Introduction: Key Decoration With Polymer Clay

About: I'm currently studying Coastal Engineering, I'm crazy for miniatures and dioramas, and I see a opportunity of improvement in every broken thing.

I love polymer clay and I wanted to make something I could see every day while I use it. I don't like wearing pendants or earings and so I first thought of making a keyring. The idea of making a keyring turned into key decorating when I relized that it didn't matter how beautiful the keyring was, the ugly keys ruined the image.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


- Polymer clay
- Keys
- Black permanent marker


- Scalpel
- Pin

Step 2: Making the Design

I based the design of my keys on it's original shape. They were rectangular and that made me choose rectangular objects. Here are some ideas:

- Snooker table
- Soccer field / Soccer ball (This design is very versatile because most sport fields are rectangular and you can put the corresponding ball on the other side: basket, hockey, football, volleyball, tennis, cricket, table tennis)
- Photo camera
- Car
- Guitar
- Sandwich


- Cookie
- Coin
- Sun
- Flower
- Sports balls (Tennis, baseball, golf, basket...)

I chose to make a camera, a soccer field/soccer ball and a guitar (based on a squared shape).

Step 3: Draw the Design

The first step is to draw the chosen design on the key to help you placing the clay on it.

Step 4: The Field

For this design I used green white and black clay.

The front:
1 - Place a layer of green clay on one side of the key. This will be the soccer field.
2 - Cut the excess using the drawing as reference.
3 - With a pin, make the lines and divisions of the field by placing it in horizontal position and pressing downwards. To make the central circle I used the body of the scalpel, once removed its blade.

The back:
4 - On the other side, place a layer of green clay and mark a circle with the body of the scalpel. Remove the circle and leave a hole where the ball will be placed.
5 - Make a ball with white clay. Press it against the table for it to have a flat part. Place it in the hole.
6 - Once the ball is on the key, use the pin to make the pentagons and hexagons. I started by making an hexagon in the center and then I tried to follow the desing of a soccer ball.

7 - Fill the contour of both sides of the key with black clay.
8 - Finally, open the hole for the ring using the pin.

Step 5: The Guitar

This design was a little bit more complicated than the others beause I had to work out of the shape of the key. 

1 - Take a piece of black clay and make a flat but not too thin layer. Place the key on it.
2 - Add a new layer of clay as thick as the key isAdd a final layer on top of it.
3 - Cut away the surplus clay giving it the shape of a guitar. Use your fingers to round the corners.

Now we'll make the white part of the guitar using the inicial sketch of this desing.

4 - Cut the white part from the sketch and place it on the key.
5 - Use it as a stencil and mark the contour using the scalpel. Remove this part.
6 - Take a piece of white clay and fill the hole with it. You can also use the stencil to mark the contour here.

7 - Finally, open the hole for the ring using the pin.

Step 6: The Camera

This design has many details. Be patient, it's worth it!

1 - Cut a rectangular block as big as the key is.
2 - Divide it in 3 parts.
3 - Make a sandwich with 2 of these parts and the key.
4 - With the third part make a strip to make the contour of the camera. We want to keep the rctangular shape to make it more realistic. I'v seen other polymer clay cameras that were chubby and had rounded angles and they didn't look much realistic.
5 - Take a piece of clay and make the camera grip. If you have a DSLR camera I'm sure you know every detait of it but if you don´t, there are many pictures you can copy from.
6 - Open the hole for the ring using the pin.
7 - For the lens, make a cylinder and place it by the camera to choose the length. Once decided place it on the camera.

The details:
The basic parts of a DSLR camera are the LCD display, the view finder, the shooter button, the cross keys and flash.
8 - Make different tones of grey by mixing black and white clays.
9 - I used the lightest grey to make the LCD display and darker tones for the buttons.
10 - Use the pin to make the details of the cross keys and view finder.

Step 7: Extra Rings

I made some extra rings with the surplus clay that can be added to the keyring.

I just made a long and thin cylinder with each clay color and then twisted and rolled them together.

Step 8: Bake It, and All Details With Marker

My clay takes 30 min to harden at 110ºC (230ºF)

Using a permanent marker draw the guitar strings and paint the pentagons of the ball. Add as many details as you consider.

Step 9: Fall in Love With Your Masterpiece!

I took them today to my class and the girl who sits next to me fell IN LOVE with them. She asked me where could she buy it and I proudly answered "You can't buy them. I made them myself" and she instantainly asked me to decorate her keys.

Having these keys is quite cool, but even cooler is to see other people's faces when they see them!

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