Archive of ‘Tutorials’ category

Embossing on Polymer Clay

I love it when I or someone else comes up with a simple solution to a polymer clay problem. Getting a nice, clean, uniform image when stamping with powders (Pearl Ex or Perfect Pearls) can be difficult.

Check out this free tutorial from Katie at Kater’s Acres.

I would add that brushing powders onto clay sends little particles airborne, so it’s a good idea to wear a mask.

New Tutorial: Holiday Collection “Stained Glass” Votives

I’m having too much fun making “stained glass” votives. I say “too much fun” because I’m blissfully neglecting other things, like taking down the last of the Halloween decorations, getting my roots re-touched, and even getting to Kohl’s before my $10 coupon expires.

You don’t need a pasta machine or polymer clay experience to make these votives. As long as you condition the clay before rolling strings for “leading,” you’ll be good to go.

I think I enjoy coming up with new designs for votives as much as actually making them. So my Holiday Collection “Stained Glass” Votives tutorial includes patterns for hanging ornaments, a dreidel, candles with holly, and bells, in addition to the angel pictured here.

Here’s the link to the Holiday Collection “Stained Glass” Votives tutorial in my Etsy shop.


Batik on Polymer Clay Tutorial Launched


I’ve been immersed for a while in developing techniques for imitating batik on polymer clay. It involved lots of trial and error, but I’m thrilled with the results. If I weren’t such a generalist–it’s the fault of Sara, my muse, who tantalizes me with a smorgasbord of techniques and projects–I’d specialize in batik.
I’ve just added a downloadable PDF tutorial for Faux Batik on Polymer Clay to my Etsy store.  Bring the exotic beauty of batik to any number of polymer clay creations. This downloadable PDF tutorial, with 19 photos, teaches two approaches to batik which you can adapt to pendants, beads, journal covers or any smooth, white or light colored, cured polymer clay piece.

Patterns are provided for the flower, dragonfly, and hummingbird with flower. In addition, you’ll learn how to make spirals and other designs featured on the beads pictured here. Directions for finishing the pendant are included.

Important note: you’ll need cured, smooth polymer clay in white or a light color. While the surface technique and patterns presented in this tutorial are designed for embellishing a cured polymer clay pendant and oval beads, they can be adapted to any smooth.polymer clay surface. The tutorial is not designed to teach basic polymer clay skills.

Welcome Summer With a Colorful Votive

Tropical Night votive 6795
Flickering light from a colorful stained glass votive will bring summer’s enchantment to your patio or picnic table. I’d want a dozen or more on my patio if I had a patio. (I’m not complaining. My apartment complex offers a choice of patios or sunrooms, and the sunroom space makes an ideal polymer clay studio.)

All you need is a glass votive, a smidgen of black clay, Elmer’s glue, and alcohol inks. You don’t need a pasta machine. An extruder is nice but not necessary.

So check out this free Tropical Night “Stained Glass” Votive tutorial and have fun.

Enhance Your Jewelry With a Hand-crafted Clasp

Accent a necklace or bracelet with an eye-catching beaded toggle clasp.

Finish a necklace or bracelet with an eye-catching beaded toggle clasp.

Why add a ho-hum conventional clasp to your polymer clay jewelry when you can accent the piece with a besutiful hand-crafted clasp? I like to make clasps that complement the piece.

The beaded toggle clasp goes nicely with any piece you’ve accented with small beads. Carry out the look of the necklace or bracelet by using those same beads in the clasp. Then prepare to get compliments.
Here’s the source of the free tutorial by M. Fleming.

I created the Dove Hook & Eye Clasp for my Tree of Life pendants. The pendant tutorial is available on my Etsy site.

Check out my free tutorial for the dove hook and eye clasp.

Check out my free tutorial for the dove hook and eye clasp.

Here’s the link to my free tutorial for the Dove Hook & Eye Clasp.

The Tree of Life Pendant tutorial is available on my Etsy site.

The Tree of Life Pendant tutorial is available on my Etsy site.

Fall Harvest “Stained Glass” Votive

Fall Harvest Stained Glass Votive

Fall Harvest Stained Glass Votive

I know it’s Spring, but I’ve been in fall mode, dreaming up projects for my Lifetime Learning Institute class that begins in September.
This project, the Fall Harvest “Stained Glass” Votive, is so much fun. All you need is small glass votives, a smidgen of black polymer clay, Elmer’s glue, and alcohol inks. You don’t need a pasta machine. You can extrude the clay or roll skinny strings by hand.
Candles lend magic any time of year. If I get my act together, I’ll create some more patterns soon. I’m thinking something summery for candles to use on a patio.

Free Tutorial for Making an Attractive Necklace Closure: the Sliding Knot

This necklace of polymer clay beads closes with two sliding knots that make it adjustable. I can wear it over a sweater or shorten it to wear with an open-collared blouse.

This necklace of polymer clay beads closes with two sliding knots that make it adjustable. I can lengthen it to wear over a sweater or shorten it to wear with an open-collared blouse.

When you indulge in polymer clay, you’ll eventually find yourself making beads and/or pendants. What to do if you don’t have jewelry making skills or tools? Don’t despair. The sliding knot closure is an excellent option.

The sliding knot does’t get the respect or widespread acceptance it deserves. Done right, it’s handsome yet unobtrusive. It’s the way to go when you want an adjustable length necklace. And it’s ideal for people whose fingers stumble over most necklace clasps.

Check out my free tutorial for making the sliding knot. I show you the secret for making a neat knot (that could be a tongue-twister) where the loops line up like obedient drummers in a marching band instead of looking like so many crossed fingers.

I should apologize to my left-handed friends although I suspect they have years of experience translating directions written for a right-handed world.

If you care to know my history with the sliding knot, I first made it while teaching a polymer clay class. I wanted to do a necklace project but didn’t want to teach basic jewelry making skills as I thought it would take too much time. Well, anyone in that class can remember how I struggled to get the knot right. It’s tricky. That’s why I provide step-by-step directions with photos in my tutorial. I hope you enjoy it.

Cactus Buddies Tutorial Launched

Coyote on cactus

Cactus ornament

As a kid searching for reindeer hoofprints in the snow, I felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have a white Christmas. The idea of a desert Christmas was as alien as a holiday on Mars. But now, having lived in Austin, TX, for a number of years, I’ve added cowboy boots and longhorns to the sleds and snowmen on my tree.
I’m not sure why I made a polymer clay cactus ornament, something I did five or six years ago. Maybe it was seeing mini decorative lights in a craft store or maybe I had an over-abundance of green mokume gane patterned clay. At any rate, I recently decided to create a tutorial, something simple enough for a beginner. And I discovered a way to make a garland of harmless faux barbed wire.

As you can see, four different desert critters cozy up to the cactus: coyote, armadillo, gecko and bat. Bat? Austin prides itself on hosting the world’s largest urban bat colony. On any given summer night, folks crowd the Congress Avenue bridge to watch the bats fly out to feed on insects. It’s no wonder the bats have found a place in our lore and decor.
If you’d like to add a whimsical touch of the southwest to your holiday trimmings, here’s a link to my tutorial on Etsy.

Free Tutorial: Mixed Media Pine Cone Ornament

3 on cholla 6254 for blog gimped A look that is both rustic and frilly calls to me. I can picture a pioneer woman gathering pine cones in her apron and taking oh-so-sparingly a scrap of lace from a worn dress, a dress that reminded her of the more genteel life she gave up for the frontier. So I brought this sentiment to my ornament design, combining a pine cone, lace, and ribbon, and updating it with little polymer clay poinsettias.C-u finished w green ribbon for blog  6247 gimped
My free Pine Cone Ornament tutorial is a fun project that requires no polymer clay experience and no pasta machine (although I’ve included pasta machine directions). It’s also suitable for children old enough to wield a hot glue gun.
I like Fimo Effect Red Glitter and Green Glitter polymer clay for the poinsettias. Premo and Kato brands will also work. Avoid Sculpey III as the flowers will become brittle. The ornaments pictured were made with 2-inch long pine cones. Hanging length is 4 inches.
Download the free PDF tutorial now. I hope you have as much fun making these ornaments as I do.

A Free Tutorial, and . . .

Dove and eye clasp 938 gimped Making polymer clay jewelry led me almost inevitably to wirework. So when I wanted a clasp to complement my Tree of Life pendants, I created this Dove Hook and Eye Clasp. It’s a free PDF download, with 25 pictures that accompany step-by-step directions.

DSCN6030c gimpedMy infatuation with the Tree of Life began with a rustic beaded wire pendant I received as a gift from my sister-in-law Rosetta. It occurred to me that a polymer clay donut would provide an ideal “canvas” for the tree, a way to show off the roots with some imaginative wirework. I’ve made more pendants than I can count, and no two are alike.
I’ve just placed a tutorial for the Tree of Life in my Etsy shop. Step-by-step directions with 48 photos are given for the polymer clay donut, beaded wirework tree, and bail. The photos depict the turquoise and Swarovski crystal pendant pictured above. In addition, you’ll find Materials Lists for the two pendant versions below:

The tutorial is intended for anyone with basic wireworking experience and tools. No polymer clay experience is required.

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