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Reversible polymer clay pendant

Use an image transfer technique on polymer clay, and stitch bezels around the pieces to create a necklace you can wear two ways

SUPPLIES 

Necklace 16–24 in. (41–61 cm) with pendant 2 1⁄4 x 3 in. (5.7 x 7.6 cm)

  • 1⁄4–1⁄2 oz. polymer clay in each of 2–7 colors
  • translucent liquid Sculpey polymer clay
  • 3 10 mm fire-polished beads or round crystals
  • 3 8 mm fire-polished beads or round crystals
  • 2–5 g 11/0 cylinder beads
  • 4–7 g 15/0 seed beads
  • Fireline 4 lb. test
  • beading needles, #10 or #12
  • black-and-white photocopy or laser print image (not ink-jet)
  • pasta machine*
  • shape cutters*
  • 3 x 5-in. (7.6 x 13 cm) sheet of glass or ceramic tile
  • tissue blade
  • toaster oven*

* Dedicated to the use of polymer clay

Designer’s note: Instead of using a pasta machine, roll out your polymer clay sheets with an acrylic roller. Make two stacks of five playing cards, and tape each stack together. Use the playing card stacks on either side of your clay as guides for your roller.

INSTRUCTIONS

Polymer clay shapes

Condition each block of clay, and wash your hands every time you switch clay colors.

1. Set the pasta machine to the thickest setting, and roll any color clay through it.

2. Using shape cutters or the tissue blade, cut out a shape, such as a raindrop, circle, or leaf. 

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for as many shapes as desired.

4. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the shapes in the toaster oven. Allow the shapes to cool completely.

Reversible polymer clay pendant Photo A
Photo a
Reversible polymer clay pendant Photo B
Photo b

Image transfer

1. Using your finger, spread a thin, even layer of translucent liquid Sculpey polymer clay onto the sheet of glass or ceramic tile. Place your photocopy or laser print image on top with the design side touching the liquid Sculpey. Gently press the image into the liquid Sculpey, starting in the center, and working out to remove any air pockets. Allow the image to rest for five minutes.

2. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the image in the toaster oven. Remove the image from the oven while still hot, and slowly peel away the paper. Gently peel the image transfer from the glass or ceramic tile, and lay it on a smooth surface to cool. 

3. Trace each polymer clay shape onto the image transfer sheet, or mark the image transfer sheet by pressing the shape cutter into it (PHOTO A), and cut out the shapes. 

4. Using liquid Sculpey, glue each image transfer to each polymer clay shape (PHOTO B), and bake in the toaster oven following the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the shapes, and let them cool completely.

EDITOR'S NOTES

  • Take great care in the image transfer process: Wipe away liquid Sculpey with a paper towel, and wash your hands. Alternatively, use a plastic knife or paintbrush to spread the liquid Sculpey onto the sheet of glass or ceramic tile. Use oven mitts to remove the sheet of glass or ceramic tile from the toaster oven, and allow the baked image to cool just enough to be able to touch it without burning your hands.
  • A tissue blade helps to lift the transferred image from the sheet of glass or ceramic tile. 
  • Your image may stick to the paper instead of the glass or ceramic tile. Take care in peeling the image off the paper. Make extra copies in case you need to re-do the technique.

Bezels

1. On 1 yd. (.9 m) of Fireline, pick up an even number of 11/0 cylinder beads to fit around a polymer clay shape, and tie them into a ring with a square knot, leaving a 12-in. (30 cm) tail. Sew through the first few beads again.

2. Using cylinders, work in tubular peyote until you have five rounds, and insert the polymer clay shape. 

3. Adjusting your tension to snug the bezel around the polymer clay shape and decreasing in the corners if desired, work two rounds of tubular peyote with 15/0 seed beads. Thread a needle on the tail, and repeat on the remaining side of the polymer clay shape. Tie a few half-hitch knots to secure the thread and tail, but do not end them.

4. Repeat steps 1–3 with the remaining polymer clay shapes and a 10 mm fire-polished bead or round crystal (this will be the clasp bead), but cut 2 yd. (1.8 m) of Fireline, and leave a 6-in. (15 cm) tail for the 10 mm bezel.

Reversible polymer clay pendant Photo C
Photo C
Reversible polymer clay pendant Photo D
Photo D
Reversible polymer clay pendant Photo E
Photo E
Reversible polymer clay pendant Photo F
Photo F

Pendant

1. Arrange your shapes in the desired pattern, and insert 8 mm beads to fill the gaps as needed. To connect a shape to another shape, sew through the beadwork to exit a cylinder in the middle round at the point where the two shapes touch. Sew through the corresponding cylinder in the middle round of the other shape and back through the cylinder your thread exited at the start of this step (PHOTO C). Retrace the thread path a couple of times to secure the connection, and end the thread

2. To connect shapes with an 8 mm fire-polished bead or round crystal in between them, sew through the beadwork to exit a cylinder in the middle round. Pick up an 8 mm, and sew through the corresponding cylinder or cylinders in the middle round of the next shape or shapes, and back through the 8 mm and cylinder your thread exited at the start of this step (PHOTO D). Retrace the thread path a couple of times to secure the connection, and end the thread.

Clasp bead

1. Sew through the beadwork to exit a cylinder in the middle round of the clasp bead bezel. Pick up four 15/0s, an 8 mm, about 6–10 in. (15–25 cm) of 15/0s, and a 10 mm. 

2.
 Sew through a cylinder in the middle round of a polymer clay bezel at the point where you want to attach your neck chain, and sew back through the 10 mm (PHOTO E). Pick up the same number of 15/0s as you picked up in step 1. 

3. 
Sew through the 8 mm, four 15/0s, and the cylinder in the clasp bead bezel that your thread exited at the start of step 1. Sew back through the four 15/0s and 8 mm. Pick up the same number of 15/0s as in the first two strands (PHOTO F). Sew through the 10 mm and the cylinder in the polymer clay bezel. Retrace the thread path if desired, and end the thread. 

Clasp loop

1.
 On 1 1⁄2–2 yd. (1.4–1.8 m) of Fireline, center enough 15/0s to make a loop for the clasp bead to fit through. 

2. Over both threads, string an 8 mm. On each thread, pick up the same number of 15/0s as for the strands in “Clasp bead.” Over both threads, string a 10 mm, and cross the threads through a cylinder in the middle round of a polymer clay bezel where you want the second half of your neck chain to connect. Sew back through the 10 mm with both threads.

3. On one thread, pick up the same number of 15/0s as in the previous two strands, and sew through the 8 mm and loop. End both threads.

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