Here's a cool, inexpensive present that you can make out of polymer clay! Polymer clay is an easy material to work with; you can usually buy a pack of one color for around $2-3, and it cures by baking in a conventional oven.
I wanted to make a necklace pendant that was delicate and cute, and the result of that was this flower ball! Instead of making a necklace, you can also turn your flower ball into a keychain, cell phone strap or earrings.
Step 1: Supplies
- White, translucent, and lime green polymer clay. Feel free to play around with the colors!
- A polymer clay blade or another thin cutting tool
- A small tool for making detailed touch ups. I used an embossing tool, but you can also use a toothpick.
- Translucent liquid sculpey
- Chalk pastels and a small brush (optional)
- An eyepin and necklace chain
Working with clean hands and a clean surface is important, especially when using white clay, otherwise you might find lots of lint and dust stuck to your finished work. I usually cover my work table with scrap paper to make the clean up process easier.
Step 2: Making the Roses
Mix together the colors of clay that you want to use for this project; for the pendant that I made, I used plain white clay for the white roses and a mixture of translucent and lime green clay for the green roses.
Take your clay and roll it out into a thin log, then cut approximately even-sized chunks using your blade. Having varying sizes will be helpful so that you can have larger outer petals to wrap around your rose.
Gently roll each chunk between your fingers until it is ball-like and then squish it against the paper to make petals. If you use a softer clay like sculpey III, your petal might stick to the paper, but you can just scrape it off with your blade.
Take a petal and roll it into a tube; this will be the furled up center of your rose. Use some of the smaller petals and wrap them around the center petal. As I added petals, I used my embossing tool to gently push the edges of the petals outwards to shape them and keep them from sticking together.
Keep on adding larger petals until you're satisfied with your rose! In total, I made about 14 roses and some oval "buds" (mostly pictured in the next step) to fill in any gaps between flowers in the final ball.
Step 3: Touching Up the Flowers
In order to make your flowers look more interesting and realistic, you can use chalk pastel to add more color. Take the colors of chalk that you wish to use, and gently scrape at an edge of the pastel using your blade to get a chalky powder.
I brushed some yellow powder onto the white roses to give them a tint of yellow. I used some green chalk on a white flower and added some tiny balls of yellow clay to the center of the flower.
When you're finished touching up your roses, place them on a baking sheet and bake them according to the directions on your clay packaging. After you take them out of the oven, drop the clay pieces into a bowl of ice water for a minute. This ice water treatment is called "quenching", and it makes your pieces more durable.
Step 4: Putting Together the Pendant
To make the base of the pendant, roll out a small ball of clay in a color similar to that of your flowers. Hopefully, none of this clay will be seen in the final pendant, but if there are any gaps between flowers, choosing a similar color of clay will help the gaps be less noticeable.
Before sticking flowers onto the base, you can apply some translucent liquid sculpey to each flower to act as a glue. Because the flowers are already baked, they will be less sticky, and the TLS will make sure they really stick on.
Arrange your various flowers onto the base and use the oval buds to fill up gaps where one of your flowers won't fit. When you're done, stick your eyepin into the pendant.
Lastly, you might want to use a napkin to clean up any TLS that oozes out between flowers. When baked, the TLS looks like dried elmer's glue, so if you don't want any of that on your pendant, be sure to wipe it away!
Step 5: Final Product
Bake your final piece and drop it in the ice water bath again. After that, you can slip on a necklace chain, and you're done!