I posted these a few days ago on instagram and they were surprisingly very popular! So I've decided to make an instructable on how to make a crystal covered cupcake charm that can be used for necklaces, bracelets, or even phone charms or planner charms!
Because I sell these on Etsy, this isn't the exact way I make them, but the general steps are all here and it's enough to achieve the effect. The differences between the ones I have on Etsy and these are only very slight, and will be noted.
- Polymer clay - here I use
- Premo translucent - on Etsy, I use my own glitter/glow-in-the-dark mixed clay as well as regular translucent Premo straight from the package
- Fimo gemstone clay (or translucent, pearl, and a bit of chalk pastel in your choice of color)
- Opaque clay in a light tan (something similar to Vanilla by Fimo or Ecru by Sculpey), and in the color of your choice
- Granite Sculpey, or another clay that gives a rock-like appearance
- Translucent Liquid Sculpey mixed with white clay, to a frosting-like texture
An x-acto knife (optional)
A razor blade
A thick embroidery needle
A dotting tool
A light, fluffy paintbrush
Chalk pastels ranging from yellow to golden brown
An eye screw
A cupcake base mold - I use a 14 mm mold from MiniatureSweet on Etsy
- An oven
- Polymer clay glaze - I use water-based varathane polyurethane
Step 1: Making a 'gemstone' Cupcake Base
Here we will be making a gradient cupcake base!
- Take your cupcake base mold
- Use a ball of translucent clay that fills the mold only halfway
- Push the translucent clay to the bottom of the mold, and use the dotting tool to thin out a layer of clay to reach the top of the base. You want the top area to be thinner, but make it thick enough to not easily tear
- Fill in the rest of your base mold with an opaque clay
Step 2: 'Baking' a Cupcake Until It's Golden-brown
Let's add your cupcake top!
- Take a ball of the light-tan clay (around the same size as the translucent you used earlier), and place on top of the mold, centering it on the base
- Use the toothbrush to add texture to the cupcake top, shaping it slightly so it stays round and centered
- Shade the cupcake using the paintbrush and some chalk pastels to give it a baked look
- Screw in an eye screw, but only about halfway
Step 3: Frosting!
Here we start to decorate!
- Chop up some small pieces of granite clay (I like to use an x-acto blade for this)
- Use the TLS+clay mix to frost the cupcake (I also took off the eye pin, but it can be done in or out)
- Use the embroidery needle to add and arrange the small chunks of granite clay to the border of the frosting
Step 4: The Crystals
The secrets to making the illusion of tiny clay crystals! In bold!
- Take about equal parts translucent and gemstone clay
- Roll out fat, short logs with these, and line them together
- Use your dotting tool (or a clay rolling pin if you have one) to flatten the clay evenly, and fold over. Repeat until you get a gradient of gemstone and translucent. Mold this ombre clay into thick blocks slightly bigger than what you want your crystals to be
- Stick this in the freezer for 5-10 minutes. This helps them better keep their shape when you cut them.
- Take out your clay and carefully use the razor to shave off the sides, forming straight, sharp edges
- Use the razor to cut the top of the crystal to form a rough 4-faced pyramid shape
- Try your best to keep the clay shavings arranged in the gradient. You can reform this clay to a block and repeat this process until you have enough crystals
- Keep the tiny shavings. Their straight faces will be helpful for decorating at the end!
hint: you can DIY your own gemstone clay by mixing about 1/4-1/3 pearl clay, 3/4-2/3 translucent clay, and a bit of colored chalk pastel! A tip originating from Polymomotea on YouTube, modified
Step 5: Arranging the Crystals
- First use your needle to gently arrange your largest crystals. The TLS mixture helps glue it onto the cupcake.
- Arrange the tiny shard scraps around the base, to make the crystals appear more 'natural'
Step 6: Baking!
Bake according to your clay packaging directions. Typically it tends to be around 275°F or 130°C, but be sure to read the directions on your clay specifically. Sometimes I use a clay that bakes at 120°-130°C, slightly lower than the regular temperature.
hint: Be careful to bake your clay thoroughly. Under-baking causes crumbly clay! Also watch your oven and beware of burning!
Some people say that this helps with making the translucent more transparent, or making the charms more durable. You can do this step if you believe that, or ignore it.
Keep a bit of icy-cold water ready for when you're done baking. Immediately when your clay is finished baking, drop your hot charms into the cold water.
Step 7: Glazing, and Finishing Touches
After your charms have cooled from baking, paint on a thin coat of glaze. Repeat this until you think the crystals are shiny enough (I like to glaze the crystals and cupcake base with 3-4 coats, and the cake part with only 1-2 so it keeps its texture).
And now you're done! You can add this to a necklace, or a bracelet, or to shorter findings to make a planner or phone charm!
And if you want some of these charms that I make myself, I have them available on my etsy ~