Introduction: How to Make a Polymer Clay Mini Book
Runner Up in the
Big or Small Challenge
This is an easy bookish craft for a mini polymer clay book. You can make a small book with the covers from any of your favorite books that are close to your heart or make them for a bookworm friend. You can make them any size you want and they can be a keychain, necklace, or just a bookshelf decoration. All you need is clay, your favorite book covers, and about half an hour. Okay, there's more to it than that:
- Polymer clay (a musty white for the pages and any color you want for the cover; I prefer buying black as it goes with everything, but you can pick any color that best matches the book covers you're using)
- Gloss mod podge (see picture for brand name and product details; this is the mod podge you are looking for)
- A knife *Joker smile*
- A brush
- Lobster clasp
- Color (or black and white) printed papers of your mini book covers. See next step for how to get those.
- (Not pictured) An oven
I got the idea and instructions from this post. Be sure to check it out because it comes with a great review of another of my special favorite books, A Monster Calls.
Step 1: Materials Assemble!!
Yes, you might have to call a material assembly if you plan on getting anything done with this project. Sorry for the late warning. Here's a few tips and tricks ...
I got my polymer clay and mod podge from Michaels, because Michaels has everything crafty. Together with the eyepins and lobster clasps, it was farily inexpensive.
The eyepins shouldn't be too long. It depends on how big you want your book to be; you don't want them sticking out the end of your mini book. Of course, you could snip it, but it'd be easier (maybe even cheaper) to get them smaller.
Get small lobster clasps. Teeny tiny ones, because your book is going to be teeny tiny.
Now, how to get those book cover printouts? Simply google "book title cover front" and you should come up with some cool images of your book covers and if you want a quote for the back cover, just google that too. Save those images to your computer, then insert them into a blank Word doc. You need to get them to be really tiny, though, so that they're about 1 x 2 in. at the least. Again, it depends on how small you want your book to be. (A note on the cover sizes to print out: Make sure the back cover you choose matches up in dimensions with the front. You can always cut them to size, but not drastically as you may lose some precious cover.)
I don't have a color printer, so for those of you who have color covers and don't have a color printer, I just printed it through Kinko's. Easy peasy.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Beautiful Prints of Your Choice Book Cover, Front and Back
Today's book I'm using as a demonstration is a book that is very close to my heart: Skies of Dripping Gold by Hannah Heath. It's a short, yet heart-rending tale of faith, loyalty, and perseverence, and I recommend it to you bigtime: Skies of Dripping Gold on Amazon. Just check out those beautiful covers. The back is one of my favorite quotes from the book. (And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that the author is my friend.)
Cutting those babies. Use scissors because this is the only way to get detailed and precise with your straight cuts. Unfortunately, I was rushing for no good reason and my sides didn't turn out as straight as I would have liked; but they aren't too bad. Again, make sure the front and back are relatively the same size before you print and cut.
Step 3: Roll Out White Clay and Cut Around the Front Book Cover
While rolling out the white clay, make sure it's as thick as you want your pages to be. I rolled mine out thinner than I would have liked, but that's okay because Skies of Dripping Gold is a skinny book. Place the front cover on the clay and, using your knife, just cut around the edges.
Step 4: Roll Out the Black Clay
Rolling out the black clay, you need it thinner than your pages because this is going to be the cover, but you need it wider so to fit both the front and back covers with space in between for the book's spine. See picture to see how it should look like. Then cut around them, like with the white clay.
I used wax paper to lay the clay out on because the white clay attracts and shows beautiful specks and smudges of any dirt from my hands, the air, or the paper bag.
Step 5: Carefully Fold the Cover Around the Pages
This is the hardest part, and this time I'm not kidding. At least it was hard for me as I tend to be a bit clumsy with this sort of thing. Be careful as you place the white pages of clay on one side of the black rectangle and as you fold the other side over the pages. Particuarly handle with care as you peel the clay off of your workspace. Luck was not with me, but it didn't turn out too bad. It never should.
Step 6: Stick the Eyepin Into the Book
Wait! Before you do though, make sure it goes STRAIGHT down. You don't want it poking out the sides. Once it's in the way it needs to be., take it out and coat with mod podge. Then stick it back in. Wipe any excess mod podge, but be quick about it because it dries fast.
Step 7: Bake It in the Oven
Look at your clay packaging's instructions for how long and at what temperature to bake the clay in the oven. For mine, it was at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. When it's done, leave it to cool completely before heading on to the next step...
Step 8: Using Mod Podge, Glue Your Front and Back Covers to Your Hardened Clay Book
Make sure that whatever cover you did first is completely dry before heading over to work on the next cover. Make the coating fairly thin; you don't want it bulging out in thick white globs when you paste on your print out cover. At least, I don't think you do.
Step 9: After It Is Dried, Coat Mod Podge Over the Covers and Leave to Dry. DONE!
Yup, you're just going to paint mod podge over the covers to make sure it sticks down nice and flat to the clay. Pay attention to any corners that are sticking up. At first the mod podge might look to white, but I promise it'll turn out all clear and glossy when it's dry.
And that's it! You're done.
As a bonus, the last two pictures are 3 of my special favorite books (The Hobbit was made after those pics were taken). The one to the left, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is one my friend made and I thought it should belong with the other two. I hope you liked this Instructable and if you want to try making one yourself, don't forget to comment with a picture of your finished project. I would love to see yours! Also, please vote as this is entered in the Big and Small contest. (You don't have to, but consider feeling obliged.) As always, thanks for reading!
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