How To Make Cameo Jewelry

Cameo pendants are elegant pieces of jewelry that have been enjoyed by royalty and aristocrats alike since medieval times. They were originally designed as delicately carved profiles of a person or a scene which was mounted on a base enclosed by a fancy frame made of gold, silver or another metal.

They can be worn as rings, earrings, and charm bracelets or as flowing necklace pendants by simply attaching a silver chain string. Cameo jewelry is the perfect accessory for a night of dance and romance.

Today's handcrafters have adapted cameo jewelry by replacing the carved mount with vintage photographs, scrapbook paper patterns or self-portraits. Making your own cameo jewelry is easy. Anyone can do it. You can easily find videos online that will give you more ideas on how to make your own cameo jewelry, or you can get some inspiration from old films or a trip to your local art store.

You can find basically everything you will ever need to make your own cameo jewelry in any art or craft store, and maybe bring home a bit of creativity as well. To start with making your own cameo jewelry at home, you will need the following materials:

  • A selection of cameo frames of different designs and sizes.
  • A vintage photograph, a miniature object resembling your favorite pet horse, a polymer rose, a gem or rhinestone, or any little trinkets that can be used to decorate the piece.
  • A pair of scissors or sharp puncher tool.
  • Jeweler’s glue for keeping the mount in place onto the base.
  • Diamond glaze adhesive for the finish.
  • A light brush for tapping bubbles.

Note: For this project, the photographs should not be water-soluble or else the print will be ruined upon application of the diamond glaze finish.

Step 1: Using the scissors or the puncher tool, cut out the chosen photograph or artwork to the shape of the base of the frame onto which it will be glued. Make sure the image fits perfectly.

Step 2: Dab a small amount of jeweler’s glue onto the flat base. Do not put too much as to have it overflow upon placement of the image. Using the tip of your scissor or a tweezers, place the image directly on the base. Push it firmly so that it stays perfectly in place and then wait for the glue to settle for about thirty to fifty minutes.

Step 3: At this stage, you may want to put in tiny gems for decorative purposes. Keep them in place by using gluey tacks. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Squeeze out the diamond glaze adhesive directly onto the photograph. Fill in the entire shape of the frame until a blob forms completely covering the image. This creates the see-through glass look when it has dried which will give it that professional finish. Occasionally, bubbles might appear. You need to completely eliminate these by using the brush bristles to pop them.


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