Posted on Leave a comment

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!)

Posted on 2 Comments

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.

Posted on 2 Comments

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!

Posted on 2 Comments

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on 3 Comments

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.

Posted on 3 Comments

Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 4

Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 4 of 4 shows you ways to move forward once you have started trying out breastmilk jewellery preservation techniques.


How To Move Forward

Although I make a little extra income from the affiliate links in my blogs, this is not a method you’ve “purchased”, and I don’t “owe” anyone a full working method. If you don’t want to try the ideas I’ve given, and want something that will work straight away then please buy a DIY breastmilk kit like this one on Etsy. You can use our other blogs to learn how to add a lock of hair, umbilical cord or blogs with videos for specific pieces like a charm bead or heart necklace.

This series on making breastmilk jewellery is not a how-to, it won’t give you all the answers and it won’t magically create a business for you. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions and a course on making breastmilk jewellery, the Baby Bee Hummingbirds Breastmilk Jewelry E-Course (click here) is definitely what I’d recommend!

People message me all the time to say, “I just want to make something for myself”, to which I reply that it’s in fact cheaper to pay a professional, such as Precious By Kerry (a really good friend who makes gorgeous jewellery) to make a piece for you. I’ll be trusting Kerry with my own milk in September 2020 when my new squish arrives because I’ve always wanted someone else to make me something! Goldsmiths can purchase blanks from most breastmilk jewellers made with their own milk.

Mentoring from Nikki

You know I would absolutely love to mentor everyone who asks, but at this point I do not have time. I have an admin manager whose time I pay for to deal with the requests (and demands), receiving sometimes quite abusive messages because we won’t tell them precisely how to do it. I get begging messages on my personal Facebook profile, Instagrams and emails and at least half the time they turn downright nasty when I won’t help. Now we just ignore cold messages asking for help making breastmilk jewellery (excluding questions about joining the Facebook group on our Facebook page, see below).

I shouldn’t feel the need to justify this, but actually my time is very precious. I have two small, wonderful and very time consuming children. At the time of writing, I’m homescooling them because of the coronavirus and then have to work every night doing admin. I’m mentoring a friend in Tanzania to set up a fashion business. My baby is due in September 2020 and I’m restarting my law degree the following month. I’m setting up an Amazon store to import Fairtrade eco friendly homeware and baby items. I run Tree of Opals and because of the coronavirus I don’t have anybody to help me make the pieces at the moment, so it’s all done by me. And of course, I make and sell handmade moulds here at Keepsaker Supplies.

I’m hoping to start training as a breastfeeding counsellor this summer so that I can volunteer my time to really help people in need to have a good nursing relationship with their child and help them reach their goals. If you would like some friendly support and signposting around your nursing journey then you may message me personally. I don’t have time to support anyone’s journey making breastmilk jewellery individually, so there’s no need to give me a long story about your breastfeeding journey to try to get my sympathy to mentor you. It will not work.

I get several requests a day! I DO NOT HAVE TIME! If this blog isn’t good enough for you, kindly address your complaints to your nearest cat. If it weren’t for the wonderful members of my Facebook group (see below) I would have pulled this blog series down long ago for all the moaning I get about it not being a full method. You did not have to pay for it, I owe you nothing. If you’re stuck, ask on the group. There are lots of specifics there, including named preservatives, photos and some great drying methods. Thank you to all the members who contribute and help one another.

Resin Jewellers Making Breastmilk Jewellery

I regularly see posts on most of the resin groups about breastmilk jewellery making. People moan that it’s very secretive, that there’s nothing out there to teach them how to do it. Hopefully you’ve read the other parts to this blog (linked above) and that’s enough to start you off on your journey. Once you’ve bought your supplies you can give it a try. Even if it turns out badly, you’ve tried and that’s enough to join the Facebook group (see below). I see complaints on the group that people weren’t accepted, but I keep it exclusive so that all members have something to contribute.

Joining the Facebook Group

Here is the Facebook group: Breastmilk and Memorial Jewellery Group. It’s a great group and will help you move on. The group won’t help you unless you already have some grounding, so please buy a few supplies and try it out with a friend’s milk or your own. I also accept people making other keepsake and memorial jewellery such as ashes, hair and cord/placenta, or even floral resin artists and jewellers.

In the questions on the group entry, where it asks what jewellery you’ve tried, you can tell me how you did it and even if it went badly I’ll probably still let you in. If you’ve purchased moulds and supplies from me here at Keepsaker Supplies (scroll up for the shop), I will probably let you in.

I WILL NOT let in people who haven’t bothered trying yet. Unless they have some major contributions to make to the group, such as experienced goldsmiths who can help those members looking to make their own settings, or lampworkers who are happy to help members progress to glass. I’ll also welcome experienced web developers willing to give their time helping people with their eComms (like this site, which I made myself) or SEO.

We have members from all around the world but we also get a lot of spam. Make sure you answer the questions within 10 minutes of your request to join or I will decline it automatically. Three declines, and I will block you. If you’re not sure why you were declined, message us on the Keepsaker Supplies Facebook page with your answers and we will tell you what you need to do to join. Remember, I tend to add my Keepsaker Supplies customers automatically so don’t forget to let me know in question 2 if you’ve purchased here (free downloads don’t count!).

Breastmilk and Memorial Jewellery Group Rules

Once you’re in, no need to do an intro post but please “agree” to the pinned thread which links back to this website, so members know where to get supplies. I will remove people for ignoring the rules and my main bug bear is “Hey ladies/girls” posts because I’m a non binary person and we welcome people of all or no genders. People with all abilities are welcome and please let me know if I can make the group more accessible (eg requiring image descriptions for folk using screen readers).

Making Breastmilk Jewellery Links

Please see our individual country-specific blogs for shopping supplies: United Kingdom, USA, <ahref=”https://keepsakersupplies.com/supplies-list-australia/”>Australia, Canada (coming very soon), other EU countries (coming soon) and non-EU countries (coming soon).

You can find part one of the blog here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 1 which gives you a list of initial supplies you’ll need for this craft. Part two of the blog is here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 2 which explains some of the ways to preserve milk that do and don’t work. Part three of the blog is here in How to Make Breastmilk Jewellery (part 3) and should get you started with some preservation ideas.

Preserving Breastmilk with Milky Mama Magic Dust™

If you’d prefer to use a guaranteed method, you can preserve breastmilk using Milky Mama Magic Dust™. The full blog is here and you’ll be able to start making a profit immediately, even if you decide to still work on your own method in the background

Disclaimers

Spellings – this blog is written in the United Kingdom so my spelling is in English. I’ll try to add alternatives after but our spelling of jewellery is correct here.

This post contains affiliate links meaning when if you buy one of our recommended products I receive a small amount of earnings which comes in handy on Amazon for our two children’s books. They are learning Phonics and love animals, bugs and spaceships. Aqui hablamos español, on parle français, hier spreken we nederlands, tunasema Kiswahili hapa, and føroyskt, but they love to see all languages.


Posted on 2 Comments

Instagram for Breastmilk Jewellery Makers

Instagram for Breastmilk Jewellery Makers

Instagram for Breastmilk Jewellery Makers can feel like an uphill battle but it’s not too difficult use Instagram to find new clients. I find it really slow but the most organic way is just taking out your phone once an hour, looking for a hashtag used by your clients for breastmilk jewellery, and being genuine. Please give me a follow on @KeepsakerSupplies and you can see how I do my posts.

Breastmilk Jewellery Hashtags

The best way to find clients who are breastfeeding and proud of their journeys is to use certain hashtags. I used to search for people using #EBF or #ExclusivelyPumping etc. Make a list of the ones that speak to you, that you may have used during your own nursing journey, especially niche ones. For me, the niche was #BFAR and #BreastfeedingAfterReduction because of my reduction surgery when I was 18 years old.

Every hour follow 20 new people who are using that hashtag, then like a couple of their posts. Comment then as much as you have the time for (genuine comments only, if I really actually personally like something I’ll say). It then grows very niche targeted audiences. Don’t try to sell anything; genuine clients will come because they will notice you, then they will approach you.

Hashtag Manager Spreadsheet

Instagram hashtag spreadsheets are a great way to collate 30 hashtags for each kind of post you do, making sure they cover different areas (such as breastfeeding, crafting, being a working mama). I can’t tell you how much I love The Spreadsheet Alchemist’s Hashtag Manager Spreadsheet, and it’s even a free download! This is definitely not sponsored by her but I have so much love and gratitude to Kristi for this freebie and have told her so. You can support her business by going for some of the paid spreadsheets once you see how useful they are. Here’a a little screenshot of ours, showing that I like to use local hashtags to encourage support of local businesses.Keepsaker Supplies hashtag manager screenshot for Bristol tags

Being in the UK but selling internationally has always meant I use both UK and USA spellings and some countries like Australia and Canada use some from each. In the UK and Australia we spell “jewellery” with two “L’s” with an “E” after them, whereas in the USA and Canada they go for the simpler form “jewelry”*

Mixed Case Hashtags

I’m a passionate advocate for equality and I believe that when we know better, we do better. Recently I found out that traditional hashtags are really difficult for some people to read. For example: (text reads hashtag only lower case which is harder for people to read) #onlylowercasewhichisharderforpeopletoread might be decipherable to you but would be very hard for someone with additional needs, anyone who struggles with reading, dyslexia folk and especially hard for anyone using a screen reader. 

The RNIB recently asked people on Twitter to use mixed case in their hashtags because it helps so much, so if you want to help make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to read your posts please bare this in mind when you’re putting up your own posts. 

Post Scheduler

I use Later to schedule posts for my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Best of all, it starts out free and you can schedule one picture to post to all four of your social media channels at the same time. I do one a day on Facebook and Pinterest, and three a day on Instagram and Twitter, I reuse older images for the second two perhaps once a year. I use the Instagram planner to make sure the posts look right on the feed and drag and drop to change the order, so there’s a mix of different things going up all the time. The theme for Tree of Opals is a rainbow that changes colour every week or so, and on Keepsaker Supplies I’m still working it out – please give us a follow on @KeepsakerSupplies

Instagram for Breastmilk Jewellery Makers

So make sure you’re genuine and persistant and your followers will come but not only that, the ones you do get will be more likely to buy. Try adding a multiple choice button on your checkout page asking where clients heard about you and you’ll soon notice a big increase in Instagram! It’s all well and good paying for thousands of followers but it’s not a populartity contest; if those people are never going to buy, you don’t need them following you. Focus your efforts on your ideal clients and do little and often. I do up to 20 an hour

This series on making breastmilk jewellery is not a how-to, it won’t give you all the answers and it won’t magically create a business for you. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions and a course on making breastmilk jewellery, the Baby Bee Hummingbirds Breastmilk Jewelry E-Course (click here) is definitely what I’d recommend!

*It’s a little harder for me selling moulds internationally because in the UK we add the “U” after the “O” and in the USA they don’t. There are four variations of a simple phrase like “jewellery mould” and all of them get used. You can see why I need the spreadsheets!

Posted on 19 Comments

Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 3

how to make breastmilk jewellery part 3

Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 3 of 4




Making breastmilk jewellery can be a difficult skill to master and I highly recommend being prepared to devote lots of time, energy and money to this skill. Breastmilk artisans were furious at me for spilling these secrets but I’m not sharing anything I didn’t learn myself. As much as they would love to blame me for the influx of new artists I can imagine the majority of people reading this were already thinking of, or have begun to learn, the art of preserving breastmilk. Remember, this blog is not a “how-to”, it’s a guide to getting started!

This series on making breastmilk jewellery is not a how-to, it won’t give you all the answers and it won’t magically create a business for you. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions and a guaranteed method, just buy our ready-mixed Breastmilk Preservation Powder here.

Please see our individual country-specific blogs for shopping supplies: United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Canada, other EU countries (coming soon) and non-EU countries (coming soon).



You can find part one of the blog here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 1 which gives you a list of initial supplies you’ll need for this craft. Part two of the blog is here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 2 which explains some of the ways to preserve milk that do and don’t work. Where to go next and details on joing the Facebook Breastmilk and Memorial Jewellery Group is in Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 4 here.

When the use of Optiphen started to become known as “Nikki’s Method” I was so happy to find out that I wasn’t the only one using it. However, the methods for adding it can vary. Initially I was using a stove but sterilising the equipment made it slow and laborious doing one at a time. Other heating devices became part of my trials with tips from other artists. So, instead of adding a list here myself I’m going to ask you guys to help be a part of this yourselves.  Please comment below with the ways you’ve tried heating the milk and what equipment you used, including kitchen and jewellery making!

We would send our clients a kit with instructions on sending in breastmilk and other elements. We never call these things “inclusions”, that’s because in traditional jewellery making an inclusion is known as a flaw. Our clients’ breastmilk, locks of hair, cremation ash and umbilical cord isn’t a flaw, it’s the most important element of the pieces we make. People post in their milk in the test tubes, just regular shipping, and so long as it’s not mouldy when it arrives it’s ok. I pop them straight in the freezer, mark them as received on the system and write out the label for their container ready for the preserved tube.

You can consult a chemist if you like, but most importantly make new friends because it’s a stressful vocation and it’s so important to have colleagues that understand. When I first started a group of us were at the same stage and would spend hours talking about ideas we’d had. Most breastmilk jewellery artists are generous with their knowledge and creative ideas, others aren’t, but mostly you will find that once you’re bouncing ideas off someone it’s very satisfying. If you’re here you might have been told “no” when requesting help from artists but please bear in mind we get several a week here through email and social media and it gets stressful. Please forgive me, anyone I’ve brushed off, and I hope this blog helps.

How To Preserve Human Milk

Freeze Dry Method for Breastmilk Jewellery
The first way I learnt of preserving milk was to flash heat (pasturise) then freeze dry it, known as sublimation. Personally it didn’t work for me because it took too long and I couldn’t keep the milk organised. I was getting so many orders through and running out of room so I switched to Optiphen.

If you do decide to freeze dry you won’t need a special machine (unless you have one, of course!) you spread it in a thin, even layer then the water will slowly and gradually come out of the milk. I used silicone baking trays at first then researched freeze drying. The idea was to remove the air, creating a vacuum in a chamber with your items suspended above what’s known as a “humectant” (something that retains moisture) and first I tried kitty litter. People who make cosmetics may be used to the phrase as something that helps keep moisture in the skin, like glycerine, and I’d love to hear of anyone using a humectant inside the actual jewellery itself.

For freeze-drying breastmilk you can use calcium chloride in a vacuum dish like the VacuumSaver which comes with a little hand pump to suck out the air.  They use them in pubs to remove the air from wine bottles and a job at the end of the night was often w**king the wines. I found it made my poor freezer entirely covered in frost, this process is called freezer burn when it happens to veggies and is the reason you have to defrost every now and again.

Preservative Methods for Breastmilk Jewellery
You could add your preservative before or after flash heating the milk but mixing it in on its own never worked for me or anyone I know. It probably depends on the ratio of milk to preservative, which you’re using, how you’re heating it but that’s going to be up to you. The aim is to split and preserve it, it’s how I do it and a lot of others. Then you use that semi-solid to create the jewellery. Sorry to disappoint anyone who was hoping for a fool-proof method but you still need to work hard. This information is for professionals and it’s up to you to make yourself that person. Experiment in safety and try to research any chemicals you choose to combine first.  The safest way is to stick to the Optiphen (phenoxyethanol), Optiphen+ (phenoxyethanol and acid) because while it’s not “safe” itself and can harm your skin neat, it is safe enough that they use it in cosmetics. Recently we’ve also come across Plantaserve which is used in E Liquid, which contains phenoxyethanol & ethylhexylglycerin and the instructions say to use them as a guide

Safety in Making Breastmilk Jewellery

So another safety reminder before we move on, not meant to patronise but to remind us how important PPE (personal protective equipment) and safety are. I can’t make you read it, but I hope to do my best not to encourage anyone to take risks in their family home.  Use common sense and we take no responsibility for any use of heat, preservatives, chemicals including resin etc.

1. Take care to research any chemicals. Phenoxyethanol – safecosmetics.com with websites that contain information from peer-reviewed studies such as this. If this information seems complicated we advise you not to proceed or to consult a chemist.

2. Use the correct plastic tubes to heat the milk in, whether adding chemicals first or not.

3. We recommend wearing goggles, facemask and tying back your hair (if appropriate) when working with resin. Most importantly you must wear gloves. Some people are allergic to latex, like Nikki, so unpowdered nitrile gloves are what we use here and a great tip is: put on two pairs of gloves then you can remove one pair quickly while working with no break in workflow.

4. Be careful not to do any of this with pets or small children around, even if it is heating something in the kitchen. I’ve found that even curious spouses need to be kept away… Let us know in the comments if you have any more suggestions.

5. If you’re working with heat and pressure make sure you do it safely and sensibly and practice with spare milk until you have it right. Please don’t burn yourselves!

How To Make Breastmilk Jewellery from Preserved Milk

Most artists use the preseved milk in resin because it’s a medium with so much potential, adaptability, and you can see the natural colours of the elements such as breastmilk, cremation ash and hair. You can also use your breastmilk powder or breastmilk clay (depending on your method and results) in kiln-fired or lampworked glass pieces, metal and precious metal clay, polymer clay like FIMO (baked in the oven) or airdry clay or even Lumina clay which is translucent. You could add breastmilk powder or flakes directly to casting grain to be embedded within traditional bench jewellry and we have sent pieces off with cremation ash and breastmilk for hallmarking with the Birmingham Assay Office who are extra careful when working with elements like this, and were quite happy to hallmark full purity even with large amounts of ash as they said it didn’t affect the purity of the metal.

In the blog series we will be writing more about working with resin (epoxy and UV curing), metal clay, silver work and goldsmithing and more. For classes on resin you may be able to find something local but Nikki learnt all resin and most silversmithing from YouTube tutorials. We’re planning videos showing you how to make and use silicone moulds, open bezels and pour-in bezels as well as some studio safety. We only use UV resin that we sell here over at Tree of Opals.

The idea is to remove as much of the moisture and oil as you can, leaving lots of protein behind. Some people use tissue paper but I like to use special oil removing sheets with the solids


You can find part one of the blog here in How to Make Breastmilk Jewellery (part 1), which gives you a list of initial supplies you’ll need for this craft. Part two of the blog is here in How To Make Breastmilk Jewellery (part 2) which explains some of the ways to preserve milk that do and don’t work. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for new articles and tutorials.






Preserving Breastmilk with Milky Mama Magic Dust™

If you’d prefer to use a guaranteed method, you can preserve breastmilk using Milky Mama Magic Dust™. The full blog is here and you’ll be able to start making a profit immediately, even if you decide to still work on your own method in the background

Spellings – this blog is written in the United Kingdom so my spelling is in English. I’ll try to add alternatives after but our spelling of jewellery is correct here.

This post contains affiliate links meaning when if you buy one of our recommended products I receive a small amount of earnings which comes in handy on Amazon for our two children’s books. They are learning Phonics and love animals, bugs and spaceships. Aqui hablamos español, on parle français, hier spreken we nederlands, tunasema Kiswahili hapa, and føroyskt, but they love to see all languages.


Posted on 23 Comments

Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 2

Making Breastmilk Jewellery: Part 2 - The Pitfalls - Keepsaker Supplies

Instructions on How to Make Breastmilk Jewellery (Part 2 of 4)



You can find part one of the blog here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery (part 1) which gives you a list of initial supplies you’ll need for this craft. Part three of the blog is here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery (part 3) and Making Breastmilk Jewellery (part 4) is here. Existing resin artists and jewellers, traditional and non-traditional, will have a bit of a head start but personally I learnt everything I needed to about resin on YouTube then put myself on a college silversmithing course later. Breastmilk jewellers might be angry about this blog series but I think the industry needs that growth and injection of new skills from people of all backgrounds so that we can inspire and encourage one-another but most importantly to normalise breastfeeding.

Please see our individual country-specific blogs for shopping supplies: United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Canada, other EU countries (coming soon) and non-EU countries (coming soon).

A couple of years ago from one of the keepsake groups someone started a thread about how to make breastmilk jewellery. That’s when I first started to tell people I’d been experimenting with Optiphen. I’d heard of people using formaldehyde and I would beg that nobody tries this. I was looking around for a less drastic preservative and wondered what they use in organic skin care. Optiphen is phenoxyethanol suspended in caprylyl glycol, or Optiphen Plus which is Optiphen with sorbic acid. I use Optiphen Plus which I bulk buy but you can do just as well with phenoxyethanol and a pinch of citric acid, which helps prevent mould and fungus. These might sound like scary ingredients but people used to making skin creams, shampoo and bath bombs will already have some of these. The bonus with the citric acid is that I use it in the kitchen in cooking, for cleaning and for pickling silver and copper. Just don’t take it from the same bag! Buy a kilo or so and portion it off, carefully labeling it. Always handle chemicals with care because even the so-called “safe” ones like citric acid can burn if left in contact with the skin. I won’t be posting things that others told me they use that work, because this is my method, not theirs. It won’t work for everyone and you’re each responsible for perfecting your own methods. This blog series is meant as a spring board/a “leg up” and some encouragement.

I talked to the group about Optiphen and it became known as “Nikki’s Method”. It then turned out that several others were already using it so “my” method was definitely going to work in the long run if I could slot it all into place. I took a bit of a stumble when I tried EcoResin and found all the pieces of breastmilk jewellery yellowing. I nearly stopped at that point but I have a family depending on me and I’d worked too hard to give it all up. I love what I do and had really struggled with depression when I was a stay at home parent. I couldn’t go out and work full time because the kids are little and we all need each other so the only option was to work from home. The first few months were tough and there seems no need for everyone to make those mistakes so here’s an ever-growing list of things that don’t work. Please submit any “how to make breastmilk jewellery fail” pics to me on Instagram #breastmilkfail or email them to info@keepsakersupplies.com with a description of what you did (wrong).

This series on making breastmilk jewellery is not a how-to, it won’t give you all the answers and it won’t magically create a business for you. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions and a guaranteed method, just buy our ready-mixed Breastmilk Preservation Powder here!

How Not To Preserve Human Milk

1. According to a couple of blogs and videos out there, you can just stir a couple of drops of raw milk into epoxy resin very energetically. You can, and it will harden on the most part, but of all the methods this one will rot the quickest. A week at the most but usually before you even take photos the milk will start to yellow. You’d be better off wearing a vial of milk around your neck here, sorry.

2. Freeze it and embed that in resin. This method works great for coloured water and I’ve seen a couple of videos like this one with glue or glycerine as a preservative. You make a resin or glass shell, freeze the liquid or the liquid in the shell then top with UV resin which cures almost instantly under UV lamp. This works fine for kawaii milkshakes but not breastmilk because it won’t stay liquid… yuck!

3. Dehydration in a dehydrator or oven doesn’t work either. The heat seems to encourage bacterial growth and after a few weeks it’ll go yellow. This one’s important because so many people have told me they bought a dehydrator in order to do it and they’re so expensive! It needs to be preserved before it’s dried.

4. People tell me they are boiling the milk but pasturising (pasturizing) it doesn’t mean you can stir it into resin. They’re on the right track though, too much liquid and no preservative

5. Vinegar is a popular choice and is an organic option with lots of lovely anti-microbials. The problem is all the liquid and the same with lemon juice. As you know above, citric acid and scorbic acid are part of the process I use and will explain in part three. Vinegar by itself probably won’t do a lot



6. Mixing with white clay like Sculpey and FIMO may very well work but you’d only be able to add a tiny bit of liquid which will dry away leaving a greasy residue, not much milk, and might go off anyway. It’s not preserving the milk but rather masking it. Some people like the clay look to milk, which sort of reminds me of porcelain, and it can be cut into little shapes or strips which are then embedded in resin* You’ll still need to preserve it first.


7. Trying to split the milk with an acid isn’t going to be easy either. It’s not like making cottage cheese/paneer/tofu because human milk contains less protein, called casein, than milk from other species. The curds are smaller and don’t stick together well. So, you’re probably wondering how we get the protein to stick together in order to solidify the milk. That’s coming in part three of our series of Making Breastmilk Jewellery. Even if you do split the milk, you can’t just add the curds to resin, they need to be preserved and dried.

*you can experiment with small amounts of umbilical cord and placenta powder in Lumina clay, a translucent air drying clay. We did but found it too crumbly and in the end resin was always much better. If your client doesn’t want to be able to see their cord or ash then we’d recommend small amounts in air dry polymer clay or precious metal clay (more on that in another blog).

You can find part one of the blog here in How to Make Breastmilk Jewellery (part 1) which gives you a list of initial supplies you’ll need for this craft. Part three of the blog is here in Making Breastmilk Jewellery (part 3) and Making Breastmilk Jewellery (part 4) is here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for new articles and tutorials.






Preserving Breastmilk with Milky Mama Magic Dust™

If you’d prefer to use a guaranteed method, you can preserve breastmilk using Milky Mama Magic Dust™. The full blog is here and you’ll be able to start making a profit immediately, even if you decide to still work on your own method in the background

As usual this post may contain affiliate links meaning when you buy we might receive a small amount of earnings which comes in handy on Amazon for our two little ones’ books.

Spellings – this blog is written in the United Kingdom so my spelling is in English. I’ll try to add alternatives after but our spelling of jewellery is correct here