(How to grow your own) Crystal Necklace

I’m having a great week and I hope you guys are too. Today I am sharing a really fun tutorial! It takes a bit of time to get started but once you start the initial process it’s so easy you can literally forget about it!

These pendents rock! (Te-he)

If you want to mix science with diy for beautiful results, read more below!

Today’s tutorial is the brainbaby, a word which here means “result of”, of inspiration and forgetfulness and a little bit of laziness! I read this post by Mariëlle at Magical Daydream, a truly magical blog, and was reminded of something I had loved to do as a child: Grow crystals! (shes so much better at it)

I fancied myself an amateur geologist and had/have a pretty nice rock collection to this day. The idea that I could make my own beautiful sediments appealed to me greatly. Unfortunately I don’t remember too many of the experiments going well as I was an awfully impatient child, I am a saint today compared to younger RaChil. I would always mess with the crystals every hour or so to see if they’d grown yet, and then finally get bored and give up.

It seemed like this project was going to go down a similar path, until I forgot about the crystals and left them alone long enough for them to grow!

Supplies:

  1. Mod Podge
  2. Alum Salt (If you can find alum powder, you’ll have superior results compared to me)
  3. WaterColors and/or
  4. Metallic Nail Polish
  5. Paintbrush
  6. Necklace Chain
  7. Jar
  8. Mod Podge Metal Blanks
  9. Not Pictured:
  10. Time/Patience

Step 1: Warm up 1–2 Cups of water and add them to your jar. I added half of my container of alum. To make your crystals get larger in a shorter amount of time you can add more. I did two jars so I split one container between the two.

Stir until dissolved. Step 2: Leave your crystals alone for 10–15 days. Depending on the amount of alum you added the crystals could be done sooner or later (I left mine alone for about a month…when it wasn’t done in 4 days I forgot…whoops!). Check on them every few days but try not to disturb the jar.

Step 3: When your crystals have reached a size you are happy with, use a spoon to remove them from the bottom of the container. I left them to dry on a paper towel overnight, they are still fragile when freshly harvested.

You can probably expect a mix of large-grouped together crystals and small-grouped or singular crystals. Step 4: I wanted to experiment with different coloring methods so I ended up using watercolors and nail polish. You could possibly try watered down acrylics or a tinted gesso as well. The left side is crystals I painted with the polish. The right side is watercolors. I liked both for different reasons; the nail polish gives it a metallic sheen and makes the crystals look more like gemstones, the watercolor really make them look like crystals. Its a light opaque color that looks more natural.

Step 5: Paint the base of your metal charm with a thick layer of mod podge.

Step 6: Begin to fill in the charm in with crystals. I tried to start of with large pieces and fill in around them. Sometimes some of my bigger pieces needed to be broken down. I would gently separate the hexagonal crystals from each other. The crystals themselves are very hard to break on their own.

If your mod podge starts to dry, you can use the paintbrush to apply a tiny glob of ‘podge to your crystal before you place it. Almost there but you can see where I have a few more places to fill in.

Ready to move on to the next step!

Step 7: When your crystals are all in order, you can choose to color your crystals in whichever way you prefer. Here are some tips I learned

Watercolors:

  • Don’t use too much water, mod podge is water soluble so just get the most pigment with the least water.
  • Less coats look more natural, more coats look richer.
  • Seal with Clear Nail Polish

Nail Polish:

  • One coat gives sufficient coverage for me, I feel like more makes it a little thick. Nail Polishes could vary.
  • Doesn’t need sealed, or at least I have seen no reason to as of yet, will update if needed.

When its all dry you’re done! Attach an eye ring to the pendent and slide it on a chain!

These babies sparkle in the sunlight!

I think this one is my favorite, most probably due to purple being my favorite color. If I wasn’t so biased I would say the blue one because it looks like Walter White’s Sky Blue.

I have enough crystals to make at least one or two more pendents, but my modge podge blank’s pack also came with some ring settings…too bad I’m not a ring person, but is that maybe something you’d like to see? Let me know below!

Do you find long projects to be rewarding enough to compensate for their time-drain? Normally I’m a like to work on shorter projects due to aforementioned impatientness, but I am really glad I forgot about those jars, and may even just leave the next set alone on purpose! I hope you take the time to grow your own necklaces! It makes it really special I think. I can’t stop wearing mine! I’d love to see if you made one (This item is now for sale in my shop, check it out here!)

Til Next Time!
RaChil

This post first appeared on my blog, The Cwafty Blog