Garden Markers

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Stamp clay garden markers to keep track of your plants this year while adding a touch of class to your garden décor.

Materials

  • Oven-bake polymer clay, in color of choice
  • Copper wire: 10-gauge, 36” lengths, two; 18-gauge, 24” length
  • Bead of choice, 1⁄4”

Tools

  • Stamps of choice (designer used script wording, dragonfly, flowers, and grass)
  • Metallic rub-on finish, in color of choice
  • Acrylic brayer or rolling pin
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Clay-dedicated pasta machine (optional)

Basic Supplies

toothpick, craft knife, pliers

Directions

STEP 1

Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition clay; roll to 1⁄4” thickness. For each sign, cut two rectangles of desired size (1-3⁄4”x2” shown in photo); shape edges as desired by pressing with fingers

STEP 2

Stamp one rectangle. Indent wording of choice with toothpick. Apply rub-on finish.

STEP 3

For stake-style marker as shown on right in photo, press 10-gauge wire length against remaining rectangle, leaving portion of wire above and below rectangle. Place stamped rectangle on top, matching edges; press together. Apply additional rub-on finish to sides.

STEP 4

For double hanging-style marker as shown on left in photo, slide bead onto 18-gauge wire length. Position and press wire length against two remaining rectangles, leaving portion of wire above and below rectangles and small portion with bead between them. Place stamped rectangles on top of rectangles, matching edges; press together. Apply additional rub-on finish to sides.

STEP 5

Bake at 265° for 25 minutes. Let cool. Use pliers to shape wire as desired.

STEP 6

For hanging post, use Figure 1 as guide to shape post from 10-gauge wire. Hang marker.

Figure 1

by Linda Welsh-Peterson

One Design = Many Projects

Once I get started making a project, I seem to always have a lot of excess “stuff’ on my desk. If I am making elements for a card or cutting up felt for a project, I usually end up with pieces cut out that are all ready to use – but they are more than I need for this particular project. I have learned over the years that stopping at the end of a project is the wrong place to stop. Now I finish when I have used the materials on hand. That way I not only stretch my creativity to find new uses for the project or materials, but I also end up with embellishments and items ready made for future projects. Sometimes, as a bonus, I end up with multiple finished projects all from a single idea – some for me to use and some to give as gifts.

This is what happened with the “great mushroom project.” I was playing around with AMACO Cloud Clay which is an air-dry clay that comes in great colors, mixes well with itself and with acrylic paints, and  is great to work with. I was thinking miniatures as I love making cute and tiny things.

I was thinking earrings at the time, and with the clay colors laid out in front of me, the red, white, and green were demanding my attention. I immediately thought about mushrooms with white stalks, red tops dotted with white dots, and green grass around the base. The project makes for really cute earrings. Here’s what you need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay: Red, White, Green (This is a great project for the Assortment Pack which includes 1 oz. each of Green, Red, White and Blue clay.)
  • Scissors
  • Non-stick work surface
  • Acrylic roller
  • Ranger Glossy Accents (optional)
  • Earring findings: headpins, jump rings, earring wires, tools

To make the mushrooms, pinch off pieces of Red, White, and Green clay and work each color in your hand to soften and condition it. I like to pull the clay out to a longish piece, fold it in half and in half again, and then repeat. In a few seconds, it is smooth, warm and pliable.

Roll some White clay into a teardrop for the stem of the mushrooms. Roll a sphere of Red for the tops, flatten it a bit and push onto the mushroom stem. While these pieces are drying a bit, roll some Green clay flat using an acrylic roller. It needs to be pretty thin – set it aside to dry.

Pinch tiny seed-size pieces of White clay and roll into balls. Press on the top of the mushrooms.

Once the Green clay is dry enough to handle – this will take a few minutes – cut it into a strip of grass using the scissors. Wrap the grass around the base of the mushroom. If the clay is having problems sticking to itself, dampen it with a little water and it will stick tight.

Once the pieces are dry, you can push a headpin vertically through each mushroom from bottom to top, wrap the end into a loop, and attach an earring wire using a jump ring.

So far so good, but why stop at one set of earrings? Once you’ve made a couple of extra sets for gifts, it’s time to think outside the box. I upped the ante to make a pencil topper. Simply make a larger-size mushroom – or two side by side – and push the piece onto the top of a regular pencil and leave to dry.

To make this pencil topper more robust, coat it with Ranger Glossy Accents – this is a glue as well as a glossy cover coat and it helps not only to protect the piece but also to stick it firmly to the top of the pencil. I also like to use Glossy Accents on the earrings too so they last really well and it also gives them a great shine.

I made a few extra mushrooms to sit around on my desk – you never know when they might come in handy. And I finished off with this “oh so cute” tic-tac-toe game board in green and white – complete with mushroom playing pieces in red and purple.

Next time you’re crafting, challenge yourself to think out of the box – what else can you do with your design and your supplies? Pieces of paper left over from a scrapbook page can be affixed to a tag for gift giving or used on a card. Clay designs can be used for all sorts of purposes and extra pieces from a jewelry project look great dangling from a mini scrapbook or made into a barrette.

by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

Iris Vase

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

At first glance, you might think this is a rusted-metal vase, but it’s actually made from flexible polymer clay! The technique is easy and you’ll love the results. With Mother’s Day less than a week away, this would make a great last-minute gift for Mom.

Materials

  • Glass vase, 6” tall
  • Kato Polyclay Oven-bake Polymer Clay, 3 oz. blocks: Blue, Green, Copper
  • Iris stencil or stencil of choice

Tools

  • Craf-T Products, Inc. Metallic Rub-On Color Kit #1, Blue
  • Clay accessories: slicing blade, six-sided ruler, craft knife, clay-dedicated pasta machine
  • 3M Scoth-Brite Multi-Purpose Scour Pad

Basic Supplies

parchment-lined baking sheet or ceramic tile, oven

Directions

STEP 1

Mix together two 10mm sections each of Blue, Green, and Copper, following manufacturer’s instructions to measure and condition. Condition six 10mm sections of Copper.

STEP 2

Roll mixture and copper into separate logs. Roll and twist logs together, roll into a ball, then roll into log again. Twist log and roll into ball again. Flatten ball and run through pasta machine on thickest setting. Run clay through pasta machine on #2 setting. Gently stretch sheet so it is the same width as rollers on machine. Run through machine several times, beginning with highest setting (#1) and reducing until #6 setting is reached.

STEP 3

With more attractive side facing out, fold clay in half and run through machine several times until desired color mixture is achieved. Cut one end of sheet even. Cover vase; trim excess at overlaps. Smooth seam. Trim excess clay.

STEP 4

Position stencil on vase, aligning bottom stencil edge with bottom edge of vase. Use craft knife to cut out clay; carefully remove cut-out sections. Remove stencil and reposition so top edges are aligned. Cut out and remove clay in same way. Repeat to create one additional iris between first two.

STEP 5

Press scour pad onto clay for texture. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to randomly apply rub-on cream to vase. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet or ceramic tile at 275° for 30 minutes; let cool in oven.

by Gail Ritchey

Clay Flower Hair Accessories

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Wear your bridal or prom look from head to toe with these lovely clay flowers. Shown here as pretty barrettes and combs, the flowers can also be attached to shoe clips or a purse clasp for a coordinated look.

Materials

  • Staedtler FIMO Translucent Clay
  • Barrettes or combs of choice

Tools

  • Decorating chalks
  • Jacquard Products Pearlescent Powdered Pigment
  • Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue

Basic Supplies

ruler, craft knife, paintbrush, oven, parchment-lined baking sheet, toothpick

Directions

Sizes

Flowers, 1⁄2”-3⁄4” diameter; Leaves, 1” long

Hair Accessories

1. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition clay. Roll into 3” long, 1⁄4” diameter snake; cut into 1⁄4” long sections. Roll each section into ball.

2. For rose center or rosebud, see Figure 1. Flatten ball and stretch into 1⁄4”x1” rectangle. Pinch right edge until thin and “ruffled.” Roll clay from left to right, forming “bud”.

3. For petals, flatten seven balls (for large roses) or five balls (for small roses); pinch edges to ruffle. Press petals one at a time to bud, proceeding in clockwise direction.

4. Dip paintbrush into chalk. Apply chalk to petals, working from outer edges toward petal center. Apply pearlescent powder to petals as desired. Trim bottom of rose flat using craft knife.

5. For leaves, flatten balls; shape into teardrops. Gently indent vein lines in leaves with toothpick. Shape as desired. Dust center with light green chalk and edges with dark green. Apply pearlescent powder as desired.

6. Place finished pieces on baking sheet. Bake at 265° for 35 minutes. Remove; let cool. Adhere to hair accessories as desired.

by Linda Welsh

Dog and Cat Pots

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Not only is this the cat’s meow, but it’s perfectly fine that this project has gone to the dogs. Create the perfect treat container to reflect your special pet’s personality.

Materials

  • Terra cotta pots: 2”, 3”
  • Polymer clay: dark brown, brown, grey, white, pale pink

Tools

  • Acrylic paint: dark orange, grey
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

Basic Supplies

toothpick, baking dish, oven

Directions

 

General

(Note: Adult supervision is needed when using a glue gun and oven.)

1. Preheat oven to 275° F. (Note: When assembling clay pieces, be sure all pieces are pressed and stuck together.)

Dog

1. Paint dark orange on outside and inside top half of 3” pot. Let dry.

2. To make body pieces, use photo as guide. For head, roll brown clay into 1”x1-1/4” oval. See Figure 1. To shape head, use thumb and first finger to slightly squeeze one end of oval. For ears, roll two 1”-long teardrop shapes from brown. For nose, roll dark brown clay into 1/4”x3/8” oval; press nose onto front of head. Press ears onto sides of head. For eyes, use toothpick to poke two small holes into head above nose. For muzzle, use toothpick to mark slit below nose. For feet, roll four 5/8”-wide balls from brown; flatten one end of each ball for bottom of feet. Place bottom of feet on work surface, spacing feet so bottom of pot rests on top of each foot; press bottom of pot onto feet. Use toothpick to cut toe slits into each foot as shown. Remove pot. For tail, roll brown 1-1/8”-long tube. Bend tail as desired.

3. Place clay pieces on baking dish. Bake 1/2 hour. Remove from oven. Let cool.

4. Adhere back of head onto one side of rim. Adhere tail on back top of rim. Adhere feet onto bottom of pot.

Cat

1. Adhere back of head onto one side of rim. Adhere tail on back top of rim. Adhere feet onto bottom of pot.

2. To make body pieces, use photo as guide. For head, roll ball approximately 1” wide from grey clay. See Figure 2. Shape ball so head comes to slight point. See Figure 3. For muzzle, roll two 1/4” balls from white clay and slightly flatten. For bottom lip, roll tiny white oval. For nose, roll tiny pink ball. Press muzzle, bottom lip, and nose onto front of head. For ears, form two 1/4” triangles from grey. Press tiny ball of pink onto front of each ear. Press ears onto top of head. For eyes, use toothpick to poke two holes into head above nose. For feet, press white and grey clays together; roll four 1/2” balls; flatten one end of each ball for bottom of feet. Place bottom of feet on work surface, spacing feet so bottom of pot rests on top of each foot; press bottom of pot onto feet. Use toothpick to cut toe slits into each foot as shown. Remove pot. For tail, roll grey 1/8”x3/4”-long tube; flatten one end. Bend down tail.

3. Place clay pieces on baking dish. Bake 1/2 hour. Remove from oven. Let cool.

4. Adhere back of head onto one side of rim. Adhere tail on back top of rim. Adhere feet onto bottom of pot.

by Billie Ciancio

Clay Bunny Ornament

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

This bunny has been up to no good – stealing carrots from the garden again! But he’ll help spread some love by decorating those Easter baskets!

Materials

  • Polyform Sculpey III Oven Bake Clay: 1 pkg. each: Tan, Sweet Potato, Leaf Green
  • Craft wire, 22-gauge, 1” length
  • Pink satin ribbon, 1/8” wide, 7” length

Tools

  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: White, Pretty Pink, Black, Moroccan Red
  • Polyform Sculpey Glaze, Satin
  • Paintbrushes: liner, flat, shader
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Adhesives: Polyform Liquid Sculpey, one bottle; Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, craft knife

Directions

STEP 1

Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition clay. Roll Tan into balls as follows: one 1” (head), four 1/2” (ears and feet), and two 3/8” (paws), and one 3/16” (nose). Print and cut out patterns. Use patterns as guide to shape ears, paws, and feet. Shape head into 1-1/2”-long egg shape.

STEP 2

Roll carrot-shape from Sweet Potato; press against work surface to flatten. Use craft knife to score fingers on paws and toes on feet. Roll Forest Green into two 2”-long snakes for scarf.

STEP 3

For hanger, fold wire length in half making loop in center; twist ends together. Apply liquid clay to ends; insert into top of head. (Note: Liquid clay acts as adhesive.)

STEP 4

Apply liquid clay to all bunny sections to be adhered together. Press ears to head; head to top of carrot; scarf to carrot below head (wrap around carrot and twist ends together at side). Press paws and feet to carrot; nose to face, then remove. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake. Dip in water to cool.

STEP 5

Use liner and Black to paint face as shown in Fig. 1. Drybrush edges of feet, paws, and ears White and center of ears, heels, toes, and paws Pretty Pink. Paint nose Pretty Pink and hearts on carrot and mouth outline Moroccan Red. Use liner and Black to paint remaining details as shown. When dry, apply glaze to entire surface.

Figure 1

STEP 6

Adhere nose to face. Insert ribbon through loop on head; knot ends.

by Dimples

Lucky Clover Necklace

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Wear your luck around your neck! Kids, create this fun clover necklace to show your Irish spirit this St. Patrick’s Day.

Materials

  • Polyform Sculpey Oven-Bake Clay: Emerald Green
  • Green satin cording, 24” length
  • Large jump ring
  • Clear crystal gem (optional)

Tools

  • Heart cookie cutter, 1/2
  • Pliers
  • Clay-dedicated rolling pin
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Oven

Basic Supplies

scissors, ruler, toothpick, plastic knife

Directions

Adults, help kids when baking clay in oven.

1. On clean work surface, remove clay from package. To condition, roll clay separately in hands until soft, bending and rolling until pliable. If clay cracks, keep conditioning.

2. Roll Emerald Clay into 1/4”-thickness. Use heart cookie cutter to cut out four hearts (clover) or use plastic knife to cut four heart shapes from clay. For stem, use plastic knife to cut tiny triangle.

3. Position four hearts and stem on parchment-lined baking sheet. Smooth edges. Flip clover over; smooth edges together. Use toothpick to poke hole on top of clover (for jump ring). Add details lines on clover. If desired, press crystal gem in center.

4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake clover in oven. Let cool completely.

5. Use pliers to open jump ring. Insert jump ring through hole on clover; squeeze ring closed.

6. Measure and cut 24” length of green cording. Insert cording through hole on jump ring; knot ends together.

by Phoebe Doehring for Polyform Products

Cute, Quick, & Easy Cupcake Napkin Ring

Planning a fun and easy get together with a few of your closest friends is a great way to beat the last few days of chilly weather as we anticipate the arrival of spring. Creating superb finishing touches such as coordinated napkin rings is one way to make your guests see just how crafty you really are! Why not throw a delicious and super fun cupcake-themed party? Having these cupcake napkin rings on your table will be sure to make you “hostess of the season!”

For my daughter’s sixth birthday, we invited nearly a dozen little children over to help her celebrate. I decided it would be fun to make a “cupcake bar” instead of the traditional birthday cake. It was fun for them and easy for me. You could easily adapt that idea but add a bit of polish. Here’s how: Bake two to four different flavors of cupcakes. Create the same number of different frostings that would work with the flavors of the cupcakes you will be serving. Arrange the cupcakes beautifully on a platter or a cupcake display stand. Place the frostings in fun bowls on either side of the cupcakes. Then fill stemware with various different toppings such as, chopped nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, cherries, etc. Use the center of your table as the “bar” and be sure to set each place around the table with a charming cupcake napkin ring to really bring it all together!

size

Approx. 4”

materials

  • National Nonwovens Wool Felt: Peat Moss, White
  • Staedtler FIMO White Soft Oven Bake Clay
  • DecoArt Americana Buttermilk Acrylic Paint
  • CRYSTALLIZED Swarovski Elements Bicones: Asstorted Colors, 2mm, eight; Ruby, 6mm, one

tools 

  • Spellbinders Lacey Circles Small Nestabilities Dies
  • Spellbinders The Wizard Die Cutting & Embossing Machine
  • Impression Obsession Cover A Card Rubber Stamps: Swirls
  • Staedtler Acrylic Roller
  • Fiskars Pinking Shears
  • Thin chipboard
  • Clay-dedicated tile and oven
  • Thin needle & thread
  • Hot glue gun and sticks

basic supplies

scissors, ruler, paintbrush

directions

1  Condition clay according to manufacturer’s directions. Roll clay on tile work surface. Press Swirls stamp onto surface of clay. Cut 1”x5” rectangle. Roll into loop and press ends together. Press lightly to create oval shape. Bake in oven following manufacturer’s instructions. Once fully cooled, paint entire surface Buttermilk.

2 Use Lacey Circles die to cut two layers of white felt. Use pinking shears to cut circles in half. Sew assorted crystals onto one layer of white felt. Use pinking shears to cut two layers of Peat Moss felt in rectangle. Trim sides to make bottom edge shorter than the top edge.

3 Cut small rectangle of chip board. Use hot glue to adhere cut felt pieces to both sides of chipboard. Adhere embellished cupcake to clay ring.

 Design and Photography by Keri Lee Sereika (www.pinklemonade.typepad.com)

Textured Clay Medallion

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

With color, texture, and design providing visual interest, this simple-to-make clay medallion is sure to attract the eye.

Materials

  • Polyform Sculpey Premo! Black Polymer Clay
  • Black rubber cord, 2mm, 30″ length

Tools

  • Rubber stamp of choice
  • AMACO Rub ‘n Buff Silver Leaf Metallic Finish
  • Round cookie cutters or circle template
  • Clay-dedicated items: knife, rolling pin, baking sheet
  • Needle tool
  • Acrylic brayer
  • Wooden skewer

Basic Supplies

cornstarch or talcum powder, waxed paper, ruler

Directions

Size

2-1/4″

Medallion

1. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to condition clay. Roll to 1⁄4″ thickness. Dust one side of clay and brayer with cornstarch or powder to prevent items from sticking.

2. Place clay, powder side down, on rubber stamp. Roll over clay firmly with acrylic brayer to impress texture on clay. Remove clay and place textured side up on waxed paper. Use cookie cutter or circle template to cut 2-1⁄4″ medallion with 3⁄4″ hole.

3. Roll scraps into 3⁄4″ ball. Gently roll ball into 1″ log; dust with cornstarch or powder. Pierce log lengthwise with needle tool, then insert skewer to enlarge hole. With clay still on skewer, roll over stamp to impress texture into clay. Hole will slightly enlarge when rolling.

4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake items. When cool, lightly apply metallic wax with fingertip. (Note: Metallic wax is difficult to remove. Apply very sparingly, adding a second coat if needed.) Let dry.

5. Thread cord through medallion hole; tie overhand knot. Thread ends through bead; knot. Tie ends in overhand knot; trim ends.

6. For blue medallion, use 1⁄4 bar each of Polyform Sculpey Premo! Ultramarine Blue and White Clay, and 1⁄4 teaspoon black embossing powder for texture.

Tip

  • Try using mica powders to add a subtle hint of color and shine.

by Jenny Bezingue

Turtle Clay Zoo Friend

Crafts ’n things Craft of the Day

 

Take a hint from the turtle and slow down to enjoy some creative time with your kids!  This playful turtle is the last of the Clay Zoo Friends in Crafts ‘n things Craft-of-the-Day projects. Whether on a safari or a visit to the zoo, enjoy the trip to wherever your imagination may lead you.

Materials

  • Polyform Sculpey Bake Shop Oven-Bake Clay: Green, Red, Yellow

Tools

  • Parchment-lined baking sheet
  • Oven thermometer
  • Oven

Basic Supplies

toothpick

Directions

Size

2″ tall

note

Adults, help kids when baking clay in oven.

Turtle

1. On clean work surface, remove clay from packages. To condition, roll clay separately in hands until soft, bending and rolling until pliable. If clay cracks, keep conditioning.

2. For turtle, roll large Green ball (shell), two small Green balls (eyes), and five small Green teardrops (head and legs). Press legs on bottom of shell and head on front of shell. Roll small Red and tiny Yellow balls (spots); flatten and press on shell. See photo. Press Green eyes to top of teardrop head. Roll two tiny Yellow balls (eyes); press on eyes. Use toothpick to add eye and nostril holes and details to legs.

3. Position turtle on parchment-lined baking sheet. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake in oven. Let cool completely.

for Polyform Products (www.sculpey.com)