At the beginning of 2023, I added yet another new product to my ever-growing inventory list: necklaces and earrings made from cabochons in bezel settings.
All of the designs were my own creations based on the two facets of my business. Some of them were graphic designs from my award-winning fantasy series, the Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms. Others were prints of my artwork.
For a lot of my products, including mouse pads, keychains, notecards, postcards, artboards, canvas prints, et cetera, I outsource the printing to companies that are able to produce the high-quality prints since I lack the equipment and materials to do it with my home printer. I was excited to venture into the homemade territory and create my own jewelry.
Of course, DIY jewelry making comes with a new set of challenges. I loved the look of my cabochon/bezel necklaces, but to my dismay, I couldn’t seem to figure out how to glue them into place without running into quality issues.
In this short article, I’ll share my failed attempts (and why they didn’t work) before finally finding a solution that did. Hopefully my trials and errors will help other creators be successful with their jewelry making endeavors!
Super Glue (Failure)
First up: Gorilla super glue.
I knew a local artist who was turning her abstract paintings into necklaces. When I asked her how she glued the cabochon into the bezel tray, she told me that she was using super glue.
I started with the regular Gorilla super glue, which seemed to do the job at first. I later switched to the Gorilla super glue gel, which worked even better. Both versions gave me only about 10 seconds to get everything lined up correctly and ensure there weren’t any bubbles. Although I felt a bit rushed with practically no window for errors, the jewelry looked good… at first.
Over time, I noticed that the necklaces and earrings started to develop strange, silvery flecks between the cabochon and photo paper. This was particularly frustrating because the jewelry had looked fine right after it had cured.
Later, I looked at the necklaces my artist friend had made, and I noticed the same silvery flecks in hers as well. However, because her art prints were abstract, the flecks actually looked like they were part of the painting. I couldn’t pull that off with my work, so I had to find another solution.
Jewelry Glue (Failure)
My next attempt was Aleene’s jewelry glue. A friend had given me the last of her tube to try, and it also seemed to be promising at first. It did slightly blur the sharpness of the artwork lines, but I didn’t have any bubbles or flecks. However, it was an old tube, and when I searched online to order another, I found the right brand but couldn’t find an exact match to what I’d used. The closest I could find was Aleene’s jewelry and metal glue.
This glue was advertised to “dry clear, strong, and permanent” with a gel formula that seemed similar to the super glue that had almost worked. Unfortunately, this jewelry-specific glue interacted with the ink on the photo paper. The prints became so blurry and distorted that they weren’t even identifiable.
This glue probably works great on beads and metal, but for bezels and cabochons with a print situated in the middle, not so much.
UV Resin (Success)
By this point, I had officially thrown in the towel. Nothing I tried gave me the crystal-clear, high-quality finish I needed. I gave up on the bezel/cabochon jewelry and instead started turning my acrylic keychains into necklaces and earrings. That worked… but they didn’t look nearly as nice.
Months later, a local crafter recommended that I try UV resin. She told me that I didn’t even need the glass cabochon; the resin would harden into a clear finish on top of the art print.
To my relief, it actually worked! I started with three test bezels. Rather than attaching the glass cabochon on top of the print inside the bezel tray, I applied a layer of resin. After 120 seconds under the UV light, the resin hardened into a perfectly clear finish without interacting with the ink at all.
Although the resin was meant to replace the cabochon, I liked the rounded dome of the glass cabochon better than the flat surface of the resin by itself, so I decided to see if the UV resin would work as a glue to cement the cabochon in place.
It was exactly what I needed! The resin preserved all of the details in my artwork and graphic designs, while the glass cabochon on top gave it the prime finish I loved.
Best Way to Attach Glass Cabochons to Bezel Trays
There might be a better method out there than UV resin, but for me, it was the solution after multiple trials and errors, wasted products, and lost money.
It’s not a 100% perfect solution. I do have to watch out for small bubbles, which I tease out of the resin with a toothpick before placing the cabochon and carefully pressing down to push any remaining tiny bubbles out toward the edge before hardening the resin under the UV light.
I’m just happy that I’m now able to offer these handmade products again! Over these past few weeks, I’ve been busy turning my art prints, graphic designs, and even pieces of book pages into jewelry to sell at events. UV resin has been a life saver for me! If you’ve been struggling to find the right adhesive to make necklaces, earrings, bracelets, keychains, and other accessories, you might want to give it a try and see if it works as well for you as it did for me.
I'm an award-winning fantasy author, artist, and photographer from La Porte, Indiana. My poetry, short fiction, and memoir works have been featured in various anthologies and journals since 2005, and several of my poems are available in the Indiana Poetry Archives. The first three novels in my Chronicles of Avilésor: War of the Realms series have received awards from Literary Titan.
After some time working as a freelance writer, I was shocked by how many website articles are actually written by paid "ghost writers" but published under the byline of a different author. It was a jolt seeing my articles presented as if they were written by a high-profile CEO or an industry expert with decades of experience. I'll be honest; it felt slimy and dishonest. I had none of the credentials readers assumed the author of the article actually had. Ghost writing is a perfectly legal, astonishingly common practice, and now, AI has entered the playing field to further muddy the waters. It's hard to trust who (or what) actually wrote the content you'll read online these days.
That's not the case here at On The Cobblestone Road. I do not and never will pay a ghost writer, then slap my name on their work as if I'd written it. This website is 100% authentic. No outsourcing. No ghost writing. No AI-generated content. It's just me... as it should be.
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