Homemade Personalized Photo Charm Bracelets and Jewelry Made with Resin

This past week, I embarked on yet another completely new to me and flying by the seat of my pants idea.  I kind of, sort of, knew what I had in mind.. but not really.

If you've been a reader of Budget Barbie for a few years, you may remember when I posted about making these photo magnets  back in 2008.   What I really wanted to make was that idea on a necklace... but they weren't really being 'done' then, no one really knew about them (or if they did, it hadn't hit the internet world yet) so I settled for magnets made with clear stones and clear strong glue.  And I was happy.

But it never left my brain that I really wanted to try some jewelry with that idea.  And then.. LIFE HAPPENED.   Time flew by and it never got done.  And in 2012 and again in 2013 I was determined I was doing to make this jewelry I had in my head... but when I went to the big craft store(s) and to Walmart I just couldn't find things to use to fit what was in my head.  And again, LIFE HAPPENED and time flew by.

Here we are now.  Fall of 2014 and again, I was determined to make this idea in my head come to life.  This time however, the internet caught up with my brain!  I searched for some images and information and found out how to do it!

And without any real instruction, directions or special expensive products... I DID IT!

My very first attempt at a homemade photo bracelet
Round images attached to a cheap piece of chain with jump rings
and a little lobster claw clasp at the end

After I figured out what people were doing to make homemade charms, I realized - I DID THIS IN 7th GRADE!  Back in Junior High we had to take 'Shop' class.  One of the projects we did was working with resin.  We had plastic molds, resin, bits of sparkly glitter and other tiny objects to play with.  My Mom was presented with two pretty much useless homemade items by 7th grade me;  a light green old shoe shape with 2 small hooks to hang 'things' on (?) and a resin shaped yellow-orange mushroom to hang up on the wall. This time I took it up a notch.  

Here with some of the initial problems I had with this project;
  • No budget. If I push it, I can spend about $15 total for everything. Everything.
  • No idea of what I really needed outside of some sort of resin and some pictures
  • Almost impossible to find everything I thought I needed locally in stores
  • No time to order online.  (This was a biggy!)
The jewelry I wanted to make was a for an out of state guest coming to my house to visit.  By the time I had scouted my local retailers (Michaels, 2 Walmarts, a couple other random stores) realizing I could get better options and prices online, I couldn't even if I wanted to.  I didn't have time for ordering, shipping AND making.

So here is what I did, and how I did it...   which I will probably change, improvise, improve, etc. as I make a couple more.  I ended up spending about $15 on the resin and hand drill (with that coupon) and I found cheap chain and clasps at Walmart for $3 each.  The other things were found around my house and improvised.

The first thing you need is some sort of resin.  This one is a great one to start;  EnviroTex Jewelry Resin as it comes with the stirring stick and a little measure cup.  I found this at Michael's but for the same price I could get the larger EnviroTex Lite Pour-On Resin - even though it didn't come with the stick or the cup.  I bought mine with a 40% off coupon and picked up a tiny little hand held 'drill' that same day to put itty bitty holes in my charms later.

  Once I had the resin and drill bit in hand, I then looked for bracelets or chain or 'something'.  Remember, I didn't know what I needed or wanted!

Here is my cheapy, frugal version that are turning out beautiful!

  • Resin
  • Hand held tiny little drill
  • Scissors
  • Images I made to about 3/4 - 1" and printed on photo paper
  • Paint sample papers from the paint department of the hardware store
  • Paper dixie cups from my daughter's bathroom to mix the resin
  • An old wooden chopstick from the kitchen drawer to mix it
  • Silver glitter
  • A length of chain
  • Clasps to attach to the ends of the chain for closure
  • Jump Rings (the little silver rings that go on the chain between the clasp and chain)
  • Little pliers from my daughter's craft bead box
  • Superglue
  • Wire snips
  • wax paper
  • a piece of wood to lay the charms on when I punched a hole in them
  • paper towels

  1. First I printed the images on the photo paper and cut out a tiny 3/4 square and a 1" square to visually show me what size to cut them out.
  2. Cut out the same size squares from the paint chips.  A paper punch would be AWESOME for this step but I couldn't afford one.
  3. I also cut some random rectangle shapes and circles too.
  4. I put glitter glue on some of the paint shapes.  Just because.
  5. Mixed equal parts resin and hardener for 2 minutes as directed on the box
  6. Dabbed, poured and gently spread the resin on the little color chips and images with the chopstick
  7. Figured out pretty quickly to do this on wax paper - not brown paper! (It sticks to paper).
  8. Let them sit for 2-3 days until completely dried, hard and not sticky.
  9. Now you can flip them over and resin the back OR what I did;
  10. Superglue two similar shapes together and use sharp scissors to trim the sides to match.
  11. Use the hand drill to put holes in the images where I wanted to attach them.
  12. Attach little jump rings, wires or clasps to your charms.
  13. Snap the chain to the length you want and attach your charms.
  14. Add a jump ring on the end and a clasp of your choice to the other end.
  15. You're done!

Cutting out the little images I wanted to use as well as some paint sample squares

Letting them harden for 2-3 days

The images need to be on wax paper or they will stick

I did random shapes because I wasn't sure what I wanted to 'do' with them yet

Some of my mess.
Jump rings, scissors, wire snips, wood to put under the images while
I drilled an itty bitty hole in them, extra chain, clasps, etc.

If you like any of the ideas on my page, please consider using my affiliate link to make any purchases you have planned through Amazon. (Even if it's something not related to this page). Thanks! Budget at Amazon

Various items I found on Amazon to give you an idea of things you want/need or to get you started on ideas;

Enviro Tex Lite Pour-On Resin
20 CleverDelights Oval Pendant Trays
10 CleverDelights Square Pendant Trays
10 Feet Silver/Gold/Black Plated Extender Chain
100pc Antiqued Bronze Alloy Assorted Beads Charms Chains Connectors
Square Punch, 1-Inch
Blue Moon Fine Cable Chain, 100-Inch


*updated the amount I spent on the resin and hand tool.  It was $15 w/ coupon.
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