Introduction: Polymer Clay 'Leading'
This Instructable will show you how to make a faux stained glass project using polymer clay as the leading that keeps it all together. I used scraps of shrinking plastic as my stained "glass" but you could use whatever you like as long as it's oven-safe and won't shrink.
I came up with this idea when I was curing some clay in the over and figured I might as well use some of the shrinking plastic that I had as well. Then I realized that I could combine the two things and have a great way to use up my shrinking plastic scraps.
The plastic should be shrunk first and then bonded with the clay. When the clay is cured with the plastic it will set and since the clay is baked at a lower temperature than the shrinking plastic was, there should be no problems.
This is a really fun idea and results in a very nice end product without the need for too much artistic skill. You can experiment with different colors of "leading" and could even try making designs or 3D objects like votive holders or trinket boxes.
-shrinking plastic scraps
Step 2: Color & Shrink
Color the scraps of shrinking plastic. I colored all the pieces I had but it could also look good to leave some uncolored and they will be clear pieces after baking.
The "stained glass" I made was a abstract design to test my idea but if you wanted to make a specific design then I recommend cutting, coloring, and fitting together all the pieces before you shrink them.
Shrink the plastic according to the manufacturer's specifications. Make sure that the plastic is completely done shrinking before taking it out of the oven. If the plastic isn't shrunk all the way then it may shrink more when you bake it the second time with the clay which will result in gaps.
Roll out a long skinny piece of clay and start "leading" by wrapping it around the shrunk plastic pieces.
Push the plastic into the clay a bit to make sure it is in there nice and good. After you wrap the first piece you can smoosh other pieces of the plastic into the "leading" and start wrapping those too.
Continue wrapping and smooshing. You can cut off or join pieces of the clay where they meet and it will look fine, just like how real stained glass looks. You can even use multiple pieces of skinny clay to work with like in the picture.
Once you're done adding pieces it's time to bake. Bake that baby according to whatever the folk's that made your clay tell you to do. Let cool and there you go, a simple and fun to make faux stained glass piece.