In this project you will learn the easy to follow steps in creating your own gorgeous pieces of acrylic skins jewelry! This project is created in two sessions with a 3-7 day gap to allow plenty of drying time for the acrylic pour.
Acrylic skins are the dried paint that is left over from acrylic pouring. If you are someone who has tried acrylic pouring, you are familiar with the wasteful feeling as you watch all these beautiful colors pool in the tray underneath your wonderful artwork. This project can use the leftover skins from previous pours or you can create new acrylic skins specifically for this!
Our luscious Molten Metal Metallic Acrylics give you the most incredible shimmering effects. They make for the most marvelous paintings and even more marvelous Jewelry.
Jewelry settings of your choice (we used: gold bezel frames, small gold split rings, gold earring hooks, round indi pendant pack)
Thick cardboard (a cut from a packing box would work well)
Scissors or scalpel
Cutting mat (if using scalpel)
The first step for this project is to create the acrylic skins that will be used. This step needs 3-7days to dry so it is important to keep that in mind before starting the project. Let’s start by mixing up the paint with the pouring medium.
Squeeze out roughly a tablespoon of each color into the paper cups. Each cup should have its own color. For example one cup for Plum Purple, one cup for Gold and one cup for Copper. Then pour in 4 tablespoons of Chromacryl Pouring Medium into each cup and stir thoroughly for 30 seconds.
If you would like cells in your skins add in 3 drops of silicone oil to each color and stir for an additional 30secs. Cells are the bubble-like structures that emerge within the paint, they resemble what a “cell” shape would look like under a microscope.
Let your paint sit for about 5 minutes, this helps any air bubbles come to the surfaces before pouring.
Now that the paint is mixed with a pouring medium, it’s time to create some fluid art!
If you notice a lot of air bubbles still in your cups, tap the cup on the table a few times. This can help bring those bubbles to the surface to pop.
For this we are going to do a pour which is in between a “Dirty” and “Tree-Ting” style. If this is the first time acrylic pouring, ignore the styles and look them up later for some exciting inspiration for future projects.
Take the last empty cup and tilt it on a 45 degree angle. Gently pour in small amounts of each mixed color onto the same spot on the edge of the cup, about a teaspoon of each color at a time. You should see the rings of the previous colors forming in the cup. Continue this until the cup is ¾ full.
Now it’s time to pour our cup of various colors onto the plastic tray. Be sure to read the instructions first then pour.
Start in the center of the tray and slowly begin to pour the paint out of the cup in the same direction that you were filling it. The trick is to go slow and have the cup close to the surface of the tray.
Gently wiggle your wrist and slowly move your hand around the puddle while pouring. This creates some wonderful designs and interest for your skin. Continue until the cup is empty.
Step Four (optional)
If you used silicone oil and would like more cell development or if you didn’t use silicone and would like to pop any air bubbles that have emerged, it’s time to blow torch your paint! When using a blow touch it’s important to put your safety first. Read all instructions on the torch before use, and keep out of reach of children. Ensure that you have removed the paper cups from the area and any other flammable materials.
Turn the blow torch on and ensure it’s not pointing at anything or anyone. In a sweeping motion lightly brush the surface of your paint with the end of the flame about 5cm away from the surface. Keep the torch moving constantly so as not to overheat any area, the total duration of torching should only be 20-30 seconds. Turn the torch off and set aside, the cells will continue to develop over the next 5-10minutes.
Put your tray in a dry, dust free environment and let dry for 3-7 days. If the conditions are humid/cold the paint needs about 7 days and if it’s hot/dry it needs about 3 days to dry.
Before continuing to the next step it’s important to check that your paint skin is completely dry. If in doubt let dry for another 24 hours, best not to rush this as if it’s not totally dry, it will tear and break as you try to peel it off the tray.
Once your paint skin is completely dry, carefully peel it from the tray. Start at the edges and be as gentle as possible to ensure no tears.
With the skin ready to use it’s now time to examine it and find areas that you particularly like and would make for beautiful jewellery pieces. Placing the jewellery settings on the skin can help visualize this.
Once you have found the sections you would like to use its time to cut them out. Use the jewellery setting as a stencil and trace around the shape with the permanent marker.
Depending on the setting you are using to frame the piece of acrylic skin, you may need to create a backing panel. A thick piece of cardboard can work well for this. Using the setting, trace and cut out the shape in the cardboard.
It’s now time to assemble your pieces! Using Chromacryl Binder Medium or Impasto Medium is a good way to stick almost anything together. Where you need to glue will depend on which type of setting you are using. We used two types of settings. One of them we used for earrings and it is a metal frame that is hollow in the center. The other we used for a pendant and it has a backing and glass orb that sits on top.
For the earrings we first glued the cardboard backing to the acrylic skin. Then we tested the size and trimmed the edges to make sure it was a snug fit with no gaps when placed into the frame. We sealed the back of the cardboard with Chromacryl Binder Medium.
We carefully applied a small amount of a “super glue” on the inside of the metal jewellery frame. Gently we pushed the the acrylic skin with backing into the frame, taking care not to get glue anywhere on the outside of the frame.
The pendant jewellery fitting was much easier and all we needed to do was put a small amount of glue behind the acrylic skin to glue it to the backing, then a small amount onto to glue on the glass cover.
Now that the acrylic skins are assembled and glued into place let’s put on our jewelry making hats and attach the remaining findings to turn these wonderful gems into earrings and pendants to wear!
For the earrings we used the jewelry pliers to carefully open the split rings and attach the earring hooks. When doing this it’s important to look at how the earring will hang. Ensure that the hook is facing the right way so when it’s worn the acrylic skin faces out. Also look at the direction it hangs, if it hangs with the pendant sideways you will need to attach another split ring so it hangs straight.
For the pendant, it’s again a bit easier. The hardest decision to make is if you would like it hung on a chain and leather strap. We had trouble deciding so we made one of each!
Hope you enjoyed this project and now have some gorgeous handmade pieces to show off!
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