Sunday, November 29, 2009

Make Your Own Polymer Clay Buttons

Hello beautiful people! Today I have a tutorial to share with you, but this one is just a little bit different. This was my first time making Polymer clay buttons ever and I took these pictures as I was teaching myself. I just wanted to show exactly how easy it is to do! So I would like to invite you on this journey with me and encourage you to give Polymer Clay buttons a try! I have been wanting to play around with Polymer Clay for such a long time and after actually doing it I really wish I had sooner. First off the things you will need!

Supplies Needed:
1. Sculpey or Fimo clays (I used Sculpey)
2. Rolling pin (I purchased a fondu roller which has rings on it to control thickness)
3. A variety of textured objects.
4. A variety of circular objects you can use cut with. (I used medicine bottle!)
5. Some sort of sharp cutter. You can use your xacto knife.

Start off by taking a small amount of clay and massage it between your fingers to soften it.

Next use your roller to flatten out the clay. The thickness I had the roller set to was 1/8th inch

Use your circular object you are using as a cutter to cut your buttons. Just press all the way through the clay and then kind of twist the cutter to ensure it's cut. If you are using an actual 'cutter' then I doubt you will need to do the twist but with the medicine bottle I was using wasn't the sharpest :-)

Then remove the excess clay from around the freshly cut buttons.

Now we are going to be adding the texture to the top of the buttons. To do this I simply used a patterned button that I already had and pressed it into the clay. Any textured object would work!

And here is what they looked like after I pressed the pattern into them!

Now we need to add holes to them so we can thread them later! To do this I just used my paper piercer. I am sure you could also use something like a toothpick as well, but I just found my paper piercer to leave a nice crisp hole, and I loved that!

And there you have it....buttons ready to bake!
But before we bake those buttons I would like to show you what I played around remember this is my first time doing this, so be nice :-) lol
We are going to be making a mini cane! First what you need to do is pick 2 colors you like. Using your hands roll them into snake like rolls. Then take those 2 rolls and twist them together like in the picture.

Then using your hands twist and smash those 2 colors together to create swirls and using your rolling pin roll them out.

Then create another snake roll out of a different contrasting color and add it to the middle. Simply wrap the Swirled piece of clay entirely around the middle roll of clay. Now just add layers to the roll until you get the desired thickness.

Here is what my cane looked like in the end. I wrapped a layer of blue around the swirled and then wrapped green aound the entire roll.

Then I used my sharp object to cut off little pieces of the end. These pieces were about 1/4 inch thick and I need 6 of them.

Arrange the little pieces you cut into a flower shape and press the pieces together gently.

Using the tips of your fingers gently squeeze the ends of the pieces to give them a little pointed shape.

Next add a contrasting color to the center. All you have to do to do this is roll a small ball of clay and gently press it in the center of the flower. And there you have it! These are now ready to bake as well! They aren't the prettiest things in the world, but it's a learning process right?!

With all the left over clay I had I decided to mix it together and cut some buttons out. Why waste it when we can create something pretty!!

Now it's time to put them in the oven. The best thing to do is add a layer of parchment paper to your cookie sheet because the buttons won't stick to that. Set them down in a single layer and simply put into your preheated oven for 15 minutes at 265 degrees.

After you take them out of the oven let them cool of completely. I waited a few hours just to be safe and then I took them outside and sprayed them with a clear acrylic sealer.And here is the end result!

I hope you are all inspired to start creating with Polymer clay! I know that I will now be venturing out into other ideas as well. There are so many things you can do with this clay. Before you seal the buttons, why not paint designs on them! This is an amazing way to get a custom look for little money. Also you can hand craft your own little objects...right now I am in the process of creating my own little mushrooms! I can't wait to see how those turn out!

Five Fast and Fun Flowers

Flowers make me happy...very HAPPY! I can't get enough of them, however I usually find myself making my own as opposed to using up *heaven knows how many* I have bought! Well, today I have a tutorial for the 'I want to make my own flower' person like me! These flowers are all very fast and very easy, which is why I love them!

I have many Pink Paislee flowers and whereas I do love the style, sometimes the colors just aren't right! And wouldn't ya know those flowers are so easy to make it's just crazy - it should be illegal!

Supplies Needed:
1. Fabric (you could even use ribbon)
2. Scissors
3. Needle & Thread
4. Ruler
5. Button

First we start off by cutting a piece of fabric into a ¾ inch wide and 12 inches long strip. Divide this strip into 4 separate 3 inch pieces. Then cut another strip ½ inch wide by 10 inches long. Divide that strip into 4 separate 2½ inch pieces. Then layer the pieces on top of one another, the smaller on top of the larger. Simply tack together with your needle and thread and add a button! It’s as easy as that!!

And here is my finished flower:
You know what I just love?! I love me some tulle and lace!! I have come up with a really easy way of creating what I like to call a Flower Additive :-) Just a little something pretty to add to any flower...or heck you could even use it as a flower!

Supplies Needed:
1. Tulle
2. eyelet
3. eyelet setter
4. Scissors

First we start off by cutting our tulle into 4 squares. In this example I used 2 ½ x 2 ½ (using my flower as a guideline). I then fanned out the tulle squares so they resembled somewhat of a circle shape. From there all I did was find the center, punch a little hole with my crop-a-dile, and set my eyelet! The reasoning for doing this is to give the tulle stability while giving you the perfect place to put a brad through! After we have the eyelet set I then just take a pair of scissors and cut slits in the tulle about ¼ in away from the eyelet. Then just ruff up the tulle with your fingers a bit to separate the layers – you can also trim/shape it if you wish! This also works wonderfully with lace or even thin fabrics!

And here is my finished flower:

Next we have a very fast ribbon flower. These flowers are a perfect way to use up those scrap pieces of ribbon you have laying around - I know we all have plenty of those!!!

Supplies Needed:
1. Ribbon *my pieces were on average 11-12in. long
2. Scissors.
3. Needle and thread
4. Buttons/rhinestones/pretty little things for centers!

We simply start off by running a quick basting stitch close the edge of one side of the ribbon. Once you get the entire length of the ribbon stitched up gently pull the thread until you get a slight gather in the ribbon. Then begin to wrap your ribbon until you get something that YOU think looks good. This may require you to pull on the thread some more to gather it more or to let out what you have already gathered a bit, it's all about making it look like what you want! When you get your ribbon flower to look how you want then take your needle and thread and seal the deal. I like to just make a few stitches through the middle of the flower to tack it all together just to make sure that it will remain solid! And now you have the basic of your ribbon flower! All you have left to do is embellish the center and you are good to go! You can embellish it with whatever your heart desires, which is the fun part!!

And here are my finished flowers:

This one is more of an idea I guess than an actual tutorial! I was playing around with my Cricut one night and was just wondering what all I could cut with it....and I was amazed by what it would do! So how about we make some flowers out of patterns or maybe aluminum foil?!

Supplies Needed:
1. Cricut (or any die cut machine)
2. an old pattern....maybe some aluminum foil
3. brads
4. Patience - you will need this!

For this flower I used flower #2 on the George cartridge because I am pretty sure most people have that one! Ok, a word of caution….since we are working with very delicate materials it is best to actually use an older mat, one that doesn’t have much life left. The patter paper will stick to it beautifully and won’t be as hard to remove! I cut a piece of pattern paper/foil to fit the mat and just ran it through my cricut just like I would any other piece of paper. For this particular flower I cut 2 each of sizes 3in, 2 ½in, 2in, and 1 ½in. Be very careful when you are peeling the flowers off of the mat…since the materials are so fragile they are easier to tear. Then we just layer our flower and pretty up the center! With the pattern flower it looks kinda cool to crinkle up the edges with your fingers a bit too! You could even add Glimmer Mist to give it some extra sparkle!

And here are my finished flowers:

Our last flower is Super fun and crazy all at the same time. My Daughter says it looks like a Lions head, I just think it looks cool! You wouldn't believe how easy this flower is, it's almost too easy!

Supplies Needed:

1. Pretty paper
2. scissors
3. stapler
4. Button or other center of your choosing :-)

First we start out by cutting our paper into 3 strips. I used 2 ½ by 12 in but my flower is HUGE! You can make this much smaller if you choose :-) Stack the papers on top of one another. If your papers are double sided I have found it looks really neat if you flip one of the strip so you see both sides of the paper come through! Once your papers are stacked begin to cut it into strips leaving about ½ inch intact at the top. I have no method to my madness, no particular set size in how wide my strips are…I just cut! Once you have the entire pieces of papers cut then just gently begin to fold your paper and bend it into a circle shape. I would staple as you go, this makes life so much easier!! Once you have the entire circle formed and stapled together solidly, take the flower and smash it in your hands. Oh yeah….that’s the fun part! This will crinkle the paper and give it a really cool effect. When you have reached your desired amount of crinkling, gently smooth out your flower and embellish the center. I chose to keep it simple with a button and twine, but the sky is the limit!

And here is my finished flower:

Here are a few examples of how I have used some of these flowers on LO's. I have also mixed and matched a few of the tutorials, which is fun as well!

Incorporating Tape into your LO's

As you all know, I'm a little odd, I love playing around and trying out things that are a little odd and that includes using things for what they weren't originally intended...and that's where tape comes into play! I recently discovered a pretty cool technique that I am dying to share with you all as well as a few other cool ways to play around with various kinds of tape!First the technique!! We are going to transfer a picture onto scotch tape - cool right?! I think it gives the picture a pretty cool look when it's all said and done!

First the Supplies we need:
*A roll of scotch tape
*A bowl of water
*A popcicle stick
*A pair of scissors
*and a cutting mat

What we are going to do:
Start off by applying the tape to your photo in any way you choose, completely covering the picture. Using your popcicle stick get out any air bubbles and go over the entire picture to ensure that the tape is secured onto the picture...this also helps the ink grab onto the tape! Once you are done with that take your entire photo and submerge it into your bowl of water, I know scary!! This part should take 10-15 minutes depending on the quality of picture paper your picture is printed on. I would check it after 10 minutes to see if the backing will easily rub off with your thumb, if not soak it for a few more minutes! Take your picture out of the water and proceed to rub off all the picture paper with your thumb until all you have left is the tape. It will look a little odd until it is dry! But once it dries the results are pretty awesome :-)

Here is my completed LO using the picture I did this technique with!
Also on the above LO I used black duct tape and folded it into thin strips to form the huge flower - that was fun!

Another pretty fun thing I have done recently with tape was create a Background Paper out of it! This created a lot of texture to my LO and was definately a lot of messy (ok, not that messy) fun!

All you need to do this is:
*Masking Tape
*paint of your choice
*foam brush

What we are going to do:
Just start out by applying your masking tape in any way you want, the more oddly you apply it the more appeal it has when painted! It's all about what you think looks awesome! Once you get the entire piece of cardstock covered, then paint away! After I painted mine I went back over it with a baby wipe to give it more of an uneven look, but that is completely on the eye of the beholder :-)

And here is my finished LO using my Masking tape Background Paper:

There are so many other neat things that can be done with tape as well. It can be used to frame your pictures, cover chipboard...have you seen all the wonderful colors of duct tape out there?! Oh my, this girl is in LOVE!! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and can find some way to incorporate tape into your LO's in the future :-) I can't wait to see what you ladies do!