I have always really liked the look of Renaissance revival jewelry with all of its colorful enamel work. While browsing brass stampings on Etsy the other day a grand idea struck me, it would be so easy to DIY the look with brass stampings and nail polish! After all, what is nail polish but enamel anyway? So I collected some brass stampings, nail polishes, and my nail dotting tools and got to work!
But first, some inspiration...
-Nail polish in various colors (stick with creme solid color formulas for a more authentic look, go crazy with shimmers and glitters if that's more your style)
-Brass stampings (Etsy is a good place, but most craft stores have them in the beading section)
-Nail art dotting tools (or toothpicks, small paint brushes)
-Acetone (for mistakes)
-Beads/Findings for finishing your jewelry (also chain or ribbon to hang your pendants from)
My materials and a covered table in case of spills.
I grabbed a spare envelope to use as my paint palette, but almost anything would do. I started with white nail polish and added a big glob of it onto my palette!
I used a fine pointed nail art dotting tool to "brush" my nail polish/enamel where I wanted it on my brass stamping design. Check out real Renaissance revival jewelry for inspiration on colors and placement of enamel.
I just added little dots for the smaller stampings that would become the earrings.
Time for another color! Luckily nail polish dries pretty quickly which means handling the stamping isn't too much of a problem while you are painting. This red polish I used is sheer which was pretty layerd over the gold as the metal shined through.
Then I added some bright blue!
Finally I added tiny black dots over the white, as much of the real Renaissance revival jewelry had that as a feature. Either black dots on white or white on top of black.
The next set I tried a new technique, first dipping my finger into some white nail polish and rubbing it into the crevices of the stampings. I then whipped the excess off of the raised areas with a paper towel soaked with acetone. This left me with whitewashed stampings where white "enamel" filled the recesses of the design. I used pastel colors on this set, but kept the black dots for finishing touches.
Then I made one more pendant with navy blue and green polishes, so fun! I have a dark blue velvet ribbon to hang this from and I think it will look totally Tudor/Renaissance!
Simply wait for your lovely enamel work to dry and then add dangling beads or glue on flat back rhinestones for more glitz! To finish up add the ear-wires to your earrings and jump rings for your pendants! I plan on hanging these pendants from ribbons or short chains I already have in my jewelry box.
Totally easy right? Quite a fun little activity too! I hope you try this technique, and do tell me how it goes if you do. Now I'm getting back to my other current craft, knitting of course!