Tip: "I make jewelry and do a lot of work with silver wire. I have a lot of scraps left over and rather than throwing away, I started saving them for my polymer clay work. Make a flat shape of clay and put a small snake of clay all around the edge, on the top, creating a little "pool" type area. Cover with your wire scraps, twisted, curved, etc., and then spread some Kato Liquid Polyclay or Transluscent Liquid Sculpey over the mess of wires, bake, and you've got a cool looking twisted metal piece. Plan ahead, make pendant attachments, or just drill multiple holes for bracelet links. These look great and are an awesome way to use up scraps."
Tip: "Don't look too far for that extra special something to add to your clay. In your kitchen you have a gold mine. Start with your spice rack. I use nutmeg in translucent clay. I love using and trying different spices and loose tea or even tea from a torn open tea bag. I like going outside with my mold clay to find interesting textures to use later on one of my creations. I press the molding clay on bark, rough rocks, leaves or what ever might catch your creative eye. I think it is VERY important to have 2 pasta machines - one for adding embellishments into the clay in case the rollers get nicked, and the other pasta machine just for clay without additives. I could go on and on but I will give you a break. LOL!!"
Tip: "When I started playing with clay and wanted to add a shimmery finish, I couldn't afford to buy the expensive embossing powders so I went to the dollar store and bought frosted eye shadow. It's a great way for 'newbies' to get the look of elegance without the expense right off the bat. I apply it before baking and it really adds a nice shimmer. I made a sample piece of clay and numbered it corresponding with the colors so I would know the results without guessing."
Tip: "Warning! I used something like beadies (teeny, tiny glass beads) mixed in with my clay, then rolled through pm on setting #3 and #4 to make a faux leather and it worked, looks great. But the beads get into everything and HERE'S THE WARNING!!! - Don't set your pasta machine too low. I did - oh, the sound, the horror, little glass beads in the hundreds shattering and pitting my rollers. So crafters "BE CAREFUL" and maybe think twice before trying something new."
Tip: "I just found a product called "beadies" (I found them at both Michaels and Hobby Lobby) and I am having a BLAST with them! They are little round balls half the size of a regular piece of glitter. They are so tiny that they go a LONG way like glitter and are VERY inexpensive. I bought them for 99 cents. They have all different colors and the silver ones especially would be great for jewelry. I am making a fairy house and they look great on the roof and covered a few imperfections I wanted to hide. I also saw them on a jewelry box in multi colors that was just beautiful! So if glitter looks as though it may cheapen what you are making (sometimes glitter can be tricky) I would certainly reccomend trying these."
Tip: "Crayola metallic crayons come in great colors and melt differently than the regualr crayolas. If you you place a small chunk of crayon on an area of clay, it will melt with color and mica bits showing. You can get great results that way, including faux enameling (especially with Future over the area, and even faux dichroic glass). However, if you let the piece bake longer, you will see the wax melts away and leave just the mica with just a trace of color showing."
From Liz Maythenyi Trifiro
Tip: "I came across my old super-iridescent eyeshadows from the '80s - the loose powder kind that came in the tiny jars. They work like Pearlex powders to mix into clay, just brush on the surface or mix with TLC. I use my finger to apply the powder to the top surface of a rubber stamp, then gently roll a raw bead over it - it creates a subtle (or not) shimmery design. Alternately I impress the stamp a little depper into plain clay, then use my finger to dust the powder on outside of the bead leaving the impression matte."
Tip: "I made a polymer clay pen out of the fabric from a colorful silk necktie. I glued the fabric to the pen, then covered it with a very thin layer of translucent clay and baked it. It came out great, and quite unique. Of course, any fabric could be used this way, not just neckties."
From Amber Dawn Goldish
Tip: "I enjoy making the "Gotham City Glitz" beads using light catching elements. These catch light in different ways. I make the raw bead smooth, then impress Swarovski Austrian crystal 1pp - 23ss sized rhinestones, use a few micro beads, add some pearlex designs, and finish it off with some dabs of hologram glitters. These beads are always noticed even at night and shine in the sunlight like CRAZY! If you like glitzy, go with the rhinestones! A tip, make sure the clay is not too soft or warm so that the stones don't sink in too far, and buff the stones to make sure they are secure before baking. If after they are baked a stone is loose, or if any pop out, use a dab of Aleene's Jewel it glue. Your work will be a hit! String these beads beauties with other glitzy crystals and rhinestone Rhondelles and WHOA watch out!"
Tip: "My favorite embellishments to use with my polymer projects are powdered pigments like Pearl EX. If I don't have a pearl polymer clay in a certain color, I'll take the pigment with a color closest to the polymer clays color and either work it into the clay or use a paint brush to brush on a layer prior to baking. To keep it sealed I use either Mod Podge or a spray matte fixative on the piece. This is one of my favorite ways to embellish pieces. One of my pieces (a little faery with black hair) just looked really plain after I finished her until I took some of my interference red pigment powder and brushed it onto her hair giving her a deep red/black hair color. The pigments are also a great way to add colors that are pearly/shimmery to Translucent Liquid Sculpey"
From Lisa Wollman Bolick
Tip: "I like to use acrylic paint on uncured clay and run it through my pasta machine to stretch the dried clay in streaky patterns. I also have baked pieces of torn, handmade paper into my clay. Paper doesn't burn at the temp needed to fire the clay."
From Rhonda Guy
Tip: "For added interest in my clay projects, I often mix extra-fine glitter into my clay. Some of these glitter mixes have tiny star shapes in them. I like to moisten the end of a needle tool & extract those stars for use on projects individually (i.e. - a sky background or patriotic background, etc. . . ) I carefully place each star where I want it, then when I have my layout done, I cover the star encrusted clay with a tissue-thin piece of translucent clay to secure. Then, bake as usual."
From Rhonda Guy
Tip: "One of my favorite embellishments for baked clay is nail enamel. There are so many wild colors now & many of them are glittery or have tiny sparkly shapes in them. I particularly like the effect I achieve when I use several coats - an almost shaded effect can be achieved. After I have embellished the object with the desired coat(s) of nail enamel, I lacquer the entire piece with 2 coats of Sculpey glaze (I prefer Gloss). The finished piece is smooth and rich!"
From Bev Howe
Tip: "I found this really different way to embellish all kinds of beads and pendants made from my clay. Before I bake my piece, I take a blunt instrument of various sizes (depending on what I am making) and place indentions either in a pattern or just randomly. Other times I will make an indention from an object. The piece is then baked, and when cooled, I fill the indentions with either cold enamel or gallery glass, which comes out as if the piece was enamelled. Just another method of proving how versatile this great clay is!"
From Marcella Brooks
Tip: "You may have come across some wonderful and tiny glass beads, but noticed they don't have holes! Don't worry, they're designed that way and are a wonderful way to embellish raw clay. Imagine little clusters around the corners of your hand-made picture frame, or use the translucent beads to enhance the design in your cane work. They'll allow the cane to show through and can withstand the oven since they're glass. You make impressions in the clay with the beads and secure it with glue after the clay is cured in your oven, or just secure them to the clay after it's baked."
From Anita Behnen
Tip: "I like using acorn caps as hats for little elves and fairies. I think it gives them a real "woodsy" look. "
Tip: "Broke your fine necklace chain, or busted your manual watch beyond repair? Don't worry - all is not lost. The tiny springs, nuts, and chain make wonderful embellishments for a truly unique pin or other creation of polymer clay/mixed media."
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