Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vintage Inspiration Bracelet

I was inspired by  this vintage bracelet at Estate beads.com

Since I'd come across another empty cardboard tape holder??? I decided I'd make another bracelet. I had eggshells that I've used in other projects and at first I was going to paint them with acrylic paint and let them dry.  But, maybe because the Easter weekend was not far away, I decided against it and chose to dye the shells the old-fashioned way.

Acrylic paint was my first idea to paint the eggshells. Too messy.

Eggshells that were dyed with food coloring, vinegar and water.

I reused 4 foam cups that I'd had from my frequent fast food visits.  I put vinegar, hot water and food coloring in each. I mixed a little yellow and green to get the neon green color you see.. After about an hour I rinsed the shells in cold water and spread them out on paper towels to dry. I came back a few times and spread them around so that they would dry evenly. I placed each color in a separate bag or recycled junk mail envelope. (I save those too.)

I painted the cardboard tube inside and outside with bronze mettallic acrylic paint and let it dry.

No reason to throw away the leftover shells so I'm saving them in this empty pharmacy bottle.
  Taking a few eggshells of each color, I placed them on paper and crushed them  with a jar into manageable sized pieces suitable for the bracelet. Using white glue, I painted a thick coat onto the outside of the bracelet and rolled it in the eggshells. I did this in sections until I'd coated the entire bracelet. 

After it was dry, I went over it with a watered down acylic black paint. I'd black wash it then blot it until it looked the way I wanted it to.I still wanted a bit of the bronze to show through.

You can see there are some jagged shells along the edges . These will be filed off later.

I propped up the bracelet and allowed it to dry.

I use toothpicks and a piece of foam as drying tools. This way I can paint or seal all sides and let it all dry at one time. I used several coats of sealant allowing each to dry in between.  This entire project was done over a course of days. It probably could have taken less time but I wasn't in a hurry and I was doing other things.

And now the BIG REVEAL

Outside of bracelet

The inspiration bracelet has a matte finish. I wanted more shine. So I used gloss sealant.

This shows a little of the inner side of the bracelet.

I'm pleased as punch with the results. It turned out great.

If you're wondering how to PREP EGGSHELLS  for craft use, it's very simple. After using your egg contents, place the shells in a cup of water with about 2 TBS of vinegar.  Microwave it for two minutes. When it's cool enough to handle, gently peel down an edge to remove the membrane. This is important. If the membrane isn't removed then your color or glue won't take hold.

Another to add to the collection.
That's It ***


  1. That is so cool and pretty. After your first bracelet post using discarded tape rolls, I have been on the lookout for them at the office. Of course, the supply clerk keeps throwing them away before I can get to it.

  2. What a brilliant idea! I too enJOY the glossy shine better.
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