Hand-made Lunula pendant

Lunula pendant before and after shrinking

Lunula pendant before shrinking and after shrinking

The other day I posted about trying shrink plastic… here’s the first project!

Along with some of the other Viking and Norse-inspired pendants that I’ve been able to find from various sellers, one of the icons I’ve been looking for (without much luck in a price-point I want to spend for a costume piece…) is the Lunula.

Ok.. half of the reason I want one is because singer Mathias Nygård from metal band Turisas is frequently photographed wearing one… (on and off stage). (Photo directly linked below, apologies if the link breaks in future.)

Mathias Nygård

Lunula amulets, pendants, or charms (plural Lunulae, also called a lunitsa) are crescent-moon shaped charms found in ancient Slavic and Norse cultures, and date back to the end of the Bronze Age. In reading about them, I read that they were also common in ancient Egyptian, Asian and Roman societies as well – and were worn by women. They reference the moon, and are associated with fertility. I’ve seen them on some of the Viking beaded festoons (half-necklaces) as well as pendants by re-creators (and of course being worn in a modern context like Mathias above!) so of course once I had my Thor’s Hammer pendant and other ones.. I needed a Lunula as well to add to my Viking costume stash! Since I couldn’t find one to purchase at a price point I wanted to pay for a costume piece… and I also wanted to play with shrink plastic… I figured I’d combine the two!

Making a plastic lunula pendant

I started off with a rough sketch based off of a lunula pendant I found on Pinterest. I traced that (twice) onto matte Shrink Plastic (Grafix brand which I purchased at an art-supply store. I’ve since found it at craft stores as well – but when I was originally looking it was really hard to find!) I used an extra-fine point Sharpie marker, and then added details and highlighted areas with silver and bronze metallic sharpie. I found the Sharpie worked ok… I thought it might have been a problem with my Sharpie, but looking back I might have wanted to sand my plastic slightly before using the marker for better results… we’ll see with future projects! I baked the first pendant, and found that although the film is transparent before shrinking – the matte plastic turns white when shrunk – which means since I didn’t paint the back of it as well – it was white. Not as cute as I would have liked… On the first pendant I also tried to fold over the top of my pendant which I had allowed for a fold to create a hole for threading a chain or cord – but I didn’t fold it over quickly enough, and instead of a complete loop – it’s just a little fold. I tried re-heating to re-shape the plastic with no luck. (As a follow-up, I was able to re-shape it when I used a heat-gun instead of the oven) For the second pendant I coloured the back of the plastic as well – and then after baking was much faster using a pair of toothpicks to fold over the top part of the pendant.

Additional Materials

Some of the other projects I've worked on recently

You can see how the marker transfered to the velum in this photo – along with a few of the other projects I’ve worked on recently

I protected my baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, but since I didn’t have much of it, I topped it off (to keep it from curling up on itself) with a piece of vellum. Strangely enough – the black Sharpie marker seemed to ‘stick’ to the vellum (not the the parchment though) which gave me an extra challenge when wanting to curl the area that will go on a cord or chain. As I made more projects, the marker also began to stick to the parchment too – so I think in future I’ll use just parchment – and switch it out more frequently rather than re-using it over and over again. We’ll see!

Not quite satisfied

I liked the pendants, but they didn’t really look “metal” enough to me. When a local scrapbook store was going out of business, I picked up some embossing powder in gold, silver, and copper, and decided to add the powder to both of the pendants.

More to come….

At the same time.. I also made up a Viking key… which I’ll do a quick post on in a few days…

Shrink plastic projects

Shrink plastic projects

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