A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Curious if a project is for sale, or if someone wants to do a private swap with you?  Please Personal Message the member rather than posting on the thread.
Total Members: 300,876
Currently Running With Scissors:
550 Guests and 17 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Why are Polymer Bangle Bracelets So Tricky?!  (Read 5213 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
WingsOfClay
Tutorial Contributor

Offline Offline

Posts: 459
Joined: 20-Sep-2012

I Love Craftster Swaps!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« on: November 13, 2012 05:34:40 PM »

Hey clay pals...quick question/rant here:

After much experience using polymer to make jewelry (necklaces and earrings) and masks, I decided to try my hand at some polymer bangle bracelets.

Found a tutorial that looked easy: roll the polymer into snakes ("logs"), and wrap these around an empty seltzer can, sticking to two ends together.

I succeeded in making a few that are nice enough for ME to wear myself, but certainly not up to my standards to give as gifts or to sell (I am a real perfectionist when making stuff for others).

Here are some of the problems i had:
--blending the join between the two butted ends is almost impossible to do neatly!
--after wrapping on can, any attempts to texture, decorate, or even join the clay made it stretch bigger, becoming loose on the can
--with many bracelets on one can, there was the risk of bracelets shimmying down can during baking, and touching each other

So far, they DO seem sturdy (baked a couple times for extra hardness), but i feel that i have little control using this method.

any tips for making neat, easy polymer bangles? or cuff bracelets?
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Make it, thrift it, mend it, or make-do without it!
Diane B.
Offline Offline

Posts: 5061
Joined: 01-May-2004

GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012 11:42:45 AM »

There are lots of ways to make polymer clay bangles, even the solid, round or mostly-round ones, but I'm guessing you're just going for the basic very-round bangles that are baked on a cylindrical form.
Here are loads of examples of polymer clay bangles though:
https://www.google.com/images?q="polymer+clay"+bangle
https://www.google.com/search?q="polymer+clay"+bangle

Quote
--blending the join between the two butted ends is almost impossible to do neatly!

It's helpful to cut the ends at a slant rather than straight across, and then lightly press/wiggle and even stroke them lightly together to join the seam.  (If any smearing occurs, it can be sanded off later**.) You can do that with 2 ends by overlapping them side-by-side, then cutting through both at the same time (on an angle) with a long sharp blade; then joining. 

Even when joining clay rod ends that have been cut straight across, you can press them together a bit then pick up and gently roll the join between your fingers rather than just rolling it on your work surface. 
Also letting the clay parts sit together awhile (even overnight) will increase the strength of the bond by letting plasticizers from each end leach into the other end, or you can try putting a tad of liquid clay on one side or Diluent (now called Sculpey Clay Softener) tho best to let absorb a bit, or just rub each side gently to warm and soften a little.

The rest of any shaping is just kind of pressing or rolling around or on the surface, etc, till the join looks good and is the same diameter as the rest of the rod/bangle.

Or you can do what some clayers do which is just to put another bit of clay around the join so the seam won't show at all. You'll see some instances of that in the links above.

Quote
--after wrapping on can, any attempts to texture, decorate, or even join the clay made it stretch bigger, becoming loose on the can

Texturing and embellishing the clay is often done before making it into a circle and baking. 
Those things can also be done on the form (cylinder, rod) but if you're using a soft clay (Sculpey III, Craftsmart, or even FimoSoft especially) they'll more easily distort and stretch and especially if warm..those first 2 shouldn't be used for bangles at all though since they're weak after baking in any thin areas and bangles are "thin".

If you want to do those things while the clay is on the form, make sure to use a form that's rigid (not like a toilet paper tube or even empty aluminum soda can--maybe a stiffer metal like a regular food can, or fill your soda can with water--it can be baked with the water), and also perhaps even smooth (like metal, etc) so that the clay will tend to stick to it and not stretch as long as your texturing/etc is applied straight down (and gently).

Quote
--with many bracelets on one can, there was the risk of bracelets shimmying down can during baking, and touching each other

If you want to bake more than one bangle at a time, you could use more than one can (preferably a stiff-metal can) or that one can could be cut into segments. 

You could also lay the can down while baking (preferably on a nest of polyester fiberfill or pile of baking soda to retain the bottom clay's shape while it bakes--and softens), or you could make some kind of horizontal rod or cording it could hang through while baking.

You could also put something between the bangles on the can, but nothing that would leave an impression when the clay softens during baking --perhaps a strip of polyester batting, or a tissue or piece of cotton fabric folded-over to make a strip, or something else.

Quote
So far, they DO seem sturdy (baked a couple times for extra hardness), but i feel that i have little control using this method.

Baking any polymer clay longer will polymerize it more and more and therefore make it stronger (though more likely to darken if not protected***), but it's also important to use brands/lines of polymer clay that will be strong enough after baking when they're used for "thin" items like this.  So as mentioned above, Sculpey III is not a good choice even though it will feel "harder" than the strong brands; Kato Polyclay and FimoClassic will be strongest, followed by Premo and Cernit.  FimoSoft is not quite as strong.

(Not sure what you mean in this sentence by having "little control using this method.")

You might want to look into the other ways of making bangles with polymer clay, which include all kinds of methods like making the bracelet in two parts with a hole or channel running inside each one, then using elastic or two elastics through them both; making the bracelets over a pre-baked polymer core, or over a non-clay armature of some kind; making the bangle flat on the inside; etc.

Here are a few tutorials for the simple round-solid ones I just ran across:
http://www.ericabunker.com/2011/07/diy-clay-bangles.html
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=386183.0;all
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=403419.msg4746725#msg4746725
more of maxevv's bangles (scroll and click through the pages):
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=185541;sa=showImages
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49820850@N03/sets/72157623980119666/with/4573176231

And you can get lots of info on making bangles in all kinds of ways as well as other polymer clay bracelets, if you're interested, on this page of my site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/jewelry.htm ...for the type you're doing, click especially on "Cuffs" under the Bracelet category (though unfortunately many of the actual links have been broken by their owners)

** http://glassattic.com/polymer/sanding_tumbling.htm
http://glassattic.com/polymer/buffing.htm
*** http://glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm (click especially on "Darkening, Scorching")

HTH
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012 11:55:52 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
WingsOfClay
Tutorial Contributor

Offline Offline

Posts: 459
Joined: 20-Sep-2012

I Love Craftster Swaps!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012 02:07:43 PM »

WOW--thank you SOOOO much for such a detailed response: tons of links, tons of tips, and you addressed my points individually! that's why i LOVE craftster: such a supportive and helpful community of crafters

i was back at the bangles today, with much more luck Smiley

ironically, tho i had not read your reply yet, i began implementing many of these ideas today...
--formed bangles around a cookie cutter rather than can. worked better for me.
--stroked seam diagonally, rolled around to smooth, let sit to enhance bond
--I always use Premo! and find it sturdy as u say...want to use Fimo, but i find it so damn crumbly out of package, needs about 4 or 5 times the conditioning than Premo...lots of work!

--baking bangles a couple times, each baking strengthens.
exploring designs and such...

will keep going--pictures soon Smiley
again, THANKS!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Make it, thrift it, mend it, or make-do without it!
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
How to Draw the Graffiti Letter G
How to Draw the Graffiti Letter H
How to Draw the Graffiti Letter I
How to Draw the Graffiti Letter J
How to Draw the Graffiti Letter L
Latest Blog Articles
Meatless Monday: Super Easy Peppermint Bark
Handmade Gift Ideas: Grey & Plum Button Wreath
Handmade Gift Ideas: Hippogriff

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.