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Topic: Polymer clay hand mirrors [tutorial added to first post]  (Read 30082 times)
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« on: April 06, 2007 06:11:22 PM »

Ok.  So I've made quite a few of these...but here are the most recent. 

This one is going in the bag I'm making for a bridal shower gift.  I'm one of the bridesmaids.  The blue color matches the bridesmaids dresses.

Here is the first one I tried with this blue pattern...but I put this silver powder on the raised parts.  I like the one above better.

And this one is my absolute favorite.  It is a honeycomb pattern that I used gold and transparent yellow for.  I think the really thin layer of yellow that I used on top really adds dimension.  And I like the 'bly' on the front.  It's a bly because it was supposed to be a bee...but somehow looks more like a fly.

Whatcha think?  If I get better at them I might try to sell them in a local boutique here.  Who knows.  Someone might want them.


Ok.  So I made 2 more last night and took pictures along the way for the 1st one.  I also did the imprinting for it...but it is a lot easier if you don't.  You can do it whichever way you want...but I'll show you the more complicated one. 

This is what I use...

I first condition the clay to make it soft and easy to work with.

From experience...I powder the mold lightly with baby powder to keep it from sticking and tearing the clay later.

I lay the transparent layer over the design(a very thin layer-as thin as I can get it on the pasta machine and then I pull at it a little to stretch it farther without tearing it) and position it where I want.  Do not push down.  Just let the clay sit on top.

Decide which other color you'd like and do the same as with the transparent clay...only leave it a little thicker.

After they are both positioned where you'd like them, go ahead and start pressing down.  You'll have to be careful because the powder will make it want to stick to your fingers and lift off the mold.  You can lightly powder your fingers or you can just be really careful to not let the clay move position.

Make sure to turn it over carefully after you've pressed it down fully to make sure there are no air bubbles.  This is the time to get them out if you made any.  If you see big bubbles take a toothpick or clay tool and poke a whole down to the mold.  Work the air out and then smooth out the hole.  You'll never know after it is baked.

Push down your mirror onto the clay and start to lift up the clay around the edges.  DO NOT LIFT THE CLAY FULLY.  Work your way around pressing lightly around the edges to make contact around the edge of the mirror.

This is what it should look like once you've made your way around.

Take your clay knife or razor and start cutting the clay away.  Move the knife from the outside of the clay toward the middle of the mirror as you cut.  This helps push the clay up against the side of the mirror.  Cut the clay flush with the mirror.

You may not have a template, but you can use another mirror for this step.  Roll your scrap clay...or whatever color...out into a piece big enough to fit on the mirror side of the mirror.  Cut out a circle.

Set the circle on top of the mirror and center it as much as possible.

Smooth the clay down onto the sides.  I just move back and forth with my finger lightly until there are no open seams.  Make sure not to push too much because the side of the mirror might peak through.  If this happens, just take a scrap of clay and smooth it down over the edge.  I have a tendency to push too hard.

With the mirror still pressed on the template, cut out a smaller circle of clay and carefully pull it off the mirror. 

Smooth down the cut edges so there is a nice circle.

VERY CAREFULLY lift the mirror off of the template once the mirror side is finished to your liking.  I find this easiest to turn the template upside down and bend the edges back working my way around the mirror.  This takes a little bit and is slow...but I haven't ripped my clay yet.  Also moving to quickly will create air bubbles under the clay.  If this happens, carefully make a cut at the edge of the mirror and move the air out.  You can easily smooth over the cut without disturbing the pattern.

This is the finished mirror before it is glazed.

This is after glazing.  I call this one the beefy mirror, because it looks like raw ground beef with hardened grease/fat on it.  Kinda gross, but kinda cool.  I don't eat beef by the way.  That is why it has the grossness.

This is my second one from last night.  This one was transparent purple with silver underneath.  I didn't get the purple thin enough, so the silver doesn't show through too much.

Sorry for this being soooo long.  Post pics if you try it!  I'd love to see!
« Last Edit: October 28, 2007 10:36:43 AM by mansonette » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007 06:25:44 PM »

those are really great! i love the honey bee one. absolutely adorable! did you happen to bake the clay with the mirror already in there or did you bake it and then put the mirror in later? anyways really fantastic job!

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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2007 06:29:17 PM »

Those are cool! Can I ask where you got the plain mirrors? Smiley
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007 06:29:47 PM »

those are really great! i love the honey bee one. absolutely adorable! did you happen to bake the clay with the mirror already in there or did you bake it and then put the mirror in later? anyways really fantastic job!

I put the clay all around the mirror and then bake it.  I bake it with the mirror side down setting on an empty soda can.  This way there are no shiny spots or weird marks from it baking directly on something.  Then when it cools I coat it in gloss air dry glaze.  I never worry about finger prints or weird spots on the mirror while baking, because a nice cleaning after baking will make it shiny and new.

Maybe I'll make a tutorial.  

I get the plain mirrors at the craft store usually where they have feathers and leather making supplies.  They come in a package of like 4 for a dollar or two.  It is a very cheap project.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2007 06:32:15 PM by mansonette » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007 06:33:17 PM »

Thanks! IMO, you could totally sell these.
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007 08:53:03 PM »

Great job.

I am such a goof. I actually expected a mirror made of polymer clay hands. I guess I am a bit morbid... Embarrassed
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2007 10:43:56 AM »

I love the blue one!
Great job!

« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2007 11:31:49 AM »

those are beautiful! yes please please please do a tute!
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2007 04:23:27 PM »

Thanks!  Smiley I would like to try this!

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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2007 04:50:49 PM »

Dudeeeeee those are the greatest frekaing mirrors i have ever seen. lol
I have been playing with sculpey on my vacation this week but now i must try this with the days i have left.

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