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How to Do Handprint Engraving in 2D

How to Do Handprint Engraving for fingerprints, handprints, footprints, pawprints, noseprints, thumbprints etc you can include an Inkless Wipe Kit. We can laser engrave 2D images onto most of our pieces. Ask the clients to email you photos; if the photos are good quality then they can keep the originals. Some clients struggle with getting a clear photo in daylight which is suitable for engraving, so then you might ask them to post the original and then photograph it yourself. Include a label, with your client’s name and order number. Please remember to tell your client that the engraving might not be exactly to scale, ask them if they would prefer the entire print to be shown scaled down, or whether they would like a partial print that’s to scale (such as a fingerprint on the outside of a ring band, looking as if someone’s touched the ring). Although laser engraving is the easiest way to apply an image, there are more affordable options such as using an etching/routing machine or etching with ferric chloride and Press n Peel Paper but this needs to be done safely with training and full PPE.

hair ring footprint engraving and font in Silver South Script. Dark hair and orchid purple resin sparkle mix 2D laser engraved jewellery
hair ring footprint engraving and font in Silver South Script. Dark hair and orchid purple resin sparkle mix

*Taking prints from deceased people and pets

 

Working with Precious Metal Clay with 2D prints


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How To Make Sending Kits

How To Make Sending Kits with downloadable instruction templates from Keepsaker Supplies breastmilk jewellery kit

How to make sending kits for your clients to post you their elements such as breastmilk, cremation ashes, locks of hair and fur, umbilical cord and placenta, flowers, petals and leaves, sand and earth, sentimental fabrics, prints such as fingers and feet (2D or 3D).

How To Make Sending Kits

  1. First of all, you will need to make up a set of instructions for each element. You can save the hassle and download our PDF Instruction Templates here. If your client has a breastmilk and umbilical cord necklace, for example, you’ll need to send them instructions for both breastmilk and umbilical cord
  2. We find using a large letter box is the least expensive way to ship here in the UK, but ask others in your country what they find the cheapest way to send.
  3. Include a ring sizer like this if they ordered a ring
  4. Use washi tape to make pots look beautiful and tell them apart
  5. Include a sealable bag with their name, order number, order dates and details. They will put their tubes and pots in here

Breastmilk Kits
Include two 5ml Breastmilk Sending Tubes which we sell here, mark each tube with an Ultra Fine Sharpie, one line at 5ml and one just above. If they fill the tube to the brim, just include the extra milk when using our breastmilk preservation powder, it will just take slightly longer to thicken. Write your client’s name and order number on each of the two tubes and initials and order number on the lid. Include one bag for the milk tubes and one bag for other elements like hair or cord.

Cremation Ashes Kits
Include one 3ml Sending Pot (we sell them here too). We prefer plastic because they’re see-through, and a small 2ml spoon, and ask them to return the spoon. If they fill the pot to the brim, just transfer the extra ashes into a separate container so that it doesn’t spill when you’re working and make your crafting area messy. Write your client’s name and order number on the lid and the bottom of the pot with an Ultra Fine Sharpie. include a sealable bag with their name, order number, order dates and details.

Lock of Hair and Fur Kits
Include one 3ml Sending Pot and a small length of cotton thread to tie the hair or fur. Write your client’s name and order number on the lid and the bottom of the pot with an Ultra Fine Sharpie. Sending a kit prevents them from doing things like putting sticky tape on the hair, or folding it in foil (which causes kinks).

Horse Hair Kits
Include two of the labelled bags because the hair won’t bend into a pot – ask for around 5-10 strands but make sure they keep half back. You can work with half a single strand if that’s all they have by doubling it up a few times. Once the hair arrives, wash it in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly then wipe with an alcohol wipe to remove any leftover grease and dirt.

Umbilical Cord and Placenta Kits
Include one 3ml Sending Pot. Write your client’s name and order number on the lid and the bottom of the pot with an Ultra Fine Sharpie. Sending a kit prevents them from sending the entire cord and clip, which would be devastating if lost in the post. And orange pip size piece is more than enough for several pieces (although if doing more than one bead or large orb, you may need to add a colour as the ground cord might be a little sparse).

Petal and Leaf Kits
Include two labeled bags. Write your client’s name and order number on the lid and the bottom of the pot with an Ultra Fine Sharpie. Sending a kit prevents them from doing things like putting sticky tape on the hair, or folding it in foil (which causes kinks).

2D Fingerprint Kits for Engraving*
For fingerprints, handprints, footprints, pawprints, noseprints, thumbprints etc you can include an Inkless Wipe Kit*. We can laser engrave 2D images onto most of our pieces. Ask the clients to email you photos; if the photos are good quality then they can keep the originals. Some clients struggle with getting a clear photo in daylight which is suitable for engraving, so then you might ask them to post the original and then photograph it yourself. Include a bag labelled with your client’s name and order number, they can cut out one of the prints to send.  For handwriting you can ask them to send a photo – we don’t allow them to post the original item (such as a birthday card) because it’s irreplaceable if it’s lost in the post. In that case, ask the client to get help photographing it.

3D Fingerprint Kits for Metal Clay*
For fingerprints, thumbprints, noseprints etc you can include a 3D Putty Kit. Include a bag labelled with your client’s name and order number, ask them to make two but only send one because it’s irreplaceable if it’s lost in the post. To use the mould they return, fill it with glue from a hot glue gun, epoxy resin or layers of UV resin and that becomes the master to imprint into clay. Buy Precious Metal Clay here and follow tutorials. See our blog here Fingerprint Engraving and Metal Clay

*Please see our blog here Fingerprint Engraving and Metal Clay on taking prints from the recently deceased and using Precious Metal Clay.

More coming soon (sorry, I have covid and I’m exhausted – doing my best!)

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Umbilical Cord and Breastmilk Ring Tutorial

Ayla umbilical cord breastmilk ring, pearly purple breastmilk resin sparkle mix. Making breastmilk jewellery

Umbilical cord and breastmilk ring tutorial – making breastmilk jewellery using a direct pour technique. This technique is ideal for our exclusive hybrid rings here which are great for direct pouring because the walls are curved over, meaning the resin can’t pop out again. You also have the option to use the mould included in the kit to make a couple of cabochons then choose your favourite to glue into the setting and top coat.

Umbilical Cord and Breastmilk Ring Tutorial Video


To learn how to preserve the milk here’s the full blog with instructions and the video:

We include these PDF downloadable instructions with the breastmilk kits for preserving the milk. After your first order you’ll receive a reasonable 15% off future purchases*. If you’d like to work towards your own preservation methods please read our breastmilk jewellery making blogs!

Firstly, when making breastmilk jewellery send your client a breastmilk sending kit, see our Worldwide Sourcing Guides here – including the UKUSAAustralia and Canada (more countries coming soon) for details on the tubes we recommend, which are also suitable for heating directly although that’s not needed for this method.

Umbilical Cord and Breastmilk Ring Tutorial

You’ll need the following supplies

one of our DIY breastmilk ring kits
the breastmilk version of the kits contain:

You’ll also need your client’s preserved, dried and ground breastmilk and a small piece of your client’s umbilical cord/placenta powder or cremation ashes.  We ask them to only send half a cord stump, not including the clip! That way, if it’s lost in the post they can send a little more.

GRINDING UMBILICAL CORD
The pliers are the easiest way to cut umbilical cord
You can use scissors instead, but it’s tricky because the cord is tough and sinewy.
Cord stumps contain dried connective tissue and blood, some have more connective tissue and the resulting jewellery is more beige and brown, some have more blood and have a ruby colour but most pieces are a combination
Cut off some of the cord stump and put the rest back in the pot for your client to return with their finished jewellery
Use the pliers to make the pieces as small as possible. You can see you only need the tiniest bit!
Use the pestle and mortar to grind those pieces finely just as you did with the breastmilk powder.
The more time you spend grinding, the nicer the result
Scrape it from the edges with a tiny spoon
For good measure, give your breastmilk powder an extra grind in the other pestle and mortar
on KeepsakerSupplies.com you’ll find all the supplies I’ve used in this video

FILLING THE RING
Put your ring in the side of the ring clamp
You can also prop it up in an egg cup wrapped with cling film with a slit, or propped up in WhiteTack on a ring dish.
Anything which can be easily transferred into the UV lamp and keeps it up level
On the label backing paper put some pearly breastmilk sparkle mix, a tiny drop of resin and add breastmilk powder.
I’m using our UV top coat today instead of resin because it’s easier to work with and never leaves a sticky residue.
I don’t use it for every piece because it’s a little pricier than our regular UV resin which comes in the making breastmilk jewellery kit.
I wouldn’t use it for a bead or a heart necklace for instance.
It’s no problem using the resin in the kit but I definitly recommend buying the top coat just for a finishing layer of larger pieces

Mix the powder and resin well with the cocktail stick and put a little drop in the ring, so it’s just about half full
Cure in a UV lamp**

ADDING THE CORD
Take a fresh piece of label backing paper and add a drop of resin.
Put the ground umbilical cord next to it.
Use a toothpick to put some resin where you want the cord, in this case I’m making a crescent moon shape so I’m adding it round one edge

CURE AGAIN
Put any unused cord back in the client’s pot to return
You could also add dried ground placenta or cremation ashes at this point, too

SWIRLING ON A GALAXY EFFECT
Clients absolutely love a galaxy effect, so I’m adding some of the pearly breastmilk sparkle mix which comes in the kits.
Add a little bit of resin then take the tiniest bit of the pearly sparkles on a toothpick
This is pearly purple and I’m adding a couple of the opalescent flakes
Swirl in gently, you’ll notice it’s only visible at certain angles so it’s a beautiful surprise when it catches the light just so
We sell six different colours of the pearly breastmilk sparkle mixes, also known as “ghost pigments” because they don’t really contain any pigment.
The photos on our website definitely don’t do them justice!
Cure again

DOMING WITH TOP COAT
I find it easiest to pick up a little top coat directly from the bottle and drop onto the piece
If you add too much, just use the side of the toothpick and roll it around in the resin to pick some up
I like it just slightly domed, if it’s too high it’s more prone to being knocked

FULLY CURE TWICE
Allow the ring to cool completely after curing then cure again
The resin can’t pop out of this ring because it’s curved inwards at the top making it perfect for direct pours or cabochon stone setting

Ayla umbilical cord breastmilk ring, pearly purple breastmilk resin sparkle mix. Making breastmilk jewellery

**Which UV Lamp To Use

I’m using a 48w Sun3 lamp with a low heat setting but any UV lamp or torch will do when making breastmilk jewellery. We sell a USB powered mini lamp here (UK only, sorry – here’s the USA version). We don’t recommend you use daylight unless it’s very bright and sunny and you work in extremely thin layers. We had a client contact us this week and we’re replacing their DIY breastmilk ring after the resin exploded out of the centre after being cured on the windowsill. The sunlight had only cured the very top layer, underneath was still liquid.

If you add too much pigment to a piece too it won’t cure, I’ve had beads that you can crush in your fingertips made by new artists that added too much resin sparkle mix.

Adding Hair

If you want to add hair when making breastmilk jewellery then you can cut a little and add it along with, or instead of, the umbilical cord. I find it a lot easier to shape it into a mould though.
There’s a video linked down below teaching you how to do that and set it in a rubover setting
This is one of our exclusive hybrid settings meaning you can pour directly into it like I’m doing here or you can glue in a cabochon then dome it with a top coat to add extra security

Now relax and do some crafting!

Please note, this Umbilical Cord and Breastmilk Ring Tutorial contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a small income based on your purchases from Amazon and Etsy etc. This affiliate income is really helpful to me to support my family and if you’d like to know how I set it all up please get in touch (blogs coming soon!).
Nikki
pronouns – they/them

*terms apply – some products aren’t included such as settings and findings, sorry.

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6 Ways To Sell More Breastmilk Jewellery

10 Ways To Sell More Breastmilk Jewellery by being honest, ethical, environmentally friendly and giving your clients great quality pieces.

1. Use Stock Images To Advertise

The age old chicken and the egg question. You get more orders if you can show customers what your jewellery looks like before they buy. But getting the images can only usually be done once you’ve sold one. We can make ourselves a dozen pieces but if you’re anything like me, you will have enough pieces to last you a lifetime already. There’s only so many breastmilk beads this business owner needs!

What some artists do is take a screen shot of the setting from the manufacturer and share that on their page. It does give people an idea of the style of the jewellery, however, it’s not the most professional. Clients can’t imagine what their breastmilk will look like in the setting though, it’s best to show a mockup (photo of how it may look). So you might not be the best at Photoshop but that’s no problem. If you buy our stock images here (some are usually free!) then clients can get an idea of how the piece will look and you can get an order based on it. 

2. SEO “Breastmilk Jewellery”

SEO is a time-consuming hobby but it’s not that difficult. There are tons of courses out there that teach you how to climb Google rankings with SEO and my tip is to install something called Yoast (this bit isn’t sponsored, I just think they’re great). Making lots and lots of small, laborious changes to the way your listings appear online can really help. It takes ages but it’s free and well worth it. Beware of paying  someone to do it for you unless you know for certain they really know your product well.

P.S. It’s “breastmilk” not “breast milk”, “breastfeeding” not “breast feeding” its use over the years has evolved so that the common use is a single word. You tend to see it split into two by people who don’t have much to do with breastfeeding, such as right wing newspapers, but most of the time you’ll see it as one word. Jewellery or jewelry depends on the country you’re in, so you’ll see us switch between the two depending on the audience. Jewellery for the UK and Australia, jewelry in the USA and Canada. Sadly, the spelling “jewely” and “jewerly” both appear a lot on TikTok hashtags over the UK and USA spellings, but I hope you you can ignore those!

3. Work With Micro Influencers

I’m not recommending you to start giving out hundreds of pounds’ worth of free breastmilk jewellery, but if an influencer approaches you’d don’t immediately turn them down. Having done a couple of successful influencer campaigns, I’ve been really happy both times – one influencer shot it so far out of the park we’ve stayed friends ever since and I’ll be making her engagement rings for her. You can even approach them yourself if you find someone who aligns really well with your brand, but beware of fees if they are larger influencers.

My top tip is to include an influencer agreement if you’re paying them or the value is very high, make sure they’re clear on timescales and what they can and can’t post. Talk it through, write it down and be prepared for ones that don’t pan out. I think it’s worth trying though, it’s one of the most interesting ways to sell more Breastmilk Jewellery!

4. Find Social Media Platforms

My accountant said to me, regarding social media:

If you could only do one platform what would it be? Make sure you focus your efforts there!

Buhir Rafiq, Totalbooks

Most of us start our journey on Facebook but add in Instagram, Twitter ad TikTok. Personally I’ve never had a single sale from Twitter despite posting there a lot, but I think breastmilk jewellery is very visual so you need to be showing people your products regularly. Hire a social media manager if you can afford it to post photos for you at scheduled times, look up the best way to use each platform and learn when to post. If you’re nervous about doing videos, just do it anyway because there will always be someone that finds it interesting.

5. Run An Advert

I’ve had the best results for ads on my Facebook page, but there are tons of places to advertise such as Instagram, your local baby selling group, even newspapers. I prefer Facebook because you can see actual numbers of people who’ve responded and if you have a pixel on your website then you can even track sales/conversions. I’m not convinced printed advertising is worth much anymore but it’s up to you to try things out and test the waters.

6. Stick Advertising on your Car

One of my favourite ways to sell breastmilk jewellery is to get a sticker for my car with my business details!

Other Ways To Sell More Breastmilk Jewellery

If you have your own favourite Ways To Sell More Breastmilk Jewellery please drop me a comment down below and I will add it to the list!

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Working With Pavé Settings for Breastmilk Jewellery

Working With Pavé Settings for Breastmilk Jewellery

Are you considering working with pavé settings for breastmilk jewellery? Viki Rudkin from Cumbria Life Casting is here to give you some pointers.

Pavé set halo settings are a hugely popular and modern design. The accent of extra sparkle works beautifully alongside breastmilk, cremation ashes and hair stones, helping them sparkle and optimise their beauty. If you are considering working with pavé settings there are a few things you should take into consideration as these beautiful designs often need more care and maintenance than other styles.

What Are Pavé Settings?

Pavé settings are when many stones are set closely together in this fashion, roughly 1 millimetre (0.039 in) apart,[7] covering a surface, this is known as a “pavé” setting, from the French for “paved” or “cobblestoned”.

Round Cut Natural Diamond Hand Engraved 18k Yellow Gold Working With Pavé Settings for Breastmilk Jewellery
Round Cut Natural Diamond Hand Engraved 18k Yellow Gold Pavé Setting for Breastmilk Jewellery from 5ineJewels

Working With Pavé Settings for Breastmilk Jewellery

Due to the delicate nature of these settings, it can be quite a common occurrence for clients to lose accent stones. You can replace the stones with some fairly specialised equipment. We do this under a jewellers microscope by redrilling the seat and beads which hold the stone in. Unfortunately, if you use settings that you have taken the original stone out of, then replaces with a resin stone with your client’s breastmilk or cremation ashes, you will always struggle with stones falling out. The large main prongs have the job of keeping all the other tiny beads and therefore stones in position. Once you’ve moved these you’ve then compromised all the accent stones. The metal holding the stones in is not meant to be moved. Best practice is to have your settings cast and to cut the seat into the prongs using burs or files to exactly replicate the shape of your stone.*

Pavé setting with diamamté missing
Pavé setting with diamamté missing, in need of repair

Setting your stone this way means minimal movement of the larger prongs and will ensure your resin stone is safely held in place and protected from damage as best as possible. Some things to take into consideration when offering this style is that resizing rings after they have been made can be extremely tricky and is not recommended. They are not suitable for cleaning in an ultrasonic cleaner either. We do not recommend pavé settings for everyday wear or for those who lead an active lifestyle. The beads of metal that hold the accent stones in place can be damaged by being knocked hard, or if a piece is badly misshapen in an accident repairs can be much harder. We also recommend that clients send their pieces in around every 12 months for maintenance so we can check for any damaged prongs or other issues. Check out some YouTube videos on setting pavé stones, or when restrictions allow there are some amazing courses that can teach you this kind of stone setting. If you are uncomfortable working with pavé settings we specialise in this area and have a huge variety for clients to choose from at www.cumbrialifecasting.com
Viki Rudkin

Working With Pavé Settings for Breastmilk Jewellery

*Please note, at Keepsaker Supplies we don’t recommend working with prong settings as the stone with your client’s elements (such breastmilk or ashes). The stone would need to have a perfect finish around the bottom, which is very hard to achieve. Also, the edges of the stone are prone to damage and chipping as the resin is not as hardwearing as other stones for which prong settings are intended. We find that customers using prong settings will get clients damaging the main stones too!
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How to Deal With Complaints

how to deal with complaints by Nikki Kamminga at Keepsaker Supplies

You can learn how to deal with complaints easily, effectively and without feeling personally harmed. Making memorial or breastmilk jewellery or DNA keepsakes is quite a unique area, somewhere in between breastfeeding counsillor, funeral director and wedding supplier. The wedding and funeral industries receive the most complaints of all industries because tensions are running high, and I believe that passes over to keepsake jewellery. Customers in this industry can be more hurtful than in any other area I’ve worked (from mobile phones to advertising to coffee shop and retail management) and it’s a combination of it being such an emotive thing we’re working with and the fact I feel closer to it because it’s my own business.

How to Deal With Complaints – The Paths

Whether you’re in the right or they are, or both of you, there are several paths you can take together. Please don’t forget that you have the power to guide a customer down a different path no matter how the conversation starts out. I’ll try to give as many examples below from working in this industry over six years.

The Full Refund and Keep The Jewellery
This is the path the most difficult customers often want to go down. It can be incredibly painful to get this kind of message. They’ve received their item and have found something to complain about. They want you to refund them completely but they will almost always refuse to return the jewellery because “it contains something so irreplaceable”.

Example (customer):
“I received a ring from you today after waiting absolutely ages and I’m very angry. It looks unprofessional and the colour is all wrong, it’s too dark! It doesn’t even fit me; I want a full refund but I’m not sending it back because it’s my gran’s ashes”

This is one of the worst case scenario complaints. They’re complaining about quality of the setting, the competence of the artist, the fact that it doesn’t fit and the time it took to arrive. You can apologise and do what they want by refunding without return, but then you’ll be out the cost of the setting and all of your work, plus shipping and overheads. I almost always* try to steer them away from this because I DON’T DESERVE TO WORK FOR FREE and neither do you! 

What to do – start off with an acknowledgement of their complaint and a genuine apology. Look back through any old messages and find some empathy for a client. They’re probably grieving their breastfeeding journey or their loved one. I would say, for example,

Hi Hannah, thank you so much for taking the time to come to me with this. I know it must be difficult to have received something you’re looking forward to for a long time and it’s not what you were hoping for. After your gran passed in March the crematorium have looked after her really well and the ashes were a lovely naturally dark colour. We usually try to let the natural colour of the ashes come through in the jewellery, which can hide some of the pigment we added in the green you chose. I definitely checked the ring size before setting the ashes, but if you feel like it’s not the right size you can take it to a local jeweller (please send me a photo of it on the sizer) or you can buy one here on Amazon. Please forward me your Amazon receipt and a photo of the ring on the sizing stick and I’ll refund the sizer.

Here’s a resolution I would like to offer. I will remake the ring for you in the size you like, please use a sizer exactly like this one to find your correct size. Please post me back the ashes and this ring, we will remove and return the stone, so the ring can be recycled, and make a new one. We can hide the ashes behind the pigment so you can’t see so much (or any) of your gran’s ashes if you’re not keen on their colour. We’ll send you a photo of the cabochons/stones we make to check you’re happy before setting one in the new ring setting. As a goodwill gesture we’ll even ship the remake to you free of charge by Special Delivery. Please let me know if you’re happy to go ahead
Yours Sincerely
Nikki Kamminga
Owner and Artist
Tree of Opals

The Partial Refund and Replacement
If your customer starts off with asking for a partial refund then don’t feel like you necessarily have to give them money back. When I first started out making memorial and breastmilk jewellery I was in need of every penny to pay for childcare, let alone contribute to bills. If I had an order it would either be spent on stock and consumables like moulds and settings or it would go to my girls’ nursery. I didn’t have business savings and I couldn’t afford to refund, so if it was necessary it would have to come out of our personal account.

This isn’t a situation I’d recommend you be in, with good profit margins you should easily be able to cover your overheads, childcare and some put aside. I lost £100 in my first year in business (I started off with £350 of my own money from a child tax credit) then I made a profit after about six months. If you can, put aside 10% to cover any refunds.

Still, you can avoid a refund at all by offering something of equal value. For example, if they want £50 back why not offer a £50 necklace, that may only cost you £10 to make?

How to Prevent Complaints To Begin With

The best way to prvent complaints in the first place is to try to do everything you can to get them to understand the important points about buying jewellery from you. That could be in the form of a phone call or email before you take payment, or an extra box on your checkout to ask them if they definitely read the product description and the FAQ’s. I make my customers write “I promise” in the box on the checkout on Tree of Opals and it does help cut down on complaints in the first place. Customers often won’t read them anyway, but at least you have them there to back you up in case you do get a complaint.

Always let customers know, regarding lead times 1. your maximum lead time (orders can take up to four months from receipt of payment and the milk/ashes etc) and 2. an estimated lead time (most orders take about a month right now but this will be longer during the school holidays). Also let them know if any of your settings are handmade, such as rings from us which are soldered or cast by hand in small batches and look handmade. I like to include a sizing disclaimer in my terms and conditions, along the lines of, “due to different tolerances in ring sizers the ring provided may be up to one whole UK (one half US) ring size larger or smaller than requested”.

I avoid most complaints in the first place with two important tools:

  1. Proof Photos – Prevent them saying they don’t like the colour by sending a proof photo – just make at least two cabochons (stones), on the back, email the client a photo and ask which they prefer.  Let them know that you’ll always return the unused ones free of charge but you can make extra profit here by offering to set the extra in silver for another £20/$30 (over half will say yes). They feel more involved in the process, fewer complaints about time too
  2. Free Ring Sizers – At Tree of Opals our way to remove ring sizing complaints is letting customers know we prefer to send them a free ring sizer with their kit to borrow. You can find kit supplies here in our country specific buying guides, here’s one from Amazon that’s ideal, we just ask for the letter that fits best so they don’t get confused about which number we need. The letter is the UK ring size and they’re a little more accurate than US sizes


How to Deal With Complaints When You’re In The Right

This one’s carefully phrased, the flip side of “you’re in the right” is “you’re not in the wrong”. Or even the possibility that your customer’s in the wrong. Whether that’s true or not, it’s always best to treat the situation like you’re both in the right. Don’t accuse the customer of being wrong, having misread something, having demanded too much, too soon or being cheap. It’s not going to make you or them happy and it’s going to lead to hurt feelings and bad reviews.

Then again, you don’t have to give in to a customer’s unreasonable demands just because you’re scared of a bad review. I like to try to find a middle ground for each situation so I’ve given as examples above. If you have lots of good reviews then don’t give in to demands of a refund if you’re in the right just because you’re afraid – real customers will see through a bad review if the rest are great!

Do you have any tips for dealing with complaints?

 

*The only situation where I’d give a full refund and allow them to keep the piece is where it’s not too expensive in the first place (perhaps £50 and under) and/or the client has my home address and has threatened me. If I’m worried about the safety of my family, I’ll do anything to get rid of them as fast as possible. I had a situation once where a client I think was mentally ill turned up at my home at 9pm and I honestly wish that I had given her a full refund. Preferably before I’d made the piece, when I knew she was a problem. You do need to put your family first and if a customer gives you any sign of being dangerous then please refund in full and block all contact. If they leave you a 1* review anywhere then you can fight it with any evidence of threats you’ve received from them.

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Nikki’s Personal Etsy Favourites

Nikki's Personal Etsy Favourites 13x18mm Silver Pear Tear Drop Bezel Cup Ring blank from ArmoredSupplyCo



Nikki’s personal Etsy favourites, a mix of UK and international findings and settings for breastmilk and memorial jewellery but also my favourite yarn, drawing supplies, kids sewing patterns and fabrics. If you’re into crafting, this blog is for you.

1. Solid Silver Settings

My favourite settings from around Etsy can all be found in one place here on my solid silver settings favourites list! ArmoredSupplyCoCaverswall MineralsQuality Findings Market (QFM)SilverFindings925 and ZDP Findings to name just a few…

13x18mm Silver Pear Tear Drop Bezel Cup Ring blank from ArmoredSupplyCo
13x18mm Silver Pear Tear Drop Bezel Cup Ring blank from ArmoredSupplyCo
18x13mm cufflink setting
Caverswall Minerals 18x13mm cufflink settings
18x13mm teardrop setting from QFM on Etsy
solid silver 18x13mm teardrop settings
4pcs x Round 14mm Quality Hearts Pattern Sterling Silver 925 Cast Bezel Cup For Setting from ZDP on Etsy
Round 14mm Hearts Sterling Silver Setting from ZDP on Etsy



2. Findings

My top-rated findings, such as jumprings and chains from around Etsy can all be found in one place here on my findings favourites list! Huiyitan, StardustAndSilverUK and omnisupply etc

Solid Sterling Silver Chain from huiyitan
Solid Sterling Silver Chain from huiyitan
925 Solid Sterling Silver Star Charm with Closed Jump Ring from StardustAndSilverUK
925 Solid Sterling Silver Star Charm with Closed Jump Ring from StardustAndSilverUK
14k Real Solid Gold Jewelry Making Thin Or Thick Connector Link from omnisupply
14k Real Solid Gold Jewelry Making Thin Or Thick Connector Link from omnisupply

3. Moulds

Although I sell moulds myself (just go to my homepage to see them all), they’re pretty boring if I do say so myself. My moulds are simple cabochons, spheres and beads which are all well and good for making jewellery. I do like to buy myself some fun moulds from time to time though for making resin jewellery for friends as well as for my kids to use – you can see the picks here on my moulds favourites list! 

4. Personal Crafty Faves

I love making rings and jewellery but when something is your job, no matter how much you love it, you need a way to relax. Crafting has always been a way to settle my mind whilst keeping my hands busy. My grandmum taught me how to knit when I was 7 and Mum taught me to crochet, now that I’m a vegan I like to stick to plant based yarns and my next buy is going to be a wholesale bag I can dye myself to give out to crafty friends.  here on my personal craft favourites list! 

Soft and Silky Plant Based Yarn, Hoooked Eucalyptus Yarn, Sustainable Eco Friendly Fibres from moloneymakes
Soft and Silky Eucalyptus Yarn from moloneymakes
Handmade & Personalised Sketch Book for Watercolour and Pencil Drawings from smilelinesjpg
Handmade & Personalised Sketch Book from smilelinesjpg

Settings for resin jewellery Etsy

 



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Making A Breastmilk Heart Necklace

Breastmilk heart necklace with gold leaf for golden boobies, one year breastfeeding award. Classic breastmilk and genuine 23ct gold leaf

Making A Breastmilk Heart Necklace with Breastmilk Preservation Powder from Keepsaker Supplies is easy and affordable. You’ll need one of our Heart Necklace Settings with a breastmilk kit and a few optional supplies to make breastmilk jewellery and you can add little extras to personalise your clients’ pieces. You can buy the Breastmilk Preservation Powder exclusive to us here separately in larger packs.

Breastmilk Preservation Powder

Breastmilk Heart Necklace Setting

18mm heart setting 935 high quality solid silver. Exclusive scalloped settings from Keepsaker Supplies in anti-tarnish silver
18mm heart setting 935 high quality solid silver. Exclusive scalloped settings from Keepsaker Supplies in anti-tarnish silver

This vlog is similar to our Making a Cremation Ashes Heart Necklace tutorial but I’ll be showing you how to preserve breastmilk using our Breastmilk Preservation Powder, which is included in our DIY breastmilk kits. We include these PDF downloadable instructions with the breastmilk kits for preserving the milk. After your first order you’ll receive a reasonable 15% off future purchases*. If you’d like to work towards your own preservation methods please read our breastmilk jewellery making blogs!

Firstly, send your client a breastmilk sending kit, see our Worldwide Sourcing Guides here – including the UKUSAAustralia and Canada (more countries coming soon) for details on the tubes we recommend, which are also suitable for heating directly although that’s not needed for this method.

First, preserve the milk using the method in Part 1 – here’s the full blog with instructions.

Secondly, watch this video to see how to use he preserved breastmilk

Making a Breastmilk Heart Necklace with Preserved Breastmilk

You’ll need the following supplies

one of our DIY breastmilk heart necklace kits
the breastmilk version of the kits contain:

You might also want

GRINDING THE DRIED BREASTMILK

Once the milk is completely dry, which takes a day or two depending on the weather, I recommend you transfer it into a mylar bag
Make sure the bag is labelled with the client’s name and order number
And add a single sachet of silica gel to keep the preserved breastmilk dry
The powder can be kept like this indefinitely and with the silica gel to keep away moisture it’s unlikely to ever degrade
To grind the milk into powder, put a small amount, however much you need for the client’s order, into a clean white pestle and mortar like this one we sell
Grind it as finely as you can. The finer it’s ground, the better it will suspend in the resin and the more opaque the piece will look
Get it as fine as you can then grind it a little bit more, then a little more again
In fact, when you think you’re done, just grind it a little further and you’ll thank me later
Some people use the back of a spoon but why not just go ahead and invest early in tools that will make life a lot easier

FILLING THE MOULD

Take a piece of label backing paper and squeeze on a little UV resin
Use a tiny spoon to scoop a little bit of breastmilk powder on top then mix thoroughly
Put a thin layer of the resin into the mould
Now you can add gold leaf with a toothpick, a little at a time
Then drip in a few drops of the breastmilk and resin mix, and swirl gently
Cure for 20 seconds on a low heat setting then allow to cool completely
The trick is to create thin layers to add depth
You can do this in epoxy resin but the layers take much longer to dry. If you do it all in one layer you might find the breastmilk powder sinks
Add another layer of resin and swirl in a little more breastmilk this time then cure again
Repeat until the mould is full and allow to cure and cool in between layers

REMOVE FROM THE MOULD

At the end, take the piece out of the mould and cure the top, which was the first layer you did
Even off the back, if needed, with the sandpaper. This bit is easier without vinyl gloves!
Then I like to add a layer of clear UV top coat and cure a couple of times, cooling completely between cures. This gives it a very hard and shiny finish which helps prevent UV damage
Now put the heart in your necklace setting
Use a curved burnisher to press down the scalloped setting. This is much easier than with a regular bezel setting because each one can be pressed down individually
I’ve engraved this one for Hollie’s daughter Poppy in Silver South Script font which is another service we offer at Keepsaker Supplies
Add a chain to your piece – all clients will expect a chain so I like to include a lightweight one in the price and then offer them a necklace chain upgrade
This is the rolo chain that I sell at Keepsaker Supplies. It’s hand-finished and you can purchase it alongside the breastmilk heart necklace kit, or the heart setting if you’re buying things separately which my customers tend to do once they already have the mould
I make and sell the breastmilk preservation powder I’ve featured in part one of this video on www.KeepsakerSupplies.com You can buy the sachets individually or in larger packs. Thank you so much for watching my videos and supporting my little business, especially during these difficult times. I’m hoping to start uploading videos more regularly now that 16 week old Lexi is going longer between breastfeeds.

Now relax and do some crafting breastmilk preservation powder video

Please note, this Preserving Breastmilk blog contains affiliate links meaning I receive a small income based on your purchases from Amazon and Etsy etc. This affiliate income is really helpful to me to support my family and if you’d like to know how I set it all up please get in touch (blogs coming soon!).
Nikki x

*terms apply – some products aren’t included such as settings and findings, sorry.

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Discounts and Coupons

Honey

Join Honey here and you can add a browser extension to the top of your browser such as Chrome or Firefox and it magically shows you coupons as you shop! Use the code TENFIRSTHON for 10% off your first order through Honey discounts. Terms and conditions apply, individual use only, excludes sale items. One per customer (after your first order you will receive a code for 15% off, it’s at the bottom of your invoice)

Breastmilk Preservation Powder

You can get a free sample of breastmilk preservation powder here with the code FREEPOWDER, one per customer please and we ask you to buy something else at the same time – give it a try. If you need some breastmilk to practice with please join our Facebook group and request some, all you need is a love for breastfeeding, perfect for doulas and midwives, traditional bench jewellers and resin artists, and parents wanting to work from home.

Free stuff!

Just click here for freebies. We do ask people to buy something too if it’s a freebie that requires shipping, like the practice cremation ashes because Nikki loses a little bit of money on shipping. Sometimes we add little samples and free moulds to an order if you tick the box on the checkout, they might be pre-loved, have bubbles, be a bit wonky or otherwise grade C moulds that we think you might find a use for.

Store credit for reviews

You can leave a review for any item that you’ve purchased (paid for) and that has been marked as shipped and we’ll give you £2 per product (one review per product, no matter how many you purchased or how often you purchase). You’re welcome to leave reviews for freebies too but we can’t give you store credit, sorry.

To leave a review, you need to be logged in using the account you ordered on, the items must be marked as shipped. Go to the product, click on the stars or the reviews tab, and leave a review.

If you need reminding of the products you’ve purchased, simply go through your past orders at My Orders and there’s no time limit on how long ago the purchase was made. Store credit is assigned manually every few days, if you can’t see it on My Coupons or on the checkout when you go to pay then just get in touch.

Affiliate commission

Our affiliates can earn hundreds of pounds a month, and you can be paid in store credit or by PayPal*. When you recommend us using your links and they place an order, you’ll receive 10% of the value of the order, full info in our T’s and C’s. Our top earning affiliates can request a discount code which can be used instead of the link. You can customise any link on our site with your affiliate info, so if someone’s looking for a specific product you know we sell, you can lead them straight there. To sign up to become an affiliate just visit our Affiliates Page and fill in some details!

*If you’re paid on PayPal you’ll pay fees so most of our affiliates choose store credit.

Blue Light and Civil Servants

Bluelight members (NHS, emergency services and armed forces) and civil servants (police etc) get 15% off by showing the Blue Light card or police ID.

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Breastmilk Preservation Powder Instructions

Preserving Breastmilk with Breastmilk Preservation Powder for making breastmilk jewellery

Preserving Breastmilk with Breastmilk Preservation Powder from Keepsaker Supplies is a great way to make breastmilk jewellery affordably. You’ll need a pack of Breastmilk Preservation Powder exclusive to us here at Keepsaker Supplies or one of our one of our DIY breastmilk jewellery kits and a few simple supplies to make breastmilk jewellery and you can add little extras to personalise your clients’ pieces. >>>Breastmilk preservation powder FAQ’s are here<<<

Breastmilk Preservation Powder

We include these PDF downloadable instructions with the breastmilk kits for preserving the milk. After your first order you’ll receive a reasonable 15% off future purchases*


Learn how to make a breastmilk heart necklace with this video, the full blog is here with all the supplies you’ll need

Preserving Breastmilk with Breastmilk Preservation Powder

Send your client a breastmilk sending kit, see our Worldwide Sourcing Guides here – including the UKUSAAustralia and Canada (more countries coming soon) for details on the tubes we recommend, which are also suitable for heating directly although that’s not needed for this method.

You’ll need the following supplies

*Some of the supplies in this Preserving Breastmilk for breastmilk jewellery blog are optional, such as the double boiler and the silica drying gel. They’re marked with an asterisk and are completely optional but recommended

PREPARING THE BREASTMILK

Make sure your client has sent in the right amount of milk
We recommend asking them to send two small tubes each with around 5ml milk. If your client has low supply you may ask them to keep the second tube in their own freezer at home, in case the first is lost in the post. If you burn the milk, for example, you can then ask them to send the second tube.
You can also ask them to send 15ml in a milk storage bag; ask them to measure the milk in a bottle and not to rely on the markings on the bag because they can be deceptive
When a bag of milk arrives, divide it into two small bags and label it with the client’s name and order number so you can keep one back in the freezer

 

PRESERVING THE BREASTMILK

Put boiling water in the bottom saucepan
Double check your client’s name and order number and put the tube in the water to defrost for a minute
Remove the milk and give it a gentle shake
Bring the water to a boil
Put the top bowl on the saucepan, allow to heat and add the breastmilk
When the milk is hot, add the powder and immediately begin to stir
It will fizz up then thicken gradually
Take it off the heat when it’s thick and don’t let it dry out too much

DRYING THE PRESERVED BREASTMILK

Spread the preserved wet milk paste onto the label backing paper or baking parchment labelled with the client’s name and order number
Leave this to dry somewhere safe. It depends on the humidity and temperature of the room as to how long this takes, anywhere from 24 hours to a few days
When preserving breastmilk with Breastmilk Preservation Powder I like to place the label backing paper in a takeaway container over silica drying bead packs
The drying gel will remove the moisture quickly and the gel can be refreshed in the microwave from time to time to remove moisture
Clean the bowl or bain marie
We like to store the takeaway containers in a storage drawer unit until dry

GRINDING THE PRESERVED DRIED BREASTMILK

Put a small amount of the preserved dried breastmilk flakes, as much as you will need for the client’s order, into a clean white pestle and mortar
Grind it as finely as you can.  The finer it’s ground, the better it will suspend in the resin and the more opaque the piece will look
Put the rest of the dried milk into a double-sealed bag labelled with the client’s name and order number, along with a silica sachet and reserve

LEFTOVER BREASTMILK

Please keep the remaining frozen breastmilk as a backup, we recommend two years
At Tree of Opals we had a small under-counter freezer which was plently large enough to store three years worth of breastmilk (thousands of 10ml tubes)
If you allow your clients to send in large bags of milk, such as 10oz full-to-the-brim bags, you will quickly run out of room
If you send clients a breastmilk sending kit with two pre-labelled tubes, they will always be neat, well-labelled and organised
If you are charging the client a preservation fee you may agree to send them the rest of the dried preserved milk, but most artists keep it in as a second back-up in case they need to remake the piece in the future

WORKING WITH BREASTMILK POWDER

You can work with breastmilk as you would any powdered substance like cremation ashes or resin sparkle mix
If you’re working with epoxy resin you can pre-mix it in a 20ml disposable shot glass or reusable silicone mixing pot, then use a pipette to transfer it into the mould
If you’re working with UV resin, you can mix a little of the powder with resin on label backing paper with a lollipop stick to form a paste, then fill your mould with resin and add the paste
You might like to add a bit of one of our exclusive Breastmilk Resin Sparkle Mixes (Pearly Powders), our Unicorn White resin sparkle mix, or even a tint from one of one of our highly pigmented resin sparkle mix blends
All of our sparkle mixes contain ethical micas (free from child mining) and plant based glitters

UV resin is much faster, but there’s an increased risk of yellowing especially with clients who don’t follow the care instructions!
However, some people (like myself) are allergic to epoxy resin so we can only offer UV resin and are very strict about aftercare
Keeping the milk back for at least two years, frozen and dried, will mean you can replace any pieces that have turned due to resin issues
We’ll do some videos showing both types of resin in this series so please subscribe to our channel and hit the notifications bell

breastmilk bubble ring, classic breastmilk with dark blonde hair and subtle white gold leaf, bubble band ring, 8mm cabochon
breastmilk bubble ring, classic breastmilk with dark blonde hair and subtle white gold leaf, bubble band ring, 8mm cabochon

My next video will be how to make a breastmilk bead for Pandora bracelets with a Breastfed ♥ With Love ♥ Core. I’ll be using one of our DIY Breastmilk Bead Kits which has Breastmilk Preservation Powder and most of the supplies you’ll need. In the future I’m also going to be doing some videos with do’s and don’ts for those of you who want to investigate your own breastmilk preservation methods. My own baby Lexi is is just a few weeks old so I’ll be showing you a video preserving our placenta, her umbilical cord and colostrum and using those in jewellery.

Now relax and do some crafting breastmilk preservation powder video

Please note, this Preserving Breastmilk blog contains affiliate links meaning I receive a small income based on your purchases from Amazon and Etsy etc. This affiliate income is really helpful to me to support my family and if you’d like to know how I set it all up please get in touch (blogs coming soon!).
Nikki x

*terms apply – some products aren’t included such as settings and findings, sorry.