I just love nerdy jewelry, especieally if it's "personal nerdy"; something I'm a fan of. I also love DIY'ing my own jewelry, so when I got a cheap plastic Hello Kitty ring at a friends birthday party I knew I'd scored. But what to make? The ring was cute from the get-go but I was NOT a fan of the kitty. And then it hit me; I could make a Nepeta ring! Nepeta, for those of you who don't know, is a character from the hugely popular webcomic Homestuck. Maybe with this ring I can make some furiends! (kidding)
Step 1: == Prep the ring
The first thing I did was take my ring and try to get most of the paint off. I used pure acetone, the kind Pony-modders do to remove the decorative paint.
As you can't see in the photos, the process actually started melting the ring, so this step isn't necessary. Not to mention the ring just looked dirty when I was done. :((
Step 2: == Cut away the bow
Next, I took a dremel took and, with light gentle little taps on the lowest setting, I cut away the bow so it made the silhouette of what I wanted, a cat head. Keep in mind with the dremel tool that if you go to hard not only to you risk ruining the ring, but you also risk gumming up your dremel tool with the plastic. Take time to pick shavings off the ring so they don't get in your way.
Step 3: == Get rid of that bow
I use the cutting tool at first to take away most of the bow, but then I switch to a sanding tool and, again, with light little strokes, I work away the rest of the bow and the whiskers so that now I have a pleasant cat-head shape. If I was making a Dear Daniel ring, this would be perfect.
Then I take the buffer and run it over the ring in an attempt to smooth it out and am only half-successful. The thing likes to really eat away at the plastic. Eventually I get to a point where it's good enough. The paint I'm using should fill in anything I missed.
Step 4: == Paint on first layer
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Time to paint! I get some glaze, some water, a palette and goache. The fancy art kind, because that's what's available. Besides I already have all the colors I need. All of them.
Using the picture of the character as a reference and a messy doodle for a concept sketch, I start with the skin and the first two colors of the horns You need at least two layers for most colors, because the light shines through one measly layer of paint and it looks shoddy.
The kind of paint I used would be reactivated by the glaze, so I'd have to paint a layer of glaze over every color to keep them from accidentally mixing. To remedy this, try painting a layer of modge podge or white glue over each color instead, and then going over the whole thing with glaze. It's important to find glue that dies clear, purr-fur-edly with the same finish as your glaze.
Once the paint is completely dry, I paint on at least two layers of glaze. The first layer should be thick and deliberate, the next one can be more brushed on. The reason I do this is because goache is water-based, and has a tendency to smear and smudge when glaze is first painted directly on it. So I but glaze over each individual color to prevent that once I'm finished and want to glaze the whole thing. You can also use the glue technique mentioned above if you think it will be easier. If you do this be sure to wait for each layer to completely dry before you continue painting!
Step 5: == Rinse and Repeat
Basically I do that over and over and over. It takes literally FOREVER to finish, but patience ends up giving me perfect results. At some point I realize all this time I've been using sating glaze instead of glossy glaze, which is what I wanted, so I use the glossy glaze for the final finish.
Step 6: == Amaze others with your awesome ring!
The ring looks perfect now! I'm really proud of my work, so that's the final step. Now to wear it out of the house and see how many other people are Homestickers!
The ring was a cheap plastic thing, so it didn't really sur-purr-rise me when the actual ring bit broke off. To remedy this, I used the dremel tool to grind away the ring bit and hot-glued a loop of elastic in its place and now it works purr-fectly. You can also attach a blank ring with a pad or tray on it made specifically for making custom rings. These are sold in craft stores, look for jewelry findings.