Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to Make Domino Jewelry : A DIY Tutorial

How to Make Domino Jewelry

Level: Beginner/Easy

Vintage wood dominoes (click to learn about the history of dominoes)

Jewelry made from recycled materials is earth-friendly and all the rage. The exciting part about making jewelry from recycled materials is that the supplies you need are most likely already right in your own home!

One type of jewelry that is super-stylish and easy to make is domino jewelry. Dominos are fun to craft with and they can easily be made into either pins or pendants.

I created this domino pendant from a copy of a vintage St. Patrick's day post card

To make domino jewelry you will need dominos (either the old fashioned wooden kind or the newer, plastic kind), miscellaneous papers (think collage elements such as copies of vintage images, ephemera, scraps of pretty paper and words or text cut from an old book or magazine, wallpaper scraps, old cigar box labels, etc.), scissors, a decoupage medium, a sponge brush or small paintbrush to apply decoupage medium, jump-rings (for pendants) or pin-backs (for pin brooches), and a strong adhesive glue. 

Optional additional embellishing materials include colored pencils, pens, markers, glitter, sequins, small beads, flat buttons, and bits of lace.

I usually like to decorate only one side of the domino and leave the numbered side (the side with the dots) untouched or mostly uncovered. That way when you are wearing your pendant you can turn it over and show your friends that it’s a domino!

For this domino pendant I used an illustration and text from a damaged antique book

To begin, first choose your base paper. That will be the largest piece of paper that will cover only the front, or plain side of the domino. This will be the foundation for your finished design. To create your paper base, lay your domino on top of the paper and trace around the domino with a pencil. Then remove the domino and cut out your base paper.

Using a small paintbrush or sponge brush, apply a thin coat of decoupage medium to the plain side of the domino following the directions on the decoupage medium. Next adhere your base paper to the domino and gently press to adhere, being careful to remove all bubbles and lumps - and set aside until completely dry.

Mod Podge is one type of Decoupage Medium

Now comes the fun part! Select images or snippets from your papers and arrange them in a collage-like manner to your domino’s base paper. Use a very thin coat of the decoupage medium to adhere your elements to your domino. Let your creativity be your guide.

Here’s a tip: I like to start with the larger pieces of paper and then add smaller snippets to that piece in a layered fashion.

When finished, set aside until completely dry. Once your artwork is complete, apply another coat of decoupage medium to seal the piece and let it dry completely. To make a domino pin brooch, adhere a pin-back to the reverse side of your domino with a strong adhesive. To make a domino pendant, adhere a jump ring to the top edge of your domino with a strong adhesive.

Another pendant made with an illustration from a damaged antique book.

With a few basic materials and a little creativity, you can create your own recycled material jewelry that is fun to make and fun to wear!

P.S. - Oh, and be sure to learn how to play dominoes before you make domino jewelry, as you can be sure people at least one person who sees your awesome domino jewelry will ask you, "How do you play dominoes, anyway?" (click here to learn!)

Advanced Technique: Resin Coated Domino Jewelry

Level: Advanced
To achieve a glossy, glass-like finish you can coat your domino with resin. Working with resin is an advanced technique that requires a bit more time, patience, as well as safety precautions.

I used a copy of an antique Valentine to make this domino pendant, and then coated it with resin

What is resin jewelry?

The Dick Blick Art Materials website describes it best:
"Resin jewelry is made from liquid plastic that turns solid when a hardener is added....Resin has a wonderful appeal for its glass-like properties from crystal clear to translucent glowing hues."

Click here to learn more about the properties of resin.

Before you begin: Resin can be hazardous. It is extremely important to carefully read and follow all directions that are included with the product you are working with. It is also recommended that you do not work with resin around children or pets. You should also read all MSDS (safety data sheets) for any hazardous mediums that you are going to work with. I recommend purchasing materials from businesses that include the MSDS safety data sheets with your purchase.

Before coating a domino with resin, complete all the steps above under the How To Make Domino Jewelry, stopping after applying the finishing/sealing coat of decoupage medium. (do not adhere pin-back or jump rings to your domino.) Allow finished domino to dry overnight.

Working in a clean, dust-free, and temperature controlled area (according to resin packaging directions), prepare the resin exactly according to package directions. Be sure to cover your workspace with newspaper to protect all surfaces, and have paper towels on hand in case of any spills or messes.

Allow resin to set and dry according to package directions. Once completely set and dry, follow the directions above to adhere your pin-back or jump ring to your finished domino.

Image was embellished with glitter before resin was applied

You might also like:

Article copyright Laura Beth Love 2010, 2021 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link updates or corrections leave correct info in comment area.