How to Make a Two-Sided Photo Pendant

Use a classic childhood song and a personal photo to create this sterling silver necklace.


Materials and Tools:

18-gauge sterling silver sheet
22-gauge sterling silver sheet
22-gauge sterling silver square wire
18-gauge copper sheet
round nose pliers
Black Max, an antiquing/tarnishing/oxidizing solution
jeweler's saw
jeweler's wax
silver solder wire
soldering block
permanent marker
metal alphabet stamps
buffing machine
jump rings
jewelry chain
photo cut to size


  1. Stamp u+me on a piece of 18-gauge copper using metal alphabet stamps.
  2. Draw a heart around the stamping using a permanent marker. Cut out the heart with a jeweler's saw.
  3. Draw a tree design on the piece of copper using a permanent marker.
  4. Cut out the tree with a jeweler's saw.
  5. Cut out about 20 small leaves from the copper.
  6. Place all leaves and heart upside down on a soldering block. Put flux onto the pieces. Cut pieces of solder and melt the solder onto the metal pieces using a torch.
  7. Place the tree right side up on the soldering block. Apply flux to the tree. Place leaves and heart with the solder sides touching the tree. Heat with the torch and solder them onto the tree.
  8. Place in heated pickle solution in a crock-pot for cleaning.
  9. Sand the edges of the tree with sandpaper. Buff the tree on a buffing wheel with a matte buff.
  10. Cut out a square of 18-gauge sterling silver the desired size for the backing of the pendant. Round the edges with a metal file and sand with sandpaper.
  11. Place the tree on the silver piece and draw an outline around it.
  12. Stamp the following saying on the front of the sterling piece: "you and me sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes ..." with alphabet stamps and a hammer.
  13. Flip the sterling piece over and stamp "a baby in a baby carriage."
  14. Cut about 10 small pieces of solder, put flux on the back of the tree and place solder around the tree. Melt the solder onto the tree using the torch.
  15. Place the piece into heated pickle solution for cleaning.
  16. Cut a piece of 22-gauge sterling silver for the photo frame slightly smaller than the backing.
  17. Bend a piece of square wire into a U-shape to fit the 22-gauge sheet. Apply flux to the 22-gauge sheet, place the U-shaped square wire on top of 22-gauge sheet and solder in place.
  18. Drill a starter hole in the 22-gauge sheet and thread the jeweler's saw blade through hole. Attach it to the saw frame and cut out the center for the photo frame.
  19. Sand the photo holder and clean.
  20. Place the silver photo frame with the U-shaped wire touching the pendant backing. Flux and solder the frame to the backing.
  21. Create a piece of tubing out of 22-gauge sterling silver sheet with a pair of jewelers' round needle-nose pliers. Place tubing at the top of the pendant, flux and solder.
  22. Place the piece in the pickle to clean.
  23. Flip the piece over and put the tree in the open space. Heat and solder in place.
  24. Put the piece in the pickle solution. 
  25. Apply tarnishing solution with a paintbrush. Rinse and dry.
  26. Buff the piece on a buffing wheel with a matte finish scrubby or buff by hand.
  27. Cut the chain to length. Insert your selected photo into the silver frame. Slip the two-sided photo pendant onto the chain.
  28. Attach jump rings and a clasp.

Amy Peters, Avila Beach, Calif.

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