Friday, August 3, 2012

DIY Photo Bracelet

My sister in law's birthday was a few weeks ago, and with her photo bracelet being so well received, I thought a few of you might enjoy this project as well.

As my personal friends and family know, I put a lot of stock into what I buy people.
I want them to love the gift I give them as much as I enjoyed buying/making it for them, so I really wanted to find something "perfect" that I knew she would like. 

To start on my escapade, I went through her PIN page.  Where else! ;)
In the process, I came across a necklace.
It was okay...but that was just it...it was just okay.
After surfing the net for a few days, and coming up with absolutely nothing that deemed itself "perfect", I found myself in the aisles of Hobby Lobby.

I had zero ideas, and even less inspiration, but there I was.  Roaming the aisles.  In a daze.

In my roaming efforts, I saw lots of things I thought would be neat to try, but nothing was coming across as being the "it" item. 
I was about to leave, as it was getting late, and I needed to get my darling daughter home for bath and bed, but I decided to take one last stroll, and that's when I stubbed across a bracelet. 
It wasn't really anything too appealing at first, but it looked like something she'd wear, with the dainty little circles.  It was clearly meant to hold different styled gem stones, but I thought, how cute would that be to put add pictures of the kids in it?!

 THEN down yonder a bit, I saw they had a square one just like it, only the blocks were bigger, and I KNEW that it was EXACTLY what I was looking for! I don't know about y'all, but I don't know of a Momma out there who doesn't want to show off her babies, so this was absolutely PERFECT in my eyes!!  
As I stood there with my brilliant idea, I looked for a minute and thought, now how in the world am I going to do this?!!!
I'm a risk taker by trade, when it comes to crafting, so I just kept walking the aisles.  Something had to come up!

Then, there is was! I saw this sort of epoxy glue that they make for charms.  I figure, if it works for paper, why wouldn't it do the same for photo's. Exactly!
So I rushed home with my finds, took care of my Mommy-ish chores, and got to work later that night.  If you'd like to try this bracelet yourself;
You'll Need:
ICE Resin Epoxy Glue (It's expensive, but it's a lot of glue. I made 2 bracelets, and would have easily had enough to do 3. Maybe 4.  Only downfall? This is a one time use glue, so plan accordingly.)
Sponge
Disposable Cup
Scissors, or box punch
Glass Dropper (optional)
Square Bracelet
Photo's cut down to size
Plastic Grocery Bag
Good Lighting
*Photo's being used throughout the process are from both of the bracelets I was making at the same time, so some pictures will be of one family, and other's will be of another.*
To start, print all your photo's.  You can go through and manually shrink the photo's yourself, but I chose to print index prints, and that seemed to work really well. Tip:  I tried to do family photo's, but the more crowded your photo, the harder it is to cut down. They are a family of 5, so the bodies pretty much took up the entire space, so it just didn't work.  Now, my family of 3, worked great.  You'll just have to mess with it.
Once all your photo's are printed, cut them down to fit inside the squares of your bracelet.  I just used plain ol' scissors, but you can easily use a punch, if you have one.
 FYI: You will have to cut them down from the index print.
 Pretty cool!
Once all your pictures fit inside the bracelet perfect, you'll need to create your work space for working with glue.  Since *I* have such an amazing craft space...haha...I just used a plastic grocery bag to place on top of my stove.  You definitely want something that will not leak through, and something that can be thrown out afterwards.  Your work space, should to be flat and level.
Once your work space is set up, and you have everything laid out in your workspace.  Cup, glue, sponge, dropper, bracelet and pictures.
Now take your sponge and cut it down.  I used a new sponge we had in the cabinet, and cut it down to about 1" x  1".  If you're guesstimating on size, make sure it's smaller than the bezel, as you do not want glue getting on the side of your bracelet.  This stuff is super thick and sticky, and does not (I repeat DOES NOT) come off once it is applied.
 
 Before mixing your glue, I suggest you lay out your pictures the way you want them displayed in the bracelet. They're easier to access this way and you know they will stay in the correct order.
For your glue.  Grab your disposable cup, and add and mix your glue according to the directions.  Tip:  If I would have known then, what I know now, I would have trimmed my cup down for easier accessibility.  It wasn't difficult to reach in, but it would have been convenient.
Now it's time to start piecing everything together!
Again, make sure your bracelet is on a FLAT surface.  Very important here.
Take your sponge and lightly dip it into the epoxy, then dab it into the 1st bezel (or opening on your bracelet).
 
 Apply your picture and with your empty dropper, dab all the corners so that the picture sticks.
Now with your dropper, squeeze the end of the dropper to suck up the glue, and move it back over to your 1st square and drop the glue into the opening.  You can fill it as much as you want.  I like the bubble effect, so made sure to fill it full.  Almost to the point of it spilling over.  As the glue sets it will shrink down a bit too, so keep that in mind.
 Continue these same steps for the rest of the bracelet and sit overnight (or up to 3 days if you have time for all that). 
Finished Product:

 This bracelet seemed to be very well received.  I think she was actually a little excited about it, and in my opinion, may even be the best gift I've given her yet! 

(PS) This would be perfect for Mother's Day, or Grandparents Day, which is right around the corner!  I know it's been perfect for those times I've bump into someone I haven't seen in awhile and they ask about your family.  No need to sweat not having your handy brag photo book.  You're already wearing it! :)

Now lets see the ones you've made.  I'm sure they're great!!






5 comments:

  1. Your bracelet is so cute! I would love to do one for my S-I-L, but she is not a very nice person and if its not from Tiffany's, Kay's or any other place like that, she wouldn't wear it. Why my brother married a very superficial person is beyond me!!! (OMG!! I sort of vent there, I am truly sorry!!!) but in the flip side I have 4 boys or sometimes to include the hubs, then I have 5 boys. So for once I am going to make something for myself and you have truly inspired me with your beautiful bracelet !! Thank you so much for posting it !!! You are one awesome chicky!!!

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    1. Thank you so much OkieGirl! I hope you make one for yourself. You deserve it!!

      To this day its one of my greatest treasures. I know you will enjoy it. :)

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  2. Where did you buy the bracelet?

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  3. Where did you buy the bracelet

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    1. Hi Ana! I found the bracelet at Hobby Lobby, but you can get them at Michael's as well. Let me know if you have any questions! This was a fun project. I've had mine for 2 years and still love it!

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