Polymer Clay - 4th Of July Stars and Stripes Necklace
Beads – any colors you like (glass, plastic, etc) I used denim lapis & Czech Glass
Jewelry Cord/ Wire
Polymer clay – any brand – red, white & blue (or colors of your choice)
Tissue Blade (very sharp – adult supervision required!)
Clay knife, or plastic knife
Toothpick or bamboo skewer
Star shaped cutters – various sizes
Acrylic roller or dowel
Clay dedicated pasta machine (optional)
Work surface – ceramic tile, file folder or wax paper
This polymer clay jewelry making project shows you how to make 4th of July beads for creating a unique holiday craft project.
Condition each color of clay until soft and pliable by rolling and squeezing in your hands. Test to see if it cracks when you bend it – that means it needs more conditioning!
Roll out an even sheet of each color & trim the ends so they are the same size & rectangle shape. A pasta machine on the thickest setting works great!
Stack the colors on top of one another – red, white & blue
Roll gently with your roller to help them adhere to each other.
Divide the stack in half with your tissue blade & repeat until you have 4 smaller rectangles & stack these on top of one another. Make sure the stripes are following your initial pattern.
Roll each new stack with your roller again, to adhere & trim off the excess to make a solid & even stack of clay. You have just created a basic striped cane!!!
Gather up all of your trimmings and roll them into a ball. Flatten with your roller or pasta machine to an even thickness. (I double over the clay after running it through the thickest setting & roll to adhere with my roller)
Cut a paper thin slice from your cane – going from top to bottom with your tissue blade & cover your scrap clay base with it.
Use your roller to adhere this to the base clay and smooth out the surface.
Cut out several star shapes of different sizes and set them aside.
Repeat steps 7, 8 & 9 until you have the desired number of stars.
***TIP – if you want “reversible” stars, cut a thick slice from your cane and then cut out your star shapes from that – the color goes all the way through!
Poke holes in the stars with your toothpick, etc. I only went through the top of my largest & the center of my smaller ones.
Bake according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Glaze if desired. I use varathane – found in most hardware stores. For small projects, use the clay manufacturer’s glaze. The bottles are smaller & more affordable!
String your clay beads with other beads on your wire and attach a clasp if desired. It helps to lay out your project on a bead board first before stringing.
Enjoy your new piece of jewelry for yourself or give as a patriotic gift!
***SAVE those pieces you trimmed off and roll them together to make swirly accent beads!
***Dark colored clay, like red, blue, etc. can leave some pigment on your hands. To help keep lighter colors from turning pink, etc. handle most of the light clay first. You can also use baby wipes to clean your hands and tools (alcohol is a solvent for the clay) or wear latex gloves & switch in between colors.
***Once you use cookie cutters, pasta machine, etc for clay, it is recommended to no longer use it for food. Shop around for inexpensive cutters at your local craft store.
By Shellie Wilson. Shellie is the chief creative editor for Craftbits.