Jewelry Made From Avocado Seeds: Brooches
Avocados: The Perfect Rounded Form
Yes, it is possible to make striking jewelry from a few simple items, and one of these items is the avocado seed. Whenever I eat an avocado and I come to the seed, I am very hesitant to just toss it in the trash. I don't do this anyway — I put in the compost pile. What wonders this seed holds! It has avocado oil, which is great for your skin and hair, and it has high vitamin E content, which is good for your blood vessels, and now you can make jewelry with it! Who knew?
Take a look at the seed. Some, but not all of these pits are completely round. When they dry out a little, they naturally split apart into two equal domes. If they don't split into round forms, they split into elongated forms. Add some paint, and you're in business. I will explain how the mighty avocado seed can be transformed into some fun items. Did you ever look at a ladybug? Well, I just think they are one of most engaging insects around. They're actually a beetle, but they're far from beetle-shaped. Much rounder! What else has a round shape? Could this be turned into a piece of jewelry? You're only limited by your imagination.
- Collect your avocado pits! Remember, one pit equals two potential pieces of jewelry.
- Wash all collected pits in mild soap and warm water or just rinse them thoroughly. Towel dry and then let them naturally air dry for a couple more days. By this time they will have shrunk down to about 1/3 of their original size.
- Split the pits where they would naturally break apart. Sand the pits smooth with fine sandpaper. You don't want to gouge the pits.
- Base coat each pit half with acrylic gesso. Let dry thoroughly (about 20 minutes for small objects) and sand once more gently. Get a good photograph book of beetles and ladybugs and pay attention to the unique patterns of these beetles, then, let your imagination fly. For the beginner, I recommend using acrylic paints because they are very forgiving and cover easily. For the more advanced jewelry designer, try coloring the avocados with soft pastel to get beautiful, subtle variations in color. An excellent brand to try is Schminke or Unisom soft pastels. Before coloring, stick a toothpick in the avocado so you'll be able to dip them in the polyurethane without touching them. Once you get the colors just right, dip in and out of the water based polyurethane to seal. Let dry, then sand with very fine steel wool and put on two more coats, sanding between coats.
- Preparation for avocado pits is the same whether you use acrylic paints or pastels. You must sand and gesso the pits first.
- Three thin coats of a clear sealer should protect the pieces. Let each coat dry, then sand each coat with very fine steel wool. (It will help the next coat of sealer adhere better).
- To make the back look as good as the top, trace shape of avocado half on a piece of material, and cut about 1/8" larger than the tracing. Glue the pin for the brooch (bought at any craft store) onto the back of the sanded avocado half and let dry thoroughly.
- Cut a slit in the material where the pin will come through; place the piece of material with the slit in it over the pin mechanism and maneuver into place so the material just comes to the edge of the pin. Trim the material with very sharp scissors, otherwise the material will unravel.
- For a little variety, add coiled copper or brass wire for antennae.
Key Products for Successful Pins
- Excellent quality acrylic paints. Golden or Liquitex brands are very good.
- Tar gel by Golden Acrylics. This gel allows you to draw (or drip) texture onto your piece, or Creative Paper Clay and an extruder so you can make thin raised edges if need be.
- "Fusion" glue. This is a clear, strong glue that I recommend for many projects. It is also non-toxic, so it is good for jewelry that will be close to your body.
- A top coat sealer. Water based polyurethane sealer is fine. Make sure the label says non yellowing. Experiment with gloss, matte, and semi gloss. One of my favorite sealers is by Martha Stewart called decoupage glue and sealer. Dries clear and bright and is also non-toxic.
- What makes a beautiful pin? Like anything, practice, practice, practice and careful craftsmanship. Have fun and good luck on your project!