Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Playing With Clay


     I'm always on the lookout for products I have not worked with yet.  Working with clay has been on my crafting bucket list for a while!   I decided to start off with air dry clay and I had fun with the results.  In addition, this idea can be used for last minute Christmas gifts or decorations.  It became a little addictive!


You will need:

-package of air dry clay

-Wax paper to protect your surface
-Clay roller (you can use any type of roller but don't use the items again for any food preparation)
-Cookie cutters
-Rubber stamps
-Permanent ink
-Sharpie/permanent markers in color of choice
-Metal rack for drying

     Remove 1/4 of your clay package and begin kneading and rolling to make pliable and a consistent thickness.

Wrap the remaining clay in an airtight baggie.  Set aside a section of the clay to use as a practice piece.

     Using the cookie cutters cut out desired shapes.

 You can reknead the leftovers and get a couple of more cuts out of it.  Once cut, put hole through top with toothpick for ribbon or jewelry finding.  Make sure your hole is large enough for your end purpose.

    Lay out on a metal rack and let dry ( depending on thickness of the clay, this will take about 24 hours to dry completely).  Make sure there is air circulating around the clay to facilitate the drying time.

   Once the pieces are dry you can start embellishing.  Some ideas:

     -For a tree ornament or package topper use your rubber stamps -- the whole image may not fit but in this example, using only part of the design makes a nice background.  It is easier to keep your stamp face up and press in the clay -- it is easier to see what you are doing.  You can embellish with a colored marker, add writing, etc.

 - Another idea is to capitalize on the coloring book trend.  Doodle a freeform design and keep graphic with just black marker or you can fill in.  Once they are dried, the clay takes to the markers and ink very well and you can make a lot in one sitting.

    -Jewelry -- I love monograms and stamped one on a smaller piece of the clay.  Again, using only part of a stamp, I created wording on the bottom of a large piece.  Lining up the holes, glue together with a good glue like jewelry glue and you have a cute necklace to keep or give.

     Once you are finished, sand the edges (my examples are all shown pre-sanding :).  And that's it, you are only limited by your imagination.  But by using very few supplies you can create pretty custom gifts for your friends and family.

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