How to Create Screen Accurate Lady Tremaine Jewelry

The project to recreate Lady Tremaine’s ballgown scene jewelry from 2015’s live-action Cinderella is, frankly, not for the faint at heart. But it is for the intrepid. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

First, let’s take stock of all the items that comprise Lady Tremaine’s jewelry set: necklace, earrings, two bracelets, ring, and feather hairpiece. That’s seven total pieces. Gosh she’s oustentatious! A vital important point that is quite pointy: The starbursts on all the pieces have 12 points, including the disks stacked upon each other. I’m assuming this was not just an aesthetic choice, but also to symbolize a clock. I mean, it could be happenstance, but Madam Sandy Powell hardly does anything by chance.

Sourcing is the first chore. The metal parts! It was after an exhaustive search that I found “art deco stamped brass findings” (that was my successful search term at least) on Etsy. They came from a seller in Belgium whose shop is no longer operating. Though, I would bet that one could use a Google image search or use search terms to find similar if not the same ones. Those were just for the “backing disks,” not the center of all the disks. For those, I managed to find what were labeled as “vintage” starburst stamped brass findings. If you’re noticing a theme of stamped brass, that’s just what it is. Again, the Etsy shop I purchased these from is also defunct, but perhaps you can still find similar ones. Just make sure your starbursts have 12 points.

The gems and earrings and hairpiece base you say? Well, those are a different story. One that cannot be sourced. Those were all sculpted and then cast in resin.

The icing are the feathers. And those I am happy to report are simple. They are quilled ostrich feathers. I got them from The Feather Place, which is still in operation. The company identified them for me after seeing only one reference photo and explained how to quill them. (Seriously, small businesses are worth their weight in gold–or latinum if you’re a Star Trek fan like me.)

Once everything was sourced, or decided that it couldn’t be sourced, then it was time to dive in. Let’s start with the stamped brass pieces and the creation of the disks.

The Brass Starbursts:
There are 11 base starbursts on Lady Tremaine, 5 in the necklace and 3 in each bracelet. These are the “vintage” ones I mentioned earlier. There are 2 starbursts in the necklace that are backed by a second round of findings (these are from a set of small art deco findings) and then a single, centerpiece of the necklace with a third round of findings (these are from a set of large art deco findings).

With the bracelets containing only the fully finished disks, and the necklace containing 2, the hard work was left for the 3 sets of disks creating the center of the necklace. The first round was simple for the three remaining starbursts; I used the smaller of the two art deco findings as they were to poke out from behind the center disk. The second round of findings for the centerpiece of the necklace was a bit more laboreous. I needed to shape those, not only to add additional layers to the points, but also to trim the sides to make them fit 12 points to the starburst instead of 10 as they had been made to do. Luckily, these stamped brass findings were soft and I was able to cut through them with a pair of regular, short sewing scissors. No need for tin snips. Phew!

To adhere all layers together, I used Epoxy clay. While heavy, Epoxy clay saved me from needing to solder and use implements that could ruin the pieces accidentally. Which would be horrifying. I only had 12 of the center disks and enough of each set of findings for what I needed. Knowing this, you can chose to use a solder or Epoxy clay depending on your preference.

Linking the pieces was the easy part. Joanns’ gold metal chain was perfect for putting them together. Again, I pressed those into the Epoxy clay and they held quite tight and permanent. There is 1 chain connecting the 5 pieces of the necklace, with 3 chains leading from the back two to the clasp. The bracelets have 2 chains connecting the pieces all the way to the clasps.

The “Gems” and Earrings/Hairpiece Gold Sprays:
The gems could not be found, and I have no idea what kind of gem they are to be honest. What I did know is that there are brown and green stones that make up the jewelry. The necklace features 4 brown obtuse triangles with their long edge rounded, the bracelets each 1 of those of the same size, and the earrings and hairpiece each have 1 of the same shape, though smaller size. The center stone of the necklace is a deep green rounded and domed equalateral triangle. The bracelets each feature 2 green square stones that have bevels. Finally, the ring is a rectangular green stone with bevels as well.

3 steps:
Sculpt in clay, mold in silicon, and cast in resin.

Starting at the beginning of the process is clay. Each of these pieces needed to be sculpted. Which would be easy if you didn’t need to cast the resin all at the same time to ensure identical dye lots. So every “gem” was sculpted from clay and then baked. I eye-balled the sizing, and though the thickness of the gems vary slightly, the surface area of the tops do not. Once all of those pieces had been sculpted, they were baked to ensure no marring could happen in the casting process.

The earrings and hairpiece gold spray were another matter. They were also sculpted in clay, but I needed to make near perfect mirror images of them. They actually comprise of 3 pieces put together: the flat base with 7 points and 2 spikes that are on top. Before baking these sculpted pieces, I impressed an already baked “gem” of the smaller triangular shape into the piece to ensure and exact fit once put together.

The next step was to mold them all in silicon. You can follow the directions on the box for that, I’d bore you with this already long explanation.

Then came the resin casting. I used alcohol dye for all of the gems. Using a combination of brown and yellow, and green, yellow, and deep blue, I managed to get the coloring fairly close to the originals. I also added gold leaf to them and holographic foil, which gives the pieces their sparkle. After they cured, I gave them two top coats of clear nail polish to make them shine, and then used gold nail polish for the “brass fittings” around the base of each “gem.” I used a small pieces of Epoxy clay to attach them to their corresponding piece.

The earrings and hairpiece were originally cast with gold mica powder in the resin. Hating the look of them, as they were completely off-mark, I spray painted them gold.

Final details:
The earrings have two posts each because of their weight. I lined up the posts with my own double pierced ears to ensure they were going to fit. Without the second post they flop over. If you do not have a second piercing, I recommend you adhere a “cuff” to the back of each earring to add a contact point with your ear’s cartilage.

The hairpiece received the trimmed and quilled ostrich feathers and a comb, all attached with Epoxy clay.

If you have questions, I’m always happy to answer! Comment below!

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