Thursday, September 27, 2012
Simple Gifts: Part Four
Simple gifts, huh? How simple? Sooooo simple! You, yes, you can make ornaments that will dazzle your friends and family and bedazzle any Christmas tree.
I made these using Sculpey Premo Clay that I bought directly from the Polymer Clay Superstore. I can make two of these with a 2 oz block of clay, with just a bit of clay left over for some other application (like beads or doo-dads or geegaws or what-have-yous).
Honestly? The most difficult part of this is kneading the clay so it's soft enough to work with.
Here's what you will need:
~Clay ...You can use any clay, but I do prefer the Premo Clay from Sculpey. I don't know why, I just do.
~Sculpey Glaze... I used glossy, but satin finish would be fine too. I've never tried other brands of glazes, but a friend of mine who does lots of this kind of stuff said that some other glazes don't react well with the clay and can make it kind of gummy after it's dried.
~Rubber stamps... I chose a beautiful round stamp from Blockheads Floral Ornament set.
~Ink... I chose Brilliance inks because I like that slight pearly sparkle they have (in the first example, I used Pearlescent Poppy, and in the second example, I used Pearlescent Sky Blue). I would recommend against water based inks just because they can bleed a little. StazOn would also work well.
~PearlEx Mica Powder... this is optional. I mixed a little in with the glaze to give the ornaments a little more sheen and sparkle. But that's entirely up to you! If you wanted to, you could also mix a little bit of Ultrafine Glitter into your glaze before brushing it on.
~Cookie Cutter... any shape you want! I used a round 2.75" diameter cutter for these examples. One thing to note: you will want a cutter with really good straight edges to give the clay a clean cut.
~Skewer or some other such object to poke a hole in the ornament
~Non-stick craft/baking mat or parchment paper
~Oven... you can use your regular old oven. Just don't bake food at the same time.
~Disposable Foam Paintbrush
~Ribbon... I used 1/4" ribbon for these examples
~Rolling Pin... get an extra one if you're a baker. You don't want to use the same rolling pin on clay and food.
Okay, so now that you've got all the "ingredients," let's get started!
First, knead the clay to a consistency where it's easy to handle and will roll out without breaking, then roll it out to about 1/4 thickness. Note: I found it easiest and got the best results when I rolled out the clay between two sheets of parchment paper. Next, cut out the shapes with your cookie cutter(s). Now, stamp your image on the clay, pressing straight down firmly. Using a skewer, make the hole for the ribbon. Bake the ornaments on your non-stick mat or on the parchment paper according to the directions on the Sculpey website (baking times vary on type and thickness of clay).
Once the ornaments are baked and cooled, simply brush the glaze over them and let it dry (usually that doesn't take longer than a couple of hours). Slip the ribbon through the hole, tie it of, and you have a beautiful ornament!
Obviously, the possibilities are endless. You can make all different shapes and sizes with different patterns and color. Don't forget to take a Sharpie and sign and date the back so that those you give them to will have a special keepsake from you.