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!

39629913_10212365933968877_5404899618242691072_o.jpg

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!

Advertisements

Stamping Fun with Clay, Inks, Stitching & Paint! Stamp School!

Hi friends! I love to grab different supplies to use in my cardmaking. You can incorporate almost any other craft or hobby into your next card making session. Do you like to use polymer clay? Do you like to sew? Paint? By looking at the supplies you already have for other crafts you can stretch your supplies and come up with some truly unique and beautiful cards!

love_blooms_card_lweirich

In today’s video I’ll show you how to combine stamps and clay, make a cute fence without a die and hand stitch on cards. We will also use paint and ink! I hope you give one of these techniques a try in your next card!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  Use coupon code: FRUGALJULY17 – 10% off everything in the store. Coupon expires July 31, 2017. Become a Peg Stamp VIP & get an instant coupon for 20% off RST stamps here plus the deepest weekly discounts available! Offer expires July 31, 2017.

Supplies:

Directions for flowers:
Before you begin get your clay roses made. If you are using air dry clay make the roses the day before.
1. Condition clay and roll into pea size balls. Flatten.
2. Ink up rose stamps with pigment ink and stamp on the clay disks.
3. Bake according to package directions.
4. You can also paint the roses later if you like!

Card Directions:
1. Make a 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″card base from kraft. From white card trim a 4″x 5 1/4″ panel and make six 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ strips and two 1/8″ x 4 1/4″ strips. Die cut or tear 2 grass strips from green and punch or hand cut a scalloped oval from any color scrap.

2. Ink the white panel with blue using the scallop oval as a cloud mask then ink the bottom with green. Protect the top part of the panel with a post-it note! Spritz with water if using distress oxide ink for a fun effect!

3. Trim the fence strips so they have points at the top and ink with a blending brush and brown and grey ink. Ink edges with a sponge.

4. Assemble the fence directly on the card. Stamp rose vines over the fence. Glue grass at the bottom.

5. Poke stitching holes with a needle tool or tack on a foam pad. Back-stitch i the holes with green thread.

6. Glue roses on card. You can stamp a sentiment and add a bird like I did if you like!

I had a lot of fun making this card and I love how it turned out! Would you use any of these techniques on a card? Let me know in the comments below and it you liked this project please consider sharing it on your favorite social network using the handy buttons below! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Clay Play Day! Tips for Beautiful Beads and Stamped Pendants (with and without fancy tools!)

Hi there! We have had some stunning days in Maine this week. It was so nice outside I brought my clay supplies into the back yard and made some beads and pendants for jewelry:

blog_clay1

Watch the video for full instruction as well as tips for making these beads and pendants with or without tools. I will also post tips below the video for your convenience. If YOU have any polymer clay tips to share please leave a comment!

Video!

Today I am using stamps from our sponsor Rubber Stamp Tapestry Use coupon code BEACH16 for 15% off any order of $10 or more through May 21, 2016

Supplies:
Polymer Clay: Sculpey 3
Ink: Versafine (any pigment ink is fine)
Stamps: Rubber Stamp Tapestry : Starfish and shells, Crab SmallCrab, Sea Turtle Mama, Compass or you can check out all of the nautical stamps they offer.
Jewelry findings: earring hooks, earring posts, headpins, eyepins, jump rings, beaded chain, clasp
Tools: pliers, oven, needle tool, potters scraper or palette knife

SAM_0025

Clay Tips!

  • Condition the clay by kneading it well before use, or the beads will be brittle.
  • Remove rings before working with clay so you won’t have to clean off the residue later.
  • Sculpey 3 is good for chunky beads like we made today, it is also easier to conditions BUT if you are making thinner items use Premo or Fimo as they are more durable.
  • Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is accurate, otherwise you might burn your clay.
  • Use a timer so you don’t over bake the clay (your smart phone has a timer on it!)
  • Use pigment ink, chalk or mica powder on raw clay and it will become permanent when you bake it.
  • Use an acrylic based sealer if you wish to seal your clay after baking. Oil based spray sealer or nail polish my make your clay sticky down the road.
  • Rough edges can be sanded and holes may be drilled after baking if desired.
  • Avoid mail ordering polymer clay in the summer as the clay can get “Truck baked” if it gets hot. Most big box craft stores sell polymer clay and it often goes on sale for 88 cents a brick. Those sales keep stock fresh and fresh clay is easier to use.
  • And the most important tip is to have fun!

SAM_0026

This was a lot of fun! I like to make extra beads when I have my clay out to use on future projects. I hope you try this and let me know how it turns out. If you have never used clay before you can get a pack of 30 colors of 2 oz blocks of clay at any big box craft store for about $25 (or less with a coupon) that is a great way to get started and then pick up the 4 oz block in the colors you run out of when they are on sale. If you think your friends would like to try this project feel free to share it using the handy-dandy sharing buttons below, I sure do appreciate you spreading the love! Thanks for stopping by ad til next time happy crafting!

SAM_0017

Clay Play! (DIY Ring Dishes)

These little dishes can sit on the window sill and keep your rings safe when you wash the dishes and they are so easy to make!

SAM_4279

I used supplies from the October Smart Art box. If you are looking for a gift for an artist (or yourself) you might want to give these a look. Every month you get an ample box full of supplies to try a new kind of art. I have been receiving these boxes for a few months now and they never disappoint! I have been sent other monthly art club boxes in the past but this was the only one I would allow as a sponsor because it is the only one I felt had a good value of what you get compared to what you pay. You can see past boxes on their website if you want a better idea. The boxes are a surprise, you never know what you are going to get but that is also part of the fun!

Supplies:
Polymer Clay-Super Sculpey-firm
Molding Tools

Other supplies:
Toaster oven
Craft mat or waxed paper
Acrylic paint and varnish (Liquatex paint and Minwax polycrylic)

Directions:
1. Condition clay.
2. Shape into dishes.
3. Press leaves in clay.
4. Bake at 275 F for 15 minutes. Let cool.
5. Paint and varnish.

This is a fun thoughtful gift to make. Please visit our sponsor Smart Art to learn more about their monthly  art boxes or to subscribe today! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

What YEAR is it anyway?

Hi friends! Yesterday I made a bunch of clay ornaments to use as gift tags on Christmas presents and I left all of my supplies out so my kids could make some if they wanted today. Well, my girls took one look at the ornaments and said “Mom, what does that say 2015?” To which I replied “Because that is this year.” The girls looked at each other and said “No it’s not!” I guess I am just ahead for next year! LOL!

flakeblog1

Luckily I only stamped the date on one ornament! Working with polymer clay is really fun. There are some pitfalls I want to help you avoid though. There are different kinds of polymer clay and they all have a purpose. I thought about making this video really short and showing only the step by step (that seems to be the popular thing to do among YouTube crafters) but I really wanted to explain a little more in-depth so you can avoid making brittle ornaments or burning your clay. Maybe it is over explaining, what do you think? You can let me know in the comments below. 😀

Supplies:
polymer clay
stamps
ink (pigment-metallic looks really pretty!)
plastic wrap
rolling-pin or pasta machine
oven
needle tool, pin or straw
cookie cutter
mica powder (optional)

Directions (these are brief since I explained so much in the video):
Condition the clay be kneading or rolling through the pasta machine several times. Flatten the clay and place plastic wrap on top, cut with a cookie cutter. Remove plastic wrap and excess clay. Make a hole for the ribbon. Dust with mica powder if desired. Stamp snowflake with pigment ink. Bake according to package instructions. After cool, add ribbon for hanging.

I also wanted to give you some more info on the 2014 holiday lights contest sponsored by USA Today:

You can enter the USA TODAY contest by uploading a photo of your own holiday lights display here The winner of this photo contest gets a $5,000 gift card from USA TODAY!

It does not matter how big or small, they want to see ALL of your best holiday light displays! Don’t wait, you have until 12/10/14 to enter!

On the 12th you can vote for your favorite out of the 10 finalists! 2 voters will win $1000 and $1500 gift cards from USA Today! Voting begins here on 12/12/14

Good luck to all who enter and vote! Winner will be announced on 12/22/14

flakeblog2

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Easy Clay Embellishments!

Howdy folks! I hope your Monday is going well. Mine is! Remember the kitchen floor DIY job I dived into and completely botched back in May?  (If not you can read about it here.)  Well today I called in the professionals and I have a wicked sharp (pronounced “wikid shaaap” for those of you not in Maine) black and white checkered floor. It is totally 50’s diner and I love it. I’ll share a pic once I wipe down my white cabinets (which look infinitely grosser next to the new floor.) 😀 Just keepin’ it real folks. While the floor guys worked their magic I worked mine in my studio. i made some clay embellishments, it is totally easy, have a look. OK, in all honesty this video should only tale 30 seconds but I offer a lot of beginner tips, do’s and don’ts and what-have-yous.

Easy huh? Condition, smoosh, stamp, bake. I guess I didn’t need to make that video huh? Hey, be sure to check back tomorrow, i have a stamp set giveaway and a project using the clay embellishments. Til then happy crafting!

WOYWW: Tutorial-Cheap Flexible Molds!

Happy Wednesday folks! well, this week we have gone from 2 degrees to 50! You know what they say about the weather in Maine, if you don’t like it wait 5 minutes LOL! This week my desk is littered with clay, glass, stencils and moulds…why am I telling you this? because it is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday (or WOYWW for short) before I show you my desk here are some molds I made from Sculpy Bake and Bend Clay, it s way cheaper than using the Ranger 2 part molding stuff, I made a video to show you how at the end of this post:

DCF 1.0

And here is my desk, I am a skitzo crafter today, making stencils and molds…I think I like making supplies more than creating with them LOL!

DCF 1.0

And just in case you think I don’t support the crafting economy check out my yummy new glass I just ordered from Devardi glass. I sorted it in a bill organizer I picked up a few years ago at goodwill for $2. It is perfect for the glass rods. I hope to try out this glass later today, since my toaster oven is out for clay anyway I think I will use it as a rod warmer (don’t worry, I won’t burn my hands off!) since the Devardi glass (which is dirt cheap BTW) might be a little shocky so I want to bring it up to temp before I put it in the flame, my studio is really cold so thermal shock might happen…I’ll let you know how it all turns out 🙂

DCF 1.0

And now my super cheap flexible mold tutorial. I used Bake and Bend clay which I bought on sale for $5 a pack of six 1 oz bricks but regular prices is $7 so still way cheaper than the two-part epoxy mold maker. What I really love is that it does not cure till you heat it so there is no waste. With the 2 part stuff you have to use it or lose it! You can even press the clay to textured surfaces and make rubber stamps!

I thought of another tip when working with clay: Remove your nail polish first because the clay will make it all freaky and gross:) Oh and the scrap clay rigid mold tutorial (which is like making them for free-love that!) is here.  Well, that’s it! I am going to brew a pot of coffee and head over to the Stamping Ground and check out other WOYWW crafty desks, won’t you join me? Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

%d bloggers like this: