Friday, February 14, 2014

Photo Jewelry - Why Are My Pendants Turning Blue?

It's a daily frustration for many people, and I should know because I receive the phone calls and emails from frustrated crafters who've learned the hard and expensive way that packing tape, MicroGlaze, and nail polish do not prevent the dreaded blue tint you see in the example above.

What's going on? Why do some pendants turn blue, others green, and some never turn colors? 

The answer is simple: the pendant trays that are copper and bronze are plated with real copper and real bronze, both of which oxidize (change colors) when exposed to water. Chances are pretty good your adhesive is water based. Put the water based adhesive and the bronze or copper plated pendant trays together and you've got trouble.



What is MicroGlaze? It's a beautiful citrusy-smelling wax that is meant to protect inkjet prints and other water based inks from smearing when being handled. Like on the cover of a scrapbook. It's also versatile, and I've used it to protect silver jewelry from tarnishing. I love how it smells. I love how it works and how easy it is to use. I love the stuff.

But it's not the right product to make photo jewelry. 

Desperate and frustrated emails flood into my mailbox that their water based glaze is not sticking to the images that are coated with MicroGlaze. Why is it their glaze is peeling off their images? Because MicroGlaze is a wax. 

Let's break it down. 

What happens when it rains on your freshly waxed car? Does the water bead up on it and allow the rain to effortlessly flow from your car? Does the wax repel the rain water? The answer is yes.

So why would you use wax with your water based glaze if the wax prevents them from sticking to each other? If you knew MicroGlaze was a wax, you'd probably not use it for photo jewelry. But someone probably pinned a tutorial they never really used to Pinterest, and the rest is history.

Additionally, you cannot use wax with epoxy resins. The wax will flake off the image surface and float to the top of the resin. You can use it around the resin, such as on the sides of the image, but not on the surface.

And for those of you inquiring, MicroGlase is not an adhesive. It's a wax.

Packing Tape.

This one is my favorite to debunk because the idea that packing tape is a good idea is funny to me. 

First, the water based glaze is never going to dry sandwiched between plastic and glass because it needs air to dry (water dries with air), so you end up with a cloudy film for days and weeks on end. If you're anything like me, you don't have days and you don't have weeks to sit around and wait.

Second, you know the packing tape ends where the edge of the paper is and you know while it sits around for the next 3 weeks drying, the moisture is going to seep into the paper on those edges.

Third, it looks less than professional.

Fourth, packing tape is sticky and picks up fingerprints as you handle it. You will see these (ie. your) fingerprints in your finished work. Lovely.

These points 4 aside, the concept makes sense, but as you may already know, it simply doesn't work, and gives inferior results.

Nail Polish.

Without going into too much detail, here are some basic facts about nail polish:

1. It will yellow
2. It doesn't work
3. It will yellow


 Glamour Seal for Photo Pendants
I've been helping people make photo jewelry for many years now. My first kit launched in May 2008, and I've written and revised many tutorials and kits since then. Because my company is founded on helping people and solving problems, having issues like smearing inkjet prints and images turning blue have really bothered me. The status quo was not OK for me, and it's not OK for you. As a result, I've spent the past few years researching adhesives and working with manufacturers to develop the ideal adhesive for inkjet prints, while avoiding discoloration due to metals on some pendant trays.

And I have the answer. A lovely, fantastic, affordable answer.

The answer is Glamour Seal which can be used with both laser prints and inkjet prints. It will not cause your pendant trays to turn funky colors. Since January 2013, we've been successfully helping photo jewelry businesses and hobbyists alike make the most beautiful jewelry using Glamour Seal.

Some facts about Glamour Seal.
Glamour Seal will not cause inkjet prints to smear
Glamour Seal will not cause your pendant trays to turn blue or green
Glamour Seal is a strong adhesive
Glamour Seal is a sealant
Glamour Seal can be used with inkjet prints and laser prints and scrapbook paper and Chiyogami paper, etc.
Glamour Seal dries faster than water based glazes
Glamour Seal is very affordable
Glamour Seal is shipped internationally
Glamour Seal is odorless and safe to handle
Glamour Seal is the definitive answer!

Below are 2 example pendants made with Glamour Seal. Images compliments of

And here are just a few actual customer testimonials Glamour Seal has received:

Glamour Seal Customer Testimonials:

Finally!! Something that works on Inkjet printers YAY!!”

“Finally, I found a product that works with my pendants! Speedy delivery and wonderful customer service. Thank you!”

“Great product!”

“AMAZING PRODUCT!!! Just what I needed!”

“This stuff is GREAT!!”

“Exactly as described, excellent product and price. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!”

“Great product!! It works wonderfully on my inkjet prints for my glass pendants. I would definitely recommend Annie Howes Glamour Seal.”

“I used it ....and....BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clear beautiful image under glass! THANK YOU SO MUCH!”

“I know you’re a very busy lady but I just wanted to let you know how wonderful
your glamour seal is! It has solved all my problems regarding color bleeding.
I don't get nervous anymore when I get a glass tile order.
Thanks you so much for taking the time to help me solve this major issue I WAS having!”

“This stuff really works well! The more you add, the less bubbles on the glass and it dries crystal clear. Great product.”

“I am obsessed with this product! Tried everything and this is BEST!! I will repurchase soon :)”

“Finally a product that works! Will definitely buy from seller again!”

“The Glamour Seal is great! It isn't hard to use & works well :-)”

“Great product. I use it religiously.”

“Love this product. It's a reorder.”

“Finally! A product that seals the pictures for my glass jewelry, but doesn't make the colors bleed. I've tried countless different ways, but this is the first product that does exactly what it said it would. It works like a charm and only a small amount is needed so it will last a really long time!”

“This product is amazing! It truly is the best for glass pendants! I have struggled for so long with many, many different products. Air bubbles were a constant issue, sometimes processing the same project 10 times just to get a clear bubble free result. I wish I would have tried this product sooner! Now my pendants come out clear the very first time! 5 star product!”

“Really really quick shipping and product works perfectly (the only product I have found that works perfectly...and I've tried quite a few!!!)”



Grannys House Handpainted Designs said...

I cannot tell you how happy I am with this product!
The old way: use the glaze, weed out the bubbled cabochons. Clean and sandpaper the edges of each cabachon, after using the old glaze.
Glue to tray. Wait to see if feathering and spotting will appear.
Recover from sore arm from sanding and cleaning cabs.
New way, with Glamour Seal: paint it on the back of the cab.Glue to print. Wait 5 minutes for it to dry. Flip over for awhile til it dries. Clip it out and glue to the pendant tray. No feathering. My artwork looks so clear and crisp! I love this stuff, I immediately ordered 2 more bottles. This will save me so much time and increase my sales so much!

Momma Bean said...

I'm dying here... I have wasted SO MUCH TIME and energy MESSING up these stinking glass pendants! and I have HUGE amount of orders to make!!! - I purchased this NEW glamour seal and I am PRAYING Granny's House of Handpainted dDesigns that I have the same success that you have had! *ack* bubbles and cracks and silver and BLUE o my, o my, o my! -- Here's "hoping" for a better tomorrow! :)

Grannys House Handpainted Designs said...

Momma Bean,

You are going to LOVE Glamour Seal. It saves so much time and I sell so many more keychains and pendants now. You have to try it.
I now sell to 2 brick and mortar stores as well as online. My online sales have picked up so much since using this. Makes the art crystal clear. Just hold the cab down a bit longer to move the bubbles out.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Annie Howes.....I could just KISS you!!!

I'm relatively new to the pendant crafting (a year or so now). I loved the end product when I would find the perfectly set picture/tile....the one with no bubbles, or smears. And then, that darn blue blob that would mysteriously appear after the final setting days or weeks later!!! How frustrating! GGGRRRRR! ~Drove me nearly insane!

I would send emails to various vendors (whom shall remain nameless) asking 'What am I doing wrong?' only to be patted on the head and sent away with responses like: 'I can't imagine what is going on....I've never had a complaint before'.

Often time I would set 8 tiles hoping that at least one would turn out. (What a waste of time & product!) .... and then, one day I ran across you! It was if the heavens opened up and harps were playing!!!! (I know, a bit of drama... but its true!) ~Your Glamour Seal is a gift from GOD!

I can set one tile & come out with perfect results every time! (No more wasted time hoping one out of eight would turn out well.) ~For me, this product put the fun back into making my beautiful little keepsakes! If you couldn't tell by now....I'm so excited & happy with your product that I'll sing it from the rooftops!!!!

So, if you have found yourself frustrated in ANY way with your current crummy glaze/glue.... simply throw it it the garbage & order this product! You will be super happy you did!

Happily Evermore,
Pati Waln

alexa said...

Hihow about a uv sealer. I did a test sample of little windows resin and it yellowed in sun. I made a few of them so hope you can help. Need a uv overlay spsy or yop coat.thanks

Annie Howes said...

Hi Alexa, I haven't tested with UV resins other than Lisa Pavelka's Magic Glos and sadly, I have not found a sealer that's compatible with that UV resin. xo, Annie