Yay, the world didn’t end! That means we can keep crafting! 🙂 I’ve wanted to play with oven-bake clay for a while now so I picked up a package of Original Sculpey oven-bake clay at A.C. Moore’s the other day. This stuff is great – it’s very easy to work with and only took me just a minute of kneading it for it to become very pliable. I can see why it’s good for kids crafts as well! I decided to try stamping the clay. I broke out a bunch of random stamps including a set of small alphabet stamps. After some experimenting, I would recommend using stamps with heavy lines. The stamps with fine details didn’t work as well. I see these small letter stamp sets in the $1 bins at all the craft stores! I’ve even seen them at Walmart. Scoop ’em up when you see them, because they work AWESOME for this project! Helpful tip: write the letter / number on each side of the stamp so it’s easier to find the stamps you are looking for when they are strewn all over your craft area! 😛 Since I do things the ghetto-fabulous way, I used different sized wine glasses / flutes as my ornament cutters. You could also use cookie cutters, which I did not think of until after the fact…duh! (Disclaimer: I would not recommend doing using glasses that you plan to drink out of, because I don’t want to be responsible for getting you sick! Same with using knives and cookie sheets…technically you are supposed to keep your clay and food/cooking tools separate. Honestly, I just wash them really good and use them again like normal, and so far, I’ve lived!) I rolled out the clay to approximately 1/4″, cut out the circles using my glasses, and then stamped them. There were many re-do’s and mistakes…I found some stamps worked well and some didn’t. You gotta just play around and see what looks best! I poked a small hole in the top of each pendant using a toothpick. I’ve seen others use a straw for a bigger hole. Follow the Sculpey directions on the box to baking times. I baked mine at 275 °F for 15 minutes, and they came out great. After letting them cool completely, they were quite hard and durable. And now for painting! Again – experimenting here. Upon tons of Googling, I found you should use water based acrylic craft paints, unless you are going to seal them first, which I didn’t want to bother with. I used the acrylic craft paints below, which happen to be super cheap too. I think these pains were $.50 each from the craft store if I remember correctly! 🙂 I tried a couple of different techniques with varying results. Technique #1 was painting over the stamp indents to get paint down in the creases, and then wiping off the surface with a DAMP paper towel. Here are they results (below). They come out good if the stamp is deep enough. Otherwise, the paint easily wipes right out of the indented areas. See the middle of the bird cage on the left? I didn’t evenly press down the stamp, so some areas show up better with the paint than others. The key one came out pretty good! Technique #2, which I really like, is to paint the whole surface and then wipe off the paint with a DRY paper towel. This leaves some paint on the surface, almost like a “stain”, while also leaving paint down in the grooves of the stamped design. Here’s the result. I like this better, because the color on the surface kind of covers up any imperfections and adds to the “vintage” look. 🙂 Another way to do this would be just paint the surface with the desired color and then wipe, faced down, on the dry paper towel like this:
That seemed to work well in keeping the paint down in the grooves but leaving a nice over-all color stain on the surface. I also found you can do this, let it dry, and do this technique over again to get bolder colors! Here is the result of doing it twice:
Technique #3 was doing the 1st method (paint then wipe off with a damp paper towel) and then letting it dry…then doing a light “wash”, if you will, with another color. I started with black lines: And then diluted some green (with a bit of water) and painted over it. I then wiped it with a dry paper towel to leave some green staining on the surface.
The result is the one in the picture below, on the bottom left. The same technique was used for the other two in this pic, but different colors. This is my fave I think! Love the two-tone look!
After they dried, I sealed them with the hard coat Mod Podge. It dried with a very subtle matte finish, and you couldn’t even tell it was there. The sparkle Mod Podge would be cool too, especially for Christmas ornaments, but I didn’t end up using it for this project.
Here are some close-up’s. I used thin jute twine I had lying around to hang them up. I think for a first try, they came out pretty neat! My mind is spinning with ideas…these would be great as custom Christmas ornaments, tags for gifts, wedding favors, or just little ornies to hang around the house! Small ones for jewelry pendants, wine glass charms, or big ones as coasters! If only I had more time! I found some other craft blogs with some variations on this project: Clean, simple, white ornaments from Little Lovelies: Or these fun, colorful little doodads from Neat and Tangled: And some more great personalized Christmas ornies from Then She Made:
Hope you were able to get some ideas from my day of fooling around Sculpey and the links I have posted above! There is so much potential here! I can’t wait to work on some more and maybe create some ornies to sell in my Etsy store! 🙂 Also coming soon to my Etsy: tons of awesome real antique skeleton keys, bulk rose hips, cinnamon sticks, and more! Stay tuned!!! Oh yeah, and Happy New Year!!!!!!! 😛 Cheers!