Introduction: Clay Moon Phase Necklace
Hey Readers! Thank you for checking out my first ible! I made this moon necklace from polymer clay, acrylic paint, and jewelry findings. Polymer clay is a simple medium, so it shouldn’t be too hard for anybody to do. Read on and enjoy!
Gray polymer clay (mine is Sculpey’s Elephant)
Exact-o knife, razor blade, or polymer clay blade
Rolling pin (The smaller the better, make sure that it is an even thickness all over.)
2 Popsicle sticks
Round cookie cutter (mine is 2 cm, a good size for jewelry.)
Small ball tool (A glass headed pin can work in a pinch)
2 ceramic tiles or 2 lipless baking sheets lined with parchment paper (For baking. Trust me, you need two.)
18 eye pins (mine are sterling silver)
White and black, or gray, acrylic paint
Acrylic iridescent medium (optional)
Gloss glaze (optional)
11 5-mm jump rings
1 10-mm jump ring
1 15-mm lobster clasp
Black cord (You could use chain, but I didn’t have any)
Flour or cornstarch (If you are using parchment paper-lined baking sheets, you might not need this)
2 pairs of needle nose pliers
Step 1: Step 1: Preparation
To start, soften your clay by kneading it. Some polymer clays need to be mixed with a softener, so make sure you add some if you need to. You need your clay to be flexible, not stiff. Now, flour your surface. Because the clay is soft, it will stick unless you do, which makes it hard to get your circles off in perfect circle shape.
Step 2: Step 2: Rolling and Cutting
To control the thickness of your clay, roll it out with the ends of your pin resting on the Popsicle sticks. This keeps your clay a mostly even thickness. Then cut out nine circles with your cutter. As you can see, I only have seven. I realized that much later in the process, and had to make more, so count carefully!
Step 3: Step 3: Eye Pins
Using wire cutters or tough scissors if that’s all you have, cut your eye pins down. You want to be able to put two into the circle, pointing at each other, without them touching. I find the best way to put them in is holding the circle, and pushing the pin in. This way, you can feel the pin if it starts to push through the surface. It’s nearly impossible to get the pins in the exact middle of the edge, but you don’t want them sticking out.
Step 4: Step 4: Craters!
Next, choose which side has the pins closest to it. That will be the back, to hide any lumps or bumps made by the pins. The other side will be the surface of your moon! Using a ball tool or a pinhead make “craters” on the surface. I worked off a reference image, to get a somewhat accurate pattern of craters, but when it’s all said and done you can’t really tell, so I wouldn’t worry about it. However, it helped all my moons look the same, which helped give it a very professional look at the end.
Step 5: Step 5: Baking the Moons (They Aren't Made of Green Cheese After All.)
Now it is time to bake your moons! (Who ever thought I would say that.) I floured my ceramic tile to stop the moons from sticking (If you are using baking sheets and parchment paper, no flour is needed). Then I gently floured the top of my moons, being careful not to add paintbrush marks to the surface. Then I laid the second tile on top. This stops air bubbles from making bulges in your moons, like what sometimes happens to a pizza. I baked mine in a toaster oven outside, because polymer clay can get a bit smelly when baking, and nobody wants their next meal baked in the oven to smell like clay. Check the packaging of your clay for the correct temperature and baking time. Please use proper caution, especially if using tiles, because they can get very hot.
Step 6: Step 6: Planning and Painting
Now that your moons are baked, dust off the flour that sticks to them and arrange them in a line. I suggest putting your most moony moon in the middle and your flattest, ugliest moons on the ends, which will make the most of them. Once they are arranged, prepare to do some finger painting! Yes, finger painting. Something we haven’t done since kindergarten. Mix a very light gray paint that matches the not-crater part of the moon’s surface. Then get a little bit on your finger and rub it over the surface to catch the high points of only seven moons, leaving the flat, ugly ones untouched. You want to leave the craters of your moons darker, so don’t use too much paint! You could try this with a sponge, but your finger works very well! Make sure to get the edges.
Step 7: Step 7: New Moons
Using a brush this time, paint the two unpainted moons black. These are your new moons, and they will be on the edges of the necklace. (See how well this hides the flatness? No one can tell these aren’t A-list moons!)
Step 8: Step 8: Moon Phases
After the other moons have dried, carefully paint them into the phases of the moon. Make sure that your crescents face the right way! I found a reference image very helpful for this, after almost messing up several times. Once the paint is dry, you can neaten the edges with a black Sharpie. Make sure you get the edges!
If you like, you can finger paint some iridescent medium onto the moons, carefully avoiding the black, to give it a more whimsical look. You can also add a gloss glaze to it, to shine the whole thing up.
Step 9: Step 9: Assembly
Now it is time to make this look like a necklace! Arrange the moons in the correct order, with the full moon in the middle. The full moon should be your best moon. The star—moon— of the show. Use your pliers to open the 5 mm jump rings to attach the moons together one by one. Tip: Lay down a piece of fabric so if your jump ring goes flying it is less likely to bounce. Open the jump ring by grabbing each side of the split with a pair of pliers and bending one side toward you and the other away. Slip the eye pins on and then bend the ring back to its original position.
Add a jump ring to the outside eye pin of each new moon. Use these to attach your cord or chain. I suggest doing a “fitting” to determine the length, and decide then whether or not you need a closure. If you do, add the 10 mm jump ring to one side and the lobster clasp to the other using the one remaining 5 mm jump ring, or if you have some other form of a closure, use that.
Step 10: Finished!
Thank you so much for reading my first ible! If you have any tips and tricks to make the project or ible itself better, please let me know! I hope you enjoy making this project, and if you do, please share a picture in the “I Made It!” section. Also, please vote for this project in the Space Contest! Thank you again for reading!
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