Waiting at the airport to board our flight for CHA this year, Ellen and I wandered into one of our favorite airport stores and some fun jewelry caught our eye—we were smitten with these pendants that had magnetic backings and could be switched out on a whim with another design. “Too bad they don’t make blanks so we crafty chicks could make our own.”, we sighed, wistfully.
Then we got to CHA. And we found Bottle Cap, Inc. And . . . as I like to say, we got the vapors! Because they make ALL the parts we needed to make our own magnetic, interchangeable pendants! Pendants and bracelets are always fun to make and give—or keep for yourself!
I love how convenient and easy these products are to work with—I’m an instant gratification girl and when I need to make a gift, I want it to be speedy and quick.
To make the pendant in this article, I started with the super strong magnetic discs, a beaded pendant and the acrylic cabochons.
SAFETY NOTE: I do want to mention that the neodymium (N35 grade) magnets for this project are incredibly strong and not intended for children under age 14; they can easily cause injury if not handled properly.
Begin by punching an image from paper, using a 1” punch (the magnets, cabochons and pendant base are all 1”). You could certainly stamp an image, if you wanted, but I had some pretty paper laying around and wanted to use the pretty rose image shown here.
Next, you’ll need to mount the punched image to one of the magnetic discs. The trick here is getting the magnets apart—as I mentioned, they are incredibly strong. I actually tried a variety of methods, and could not pry them apart, but eventually discovered that if I used a wooden craft stick to brace the bottom of the stack of magnets with my thumbs, I could laterally slide the top magnet off. Make sure to keep your fingers firmly over the top magnet as you’re sliding it apart, because when they do suddenly release, it could go flying off over your shoulder.
I actually filmed myself creating this pendant, so if the above is unclear, the video should show you how I did it; you may have another method that works just as well or possibly even better. Feel free to watch the video here below or to see it in high-definition view it here on our You-Tube channel.
Once you have the magnets separated, be sure to return the ones you are not working with back in the packaging; it’s actually the perfect storage for them.
Adhering the punched circle to the magnet is as easy as sending it down the chute of a Xyron “X” machine; it covers the back completely with adhesive that bonds nicely to the magnet.
A clear-drying adhesive, such as Glossy Accents, is perfect for gluing the cabochon over the top of the artwork to seal it. Apply a nice puddle atop the paper, and then place the cabochon over the top. Rather than squeezing it down, try moving the cabochon around in a circular fashion to distribute the glue evenly across the entire surface of the artwork; this will help avoid any air bubbles from getting sandwiched between the paper and the cabochon. It may ooze a bit out the sides, but you can wipe the excess away with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry thoroughly, and then you’re ready to drop it into the pendant base, which has a magnetic coating inside the well.
The cabochons are acrylic and do a wonderful job of magnifying and clearly showcasing the artwork beneath! You are now ready add a chain, ribbon, cord or necklace of your choice through the bail.
TIP: If you find you ended up with air bubbles that dried in the Glossy Accents between the paper artwork and the cabochon, for whatever reason , you can actually re-do it!
Simply separate the cabochon very carefully from the magnet; drop the cabochon in some warm tap water and let it soak. While it’s soaking the paper and dissolving the Glossy Accents, you can usually remove any paper or Xyron adhesive residue from the magnetic disc itself with a baby wipe and a little elbow grease.
After allowing the cabochon to soak for a time, use the pads of your thumbs to rub away the paper—it should roll off fairly easily. Continue dunking the cabochon in the water and rubbing the paper and any remaining dried Glossy Accents off the cabochon. Dry it with a lint-free cloth and you’re ready to try again.
I am allergic to nickel, so I like to use a sterling snake chain necklace given to me by my husband years ago and I just swap the pendants out—but with this project, I can leave the pendant in place, and simply swap out the cabochon!
If you prefer a permanent option, you can certainly omit the magnets and glue the punched out artwork directly into the well of the pendant, and if you prefer a lower profile than the cabochon, you can seal the artwork by substituting the 1” Epoxy Dots, which are already self-adhesive.
Both the Cabochons and Epoxy (Circle) Dots come in 1” and ½” circle sizes, as do the N35 grade magnets—the round bracelet blanks are the perfect size for the ½” sized. Epoxy Dots also come in 20mm squares/tiles, which match the square bracelet blanks, as well as the alphabet tiles.
For a great children’s project, try making Bottle Cap Pendants with the 1” Caps and Epoxy Dots, or charm bracelets with the Mini ½” caps and matching Epoxy Dots—darling! The 1/16” Hole Punch makes it easy to create holds in the caps for inserting jump rings. The Bottle Caps come in silver, as well as a variety of colors. We also carry pre-flattened versions! To view the entire collection of Bottle Cap Jewelry Parts and Tools we carry, click HERE.
For me personally, it’s very exciting to have so many options for making beautiful jewelry pieces quickly and easily—I think a bracelet is next on my list!