Monday, June 6, 2011

Fun Things You Can Make with Polymer Clay

A friend recently asked me if I had any ideas of how she could use up some polymer clay that she received as a gift.  Well, following are but a few of the things I showed her that she could make with that box of clay she had sitting around.

Polymer clay mask with pearl and rhinestone embellishments
The first Item is a mask made with polymer clay and accented with sand, pearls, and glitter.  Additionally, I covered a pair of shoes with polymer clay to match the mask.  What the heck, you can never have too many costume components available for last minute costume needs, especially polymer clay shoes.

Polymer clay covered shoe.  I used a "Fredericks Of Hollywood" shoe because
it had a wood base that could be baked.


Another fun thing you can do with clay is to make accessories to match or compliment your hats, purse or clothing.  Polymer clay jewelry is becoming more and more popular because of the versatility of the clay.  The polymer clay sea horse necklace below is made using one of the Kathy Davis molds.  I made it in under 30 minutes (including baking time).

The earrings below are made of polymer clay to match the hat.  This is such an easy polymer clay project.  I just used a little black polymer clay and a little white polymer clay to cover an earring base.  The dots were cut out with straws to match the size of the dots on the hat.  Then I baked the earrings, in accordance with the manufacturers directions.

Polymer clay earrings made to match visor.


Making polymer clay jewelry is fun and a great way to give personalized gifts to friends.  Depending on the tools you use, it can be fairly inexpensive and provides a great creative outlet.



If you have pets, how about making a cute ornament featuring a photo of them.  Simple and fun!  This would be a great kids craft to make on one those rainy days in winter.


polymer clay christmas ornament
Taking the polymer clay ornament idea a step further, below is a beauty shot from an episode I filmed for HGTV's Carol Duvall Show, where I demonstrated how to make simple polymer clay photo pins.

You can even make dog jewelry. Just make sure it is well made with safety in mind.  You would not want your best fur friend to choke on the jewelry.  The picture below of of my dog with a hair ornament that I designed for a magazine article.



The  bracelet below, made by gourd artist Diane Calderwood,  is another very easy and fun project for the beginner polymer clay enthusiast.



The ideas are endless.  All you need is some good books, some clay, some basic tools and a dedicated toaster oven to bake the clay in.
For those who are inspired to try more, I highly recommend "Polymer Clay and Mixed Media" by Christi Friesen.  This book takes you to the next level of creativity and the projects are fabulous!  She is a fabulous artist and creates the loveliest things from clay.


She also has some fabulous books that are not on Amazon but can be purchased directly from her at www.cforiginals.net.

She shows some very cool techniques to create all types of animals, beads and jewelry.
The other applications for polymer clay are endless.  I recently got to view the beautiful costume work by artist, Strider Weston, who designs costumes and jewelry pieces.  She created an affordable line of jewelry in polymer clay for those folks who want add a bit of pizzaz to the costumes without spending a small fortune.
Above is one of her polymer clay creations,  it is a polymer clay shoulder pin that can be used to position a tartan or for an accent on an upper middle class costume.  She loves to use other elements in her pieces like precious stones, pearls, metals, etc.  


Strider's designs are based on different inspirations and venues.  The use of polymer clay makes her designs more affordable to a larger group of enthusiasts.  And since polymer clay is not heavy, it is the perfect medium for fantasy character costume pieces, like the polymer clay head piece above.

Below are some more items made from polymer clay.  The first is a polymer clay dragon ornament made by Kathy Davis (she has done articles for various magazines and appeared on television).  She teachers polymer clay and metal clay classes at different locations, including Piecemakers in Costa Mesa, California.
This next item is one of those plastic eggs that they sell at easter time.  It has a predrilled hole on both ends of the egg which make it perfect for baking.  I was given this one by a member of the Orange County Polymer Clay Guild, who combined different colors of polymer clay to create this fun mosaic effect.


Someone asked me to post how I made one of my polymer clay jewelry pieces that was easy and quick to do.  Below are the directions of how I made the gold and black polymer clay cuff.



Directions:

I used a soda can as a baking base.  Then I pre-condition two different colors of polymer clay and cut them to fit around the soda can, which happens to be the same width as my wrist.  I used various cutters from "Makins Clay" and other brands to cut out shapes on the cuff.  This is a super easy polymer clay project that requires a minimum of tools.

Added some rhinestones and baked the polymer clay according to the manufacturers directions.



So what do you make with polymer clay?  I recommend any of Christi Friesen's books on polymer clay. Her step by step instructions and photos are so easy to follow that you will have fun results right away.


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