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How To Make A Hair Charm Bead

How To Make A Hair Charm Bead Pandora Hair Charm

This video will show you how to make this resin lock of hair charm bead from start to finish. We’re adding rose petals for their sentimentality. You can read more about working with hair in our lock of hair jewellery making blog here (click).

Please watch to the end where there’s a competition to win some of the supplies featured in this video, our bestselling medium charm bead mould, two pairs of gloves, two rose petals, label backing paper, cocktail sticks, orchid purple resin sparkle mix and a pair of solid sterling silver large charm bead inserts

You’ll need the following supplies:
a safety mask or nail tech masks
vinyl gloves
our medium charm bead mould
rubbing alcohol
a rag
lock of hair
scissors
label paper
UV resin
cocktail stick
rose petals
orchid purple resin sparkle mix

you’ll also need a:
rotary tool
carbide rotary burr bit
E6000 vegan glue
a pair of large charm bead inserts

I like to use an LED UV lamp to save energy and make sure the pieces don’t get too hot. This one has a 99 second low heat setting

PREPARING THE HAIR

Firstly, put on your gloves. Sometimes I like to double up with gloves but working with a lock of hair is fiddly so just wear one pair. Take some rubbing alcohol and put it on a rag, take a charm bead mould and wipe it over. Don’t forget, it’s better to replace a mould when it’s starting to get dull than spend hours trying to get a perfect shine back on your finished piece.

There’s no need for a clear layer with a charm bead or pearl because dust doesn’t settle in the mould. Take the label backing paper and a cocktail stick then prepare the lock of hair. Some clients will send hair from a loved one who has passed away, please ask them to never send in the whole amount in case it’s lost in the post. Ask your client to tie the lock with a little bit of cotton and place it in a well-labelled bag. If they send it in tin foil they may fold it over which creases the hair and makes it harder to work with

Divide the lock of hair into two, use the larger piece for your first attempt and if for any reason this turns out badly you have some hair left to work with. Place it on the label backing paper and check it for irregular strands and you can send these back to the client with the remaining hair. Now take some clear UV resin and pour a dot on the corner as the first dot coming out will often have a small air bubble, then pour a small amount of resin over the hair

Use the cocktail stick to smooth it out, making sure the hair is completely saturated with resin and remove any bubbles. Cut the edges of the hair at an angle so they look neat

PUTTING THE HAIR IN THE MOULD

Use the cocktail stick to carefully pick up the hair and put it on your mould, then gently tease it in. Be careful not to poke the mould with the cocktail stick or you’ll get dots on the finished charm beads. This part can be very fiddly and takes practice so don’t worry if you don’t get it right to begin with. Perfect the technique with your own hair and that of friends and family.

Once the hair is in, slowly move it around to remove any air bubbles trapped in the strands. They will look like silver grains and if you gently push on them from behind the hair they will come through to the back.

FILLING THE MOULD

Squeeze a dot of resin out, as the first dot may have an air bubble, then very slowly fill the mould completely with resin to the very top. Prepare any petals by cutting them a little smaller. They must be completely dry. These were a gift from my husband, whose hair I’m using today, so they weren’t perfectly dried.

Usually I dry flowers and petals surrounded by silica gel in a bowl placed on a reptile heat mat. If you’d like to see a video with some drying techniques please let me know in the comments below. Gently poke your petals into the resin-filled mould. You will get a lot of air bubbles which you can remove with patience.

This technique would not work with a translucent or transparent mould, only water-clear so that you can see what you’re doing. When all the air bubbles are gone you can add a drop more resin so the mould is completely full

ADDING COLOUR

Change your gloves, then using a fresh cocktail stick add a small amount of resin sparkle mix on top of the mould. Press it into the resin, focussing the colour around the centre of the mould and trying not to mix it around the petals or near the hair. Again it takes a lot of practice and perseverance to get the colour in the right place. Remove the bubbles by pressing the sides in and teasing them out with the cocktail stick. Push out some of the excess resin around the pouring spout. You’ll learn the perfect amount to leave in meaning you don’t have to build up the charm but you don’t have too much excess to remove

CURING THE CHARM BEAD

Put your mould under a UV nail lamp for 99 seconds on low heat. This UV lamp is perfect because it’s low energy LED with a low heat mode. Allow it to cool down, turn it over and cure for another 99 seconds, then cool it completely again. Use this time to clear up your work station, put your client’s hair back into their bag and wipe over the work

DEMOULDING THE CHARM BEAD

You should be able to remove the charm bead from the mould fairly easily but if you struggle at all, do it in a bowl of warm water with a little washing up liquid or dish soap and it will slip out nicely. Check for imperfections and pick off any excess resin from around the pouring spout that will come off easily. If the pieces are too big and you force it, you might crack the charm bead. Use a rotary tool with a carbide rotary burr bit and make sure you wear a good quality mask. Remove the excess resin then put a little rubbing alcohol onto a piece of cotton wool pad and wipe the charm bead over to remove any stickiness.

ADDING THE INSERTS

Check the inserts fit nicely and cover the sanding area, then get some E6000 glue which is made without animal ingredients. Use a fresh cocktail stick to apply some glue to the inside of the insert, then apply some to the area on the charm bead that it will cover. Put the insert on and repeat with the other side

LEAVE TO DRY

The charm beads with our inserts are perfect for most charm bracelets and as you can see here, it fits perfectly on my own Pandora bracelet. You can photograph your cremation ashes jewellery a number of ways
Here’s an example using bogwood and one using a plain white background

GENUINE SOLID SILVER INSERTS

One final and very important point to remember is that not all 925 stamped charm beads are solid sterling silver. The insert, or grommet, on the left here with two 925 marks is silver plated but they’re sold online as solid sterling silver

charm bead insert comparison – fake silver plated and genuine solid sterling silver

Our inserts on the right with the heart are solid sterling silver and won’t ever rust. Clients prefer good quality, especially for keepsake and memorial charm beads.

Now relax and do some crafting

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Set a Resin Sphere

set a resin sphere - breastmilk pearl resin sphere keepsake jewellery

A tutorial to set a resin sphere, also known as a “pearl” or an “orb” with glue-on, partial drilling, full drilling and wire wrapped settings. You’ll learn what each of these terms mean and also how to cover the pouring spout for a beautiful finish on your spheres or pearls. You can create beautiful jewellery for your clients with their breastmilk, cremation ashes, lock of hair or fur, umbilical cord or placenta.

Here’s my YouTube tutorial How to Make a Forget Me Not Pearl

You will struggle to nicely finish a sphere if the pouring spout is too big, if the mould is dull or overused. We recommend you start with a fresh shiny mould from our selection here (click). We have them from 6mm to 20mm and a full set is available here



Preparing To Set a Resin Sphere

When your piece is fully cured, remove it from the mould. If you’ve used UV resin then give it a wipe over with a high proof alcohol on some cotton wool or white cotton fabric scrap (old kids’ vests are perfect!). You may have a little dip round the pouring spout if you under-poured, in which case add a little more resin to make the surface smooth. Even if you’ve used epoxy resin for your main pour, you can use UV resin to fill this dent.

If you’ve got a lip where the spout was where you poured, you can cut, saw or file off the excess. Don’t forget to wear the right PPE when filing resin – a good mask or at least the nail technician style mask. The “holy grail”, for me, in resin work is to just have the tiniest lip on a piece that can be removed with my fingernails. UV resin can be a little bit brittle so if you have too much excess and try to cut it away, you may accidentally lose a chunk of your piece. The safe way to remove it is with a burr drill bit on your rotary tool

rotary tool
rotary tool
burr drill bits
burr drill bits

How to Set a Resin Sphere – The Easiest Ways

1. Pearl Cage Resin Spheres

The easiest way to set a resin pearl is to place it in a ready-made pearl cage. You can get these on various jewellery making websites and there are lots to choose from on Etsy. You need to be careful because they almost all come from China and the price doesn’t necessarily guarantee if it’s solid sterling silver. You can sometimes tell if a British or US seller is reselling by comparing the photos.

This angel wing pearl cage looks like a good option because the seller offers both silver plated and sterling silver (this one is sterling silver).

angel wing pearl cage

angel wing pearl cage

2. Partially Drilled Resin Spheres

As above, you’ll need a nice even sphere, then mark the centre of the pouring hole with a Sharpie and make sure it’s central. I prefer to use a hand drill for drilling just a little bit, for accuracy, like this Archemedes Drill with a 0.8mm drill bit. Again, don’t forget to wear the right PPE when filing resin – a good mask or at least the nail technician style mask.

Archimedes drill
Archimedes Drill

Drill down the length of you need for the setting (you can mark the depth on your drill bit with a bit of washi tape which is also perfect for keeping your metal stamping straight). It’s usually about 4mm deep you’ll need to go to glue on a bail.

Bails are easy to source from most silver suppliers but the difficulty is finding one wide enough to cover your pouring hole to set a resin sphere. A small pearl (6-8mm) will be ok with a small 4mm wide bail, but anything 9mm or larger we recommend a wide bail like this.

glue-on bails
glue-on bails



Use glue to stick on the bail, I like Araldite Jeweller’s Glue, and combine the parts A+B on a little label backing paper (if you don’t regularly use labels, ask at your local Post Office because they have bins full of this stuff they can give you). Apply the glue with the toothpick inside the hole you drilled and around the inside of the bail then push in place. You can wrap the whole thing in a piece of cotton fabric to hold the bail in place whilst it dries.

These are quick and easy to make but the disadvantage is if your client pulls the sphere too hard, it could come apart. Fully drilled spheres are more secure – keep reading to find out how to make them!

breastmilk pearl bunny ears
breastmilk pearl with bunny ears bail

3. Fully Drilled Resin Spheres

Just as with the partially drilled resin sphere, mark the centre of the pouring hole with a Sharpie and make sure it’s central. You can drill the hole by hand/with an Archemedes Drill or with a rotary tool fitted with a 0.8mm drill bit.

For accuracy, especially if you’re working with something irreplaceable like someone’s last lock of their loved one’s hair, you should consider investing in a pearl drill. Whichever method you use, please don’t forget to wear the right PPE when filing resin – a good mask or at least the nail technician style mask.

Wipe the sphere again with some alcohol and cotton wool or white fabric scraps. Then you’ll need a long flat base head pin which will cover some of your pouring area. You can also put the pouring area on the top and add an 8mm bead cap like this one.

Using a pair of bail and looping pliers you can create a beautiful bail to set a resin sphere, through which you can thread a silver necklace chain for your customer. You could alternatively add a 6mm solid silver split ring and a lobster clasp to make a dangle charm for Thomas Sabo style bracelets.

You can purchase silicone sphere moulds from our shop here and by following the links above you can find the right supplies and support our blog at the same time.

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