Saturday, July 27, 2019

Altered Plastic Cameo Cabochons for Art and Jewelry

This week I've been restocking my Etsy shop with some of my vintage cameo cabochons. They're not real carved shell cameos, they're plastic imitations, but they're great for vintage style jewelry because they fit into standard cabochon tray settings (30mm x 40mm). However, I never seem to be able to just leave them alone and use them as-is so I thought I would share a couple of my favorite altering techniques.

Vintage acrylic faux-carved coral cabochons, altered with paint and polish.
The cab on the left is the original floral cabochon in green and ivory.

Faux tarnished silver altered art technique
TARNISHED SILVER: The middle cabochon is painted and then highlighted with silver wax finish.
  1. First, mush dark brown acrylic paint (the artist quality kind from the tube) over the entire cabochon and use a stiff brush to push it down into all the little nooks and crannies.
  2. Before the paint dries completely, gently wipe off only the high areas with a slightly damp cloth, to get an aged look.
  3. Let the paint dry completely, then dab on the wax metallic polish (I like Rub n Buff the best).
  4. Once the polish dries (I wait until the next day), you can buff it to a satin finish and your cabochon will look like tarnished silver!
Hand painted altered vintage faux coral cabochons
HAND PAINTED: The third cab is painted with two colors of all-surface acrylic craft paint.
  1. Use a small brush or dauber to paint a couple of flowers with each of your two colors (here I grabbed baby pink and goldenrod yellow).
  2. Then, mix the colors together in different amounts to create new colors and dab them on as well.
  3. You can seal these if you like. I'm thinking about adding metallic gold highlights here and there...