Nov 282017
 

When you learn to make not only your own jewelry, but also to create your own beads and components it opens up whole new opportunities for personalizing and making your pieces special.

This is especially true during the Christmas season when we like to give meaningful gifts.

button box necklace cover

Since many of the pieces in my button collection are from my grandmother, my mother-in-law or other special people, I always enjoy poking through it, thinking of them and different ways I can use these meaningful objects.

Creating beads molded from these buttons is a nice way of making jewelry that is beautiful as well as sentimental.

Of course, you can also just make molds of purchased buttons you like so you can replicate them multiple times.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Tools and Materials:

Watch the Button Box Necklace-Sentimental Memory Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Oct 242017
 

These polymer clay pendants with phrases are so much fun to make, and so very satisfying because they say exactly what you want them to say!

If you want to get even more words to fit onto your pendants, just use slightly smaller images and really squeeze all the letters in together, not worrying about where the line breaks are.

The results will be interesting to look at, as it won’t be as readily apparent what they say, but will require the viewers to look a little bit more closely.

turn of phrase pendants pt 2 cover

You’ll notice from the cover photo that I ended up using the nativity stamp after all, and was very pleased with the results.

Sometimes if you’re unsure you just have to go for it and see how it turns out!

If you find there are areas you aren’t thrilled with, such as the little flower in the upper left of my “give thanks” pendant, feel free to add sculptural elements to embellish and cover up.

The little flower I used (you can see it in the cover photo) is perhaps a bit big for the pendant. It was just something in my stash, but I think I need to sculpt one that’s a bit more in proportion.

To color the flower that the bird is holding I used a tiny detail brush dipped in water and then in a little bit of Inka Gold. It worked great for adding color and a bit of shimmer to small areas. (Gotta find more opportunities to play with those!)

Don’t forget that any projects decorated with Gilders paste should dry for at least 24 hours. Then you can buff them to a nice sheen. The product directions say to wait 12 hours but I have found that often that isn’t enough, perhaps because I put a lot of layers on mine.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 2 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Oct 172017
 

It’s always nice to wear pretty jewelry, and even sometimes interesting or unusual jewelry.

Then there is the jewelry that’s meaningful, perhaps because it came from a loved one or has special memories.

turn of phrase pendants pt 1 cover

Today’s project makes jewelry that is meaningful in a different way. By using words and images that resonate with you, you can make your piece completely unique and special.

These pendants would also make one-of-a-kind, meaningful gifts for friends and loved ones.

The materials list for this project is long, so I suggest while you have the supplies out you make several. This gives you an opportunity to experiment with different shapes, phraseology, colors and finishes. Along the way you’ll find some pieces that you like more than others and get practice with the techniques.

Tools and Materials:

  • Metal bezels
  • Polymer clay
  • Rubber stamps or cling stamps
  • Letter stamps such as this metal stamp set
  • Index card
  • Needle tool
  • Opaque pigment inks such as chalk inks
  • Clay blade
  • Detail paint brush
  • Paint thinner or mineral spirits
  • Inka Gold
  • Gilders paste

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Turn of Phrase Pendants Part 1 of 2-Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial video at YouTube.

Watch Part 2 of the Turn of Phrase Pendants.

Aug 292017
 

Laying down alternating strips of surface effects to make a polymer clay veneer is a technique that is a lot of fun. As I mentioned in the video I spent a couple hours just doing the few cabochons that I showed on camera today.

crackle veneer cover

I took a closer look at them all after making the video and decided that I want to do even more experimenting and maybe make a few in a variety of shapes that will go together in a cluster to make a large statement pendant.

If you don’t have a stash of polymer clay technique sheets, now is a good time to pick a few that you’ve been wanting to try! Play and experiment and then put them together to see what combinations you like.

A few possibilities to try would be:

crackle veneers insta

Of course, there are lots, lots more.

A quick YouTube search for “polymer clay surface technique” will keep you busy for days, if not weeks and months!

I’ve use these Sculpey cabochon molds several times but have yet to use the bezel mold. That will be next up in my own experimenting, and of course for a video tutorial.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make Polymer Clay Cabochons with Crackle & Surface Effect Veneers video at YouTube.

Jun 202017
 

Today’s video is all about the best part of making creative things: experimentation and play.

Sometimes we get so caught up in following tutorials, or making things look like something else we’ve seen, that we don’t take the time to just be creative, explore new possibilities, and find our own voice.

textured beads cover

When you do sit down to this kind of creative play it’s good to just have your focus on a few simple things. This is what I show you in today’s video. I’m just making simple textured beads, but I’m playing with relatively new texture sheets. The only other thing I’m focusing on are surface effects. 

As you’ll see when you watch the video, the discoveries and revelations come from experimenting and having fun with the process.

For me, and I suspect for a lot of other artists, this is the best way to come up with techniques and processes that are uniquely my own, (or at least ones that I didn’t copy from someone else.)

By using just a quarter block, or 1/2 ounce of clay you be able to make 10 to 11 beads. Even though I made around 30 beads I found it still wasn’t enough to fully explore all the possibilities. So be sure to make plenty.

Don’t focus on making a finished product. But when you’re all done I’m sure you will be able to pull out enough pieces to make a bracelet or necklace. Don’t be surprised if they aren’t the ones you originally expected to use!

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Textured Bead Tutorial and Surface Effect Experiments-Polymer Clay at video YouTube.

May 022017
 

sculpted seascapes cover

Today’s project is the result of combining several different ideas I’ve come across in the polymer clay world. Christie Friesen in her book Flourish showed the idea for using  silicone putty molds in a variety of ways, including making partial impressions on clay shapes. I’ve seen several projects around the inter-webs using metal charms and bits of clay to make a little wearable scenes. And of course I’m sure you’ve all seen lots of projects incorporating spirals and scrolls and swirls.

I call my project “Sculpted Seascapes,” since they all seem to have a beachy theme, but you could make yours any style you like. Creating the base goes fairly quickly, but adding all of the details can take a while. I find it to be a relaxing, meditative process. Don’t forget to stand back on occasion and take a look at the piece as a whole. It’s easy to get lost in all those little details!

Although you can pop out the metal charms and other mixed media used in your piece after baking and glue them, I prefer to arrange bits of clay around them so that they are trapped in there once the clay is hardened by baking. It’s a much more secure bond than trusting in glue, which at times can be unreliable.

If you incorporate things that you found perhaps on a nature walk or vacation, you’ll have a special, wearable momento of that time.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Sculpted Seascapes-Polymer Clay & Mixed Media Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 252017
 

filigrees n roses cover

I was hesitant at first to do a video with polymer clay roses as they seem so very basic to me. However after thinking about it I decided to go ahead because even if you’ve made polymer clay roses before you may not have thought of using them in this way.

I love the vintage look you get when putting these delicate flowers on metal and filigree pieces!

As you can see, the possibilities for application are endless. I made just a few pieces of jewelry, but you could use them to decorate all sorts of things. Think about covering boxes, home dec, pens… anything that doesn’t get too much handling, as they are rather delicate.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video was that for the earrings I only used six petals in addition to the center to keep them small and in proportion to the findings. It’s really simply a matter of using as many petals as you need to get the fullness and shape you want.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Filigree ‘n’ Roses Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.

Apr 142017
 

ff coiled hidden bail

There are lots of different ways to hang polymer clay pendants from necklace cord. Some of the more obvious are adding a hole, adding a loop to the pendant or embedding some kind of metal finding. But sometimes the design just doesn’t warrant it. Sometimes you don’t want any of the findings to show on the front.

I’ve seen lots of different styles of polymer clay bails pressed onto the backs of pendants, but they can often be bulky. Today I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to secure a hidden, low-profile bail to the back of your polymer clay pendant.

If you don’t have the coiling gizmo to make your coils you can wrap your wire around anything cylindrical. But using this cool tool will make your work much quicker and it’s easier to get consistent results.

Watch my video on Coiled Wire Beads and Other Findings, which includes how to use the Coiling Gizmo.

Remember to first plan your stringing cord so that you can make a wire coil of the appropriate size. The thicker your coil,  by the way, the thicker the backing of your clay should be. But don’t embed your coil so deeply that you can no longer fit in your cording!

As I mention in the video, all the pendants I use for demonstration in the video were made with directions from Christi Friesen’s book, Flourish.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How to Make a Hidden Coil Bail For Pendants-Friday Findings Jewelry Tutorial at YouTube.