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Faux ceramic charms

Crystal Clay and resin provide unlimited creative possibilities: You can sculpt, texturize, and colorize to your heart’s content. By mixing just a drop of blue and yellow pigments, I was able to create this faux-celadon look. 

SUPPLIES 

Bracelet 7 1⁄4–7 3⁄4 in. (18.4–19.7 cm)

  • 29 mm oval flat tag (pendant) 
  • 27 mm mini link long rectangle, with two loops
  • 14 mm circle link, with two loops
  • 14 mm mini link rectangle, with two loops
  • 14 mm mini link oval, with two loops
  • 4–8 1-in. (2.5 cm) head pins
  • 3 17 mm decorative jump rings
  • 9–11 6 mm textured jump rings 
  • toggle clasp
  • 2 pairs of chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • Crystal Clay, white 
  • Clay Squisher or texture sheet
  • two-part resin
  • Castin’ Craft Resin Dye
  • gloves
  • baby powder
  • waxed paper
  • wet wipes
  • wooden craft sticks
  • toothpicks
  • measuring cups
  • U-V lamp or box
  • business cards (optional)

Earrings

  • Crystal Clay, resin, and Castin’ Craft Resin Dye left over from bracelet
  • 6–8 in. (15–20 cm) chain, assorted styles, 1–3 mm links
  • 2 1-in. (2.5 cm) head pins
  • pair of earring wires
  • 2 pairs of chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Supplies from Nunn Design, nunndesign.com. Check your local bead store for supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS 

Components

Faux ceramic charms 1
Step 1
Mix equal parts of clay (a grape-sized amount of each) according to the manufacturer’s directions until the clay is uniform in color. Make sure the clay is smooth; creases will be visible when you texturize it.
Faux ceramic charms 2
Step 2
Press a small amount of clay into a bezeled link and smooth it with your fingers. The clay should be level with the edges of the bezel: Too much will over-flow and too little won’t yield a consistent impression.
Faux ceramic charms 3
Step 3
To prevent sticking, rub a bit of baby powder over a texture sheet. Place the link from step 2 face down on the sheet. Press the link firmly (see “Good impressions,” below). Carefully remove the link.
Faux ceramic charms 4
Step 4
Fill the remaining bezels and pendant with clay and texturize as desired. Remove excess clay from the findings and texture sheet (see “Easy cleanup,” below).
Faux ceramic charms 5
Step 5
Close three 17 mm decorative jump rings. Take a bit of clay and fold it around a jump ring. Smooth the seam on the back. Texturize the front side on a texture sheet. Make three embellished jump rings.
Faux ceramic charms 6
Step 6
To make a head pin unit: With leftover clay, make small (6–10 mm) shapes. Insert a head pin, head side first, into each. If desired, make a plain loop perpendicular to the clay (or you can make the loop after you’ve colorized the piece). Texturize as desired. You’ll need four head pin units, but you can make extras for earrings (or in case you like some units better than others). Allow all components to dry.
Faux ceramic charms 7
Step 7
Following the manufacturer’s directions, mix equal parts of two-part resin. Use a wooden craft stick to stir for two minutes, scraping down the side of the cup. Place the resin under a lamp for five minutes to pop any bubbles. Using a toothpick, drip a drop or so of dye into the resin. Stir thoroughly. Note: Once applied, the resin will appear lighter than it does in the mixing cup.
Faux ceramic charms 8
Step 8
Use the toothpick or a head pin to spread resin on each of the clay bezels, pendant, jump ring units, and head pin units. Also use the toothpick or head pin to move the resin into crevices and to the edges and to break up bubbles. Place the pieces under a U-V lamp or inverted box and allow them to cure completely.
Faux ceramic charms cleanup
Easy cleanup
Use wet wipes to clean excess clay or resin from the metal findings. As soon as you’re done with the texture sheet, clean that too. Otherwise the excess clay will harden and be difficult to remove.
Faux ceramic charms impressions
Good impressions
To get a consistent impression, pick up the texture sheet so you can press both the bezeled link and the sheet.
Faux ceramic charms
Bracelet instructions

1. Make the bezeled links, pendant, embellished jump rings, and head pin units.

2. Open nine 6 mm jump rings. Attach the components as shown. Close the jump rings. 

3. On the bar end of the bracelet, attach an extra jump ring or two to add length if desired.

Faux ceramic charms earrings
Earrings instructions

1. Make a pair of head pin units (see “Components,” above steps 6 to 8).

2. For each earring: Cut three or four 1 1⁄2–2-in. (3.8–5 cm) pieces of chain. Open the loop of an earring wire. Attach the head pin unit and chains and close the loop.

Tip!
You can place individual pieces on business cards to dry, if you like. They’ll be easier to move without getting resin on your fingers. You can also fold the cards and tear a slot for holding embellished jump rings. This is handy if you want to apply resin to both sides of the clay.

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