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11  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Polymer Clay Wreath: Shabby Chic Nautical Stars, WITH TUTE! on: November 29, 2012 12:30:56 PM
I needed a holiday wreath for our front door (fast), and the inspiration for this project hit me.
It's a bit of a quick-and-dirty, held together by a glue-gun-and-a-prayer kinda number, but I think it should do nicely for the next month or so!

The key ingredient for this project is a bunch of polymer clay stars. I made these for a craft fair I worked recently, and though a lot of them sold (yay!), I was still left with a TON of stars. With the holidays nearing, I figured I needed to put the stars to good use.

TO MAKE THE STARS: Roll out a sheet of white Sculpey (the cheaper stuff in the large package) on the thickest setting of pasta machine. Using a star shaped cookie cutter, cut out the star. Using the dull edge of a blade, lightly impress the edge onto the star to make the "nautical" pattern: point to opposite corner, with little "slashes" along one edge of the star. Then, distress with acrylic paint, powders, etc...sand for a nice finish, etc etc BAKE!

ALTERNATIVE: Unless you already have the stars made, making these stars turns this afternoon project into a bigger undertaking. Feel free to substitute polymer clay ornaments that you already have, or flat store bough ornaments. Anything flat will do.


Using a charger plate or other round object as a template, lay out the stars, making sure you have enough, and working out an order.

Then, working around the arrangement, hot glue gun each star to the next, stacking them in a scale-like arrangement:

Next, flip over the star wreath (which you will notice is somewhat flimsy; this is reasoning behind this next step), and glue gun some popsicle sticks around on the back. Place them in such a way that they anchor all stars to one another, and create a sort of supportive backing:

(confession: i hate the schlocky look of popsicle sticks here...i feel a subtle shame...but it was the quickest easiest way. colored popsicle sticks might give a nicer look:

Add a decorative bow using wire edged ribbon:

Proudly display your new wreath using a plastic wreath hanger:

NOTE: Polymer clay does not survive well when left in direct sun for long periods of time, even once it has been cured. Therefore: use a budget-friendly clay, and be prepared that this wreath may only be a one-season type deal. This is why using polymer ornaments you already have, or store bought flat ornaments, makes sense.

Questions: let me know!

12  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Polymer Clay Bracelet Display: Made Using Paper Towel Roll! TUTORIAL! on: November 19, 2012 06:50:30 PM
I was recently gearing up for a craft fair, and needed a fixture to display bangle-type bracelets. I find the fixtures sold at craft stores to be pricey, and I wanted something with a unique flair, so I built my own using a paper towel roll, a toilet paper roll, and scrap clay.

Here's the finished product:

Read on to learn how YOU can make one too!

1 paper towel roll, 1 toilet paper roll
scissors and tape
about 1/3 LARGE pkg of Sculpey (the white or terra cotta style--the cheaper stuff)
random scrap clay
clay softener (diluent)
liquid polymer clay or glue
acrylic paint
parchment paper work surface


First, cut the toilet paper roll so that it sits around the paper towel roll--you are cutting two half circles out of the toilet paper roll to accommodate the shape of the other roll--the picture makes it clearer than words!  Grin

Secure with tape once you've cut the shape:

Next, roll out some polymer clay sheets on the thickest setting of your pasta machine, or by hand (about 1/8 in thick). Apply a little glue or liquid clay to the paper rolls for grip, and start wrapping the sheets around the armature, working in neat edges. When you have to overlap a join, smooth with fingers:

As you work, use some Clay Softener ("diluent") on your finger to really smooth the joins...only use a DOT...it's greasy and it goes a long way:

****Once you have the T-shaped armature basically wrapped, BAKE your item as directed (u can underbake *slightly* as item will bake again once or twice more)*******BAKE!

After baking and cooling, you need to construct your base: I used scrap clay, and a little plastic "tray" thing that was part of some discarded packaging as a mold...u don't really need a mold tho, the shape of the base is just a thick rectangle:

Using a little liquid clay or glue to aid the strength of the piece, run glue around bottom of T-shaped piece, and press gently into the base you created--do NOT press all the way thru to the worksurface underneath...press 3/4 of the way down into the base.

Again using a bit of liquid clay or glue, cut circles of scrap clay and press onto outer ends of the T-shape; blend with your finger, making flush with the baked T:

Add any finishing touches: I rolled out a snake with tapered ends and wrapped that around the join between the T and the base: both for style and strength.

******BAKE entire display. After baking and cooling, paint with acrylic paint if desired, and then BAKE again for just a few minutes to heat-set the paint.

Here is your finished display:

And HERE it is being used a craft event! Yay!

Thanks for looking...message me with any questions!

13  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Why are Polymer Bangle Bracelets So Tricky?! 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?
14  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Polymer Clay on Canvas: Large Pet Portrait (with TUTE!) on: October 31, 2012 04:33:24 PM
Here is something I made for my first Craftster swap, the Wall Art Swap!!!
This is my handmade polymer clay pet portrait of my swap partner's departed kitty, Mason:

This was my largest polymer clay project to date, and involved teaching myself new techniques: how to mosaic, how to adhere poly clay onto canvas, etc.

Here's how I did it:

Start out with a reference of the pet you would like to immortalize:

Next, choose your canvas (this one was 11 x 14), and using a piece of paper of the same size, sketch the cat and then cut around the cat, creating a template. Trace off this template onto the canvas, giving yourself an outline of positive and negative space:

Now, you begin mosaic-ing around the cat, filling the negative space with clay tiles***
(***To create polymer clay "tiles":
--roll out sheets of polymer clay in several harmonious colors
--using a small square cookie cutter, cut out a few hundred squares
--you can even stamp letters in (some of these tiles say 'love')
--bake these tiles in advance; underbake *slightly* as they will bake a couple times during the project
--adhere using generous blobs of Liquid Sculpey as a glue):

Again using your paper template, roll out white polymer clay (the cheap large Sculpey blocks) on the thickest setting of a pasta machine, and cut out the main areas of the cat. work on parchment paper--much easier. ADHERE with Liquid Sculpey:

Fill a shot glass half way with mint green acrylic paint, and half way with water, to create a watery acrylic wash. Brush generously over the tiles. NOTE: You have now also adhered the large white areas of your design using Liquid Sculpey and pressing the white sections onto the canvas.

Create another watery acrylic wash, this time with black paint. Paint around border, and over the white clay areas of the cat. (NOTE: I had combed some texture and lines across the cat):

Create the cats eyes with flat sheets of polymer clay; paint over with acrylic. Paint all areas of the cat with acrylic paint (copper, white, black) and fine brush. Experiment. Use the back end of a paint brush to "dot" the cat's eyes with white shine--make it real, but no need to overwork.

Here's the finished piece, with some detail shots:

Thanks for looking; message me or reply with questions or if u need more detail direction!!!
15  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Found Object Earrings: Two Pieces of Litter, Destined to Become ART! on: October 21, 2012 06:45:28 PM
I had the most serendipitous walk this morning: along my route, I found two discarded pieces of rusty metal (a washer, and some kind of key) laying on the side of the road. There were no other pieces around, and the two objects went so well together, I KNEW they were meant to become earrings.

All I did was clean the objects, wrap each with copper wire, and attach an ear wire. Voila! Thanks for looking Smiley

16  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Polymer Clay Bride of Frankenstein Mask: Wearable, Vegan Materials, Handmade on: October 12, 2012 01:39:08 PM
Hey Fellow Halloween-ies!

If you're like me, you love campy old horror films. I am really into making polymer clay masks lately, and I made THIS one out of the excitement of gearing up for Halloween!!! I make my masks from polymer clay as a vegan alternative to leather--usually I do dramatic fantasy-type stuff, but this was more a pop art kitsch project for me!

Thanks for looking! Happy halloween!
17  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 79 ENTRIES / Hideous Freak Baby Into CUTE Franken Kitty: It's ALIVE!!! on: October 07, 2012 05:43:13 AM
Here is a picture of the finished piece: an adorable Franken Kitty:

And HERE is the Hideous Freak Baby ($2.99 from Goodwill) from which the Kitty was born:

Shield your eyes! It's HIDEOUS!!!


1) I started with the Freak Baby by breaking off its lower legs and entire arms:

2) From there, I covered it with foil and began covering it with rolled out sheets of white polymer clay (I use Sculpey), and shaping the clay with hands and tools to create the body:

3) After baking (I baked between almost each step), I added a wire and foil armature to create arms:

4) Then, I sculpted the arms and head and face, adding head pins as whiskers:

5) I began painting with acrylics. It was okay--but the stomach was too pink (made me think of babyish stuffed toys), so i went through several layers after this of different tones until i was right):

6) Finally, after much painting and detail work, I arrived at this:

7) I knew the eyes needed to be JUST RIGHT--so i created button eyes with polymer clay (even the "thread" is magenta clay):

Cool And here he is! The Franken Kitty:

Thanks for looking! Comment with any questions, and please vote for me! Or the kitty gets it... Wink
This kitty is my creation...it's...ALIVE!!!
18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Couture Earrings from Up-Cycled Rubber Seed Bead Packaging: With HOW-TO! on: October 04, 2012 03:25:55 AM
I am known for saving EVERYTHING--so when I first began making jewelry, I saved the black rubber loop-top "lids" and stoppers that came on sleeves of glass seed beads (see last photo if you are unsure what kind of packaging I mean). Then, last night, the craft muse struck, and I made several pairs of new earrings using this repurposed plastic, plus my own original polymer clay beads:

Here's HOW-TO:
-Next time you buy seed beads in the long cylindrical package, pop of the rubber top and bottom stoppers and reserve.
-Experiment with cutting into squares, strips, circles, or using the top mostly INTACT (as I did in first photo).
-Use Exacto knife or scissors. Scissors work once u break the pieces down, but exacto helps to take apart the oddly shaped "lid".
-Pierce through and run an eye pin through the stuff--EXPERIMENT!

Happy Crafting!
19  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Rockabilly Candy-Colored Skull Necklace: Polymer Clay on: September 25, 2012 02:10:39 PM
Created this necklace as a Halloween/birthday gift for my niece--she loves Monster High and other spooky stuff--colorful and funky skulls and stuff.

Made the polymer clay skulls out of Sculpey Pistachio clay, and make the other wrap beads and focal beads with more colors of Sculpey, glass seed bead spacers, and button-loop closure!

I am so happy with it, I am making MORE! Kind of rockabilly inspired!

Everything is cuter with a baby pumpkin:

Thanks for looking! Smiley
20  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Halloween: Cute Skull Stud Earrings: Polymer Clay on: September 25, 2012 01:32:05 PM
I am having so much fun making these as Halloween gifts for people. I make them out of polymer clay, forming a small ball of clay around a stud base, flattening, and then texturing to make these cute skulls.

Easy to make, and light to wear. Happy Halloween everyone!!! Smiley

Thanks for looking!!! Smiley
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