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Vacation memories custom clay pendant

Use your scrapbooking supplies to create a custom pendant that captures memories of summer

This piece was a whimsical experiment with some newly purchased supplies (like the butterfly stamp). Use the technique to capture memories of summer: trips to the beach, baseball games, long walks on hot summer evenings. Most importantly, enjoy your creative journey with clay!

SUPPLIES

pendant 

  • 2 2-oz. packages polymer clay, in two colors
  • 25–30 mm pendant bezel
  • lobster claw clasp
  • craft knife or tissue blade
  • acrylic roller
  • playing cards
  • assorted rubber stamps, texture sheets, and/or stippling tool
  • paintbrush
  • mica powder pigments 
  • Sakura Gelly Roll pens and/or metallic markers
  • 800-grit sandpaper
  • two-part epoxy
  • waxed paper
  • toaster oven or polymer clay oven
  • needle tool or safety pin (optional)
  • clay sealant (optional)

to hang your pendant

  • 17–18 in. (43–46 cm) chain, 4 mm links
  • 4-6 mm accent bead
  • 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) head pin
  • 6 mm jump ring or 3-in. (7.6 cm) extender chain, 4–5 mm links
  • 2–3 4–5 mm jump rings
  • 2 pairs of chainnose pliers
  • roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

INSTRUCTIONS

Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 1
1. Place waxed paper on your work surface. For each half of the pendant: Use a craft knife to cut a thin slice of polymer clay. Condition the clay. Make two stacks of three to five playing cards. Use an acrylic roller to roll out the clay to the thickness of the card stacks. You’ll want the finished clay to be about 1 mm thicker than the bezel depth.
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 2
2. Texture each piece of clay. You can use the roller to go over the clay on a texture sheet, or use a rubber stamp. 
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 3
3. If desired, use a needle tool or stippling tool to create additional texture in the clay. Use the craft knife to cut each piece of textured clay on an angle.
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 4
4. Splice the pieces together, then cut them to fit inside a pendant bezel. Gently press the clay so the surface is flush with the bezel. Use a paintbrush to apply mica powder to the surface. (If you’ll be making the stamped imprints a different color, avoid those areas.)
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 5
5. Set the oven temperature according to the manufacturer’s directions and cure the bezeled clay. Allow to cool. Use a needle tool or safety pin to remove the clay from the bezel. Gently sand the surface of the piece to remove excess mica powder. Wipe the piece with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 6
6. Use pens or metallic markers to embellish the stamped imprints. Allow to dry. Place in an oven for five minutes to heat seal the pigments. You could also use a paintbrush to apply a light coat of sealant to the cooled piece.
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 7
7. Use two-part epoxy to glue the clay into the bezel. Allow to dry.
Vacation memories custom clay pendant Step 10

8. If your pendant doesn’t have a bail, open a jump ring and attach the loop. Close the jump ring. Cut a 17–18-in. (43–46 cm) piece of chain. Center the bail or jump ring on the chain.

On one end, use a jump ring to attach a lobster claw clasp. Repeat on the other end, substituting a 6 mm jump ring or 3-in. (7.6 cm) extender chain for the clasp.

On a head pin, string an accent bead. Make a plain loop and attach the bead unit to the necklace or extender chain.

Tip!
  • To condition your polymer clay, knead, twist, and fold it in your hands until it’s malleable.
  • Use a bit of water on the roller to keep the clay from sticking to it.
  • I used Sculpey Premo for these pendants, but there are other brands of polymer clay, so follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding the curing temperature (typically between 265 and 275 degrees).
  • Polymer clay is nontoxic, so it’s safe to cure in a toaster oven or your home oven. If you use your home oven, check the temperature with an oven thermometer. This will help you avoid hot spots.
  • Fold a small piece of aluminum foil to tent your piece as it cures. The foil will prevent burning as well as discoloration of light-colored clay.
 

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