How to Construct and Craft Polymer Clay Cartoon-style Brooches




Introduction: How to Construct and Craft Polymer Clay Cartoon-style Brooches

About: Hi there! When cuteness and science collide, a very weird creature is born: A KittyKissMe. :-) So I am afraid it would be hard to pigeonhole me, as my interests are wide- ranging. I love planning and building …

Hello everyone!

I really love crafting with polymer clay, since this material is very versatile. I'll show you how to construct and craft a flat polymer clay brooch, getting every motif you want. This time, I will do a gumball machine.
So grab your clay and knead yourself to happyness.

Please be aware of the potential dangers of a hot oven and sharp knives.

Last but not least, just have fun. Feel free to ask if anything is unclear.

Step 1: Material

Material needed:

- Clay (black and the colours you like)
- scissors
- squared paper (optional, it helps me to keep my sketches symmetric)
- a pencil
- a rubber
- a pen
- sculpting tools like a toothpick or similar
- a bendable, sharp blade (optional)
- a scalpel or craftin knife
- an acylic rod, or anything similar for rolling out the clay (a pastamachine may come in handy here)
- cutters for polymer clay (optional; depends on the shapes you would like to cut)
- liquid clay
- brooch needle
- wax or baking paper (not shown)
- an oven (not shown)
- a copier (optional and not shown)

Material needed for quillings (optional):

- ribbon
- lace
- matching thread to ribbon and lace
- sewing needle
- strong double sided tape

Step 2: Sketch for Stencil

First of all make a drawing of the object you would like to make a brooch of. I like to use square paper because it helps me to get my sketch (more or less) symmetric.
Keep in mind, that you need a thick black line around every part of your object to make it look cartoon like. Make the lines as thick as you feel comfortable with.
Mine are usually not thicker than 3mm.
Keep the shapes as simple as possible.
For this instructable I decided on a gumballmachine.
Keep a rubber at hand for correcting possible mistakes.

Get the outlines done with a black marker or something similar. The only important thing is, the lines you draw now are not erasable.
Erase the pencil lines.

Step 3: Duplicate and Cut Stencil

Duplicate your sketch by using a copier, baking paper or anything else.

Cut the shapes. The whole object has to be cut out at the outer edges of the lines. All inner parts need to be cut out WITHOUT the lines.

Step 4: The Base

Condition your black clay. Conditioning means make it smooth and soft by kneeding it thoroughly.

When done, roll it to a flat, approximately 3mm thick shape, slightly bigger than your object itself. This would be setting 1 on my pasta machine.
Place your outer shape on the clay and carefully rub it onto the clay. Take your scalpel or sharp crafting knife to cut out the shape.

Get rid of rough edges by cutting them carefully until you are satisfied with the result.

Peel the stencil off and set aside.

Step 5: Inner Shapes

For the inner shapes I chose setting 4 on my pasta machine. This is about 1mm thick. We will be doing the "lid" of the gumballmachine now and I picked a royal blue for that purpose.

Proceed as in step 4.
Remove the shape from the surface and place it onto the base. Keep shaping it until you are satisfied and gently rub the blue shape onto the base so it gets hold on it.

Do so with the gumball machine base. You may like to use a cutter here if available. Just mark the stencils position. Cut a hole for the turning knob above, too. Use a smaller, circular cutter for this. You may like to add "wings" by using your knife or scalpel.

For the glas part of the gumball machine roll out a 1mm thick piece of white clay and lay it on a sheet of baking or wax paper. Randomly cut out circles. Do this with clay in differeny colours, and insert the circles into the white clay. Cover with another sheet of baking or wax paper and rub until there is no air visible and it feels like an even surface.

Repeat D.

Place onto the base like the other two inner parts.

Step 6: Baking

Bake according to the manufacturer's directions. I used Fimo so I boke it at 110°C for 30 minutes.

Step 7: Add Brooch Needle

Roll out a thin sheet of clay and cut a small piece that is able to cover the brooch needles base.

Add a thin layer of liquid clay to the brooch needle base and your clay piece. Always position the needle in the upper third of your object. This keeps the brooch balanced. Cover the brooch needle base with the clay sheet and gently smooth the edges with your fingers.

Step 8: Bake Again

According to the manufacturer's directions bake your brooch again. Keep in mind that liquid clay's curing temperature may differ from that of polymer clay.

Step 9: Creating Quillings

This is optional.

Take the lace and stitch with constant distances (as seen in the picture). Gently pull the lace down the thread to form quillings.
Do the same with the ribbon.

Add the two sided tape at the edges of the brooch and stick down the flouncy ribbon. Repeat with the lace, but add the tape onto the base of the ribbon this time. Secure both with a few stitches through the last layer.

Have fun with your finished brooch!

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    9 years ago

    Very nice. I like the detail in the instructable. Good job in the gumball machine design. Thanks for posting.