I’ve always liked party favors and since a wedding is just one giant party (at least ours was!), giving out wedding favors was a given. However, I wanted the favors to be something lasting (I love getting candies but I eat them before the wedding is even over!) and I wanted them to be connected to our wedding and to be used again in the future. (It’s super fun getting sunglasses with the couple’s name on them to wear at the wedding reception, but they don’t really get worn after that, right?) So I decided to make a whole bunch of cabochon keychains using art from our wedding invitations.
To make your own cabochon keychains, you will need cabochons and cabochon backs (I ordered the cabochon and backs on Etsy), mod podge, a strong craft glue that dries clear (I love Aileen’s original tacky glue), print-outs of your design, scissors, and a paintbrush for applying the glue.
Print out your designs and cut out circles that are the same size as your cabochons. It’s okay if you don’t cut a perfectly perfect circle since the edges will disappear when you glue the backing on, but you do need to be sure that your circle of paper isn’t larger than the cabochon so that no paper sticks out the side. I used scans of the illustrations that were on our wedding invitations and scaled them and drew the circles in photoshop, but it’s a pretty simple task so I’m sure you could use just about any photo editing software to do the same.
Apply a thin layer of mod podge to the back of your cabochon, place a paper circle on the back, and apply another layer of mod podge. You want the mod podge to soak through the paper without making a gloopy mess. I found it’s actually better to err on the slightly-too-much side than the slightly-too-little side with the mod podge because if the paper isn’t saturated, you end up with visible streaks in your finished cabochons. I used matte mod podge but I think in this case it wouldn’t make a difference if you used glossy (please chime up if you know otherwise!).
After the mod podge is dry, put a glob of glue on the metal backing and apply your cabochon. You want to use a glue that dries clear so that if it pokes out the side of the cabochon it won’t be visible when dry. I found that, although my cabochon were the “same size” as the backings, the backings were a bit wider than the cabochon.
Leave the cabochon to dry. And then let it dry some more. (I put all of mine in a plastic bag before they were completely dry and the moisture of the glue corroded the backings a bit. I pretended they were supposed to look aged since we got married in a barn, but I was pretty frustrated with myself for making that mistake!)
Put key rings on your finished cabochon and you’re done! I know, I know, I said that I don’t like super couple-specific wedding favors and then I went and made a set of the keychains with our faces on them. But I only made a few of them and our closest relatives loved them while our friends and more distant relatives were very happy to pick the barn, puzzle pieces, or Vashon island keychains!