Picture of Make a millefiori USB flash drive jewel
This millefiori USB flash drive makes a great present for friends (or for yourself). With a polymer clay casing you can give the memory stick a very individual appearance. Each one is different and you can personalise by using the wearer's favorite colour combinations.

If you have some experience with polymer clay it can be a first millefiori project. I advise to start with simple patterns, which already give a great effect

If you do not have experience with polymer clay, just take some time to get some feeling with the material and you will very soon be ready to start with millefiori. Check out some of the many online millefiori tutorial videos. I like the ones from fimosieraden.

As taking pictures of a polymer clay work in progress involves cleaning my hands thoroughly before taking the camera each time, I combined pictures of workpieces made at different times to cover all the steps.

Step 1: Materials and tools

Picture of Materials and tools

- a USB flash drive. I prefer to work with the smallest possible, in order to end up with a small pendant. Sliding models, as opposed to those with a cap, tend to allow for an easier complete removal of the outer casing. You can also use the types without any cover.

- polymer clay of the brand and colours of your choice. I use Fimo "Soft" and Fimo "Effect", most often in a combination of three colours. Take care as polymer clay in unbaked condition is considered harmful to your health and to many plastic surfaces. I guess it's the softeners that do the harm. Check the instructions of the manufacturer. Avoid contact with anything not needed for the sculpting and wash hands, tools and working area thoroughly afterwards.

- some wood with a thickness close to the thickness of the USB flash drive without casing.

- a piece of lace and a catch of your choice

- some masking tape for option A, some thin double-sided tape for option B. I use the type meant for fixing carpets to the floor.

- a clean working surface suitable for working with polymer clay (the softeners tend to attack many plastics and paints, but not polyethylene and polypropylene).

- a razor type crafts knife

- a toothpick

- superglue

- a kitchen furnace (not shown) with good temperature control adapted to the polymer clay of your choice (110 degrees Celsius for Fimo).

MicioGatta4 years ago
Fimo + millefiori + usb pen + pendant?! I *must* do this. Thank you, I love that four things and so I love this tutorial.
Nice photo. Flash drive is pretty too. :)
neologik4 years ago
very beautyfull
i really like it so much!

DirtyMex4 years ago
during step 4 & 5 do you use the whole clay or how much?
masynmachien (author)  DirtyMex4 years ago
good question!

I use enough of the prepared clay to cover the complete shape with one layer. I am normally left with at least a little extra clay.

I use the part of the cane with the best cross sections to cover the shape. I use what is left to make something else, most often buttons: simple discs of clay cane pieces kneaded (with more or less "marble" effect), with two or four holes near the middle. These are not the strongest buttons, but you can use them as decoration or in applications with light loads on the buttons. You can see them used as eyes in some of my cyborg zombies: http://www.instructables.com/id/Cyborg-zombie-feeding-on-quotdeadquot-batterie/
thanks that really helped a lot
Are you sure its safe to bake a flash drive? or do you remove it before baking?
masynmachien (author)  brooklynlord5 years ago
This Ible describes the use of a "core" replacing the flash drive while backing. The main reason is I need a non sticking surface to obtain a removable "cap" piece. It also allows to avoid any risks involved with baking the usb drive.

But actually you can, another Ible describes you can bake a flash drive without destroying it. I tried it once, with succes.

A colleague of mine, an electronics engineer, told me he was not surprised at all this is possible, as the inner working temperature of those devices is quite high. What would be destructive is trying to bake it while it is powered up (both heat inputs adding up).
Thank you! Christmas indecision is now solved!
russian55 years ago
Nice instructable. I like the first picture
mykacanada6 years ago
this is a really great idea i can color code all drive's wooohoo
Its Giggles6 years ago
So wait a second. . . you bake it w/ the usb drive???
masynmachien (author)  Its Giggles6 years ago
No I do not, but according to this Ible you could.

As I need a non sticking surface to obtain a removable "cap" piece anyway, I make a "core", thus avoiding any risks involved with baking the usb drive.
oh I get it now. very pretty result. thanks muchleys lol ;0)
xACIDITYx6 years ago
I love this idea. I always liked keeping my USB drives attached to me, because if they're just loose, like in my pocket, I always lose them.
Its Giggles6 years ago
thank you for explaining that. =]
lucek6 years ago
I've got it. wire up the thumb drive to a 2' usb extension cable cut in half and just attach the other end with hot glue. use the usb cable ends as clasps. it would involve $.37 cents +s&h for the cable and minimal soldering.
masynmachien (author)  lucek6 years ago
Nice idea. It also gave me inspiration to yet another idea: using the separating halves of the pendant as a catch/closure (wearing it horizontally). This can be done with either an extension cable or a lace.
Wow, I love this as a gift idea. Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be linking in today's Daily DIY.
masynmachien (author)  OnePrettyThing6 years ago
starmoon1256 years ago
great idea,smart people!
luvit6 years ago
i didn't read any of the words. none.
glut6 years ago
good idea. And the result is very nice.
Focker6 years ago
daaaaaang, thats really neat! I bet you could make a killing selling these!
scoochmaroo6 years ago