Monday, February 4, 2013

Monogram & Word Plaques made with Homemade Polymer Clay

This was a fun project; I used my Homemade Polymer Clay recipe.  I decided to do a Creative Pay-It-Forward with some of my friends on Facebook and that was the inspiration for this project.

This would also be fun to do with kids; or you could make key chains or jewelry by doing these in smaller sizes!  Enjoy!
-homemade polymer clay or other polymer clay
-rubber stamps {I find these great for making the designs in the clay}, you could also use leaves or other textured items
-drinking straw, optional {for making the hanging holes}
-acrylic paint in desired colors
-paint brushes
-paper towel or old rag, optional
-ribbon of string for hanging, optional
-sewing machine and thread, optional
-hot glue gun or other permanent glue, optional
-various colors of felt, optional

1. Form desired decoration using the polymer clay.
Form the shape you want.
2. Add the designs you want using the rubber stamps and/or other materials.
3. Place the finished pieces on wax paper or another non-stick surface to dry. 
* Make sure to use the straw to make holes in your work if you plan on hanging them.
4. Allow pieces to dry completely; this can take up to a week, depending on how thick your pieces are.
5. Paint the dried pieces; use the stamped designs to add painted interest; you can see below that I used some gold paint to paint the leaves stamped into the clay.

How did I get this finish? ...
1. I painted the pieces with red; let them dry completely.
2. Then, I painted the entire piece with a dark green {red and green are complimentary colors and will help each other stand out and add visual interest}, and immediately wipe the wet green paint off all of the raised surfaces; the green with stay in the recessed areas where you stamped.
3. Add small painted embellishments  I used some gold and some iridescent blue for the leaves and to emphasis the letters.
6. Once you are satisfied with the paint, allow it to dry completely.
7. Next, you can tie the ribbon or string to the pieces for hanging.
8. Now you are ready to add the felt to the backs of the decorations.

* Some of my pieces warped a little as they dried {I think it was because I let them dry on paper and they stuck to the paper}; so for the one piece in particular I cut a hole in the first layer of felt to allow for the extra curve on the back...
 9. Cut out the layers of felt in the same shape as your clay pieces.
You can use a marker to mark the shape of the clay onto the felt; just make sure the mark isn't too dark or you can flip the felt over and glue to the opposite side.
10. Sew or glue the layers of felt together in the order you like them. {I liked the added touch of the sewn stitches around the clay design.}
Step-by-Step Layering of Felt:
A. Sew the first layer to the second layer.
B. Cut the second layer in the same shape as the first, but leaving some extra space around it so you can see about 1/4 inch of the second color.
C. Sew the second layers to the third layer {Make sure you leave enough space between them to have about 1/4 inch of the third color around each piece (so space them at least 1/2 inch apart from each other)}.
D. Cut out the third layer, leaving some of the color visible around the edges; continue for as many colors as you like.
11. Now, you are ready to glue the clay pieces to the layered felt.  {If you want you can tuck the stray ends of your ribbon or string in, between the clay and the felt.}
 12. Repeat for each piece and enjoy!
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