For this project, we’ll be making a necklace pendant that looks like hand-tooled leather, but isn’t! And the best part is you can design it to feature your favorite stamp. The one I’ve chosen is Peony by Nature’s Blessings Fine Art Stamps.
Begin with a small piece of beige craft foam, about 3 mm thick. You can easily find craft foam at most big craft supply stores, usually in the kids section. Look for something that has a leather-like color. I’ve used gray, beige, and brown, all with good results. Begin by cutting a small circle of from your piece of craft foam. Then take a piece of 220-grit sandpaper, and rough up the edges and surface a bit to make it look distressed, and more like a worn piece of leather.
Next, heat the circle of foam with your embossing heat gun for a few seconds until the edges start to curl. Then using a fine-detail black ink, stamp down in the surface of the foam. It will leave an imprint of the ink, and the depression will remain in the surface even after the foam has cooled. At this point, spray your pendant with workable fixative so that the ink doesn’t smear. When it dries, make a small hole at the top using a punch.
Next, color your image using a combination of Pearl Ex powders, mixed with a little water and gum arabic to form a paste (the gum arabic acts as a binder and will help the Pearl Ex powders adhere to the surface). Apply the colors to the top surface of the pendant using a cotton swab. I used #655 Super Copper for the background, and #658 Aztec Gold to highlight the petals. Avoid getting the powder on the black ink so you maintain the contrast and definition of your image. When you are done coloring the image, spray it with a matte acrylic final fixative to set the image and powders.
At this point, you have lots of options for how to finish the pendant. I chose to add a red eyelet. To do this, you’ll need an eyelet-setting tool and a hammer and setting pad. It is very easy to use, just thread the eyelet through the hole, insert the stylus into the open end of the eyelet and strike the end of the stylus with the hammer to set it. It will now grip the edge of the foam, and provide a more secure means of hanging the pendant.
Lastly, thread a jump ring through the eyelet, and your pendant is complete!