Nov 292016
 

These snowflakes are a relaxing project to do with older children or with friends, but they’re also kind of nice to work on by yourself! It was fun digging through all of my small shape cutters and finding different combinations that would work to make interesting designs.

I love to hang these on my windows with suction cup hooks and very fine gold thread. If the light shines on them they sparkle, and if they’re back-lit the silhouettes are pretty.

snowflake ornaments cover

Here’s another tip: If you’re going to make spirals or scrolls, make one first, then gently unroll it and measure it. Cut five more clay pieces to that length and they all should end up being the same size.

If any of the shaped bits fall off after baking, which may happen since they are so small, just use a little dab of super glue to stick them back into place.

Also, I didn’t mention it in the video, but if you use a mat like mine with the blue printed lines, make sure to design your snowflake on the side without lines. You may have noticed in the video when I flipped one of my snowflakes over that it had blue marks on it. My lines came right off onto the clay, oops!

snowflake ornaments 2

There are so many different combinations that you can make, the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget that you can also brush portions or the entirety of your snowflakes with mica powders. Perfect Pearl would be a great color, or perhaps a pale blue like Interference Blue would be pretty. You could even cover these with flocking powder after baking for a really interesting look. Have fun creating and designing!

Tools and Materials:

If you like making snowflakes out of polymer clay, here are a couple other tutorials with very different methods:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Sparkling Snowflakes-Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments Series-2016 video at YouTube.

Nov 222016
 

gingerbread cuties cover

Last year in the weeks before Christmas I did a five week series of polymer clay Christmas charms making a really cute polymer clay charm bracelet. If you missed it click the link to watch the 2015 Christmas Charms YouTube playlist.

This year I decided instead of making charms I would make ornaments, The first of which is this cute little gingerbread man. These were so much fun to make that I couldn’t stop at just one! I kept thinking of new and different ideas and things to add. I didn’t have time to do all of my ideas which included giving them festive striped scarves, Santa hats or chefs toques. How about a baking pan with cookies on it? Kind of ironic, but still funny and cute.

gingerbread cuties candy cane

I got a wonderful note back from Sculpey regarding the problem with the icing cracking. Here’s what they had to say:

I think it is because you are baking the pearl squiggles on the ceramic tile for 15 minutes at 275°F is the issue.  I don’t think you are getting full fusion of the liquid Sculpey because of the ceramic tile.  We have noticed that when baking items on glass or ceramic, the glass or ceramic takes a long time to heat up versus using other baking surfaces like metal or paper. 

The ceramic tile probably takes a good 10 minutes or more to heat up to the 275F, so really the Liquid Sculpey side that is on the ceramic tile is not getting baked properly and is really only baking at 275F for 5 minutes or less at 275F.  I think this is causing the breakage.  Since you are bending the squiggles to put them on the cute gingerbread figures, if the piece is not fused properly, it will break.

You should try baking the pearl squiggles for longer – 30 minutes at 275Fand see if that helps. 

Keep increasing the time by 5 minutes until you get the pieces to not break.  Or you might have to bake the squiggles at slightly higher temperature to get full fusion.  

I am sure you are doing this – but use or recommend that your viewers use an oven thermometer on the inside of your oven to make sure that the oven is accurate.

That’s such great info! I never thought about having to heat up the tile first, before the clay even starts baking, but it makes sense.

icing it

cartoon by Dave Coverly

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is how to turn them into hanging ornaments. Once you have baked your ornaments you just want to find the center of balance so that they will hang the way you want and then gently screw in a screw eye, starting the hole first with an awl. Once the screw eye is in, back it out, add a drop of super glue and then screw it back in. Add a ribbon and you have an ornament for your tree.

gingerbread cuties lights

Tools & Materials:

gingerbread cuties bowl & spoon

Those of you who are my patrons can click here to find your bonus video showing how to make the gingerbread girl’s dress, collar, sleeves, mixing bowl and spoon.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Gingerbread Cuties-Polymer Clay Christmas Ornaments Series-2016 at YouTube.

Nov 042016
 

ff crafty findings

Today I have for you a rather different type of video that I usually do. I was looking around my craft table and studio and realized I had a lot of bits and pieces that I’ve been gathering for future projects. In fact as I’m putting together this blog post I realize there are several more things that I didn’t include in this video. Lots going on!

I’ll leave it up to you to let me know in the comments if you like this type of video and would like more like it or if you prefer that I just stick to tutorials. 🙂

lamppost beauty 2

Here’s a better view of the fairy garden lamppost that’s featured in the latest Polymer Café magazine. This tutorial was a fun one to put together. I  made two variations, including one you can stick into the ground in your garden and it won’t topple over.

lamppost lights out

What I didn’t mention is that the flowers are made out of glow-in-the-dark clay. I just love turning off the lights and admiring them. 🙂

Here are links to the things I could find links for. Let me know which you found interesting and helpful.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Random Crafty Findings video at YouTube.

Nov 022016
 

garden fairy house -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I have a new tutorial available! It’s for how to make this cute little fairy garden house. This is a downloadable PDF tutorial.

garden fairy house, creating faux stones -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

The tutorial is nearly 20 pages long with plenty of full color photos and detailed step-by-step directions. I show you how to make these realistic looking faux stones, how to texture the leaves and make a real leaf-like roof, plus how to construct and put the whole thing together.

garden fairy house, applying shingles -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

There’s also an adorable bonus coloring page at the end. It’s a fairy garden house, of course. 🙂

garden fairy house, flower details -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

There are so may details that bring this charming little house to life: vines, leaves and flowers twining over the roof, a touch of gilding and a paint technique that totally makes your faux stones look real!

garden fairy house -Sandy Huntress Keepsake Crafts.net, http://craftartedu.com/dt-fairy-garden-house-with-sandy-huntress

So if you like fairy gardens, or you know someone who would like one as a gift, check out the downloadable Fairy Garden House tutorial at CraftArtEdu.

Let me know what you think!

I also put together a video preview of the class:

Watch the Fairy Garden House Polymer Clay Tutorial video at YouTube.

Happy creating!

Oct 112016
 

This week I have for you part two in making this cute autumn themed candle holder.

autumn silhouette owl

It was really fun going through my selection of small cutters and finding ways to combine the shapes to make just what I needed. I spent quite a bit of time trying to cut out the triangle eyes and nose from the pumpkin with the craft knife before I realized that the heart cutter would work perfectly.

autumn silhouette pumpkin

My favorite section of this candleholder is the cat, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those of you who know me. I doubt that you have ever seen me put a dog on any of my projects, but I do love the kitty cats!

autumn silhouette cat

Don’t ever be afraid to try using things in new and unexpected ways. 🙂

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Silhouettes Candle Holder Part 2-Polymer Clay Tutorial at YouTube.

Oct 042016
 

autumn silhouette cat

Here’s a fun fall project for you without anything ghoulish or gory, just cuteness!

I’ve always been fascinated by silhouette designs and thought it would be fun to create a candle holder with the silhouettes as the primary focus.

For the candle holder I used a stemless wine glass. You could also reuse one of those jar candles, or even make a small version on a votive holder.

autumn silhouette pumpkin

My favorite thing about this piece is how the cut-out eyes glow in the candlelight. Later I may add a dab of yellow or orange alcohol ink inside the eyes to make them really stand out.

In the video I show how to use basic Kemper cutter shapes to create more complex shapes. If your clay is being difficult to cut, you might want to flatten and shape your heads, then let the clay sit for a while. It will be easier to cut after a rest of an hour or so.

autumn silhouette owl

I also show how you can create texture using unexpected tools like those for leather, wax or dentistry.

Keep in mind that you can certainly use colored clay, the silhouettes will still be there when the candle is lit. I’m toying with the idea of accenting my textures with some Gilders paste. If I do, I’ll be sure to share a photo.

Don’t be afraid of the long list of tools, once you have them you’ll find many different uses!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Autumn Silhouettes Candle Holder-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Aug 192016
 

ff gilder's paste

Gilders paste is one of those things that I fell in love with the instant I first tried it. If any of you read Polymer Café magazine and have seen my Fairy Garden Accessories series in the past few issues you might have noticed that I use Gilders Paste in all of them.

It adds just a subtle touch of glitz and is so easy to apply. But you don’t only have to use metallics, Gilders Pastes come in a whole range of colors.

gilders paste chart

As I mentioned in the video there are several more colors that I want to acquire, and you might be surprised at which ones you end up reaching for again and again. The chart above shows the 28 colors currently available.

Tools and materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Friday Findings-Gilders Paste video at YouTube

Jul 082016
 

ff pebeos

If you haven’t yet seen the Pebeo paints and their amazing surface effects, you are in for a a treat!

I’ve only begun to experiment and play with them, but in this video I share what I’ve learned and discovered about what works, what doesn’t and how to clean up easily.

elise smith

pebeo cabochons by Elise Smith

As you can see from the above photo, other artists have managed to get wonderful results with these fun paints. Check out Elise Smith’s Facebook photos for other examples of what she’s done.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is the drying time. Depending on the thickness of the application these take anywhere from 6 to 72 hours before they are completely dry, so patience and a safe place to keep them while waiting is required. 🙂

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Pebeo Prisme Fantasy Paints Intro Video-Friday Findings at YouTube.

Jun 152016
 

wildflower votive

Today’s video is the fourth and final in our polymer clay Wildflower Candle Holder series. Have you enjoyed learning how to make these different flowers and foliage?  I’d be interested to know your favorites or if there were any you found too hard.

Making leaves with real leaf texture is one of my favorite techniques, because it’s so easy, but so effective.

By the way, I didn’t think to mention it in the video, but it’s a good idea after baking to gently peel the taller flowers and leaves off the vase and secure them down with a few tiny dabs of super glue.

I would recommend washing the outside of your candle holder by rinsing gently under running water. Or dust it with a soft brush. Any kind of wiping with a cloth may break off pieces. But if things do break off, super glue is your friend. 🙂

If you make anything using these tutorials, please send me your project photos. I’d love to see them!

Tools & Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Wildflower Candle Holder Part 4-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube.

Link to the Wildflower Candle Holder -Polymer Clay Tutorial playlist of all four videos.

Jun 012016
 

wildflower votive

Today’s video is the second in a series on how to make this floral votive candle holder. Of course, as I keep saying, you can use these techniques to decorate just about anything you like: pendants, boxes, cuff bracelets, wine glasses… anything that will sit still long enough and can go into a 275° oven.

I absolutely love how this week’s two flowers came out. The salvia/larkspur type flowers are so simple to make, yet have such a realistic effect. After I made my first one I just sat back and said, “Ooooo, pretty!”

The tall phlox flowers are easy, but they take a bit more time. If you did them in reds and changed the shapes of the leaves you’d have quite convincing geraniums. I’m sure there are lots of different kind of flowers with this basic shape that you could adapt this technique to.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating.

Watch the Wildflower Candle Holder Part 2-Polymer Clay Video Tutorial at YouTube

Watch Wildflower Candle Holder Part 1 at YouTube.