Mod Podge Washer Necklaces with Enviro Tex

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As if the world needs another washer necklace tutorial, right?  Last week I went crazy with the Mod Podge projects!  I see so many enticing pins on Pinterest that I put 3 paper crafting projects on my Christmas project list.  Last week I made them all:  flat marble magnets, tile coasters and washer necklaces.  I learned enough in the process that I wanted to share some tips.  I'm going to try and give you the lowdown on different kinds of glue and sealants because it is kind of confusing at first (or maybe I am just taking on too many new things at once!).  So here' what you need to make the washer necklaces...


Washers
Surprise, surprise!  Just your ordinary hardware store variety is fine.  They run about 20-50 cents a piece and come in several sizes.  Some give measurements for the diameter and the hole in the middle, and sometimes just the middle, which may be important if you are trying to match a paper punch  or bezel or something. Here is a nice 2" size:


Paper
The fantastic thing about this is that one sheet of scrapbook paper can make dozens of pendants!  And scrapbook paper is always on sale somewhere.  Consider the size of the washers and the thickness of the ring part -- I liked the geometric prints for the skinnier "open circles" and bigger, sprawling prints for the larger washers.  Also keep in mind that you can make the pendant a solid circle or open by punching out the hole in the middle.

Mod Podge
This is how we will glue the paper to the washer, and then seal it.  A small jar will last you a good long while  - save your money and get the small size and use the extra money to get a round paper punch too...  (Random side note: For the longest time, Mod Podge was like this mysterious magical thing to me, so when I opened it up and found it was essentially Elmer's glue, I was a tad disappointed. I think I was expecting rainbows and unicorns to come flying out of the jar or something.) 


Round/Circle Paper Punch
This isn't required, but I highly recommend it!  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cut a perfect circle with standard scissors.  I got a 3/4" and 1" punch for less than $5 each, and got very lucky at a Black Friday sale at JoAnn and got a 1.5" and 2" punch for $5-7 also (normally $15-17 so don't forget those 40% coupons).  It is especially handy if you have a small punch to cut out the center, I used a regular hole punch for the smallest ones.


Pour-On Enviro Tex Lite
When I first saw a tutorial with Enviro Tex, I thought it sounded much too industrial and fussy and decided I would get a squeeze-able product instead.  I wasn't happy with the results, and then I learned that Enviro Tex is how you get a water/heat resistant finish on tile coasters... well then I had to try it.  This is a resin that gives a thick, glass-like finish to jewelry (and bar tops etc. etc.).  They have it at Michaels for around $8 with coupon.  It's really not a big deal to use, although it does take a few days to cure and I have learned a couple things NOT to do, but that's why you should keep reading...  I am still curious to try Diamond Glaze, a popular squeeze-able product, but I wanted Enviro Tex for my tile coasters anyway.


Cord and Bails
If you are punching the center out to make an open circle, you can just thread some necklace cord through it, but if you will be making any solid pendants then you will need some glue-on bails (I found mine at Hobby Lobby, 4 for $2.50).  I use E6000 to glue the bails on.  I used 3/8" sheer organza ribbon and I also found some cord I like at Hobby Lobby by Clubhouse Crafts called Silky Cord that comes with 4 colors, 5 yards each, for cheap.  If you will be mass producing these, you can find these supplies much cheaper on Etsy.


First, cut/punch out your paper circles.  You can turn the punch over to see the design through the bottom if you're selective about pattern placement.


Next, spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on one side of the washer.  Put the paper cut-out on it and smooth flat.  I like to hold it on the edges to prevent the paper from shifting because if you try and push it around too much the paper will tear.  I also like to use my thumb to "brush" downward around the outside to make sure the edges are sealed.



If you have any rough edges, use a file or sand paper to smooth it out.  



If your middle cutout is a little rough, take a pencil and run it around the inside.  



Now spread a layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper, and make sure you get it around the inner and outer edges.  You don't want any of the Enviro Tex to get to the paper.  Let it dry for around 20 minutes.


Apply a second layer, this time brushing in the opposite direction so that you cover every angle.  Let dry.

Now you're ready to seal with Enviro Tex!  You will want to elevate the washers so that any excess Enviro Tex will drip away.  Use something that you won't be sad if its ruined in the process.  I used a baking rack.  Also put wax paper down to catch the drips.  After a few tries, you can probably do this without drippy messes.


You should read the instructions in the box, but basically here's what you do:  Mix equal parts resin and hardener in a plastic cup and stir vigorously with a flat wooden stick (I used a plastic spoon) for 2 minutes. A couple tablespoons of each should be enough, you only need about 1/4 tsp per washer.  Pour into a second cup (don't ask me why) and stir another minute.  You should have lots of bubbles.


I used the spoon to drip a SMALL AMOUNT  of the mixture onto the washers.  Give it a minute to self-level, and then use the spoon to push it around the the edges.


You will see bubbles on the surface -- gently breathe through a straw to pop them (it's actually pretty cool, it looks kind of twinkly like magic dust).


Now leave them be for 2-3 days while they cure.


Here's WHAT NOT TO DO with Enviro Tex:

  • Do not pour the product with insufficient lighting.  It is very hard to see missed spots, and if you try to fill them after they've dried...
  • Do not fill the holes and smooth with a piece of light cardboard.  Yeah, that didn't work out so well.  It cured with visible streak marks.
  • Do not put pendants in a warm hot oven to cure faster.  Ideal curing temperature is 70-80 degrees (F) so I read that you can warm the oven and turn it off and then put the pieces inside.  Well, I put mine in immediately after bringing to 200 (F) and they got tacky and started sticking together and then had finger prints from my pulling them apart... just don't do it.  
  • Don't work in large batches - after 20 minutes or so the mixture doesn't flow as well and the bubbles don't rise.  
After they've cured, your pendants have a glass-like, slightly domed appearance.  




I like to use the bigger prints for larger, solid pendants...




And I like the geometric prints for the open circles, the middle hole seems to break up the pattern...
Find really tiny prints for skinny washers (photo, top/left)...



Now string 'em up and go sell them on Etsy!


You should also check out using alcohol inks on washers -- it looks very metallic and raw like rainbow on gasoline. I have also seen people do wire-wrapping with beads on the washer which is really nice too. I'd love to see what you make, if you want to share on the Facebook page!


41 comments:

  1. Hi
    How do you finish the backs of the pendants?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for the comment! You can leave the back "raw" metal, or after the resin cures you can put paper and resin on the back as well. I have also done metal stamping on the back. I'm sure there's lots of creative things to do on the back, like glue rhinestones and stuff!

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  2. When I try to do a solid pice you can see an indention

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    Replies
    1. BigGalsBoutique I realized that I didn't hit "reply" to your post, I just added a comment but want to make sure you saw my reply :)

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  3. It sounds like the resin is too heavy for the paper. Some of my paper is like card stock, and some is very thin. Try putting an extra layer of paper or card stock under your decorative paper. (I would mod podge them on selarately). Also, when you are sealing the paper with mod podge, put some on the back of the paper where the hole is, this might stiffen the paper a bit. Thanks so much for the comment!

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  4. These look great! How do you attach the bezel (and where do you find the bezels like the ones pictured)?
    Thanks for this great tutorial!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I got the bails at Hobby Lobby, they had a better selection than the other craft stores. I glued it to the back of the washer with E6000 glue. If you're not sure what the bails look like, here's what to look for: http://shop.hobbylobby.com/assets/1/14/DimZoom/435248.jpg

      They can be hard to track down on those jewelry walls full of little baggies with rings and clasps etc. but they're there!

      Hope that helps :)

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    2. One more thing... if you're making a large quantity, check for supplies on Etsy - you will usually save money even with shipping costs. Another random note - you can try a large jump ring with some of the smaller washers if you don't have a bail or can't find them.

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  5. Excellent! Great tutorial.

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  6. Wonderful tutorial!! I have played around with washers and was reluctant to used the enviro... Thanks :-)

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  7. Love these! I can't wait to try. Thanks so much for such a great tutorial!

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  8. Great!!....Congrats,
    I like so much really

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  9. Can fabric be used instead of paper

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and you still need to seal the fabric with mod podge so the resin doesn't ruin the fabric. Have fun!

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  10. Your creations are beautiful! I also make these type of necklaces, but I find that Mod Podge Dimensional Magic is very easy to work with and does not need to be baked in the oven to cure. It is a bit pricier, but it does go a long way. Thanks for all the great information in your tutorial.

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  11. I just came across your post and it got me excited to try this! So I went looking for Mod Podge (I don't live in the US, I had never heard of Mod Podge before) and on Beadaholique's website they have 4 types...

    1. Mod Podge Gloss All-In-One Decoupage Sealer / Glue / Finish
    2. Mod Podge Hard Coat All-In-One Decoupage Sealer / Glue / Finish
    3. Mod Podge Matte All-In-One Decoupage Sealer / Glue / Finish
    4. Mod Podge Satin All-In-One Decoupage Sealer / Glue / Finish

    I am so confused! Could I ask which one you used?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sunflower, I was going to say you can make your own mod podge like Anonymous said. I think mine is glossy but I think any of those finishes would be fine. I'm
      Not really sure about the "hard coat" one.

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  12. Sunflower, you can Google how to make homemade mod podge. It's just white glue and water basically.

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    Replies
    1. Doesn't white glue turn yellow after time? Just curious.

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    2. Mine hasn't yellowed and it's been over a year. I'm not sure if sunlight is a factor, or if the resin keeps it from turning... but a good question.

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  13. Thanks so much for all your tips, I am just starting to make the washer jewelry, would Glossy Accents, ( I got at Hobby Lobby) work same as the Enviro Tex

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  14. I'm wondering about the alcohol inks... would you still suggest covering with mod podge before the resin? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't yet used alcohol ink but I don't think you need to seal it before the resin. I would definitely do some more research before you try.

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  15. What is Enviro Tex and why do you need it?

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    1. EnviroTex is a resin that makes it look thick like glass on top.

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  16. What a great tutorial! I've been looking for a way to finish off washers. I use mine as pattern weights. This well work great. Thank you.

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  17. Woukd they be too heavy to make into earrings?

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    1. Maybe smaller washers would be ok ... Around 1" ... They don't feel too heavy but they might on you ears.

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  18. I just bought some washers because the new knobs for my island are too loose and the old knobs peeled the paint off the drawers and doors. I knew I wanted to do something to them before I put them on under the knobs but wasn't sure what. Then this pops up on fb. thanks

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    1. What a cool idea! Also google washers and alcohol ink!

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  19. So wonderful ideal's and tips....! Gracias.

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  20. Hi! Thank you very much for the lovely tutorial. I was wondering whether the evirotex resin gives off a lot of fumes? I live in a very small apartment and haven't done much with casting resin because of ventilation concerns.

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    1. I don't remember fumes (I haven't used it in awhile) but I do believe it's pretty toxic, like you don't want to touch it. I think using it near a window or wearing a mask would be sufficient. Definitely read the packing!

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  21. Hi, I would like to know, you write that you make to portions with resin, but I can't figure it out, because I only in your describtions see that you put one kind on ?? I am danish so maybe I doesn't understand it right and the bubles shall it be totally destroyed with the straw before you put it on or what - and how do it be surfaced in a rounded/curved form - because it looks like it is.
    Could you please mail to me: wimikkel@jubii.dk
    Kind Regards
    Winnie Juel Mikkelsen, Denmark

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  22. Hi
    Im thinking making this for my pet. Do you think its water resistent?
    Thank you

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  23. Hi, Thank you so much for sharing this idea. They came out great! I was wondering if you could tell me where to get the washers with out the holes in the middle of them. Every time I go into a hardware store they look at me like I'm crazy. LOL Thanks so much! Denise

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  24. I love this tutorial and can't wait to try to make some of these. Thank you so much for all the tips.

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Comments are very much appreciated!