making cabochon jewelry







Wait! Don't Throw Away Those Fav Jeans!



A Cabochon is a gem which is polished and not faceted. This is a unique way to make interesting and personalized jewelry using the Cabochon Settings or the small frames that hold the gem (but without the gem).





You’ll find the themes here are my personal choices. Being from New Orleans the fleur-de-lis and other local icons are used. You can use whatever is close to your heart. It can be a picture of things from your hometown or it can be a picture of a loved one or furry friend. The possibilities are endless!


Oh Wait! In case you are new to this realm of design and need to know how to connect the pieces for example, just visit Basic Jewelry Making to get started!


The best part is that it is sooooo easy! I just print a picture of what I want to put in the frame, cut it out the size and shape of the frame, fit it snuggly inside and cover with clear fingernail polish. Yeah! It’s that easy!


The only real challenge is getting your image to be the right size. You’ll have to resize it on your computer or within the settings of your printer. It may take several tries. I usually copy the image several times across a page in the software I use so that when it comes out right I have a few copies of it.



Selecting Images



About the software or ways to edit or re-size your image: if you have Photoshop that’s great! But if not don’t worry because you can copy and resize images into any Word Document with the square grips in the corner of images that you have selected.


Most computers today come with some sort of photo editor which would allow you to enhance colors, resolution or shading and contrast. Also, you may be able to print color images in black and white if that's a look you are going for -kinda antique or retro (like the St Louis Cathedral above).





In New Orleans we love the fleur-de-lis. It’s everywhere! And I found a bunch of really cute and unique images of them on line. Do you have an image in mind that you gravitate to? Maybe it’s a mascot of your favorite team, or maybe it’s an animal you love (like your animal spirit). It could be your house, your child or pet…


Above all...if you look for images on the web make sure you search for Copyright Free Images if you are doing this for any re-sale purposes!





Making it Personal



Not only do you get to personalize the image you want to wear, you get to choose from many cabochon setting styles. These with the ornate scroll work edging are classic and traditional. But below you’ll see that a plain square can lend a more contemporary flair even if you use an old image or an image of something old.





Well, if you like this idea and you’re into antiques and the old times then check out this article on Making Renaissance Jewelry. It uses the classical scroll type edged cabochon shown here and you don’t have to buy expensive gems!


You may notice how the image on this cabochon setting has some splotches around the corner. It almost appears aged. I did not do anything different than on the others so I can only guess that it happened due to the paper or the coating on the cabochon setting. I like to let things develop because that’s how individual characteristics come out. It makes each item unique even if you use the same objects.


Did you notice the image of the Water Meter Cover in the top photo. For some reason, New Orleanians have decided that it’s art-worthy. So you see, anything goes!!!



Letting the Process Do Some of the Creating



The paper here became even more distorted but yet it looks very old and ancient almost as if it has a thousand stories to tell. I can’t tell you how to make this happen or why it does. All I can tell you is to try it out with different cabochon settings, different paper and different nail polishes.





I embellished this one with a silver fleur- de-lis charm and hung it from a short band of assorted ribbons. How you adorn your cabochon setting jewelry is up to you. I’m just giving you a few ideas and it’s up to you to take it from there.


I mentioned using images for this project from what’s around you but have you ever thought about using the resources of your area for making jewelry. If you live by the sea or water you may be able to find shards of glass that have been smoothed by the waves and sand. Well, it may sound strange but you have to see the possibilities of Making Sea Glass Jewelry for yourself!





Memorializing Home



In New Orleans we love our old Shotgun houses. These are the narrow and long houses with rooms arranged one behind the other. I find architecture fascinating and old stuff even more so. I wanted to immortalize some of the old New Orleans Shotgun Houses in my cabochon setting jewelry before they are all gone.





OK! So you can only have so much cabochon setting jewelry. You want to make more but just don’t have any room. Well, these make great gifts. You can create a one-of-a-kind wearable item that is personalized for your family and friends. Not only is it a nice thought but you will receive extra thanks for remembering something about them like their favorite flower or animal.





Here’s another Shotgun with a great color palette. Isn’t it cute? You know you don’t have to put the whole house in the frame either. It’s just occurring to me that just the door with the trim and stairs would be cute and a larger view to see the subject matter better. So, just a window or door or part of a garden would work great too.


So, now that you have all these necklaces made with Cabochon Settings where are you going to keep them? I have a great idea for that too. Go to Making a Jewelry Frame and find out how to make the perfect organizer to showcase all your jewelry art! I could go on and on with all the ideas I have come up with but it’s your turn. Get out there and make your own!



Cabochons for the Holidays!



Consider making jewelry for the holidays! Can you picture this cabochon frame with a black and white image of a skull or a spider or even just an eyeball for Halloween? Wait, wait…Check out these ideas for Making Halloween Jewelry.





Great Antique Show Find



I found this beautiful little pendant at an antique show and sale. I haven’t had time yet to scan and resize some old family photos but I want to try this. I am attaching this photo because it’s a great idea and I don’t want you to miss out on it until I can do mine. And hey! If you get a chance to do this before me, send it in and let’s post it here so everyone can appreciate it!





I could go on and on with all the ideas I have come up with but it’s your turn. Get out there and make your own! Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed this project. Try some of the other ideas here at Designs From Penny!


Take care and keep crafting!

Penny