The Medium (If Not the Man) of My Dreams: Polymer Clay Tutorials, Polymer Clay Jewelry, and More

Let me be clear: I’m no Demi Moore, and I’ve never thrown a pot in my life. Still, whenever I craft with clay, a little piece of me can’t help but wish that Patrick Swayze will come through my front door, anxious to give me a few pointers. Alas, my schoolgirl fantasy will never be realized, but I can still work with clay!

Angel of Crafting

Polymer Clay Figures

Clay is a great medium for making figurines, because there are so many color options. There’s no limit to what you can create with clay. Plus, polymer clay figures are as durable as they are adorable. One of the cutest polymer clay projects on FaveCrafts is the Angel of Crafting.

This winged guardian is made out of odds and ends you can find around your home, such as screws and steel wool. Whenever you feel uninspired, the Angel of Crafting reminds you that you’re creative enough to make something out of nothing.

 

Here are some more examples of the clay projects that await you on FaveCrafts:

Peas in a Pod
Adorable Clay Pig
Fun Giraffe

Clay Tutorials for the HomePretty Petal Kitchen Caddy

I have a tendency to lose track of my cooking supplies right when I’m in the middle of making soup. You can upcycle an old vase into a utensil organizer with the Pretty Petal Kitchen Caddy. Learn how to use polymer clay cut outs to create a floral or fish scale design. This project sticks to plain white, but you can add vibrancy to this craft by using different colors of clay.

There are tons of options when it comes to clay home decor. Check these out, too:

Clay Cupcake Boxes
Beautiful Accented Votive Holder
Clay Jewelry Dish 

Glitter Clay BeadsPolymer Clay Jewelry

If you’re looking to glam up your jewelry collection, try some of these polymer clay ideas. These polymer clay jewelry projects are simple, inexpensive, and fun. You can learn how to make dazzling DIY clay beads to use on earrings, bracelets, and more. Check out our tutorial on Glitter Clay Beads to learn the secret to keeping glitter from rubbing off on your skin.

Here are a few more examples of the clay jewelry projects you can find on FaveCrafts:

Clay Stacked Stone Necklace
Heart Line Buttons
Clay Butterfly Charm

 

Other Polymer Clay TutorialsFaux Tie Dye Coasters

I’ve only scratched the surface of polymer clay projects in this post. There are tons of polymer clay craft ideas on FaveCrafts that suit your every need. These Faux Tie Dye Coasters are the perfect example.

Tie dye remains popular, especially with children, and it’s not just for fabrics. You can imitate tie dye using practically any material, including (you guessed it) clay. These Faux Tie Dye coasters are polymer clay projects that the whole family can help create. Your kids can lend a hand by blending colors for each coaster. Don’t forget to break out these funky coasters at your first summertime bash!

You can also find projects like these on FaveCrafts:

Funky Polymer Clay Crochet Hook Handles
Mokume Gane Peacock Utensils
Art Deco Purse and Mirror Set

 

24 Polymer Clay Tutorials: Polymer Clay Jewelry, Decor, and More

For even more great ideas on how to use polymer clay, check out our roundup of 24 Polymer Clay Tutorials: Polymer Clay Jewelry, Decor, and More.

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s your favorite movie hunk?

 

 

10 Clay Projects I Love

crafting-with-clay-free-projectsFor as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved crafting with clay.  I love making my own jewelry, creating my own embellishments, and even using clay to create little figurines and toys for my brothers and sisters.  Though it may seem intimidating to look at a block of clay and wonder what you can do with it, there’s really no better way to learn how to craft with clay than to play around with it and have fun!

To help get you started on making your own beautiful clay designs, I’ve gathered up 10 of my favorite Polymer clay tutorials.  From simple jewelry to fun home decor, you won’t believe what you can craft out of a block of clay.

Can’t wait to get your hands dirty?  Well we’re giving away an awesome set of Sculpey Clay, along with the Essential Tool Kit, complete with all the tools you need to help you get started.  Scroll on down for all the info on how to win this fantastic collection!

10 Clay Projects I Love

clay-projects-I-love

Clay Smurf Figurine

Peas in a Pod

Clay Stacked Stone Necklace

Rose Accented Votive Holder

Clay Cupcake Boxes

Funky Polymer Clay Crochet Hooks

Pretty Petal Kitchen Caddy

Angel of Crafting

Clay Pot Farm Animals

Clay Jewelry Dish

BONUS!  Like what you see here?  Find even MORE awesome tutorials by visiting “How to Use Polymer Clay: 21 Polymer Clay Tutorials“!

19 Days ’til Christmas: Favorite Ornament You Ever Made and a Giveaway

From now through Christmas day, we’re featuring a project here on the FaveCraftsBlog, along with a question for you to comment on. From those comments, we’ll pick a daily winner and you’ll receive a Gift from Santa’s Sleigh! How’s that for a great way to celebrate all month long?!

For today’s topic, Favorite Ornament You’ve Ever Made, we’re sharing Paw Print Ornaments and we hope you will share your story in the comments. Both Christine and I got new puppies this year, so we were both thrilled when this ornament was submitted to FaveCrafts. I don’t know if Christine’s going to make one, but I hope to make one for each of our new puppies to commemorate their first Christmas with our family!

Paw Print Ornaments

By: Erika Lindquist of Sew Doggy Style

Let your precious pooch in on easy Christmas crafts by making these paw print ornaments from Erika Lindquist to decorate your tree with. These make great gifts from Fido to his owner!

Meanwhile, tell us about your favorite homemade Christmas ornament ever! Leave a comment below – one lucky commenter will receive a Gift from Santa’s Sleigh. Hurry. You only have until Midnight central time to enter. Tomorrow will be another day, another featured project, and another giveaway!

P.S. Since our comments require approval before they are live on the site, your comment will be included as an entry even if you don’t see it on the page. Also, we only include one comment per person, but you can make more than one comment if you want!

[Note: The giveaway is now closed, but feel free to leave your comments if you like! See all of our Christmas Countdown posts here!]

How to make a wind chime: a 4th of July craft for kids

Looking for 4th of July crafts for kids or for yourself?  When I think of 4th of July, I think of a beautiful breezy and warm day. So a stars-and-stripes wind chime seemed like a perfect 4th of July craft for kids. Here’s how it’s made.

Materials:

  • Kid-friendly clay (air dry or salt dough)
  • Star-shape cookie cutter
  • Plastic knife
  • Flat baking sheet
  • Toothpick
  • Rolling pin or piece of PVC pipe to roll out clay
  • Acrylic paints: red, white, blue
  • Paintbrush
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Instructions:

1. If using salt clay, make the clay. Use your fingers, a rolling pin, or a piece of PVC pile to roll out the clay to about 1/4″ thick.

2. Cut a 1-1/2″ x 6″ piece of clay to form the main support of the wind chime. From the remaining clay, cut 3 stars and 4 wavy strips of clay about 3/4″ x 4″.

3. Along the top long edge of the main support, use a toothpick to make a hole about 1/4″ in from each top corner. Evenly space 7 holes along the bottom long edge of the main support. Use a toothpick to put a hole in one point of each star and at the top of each wavy strip.

4. If using air-dry clay, dry clay pieces according to manufacturer’s instructions. If using salt clay, place clay on ungreased baking sheet in a 250 degree oven for about 2 hours, then let the pieces cool completely.

5. Use acrylic paints to paint the stars and wavy stripes as desired. Before the paint dries, make sure to clear any paint out of the hole–the same toothpick can be used for that.

6. Cut pieces of fishing line: two 7″ piece, two 9″ pieces, two 11″ pieces and an 13″ piece. Arrange the clay stars and wavy stripes along the bottom edge of the main support as desired. Starting with the center chime, string the chime on the 13″ piece of fishing line and then thread one end of the fishing line through the center hole on the main support. Knot the ends of the fishing line together. Working out from the center, attach the next two chimes using the 11″ fishing line, the next two with the 9″ pieces of fishing line, and finally, the two end chimes with the 7″ fishing line.

7. Cut an 18″ piece of fishing line. Put one end through the hole in one corner and the other end through the hole in the other corner. Bring the ends together and tie them together with a good overhand knot. Hang the wind chime from this doubled length of fishing line.

For some other 4th of July projects, we’ve got some round-ups that will definitely inspire.
4th of July Crafts for Kids
11 Cute and Easy July 4th Craft Ideas
24 4th of July Decorating Ideas

And though the projects in our new eBook, 4th of July Crafts: Blogger Edition 2010, focuses on more than just kids crafts, there are some great craft projects for kids in there as well.

Product Review and Giveaway: Glitter Flower Pendant Kit Giveaway

Clay artist Marie Segal put together this great kit to create her favorite Glitter Flowers. The kit includes Cernit clay, glitter, adhesive, clay cutters and more. Use the kit to create a jewelry pedant or embellishment for a picture frame.  Read the full review here and enter to win the kit here.

Contest ends December 25, 2009. You can enter once daily, so return often to improve your chances of winning!

Book Review and Giveaway: Metal Clay, Beyond the Basics

Metal clay can be used in the same way as polymer clay, but once fired, metal clay leaves only the metal behind (silver, bronze or copper). This book features 24 suberb jewelry projects using metal clay, including earrings, pins, pendants and more. Read the full review and enter to win a copy here.

Contest ends December 15, 2009. You can enter once daily, so return often to improve your chances of winning!

Product Review and Giveaway: Bronze Metal Clay Review and Giveaway

Once fired, the clay median BronzClay™ becomes a solid bronze creation. The bonding materials of the clay completely vaporize during firing. The manufacturer, Rio Grande also makes a CopprClay™. You can use the same tools as you would for any other kind of clay but end up with a solid bronze creation! Learn more and enter to win the clay here.

Contest ends November 27, 2009. You can enter once daily, so return often to improve your chances of winning!

Product Review and Giveaway: Amaco Tools

AMACO has sent us 3 great tools for working with friendly plastic, clay and even paint: Marbling Comb, Needle Tool, Wood Sculpting Tool. The marbling tool allows you to make swirls and other patterns easily. The needle tool and the wood sculpting tool both allow you to manipulate the materials. These are great for clay artists and those interesting in jewelry craft. Learn more and enter to win here.


Contest ends October 16, 2009. You can enter once daily, so return often to improve your chances of winning!

Halloween Costume Horns: Guest Contributor

This Halloween dress yourself up as something completely different. Wear those horns and wear them proudly. Now you can create your own horns out of clay. We had a guest send in many different horns for you to make. Danielle Ackley-McPhail from Clay Sculpture knows just the kind of horns you’re looking for. Here she lists how you can make a variety of them:

1. Nub Horns – (kind of like a goat or the stereotypical devil horn) I roll the clay into a ball and cut it in half; that gives me my wide base and the top surface is roughly in the shape I’m going to want it to be in when I’m finished. Then I take the ball half and start pressing and pulling gently on the top in one direction until it narrow into a nub. The top can be rounded or pointed, depending on the look you want to go for, just use your fingers to shape until you reach the desired effect.

nubs

2. Curved Horns – Start with a rope, instead of a ball. Keep it kind of thick, at least at the base end and roll it a little bit into a cone shape, letting it narrow as desired, with the tip either rounded or pointed according to the effect you want to achieve.

3. Ram’s Horns – Start with a rope, instead of a ball. Keep it kind of thick, at least at the base end and roll it a little bit into a cone shape. Hold the base gently in your one hand, not too hard, then with your other hand twist the clay while at the same time pulling slightly. The tip will spiral and narrow to a point. While you are twisting, let the horn curve under as well, with the tip either staying in a flat curl or tugging it out slightly so they point out. Once you have your shape use your clay knife to slice the base at an angle from front to back.

rams

4. Spiral Horns – Follow the above directions only do not curve the horn as it is spiraling.

5. Unicorn Horns – make one spiral horn only in a larger scale. Watch where you put the holes for the elastic and don’t make the horn too big because balance can be an issue.

6. Cat’s Ears – start with half a ball and work with the clay, pressing your finger in until you end up with a roughly cat-shaped ear where the front edge is a little fuller and the outside edge is flat. Take a bit of white or beige clay and add it to the depression, working the edges until the two clays mix on the outside edge. Follow the rest of the above directions in regards to drilling the hole, texturing, and glazing. When you make the second ear, make sure it is a close approximation of a mirror image to the first ear.

cats-ears

Achieving Different Effects
1. Try mixing different colors for more interesting effects, particularly when making spiral horns, though the swirling/marbling effect on smooth horns is interesting as well.

2. Experiment with embellishing…glitter, beads, bells, many small craft items can be adapted to make more elaborate horns. Embed them while you are making the horns or attach them after you have baked them, depends on the effect you are after.

3. Play with textures. It can be as simple as purposely overlapping your own fingerprints lightly on the surface of a horn or pressing a textured cloth or other item into the clay after you have the shape you are looking for. Another technique is to take your skewer or a toothpick and drag it through the clay to create patterns or lines to mimic natural horns. I have in the past rolled particularly malleable horns in glass microbeads. Sometime the beads stick after baking, sometimes they come off the minute you touch them, but once they harden you are left with either a rough, jeweled surface or (if they come off) an interesting pebbled texture to the surface of your horn. You can even engrave initials in the base, but do it deep because it will bake in a bit.

4. If a color does not turn out nice once you have baked your horns, or if it should scorch because you have baked it too long, or if you just want to go for different effects, you can use acrylic craft paints to cover all or part of the clay. One particular idea for this would be to create a colored horn and then dry-brush over it with a light coat of gold or silver paint (or just make a solid color horn after you have just made a gold metallic horn and the residue on your hands will transfer on it’s own 😉

General Notes on Horn-Making
1. Keep in mind, with this hand-crafted item the adage no two are alike is quite applicable. Don’t let yourself get frustrated. Strive for similarity, but if you end up with two vastly different patterns rework the clay and try again. This is of a particular issue with mixed color spiral horns or rams horns.

2. When creating the hole for the elastic make sure the tool goes straight through and is reasonably placed in the same spot on both horns or they will not sit in the same orientation when you are wearing them.

3. Polymer clay is known for breaking, particularly delicate pieces. Should the tip of your horn break off use a bit of superglue to reattach the segments. In most instances it won’t even be visible.

Additional Clay Tips
1. Some brand names are SculpeyIII, Premo, and Fimo, though some craft stores have begun producing their own store brand. Comes in solids, metallics, pearls, and effects, including glitter and glow-in-the-dark.

2. Premo and some solid colors are firmer and take longer to knead into a malleable state. If the clay is too firm when you try and work with it, it will crack instead of stretching as you roll or flatten it.

3. SculpeyIII pearl colors are often too easily worked. If the clay too soft it will not hold its shape as well but will hold fingerprints extremely well. If the clay gets too malleable set it aside and let it be awhile. It will harden a little and be easier to work with later.

4. When working with more than one color scrape your work surface with the edge of your clay knife to scrape up any residue and then wipe firmly with a paper towel to minimize unwanted color transfer.

5. Do not grip your clay too firmly or the shape will deform or fingerprints will set. If you have fingerprints you need to get rid of and your horn is smooth surface just roll the clay gently on your work surface, but not too much or you will change the shape. You can also smooth out the fingerprints by lightly drawing your fingers over the space but not pressing down. With polymer clay it is difficult to avoid all fingerprints, but many of them will lessen or disappear altogether in the baking process.

6. It has been my experience that the white clay is a dull color and does not bake very bright. I tend only to use it if I swirl colors. If you want a brilliant white and don’t mind some sparklies (and if you can find it) I recommend using Femo Special Effect in white glitter. It stays an almost glowing white and the glitter is the translucent type, not the metallic type so it produces a gorgeous effect.

Please note that certain colors will transfer to your skin and work surface more readily than others. Any red, some of the metallic blues or deep purple, the metallic gold (which can make some nice effects on any horn you create after that), so keep this in mind when working clay on your work surface or if you are making multiple sets at once in different colors. Always leave the red for last, do the lighter colors first, and wash your hands in between if color transfer is an issue.

Be sure to check out her basic horns too!