Remove stems and seeds, put in a pot, add sugar and gelfix, let it boil for five minutes and pour it in jars.
Home made jams and marmalades taste great. They make a perfect gift. If only there was a way to make a boring jar of jam look more interesting... If only there was an easy way to clearly shout out how good they are just by looking at them... Oh, wait! There is!
And that is what this instructable is all about. In following steps I am going to show you how to make raspberry jam ornaments and more.
- Difficulty: may be hard for a five year old but if you can read this instructable, you will do just fine :)
- Cost: very cheap - less than 50 cents /piece
- Time: 10 minutes for one piece but it scales well if you are making multiple pieces at once (+as much time your polymer clay needs to cure)
Now that you don't have any more excuses why not to make your own ornaments, let's get started!
Step 1: What You'll Need
You won't need much to make your own raspberry. Here is the list of the few things that you will need:
- polymer clay in various colours (pink and green for raspberry ornaments) - the brand I used was Fimo; don't use polymer clay with any glitter in it; it has to be plain to achieve best results
- rope that can withstand curing temperature of your polymer clay (which means no polymer rope - use natural one as it even looks better or use satin ribbon)
- scissors or any other thing that can be used for cutting rope
- a toothpick for adding some detail - you can use an ultra sophisticated tool but there is just no need to do so
- an oven; if your polymer clay is non toxic, any oven will do otherwise you must find an old oven that will not be used for food preparation ever again; also microwave won't do - it has to be oven
- a knife - any sort will do but I recommend a dining knife; make sure your polymer clay is non toxic if you are going to use regular knife. If not, you can just use a plastic disposable knife as you won't need it much
Step 2: Making Raspberry (centre Piece)
Start by tying a knot at the end of the rope and cut the short bit off. Roll clay around the knot. It should look like a cone but don't make it too perfect as a sloppy cone makes for better final result (see image above). Note that this part should be made of same or darker clay as pink part of raspberry. I used brown clay as it is actually just old remains of clay, mixed together.
Next step is to roll pink clay in thin rod, cut it in small pieces and roll them in balls. Resulting balls don't have to be exactly the same in size. In fact they must be different! biggest ball should be approximately twice as big as smallest ball and remaining balls should follow gauss spread curve (most balls normally sized with some extremes in both directions). For better presentation of what you need, see image above.
Step 3: Making Raspberry (fruit Part)
Now you need to stick balls on centre piece. Start by sticking them on bottom of raspberry (part that is furthest away from rope). Don't put a ball straight on tip of the cone. Put it a little bit off as in nature, nothing is too perfect. Continue to stack balls one next to another all the way up to the rope. Be cautious not to press beads too hard as that results in flattened beads - you will see what I am talking about if you look at last image of this step. The result still looks great though!
Step 4: Making Raspberry (leaves)
To make leaves for your raspberry, start with a small triangle of green clay. Using a toothpick to make a dent lengthwise in leaf. Squeeze leaf from sides to tighten the crack. This also gives your leaf a beautiful curve.
You will need 6 or 8 of leaves per raspberry. I recommend you place leaf on raspberry right after you make it in order to avoid loosing or damaging it. Make bottom layer of leaves first and add second one on top of that. This helps to imitate natural stacking of leaves.
Use toothpick to seal visible cracks between leaves. I strongly disrecommend using any other tool as wood is one of rare materials that clay doesn't stick to. Also any sharper tool will leave tool marks on your pretty little raspberry and you don't want that now do you?
Step 5: Making Raspberry (curing in an Oven)
Now we are done with modelling raspberry. Time to put it in the oven.
If you were to put it on plate, you may end up with flattened raspberry where it was in contact with a plate. Since we don't want that, we will put a grated plate in top-most slot of the oven and tie raspberries to hang from there.
Make a loose loop, put the rope around one of plate's bars and put raspberry through the loop. It is very important to make loop easy to untie. Just make a normal loop and don't tighten the knot.Now cure your raspberry at temperature your polymer clay requires. I put mine to 110 °C (230 °F) for half an hour as my polymer clay instructed me so.
Step 6: Making Your Jams Taste Better
Your raspberry is now finished. The only thing left to do is to tie it around jar of good home made raspberry jam and gift it to a friend or a relative.
Now is time for you to get creative and make many different colourful and pretty little jam ornaments. Roll a bit of orange clay to make peaches or apricots, add a small brown chunk to turn them into oranges or start off with yellow to make lemons. put a clump of purple balls on a green "leaf" to make blueberries. Start like you did with raspberries only make a base bigger and red and skip sticking balls to it. Add leaves and viola: you have strawberries!
Whether you are going to gift decorated marmalades or sell them, the added value given by such simple decoration is amazing.
Also the more I looked at resulting raspberry, the more I was thinking what a good piece of jewellery it would make. Since those raspberries are about as big as a nail, they'd make cute earrings or a necklace pendant.
Look through gallery for inspiration and favourite this instructable if you liked it. You may also consider sharing it and voting for rainbow contest and clay contest.