Hey! This Instructable is for a Clustered Gemstone Statement Necklace!
I like the idea of making something typically used in statement necklaces (gemstones) out of an atypical material (clay).
I chose to use all Sculpey clay which made baking the clay easy. Sculpey brand of polymer clay has shiny clay which would also be great for gemstones. So whether you pick a variety pack or individual packages of clay, you are good to go!
You can choose any necklace base shape you want. I just chose a lightning bolt because I felt like it! Haha
This Instructable assumes you know how to open jump rings correctly to attach lobster clasps etc.
This Instructable also assumes you are capable and old enough to operate an oven. If you aren't please use adult supervision/assistance.
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Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need the following materials for this Instructable:
-clay for necklace base (I used 2 packages of Sculpey in "granite" and had leftover clay)
-clay for gemstones (the amount clay you need per gemstone color depends on how many colors you are using and how big your necklace base is. I utilized a package of Sculpey Clay in color scheme of "brights".
-clay tools. Specifically a tool to roll the clay out (or a pasta maker machine that you use for clay) and a tool with a point (for punching holes in the necklace base for the jump rings)
-jump rings. 4 total. 2 of the 4 need to be large enough to go through your necklace base.
-jewelry pliers (2 is ideal)
-piece of chain in the length of your desire based on how low you want your necklace to hang.
-glue. I recommend and am using E6000
-blade (box cutter blade / Xacto blade / etc)
-Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating spray. (To make your gems shine! )
-extra fine sharpie. The color you pick will be the gemstone cut lines on your necklace. I chose a black sharpie because it would stand out against each gemstone color I picked.
-piece of foil
-heat safe surface (ie stovetop)
Step 2: Preheat Oven
Preheat your oven to the temperature written on your necklace base clay's wrapper.
My "granite" Sculpey clay necklace base required 30 min in the oven per 1/4 inch of clay.
(My gemstones, however, only required 15 min in the oven per 1/4 inch of clay).
Since my clays required different lengths in the oven, I made the necklace base and while that was baking, I made the gemstones. By the time I was done with the gemstones, my necklace base was done!
If you make your gemstones from small packages of clay from different brands, be sure to split them up and bake separately if they require different temperatures. The clay wrappers say do not over bake the clay!
Step 3: Make Necklace Base
Knead your clay to soften it.
Roll it into a ball.
Next, use your roller (or pasta maker) to flatten your ball of clay. I made mine about 1/4 inch of clay.
Use pointed tool to lightly draw your desired necklace base shape onto the piece of clay you just flattened. Be careful and decisive. If you decide you made a mistake, you can easily smooth the mistake out if you drew on the clay lightly.
Use your blade to cut your shape out. Save your scrap clay for another project!
Step 4: Put Holes in Necklace Base
Use pointed tool to punch holes in your necklace base in the places you want your necklace chain to connect to the necklace base.
I used a tool that was in a package of clay tools that I purchased at my local craft store.
Step 5: Bake Your Necklace Base!
Place your necklace base on aluminum foil covered baking sheet and place in oven.
Bake this piece for length of time required for the clay you are baking.
My necklace base clay ("granite") required 30 min to bake per 1/4 inch of clay. My gemstone clay required only 15 min per 1/4 inch of clay in the same temperature oven.
Remove baking sheet from oven using oven mitt. Let it cool on a heat safe surface (I used my stovetop).
Step 6: Heat Oven to Gemstone Clay Temperature
Adjust the temperature of the oven for your gemstone clay (if necessary).
I used all Sculpey clay and both my necklace base clay and the gemstone clay needed the same temperature so if yours also requires the same temperature, skip this step.
Step 7: MAKE THE GEMS!
For each gemstone color, I used half of a bar of the clay from my package.
Roll out each color.
Use clay cutters to punch shapes into the flattened gemstone clay pieces.
**tip** try utilizing as much clay as possible to make gemstones by minimizing the amount of clay between shapes.
If necessary, gently use pointed tool to push the clay out of the cutters.
Once you've punched all the shapes you can, remove the scrap clay from between/around the shapes you just punched.
Every piece of clay in that package required 15 min of baking time per 1/4 inch of clay. If you are using different brands of clay or clay of same brand that uses different baking times, it is probably easiest to bake them at separate times. (I baked the necklace base for 30 min and the gemstones for 15 min despite them both being 1/4 inch per instructions on the clay wrappers.
Step 8: Bake the Gems!
Place your gems on foil covered baking sheet into your preheated oven.
Set timer for the length of time indicated by your clay wrappers while keeping in mind how thick your clay gemstones are.
When the timer goes off, remove your gemstones from the oven and let them cool.
I then put my gemstones on a paper plate to transport them to my art room!
Step 9: Add Jump Rings to Your Necklace Base
Open jump rings (twisting with pliers) and put one jump ring into each hole on your necklace base.
Close the jump rings slightly if you need to in order to keep them from falling off.
Step 10: Gem Time!
Arrange your gemstone pieces onto your necklace base.
Once you have an arrangement that you are happy with, use your E6000 glue to adhere the gems to the necklace base. E6000 glue comes out of the tube very fast if you squeeze it hard and doesn't really stop.
I suggest squeezing some out onto a paper plate and then quickly putting the cap on the bottle while making sure no glue goes between the cap and the tube end. If it does, you'll glue your tube shut! I've done it before. If it happens to you you can cut the corner off a tube and let it glue itself shut before storing it. When you want to use it again, cut the tube again in about the same place.
Use extra fine sharpie to draw lines on gemstone pieces to make them look like gems! I suggest copying the pieces shape in the middle of the shape but smaller. Then connect this shape to the outer edges of your gemstone clay piece. See my pictures for ideas for these lines. You can also use google to see how gems are cut (aka where to draw the lines). I winged this and I think it looks alright!
Step 11: Spray N Protect Your Necklace!
Spray your necklace with spray acrylic in order to protect it and make it shiny.
This step will help your gemstones look more authentic!
Step 12: CHAIN Time!
Cut your piece of chain in half. Attach each piece of chain to a jump ring. You should now have your necklace pendant attached to two pieces of chain via jump rings.
Attach a lobster clasp to the end of one chain via a jump ring. Keep in mind which hand is dominant for the person who will be wearing it!
You may add a jump ring to the end of the other chain but my chain links were big so I am saving a jump ring and just going to attach the lobster clasp to the last link of chain.