Butterfly wing jewellery can be a beautiful way to show off the colours of nature. Because the wings are fragile, they are often embedded in a resin solution to preserve the wing and maintain the colour while allowing the wearer to engage in regular activities without worrying about damaging the jewellery. This is the easiest sort of butterfly jewellery to make at home.
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The resin that protects the butterfly wing in jewellery comes in two parts. Any clear two-part resin will do, so if your local hardware store has some in stock, it may be cheaper than craft store resin. However, industrial resin may come out slightly tinted rather than clear, so check the packaging to make sure your resin is as clear as possible to let the wing colours show through. When you're ready to make your jewellery, follow the resin's instructions carefully to mix the two parts together. Too much of the basic resin component will not allow your jewellery to harden, while too much hardener--the second component of the resin compound--will make the jewellery too brittle.
For resin to take on a specific shape, it must be poured into a mould. For butterfly wing jewellery, a small oval or round mould is often used. It should be shallow enough to allow the jewellery to remain delicate, but thick enough that you can pour in or paint on a layer of resin, rest the butterfly wing on top, then pour in more resin to seal the butterfly wing entirely inside the mould. Many types of moulds can be used, including candy moulds or craft store moulds intended for plaster of Paris castings. However, the more delicate jewellery uses silver jewellery pieces known as cabochon holders as both the mould and permanent backing for the butterfly wing jewellery.
Findings are the small pieces that make up jewellery items, such as ear hooks or earring posts, necklace clasps, jump rings, pins and bails. Jump rings are split metal rings that allow you to connect one metal part to another, then press the ring closed to keep them together. Bails are items that allow you to attach an object to a necklace chain or ear hooks. Some bails can be glued to your butterfly wing, then have a necklace chain strung through them. Others have prongs that can be inserted into holes drilled into your resin. If you are using a cabochon holder as your mould (cabochon holders are also considered findings), it may already have a ring soldered to the top for this purpose.
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