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:

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

Stamped Clay Jewelry

OK, I have to admit polymer clay is not the first art material I choose to use on a regular basis, but my kids love it so of course I get it out from time to time and while they are making dinosaurs, monsters and germs (yes, I said germs, I have a 6 year old boy you know) I take time to make some jewelry.

Stamps: About Art Accents, Clay: Premo (Sculpey), Paint: M. Graham
Stamps: About Art Accents, Clay: Premo (Sculpey), Paint: M. Graham

Brooches are my fave to make because the sky is the limit, it’s like a mini collage with a pin on the back! Here I rolled out Premo Ecru clay and trimmed it with a needle tool (you may want to use an X-Acto knife but I don’t like to have them at the table if my kids are crafting there too), then I placed the cut shape on a 1/8″ slab of Premo Black and trimmed the black leaving an 1/8″ border and finally I stamped my Geisha from About Art Accents on it with black pigment based ink (versacolor). I baked the clay per package instructions. After it was baked I painted it with M. Graham & Co. acrylics. The colors are intense but still transparent so my stamped art shows through. And I added silk flowers sequins, beads, cons and metallic thread because I wanted to, that’s why 😉

Stamp: About Art Accents, Paint: M. Graham, Clay: Premo (Sculpey)
Stamp: About Art Accents, Paint: M. Graham, Clay: Premo (Sculpey)

I also made a couple of pendants in the same manner although I used a ball end stylus to make dots around the center stamped image then I filled them with paper-glaze and clear microbeads. I had intended this to be a mother’s day gift but I think I will give them to my daughters instead…maybe I can make a germ lariat for my son 🙂

Design By Lindsay Weirich, Stamps: About Art Accents, Clay: Premo, Paint M. Grahm Acrylic mixed with a bit of paper glaze and pearl ex
Design By Lindsay Weirich, Stamps: About Art Accents, Clay: Premo, Paint M. Grahm Acrylic mixed with a bit of paper glaze and pearl ex
Sorry about the glare in this pic, the pearl-ex adds a lovely shimmer but makes it hard to photograph:)
Sorry about the glare in this pic, the pearl-ex adds a lovely shimmer but makes it hard to photograph:)

Polymer clay tips: Always condition you clay before using even if it feels soft. You can do this by kneading it in you hands for a few minutes (if your hand are warm this works great) but I use a clay dedicated pasta machine to do it. They go on sale for $10 a a lot at Jo Anns.

Sculpey 3 is easier to knead and comes in fun bright colors. It is fine for beads and for the kids to use but Premo is much stronger and if you are making things that are going to be rolled thin and require durability go with Premo.

Check out yard sales and thrift shops for a toaster oven to bake your clay in to keep the toxic fumes out of your home oven (unless you really want to clean your oven every time you do a clay project…yup, I have a toaster oven:) And bake your projects on index cards or a clay dedicated pan.

My kids made these creatures using Sculpey 3 clay, I'm a proud momma!
My kids made these creatures using Sculpey 3 clay, I'm a proud momma!

Thanks for stopping by and until tomorrow happy crafting!