All Photographs by Eric Cator
Polymer clay, also known by the brand names Sculpey and Fimo, is surprisingly easy to work with. Once you get used to working with polymer clay you can make anything from highly detailed miniatures to pretty beads, and it’s incredibly addictive. Here’s a little tutorial for making pendants for necklaces or ornaments for your tree. The process is so simple and quick, so these make fantastic last minute gifts.
buttons, stamps, bits of metal (anything that you think might make an interesting texture.)
Old baking sheet
sharp knife or cookie cutters
necklace chain, ribbon or string
plastic table cover
Step One: Set up your workspace
Polymer clay is made of synthetic materials which makes it easy to manipulate and gives it a smooth texture. It is not food safe though, so when choosing your tools it’s best to use items that won’t be used to serve or prepare food afterwards. Protect your work surface with plastic sheeting, and line your baking sheet with foil and set that aside.
Step Two: Knead Clay and Roll Dough
Take a lump of sculpey and using your hands massage it until it becomes flexible. Sculpey can be hard to squish but the heat from your hands will quickly soften it. Roll the softened dough to desired thickness. I did mine about a quarter inch thick. If you roll it too thin the finished piece can be fragile, too thick and it might be too heavy.
Step Three: Cut Out Shapes and Add Textures
Using a sharp knife or cookie cutters cut out pendant shapes. Using a spare scrap of clay try pressing your various texture objects into the clay to get a sense of the effect they will create. When you find something you are happy with use the object/stamp etc. to make patterns on your pendant.
Step Four: Poke Holes and Transfer to Baking Sheet
Using a wooden skewer poke holes in the tops of your pendants and carefully transfer them to your foil lined baking sheet.
Step Five: Bake
Follow the directions on the sculpey package for baking. I recommend keeping an eye on your creations while they are in the oven. Thin objects have a tendency to discolour if they get too hot. When they are finished baking remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Step Six: Paint and Decorate
Using paints, crystals, beads or anything else you like decorate your pendants. Mine are going to the tween girls on my gift list so I picked colours suitable for them. When the paint is dry thread the pendants on ribbons, chains or strings.
Voila, a collection of homemade gifts to package up and give.
Happy Friday Everyone!