Introduction: Making and Attaching Earrings (and Other Things) From Polymer Clay and Attaching to Hooks

One of the issues that I always have with clay is figuring out how to attach it to things for use.  This instructable will mostly cover the building of an earring (in this case, chocolate chip cookies!) but one of the goal parts is to demonstrate how to attach the hooks in the way I've been using.  

Step 1: Pick Your Model

Pick what earrings you'd like to build.  Like I said, in this case, I wanted to make chocolate chip cookie earrings for my wife.

Step 2: Things You'll Need

You need:

- Clay in the appropriate colors
- Fishing line (Any lb test will work but will depend on what you're trying to make.  For earrings, I've been using 20lb test)
- Earring hooks
- A safety pin
- Super glue (not pictured here but any kind with a tight nozzle will work

Step 3: Get the Amounts of Clay You'll Need and Make Your Models

I started with a small bar of tan clay and a small square of dark brown clay (for the chips).

I made a ball of the tan clay and then smashed it down.

I then rolled the dark brown into a ball then made it into a string.  From here, I pushed it down onto my work area a bit to flatten it out and chopped it into small pieces to make the chips. 

I then arranged the chips in a random order on top of the smashed "cookie" pieces. 

Step 4: Prepping for Attachment

Here is the detail step that is important.  Before you bake, you want to add a hole in what you dub the top.  I use a safety pin and I just use my mouth to wet the pin a bit to keep it from getting stuck.  I poke the hole gradually as not to get anything stuck to it and to avoid smashing my model.  Just lick the pin and shove it in a tiny bit.  Then pull it out and do it again.  Each time, you progress a little further until you have a hole that is as far in as you are comfortable going.  (It's really that subjective.  You can't measure because if you're using something that has a 1/16th inch of clearance, you obviously won't be able to put a half inch hole in it.  However, if you have something that is 3inch long, you'll probably want something a little more substantial than a half inch hole.)

It's that simple!  Now that you have the holes poked in your models, bake them for the desired time.  For these, I baked them about 15 min on 270F ish.

Step 5: After Baking

After baking, let them cool off obviously.  Now, the next important step.  This may require 4-5 hands but you can usually figure it out with 2 and something to rest your model on.  Get your fishing line ready.  It can still be attached to the spool (this may actually be preferred) you just need the end.  What you want to do is get a very tiny drip on the end of your precision tipped super glue nozzle and just barely touch it directly over the hole in the model that you created in the previous step.  As soon as you do this (and you have to be quick) shove your fishing line straight through the little drop of glue that you just created all the way down until you feel the bottom of the hole.  This completely coats your fishing line with glue giving it a bond anywhere that it makes contact in the hole and also a nice strong central hold on top. 

When detaching from the spool, be sure to leave 4-5 inches to be sure that you'll have enough space.

Step 6: Finishing

Now, simply decide how you want your object to hang from the attachments (earring hooks in this case) and tie a knot around the anchor point on your hook.  Once you have perfected your positioning, put a tiny dab of glue on the knot to prevent it from coming loose and trim off all but the tiniest little edge from the excess fishing line.  You're done!  You can seal them at this point if you'd like but I haven't found a seal that I'm comfortable with sharing yet so maybe you can leave me some feedback on stuff you've found that works well in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

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