4 Tips for Creating a Memorable Mixed-Media Pendant

Jun 30, 2010

As a beadweaver, stitching an interesting chain is enough to keep me occupied as I while away the evening hours.  I find that doing the same stitch over and over, without really having to pay attention to a pattern, is not only meditative, but serves as a brainless thing to keep my hands busy while my daughter and I watch our beloved Glee reruns this summer.

I could stitch yards of beaded rope, but what about when I want to turn my efforts into a piece of jewelry? For a necklace, I'd need to make a clasp connection, of course. Coming up with a focal piece is always a major challenge. Oh sure, I've got a whole drawer full of big focal beads. But they don't always fit the bill.

So, inspired by Kristal Wick's upcoming article "Muslin Pendant Remix" in Cloth, Paper, Scissors, I've done some experimenting with making my own multi-media focal pieces. Here are some observations and suggestions:

Muslin pendant by Kristal Wick

1. Try unusual materials for the background of your piece. Instead of going right to metal, which would be my logical choice, why not try fabric or felt? Kristal did just that with her beautiful muslin pendants.

2. How about using permanent ink to stamp on a large blank bead? With the focal beads shown here, I used rubber stamps and black permanent ink, colored inside the lines with permanent markers, then finished them off with some clear acrylic spray.
3. Think about your hanging holes! Place the holes or rings so the pendant will hang as you'd like--either evenly or asymmetrically.



4. Watch faces provide a great base for collaging with resin. Just remove the watch's back, add your mixed media, pour a small amount of resin over the collage, let dry, and replace the watch back. The side bars that would usually connect to the watchband work great as connecting points for a stitched rope.


Another way to explore mixed-media magic is subscribing to Cloth Paper Scissors. That magazine is guaranteed to keep your mind reeling. Be careful if you read it before bedtime.

There are myriad ways to make your own mixed-media focal pieces. Do you have an easy technique you'd like to share? Are you a Gleek, too? Please share your stuff on Beading Daily.

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Quiltbeads wrote
on Jun 30, 2010 8:46 AM

how do you make,       stitch yards of beaded rope,  described in your article? Mary Ann

Ricki Ayer wrote
on Jun 30, 2010 9:58 AM


Thanks for the great tips on making a pendant.  I do mainly stringing and am always on the lookout for an interesting feature bead or pendant to add to my necklaces.  I have not made my own pendants except from beads or crystals that tie into the necklace I am stringing.  Whenever I find an interesting pendant (I especially love glass), I always make sure that I pick up an extra business card from the artist to include with the necklace that I build around the purchased pendant so that if I sell the necklace, the purchaser knows who made the pendant.  I do want to branch out and try making some of my own pendants and your blog gave me some good ideas.     Ricki

Faewren wrote
on Jul 6, 2010 11:11 AM

TO Mary Ann

Beaded rope can be made with lots of different stitches. Almost anything with the word 'tubular' can be made into a rope. I recommend tubular netting. It's quick, easy and very flexible.

For a squarish look try cubed right-angle weave.

TO Jean

I love the domino stamps! How clever!