POLYMER CLAY ~ AUTUMN LEAF BROOCH

Polymer Clay Autumn leaf brooches Georgia P Designs

Autumn leaf brooches, using Copper and Brass wire

I’m exited to share with you another new technique I have discovered via Pinterest.  It combines my love of polymer clay, wirework and my new found addiction with liquid clay, alcohol inks and Perfect Pearls.

Here is the link to the excellent tutorial I discovered on Pinterest, HERE It is in Russian I think, but just click the Google translate button and it translates very well.

The only thing that I have done differently to the tutorial is not use Epoxy Resin, something for my to do list, so instead I just used layers of liquid clay, which worked very well and still gives a pleasing shine.

Also I didn’t limit myself to just the leaves and alcohol inks, I also tried experimenting with acrylic paint, which also gives a lovely effect.

Below are two leaf brooches I made using different metals and acrylic paints to create the effect.  (Note: the leaf on the right was my first attempt and I hadn’t bought the mica powders when I made this one (I have been using Ranger Perfect Pearls since), so I tried embossing powder, it did work, however on the second baking it did develop some bubbles, some disappeared but some remained, OK if you like the effect!)

Other shapes I tried just working with the mica powder and clear liquid gel.

And lastly a couple for Christmas!

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Linda x

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POLYMER CLAY MOKUME-GANE TUTORIAL No. 1

I’ve been exploring lots of new techniques with polymer clay over the last few months and I promise I will write a few more simple tutorials to show you how to create some of my favourites.  

This one creates the faux technique Mokume-Gane which is known for its distinctive layered look. There are 2 techniques I favour, here is the first a simple technique if you want to create the effect but don’t have many colours of clay. I found this technique thanks to Pink Lily, here is the link HERE if you would like to take a look.  Also, using the inks allows you to experiment with colour, you will see below how they change!  They also change again once you have baked your clay.

I apologise now for some of the photographs, the natural lighting in our British Autumn/Winter  is rubbish! 

Technique No. 1 ~ Mokume-Gane created with Alcohol Inks

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (34)

Materials

Translucent Polymer Clay (whichever brand you prefer, however, I use Fimo Soft)

White Polymer clay

3- 4 colours of Alcohol Inks of your choice (I use Tim Holtz Adirondack inks)

Gold/Silver foil/leaf metal

Cling film or something similar

Pasta Machine and Roller for rolling out the clay

Cutting blade

Method

1. Take about 20g (or approx a third of a 50g block depending how much you want to make) of the translucent clay and soften and roll into a flattened sausage and then put through the pasta machine on a medium setting (No. 3), don’t worry about neatening the ends.

2. Using the alcohol inks draw horizontal lines across the clay, try not to let the lines touch or the colours will bleed into each other as they don’t always mix well together and tend to turn a muddy brown, however, you might like this affect. (I used alcohol inks; Meadow, Purple Twilight, Sunset Orange and Red Pepper)

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3.  Allow to dry or if you are impatient like me, blot with a paper towel.

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4.  Once dry, fold the clay over lengthwise, so the colours are on the inside and then put through the pasta machine, keep on a medium setting (No. 3).  Fold and repeat this 3-4 times.

5.  Now cover one side with the leaf metal.

6.  Then you need to roll this up as tight as possible with the leaf metal on the inside.

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7.  Ensuring that the clay is still warm or it will break and crack, fold this round into a donut shape, make sure the ends meld together well.

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8. Now squash it down but not too heavily, ie. don’t flatten it, onto your surface, making sure the melded ends are on the bottom.

9.  Taking your sharp blade cut thin slices (approx 3mm thick) from the top.

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10.  Pass each of these separately through your pasta machine (no. 4), this will crack the leaf metal. Leave to one side.

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11.  Take the white clay and roll/put through a pasta machine (No. 1) so it is quite thick.  You now need to place the slices of clay on top of this ensuring there are no gaps.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (21)

12.  Once you have done this, cover with good quality cling film or something similar, press down with the end of the roller and then roll to smooth out, then pass this through your pasta machine (No. 1) to ensure it is all the same thickness.  Remove the cling film.

13. Now you can make your beads. pendants or whatever you want. 🙂 I’ve used a 3.5cm round cutter here to create some circle beads.

14.  Once you have created all your beads or shapes (make sure you put holes in them), bake as per your clay instructions and then allow to cool.  You will see that the colours have changed and become more vibrant.  You can now leave them as they are or finish them with gloss varnish or liquid gel.

TIP: I baked my circles on an old light bulb to create a slightly domed bead, place the circles on the light bulb and press down gently to ensure no gaps then gently press down around the edges. 

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (34)

And, here’s a simple necklace I made with them.

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I hope you found this tutorial useful, if you have any questions or something is not clear enough, then please comment below.  My next post will be Technique No. 2.

Linda x

Simple Box Making tutorial

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Have you ever had that moment when you think, why didn’t I know about this method before.  Well that happened to me last week with regards to making a simple box.  We had a craft week at our WI meeting this month and one of the ladies who makes cards showed us how to fold and make a box with a lid.  It was so simple, but very effective, so I thought I would share it with you here.

Materials Required

One square (I am using 6″ x 6″ here) piece of patterned paper or not too thick card (if it’s too thick you will find it difficult to fold, but it can be done)

One square (1/4″ smaller) plain/matching patterned paper or card (150gsm)

Ruler

Scissors

Paper glue (not essential)

Mini round punch

Method

  1. Start with the the patterned paper first which will be your lid, mark the centre of the paper by measuring from corner to corner with a ruler.P1140159
  2. With the pattern side facing down, fold in each corner to the centre mark, do the opposite corners first, you now have a square again.P1140160
  3. Next you need to fold the sides to meet in the centre. Open those out and do it again from the other 2 sides.
  4. Unfold and open out the whole thing so you can see the creases. P1140164
  5. Using the scissors cut according to the dotted lines in the photo above.
  6. Now using the uncut sides, fold these into the middle, the paper should fold easily and almost go straight into the correct position.P1140165
  7. Take the other side pieces and fold them in over the side flaps and this is your finished lid. Before doing the fold you can add a dot or 2 of glue to these side pieces to make the box more secure.
  8. Take a small circle cutter and cut a half circle in the two opposite sides of the lid (do it in the less thick sides) these will help you get the lid on and off easier.
  9. To make the base for the box repeat all the steps above with the slightly smaller piece of paper/card.  It is smaller so that the lid will fit easily over it.P1140174
  10. Fit them together and there you have a nice, simple and sturdy box, perfect for a small piece of jewellery or other trinket.P1140169

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I hope you found this useful?  Let me know what you think?

Linda x

 

Polymer Clay Flowers ~ Daffodil (Narcissus) tutorial

DAFFODIL (NARCISSUS) FLOWER

When I first decided I wanted to make a daffodil with polymer clay, I went looking for a tutorial, but I only found one which you had to pay for.  Not wishing to pay for something I thought I could possibly make myself, I decided to try my own way of making one and I’m happy to share my experience for free.  Please bear in mind that this is my interpretion of a daffodil and I have been using them on brooches and Mother’s day gifts (see pictures below).

Looking at a daffodil it is formed with 6 petals, a centre trumpet, a stem and some leaves. They also come in many colour variations other than yellow, but for this tutorial I will use Fimo Colours, Lemon for the petals, Tangerine for the centre trumpet and Apple Green for the leaves.

What you will need:

Ceramic tile or glass board to work on

Cocktail stick or bamboo stick

Blade for cutting

Conditioned Polymer clay

Method:

1. Take a small quantity of Lemon (Yellow) coloured clay and roll it into a thin sausage approx 5-10mm thick.  Cut 6 equal slices depending on how big you want your flower to be.

Cutting the daffodil slices

2.  Roll each slice into a ball and then gently flatten each of them between your fingers, narrowing them at each end into a diamond shape, I make them quite thick to ensure strength but you can make them thinner if you wish.

shaping the petals

3.  Now take your cocktail stick or kebab stick and gently roll it across each petal (see photo 1).  Then pinch in one end on each of them. (see photo 2).

shaping the petals2

4.  The centre of the daffodil, the trumpet can be made with the same colour or a contrasting colour.  I am using the Tangerine colour clay. Take a small piece of clay and roll into a ball and then flatten between your fingers. (See picture 1) and then using the cocktail stick indent the top edge (picture 2), now wrap this around the stick to form the trumpet (picture 3), remove from the stick and it should look like picture 4.

Daffodil trumpet

5.  To assemble the flower, take 3 petals and lay them as shown in pic 1,  then take the other 3 petals and lay them in between the first 3 petals as shown in pic 2.  Don’t worry too much about overlap, the centre trumpet will hide this. Now take the trumpet and position in the centre of the flower, gently pressing down the edges pic 3.

Forming the flower

6.  You can now curl the petals upwards slightly to improve its appearance.  To add a stamen to the centre of the trumpet, scrape off some yellow clay with the stick and place in the centre of the trumpet.

Finished daffodil

7.  If you require a stem and leaves.  Use the green clay and roll out a very thin sausage, thin enough for a stem, cut to size.  To form the leaves, take a section of the clay sausage, size as required and roll one end into a point and then flatten with the cocktail stick see pictures.

Making the leaf

Good luck if you have a go at making one, any comments or questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Thanks.

Linda x

Simple jewellery display templates

Jewellery Display templates

This is just a quick post to show you how I made my simple jewellery display cones and flat back necklace display stands.  The cones can be made to display bracelets or necklaces depending on the size you make and what I like about these is they can be created in any colour to match your display.

DISPLAY CONES

I like mine to be quite sturdy so I used some A4 160gsm white card and some 12 x 12″ 150gsm patterned cardstock of your choice (I used Dovecraft Back to Basics IV Designer Paper Pack).  You will also need some Modpodge or suitable paper glue,  a brush to apply and a stapler.

Here is the template for the bracelet display cone, you can get 2 from one piece of A4 card (click on the photo, then right click to save as a photo, if you have any problems with any of the templates please let me know):

Bracelet display cone templates

1.  Print and cut out the template and re-draw around it onto your A4 card, 2 can fit onto one piece of A4.

2. Now glue (modpodge) this onto the back of the 150gsm card stock, smooth down to prevent air pockets and allow to dry.

3.  Once dry cut around each template.

4.  Take each piece of card and fold into a cone shape (pattern on outside), overlap the ends slightly, when you are happy with the position staple them together. So simple!

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Here is a bigger template for a necklace display cone, although I think I would prefer this to be bigger but I was limited with the size of the card.

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FLAT BACK NECKLACE DISPLAY STAND

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To make this, I used the same materials as above, some ribbon and I also used some sturdy card 3-4mm thick from an old cardboard box (you will see I used an old Coors light beer box!)

Template for display stand

Necklace display card template

1. Draw around the template onto the cardboard and cut out.

2. To add extra strength to the cardboard I glued the cardboard template onto the A4 160gsm card and allowed it to dry, it also hides whatever is on the box.  I cut out the shape again.

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3.  Next stick this onto the middle of the 150gsm patterned cardstock and allow it to dry again.

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4.  I then folded in and glued the cardstock around the template, cutting into the paper to allow it to fold around the shape easily, this was quite difficult due to the shape, but persevere.  Allow to dry.

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5.    Next you need to add the stand at the back.  Take a strip of the cardboard approx 3.5″ wide and 8.5″-9″ long. You can cover this with more patterned cardstock if you wish but it’s not necessary.  Score across the card approx 1.5″ from the top and fold.

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6.  Position this to the back of the display stand, don’t worry if it is too long, this can be cut later.  Glue this to the back of the card, allow to dry and then add tape for extra security.

7.  Now check they are both the same length by pushing together and cut the stand to the same length as the front.

8.  Add the ribbon, first to the front of the display stand, I attached with a stapler.  Then stand it up and when you are happy with the position attach the ribbon to the stand at the back.  This stops the display stand from falling or slipping open.  Nobody really sees the back so don’t worry too much how it looks!

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Hope this inspires you to make your own, any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Linda x

A Good use for Scrap Polymer Clay ~ Natasha Beads

I’m always excited when I find something new related to Polymer Clay especially when it’s a great way to use up scrap clay or those scrap ends from any polymer clay canes you might make.

I discovered this tutorial the other day, which showed you how to make what they called a ‘Natasha’ bead.  It is really simple and produces amazing results.  It’s a bit like cracking open a rock and discovering a fossil!

In this video the tutor explains more about the beads. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE06xudwP6k

But in this one she is tutoring someone else so it is easier to follow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQHuw5y6jO8

You will probably see for yourself with the video how to do it, but if you are short on time, I can sum it up quite quickly here.  All you need is a rolling pin and a cutting blade.

1.  Take the scrap pieces of clay (chopped up to form a better mix) or the end of a cane you have made and roll this into a small sausage shape. You then need to twist each end as much as you like (this distorts the clay), then squish the twisted sausage by pressing each end to shorten it, then re-roll again into a smooth sausage.  Repeat this a few times or as much as you like, it’s really up to you how much you want to distort the pattern inside the clay, scrap ends of flower canes make amazing results.

2.  Now for the magic!  Place the sausage on a flat surface and using a roller flatten/square the sides of the sausage, until you have a long cube shape.  Once you have done this, take your cutting blade and slice down the centre, lengthways (try to be as accurate as possible). Now open it up by flipping the sides outwards.  This will reveal your pattern (amazing eh!).  Now cut these 2 pieces down the centre again and flip those.

3.  Now take the centre two pieces and carefully match the pattern up, then take the outside piece and match the pattern up again and the same with the other.  You are reforming the cube but with the pattern on the outside.  All you have to do now is smooth out the joins, using your fingers.

After smoothing everything out, I decided to roll it and I made a hairslide with it, here it is baked and varnished.

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Here are a few others I’ve made, using some scrap clay from my flower and leaf canes.  I’ve tried to show you the beads that the original cane made and what the scrap clay produced.

Do you remember the the leaf cane I made?  Here is what I made with those scrap ends.

And finally, here is a couple of items I made with a recent cane and beads I made.

If you have a go at this I would love to see your creations?

Thanks, have a good week.

Linda x

PS. Apologies for the photos, winter light is just not good.  Also if you wonder what the bubble wrap is about, I put this under my glass board to stop it sliding about, lol!

Simple Polymer Clay Leaf cane (Tutorial)

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I love making Polymer clay flowers and beads, so you would think I would have tried to make a leaf out of polymer clay before now.  My current lack of motivation may have been something to do with it, but as I found myself at a loose end (for a change) at the weekend, I decided to tackle this head on.

You will see it wasn’t a great success, but the method was simple, so I think it just needs more practice and more patience, even so, mistakes can still look OK on beads, so don’t worry too much.  This is how I did it.

First you will need:

Pasta Machine (set on 3 or 4) or Rolling pin

2 Complimentary colours of Polymer Clay (leaf shades)

Cutting Blade

Acrylic block

1.  Start by conditioning/working the clay to ensure it is soft enough to work with, roll and squeeze between your hands.  I didn’t have enough of one colour of green clay so I mixed 2 together, one of which was quite crumbly, so this took me ages! I also had to do the same with the brown/bronze colour (I never make it easy for myself).  You will need more of the green than the brown.  Roll each into a ball and then roll out the brown until it is smooth and flat with a rolling-pin or put it through the pasta machine, put this to one side.

2.  Now take the green ball and start to roll this into a cylinder shape, you can use your hands or an acrylic block.  Use the acrylic block or your hand to press down on the cylinder to flatten it, it needs to be round and approx 1″ deep.

3.  Now using the cutting blade, make 4 equal cuts straight through the clay and separate them out slightly.

4. Take 2 of the slices (nearest to you) and lay them onto the rolled out brown clay and carefully cut around them and then piece them back together, making sure you have them the right way up.

5. Now take the other 2 ends and do the same, so it looks like this, squeeze them gently together back into the circle shape.

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6.  Using your cutting blade, make a slightly diagonal cut through the centre of the clay, so it looks like this.

7.  Take one half of the leaf and lay this onto the brown clay and cut carefully around it (I didn’t do too well at this as you will see in the next photo).  This will form the centre of the leaf.

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8.  Now it is important to remember to flip this half over before you put the 2 halves back together, so it looks like this, this makes it look more like a leaf.   You can now see I didn’t cut the brown clay very well.

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9.   That’s the leaf made, all you need to do now is start squeezing and stretching the clay to reduce the size of the leaf, ensuring you maintain the leaf shape.  This is the bit I think I messed up with as I didn’t maintain the shape very well and I distorted the lines too much, you do have to be careful not to destroy the shape as you cannot roll this, so be patient!

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10.  Here are a few beads I made with the leaves, they still needs holes and to be baked.

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Thanks for looking, I write these posts just as much for me as for anyone else who would like to read them, that way if I ever forget how to make something I have a reference to go back to, lol! 🙂

Bye for now.

Linda x