Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wedding Details: Making Our Wedding Bands

We mentioned a couple weekends back getting the chance to play around with some molding kits for a wedding related project. Well, we've finished up the first parts of this little project and have all the details to share with you today.

In looking for wedding bands, Tim and I both liked the idea of the fingerprint rings we've seen on Etsy. These jewelers are actually able to make rings with an imprint of your exact fingerprint anywhere on the ring. We liked the look of the ones with a simple and smooth exterior, hiding the fingerprint imprint on the inside of the ring — it's fun to think that one another's fingerprint will be wrapped around the other's when wearing the rings. We also think they could make for great keepsakes down the line.

After much searching, we've begun the custom ring making process with a creative couple named Mika and Scott, who live and create jewelry together in Berlin, Germany. Mika is a German goldsmith and Scott is an American jewelry designer — we just loved the idea of a creative couple working together to create our rings. Find out more about them and view their collection in their Etsy shop, MikaScott.

There were two parts to starting the ring making process — capturing a mold of our fingerprints and also getting a casting replica of my engagement ring to make a fitted set. Let's talk about molding our fingerprints first.

When placing an order with MikaScott, the first part of the process is having the fingerprint mold kit shipped so you can capture your prints and ship them back for them to work with. We were both excited when this little parcel arrived on our doorstep from Germany, complete with a ring sizer and enough molding putty for us to get 2 prints each:



The kit came with thorough instructions and even a link to a video for how it works, but basically you mix the two different types (equal amounts) of putty together for about 1 minute, then quickly make your mold before letting it set — that's it!

So, we mixed the two pieces together, and thinly spread them across the tips of our fingers:


Then we let them set for about 2 minutes and took this cheesy photo while we waited:


Then they just peel right off the finger and capture your fingerprints, like magic:


See how this thin layer of putty captured all the little details of our fingerprints:



Pretty amazing and so fast!

After the putty dried, we flattened each mold and taped them face-down on a sheet of paper (as per the ring maker's suggestions) and have them ready to ship back to Germany so they can get started making our fingerprint rings:


The second part of our molding expeditions came in the form of trying to make a replica shape of my engagement ring to send along with our fingerprints. Tim's band will be a simple circle, but I'm hoping to have a contoured band made so I can wear it with my engagement ring, so the ring maker needed an exact casting of the top and side shapes of the ring in order to make a custom set.


To make a replica of my ring, I picked up a basic silicone putty mold kit and casting kit from the craft store — you can find them in most any craft store or online.

To make the mold of the ring, it was the exact same equal part mixing technique we used to get our fingerprints above, we just used more putty:


After a minute of mixing equal parts, I formed two circles and gently pressed my ring into the soft putty:


Then I just let it sit for about 30 minutes (since the volume of putty was a lot larger) to let things dry and cure:


Once dry, the ring just popped right out of the mold and I was able to pour the clear casting medium right into the putty molds. The casting medium was similar to the mold process in that you mix equal parts of liquid together before pouring into your mold.

After letting the casting liquid sit and dry in the molds for about 48 hours, they also popped right out of the molds into perfectly shaped replicas of my engagement ring:


Pretty neat, right? This way, the ring makers will have everything they need to get working on our wedding bands, without ever actually seeing my ring. We are so excited to see how they turn out and you can bet we'll let you know here on the blog.

- + - + UPDATE + - + -

We got our rings and they turned out great! Here are a few shots of the fingerprint details on the insides of each ring, and a pic from our actual wedding day:

Image by Tori Watson

See more from our wedding here.

We had a lot of fun playing around with these molding kits. While one of my areas of focus was on metal jewelry making in college, I never delved deep into the area of castings, so it was inspiring to think of all the different uses one could expand into with mold making. We have a lot of the putty and casting medium leftover from the kits since we only needed a small amount to get the ring shapes, so we'll have to experiment with other projects down the pike.

So, that's one aspect of the wedding we've been up to! Do you have any meaningful stories or details behind the bands you chose? My best friend's husband used to play baseball growing up and in college and he had his wedding band made from the ash wood of an actual baseball bat (more from their wedding a pic of J wearing the ring here).


Keep up with 17Apart's Wedding:

10 comments:

  1. The rings are going to be beautiful! When we celebrated our 25th anniversary last year (gulp) we had new rings commissioned in titanium and sterling silver. It was such fun to be in on the process.

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  2. When I read the past post about molding something for the wedding I thought "Hmmm, wedding bands maybe?"

    So cool! And I'm with you I like the finger prints on the inside of the band too.

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  3. hope theres no blood diamonds in those! kinda ruins the whole sentiment if so. Otherwise a cute idea.

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  4. I think Mary's ring is an antique :) Plus, Mary and Tim are not the kind of people that would support blood diamonds.

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  5. So cool! Looking forward to seeing them in completion :)

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  6. Thanks so much guys, we are eager to see how they progress!

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  7. Can't wait to see how your wedding bands turn out! I stumbled onto your site because of the bok choy post (was searching for recipes, ended up learning how to regrow instead!), and I'm glad I continued reading. My fiance gave me a uniquely shaped engagement ring without thinking how the wedding band would fit against it or if ours would ultimately end up matching. This solves all of that! Thank you for inspiring us on how to go about our own wedding bands! :)

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  8. It is a fantastic idea. The rings are beautiful.

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  9. So, I'd like to see the final product. Did you get any pictures of them when they came in? It's such a cool idea.

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    1. Candy we will make sure to try and post some updated photos! Thanks for asking we do love them!

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