Download the printable template below for a large or small Crystal Gem.  Or, you can order a pre-cut gem kit here.

The crystals are made from laminated iridescent cellophane wrap. I'm using letter-sized 3mil thick laminate pouches from Scotch.

Cut a piece of cellophane to fit neatly inside the pouch. Crumple it up for more texture, and trim to be sure it's not hanging out the sides. Keep it to one layer -- multiple layers will separate after laminating.

Heat up your laminating machine and run the cellophane pouch through. It will emerge all warm and crinkly, and catch the light in a most delicious way.

Print out the paper template and place it underneath the laminated cellophane. Cut on all the solid lines and score on the dotted score lines.

Older Makers should help younger Makers with the lamination (HOT!), the cutting (SHARP!), and the Krazy glue (VERY STICKY!)

If you have a vinyl cutting machine, you can use it to cut this material too.  Here is an .stl file for uploading to your favorite vinyl cutting service.

If you're using a Cricut, the best setting is Custom > Stencil Film 0.4mm 

The file has two pieces, so if you scale the size up or down be sure to scale them both at the same time so they still fit together.

Fold in the same direction along all the score lines. Be sure you're folding both halves of the gem in the same direction or they won't fit together. 

 

Gently fold down all the tabs on the edges. These don't need a sharp crease, just a bit of a bend.

Use Krazy glue on the tabs to assemble the gem. It's helpful to start by attaching the two different pattern pieces together first, then glue one tab at a time to create the gem.

 

Line up the corners carefully. The more accurate you can be, the better your gem will look.  Also, krazy glue will set a bit faster and more easily if it's slightly above room temperature. 

The antidote to krazy glue is acetone (nail polish remover). When your fingers get stuck together, and you can no longer unlock your iPhone with your fingerprint, just dip your fingertips in nail polish remover and the krazy glue will peel right off.

Don't glue the gem closed completely -- leave a flap open so you can access the inside.

Cut and crumple a small piece of un-laminated cellophane. This will act as a diffuser inside the crystal, and give it that magical look, as though the crystal has lots of beautiful occlusions inside. Use less cellophane here than you think. A little goes a long way, and if you stuff the crystal too full the light won't bounce around as nicely.

 

Set this aside for now. We'll add it as the final touch after adding the lights.

This guide was first published on May 14, 2019. It was last updated on May 14, 2019.

This page (Make the Gem) was last updated on Jan 23, 2021.