How to Make Cameo Jewelry

by Charissa Struble

The ever exclusive cameo has made a comeback and the vintage accessory can be seen on clothing and apparel, hair accessories and jewelry. A trip to an arts and crafts store can provide you with the inspiration that you need to create your own unique cameo jewelry. Combining an old favorite with modern day beads and bangles will give you a fresh look that all of your friends will envy. One afternoon should give you plenty of time to select your supplies, map out a cameo design and create earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pins for yourself or to give away as gifts.

Items you will need

  • Earring hooks
  • Silver headpins
  • Cameo charms in different sizes and colors
  • Silver jump rings
  • Various beads, preferably pearls, bicones and crystals
  • 1/4 inch sheer ribbon in your choice of color
  • Single clasps
  • Scissors
  • Round pliers
  • Jeweler's wire cutters
  • Measuring tape
  • Lighter
Step 1

Slide pearls, bicones or crystals onto a headpin one at a time and trim using the jeweler's wire cutters until there is 1 cm of exposed wire sticking up from the headpin. Take the round pliers and roll the wire tip until a loop is formed above the bead. Continue doing this until you have eight headpins full of beads for each set of earrings that you plan to make. You do not want more than two to three beads on each headpin.

Step 2

Open up a jump ring and slide the cameo onto it. Position two beaded headpins on each side of the charm. There should be four in total on the jump ring. Place the earring hook through the open jump ring. Using the round pliers, close the jump ring. Repeat with the second cameo.

Step 3

Set the earrings aside and gather the supplies needed to make a ribbon bracelet and necklace. Measure your wrist and neck before cutting the ribbon. Add extra length to the ribbon to prevent it from fraying.

Step 4

Cut two pieces of ribbon. The longer one will be used for the necklace while the shorter one will make a bracelet. Trim the ribbon until it forms a point at the end.

Step 5

Open up two more jump rings and put them through the holes in the top of the cameos. Slide the charms onto the ribbon and position them in the middle. Take the pearls, bicones and crystals and form a pattern to match the earrings that you have already made. Leave enough space at the end of the ribbon to attach a clasp.

Step 6

Place the clasp at the end of the ribbon and tie a knot. Use the lighter to melt the end pieces sticking out of the necklace and bracelet. Adjust the beads on the jewelry one last time to your liking. Model your new creation in the mirror to see if it turned out the way that you wanted it to look.

Tips

  • Less is more. Do not add too many beads to the necklace or bracelet. The ribbon is supposed to show through on these pieces of jewelry.

Warnings

  • Be cautious when using a lighter. Ribbon melts very quickly and can burn your fingers if you are not paying attention.

About the Author

Charissa Struble is a professional writer and Internet marketer whose work has appeared at GenXFinance, Wisebread, the Penny Hoarder and Intuit. Her areas of expertise include personal finance, crafting, traveling, small business ownership and social media.