Breast milk jewelry is a keepsake that impersonates motherliness. Motherhood is a journey; a narrative that can only be experienced but not taught. If l were to explain it, l would be lost for words. Others describe it as a sort of wilderness where each mother struggles to find her way. All in all, we hack it through either as heroines or mere survivors.
As a mom to two boys, I have had my share of ups and downs. The hardest part was waking up to fully engorged breasts and then halfway through the day, not even a single drop of breast milk. It happens to other moms too and mine was the inspiration I needed to venture into breast milk jewelry. I decided to use my fear to commemorate every single moment I shared with my kids.
So What Is Breast Milk Jewelry?
In a nutshell, these are ornaments made from a mother’s breast milk. They are mostly pendants which can be integrated seamlessly with any form of jewelry like chains, bracelets, earrings, or even rings. The ornaments feature a variety of custom background colors. They can be filled directly or made from resin.
Commercially Produced Breast Milk Jewelry
For those moms who haven’t discovered a hidden talent in DIY yet, you can find a blacksmith to make yours. All you need is to ship about two tablespoons of breast milk to them and your preferred design. These guys will then work their magic and apply showy finish before sending it back to you.
You can order tailor-made jewelry with your kid’s initials or whichever design you like. But if you think this is an order that gets fulfilled in a couple of days, think again. Some artists have requests of up to two years. Sounds like a very lucrative craft, doesn’t it?
My First Encounter
Like every tech-savvy mother, l was doing rounds on the internet searching for motherhood stuff. Then a particular article by Daily Mail caught my attention. I almost dropped my glass of water. It highlighted how a particular lady was making a killing customizing breast milk jewelry. She was retailing them at $100 to $900.
At first, l was confused. But then bit by bit, reality kicked in. I wanted to contact her immediately to place my order, but when I remembered the price tag, I calmed down. And that’s how I started researching on the hands-on approach.
DIY Breast Milk Jewelry
Every DIY artist has a distinct trade process. Some incorporate chemicals to aid in breast milk preservation while others use dehydration techniques. Some will mix the milk with other solvents and others will freeze-dry. I guarantee you this is no science class and you can do it on your own at home. Let’s get started.
The Long Method
This is my favorite method because you only need to express enough milk once and use it to make lots of jewelry. The procedure calls for two parts; preservation of the breast milk and crafting the jewelry.
1. Breast Milk Preservation
You require the following:
- 20-50ml of breast milk.
- Appropriate preservative. You can purchase this from art shops dealing in breast milk jewelry and online retailers like Amazon.
- A medium sized baking paper.
- And two saucepans of different sizes.
Fill the bigger saucepan halfway with water and insert the smaller one containing the breast milk. Heat the bigger saucepan until the water starts to boil. Add the preservative to the now heated breast milk and stir it till some bits begin to stick to your stirring rod. Spread it on the baking paper and place it in a cool and dry place. Leave it for 48hrs to dry. Then using a teaspoon or your mini blender, grind it to a fine powder. Store this powder in a cool and dry place for use anytime you need to make jewelry.
2. Crafting the Jewelry
You can use the dried breast milk directly on a pendant and cure it with UV light. But for a more customized approach, read on.
What you require:
- Resin (you can buy them together with the preservative).
- Jewelry molds.
- Shimmer tint (optional).
Create a clean crafting area free from obstacles. Pour about 4mls of the resin into a cup then 2mls of the hardener and stir for 3minutes. Add a pinch of the powdered breast milk to the mix above and stir well. At this point, I usually add some shimmer tint, plus my baby’s signature item such as hair, eyebrows, or nails to the mixture while stirring. Let it rest for 2 minutes. The additions are optional.
Now pour the concoction into your mold and leave it to set for about 12hours. It sets quicker because the breast milk used was already dry. Polish it if you need to and attach to any form of jewelry using the appropriate glue.
The Cheats Way
The Easier way out is to purchase a breast milk jewelry kit. These come with all the tools you require and detailed instructions. They usually retail for less than $30 depending on the designs.
The essential items in a simple kit are the solvents (usually 2), the pendant, and the stirring rod. Other kits come with more complex instructions so be sure to follow them to the latter for best results. Mix the two solvents with your breast milk as instructed (normally ¼ to ½ teaspoon of milk). Stir for 5-10 minutes and once the mixture turns white, pour it into the pendant mold. You can also add glitters, baby hair, baby nails, or anything you think of at this point.
The mixture hardens as you continue pouring, so this is your chance to get creative. You can swirl it towards the top to get a wavy effect or pour it in a dome-shaped manner. When you finish, leave the pendant in the same spot to dry for at least 1 to 3 days. If you move it around, you could mess with your design. After 3 days, your pendant will have solidified. And you can now attach it to a necklace or any form of chain-linked jewelry.
Why I Love My Breast Milk Jewelry
- Longer-Than-Life Memory: Instead of wearing ornaments for beauty purposes, how about having an art piece that also represents an incredible adventure. Yes, it’s a dwarf in size but a giant in the memories it holds in itself.
- Stronger Mother to Child Bond: If there is one blessing that will beat any other, that should be motherhood. Why? Because it’s held by selflessness and unconditional love!
- A Potential Hand-Me-Down: Imagine gifting your offspring some of your breast milk jewelry when they get their first child. It will fill their heart with so much joy, courage, and inspiration. I’m not sure if I’ll do that personally, because I’m too attached to my jewelry. They rekindle fond memories and remind me of how blessed I am.
The Bottom Line
I strongly believe in creating items that leave long-lasting memories. My first breast milk jewelry has my baby’s hair intertwined in the pendant. It reminds me of when I first shaved him. The second one has a grain of rice in it. That’s the time I first weaned him. The third one is in the shape of a tiny baby foot. It reminds me of when he took his first step. And so on and so forth. Do the same with your jewelry and you’ll have powerful memories of your kids to last you centuries (or maybe forever). These babies grow up very fast.