I wanted to make a Valentine's Day present that would work well as a gift for a guy or a girl. I also wanted it to be a tangible reminder of how I felt about the person, so I thought of the Valentines Day coupons people sometimes give to their significant other.
I decided to try to make a more permanent version of the Valentine's Day coupons that the receiver could hold on to forever and "redeem" at times when they needed a hug, kiss, or just someone to talk to. Therefore it needed to be small so that the person could carry it with them or use it as a charm on their backpack.
This project is really simple and takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete. I used a Woodgrain stamp that I made for this project. If you want you can follow that Instructable (https://www.instructables.com/id/Polymer-Clay-Woodgrain-Stamp/) and make your own Woodgrain Polymer Clay Stamp, or you can use a Woodgrain stamp purchased at a store.
Step 1: Materials
- One package of Gold Polymer clay (I used Sculpey III Gold)
- Woodgrain Stamp
- Large circular cookie cutter
- Small heart shaped cookie cutter (These can be found at a craft store or in baking aisles as small cookie cutter shapes.)
- Pointy Tool
- Toaster Oven
- Brown Acrylic Craft Paint
Step 2: Roll Out the Gold Clay
Condition the package of polymer clay until it is soft. To do this cut the piece of clay into 4 pieces and roll each between your hands until it is soft and pliable. Then roll it out the gold clay into a flat circle that is about 1/4" thick.
Take the woodgrain stamp and press into the clay. Remove the stamp by carefully pulling in an upwards motion and lightly pressing the edges of the clay down and off of the stamp.
Take a circular cookie cutter and frame a good part of the woodgrain pattern that you want to have on the token. Push down with the circular cookie cutter and cut out a large circular shape.
Then take a small heart shaped cookie cutter and center it in the middle of the token. Push down like with the circular cookie cutter and remove a heart shaped hole in the center.
Step 3: Inscribing and Curing
Carefully flip the piece over and inscribe To: (Whomever it is for). I used the heart in the center to signify Love, Sam. You can do this or write another personal phrase on the bottom as well.
Make sure the edges are crisp on the top and bottom of the heart hole and the edges of the token and you are ready to cure it in the toaster oven.
Follow the package directions on the package of polymer clay. Gold clay takes longer than most polymer clays. The Sculpey III clay requires 30 minutes per 1/4". Make sure to cook it through or else it will be brittle.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Once it is baked and cooled for about 5 minutes it will look like the first picture below. I wanted to add a bit more depth, so I used the brown acrylic paint to add some shadows to the wood. If you don't use a shiny color like gold you will definitely want to do this step to achieve more dramatic woodgrain effects.
Take a bristled brush and load a small amount of paint on the tip of the brush. Take the brush and do a few stroke on a piece of paper until your brush is basically dry but still has some color on it. Then take the brush and do a light stroke against the grain of the pattern. This should deposit small amounts of color into the crevices. Use the tissue (and water if it dries too quickly) to remove mistakes right after they are made. Keep slowly adding color/depth until you are happy with the results. The token will then look like the third picture below.
Then flip the piece over and load a decent amount of brown paint to the tip of the brush. Paint over the back inscriptions with a lot of paint and wipe away excess with the tissues. This should fill the crevices left by the inscribing process and make the inscription stand out better.
Your token is now ready to give to your significant other, friend, or anyone you think needs a reminder of how you feel about them.
If you want to connect it to a bookbag, etc, just run a string of your choice of color (I would use a brown leather strip) through the center heart hole and attach it the the object of your choice.
This is a very quick project that will make the bearer feel very special.