Saturday, October 20, 2012

Happy Little Polymer Clay Buttons

When you are a creative person, it is impossible to have a monogamous relationship with any one craft. You find yourself flirting with other hobbies, attracted to other art forms. Artistic infidelity is inevitable, so give in to it and let your creativity run wild!
I've had my eye on Polymer Clay for a while now, and this week we finally spent some time together - making buttons.

Here's what you'll need to make Happy Little Polymer Clay Buttons:

  • Polymer Clay - assorted colors (*different brands may have different oven temperatures, so stick with the same brand for your project)
  • Basic polymer clay tools
  • Rolling pin (*not interchangeable with anything used for food) I used a short piece of copper pipe we had laying around!
  • Toothpicks
  • Polymer clay cutting tools (*cookie cutters work, but cannot be used for food after clay)
  • Work surface (I used a leftover piece of tile)
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
Open the package of polymer clay, break off some clay, then cut off the amount you would like to use. Now condition the clay by working it with your hands. Initially, the clay will feel very firm, but  will soften up quickly.

Now take the conditioned pieces of clay and roll them into long rods. You can make them as thick or thin as you like - experiment for different results.

Twist the rods together to make one long piece.

Fold into an "S" shape.

And roll out flat to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Press clay cutters through clay for your desired shape. You can do this freehand too, but you'll need something very sharp so be careful.

Remove the excess clay and make two holes with a toothpick. Keep in mind the holes need to be large enough for a sewing needle to pass through.

Now carefully lift up your buttons and place them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When you are ready to bake your buttons, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to check the package of Polymer Clay for baking instructions - oven temperatures can vary with different brands of clay. Bake for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay thickness. Our buttons are about 1/4 inch, so I baked them for 30 minutes.
*It is important not to burn the clay, as polymer clay has chemicals in it that will release fumes when burned.
*Also, it is a good idea to wash your hands after working with clay to clean off those same chemicals I just mentioned.

Hope you had fun learning how to make your own Happy Little Polymer Clay Buttons!

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Many Blessings,

Jana : )