Cute Polymer Clay Chopstick (or Brush) Rests!

Howdy friends! Today I have a fun polymer clay project that you can make for yourself or for a gift!

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These whimsical chopstick rests would look so charming on your dinner table. These are made to keep your chopsticks clean during dinner when you are using them rather than laying them on the table. I guess they keep the table clean too! You can also use them to rest your watercolor brush when you paint, it will keep your table clean and stop your brush from rolling away. It will also give your brush a better way to dry than tip up in a cup (but for the record I think it’s fine to dry your brushes tip up in a cup and I have never had any damage from that.

Video!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

Polymer Clay Pointers!

  1. ALWAYS condition any polymer clay before use by kneading in your hands until it is soft and pliable or cranking it through a pasta machine about 20 times. *If it is warm I can usually do this by hand but during the winter in my cool craft room I need the pasta machine. If you have arthritis and you want to do clay I strongly urge you to get one, the basic ones are cheap (this one is $16) or keep an eye out at yard sales. You do not need any bells and whistles, it just needs to crank clay through. Start at the thickest setting and send the clay through a few times folding it in half as you can and keep going thinner and thinner until you can crank it through without it cracking and then you can knead it into a soft smooth ball by hand. If you skip this set your clay will be brittle after it is baked.
  2. Wash your hands when switching from a dark to light color to avoid dirtying the light clay.
  3. When in doubt bake clay at a lower temp for longer. You may be mixing clays and see one brand has you bake your clay at 260 for 30 minutes and another say 275 for 15 minutes. Always go low and slow. If you are not sure if your oven’s temperature is correct bake the clay 10 degrees less and add about 5 minutes of baking time. If you cook your clay at too high a temp it will discolor. If that happens you can paint it though.
  4. Clay will be a bit bendy when it is hot and just out of the oven, that’s fine, let it cool and it will harden.
  5. However…Fine art clays (like Premo by sculpey) remain a bit flexible which is good for thin jewelry pieces so they don’t snap. These finer clays are harder to condition though so I choose softer clay like Sculpey 3. This Arteza clay is between the two. If you plan to roll out clay thinner than 1/8″ I highly recommend using Sculpey Premo as it will flex instead of break when cured.
  6. Don’t store clay in a hot car (not even while you run errands) on a windowsill or near a heater or store or it could cure in the package and be ruined.
  7. Remove your rings before working with clay as it can leave a film on them. It can also wreak a manicure so I’d wait to polish your nails until after claying:)
  8. If you want a shiny clay creation you can vanish it but you need to be careful what you use. Clear nail polish and oil based spray paint can turn sticky after a while and ruin your hard work. I like Future Floor Wax but it is difficult to find nowadays but any light acrylic (water based) sealer will do the trick.
  9. If you want to tint the clay while it is raw you can use pigment inks (you can even stamp on it!) or brush on chalk or mica powder. Baking will seal the ink or chalk to the surface.

Clay is such a versatile medium and fun for all ages! I really love the gift making potential too! You can make jewelry, ornaments, figurines and of course chopstick rests! I hope you give polymer clay a try and til next time happy crafting!

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