Below you will find a tutorial that I adapted from a recent teen polymer clay craft class I taught in June (2014). You will also see how the tube beads and round bead were made. All of these beads were made using the basic substitute tools I highlighted on a previous blog entry. There are easier ways to make tube beads, but this was what best fit their tools.
The students got to learn how to make: decorative beads, tube beads, and round beads. Also, how to create marbling, the difference between the outside and inside of a marbled cane, using slices of a cane to cover the round bead (this was a serendipitous moment of teaching created when a student exclaimed how cool the inside of the tube bead rope looked), what liquid polymer can be used for, and mixing inclusions into liquid polymer. Needless to say, it was a lesson packed with lots of new topics for the students!!!
Do you have a group polymer clay project you are just dying to try but don't have the money to buy lots of traditional polymer clay tools?
Below are the four basic polymer clay tools I came up with for the Loudonville Public Library teen polymer clay craft classes I teach. I sought out the least expensive yet, most functional tools. All of the below tools can either be found in packs of multiples or can be cut into pieces to create multiples. Below each image you will find the tool's description, the name of the store where I found the it (Ohio, USA) and product information for the aforementioned store (price, quantity,...). With this selection of simple tools, you can make sure that everyone in your group has their own tools to work with.
*Note* For the LPL teen polymer clay classes we have the students take their tile home with them so they have the proper surface to bake their project on.
Since the tiles come in large packs it is still cost-effective.
A friend asked if I could create a "grumpy cat" out of polymer clay. Below is an image board documenting most of the steps for creating my vision of "grumpy cat". After baking, I found that the right shoulder and back of the head had cracked. I sent out a plea for help on the Polymer Clay Central message board and received a lot of helpful ideas. In the end, I used a little from each suggestion and the cracks were fixed in splendid fashion!
I always believe that my creations end up with their own distinct personality. This little cat, though came out with a great one. It was fun to make and a great learning experience.
I don't like the smell of polymer as it bakes. I either read or heard about using oven bags in an aluminum pan to contain the sent. I have used turkey and chicken sized oven bags inside. It is really easy to assemble this. All you need is the bag and aluminum pan and 6"x8" glazed ceramic tiles.
1. Place the oven bag in the pan
2. Place the tiles(s) into the bag (which is in the pan). NOTE: I had to cut slits into the corners of the large pan to make the two tiles sit side-by-side.)
3. Place your project into the tiles (you can cover tiles with cardboard or baking paper.
Please check out the images to see what it looks like.
I recently had a great question asking where to buy polymer clay in my area. I have listed the stores, their websites and any prices I could find on their websites.
Wishing many happy hours of polymer play!!!!
Hobby Lobby: 1200 Park Ave. West, Mansfield, OH 44906 (419-529-0554)
Kato Polyclay [$2.69]
They tend to have sales (50% Off) on most of these brands every so many weeks. You can sign up for their newsletter that should list their weekly sales. It has been a while since I have visited here and the selection may be larger now.
projects on their store website = http://projects.hobbylobby.com/media/is-143230.pdf
JoAnn Fabric & Crafts: 3786 Burbank Rd Suite #401, Wooster, OH 44691 (330-345-1379)
They also have sales of 50% off every so many weeks.
projects on their store website = http://www.joann.com/search?q=polymer%20clay#prefn1=isProject&q=polymer%20clay&prefv1=true
Pat Catan’s: 3934 Burbank Rd, Wooster, OH 44691 (330-345-5012)
They have some of the best prices. They don’t have sales though. If you ever get into Liquid Polymer, they have the best price (for a store location) on the 8oz bottles.
I could not find anything on their website regarding all of the types of clay they sell and their prices. I do know, from my frequent visits, that they sell: Fimo, SculpyIII, Premo! and other Polyform products. They may have others I have not used yet.
Liquid Polymer can make almost anything CLING!
Liquid Polymer clay has an amazingly super smooth finish when baked on a smooth, flat surface (such as ceramic tile or glass) which enables it to "cling" to almost any clean, smooth surface (glass, gloss creamic, finished wood, plastic, metal). This is not the case with solid polymer clay. Solid polymer clay, when baked on a smooth, flat surface, cannot produce the same "clinging" quality found with the use of liquid polymer.
The below tutorial will highlight how liquid polymer can be used as a backing to create any kind of "cling" you can dream of. These are not typical window clings.
Keep in mind that these are not stickers nor do they behave as though backed with adhesive. They only have the ability to CLING onto these clean, smooth surfaces. With the right pressure and angle they can be popped off. Also remember: if in direct sunlight, where the temperature is rather high, the clings will soften a bit and loose their ability to cling. Once cooled they can be used again.
You many have read the description of the three macaroni craft books from the 1960's on my home page. Below you will find three projects from both the "Deck-A-Roni Designs" (Delmonico) and "Decorating with Macaroni Craft Book" (Aleene). Not all of the directions were printed in the original craft books. I have notated where this occurs and have added what I believe would have been intended. These projects would be great for the whole family. Adult supervision is recommended for all projects.
Above are photos of decorated packages using tissue paper, facial tissues, felt and Christmas wrapping paper. The snowman was made using directions I found in a craft book from 1965 detailing how creative ways to
use facial tissue, toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. From there I