July 15, 2011

DIY Lichen Pendant Necklace

In this quick & easy tutorial, I'll show you how to create a woodsy, nature-y pendant that's a perfect statement necklace piece for the summer!

First, take a walk around your neighborhood or woods to find a lichen that you like (no pun intended). You want a piece still attached to bark or some other sturdy material, as the lichen would be too flimsy and fragile on its own.

I found this piece on our sidewalk after a particularly blustery storm. I think it got knocked off our pine tree by the wind (or by a squirrel skittering up and down the trunk).

Make sure that the lichen you pick has fallen off naturally, either from the wind or from its tree being felled.

Please do not pry off a lichen from a living tree! Lichens take years to grow into the size shown, and do not grow back quickly or easily.

Coat your lichen with a layer of craft glue so that it's less likely to break when it hits something. I used Modge Podge but you could also use Tacky Glue or some type of jeweler's medium. You could even use resin, if you have experience working with it.

Use a brush to get into all the cracks and crevices. Let one side completely dry before you flip it over and do the other side. Working on a piece of waxed paper helps prevent the lichen from sticking as you coat it and as it dries.

I removed a piece of the plain bark, so that my pendant would be a more pleasing shape (and mostly lichen). Then I pierced a hole using a large needle, and used needle-nose pliers to make a bail out of wire.

If you have large jump rings, you could use pliers to attach one instead of using wire. Whatever you use, don't make your hole too close to the edge! Otherwise, the hole will eventually tear from use and the pendant will fall off.

String with a chain of your choosing, and wear your new creation! I used bright gold chain to play off the blue and green hues in the lichen, but an antique bronze or gold shade would work nicely as well.

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