. This may take some trial and error.

  • Many images can be used in this project. "The Year of the Frog" and "Burke Man" are two examples where we took two different party invitations each destined for the trash, cut them out and sealed them in resin to create lasting, very special jewelry. In both these instances, the jewelry we created was donated and sold at auction to raise money for scholarships for needy children attending inner city private schools in Washington, DC.

  • Cut the photograph with a craft knife or scissors. Place the photo in the bezel so that the photo covers the entire bottom of the bezel.

  • Mix the two part epoxy resin according to the manufacturers instructions. Take care that you have no bubbles in the resin.

  • Pour the resin into the bezel so that it coats the photo and fills the bezel cavity. Take care not to overfill the bezel. Your goal is to fill the bezel to the top so that it is nicely domed.

  • Allow the resin to cure accordingly to the manufactureres insturctions, usually overnight.

Tips & Warnings

  • To prevent unsightly finger prints, do not touch resin to test if it is done.
  • This project can vary from a simple pendant (as illustrated here) to a more complicated necklace or bracelet combining wire wrapping and/or beading skills with the basic filled-resin bezel.
  • Be sure to work in a well ventilated area.
  • Wear gloves when working with resin to protect skin.

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