Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cook up something FUN for Halloween!

I have never been much of a chef; I have been known to screw up tomato soup.  From a can.  But from now on, I am definitely baking for the holidays.  Take a peek at what I just cooked up!

I created these spookified pendants using Martha Stewart Crafts glass paint on polished stone beads.

Glass paint on stone?  Why, yesMost semiprecious beads are slippery little suckers - nearly as slick as glass.  So I decided to try Martha's glass paints - which you bake in the oven to cure.

They are cool.  Thirty minutes in the oven creates a permanent, durable surface, almost like fired enamel.  It totally worked, and best of all - it was really easy.  Let's get right to the DIY.

Start with a big, flattish stone bead.  I used semiprecious serpentine, red-line marble and black-and-gray marble.

These aren't expensive at all, but look super spendy.  Find 'em online, at your local bead shop or a craft store.  Michaels usually has a number of big stones in their bead gallery.

Now you need to paint a design.  I'm not so great with freehand, so I used some of Martha's itty bitty teeny weeny mini holiday stencils.  

They're perfectly sized for jewelry, and I like how they flex to fit the curves of the stones. 

Stick an itty bitty teeny weeny mini stencil onto a bead.  (There's some kind of magical coating on the back that makes them stick like crazy.)  Then dab paint gently to fill in the design.

I was trying for an enameled look, so I laid the paint in pretty thickly, instead of pouncing as you normally would.

Carefully peel away the stencil - try not to stretch the silicone too much as you pull it away.

If you make a mistake, no biggie.  Just wipe off the paint and try again.  It took me one or two tries until I got the hang, after that it was easy!

To the basic stenciled stones, I added some small custom details.  Tiny thorns to the rose, for a little Gothic edge...

Sparkle dots to surround the hissy cat...

Yep.  The glass paint comes in sparkle.  (Also metallics, transparents and 'frost.')

Finally, an irregular blob of thicker paint to add some weight (and extra ook) to the spider body:

Then comes the really fascinating step: baking the pendants.  Put them on some foil and pop 'em in the oven.

Glass Paint Baking instructions: Allow painted item to dry for 1 hour to be sure all layers of paint have dried.  Place project in cool oven. Set temperature to 350ºF and bake for 30 minutes.  Do not place glass in hot oven; glass must heat gradually to avoid breakage.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven off.  Let project cool completely in oven.  Do not use for 72 hours.  (Alternative to bake method: simply air dry for 21 days for the same permanent result.)

Follow the instructions above, and oh, so nifty!  An elegant stone pendant with a permanent painted design.  You don't have to seal it - that kinda rocks my world.

Now turn it into a necklace.  Thread your pendant onto a headpin, then bend the wire over sideways, like so:

Grab the end with round-nose pliers and make a plain loop, adjusting your grip as you turn.

Jewelry-maker's tip: for a fairly big loop (large enough to admit a cord or chain), grab the headpin near the wider part of the pliers, instead of the skinny end.  See what I mean?

Then just thread on a chain, cord or ribbon...

Voila!  Isn't it beeyooootiful?

(Ahem - the answer to that might depend on how you feel about spiders.) 

For a tad more shmancy, use craft wire instead of a headpin.  Make loops at both ends, and add a cute beady dangle.

One last tip.  Wanna to see a clever way to stop a one-sided pendant from spinning?  Take a look at the back:

That swoopy hidden wire will keep the painted design always facing front.  (It's a good thing.)  For the easy how-to, check out this tutorial.

I seriously love this oven-baked technique.  So what do you think - gonna give it a try?

Don't be scared -

There's nothing spooky about it.

Hope you enjoyed this project - thanks so much for visiting! 

To discover more groovy, Martha-adjacent ideas from Plaid Crafts, to the interwebs!  Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid Crafts and Blueprint Social.  Opinions and projects are entirely my own.  And dang it, I genuinely love this stuff!



  1. Oven-baked eh? I had no idea! Thanks for the info Michelle. Once again a very useful (and pretty-in-that-spooky-Halloween-kind-of-way) post!

  2. Awesome! I'm not a spider person, but your necklace is beeyootiful. I hope you didn't stop at three. I'd be stenciling stones and then looking for volunteers in my back yard.

  3. The pendants are great...!

    ...but I just fell in love with your metal grass hopper! How gorgeous!

  4. I love this post! Your pendants are oh super cute! I was just looking at the MS glass paints. Her stuff has a 50 percent off coupon this week. Trying to decide from so many kinds of paint choices. You've given me first hand knowledge. Thanks!

  5. Oh wow! The pendants look so professional.
    I never even thought of this. This is amazing. Thinking of the applications, I'll have to try it soon!

  6. Meow! Meow! Meow! Mei Mei love the cat one! This looks super easy and fun, the girls and I would really try this one!

  7. What's the deal with that grasshopper? :)

  8. I want to try this..but the tarantula is tooo scary. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

  9. These are so much fun. I need to get some of this paint ASAP.

  10. fab project! so many ways to go with this one! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

  11. Oh waooo..this is so smart..what a fabulous idea dear Mich ~