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Tuesday 23 January 2024

How to make personalised name on rice jewellery and charms

Name on rice jewellery is the ancient art of writing on a single grain of rice. Once mastered, rice writing is a rewarding and personalised art-form that is also said to bring good luck and prosperity.

Names written on two grains of rice
Name on rice writing

The following describes some of the processes involved in rice writing and a guide for making name on rice jewellery. It is intended to give a background to the art for those wishing to purchase or create Name on Rice jewellery.

If you would like to find out more about the symbolism and history of the art of rice writing, please visit our name on rice jewellery page.

Name on Rice Jewellery - Equipment

One advantage of rice writing is that very little specialist equipment is required and most items can be purchased from art and craft stores or online. The following are a basic list of equipment that is required to enable you to create name on rice jewellery.

Name on rice jewellery - Equipment
Name on rice jewellery - Equipment

  • Cleaned rice such as Jasmine or common long grain white rice. This rice has a flat cylindrical shape and because it is flat it provides two wide surfaces for writing. The rice should be kept within a sealed bag containing a small amount of oil to prevent it from drying out.

  • A very fine-tipped technical drawing pen. A line thickness of 0.2mm is acceptable and this should contain waterproof and fade-proof ink and can be purchased either online or from an arts and crafts store.

  • Magnifying oil to fill the name on rice jewellery glass vials. This will not only preserve the grain of rice but will also allow it to freely move within the vial. I recommend purchasing the oil that is specifically sold online for name on rice jewellery making. There are alternatives that can be used however long term discolouration of the oil may occur and the grain of rice may not be adequately preserved. Oil based dyes, inks or paints can be used to colour the magnifying oil if required.

  • Polymer clay is used to hold the grain of rice steady whilst writing. It is also useful for holding the glass vial upright when filling with magnifying oil and leaving to set overnight.

  • A small glass vial to contain the grain of rice once complete. This comes with a rubber stopper and silver plated cap. This can then be hung as a name on rice pendant from a necklace, bracelet, key-chain or phone-charm.

  • Small decorations used to enhance the name on rice jewellery such as Swarovski crystal beads to represent birthstones, miniature flowers or glitter and fine beads.

  • A magnifying aid and light can be used whilst learning the art of rice writing. This can either be the free-standing magnifying light or the kind attached to the head using a headband. Both types are readily available from craft or hobby shops.

  • Superglue to fix the stopper and cap to the glass vial that forms the name on rice jewellery.

  • Tweezers, cocktail sticks or toothpicks used for handling and manipulating the grain of rice.

  • Name on Rice Jewellery - Writing

    This section provides advice on the art of rice writing and further information on how to make a piece of name on rice jewellery:

    Name on Rice Jewellery - Writing
    Name on Rice Jewellery - Writing

    Before you begin writing on a grain of rice, it is likely that the rice itself may have been preserved within a small amount of oil. Take a small pinch of the rice and lay it down onto a sheet of paper towel and cover with another sheet of paper towel for several hours to remove any oil present.

    Once the oil has been removed from the rice, take a single grain of rice and lightly press it into a piece of polymer clay.

    You are now ready to write on the grain of rice. Holding the pen close to the nib, carefully start to write onto your grain of rice. Some mistakes can be corrected by removing the ink by a light rub with a cotton bud, otherwise discard the grain and start again with a new one!

    Every so often your pen may pick up oil residue from the grain of rice and this may cause it to stop writing. If this is the case, carefully blot the pen on a paper towel and it should continue to work.

    Once you are happy with the rice writing, leave it for an hour to ensure the ink is dry before removing and placing within a glass vial. When removing the grain of rice from the polymer clay, it helps to have a toothpick or cocktail stick at hand.

    Name on Rice Jewellery - Construction

    This section is aimed at making a piece of name on rice jewellery once the rice writing has been completed:

    Name on rice jewellery - Making
    Name on rice jewellery - Making

    Take a glass vial and press it into a small piece of polymer clay to keep it upright. Part fill the glass vial to approximately one third full with the magnifying oil and then add your grain of rice. To prevent air bubbles forming whilst filling and to allow the oil to enter the glass vial more easily, insert a needle into the glass vial (make sure that the needle is long enough so that it can be easily removed).

    Fill the glass vial to approximately two thirds full with more magnifying oil and add small flowers and glitter as required. Add more oil to almost the top of the glass vial, remove the needle and wait for any air bubbles to rise to the surface of the oil.

    You will probably find that the rubber stopper that fits into the end of the glass vial doesn't fit flush with the top of the vial. Cut the top of the rubber stopper off with a pair of scissors and push the stopper into the top of the vial.

    A small air bubble is normal and does allow the grain of rice to move around more freely within the glass vial. Larger air bubbles can be removed by popping them with a pin or needle and more magnifying oil added to prevent the air bubbles from reforming.

    Apply a small amount of Superglue over the plug and around the rim of the glass vial to seal the contents. Apply a small amount of Superglue inside the cap and place the cap straight down onto the vial.

    Apply a little pressure to the by holding the name on rice jewellery glass vial between thumb and forefinger for a minute. Leave the name on rice jewellery glass vial upright overnight to ensure the cap is securely glued.

    Add any jewellery findings as required such as jump rings and key-chains and you have now finished your name on rice jewellery.

    Personalised Name on Rice Jewellery
    Personalised Name on Rice Jewellery

    If you would like to purchase our name on rice jewellery or would like to find out more about the history of this ancient art, please visit our name on rice jewellery page.

    Shpangle - Keepsake Jewellery

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