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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cabochon Jewelry Tutorial

Cabochons are everywhere right now. Blogs, Etsy shops, boutiques - you name it! I always wondered how they were made and it was hard for me to find a tutorial... so here you go! They are so simple to make, and really affordable. They make wonderful gifts, and selling them is a great way to make some extra money.

I made both earrings and necklace charms.

How to create clay cabochons:
I used Mold Muse silicone molds. Highly recommend them! They are inexpensive, high quality, and they have a large selection of molds to choose from. In fact, I have a few more molds on my list that I want to buy!!

Clay or Resin:
{resin tutorial to come soon - today I am using clay}: I used both Sculpey clay and Pardo clay. I bought both at Hobby Lobby and wanted to see what the difference was, if any. Clay comes in lots of colors and brands.

Like most brands, I'm sure everyone's opinion is different. I noticed the Pardo clay I bought, while awesome in color, was really hard to use. It took over 30 minutes to get the clay warm enough and pliable enough to put into the mold. The purple was pretty much useless. I spent more than 45 minutes trying to get it to a useable consistency and it just crumbled. One thing that was good about the Pardo clay was that it was firm enough that I could pop it out of the mold without distorting the flower.

You can see in the image that the flower came out of the mold kind of cracked and wrinkled in areas.
Some flowers came out fine, others look like the one in the image.

The black and silver were the Sculpey clay. I really loved using this brand. It was soft right out of the package, and really simple to use. The only issue I had was that it was so soft that I had to leave the clay in the mold to bake it instead of popping it out. Not a problem though, just a little time consuming if you are wanting to make more than one at a time.

Close up of my flowers. The larger ones came out perfect, the smaller ones were harder to pop out and not mess up. If the designs are more intricate, I recommend just baking them in the mold.

Each brand of clay will have their own instructions for baking. For example, the Pardo clay bakes at a lower temperature than the Sculpey and for less time. So, read the instructions! Also remember that the molds cannot be baked higher that 395º, so check the clay packaging before purchasing.

  1. Knead your clay until the clay is soft, and press firmly into the mold. Scrape extra off the top until the clay is level with the mold.
  2. Place the molds and clay {if outside of mold} on a baking sheet {no oil or parchment paper needed}. Bake for instructed time and temperature. Use caution before handling since the silicone mold will be hot. Allow it to cool before demolding to prevent any part of your design from breaking or cracking.
  3. Now you have cabochons!! You can do all kinds of things: use them on cards as embellishments, create jewelry, add to hair accessories, and so much more!! The possibilities are endless.
To create earrings & necklaces, you'll need:
E-6000 Glue
Flat Earring Posts with Clutches {I got a pack from Hobby Lobby with about 36 posts/clutches}
Necklace Bails {I got a pack from Hobby Lobby with 2 bails}

Add a small amount of E-6000 glue onto the flat part of the earring post. This is almost a little too much glue.
A little goes a long way. And yes, mama needs a manicure...

Place the earring post onto the back part of the cabochon. Try to get it as centered as possible.
Let set for a few hours to dry completely.

You can see the original on the bottom flower that the clay will look matte when finished. The clay I used had some sheen/glitter added to it, so it had a little bit of shine. As an experiment, I just painted a thin layer of polyurethane varnish to give the top flower some extra shine. I love how easy it was and the glossy look.

Now your earrings are finished!

For the necklace, I just glued a bail to the back of the flower. Let dry for a few hours and that's it!

I didn't add any varnish to this flower, and it still looks great!

When I went to Breathing Space, I put together these earring sets for my house/roommates. Super easy to put together. I designed the squares, cut them out, and then took a small needle and poked the holes where the earrings would go. Push the earrings through, add the backs and there you have a personalized gift!

Linking to these parties!

**Disclosure: I received a complimentary molds from Mold Muse as part of this review. None of the clay was donated. All opinions are my own.**

Would you like to comment?

  1. Hello Lindsay,
    Your clay earring sets came out so pretty, I am sure that your house/roommates will love them. ;o) My daughter and I just starting working with clay, making charms. It is a great hobby. Thanks for the tutorial and useful tips.
    Smiles, Paula

  2. So sweet of you to give them a gift. Love em!

  3. LOVE these!! Thanks so much for the great tutorial!♥

  4. Sculpey is my favorite also...I like it much better than fimo also!

  5. Love the color - Sweet little gift items!

  6. My secret's out!! ;) Your's turned out gorgeous Lindsay! Great tutorial too. I absolutely love the earring tags you designed for Breathing Space too.

  7. This is a great tutorial and you have inspired me to want to try making my own. Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  8. Beautiful! My daughter would love to make these! She is 17-1/2 and loves to make jewelry and hair things. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. This is just too cool! Thank you for the tutorial!

  10. Thanks for the tuts! I have clays and similar molds so I probably make a pair of earrings... i'm excited!

  11. I've totally wondered how to do this! Thanks for sharing and for linking to Pin-ed it, Made it.

  12. Cabochon jewelry tutorial is given on this post. Have a look

  13. Super cute! Thanks for the tutorial! definitely Pining it [:

  14. For the softer clays, try putting them in the freezer for a few minutes before trying to pop them out of the mold. This usually helps firm them up quickly so they won't be distorted when you pop them out and you can make more at one time. :)

  15. Very nice pendent set and different shape.The pendent set design is built in flower in violet.


  17. Where did you find those plain bails you used for your necklace?! I love them but I can only seem to find leaf or tree or feather designs! Thanks so much!

  18. Hey, those turned out gorgeous and I love the mold site! I just want to ask you where on earth you find those simple bails that you used on the cabochon pendant?! I can ONLY find feather, leaf, or tree shaped settings for some reason! Thank you so much ahead of time!

  19. Ι ⅼike it when people get together and share views.

    Great site, stick with it!

  20. Wow I love this tutorial n the things you have made , I do designs myself , but also and now you have inspired me to wanna try and make some jewellery myself.
    Thanks .🙂


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