Sometime last year, I saw this photo of memorial pendants on Pinterest. These are pendants that have a loved one’s writing on it.
As with many ideas I see, I thought, “I can make that myself!” And I thought it would be a perfect gift for my mom for Christmas – with my Dad’s handwriting.
The photo I saw stated that the pendants were made from salt dough. So I googled a recipe and whipped some up.
I spent a while in my garage, digging through boxes, to find some letters my father had written me while I was in college.
My Dad was on disability all the years I was in college, so he had a lot of time on his hands. He wrote me a lot of letters. And being the packrat that I am, I kept all of them. I tell you what, finding and reading all those letters was really special. That was my Christmas gift to me! My Dad was known for signing his letters and cards with “all my love”.
(Not to leave my mom out of this – she also wrote me a ton of letters – probably even more than my Dad! I am sorry that I didn’t appreciate it then, but I do now. I thanked her recently – and joked that she either really loves me or she was just suffering from the empty nest syndrome!)
Anyways, this is what my first version of the memorial pendant looked like – made out of salt dough. I just wasn’t what I was hoping for.
The salt dough was hard to work with – it was particularly hard to get perfectly flat. It is also somewhat brittle once it dries – so I didn’t think it would hold up well. I had spray painted it with silver spray paint, then inked the handwriting, and then sprayed it with a clear sealant. It just didn’t have the polished look I wanted. (I will note that these would make great Christmas tree ornaments if made just a bit larger. I even made some of these family fingerprint ornaments with my extra salt dough!)
So I took a different approach. I went to Michael’s and bought silver clay. The clay was much easier to work with and came out much smoother. It was also easier to ”write” on.
The steps I used:
(1) Roll out the clay to about 1/8 inch thick (or whatever thickness you desire)
(2) Cut out circle shapes. I used a bottle cap! Use a toothpick to make a hole in the top for hanging.
(3) A note about the handwriting – I initially thought I’d be able to kind of “imprint” the writing onto the pendant by tracing the handwriting over the pendant, and then carve it out. I couldn’t find a way to get this method to work, though. I couldn’t get an imprint by tracing that was actually useable and didn’t smoosh the pendant. So I ended up just practicing the handwriting over and over myself, then carving it by hand on the pendant using a toothpick.
(4) Bake using the manufacturer’s directions.
(5) Use a nail file to smooth any rough edges or extra clay around the handwriting.
(5) I used black acrylic paint to paint over the top of the pendant. I wiped off the paint from the surface, leaving the paint in the handwriting to make it stand out a bit more.
(6) Spray with sealant.
I also bought a chain and other jewelry supplies (rings and charms) at Michael’s and here’s the finished product:
I love it and so did my mom! A little piece of Dad, close to her heart. <3
(If you are interested in doing something like this and want another idea – these pendants are also something I’m thinking about trying next! It would be a bit simpler – just make a copy of the handwriting you want, then use it – no forming or baking involved!)