The whole idea for the jewelry making project I had for Christmas started when I was searching for some Harry Potter themed gifts for the girls. We are huge Harry Potter fans in my family, and we have had a great time over the last 10 years reading the books and watching the movies together. I picked up the first book out of curiosity years ago just to see what it was that had my oldest so captivated, and got quickly caught up in J. K. Rowling’s magical story of the power of simple things like friendship and loyalty and a mothers love, and their ultimate triumph over fear and evil. We have lined up together at midnight in our PJs at the local bookstore to get the books the minute they were available, and then argued over who would get to read them first (luckily as mom I could pull rank), and we have had Harry Potter marathons before each of the last few movies where we watched the entire series from beginning to end. Enjoying the books and movies together has created many great memories for us over the years.
2011 was a big year for HP fans since we finally came to The End, with the final movie. We made a big event of it, and the whole family went out to join the other hardcore costumed fans for the midnight movie premier. I thought it would be fun to commemorate this in some way, and decided to try my hand at making a pendant based on some favourite quotes taken from the books. I liked the idea that the meaning of the words would not be immediately obvious to others, almost a little secretive. You can’t tell from this picture, but the quote in the pendant setting is covered with a thick, glassy coat of hard resin that makes it durable and long-lasting, and gives the image beautiful depth and reflection.
I was lucky early in my google search to stumble onto anniehowes.com, a great site with all the necessary supplies and instructions to guarantee success with glass and resin pendant projects. I even contacted the friendly and helpful Annie, who was happy to answer my last minute questions. Her quality supplies and instructional PDFs and videos made this project a snap. I used her 16mm square bezel pendant settings and Luxe epoxy resin for these pieces. Getting all caught up in the Christmas rush, I didn’t have the chance to photograph the how-to stages, but the website has great tutorials that explain the process far better than I can.
I toyed with the idea of cutting squares from pages of the books themselves but, being a book lover, I really didn’t like this idea (and, as it turned out, neither did the kids!) and so I scanned the pages and printed the scans onto photo paper. I kept the scans at roughly 100% so that only a few words from the quote would fit into the pendant – I thought that the ambiguity of the meaning would be part of the charm. One trick that helped was to cut a 16 mm square from a corner of a sheet of photo paper that fit exactly into the bezel. I used this as a template, placing it in the location I wanted on the quote and tracing around it with a sharpie marker to give me a cutting line. Based on Annie’s advice, I coated the photo with her Glamour Glue to keep the ink from bleeding, and used the glue to adhere the photo to the bottom of the bezel. I made sure to let this dry overnight since any moisture can make the resin cloudy.
The Luxe resin was very easy to work with. The only issue was keeping bubbles and dirt out of the resin. Annie’s tips were very helpful. I mixed the resin very slowly, and gave it about 10 minutes to settle. I used a popsicle stick to add resin to the bezel setting, and I was able to remove some of the larger bubbles using a toothpick. The best method, however, was to use a barbeque lighter to pass a flame quickly over the surface of the resin, causing the bubbles near the surface to pop (carefully, since the resin can scorch). I did this about 3 times at 5 minute intervals, giving all the bubbles a chance to rise to the surface. I covered the pendants as they were drying with a cover I made from aluminum foil to prevent dirt from settling. In this way all the pendants dried free of bubbles and dirt. One very important safety consideration when using resin is to avoid breathing fumes by working in a well-ventilated area. I addressed this by placing a tray on the surface of my stove and letting the fan run as I worked.
For the Harry Potter fans reading this, here are the quotes I chose to use for this project. The first is from Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, where Harry cleverly frees his faithful friend Dobby, the house elf, from enslavement by the abusive Lucius Malfoy:
‘Harry Potter freed Dobby!’ said the elf shrilly, gazing up at Harry, moonlight from the nearest window reflecting on his orb-like eyes. ‘Harry Potter set Dobby free!’
The second is from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, where Harry is about to go off to face danger alone and his brilliant friend Hermione professes her faith in Harry’s superior ability as a great wizard:
‘Me!’ said Hermione. ‘Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful!’
I chose these quotes to commemorate parts of the story that the girls particularly loved. There are many other great examples from these novels – wise, poignant, and funny. Just try google for some great ideas if you wanted to make something for yourself. I already have a few on my list for future projects. Thanks, J. K. Rowling!