Turn Unwanted Canvases Into Fun Snap Jewelry

Hi, I’m Jenny, and I’m a pour-aholic. I know I’m not alone (thank you, Patricia Fuller!). I started pouring last April and immediately fell head over heels in love with the process. Suddenly, my life was filled with color, and music, and discovery!

Supplies I Used

    • Snap buttons (snap bases and glass cabochons that fit in them. (You can visit my Etsy store to find a few of these supplies, but there are other sources on Etsy and elsewhere.)
      Be sure to select the correct-size snap bases for the glass cabochons you chose: 18mm glass fits into 20mm bases; 16mm glass fit into 18mm bases, etc.
    • Snap jewelry into which snap buttons fit

Lots of choices on etsy, amazon, etc! You can also get component parts like bracelet links or pendant drops to make unique snap jewelry pieces.

It was exactly what I needed. I quickly amassed hundreds of paintings and spent ridiculous sums of money on supplies as I learned. I had finally met and fully embraced my inner mad scientist!

Out of necessity, I started dividing efforts between the process I loved and finding some way to recoup costs (while maintaining performance in my deadline-driven work as a grant writer… my coworkers’ jobs depend on it!!).

I started an Etsy page and did my best to market the work I produced. I sold a few paintings here and there, but those sales did not come close to covering my expenses on the hobby.

THERE, I said it: I am a hobbyist, not a professional artist.

I immerse myself in color, paint, and music as therapy to manage stress and anxiety. I don’t have time to prepare for arts and craft shows or spend hours studying the basics like composition or color! Just thinking about those things saps my energy and attempting them takes the therapeutic benefits down a notch or three. Still, I can’t go into the pourhouse…

My solution: I cut up my canvases that get damaged or don’t sell after a few months, and then I make them into inexpensive jewelry. Some folks may balk at this, but it is working for me!!


What Is Snap Jewelry?

I’m not a jewelry person, but snap jewelry is cool! It’s interchangeable, so you can snap different buttons into jewelry pieces to match what your wearing. I quickly realized it was an open market, with only one seller on Etsy who was offering a single acrylic pour snap button! I figure few people sell snap jewelry at craft fairs, etc. either.

How Do You Make Snap Jewelry?

You can make snap buttons out of acrylic skins, but if you want to sell some of your excess paintings, making snap jewelry out of cut-up canvases is easy! That is what I show you in this video.

Step 1: Choose a fully cured painting

Choose a fully cured painting that has been dry for at least three weeks. You don’t want any moisture between the canvas and the glass cabochon.

Step 2: Cut the canvas off the frame with a utility knife

Hold the canvas steady and use a utility knife to cut around the edges. Press hard on the corners to cut through. Remove the canvas and place it on a flat, solid surface.

Step 3: Clean any silicone off the canvas

Be sure to clean all silicone oil off the canvas thoroughly. I use Dawn dish soap in warm water to clean the canvas with a paper towel. Let the painting dry for a day after you clean it. You want it to be fully dry when you glue the glass.

Step 4: Choose areas of interest on the painting

I like to follow the lines between cells and create jewelry pieces that highlight that flow. I only use paintings with beautiful iridescence, because the glass magnifies and transforms it into something even better.


Step 5: Glue glass cabochons directly to the canvas and allow the glue to cure

Add a small drop of glue to the back of the glass. A little goes a long way! A single drop in the middle will spread out when you press it down. Place the glass on the canvas, and let the glue spread out underneath it. Press down and slightly wiggle your finger to ensure all air bubbles escape out of the sides. Apply pressure for a few seconds, and then leave it alone. Let the glue dry for a few days to ensure a solid bond.

Step 6: Cut the glass cabochons off the canvas and trim excess glue off the sides

Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the glass cabochons out of the canvas. Trim around the edges using the scissors to ensure there is no canvas showing around the bottom. Use a utility knife to clean excess glue off the sides.

Step 7: Glue the glass cabochons into snap bases and allow the glue to cure

Place the metal snap bases into a snap jewelry display. This will keep them level as they dry. Smear some E-6000 glue onto the back of the cabochon. Place it into the snap base and press down to ensure a good bond. Let dry for a day before you remove it.

I hope this gives you ideas for repurposing your paintings into unique new creations. If you want to try this with acrylic skins, check out Patricia Fuller’s recent article.

To get other ideas for repurposing your art, Tina Swearingen posted some great tips last month. If you want to, share your creations with the acrylic pouring community on Facebook and inspire others! Happy pouring!

3 thoughts on “Turn Unwanted Canvases Into Fun Snap Jewelry”

  1. It’s like you are psychic! I just received some of my first (of a dozen) orders of materials (take a month to arrive) yesterday! I’ve done lots of jewelry with my daughter but we have not tried snap yet! Thanks!

    1. 🙂 So happy you enjoyed it and thank you! Be warned – it is addictive! They are so little, and pretty, and they snap!! Please share pics when you make some!

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