Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to Make a Tarantula Fang Necklace, and adventures with jewelry in general.

Both my tarantulas molted last October, and their molts have been sitting around doing nothing since then waiting for me to do something with them. I've been meaning to put them in a shadow box to display, but frankly, I just couldn't get myself to spend the money on a shadow box.

What I really wanted to do was make some tarantula fang jewelry, but I didn't even know where to start. I've never made jewelry, and I barely even wear it. Not only that, but I couldn't find a tutorial anywhere online about what I needed for tarantula fang necklaces or anything. But the stars were aligned yesterday and I went out to Micheal's to get some jewelry stuff.

Here's what I learned yesterday, and maybe you can learn something too.

- Chains: Micheal's (from what I can tell) sells 2 lengths of chains. They sell 3 feet of chain for about $3, or they sell a roll of 12 yards of chain for $10. I bought the latter. I was worried it would be cheap-looking, but as you can tell, it really doesn't. This, I think, is the much better deal. Even if jewelry making ends up not being for you, you can save money on future jewlry because....

- Charms: At a craft store, you can buy 4 charms for $4, while if you buy actual jewelry at a store, you'll pay anywhere from $10 - $20. With the roll of chain you have, the next time you go out to buy jewelry, just go somewhere like Michael's and buy a few charms for a few bucks. Put them on your extra chain, and increase your jewelry collection 200%. The heart you see there is one of 4 different hearts that I got.

- Tools: I knew I was going to need something, but I was pretty overwhelmed by all the different types of pliers I saw there. Honestly, I found a "basic beading" book and opened it up, and found that "Chain Nose Pliers" would be the best option for someone only buying one tool. They are good for opening up the chain so you can 'break off' a length for a necklace, not to mention opening up jump rings, and closing the clasps I used on the tarantula fangs.

- Other stuff (Jump Rings, Lobster Clasps and End Caps With Loops): Jump rings (The rings that connect charms to the necklace) come in packages of no less than 150, I swear. I just wanted a few, and ended up getting a lot, because there just didn't seem to be any other options. Not a bad thing, though, they were still fairly cheap, and now I'm set for life in all my jewelry-making endeavors. Lobster clasps come in packs of 10, and are about $3. You may want to look around for other means of clasping, but I like lobster clasps the best, so I went with them. End Caps with Loops are what I used to put the tarantula fangs in. They come in packs of 50 or so.

How to make this:

- 3 Tarantula Fangs (After your tarantula molts, you can use your chain nose pliers to pull them out of the molt). For mine, I used 1 from a full grown rose hair (The one on the heart), and 2 from a full grown Pink Toe.
- 3 End caps with loops
- "Lost and Found" brand "Large Metals Heart" Charms.
- 5 Jump rings
- 1 Lobster Clasp
- I used 21" of chain, but you can use whatever is comfortable for you.

1. Attach Jump ring and Lobster clasp at the end of your chain.

2. Slightly close the end caps with your chain nose pliers, then put the thicker end of the tarantula fang as close to the bottom as you can (closing them slightly will keep them in place better). Completely close the end cap with your crimp nose pliers. You may hear some crunching, but that's not bad, as long as it's not too much. The fangs are surprisingly resilient. I made sure the 2 I was going to use on the chain were facing opposite directions so my necklace would have some symmetry. This took me a long time, so have some patience. Typing this out feels weird, because it truly was so much more difficult to do than to say.

3. Insert jump rings into all your your end caps.

4. Put jump ring through the bottom hole of the lacey heart.

5. Add jump ring to heart.

6. Attach heart to center of necklace.

7. Attach fangs on either side of heart. The spacing I used was 8 chain links away from the heart.

You can use your chain nose pliers for everything in this project.

Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool! I totally want tarantulas, but I have an underlying fear of them getting out and biting either me or someone else. . .that and I know of several people who would squish them, cage and all. >.<
    You're one lucky girl!