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Bet you loved watching butterflies when you were a kid and if truth be told, you've yet to outgrow the thrill. Immortalize butterflies forever by turning the most beautiful and colorful ones into real butterfly jewelry, a crafting project that doesn't take much time to complete. If you're big on adventure, raise your own butterflies. Talk about homemade treasures -- wait 'til you see the looks on people's faces when you tell 'em the story behind your jewelry piece.
Buy a "Live Butterfly Rearing Kit" (see resources) unless your idea of a great time is running wildly through parks with a butterfly net on the outside chance that you'll land a couple of beautiful specimens. Don't fear the butterfly rearing kit. These fun activity sets are made for and marketed to young children. If they can raise 'em, so can you. No excuses or whining about that C in biology back in the day.
Shop a jewelry crafting store. Pick up molds, resin powder and catalyst -- sometimes they're packed together -- while your caterpillars are busy morphing into chrysalis -- a fancy name for cocoons. If you can't bear the thought of raising your winged friends and then destroying them, add a hobby shop that specializes in butterflies to your errands list, so the butterflies you use for your jewelry projects are strangers.
Set up a work area that's well ventilated 'cause resin isn't a compound you want to breathe in, before or after it's mixed. Wear a dust mask to protect your lungs from fumes and pull on a pair of rubber gloves over your new manicure to avoid destroying your nails, since the best way to clean up resin mix is to use acetone -- polish remover. Sort through your butterflies. Pick out one for your first project.
Read the instructions printed on the package of the resin modeling mix you've selected. Make small batches. Combine the powder with the "catalyst" to blend up a clear, thick liquid that will harden into a thick shell when allowed to dry. While it's still pourable place a thin layer of resin mix into the mold and give it half an hour to solidify. Place your butterfly into the mold and gently pour in a second layer of resin.
Tap the mold on the table lightly to make sure the the butterfly is completely immersed in the resin mix. Place a dental pick, ice pick or metal probe into the plastic to make a hole in the resin if you're making a pendant that requires the insertion of a chain. No hole needed if the encased butterfly is destined to become a ring or pin. Allow the piece to dry for another half hour and wiggle free the piercing tool to reveal the hole.
Peel away the plastic mold to reveal your butterfly suspended in hardened resin. Clean the mold with a soft toothbrush, removing bits of residue so you can reuse it for another butterfly project. Gently buff and polish your butterfly jewelry piece. Thread a chain into the hole if you've created a necklace or attach the sealed butterfly to pins, backings and rings using more resin and you'll achieve a tight fit.