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Make Your Own Jewelry: Brooches From Avocado Seeds

Often, I look at something that somebody might consider trash such as eggshells, and see potential art or jewelry What do you see?

These brooches were easy to make. Can you tell what they once were?

These brooches were easy to make. Can you tell what they once were?

Avocados: The Perfect Rounded Form

You can make jewelry from anything. Have you ever thought about repurposing your old avocado seeds? Don't throw your avocado pits in the trash. What wonders this seed holds! It has avocado oil, which is great for your skin and hair, and has high vitamin E content which is good for your blood vessels.

Take a look at the seed. Some 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. All you need to do is add some paint!

Read on to learn how to transform the avocado seed into something beautiful.

As you can see, the seeds have shrunk quite a bit, to just the right size for a fun brooch.

As you can see, the seeds have shrunk quite a bit, to just the right size for a fun brooch.

First Steps

  1. Collect your avocado pits! Remember, one pit equals two potential pieces of jewelry.
  2. 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.
  3. Split the pits where they would naturally break apart. Sand the pits smooth with fine sandpaper. You don't want to gouge the pits.
  4. 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 photo 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 pastels 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.
  5. Preparation for avocado pits is the same whether you use acrylic paints or pastels. You must sand and gesso the pits first.
  6. 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.)
  7. To make the back look as good as the top, trace the shape of the 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.
  8. 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 it 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.
  9. For a little variety, add coiled copper or brass wire for antennae.
Some of the items you will need to finish your pin beautifully.  Material for the backing, a clear top coat finish and of course, a pin mechanism!

Some of the items you will need to finish your pin beautifully. Material for the backing, a clear top coat finish and of course, a pin mechanism!

Key Products for Successful Pins

  1. Excellent quality acrylic paints. Golden or Liquitex brands are very good.
  2. 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.
  3. "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.
  4. A top coat sealer. A water-based polyurethane sealer is fine. Make sure the label says nonyellowing. 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.
  5. What makes a beautiful pin? Like anything, practice, practice, practice, and careful craftsmanship. Have fun and good luck with your project!

Questions & Answers

Question: How can I protect the avocado seeds from mold?

Answer: Hi there, make sure you split the seeds before washing. You can work the seeds apart along the natural split line. Wash with soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry with a paper towel. I then let them air dry in a room with good air circulation for a couple more days. I have never found a need to do more than this. Bear in mind drying time can vary with seed size. Have fun making your brooches!

Comments

Claudia Smaletz (author) from East Coast on June 06, 2012:

Yup, I enjoy working with all manner of things. I think i may try carving into the avocado seeds for a different piece of jewelry. Thanks for stopping by my hubs:)

Joy Campbell from South Florida on June 06, 2012:

What a unique idea! Thanks for sharing.

Randy McLaughlin from Liberia, Costa Rica on May 27, 2012:

nice project idea!

Claudia Smaletz (author) from East Coast on May 16, 2012:

Hi there, Londonlady,

I just seem to make the oddest connections between one thing to another, hence the ladybug pins:) have a great day.

Claudia Smaletz (author) from East Coast on May 16, 2012:

Hi Chris,

I don't know if my comment was posted, so thank-you and I'm glad they made you smile!

Claudia Smaletz (author) from East Coast on May 16, 2012:

Hi there, Chris

I'm glad it made you smile:) Happy hubbing to you!

Deya Writes on May 16, 2012:

These are really cool!

Chris Hugh on May 15, 2012:

Ha, what a delightful hub with wonderful pictures. It made me smile. Thank you.