Making your own jewelry from flowers allows you to create a piece that best fits the person to whom you will give it. Orchids make a good choice for jewelry making because of their colors and the shapes of their petals. To create the jewelry, you need to find a way to preserve the petals while allowing their natural colors and shapes to shine through.
When you make jewelry from orchids, choose the flowers that best match your project. For instance, if you are making a pendant for a younger girl, you want a smaller orchid. However, if you make a brooch, you can use a larger one. Color is another consideration. Orchids come in a wide range of colors. Consider the purpose of the jewelry piece. If it is meant to be a neutral piece, a white orchid is best. Otherwise, choose a color that matches the outfit with which it will be worn.
Preparing the Flowers
When you first decide to make jewelry from the orchids, you must prepare the flowers. Drying the flowers completely will cause the petals to brown and shrivel. However, you don't want the flower to have any additional moisture. To remove any excess moisture from the flower, use a cotton swab or a small paintbrush to remove any water droplets from all parts of the flower. Treat the flower gently, though, to avoid damaging the petals or other delicate parts. You may also use silica gel to dry the orchids. Let them sit in the gel for a few days to dry them without damage.
Coating the Flowers
Mix the polyester resin with the catalyst when you are ready to coat the flowers. Don't do this until you are ready to use it because it will harden and dry in a short period of time when you add the catalyst. Attach the stem of the flower to the middle of a bamboo skewer, and slowly lower the orchid into the resin so it doesn't create bubbles. Allow it to sit in the resin for a few minutes and then remove it. Hang the flower over a disposable cup to allow it to dry. The cup catches any resin drips.
Finishing the Piece
Once the resin dries completely -- usually overnight -- you can finish your jewelry piece. Apply gold paint to the edges of the flower petals to accent it. If you feel the flower needs an additional layer of resin, dip it again after you apply the paint to seal the paint onto the petals. Glue the jewelry parts onto the back of the flower, such as a pin, earring backings or a simple loop to turn the flower into a pendant.
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