Do you love Art Deco? So do we. The clean lines. The bold colours. The streamlined shapes. It’s a look that’s always in vogue. And it’s staggeringly easy to recreate.
In fact, you might be surprised at just how easy it is to design your own Art Deco engagement ring.
Why design your own?
When you design your own ring you create a unique piece of jewellery that expresses who you are and what you love. A ring that is yours and yours alone.
You’re not just in control of what it looks like either. You also get to set a budget you can afford. While original Art Deco rings can be pricey, designing your own means you can achieve the same look without spending more than you want to. Your budget can be part of the design.
Designing an engagement ring may seem daunting at first but you don’t need to be a brilliant artist. You just have to be inspired. If you’re dreaming of your own one-of-a-kind Art Deco engagement ring, these 16 tips will give you all the inspiration and advice you need.
Quick! To the inspiration station!
If you’re going to design Art Deco, you need to know Art Deco. Here’s where you immerse yourself in Art Deco in the name of research. It’s tough work, but someone’s got to do it. Try some of these 5 ways to get inspired:
- There’s oodles of inspiration on-line. Try a Google Image Search or browse our Art Deco Inspiration Pinterest board which is full of lovely patterns and styles. This beautiful guide from the Victoria and Albert Museum is also a good starting point.
- Don’t just limit yourself to Art Deco jewellery. Take in art and architecture, furniture and fashion, too. The more familiar you are with the Art Deco look, the easier it will be to reproduce it in your own designs.
- Get offline. Visit the library or browse the Art section at your local bookshop. Try to spot Art Deco when you’re out and about too: old buildings such as museums, hotels and even train stations often have original Art Deco features.
- This is important: save the things you really love. After a while, you’ll start to see similarities in the designs that catch your eye, which you can then use to create your own.
- You can find lots of scannable Art Deco motifs in design books such as this one. The best bit is you can copy any of the motifs free of charge for personal use.
Take these, you’ll need them
Now you’re chock-full of inspiration, grab a pencil and some paper and start drawing. Don’t worry about being perfect. If you can draw basic shapes, you can design Art Deco!
To get a truly authentic Art Deco look, consider including some of these 7 key Art Deco elements in your design:
- Think geometrically. Squares, rectangles, triangles and polygons all played a big part in Art Deco.
- Choosing just one shape and reusing it in the same design works really well. You can try different sizes to add contrast or play with the layout to create strong patterns. Or use one shape to make other shapes, e.g. arrange triangles to make squares, rectangles or hexagons.
- Keep your design simple. Art Deco favoured clean lines and strong angles so avoid “frilly bits”. A few big design elements will look neater and more effective than lots of little ones.
- Perhaps the most important design element in Art Deco jewellery was symmetry. Mirror the left and right sides, or have two lines of symmetry - one horizontal, one vertical - for a squarer silhouette.
- Try using colour to create patterns in your design. Bold colours were a signature of the Art Deco period. Original Art Deco jewellery often featured rubies, sapphires or emeralds alongside diamonds.
- Give your ring a stepped look. Set a central diamond quite high on the ring and use smaller stones to “step” downward on either side of it.
- Think of the setting as part of the design. Use the metal to divide the stones with straight lines or sweeping curves. Many Art Deco rings packed the diamonds closely together within a thick frame, which also helped to make the stones look bigger.
Off the page and onto your finger
It’s time to get real. Now you've got an idea of what you want your engagement ring to look like, you can set about turning it into an actual, real-life, sparkling piece of gorgeousness. We can help you with this, by helping you to design your own jewellery. But you’re still the one calling the shots and choosing which gemstones and metal will go into making the final piece. Here are 4 things to consider:
- Decide what types of diamonds you’d like to use in your design. Squares can become Princess cuts or Asschers, rectangles turn into Emerald Cuts or baguettes, and Trilliums are triangles. Try to stick to just one or two different diamond shapes to prevent the ring looking messy.
- Go for step Cut diamonds such as Emerald and Asscher if you want to echo the sleek, clean lines of the period. Or opt for Brilliant cuts such as Princess and Trilliums if you’d like something sparklier and more glamorous.
- You can also express yourself through your choice of setting metal. Yellow gold evokes a feeling of warmth and brings a touch of old Hollywood. White gold and platinum are cool, sophisticated and dramatic.
- Finally, don’t stop at the engagement ring. Use elements of your unique design in your wedding rings, such as engraving them with matching geometrical patterns.
Designing your own Art Deco ring is a fantastic way to get an engagement ring that’s eye-catching, totally unique, and totally you.
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