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The Design Gallery

Follow along with step-by-step beading projects and share your designs with beaders around the world—it’s quick & easy!


Hidden Treasures

About this design:

I just love these vintage looking lockets, and I'm in a real gunmetal phase right now, so when I started experimenting with Gilders Paste, I thought I'd see what it would do to gunmetal. This was one of my first projects with the Gilders Paste, and I'm really happy with the results. I liked the idea of old and crusty meets something amazing like the tiny seed pearls.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
You're going to want to prep all of your pieces. I added color to two Stampt gears for the inside of the locket as well as the locket itself, you may want to layer gears inside the locket, so decide how many you want and scratch the surfaces up with some fine to medium grit sand paper or a foam sanding block. The block is my favorite, as you can really get into crevices and corners with it. Scratch the surface as little or as much as you like. The more texture you give it, the better the paste will color the metal. For the outside of the locket, I was very gentle with it. You can easily remove all of the coating. I just highlighted some of the raised part on the filigree by gently brushing them with the foam block, but the back I textured more heavily.
Step 2:
There are many ways to apply Gilders Paste. For the chunky look I attained on the gears, I put it on really thick with a stiff-bristled cheap paint brush - then brushed some off and left it in places I wanted it. I let it dry for about 12 hours and then rubbed it with a soft cloth to even out the texture and give it the finished look. For the locket, I started with the Rich Gold Gilders Paste and a soft cloth and gently highlighted both the front and back of the piece. If you use a small amount on a cloth, you can intensify the color with layers or by going over it again. Since I knew I wanted the gunmetal to still show through - I was conservative on this step.
Step 3:
Before the locket was cured, I went over the Rich Gold with a very small amount of Coral Red. The good thing about using the soft cloth is you can polish as you go and see just what the final look will be. You should still let the piece cure for 12 hours, as the paste can rub off - but you can achieve the look you want almost instantly!
Step 4:
Arrange the gears and seed pearls in a way that appeals to your eye. These little guys can get away from you, I found a head pin or toothpick helpful when arranging everything.
Step 5:
Prepare your Lima Studios resin by carefully mixing equal parts of the resin and hardener. Using a clean stir stick, pour small amounts of the resin into the locket well. Be VERY CAREFUL not to get any resin in the mechanism that releases the locket. I may or may not have learned this tip by experience. . . At this point you will want to move any stray pearls back into their place, make sure the gears are just where you want them, and pop any obvious bubbles with your pin or toothpick.
  Step 6:
After 24 hours your treasure should be ready to string. I thought this one came out so nicely, I didn't want to take away from it with beads. I have it strung on our 1" old ivory velvet ribbon with no ends so I can just tie it in a bow behind my neck or change it out for a gunmetal chain if I choose to.

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Orchid Betty
    Orchid Betty says:

    Love the effect you gave to the gunmetal, it transformed it into a risher look!

  2. No Photo
    trinkets says:

    A beautiful job Rebecca!
    I love the seed pearls with the gears, so different ~

  3. F Selinger
    F Selinger says:

    FranMade is handmade. Custom designed jewelry just for you. The tropical you. The bling-bling you. The casual, yet elegant you.

  4. F Selinger
    F Selinger says:

    Oops. I thought I was posting in my profile. Sorry to blast retail at you.

    Yes, I’m new here. The work you put into this piece was well worth it.

  5. No Photo
    Reet says:

    Cool! Thanks for step-by -step instruction.

  6. Butterfly girl
    Butterfly girl says:

    beauty is defnatly in the eye of the beholder an me to i really love this i am new at the jewlrey makeing scene I have a incurabel deseae Behcets an cant do alot of my crafts i used to so trying to find something that might be easier on my hands an the step by step instruction absoltly help thank you keep up the beauyiful work.

  7. No Photo
    S Rubino says:

    This piece totally inspires me. I have been wanting to try something new and your step by step instructions make me think I can really create something unique. Thank you!

  8. No Photo
    Altered Artist says:

    This is totally a beautiful piece and I love that you share the products that go into it. I was wondering where I might purchase the actual locket.

  9. doggiedoodoo
    doggiedoodoo says:

    I am a BIG fan of contrasts, old/new, shiny/patina, pearl/metal, I never would have thought of filling a locket with resin and “treasures” cuz I’m also a big fan of family photos LOL BUT what an idea for a bezel pendant hanging within a frame.

  10. No Photo
    SilverCords aka Judy says:

    Stunning piece! Classic and simple!

  11. Mustard Seed Beads
    Mustard Seed Beads says:

    Beautiful…..thanks for sharing.

  12. Carlareid4
    Carlareid4 says:


  13. No Photo
    C Wathen says:

    Likw your designs and having the directions are nice.

  14. iSaraTex
    iSaraTex says:

    I think you could put the family photo in first, then a few seed beads or gears, or whatever you like, then resin, and have a piece to hand down through your family for generations. I’’m also a newbie, looking for a hobby as I near retirement. I have experimented with resin a little, but this design elevates the look to pure vintage beauty, romantic, and never out of style. Lol, your design makes mine so amateurish and campy… I was going for edgy, ha! I enjoyed working with resin and appreciate your classic ideas. I received a ~ 2” brass locket for my baby shower present, many moons ago. I’ll put my baby picture, my mother’s, & a few golden seed beads (& lace?) under resin for my daughter, then make a French Riviera chain. My daughter will treasure it as a baby shower present. I plan to practice first, so I get it just right, being a newbie… Thank you!

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