Apparently, I'm on a quest to Banana-Frog as many different surfaces as possible. Don’t get me wrong - paper and cardstock are fantastic, but somehow I can’t help seeking out the ‘I wonder if…?’ option instead. So far, I’ve posted projects stamped on plastic, wood, fabric, ribbon, magnets, and there was even a brief dalliance with snow back in February. It shouldn’t come as any huge surprise, then, that there’s not a scrap of paper involved in my first term at Stamping School. This time, I’ve been tempted to stray by the joys of polymer clay – also known by the brand names Fimo and Sculpey – which makes for wonderful stand-alone projects but can also be used, if you’re more traditionally inclined, to create embellishments for cards and scrapbook layouts.
TO MAKE A STAMPED CLAY PENDANT
You will need:
Polymer clay :: Rolling pin :: Banana Frog stamps (I used the Backgrounds set, which creates beautiful textural effects on the clay) :: Clear acrylic block :: Water-based ink pad (e.g. VersaColour or Brilliance) :: Cookie cutters or a small knife :: Baking sheet :: Foil :: Oven :: Clear varnish or adhesive (optional) :: Cord, ribbon or thong for stringing :: Beads/jewellery findings (optional)
What you do:
1. Knead a medium-sized piece of clay between the palms of your hands until it’s soft and pliable. Roll it out on a smooth, flat surface to a thickness of around 5-7mm. Apply ink to your chosen stamp.
2. Carefully press the stamp down on top of the clay, pressing firmly all over. Lift it back up again to reveal your impression.
Tip: If, at this point, you aren’t happy with how your stamped clay looks, clean away the ink with a baby wipe, then gather the clay back into a ball and re-do the first three steps.
3. Cut out your pendant shape, using a cookie cutter or small knife. For the woodgrain pendant, I used an oval-shaped cutter, with a smaller ‘0’ in the centre to add interest.
4. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place your pendant on top. Bake the clay according to instructions on the packaging (usually around 130ºC for 20-30 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
5. To protect, seal and add a sleek finish to your pendant, spray with clear varnish, or apply a coat of shiny adhesive (e.g. Glossy Accents). String on to a length of ribbon, cord or thong and add any extra details, as desired.
- If you haven’t worked with polymer clay before, there are plenty of tips, info and video tutorials online – try a quick search to get you started.
- Mix your own custom-coloured clay by kneading two or more shades together.
- Although most polymer clays are non-toxic, it’s best not to roll or cut it with utensils you’ll later use for preparing food. If you don’t have an old rolling pin, try wrapping your usual one in a thin, smooth layer of cling film which can be removed once you’ve finished rolling the clay.
- For a more subtle effect, stamp with a clear or watermark inkpad. (You can make an impression without using ink at all, but the clay might stick in places and you’ll also find it’s harder to lift your stamp away.)
- Experiment with pieces of spare clay to see which of your Banana Frog stamps creates the best stamped effects.
- If you make something using this technique, take a quick pic and post it in our Flickr group.
Here you go with a couple of my alternative versions using the same Backgrounds stamp set.
So, that's your schooling over for the day, but before I give it the whole 'class dismissed' thing, there's the little matter of a giveaway. If you'd like to win the woodgrain necklace in the first picture, plus a set of Background stamps and a block of clay to try making one of your own, all you need to do is leave a comment below. Let us know which other Banana Frog stamp set you think would look good stamped onto polymer clay, add the info to your comment and a winner will be chosen at random next Wednesday, 3rd June at midnight, UK time.
Until next time student Froglets.