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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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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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AliExpress Buying Guide

AliExpress buying guide for memorial jewellers

This AliExpress buying guide is ideal for anyone in anyone in the world to purchase keepsake jewellery supplies. Ideal to make breastmilk and memorial jewellery using UV or epoxy resin. Ordered by category it’s a great way for new starters to get the supplies they need at the lowest prices, so long as you’re happy to wait.

The UK buying guide is here, the USA buying guide is here, the Australia buying guide is here and the Canada version is coming soon. Hopefully I’ll add versions for the rest of Europe when possible.

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment

Probably the most important on the list because most of us are making keepsake jewellery to support our families. A little bit of resin dust now and again might not seem like that much of a bad thing but you have to look towards the future. If you put in place a good code of conduct now and insist on safety, you’ll be thankful later. Coming soon: a blog on keeping yourself and your family safe as you work with multimedia! So here are a few of my favourite safety items and where to find them.

Gloves
Box of 1000 gloves You’ll need to change your gloves often due to the hazardous and super sticky nature of resin. Unfortunately, for reusability and eco friendliness, it’s difficult to keep gloves for more than one session. They gunk up, split and the stickiness can ruin a perfectly de-moulded piece so change them often. There are plenty of other ways of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic. I usually buy my gloves from market stalls and car boot sales, usually around £2 or you can offer a fiver for three boxes which often works. If I’ve run out I find poundshops often have cheap thin gloves but they’re not as good.
Barrier cream
Barrier Cream can help protect your hands and arms so even if your gloves fail, there’s a little protection there from the resin
Zinc oxide cream can also work, or the powder can be mixed with some water but I’ve never tried it. You probably won’t need a barrier cream if you’re working with UV resin but I find epoxy gets everywhere
Respirator and Glasses
Respirator I highly recommend you protect your lungs working with resin dust but I don’t always wear mine
Disposable dust masks should, at the very least, be worn while drilling and filling resin and you should never do this around children and pets – at the time of writing, face masks aren’t available due to the coronavirus pandemic, so I’d highly recommend making your own…
(Use this pattern on Etsy if you want to DIY. Of course I’m unable to take any responsibility as to their effectiveness, but they are better than nothing. I’ve even personally handwashed disposable masks.)
Safety goggles are great too to protect your eyes from dust, especially when milling resin from charms and pearls (they can be fast and lodge in your eyeballs!)
Clothes
A thick waterproof canvas apron and I try to wear denim jeans to protect my legs from any spills and sharps dropping down. Joanna at Isabel Necessary put my logo on some aprons which feels really professional and sets a good image.
Hair
Hair elastics to tie back your hair. Mine disappear so I buy a hundred at a time, half for me and half for the kids. Mine live on the peg board and I grab one before any resin or metalwork
Hair bands to stop the strays falling down

Studio Organisation

Peg boards are great for holding orders that are in cellophane bags, for hanging supplies and keeping your workspace clutter-free. 

peg board organisation using old mobile phone boxes
peg board organisation using old mobile phone boxes

Plastic takeaway tubs are great for organising orders on shelves. There’s no right or wrong way to organise them but these work perfectly for breastmilk drying. You can store them on a shelf, a shoe rack. Great for storing epoxy resin pieces whilst they cure
Shelving units that are open are best for drying, and make sure you use a spirit level to get it all even if you’re curing epoxy. You can keep supplies in nice containers on the shelves too
Rolling caddies are great for storing a small amount of supplies in small spaces
Storage units like this are perfect for keeping the takeaway tubs. I literally found mine outside someone’s house, knocked on their door and asked if it was ok to take it. You don’t need to spend money on everything; try to make do and mend.
Tool storage stand like this for keeping pliers, ring sizers etc
Desk organiser for equipment

Label printer are great for keeping things neat
Regular labels work too if you want to hand write them, and don’t forget to keep all your label backs, the shiny side is perfect for working hair on! 
Highlighters for colour coding labels for the kits you’re sending out or when an order arrives – I’ve always done blue=breastmilk green=ashes orange=hair pink=cord/placenta.  I use the same colours to mark them on spreadsheets on Google Drive which link to the orders on our website, but you could link to the conversation on Facebook with the client, or the Etsy purchase etcSending Kits for Breastmilk/Ashes etc



Small postage boxes are brilliant for posting out your sending kits and we recycle these when they’re not ripped
Some labeled 3ml pots for your clients’ hair, ashes and cord or for a higher-end look that’s plastic-free you can use small aluminium lip balm tins
Heat and freezer-proof plastic tubes for breastmilk, 10ml
Clear sealable bags in 10x15cm are essential for the breastmilk tubes which sometimes leak, and we found we must tell clients to keep the two milk tubes in one bag and the hair pot in another because we’ve received hair soaked in milk before!
Plastic-free cellulose bags are great too if you’re trying to minimise plastic. They don’t work for breastmilk, but are great for the little pots for ashes/hair/cord. We’ll be adding a blog soon on minimising single-use plastic in keepsake jewellery if you’re worried about that. Even ashes and placenta powders sometimes leak so they need bags too to make sure nothing can escape and fall out of the pot into the box
Ultra fine CD pens… I can’t keep enough of these around and they’re essential for marking the breastmilk tubes, ash pots, bags, labels and metalworking.
Cheap ring sizers are perfect if you’re selling rings and clients just send them back with their kits. Every six months or so we invest in a new batch to cover the ones that weren’t returned but in general clients are great (ask them to return it in the instructions). Please note, these are in US sizes but you will find that some of your ring blank suppliers sell in US sizes anyway (such as ZDP on Etsy)
Printer paper for the sending instructions with the kits which the clients return as well (you can reuse them). Sample instructions coming soon!
Printable labels in A4 are great for shipping labels too

Breastmilk Preservation

Heat and freezer-proof plastic tubes for breastmilk, 10ml like this, we would send each client two tubes for their milk marked at 5ml and 7ml for the client to add milk between the lines, with their name and order number written on the sides and lid in waterproof pen. When they arrive we pop them in the freezer and every few weeks we take one tube for each client and preserve a batch.
Storage for the test tubes like this rack
Plastic pipettes to add preservative (you are responsible for testing and purchasing the preservative at your own risk, please use care)
An electric pressure cooker is perfect for heat treating the milk and it’s ideal if you buy one with a steaming rack, which keeps the tubes propped up,
This silicone rack might fit and would help the tubes stay upright. Once each tube is completely cooled we sort the tubes into their order containers and what’s left is kept in a cupboard

Preparation of Elements

Pestle and mortar is perfect for ashes, umbilical cord and breastmilk and you don’t need an expensive brand, just a white one. I sterilise it in between use with a plastic-free antibacterial wipe and recommend buying a different pestle and mortar for each element (you could paint the outside with nail polish such as blue for breastmilk, green for cremation ashes and pink for umbilical cords)

Pestle and mortar (click here)

Moulds

Our moulds are the best (but I’m biased, of course) and when you’re charging clients money to preserve something special, it’s worth investing in some good moulds. Water clear moulds mean you can see exactly where you’re placing elements, and check for air bubbles. When you’re selling high quality keepsakes you have to make sure your moulds are replaced as soon as they begin to cloud so you don’t lose shine
Pendant moulds that don’t need drilling are fun and a great way to show locks of hair and flowers
Little gemstone moulds are great for casting ash and umbilical cord, which can have silver bails attached or be cast in a larger setting of clear resin
Mould dets like this are really fun to try out too

Resin

UV resin by Qiao Qiao, this brand is the best I’ve found. Other UV resins smell awful in comparison (occasionally you can get a bad batch of this but I check them before sending). I now think UV resin is vital for keepsake jewellery because it’s fast, meaning you can concentrate on one client’s order at once, not pour a dozen and wait days for it to cure. It works at low temperatures, I remember winters waiting forever for epoxy resin to cure, now I can finish an order in one sitting even in the British winters



48W LED UV Lamp with a low heat setting like this one is perfect, uses less energy than a bulb lamp and looks nice in my studio
Epoxy resin has its pros and cons too and many artists prefer it. I used to use Axson D150 Rigid exclusively after heartbreak with other brands (EcoResin for one). Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, weighing is more accurate (sometimes quantities by weight are a little different to volume – ask the company for advice!)

Cocktail Sticks are perfect for removing bubbles. I know some people use a lighter to get them out but that only works on open-back moulds, such as cabochons. The ideal way to remove bubbles is to work in the dark and let a piece sit for a few minutes to allow them to rise, before adding powders and other elements
Mylar flakes (opalescent) we make are blends of ethical mica, plant based glitters and opalescent flakes, holographic and ghost pigments
Resin pigments and mica powders, craft shops like Hobbycraft sell edible shimmers that are perfect with resin. Please be careful because mica can come from dubious sources and there are many reports of young children being forced into labour in the mines in India
Titanium dioxide is a white UV stabiliser which helps with breastmilk preservation but be careful: a tiny little bit goes an awfully long way, and your resin won’t cure if you add too much, even epoxy resin. Because it’s classed as a white pigment, you really tell your clients that your jewellery contains this.
Bullseye spirit level makes sure the space where you’re drying is totally level

Finishing

Needle files will remove a bit of resin at a time and are a great budget option but need a little time to use
A Dremel-style rotary tool is perfect for filing off bits of resin, metalworking, polishing etc. Get one with a flexible driver and a stand so you don’t have to hold the whole machine during use
Carbide burr bits for removing extra resin
Cotton buffing wheels are nice and gentle on plastic and metal, but you should try to make sure your resin pieces don’t need polishing. The best finish comes from a nice shiny mould. You can use your UV resin to apply another coat to any piece or just dome where you’ve drilled
Drillbits for drilling pearls with a rotary tool
Pearl drill for drilling spheres/orbs

Measuring

Digital calipers for measuring everything from moulds to casts, findings and settings, and metalsmithing
Digital scales for weighing parcels and resin

Shipping

Small postage boxes are brilliant for posting out your sending kits and we recycle these when they’re not ripped, but for shipping orders I prefer to use a new box. Once you have established branding you might want to think abut getting some printed
Polishing cloths for your clients to polish silver settings. They offer good prices on AliExpress for branded polishing cloths and jewellery boxes

Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget, if you have any issues with any of the items you purchase from this list I’d love to know so that I can edit it. I can’t take any responsibility for third party retailers/sites such as Etsy, Amazon or AliExpress but at least I can modify the blog. Prices are correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change. Please let me know if you spot any broken links, or you’ve had an issue with any purchase.

Some people prefer not to order from China because of quality concerns, or time it takes to arrive, worries over workers’ conditions and pay, or consumers want to support their local communities. I totally understand this and applaud anyone who buys local. However, a lot of the products you find for sale in local market places and websites will have been imported. So you are paying a little more for speed. That’s totally up to you, this blog is aimed at people who don’t mind Chinese cheapies and don’t mind the wait!

Please note, this blog contains affiliate links meaning we may receive a small income based on your purchases after clicks with no extra cost to yourself.

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Making 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 note, the competition has now finished. 

How To Make A Hair Charm Bead

You’ll need the following supplies, please note we have specific supplies lists for the UK, USA, Australia (Canada coming very soon):
a heavy duty safety mask or nail tech masks
NEW: A hair bead DIY kit (contains vinyl gloves, a pair of glue-in inserts as shown in this video or a Forever In My Heart ♥ core, a charm bead mouldlabel backing paperUV resin, 3 cocktail sticks, resin sparkle mix in a random colour)
lock of hair
scissors

you might also need a:
rose petals
rubbing alcohol or gel nail cleanser solution
a rag
rotary tool
carbide rotary burr bit
E6000 vegan glue
a silver polishing cloth

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

Some of the supplies in this Making A Hair Charm Bead blog are optional, such as the rotary tool and rose petal.

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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How to Make a Cremation Ashes Heart Necklace

New style heart necklace setting with scalloped edge. Vampire black resin sparkle mix, shown with a medium classic chain upgrade

Learn how to make a cremation ashes heart necklace with our video below. I’m working with horse ashes in this video so if you find this upsetting please do not watch. The resin part of this is very similar to our How to Make a Cremation Ashes Ring blog, but this setting is much easier!

You can read more about working with ashes in our How To Make Cremation Ashes Jewellery blog here (click).

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).

Supplies from Keepsaker Supplies

A cremation ashes heart necklace kit, this includes

You might also need:

supplies needed to make a cremation ashes heart necklace
supplies needed to make a cremation ashes heart necklace

How to Make a Cremation Ashes Heart Necklace

Preparing the Mould
Firstly, inspect your mould and check for any dust or dirt, or lines and imperfections
Prepare the mould if it’s a little dusty by one of two methods

  1. The first is by wiping it with rubbing alcohol and a cotton wool pad
  2. The second is by applying a thin layer of UV resin and then curing. The dust will come off when you remove the resin

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

CURE FOR 99 SECONDS
Then, you can remove the cleaning layer

Clear Layer
Pour the first bit of resin on the edge of the mould because it will probably have an air bubble
Carefully put a large dot of resin in the centre of each of the hearts
Tilt the mould around so that the whole surface is covered
Only use a cocktail stick if you have a bubble
Place it under your UV lamp for 30 seconds
This will give you a clear top layer on your finished piece

Add the Ashes and Colours
Check you have the right colours and double check your client’s name and order number against what they’ve ordered
We ask our clients to send no more than half a teaspoon of ashes
Inspect the cremation ashes and consider grinding them a little finer
Cremation ashes are ground in the crematorium and some are ground finer or for longer than others
The grains will suspend more nicely in the resin if they are very fine
Take a small pinch of your client’s ashes, and place them in a pestle and mortar
Gently grind them down until they’re a little finer
Put them to one side. Somewhere where you can’t knock them over

Pour another layer of resin in, about two thirds of the way up
Use the cocktail stick to add a very tiny amount of ashes
Then your colors. I’m using a fairy pink resin sparkle mix here

Then I add a little bit of gold synthetic mica
Add a little bit of precious metal leaf if you like
This one is palladium leaf
Add a very tiny pinch of ashes
Gently swirl everything around to cover the first layer

If you want lots of depth to your piece then don’t add too much of
anything in the first colour layer
Keep it nice and translucent

cure for 30 seconds

Final Colour Layer
Repeat with another layer of resin almost to the top
Add a little bit more ashes this time along with more colour
This will ensure that none of your necklace is patchy or see-through

Cure for another 30 seconds

Finally add a thin layer of resin to dome the back and then cure for a final 30 seconds
Remove from the UV lamp and leave to completely cool

Clear Up
Use this time to clear up your work station, put your client’s ashes back into their bag and wash your pestle and mortar
I like to use rubbing alcohol on a cotton wool pad then use warm soapy water before drying completely

Preparing The Setting
Check that your heart setting has a jump ring
If not, you can solder one on or use a 6mm split ring like this
Make sure you don’t have any tangles in the necklace chain
Give it all a quick polish with a silver polishing cloth

Demoulding the resin heart
Once the piece is completely cooled you can remove it VERY EASILY from the mould

Check for imperfections then put a little rubbing alcohol onto a piece of cotton wool pad
Wipe the heart over to remove any stickiness

You might need to remove a little excess resin with a flat diamond file
Snap off any excess resin around the edges or use a burr on a rotary tool
Don’t forget to wear a mask doing this
Then wipe off any dust

Setting the resin heart
Put the heart into the setting
Use a burnishing tool to push down the crown points
Check that your necklace chain fits through the jump ring
If not, you MIGHT be able to gently squeeze together the last ring on the chain a little
Then it will usually fit through
If you’re using a very large chain like a Pandora style snake chain then you can attach a bail to the heart setting

Photographing the resin heart
You can photograph your cremation ashes jewellery a number of ways
Here’s an example using bogwood

Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more videos like this and don’t forget I’ve linked to the blog and all the supplies you need down below
Now relax and do some crafting

**contains sponsored content meaning I may receive a small income based on purchases you make on my recommendations. Some of the products mentioned and linked to are ones my own items for sale

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Settings for Resin Jewellery: Etsy

crown point heart settings from Etsy



People always ask me the best place to get settings for resin jewellery and the easiest place is most definitely Etsy. It’s a mixture of mass-produced and handmade and if you know where to look, it’s full of gems (in the literal and not-so-literal sense!) My rings and pearls over at Tree of Opals are handmade from scratch, our charm beads and heart necklaces are cast and stamped for us.

Please see our individual country-specific blogs for shopping supplies: The UK version of the list is here, USA, Australia, Canada, other EU countries (coming soon) and non-EU countries (coming soon).

1. Caverswall Minerals

Caverswall Minerals on Etsy (click here) is the very best place to look for fillable settings. You don’t need moulds and can use a pipette to drip in resin, then swirl in colours and your clients’ elements such as breastmilk powder, cremation ashes, umbilical cord or dried placenta. You can work in layers to achieve depth and include pieces of hair and fur. You can even use our cabochon moulds where possible, meaning you can make a few cabochons and choose the best which you’ll then glue into the setting. This cufflink setting can be filled with resin or you can use our 18x13mm cabochon mould to make three of four resin “stones”, choose the best two then glue them in the setting with E6000 glue.

18x13mm cufflink setting
Caverswall Minerals 18x13mm cufflink settings

2. Quality Findings Market

Quality Findings Market or QFM on Etsy is my absolute favourite. Their solid silver 18x13mm teardrop settings are compatible with our 18x13mm teardrop moulds. Just make sure you keep the edges neat and use a bezel rocker to push down the crown points once you’re happy.

18x13mm teardrop setting from QFM on Etsy
solid silver 18x13mm teardrop settings

When I first started using their crown settings I was using a China cheapie mould, the pink faceted one with multiple depressions of faceted hearts. The problems with facets are that they’re harder to do another coat on as you lose the definition. Plus opaque moulds are virtually impossible to use with a UV curing resin unless you work in very thin layers.

3. ZDP Findings

ZDP Findings are another great place in Israel to purchase settings in solid sterling silver, gold-filled and base metal. They’re a family run business and their customer service is second to none! I love these 14mm round heart point solid sterling silver settings which are perfect for setting 14mm round cabochons. Please have a look at their page for inspiration and remember that crown and heart points are ideal for beginners because they’re easy to push down with your fingers. If you’re using a bezel cup rings like these there are three methods of setting which I’ll cover in more detail in a blog with photos, but you can fill them with resin and cure, you can glue in cabochons, or you can set the cabochons by gluing then rubbing over the bezel with a bezel pusher (I recommend getting a set and finding your favourite to work with, mine is the curved one with the point).

If they have any settings you’d like to work with but can’t find a mould to suit, just give us the link to the setting and we’ll try our best to create a custom mould for you.

4. SilverFindings925

SilverFindings925 are based in the Ukraine and have some lovely, unique and interesting settings ideal for memorial and breastmilk jewellery. Use our 10mm round cabochons made with our 10mm cabochon mould with this
10mm round claw setting silver ring.

solid sterling silver claw ring from SilverFindings925
solid sterling silver claw ring from SilverFindings925

Don’t forget, claw settings aren’t too forgiving so you have to make sure your edges are super-neat! The claws won’t cover up much of the resin, so I find it’s more prone to knocks and scrapes at the edges, but I know a lot of keepsake and DNA artists and their clients love the look. It’s completely up to you, whatever works for your business! SilverFindings925 also sell some pearl dangle earring settings that you could try with our 16mm sphere moulds. Make sure you place the pouring hole at the bottom and dome it carefully, letting the client know the bottoms won’t be perfect.

5. Armoured Supply

Armoured Supply

Settings for resin jewellery Etsy

Setting Problems

I had an issue recently with a solid 14ct gold wishbone setting I’d made where the client complained they could see the doming on the pearl. I refunded them in the end because I should have mentioned this specifically in the T’s and C’s, and it was just before Christmas and I didn’t want to let her ruin my holidays, so don’t forget to keep your business safe by telling clients things like this in advance. Put in your T’s and C’s and product description phrases like “you will see air bubbles in most of our resin work”, and, “pieces are set by hand and you may see small amounts of glue and scratches in the metalwork where this was done”. If the client doesn’t like it, they can order elsewhere but you won’t be losing out on business because these are the people who demand refunds. If they can find someone who can promise perfection, let them go!

You’ll learn which settings work for you, that you’re comfortable working with and which your clients love, but try to keep some back for refunds if you’ve forgotton to mention something like that and the client is being unkind. It’s never worth risking your mental health and joy you find in your work for someone who is just trying it on (and probably expects a refund and to be able to keep it). Settings for resin jewellery Etsy can be hard to judge until you get them in your hands so what I like to do is charge a small amount (ideally to a friend or someone who knows it’s a tester slot) for the setting to cover your costs, and give it a try. Take some pics and use it to advertise the piece on social media. If a customer asks for a custom setting you might ask them to purchase it then just charge a small fee to add a cabochon, you can still take photos and buy it yourself next time.

Please note, this blog contains affiliate links meaning we may receive a small income based on your purchases after clicks with no extra cost to yourself.



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Supplies List: United Kingdom





This list is ideal for anyone in the UK and Europe looking to purchase keepsake jewellery supplies to make breastmilk and memorial jewellery. Ordered by category it’s almost a one-stop-shop of the things you’ll need to succeed making keepsakes for your growing clientele. Prices are correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

The USA version of this list is here, Australia, Canada, other EU countries (coming soon) and non-EU countries (coming soon).

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment

Probably the most important on the list because most of us are making keepsake jewellery to support our families. A little bit of resin dust now and again might not seem like that much of a bad thing but you have to look towards the future. If you put in place a good code of conduct now and insist on safety, you’ll be thankful later. Coming soon: a blog on keeping yourself and your family safe as you work with multimedia! So here are a few of my favourite safety items and where to find them.



Gloves
Box of 1000 gloves You’ll need to change your gloves often due to the hazardous and super sticky nature of resin. Unfortunately, for reusability and eco friendliness, it’s difficult to keep gloves for more than one session. They gunk up, split and the stickiness can ruin a perfectly de-moulded piece so change them often. There are plenty of other ways of reducing, reusing and recycling plastic. I usually buy my gloves from market stalls and car boot sales, usually around £2 or you can offer a fiver for three boxes which often works. If I’ve run out I find poundshops often have cheap thin gloves but they’re not as good.
No More Gloves (barrier creams)
No More Gloves (£5/100ml) is the branded barrier liquid or you can go for good old fashioned…
Zinc oxide powder can be mixed with some water but I’ve never tried it. You probably won’t need a barrier cream if you’re working with UV resin but I find epoxy gets everywhere
Respirator and Glasses
Respirator and glasses set I highly recommend you protect your eyes and lungs with a but I don’t always wear mine
Disposable dust masks should, at the very least, be worn while drilling and filling resin and you should never do this around children and pets – at the time of writing, face masks aren’t available due to the coronavirus pandemic, so I’d highly recommend making your own…
Use this pattern on Etsy if you want to DIY. Of course I’m unable to take any responsibility as to their effectiveness, but they are better than nothing. I’ve even personally handwashed disposable masks.
Clothes
A thick waxed cotton apron and I try to wear denim jeans to protect my legs from any spills and sharps dropping down. Joanna at Isabel Necessary put my logo on some aprons which feels really professional and sets a good image.
Hair
Hair bobbles to tie back your hair. Mine disappear so I buy a hundred at a time, half for me and half for the kids. Mine live on the peg board and I grab one before any resin or metalwork
Hair bands to stop the strays falling down

Studio Organisation

Peg boards and hooks are great for holding orders that are in cellophane bags, for hanging supplies and keeping your workspace clutter-free. IKEA do wonderful peg boards. My tip is to keep several orders together, use an old mobile phone box

peg board organisation using old mobile phone boxes
peg board organisation using old mobile phone boxes

Plastic takeaway tubs are great for organising orders on shelves. There’s no right or wrong way to organise them but these work perfectly for breastmilk drying. You can store them on a shelf, a shoe rack (Home Bargains and IKEA are great here). Great for storing epoxy resin pieces whilst they cure
Shelving units that are open are best for drying, and make sure you use a spirit level to get it all even if you’re curing epoxy. You can keep supplies in nice containers on the shelves too
Storage units like this are perfect for keeping the takeaway tubs. I literally found mine outside someone’s house, knocked on their door and asked if it was ok to take it. You don’t need to spend money on everything; try to make do and mend.

plastic drawers for storage
Storage units like this are perfect for keeping supplies close to hand

Brother QL500 label makers are great for keeping things neat and , I got it on eBay second hand and it saves us time, but you can write them out by hand. The 29x90mm labels are great all-rounders. Regular labels work too if you want to hand write them, and don’t forget to keep all your label backs, the shiny side is perfect for working hair on! 
Highlighters for colour coding labels for the kits you’re sending out or when an order arrives – I’ve always done blue=breastmilk green=ashes orange=hair pink=cord/placenta.  I use the same colours to mark them on spreadsheets on Google Drive which link to the orders on our website, but you could link to the conversation on Facebook with the client, or the Etsy purchase etc
Tablet in front of me for looking at orders whilst making. I have a Google Drive app on my iPad so I can see the current order sheet, I can rearrange columns etc. Free download templates coming soon! Make sure you get a screen protector because you’ll probably get resin on it. Keep it away from children and pets, it can be your work tablet. I like to listen to audio books whilst working, and Amazon have given me a link for you all to get a free audio book here:



Sending Kits for Breastmilk/Ashes etc

Large letter postage boxes are brilliant for posting out your sending kits and we recycle these when they’re not ripped
Some labeled 3ml pots for your clients’ hair, ashes and cord or for a higher-end look that’s plastic-free you can use small aluminium lip balm tins
Heat and freezer-proof plastic tubes for breastmilk, 10ml
This size clear hygiene bags are essential for the breastmilk tubes which sometimes leak, and we found we must tell clients to keep the two milk tubes in one bag and the hair pot in another because we’ve received hair soaked in milk before!
Plastic-free cellulose bags are great too if you’re trying to minimise plastic. They don’t work for breastmilk, but are great for the little pots for ashes/hair/cord. We’ll be adding a blog soon on minimising single-use plastic in keepsake jewellery if you’re worried about that. Even ashes and placenta powders sometimes leak so they need bags too to make sure nothing can escape and fall out of the pot into the box
First class large letter stamps one for the outside and one for inside of the box
Ultra Fine Sharpies… I can’t keep enough of these around and they’re essential for marking the breastmilk tubes, ash pots, bags, labels and metalworking. The ASDA CD pens wash off in the pressure cooker!
Cheap ring sizers are perfect if you’re selling rings and clients just send them back with their kits. Every six months or so we invest in a new batch to cover the ones that weren’t returned but in general clients are great (ask them to return it in the instructions).
Laserjet printer and printer paper for the sending instructions with the kits which the clients return as well (you can reuse them). Sample instructions coming soon!

Breastmilk Preservation

Heat and freezer-proof plastic tubes like this, we send each client two tubes for their milk marked at 5ml and 7ml for the client to add milk between the lines, with their name and order number written on the sides and lid in Sharpie. When they arrive we pop them in the freezer and every few weeks we take one tube for each client and preserve a batch.
Storage for the test tubes like this rack
Plastic pipettes to add preservative (you are responsible for testing and purchasing the preservative at your own risk, please use care)
An electric pressure cooker is perfect for heat treating the milk and it’s ideal if you buy one with a steaming rack, which keeps the tubes propped up, but one like this cooling rack might fit. Once each tube is completely cooled we sort the tubes into their order containers and what’s left is kept in a cupboard

Preparation of Elements

Pestle and mortar is perfect for ashes, umbilical cord and breastmilk and you don’t need an expensive brand, just a white one. I sterilise it in between use with a plastic-free antibacterial wipe and recommend buying a different pestle and mortar for each element (you could paint the outside with nail polish such as blue for breastmilk, green for cremation ashes and pink for umbilical cords)

Pestle and mortar (click here)

Moulds

Our moulds are the best (but I’m biased, of course) and when you’re charging clients money to preserve something special, it’s worth investing in some good moulds. Water clear moulds mean you can see exactly where you’re placing elements, and check for air bubbles. When you’re selling high quality keepsakes you have to make sure your moulds are replaced as soon as they begin to cloud so you don’t lose shine
Cheap pendant moulds that don’t need drilling are fun and a great way to show locks of hair and flowers
Little gemstone moulds are great for casting ash and umbilical cord, which can have silver bails attached or be cast in a larger setting of clear resin
AliExpress moulds like this, you get £5 off when spend £45 with the code 10ANSFR 



Resin

UV resin by Qiao Qiao, this brand is the best I’ve found. Other UV resins smell awful in comparison (occasionally you can get a bad batch of this but I check them before sending). I now think UV resin is vital for keepsake jewellery because it’s fast, meaning you can concentrate on one client’s order at once, not pour a dozen and wait days for it to cure. It works at low temperatures, I remember winters waiting forever for epoxy resin to cure, now I can finish an order in one sitting even in the British winters



48W LED UV Lamp with a low heat setting like this one is perfect, uses less energy than a bulb lamp and looks nice in my studio

48W UV lamp for curing UV resin
48W LED UV Lamp for curing UV resin

Epoxy resin has its pros and cons too and many artists prefer it. I used to use Axson D150 Rigid exclusively after heartbreak with other brands (EcoResin for one). Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter, weighing is more accurate (sometimes quantities by weight are a little different to volume – ask the company for advice!)
Cocktail Sticks are perfect for removing bubbles. I know some people use a lighter to get them out but that only works on open-back moulds, such as cabochons. The ideal way to remove bubbles is to work in the dark and let a piece sit for a few minutes to allow them to rise, before adding powders and other elements
Resin Sparkle Mixes we make are blends of ethical mica, plant based glitters and opalescent flakes, holographic and ghost pigments
Resin pigments and mica powders, craft shops like Hobbycraft sell edible shimmers that are perfect with resin. Please be careful because mica can come from dubious sources and there are many reports of young children being forced into labour in the mines in India
Titanium dioxide is a white UV stabiliser which helps with breastmilk preservation but be careful: a tiny little bit goes an awfully long way, and your resin won’t cure if you add too much, even epoxy resin. Because it’s classed as a white pigment, you really tell your clients that your jewellery contains this.
Bullseye spirit level makes sure the space where you’re drying is totally level

Finishing

Needle files will remove a bit of resin at a time and are a great budget option but need a little time to use
A Dremel-style rotary tool is perfect for filing off bits of resin, metalworking, polishing etc. Get one with a flexible driver and a stand so you don’t have to hold the whole machine during use
Pearl drilling machine for making holes through the centre of spheres. This one comes with a transformer which can be expensive bought separately
Carbide burr bits for removing extra resin
Cotton buffing wheels are nice and gentle on plastic and metal, but you should try to make sure your resin pieces don’t need polishing. The best finish comes from a nice shiny mould. You can use your UV resin to apply another coat to any piece or just dome where you’ve drilled

Pearl drilling machine for making holes through the centre of spheres. This one comes with a transformer which can be expensive bought separately
Pearl drilling machine for making holes through the centre of sphere

Measuring

Calipers and feel guide for measuring everything from moulds to casts, findings and settings, and metalsmithing
Digital scales for weighing parcels and resin

Findings

Charm inserts from Ebay, Cookson Gold or Palmer Metals. You have to be careful because lots of inserts online say they’re solid sterling silver and are 925 stamped, but are just silver plated base metal. The price should give you an indication. If in doubt and you can afford to lose one, scratch it and put it in water for a few days. If it’s base metal it’ll rust.

Shipping

Large letter postage boxes are brilliant for posting out your finished orders
Polishing cloths for your clients to polish silver settings
Business cards
Parcel2Go have good prices to beat Royal Mail

You can use this Amazon search box to get prices for any other items you might need:


Please note, this blog contains affiliate links meaning we may receive a small income based on your purchases after clicks with no extra cost to yourself.