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Making A Cremation Bead

Tutorial for making a cremation bead for Pandora style bracelets from start to finish using UV resin like ours here and one of our Forever In My Heart ♡ core. I’m working with real cremation ashes in this video so if you find this upsetting please do not watch. The charm bead part of this is very similar to our How to Make a Hair Charm Bead video here but this project is our easiest! You don’t need to glue in the inserts, and everything is done in a single pour!

You can read more about working with ashes in our How To Make Cremation Ashes Jewellery blog here (click) and you might also enjoy the How To Make A Cremation Ashes Heart Necklace here. This technique can be used for working with placenta powder or ground umbilical cord too!

Making A Cremation Bead

You’ll need the following supplies:
a heavy duty safety mask or nail tech masks
vinyl gloves
one of our Forever In My Heart ♡ core sets (A+B)
our medium bead mould*
cremation ashes (you can request some horse ashes here to practice with)
cremation ashes spoon (coming soon)
small pestle and mortar (coming soon)
UV resin
cocktail stick
(optional) your client’s choice in colour of resin sparkle mix

you’ll also need:
mini side cutting pliers 
a carbide burr bit (coming soon) 
a rotary tool (Dremel style) with flexshaft 
4mm doming punch
(optional) wooden doming block 

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 MOULD

Make sure you’ve done a test cast with any new mould to check it’s ok
Inspect your mould and check for any dust or dirt, or lines and imperfections
Bead moulds don’t usually get dirty inside, but you can clean the top with a little rubbing alcohol if needed
It’s always 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

PREPARING YOUR SUPPLIES

Check you have everything you need before you start
Double check your client’s name and order number against what they’ve ordered!
You can take a tiny spoonful of ashes and grind them a little finer, if you need to, then clean the spoon
I’d recommend making two charm beads at the same time to give your client the choice

FILLING WITH RESIN

Very slowly fill your charm bead mould with resin
Make sure the whole mould is full and you have no air bubbles
Don’t fill the pouring spout, this will need to be removed later
The pouring spout allows space for bubbles to rise
If you end up with lots of bubbles at this stage, it’s easiest to cure it now, then remove and discard the resin, and start again

ADDING CREMATION ASHES

Add a tiny spoonful of your resin sparkle mix, then your cremation ashes
Don’t use too much colour or it won’t cure
Use a cocktail stick to carefully poke them into the centre
Focus on the area around the core
If you have too much excess resin in the spout it will be more work to remove later, so take some out if needed

If you want lots of depth to your bead, then don’t bring the colour to the edges

CURING AND COOLING

Cure for 99 seconds before the ashes have a chance to sink
Allow to cool completely then flip over and cure again for another 99 seconds
Give it time to cool again before you touch it!
A good way to help it cool quickly is by placing the mould on a cold tile
When the top feels cold, carefully remove the bead without touching the shiny part
Allow it to cool completely 

PROOF PHOTO

Send your client a photo of the charm beads to make sure they’re happy with the colour and choose their favourite charm bead 
This removes any complaints of “I don’t like the colour” after you set the core and posted it
Pro tip: if the client doesn’t like the colour and the ashes are dark, remake the piece just using the tiniest bit of ashes
Make sure you tell them you will return any spares free of charge
You can offer to set the other bead with a core for a small extra fee
Around half of our clients at Tree of Opals decide to go for the extra piece and we charge £25, which is about $32 US Dollars

Clear up
Use the cooling time to clear up your workstation, put your client’s ashes back and wash your pestle and mortar

SETTING

Preparing the bead
Make sure you wear a mask doing this part
Use a pair of mini side cutting pliers to remove the excess from the pouring spout
Sometimes this is enough but usually you will then need to use a carbide burr bit to flatten the top
This area will be covered by your charm core
Double check the bead for imperfections
You can wipe it with rubbing alcohol to remove any dust and stickiness

Setting the core
I like to use a wooden doming block as a secure base, but you can place it on a folded rag instead
Put the stamped part A (what I call the mushroom) through the front of the bead
Slot part B over it at the back
If part B won’t fit, use the drill bit to remove a little more resin
Put the 4mm doming punch in the centre of the core at the back and press gently until it flares
I don’t recommend using a bead corer or press here because they can warp the core out of shape
If you don’t have the strength, you can use a hammer but you must be very gentle

Now you have a finished cremation ashes charm bead for your client! 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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