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Friday, 30 May 2014

Tutorial - Make your own glass cabochons

Tutorial make you own glass cabochon
This step by step tutorial will show you how to customize a glass cabochon with a printed illustration and Mod Podge.

Last March, we launched our line of clear glass cabochons. Now we are ready for the next phase; we are going to create our own cabochons!
First I would like to say: Practise makes perfect! We tried making a large number of cabochons using several techniques, and the results varied. It really is a skill that take some time to perfect.
What do you need to create your own jewelry cabochons?
  • Transparant, clear glass cabochons. The Beadmixer carries 9 different sizes, both round and oval. This toturial focuses on working with the largest cabochon of 40x30 mm.
  • Mod Podge is the product we used to adhere the print to the cabochon. Mod Podge is used for two different purposes: first we want to seal (protect) the illustration and then we want to glue it to the cabochon.
We don't recommend just using a general type of glue to stick the print to the cabochon. Many jewelry glues don't dry up clear, and are often too aggressive, causing damage to the print.
  • You will need high resolution prints, on thick paper.
I myself had a round through the thrift store, and bought a large selection of art books for merely 10 euros. The books are generally printed on high quality paper, and you get a lot of illustrations for your money.
  • A simple brush is used to apply the Mod Podge.
  • A pen to trace out the cabochon.
  • Scissors to cut out the print.
  • A tea towel to clean up the cabochon.
How do you proceed?
Select an attractive illustration for you cabochon
1. Select an attractive illustration to match the size of your cabochon. I myself am very fond of Renaissance art, and I found this tourist book with gorgeous illustrations from Florence.
Seal the print with Mod Podge
2. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to seal the print. This will protect the print once you glue it to the cabochon. Leave to dry for 15 minutes.
Trace the outline of the cabochon
3. Place the cabochon on the print, and trace the outline.
Cut out the print
4. Cut out the print just within the trace line. What you really want, is for the print to be a fraction smaller than the cabochon itself.
5. Clean the glass cabochon with water and dry with a tea towel.
Apply a layer of Mod Podge on the print and the cabochon
6. Apply a layer of Mod Podge on both the glass cabochon and the print. Cover the surfaces entirely. The first time I tried this, I used far too little glue. Take your time to learn the correct amount you need.
When you apply the glue, to will notice tiny air bubbles appearing in the Mod Podge. You will want to minimize this effect, so try to pop the largest bubbles with your brush.
Place the print to the back side of the cabochon
7. While the Mod Podge is still fluid, place the print to the back side of the cabochon. You will probably see several pockets of air.
Gently press the back to squeeze the air out. You may still slide the print slightly to remove any air bubbles.
All excess glue will appear from the sides. Don't worry if the cabochon is smudged, once dried up you can remove the Mod Podge with tap water and a tea cloth. Make sure you do not squeeze out all of the glue. What you really need, is fine layer between the print and the cabochon.
Let the Mod Podge dry
8. Turn the cabochon over and leave to dry. The Mod Podge will now appear white and fluid. This will dry up entirely clear and transparant.
The result after an hour
9. After about an hour you will see that the glue has dried up all clear. You many notice tiny pinpoints on the print. Most likely, this is the result of using too little Mod Podge. These are not air bubbles, but the print being placed directly to the glass. As you get more experienced, this effect will occur less.
Seal the back of the cabochon
10. Cover the back side of the illustration with a layer of Mod Podge, to seal the print. When you glue the cabochon into a setting, you do not want the glue to damage the quality of the print. That's why we add a protective sealing layer on the back.
11. Leave this to dry again for about 15 minutes, and moisten a tea towel with tap water. No doubt there are some smudges of Mod Podge on the glass, these can be easily wiped off. Give special attention to the sides of the cabochon, you really want the cabochon free of all glue residue.
At this stage, I would advise you to let the cabochon rest for several hours before glueing it into a setting. Once the cabochon is well dried, you may use any kind of glue (like Hasulith or E6000 for instance) to place it securely into a jewelry setting.
Renaissance glass cabochons
Here the result of my set of Renaissance glass cabochons!
Now thread a necklace in a colour to match, or place it on a ballchain and your unique cabochon will be a gorgeous focal in your jewelry.
Do you have any questions about this technique? Leave a message at the bottom of the page and we will get back to you!
Summary glas cabochon tutorial


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