Polymer Clay Jewelry - How To Make Gorgeous Jewelry From Home - Polymer Clay Jewelry Making
Welcome to ShooShoo Jewelry's Polymer Clay Jewelry lens!
What a wonderful time I've had creating this polymer clay jewelry site! I try to keep it updated with new tips and ideas on how to make your own beautiful clay jewelry and welcome questions at any time.
This ShooShoo Jewelry polymer clay site titled "Polymer Clay Jewelry - How to Make Gorgeous Jewelry From Home" was created for the "just-getting-started" crafters or artists out there wanting to learn some of the ins and outs of making beautiful polymer clay jewelry. While polymer clay is a versatile and easy to use art medium, there are LOTS of tips and tricks I can offer, links that I can send you to, that will make it easier for you to start making stunning polymer clay jewelry from home.
There has been a huge up-swing lately of people wanting to learn how to make polymer clay jewelry and I'm hoping that this site will help those with the drive and passion to make it happen. There are so many polymer clay jewelry resources out there, but not everyone knows how or where to go looking for them, so I'm hoping to point you in the right direction when it comes to finding the best sites, videos, and articles on how to make polymer clay jewelry from home.
Polymer clay, beads, wire, and mixed media have taken over my life in the last few years. I now have a workroom dedicated to creating beautiful clay and wire jewelry from home and learn new techniques every week to keep my creative processes fresh and alive.
I don't answer the phone, listen to the radio, or watch TV when I'm in my room . . . It's just me, the polymer clay I start warming up in my hands, the clay colors all laid out in front of me, and the world fades away as my mind starts telling my hands what to do.
Some people are talented enough that they can paint, some sculpture . . . I am lucky enough to be able to make gorgeous polymer clay and wire jewelry from home!
I get so many requests from people asking me how I learned to make the clay and wire jewelry I create. They ask what tools are absolutely needed to start making jewelry, the clay brands, the resources, and the list goes on and on. This site will be dedicated to the ones just starting out making jewelry, the ones with the questions about where to turn to for help.
While I have MANY tools and "extras" in my workroom, I didn't start out that way. After all, who's got the money to start out with all the jewelry tools and equipment available when they start learning how to make polymer clay jewelry?
I mean, isn't that why some of you want to start making jewelry? To make money, right? So, I'll give you my take on what you really NEED to have and then suggest the things that would be NICE to have when you have a few sales under your belt and can re-invest in your home business.
This polymer clay jewelry site will be added to at least a few times a week. There are lots of creative polymer clay artists out there with unique styles sharing ideas and tips and great resources, lots of which are free. I promise I'll try to keep pointing you in the right direction(s).
If I don't have an answer for you, I'm sure I know the right people who CAN!
So, please, send me your questions about polymer clay jewelry and let's work together, OK?
If you click on my name (below), it will take you to my Facebook album page where you can check out some of the polymer clay projects I've tackled. Make sure you have a little bit of time to look, because I have a LOT in there! (Just to show that, yes, I have been making polymer clay jewelry for quite some time now)
I hope you enjoy looking at some of the polymer clay jewelry pieces I've made and are interested enough to want to start making some pc jewelry of your own! Enjoy!
In Regards to Making Polymer Clay Jewelry, The Absolute Best Thing I Ever Did Was Sign Up With Polymer Clay Tutor!
Bar None This is my Absolute Best Jewelry Resource in Learning How to Make Polymer Clay Jewelry
I'll start by saying I don't make a dime on providing the Polymer Clay Tutor link to you! If that doesn't prove that I think this is the BEST resource for you to learn how to make polymer clay jewelry, I don't know what will.
I have been a member of Cindy Lietz's Polymer Clay Tutor for over a year now and wouldn't dream of stopping my membership. She provides a comprehensive video every single Friday of the month (on month's that have 5 Fridays, she does something a little different), FREE color palette recipe cards, and has a membership following that encourage, nurture, and take an interest in everyone else. I've made some very special online friends by being a part of the Polymer Clay Tutor group and hope to someday meet a few of them.
I've learned how to make beads and use techniques that I would never have been able to create without the help of Cindy and her tutorials. She encourages other polymer clay artists to learn new techniques and push artistic limits that we might not normally push without a bit of help from someone we consider an "expert". The confidence that these tutorials give will definitely show in YOUR polymer clay jewelry.
I've even saved the best for last . . . Being a member doesn't cost an arm and a leg! For only $3.33 PER MONTH (she bills a quarterly payment of $9.99) you get ongoing tutorials that are sent straight to your email every single Friday, free recipe color palettes, and access to a group of guys and gals (yes, there are men there, too! Wait until you see the talent in this bunch) that are always willing to answer questions, suggest solutions to problems, and hand out resources about polymer clay and polymer clay jewelry like no tomorrow.
Using Wire to Add Sparkle and Substance to Your Polymer Clay Jewelry - Silver Wire, Copper Wire, Brass, Gold and the List Goes On . . .
For Polymer Clay Jewelry Research - Just Use Google - Find Great Jewelry Making Tutorials For Free
Free Polymer Clay Jewelry Videos and Tutorials on the Web - You Just Have To Look For Polymer Clay Jewelry Videos
While ShooShoo Jewelry plans on providing lots of polymer clay jewelry making links and resources, there is also an almost unlimited supply of information on the web about how to make polymer clay jewelry if you learn to use your Google button.
I get new inspiration every time I use the Google search bar to research new techniques, the "in" color, different styles, or just to see what kind of jewelry is being made out there. I've met the most talented people online who create absolutely exquisite pieces of jewelry at home by taking the time to research online. It's how I found the Polymer Clay Tutor link that I am still a part of today.
To give you a real life example, I bought my own findings (clasps, toggles, connectors, etc.) for quite a while when I started learning how to make polymer clay jewelry from home. Then there came a day when I was making a necklace and I didn't have any more lobster clasps in stock in the metal color I needed. Instead of getting in the car to go 1/2 hour away to purchase a $2 package of clasps at Walmart, I Googled "how to make a necklace clasp" and OMG! There are lots and lots of links that have either video or photos showing you how to make everything from a simple hook and eye clasp to fancier swirled clasps that are easier to make than they look.
Now I'm not saying that all of the links you'll find will necessarily be 100% quality links; many of the videos are rough at best, some of the photos may not be very clear, some of them are just plain confusing, BUT . . . I am usually able to come away with "something" of value from each link I view. It may be only a comment like "you can use different wire gauges in your pieces" (and you can!) or it may be the way a person holds a specific tool that makes looping wire easier for your wrist . . .
All I'm trying to say is that there will come a time when you have something specific in your head about what kind of jewelry you want to create and you'll have a question about how to accomplish it. By typing a specific query into a search bar on your computer, you have access to lots of answers and solutions. And let's face it, it's online. If you don't like the link you clicked on or are confused, click out of it and go on to the next one. Yes, it's that simple.
And best of all, most of it will be FREE! :)
**The focal bead in this photo was created using Cindy's "flower petal cane" tutorial. Making polymer clay jewelry is NOT hard to do, but you do have to have patience and be willing to learn new techniques often to keep your polymer clay jewelry fresh!
Polymer Clay or Glass Beads - Easy Bracelet Bangle Tutorial
Put Some DIY Polymer Clay Jewelry on Your Wrist
Polymer Clay, beads, and wire go hand in hand with so many jewelry projects. It's pretty hard to just limit yourself to one style of medium or technique; there are always new things to learn!
Here's a VERY EASY to follow tutorial on how to make your own coiled wire bracelet bangle. While the bangle is shown with beads, it would be so easy to feature a gorgeous polymer clay focal bead or a fancy wired bead instead of the glass bead.
The photo shown here is the bangle I whipped up using this tutorial in just 25 minutes! How cool is that?
FREE Polymer Clay Jewelry Tutorials on Pinterest Page
Jewelry crafters just learning how to make polymer clay jewelry from home will definitely benefit from visiting Pinterest with its multitude of free polymer clay tutorials.
Looking through the page, it looks like there are plenty of polymer clay tutes there that could be of interest to those who have been working in the polymer clay arena for quite a while, too!
Type in my name (Michelle Lacroix Toro) in the Pinterest section to see how I started my own work in the polymer clay world. I'm pretty new myself to Pinterest so you won't see the huge boards that some people have, but I have some very interesting polymer clay jewelry pins there that lead to all sorts of other polymer clay jewelry pieces and more. I can lose myself for hours in there.
Have fun looking and let me know by placing a comment in the Guestbook at the bottom of this polymer clay jewelry site if you enjoyed your visit there.
Christmas Spiders are Coming to Town! - Polymer Clay and Beaded Christmas Spiders To Decorate Your Christmas Tree
Polymer Clay Jewelry Kindle Book - What Technique(s) Would You Like To See In a New Kindle Jewelry Book?
Your Opinions Will Make A Difference on What Kind of Jewelry Book Gets Written
ShooShoo Jewelry is entering into the Kindle book arena and looking for suggestions on what kind of jewelry book to put together. You know what kind of books are out there and what you would buy. Is there a particular style, technique, "something" that you would like to see offered as a How To Jewelry Book?
Please post your suggestions or comments at the bottom of this site in the Polymer Clay Jewelry Guestbook section.
As always, thank you for visiting my Polymer Clay Jewelry site!
Polymer Clay Holiday Jewelry Sets Available
Polymer Clay Jewelry Sets Made For Any Occasion
While my ShooShoo Jewelry business gets lots of requests throughout the year for designer or one of a kind polymer clay jewelry sets, a very nice percentage of custom requests occur around the Holidays. And not just the Christmas Holidays, but the smaller ones throughout the year.
Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are really big jewelry Holidays, but birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries are right up there, too!
I think I'm pretty safe in saying that we all have a relative or close friend who is hard to buy for each year . . . would they like to have a Mothers Day Tree of Life pendant featuring their and their children's birthstone crystals within the pendant? Maybe a polymer clay jewelry set specifically made to match their favorite Holiday outfit? How about a matching mother and daughter mistletoe bracelet to celebrate the winter holidays?
I've had clients send me pieces of sea glass that they picked up off the beach during vacation to have made into pendants, bookmarks, and necklaces . . . Others send me photos of a favorite blouse and ask me to make a polymer clay jewelry set that complements it . . . while other clients tell me the "mood" that they would like their jewelry to express (beachy with lots of shells and sea colors, or something girly in pink and pearls).
Whatever the occasion or Holiday, custom made one-of-a-kind jewelry is a wonderful gift to to give and receive.
I can be reached at any time by leaving a post in the Guestbook section at the bottom of this site or email me at email@example.com. When emailing, please ensure you place the words "Polymer Clay Jewelry" in the subject line as I really don't open email from addresses I don't recognize.
ShooShoo Jewelry thanks you for your time and your patronage!
**This holly and berry Christmas set was created using a tutorial from Cindy Lietz, The Polymer Clay Tutor.
Clay Colors to Start Making Polymer Clay Jewelry - Keep Your Jewelry Fresh and Unique
You Just Need a Few Polymer Clay Colors to Start and Then Build Your Stash of Polymer Clay Up Slowly
Like the clay tools, you can't expect to start with a block of every polymer clay color available when you being making polymer clay jewelry from home. There are lots of clay colors available out there and it's not feasible to start with a whole drawer full.
Start with the basics.
While many, many polymer clay artists will say to start with your basic black and white clay colors, I'm going to suggest a slight variation on that . . . Start with a block of black and pearl polymer clay. While black and white are the traditional starter colors, in my opinion, white clay just makes the clay color you add it to flat looking. To me, it looks dull and just not very interesting. Now, you add pearl to the black, and you get a gorgeous dark charcoal. Add a bit more of the pearl clay and you get a rich silver that has a subtle swirl and shine. MUCH more interest to a piece of jewelry when you add pearl to the clay mix than when you add white. Yes, I have white clay in my drawer full of clay, however, pearl is the one color I'll pick up a few extra every time I go shopping (even if I'm not out) because I don't like to run out of it and I use it with almost every other clay out there. It's MY polymer clay jewelry staple.
If your budget can handle a few extra blocks of clay, I'd suggest the basic color circle; blue, yellow, and red. Using these three colors you can still make green, orange, and purple. Add in the black and pearl that you already have and you can also make all the pastel colors. It gives you a good variety of clay color without breaking your bank account.
Have fun! And be warned, this activity is extremely addictive! You'll be heading out to purchase more clay every time you go near a craft store. I know I do!
**The bracelet cuff shown here was made by learning techniques from Polymer Clay Tutor, with a Best Flexible Mold, AND lots of pearl clay! I practice what I recommend here on this site!
Polymer Clay Cabochon + Some Wire + Gorgeous Colors = A Great Piece of Polymer Clay Jewelry
Free YouTube Tutorial Resources To Make Jewelry - Polymer Clay & Glass Beads - Camille Sharon Has Some Great Video Tutorials for Wire Jewelry
While I love working with polymer clay, I also happen to love working with wire. Thank goodness that the two go hand-in-hand on many jewelry projects and enhance each other. After all, what holds your polymer clay bead/pendant in place? You got it, wire!
So learning some wire working skills is a good idea to go along with your polymer clay skill sets.
I've found that Camille Sharon is one of the people I go to for instruction when I want to make something specific. For example, the tree of life pendant that I've seen around the internet is something that I wanted to make for Mother's Day presents. I made one pendant following her instructions exactly and then had the confidence to go ahead and make more, but I made them in MY style!
That's what learning to make jewelry is all about. You don't want to "copy" someone else's jewelry, but you CAN learn from them and then go on to change it up and make it yours.
Let me know if you find Camille's videos as instructive as I did.
Sea Turtle Jewelry Made of Polymer Clay - Beautiful Polymer Clay Cabochons Atop Clay Bodies Brushed with Gilders Paste
Tree of Life Mother's Day Pendants I Learned How To Make By Watching Camille's Video! - Pendant on the Left Has My Birthstone in the Roots and My Sons' Birthsto
A Basic Wire Wrapped Ring or Pendant - Add Some Beads, Some Polymer Clay . . .
Wire Wrapping Basics For Polymer Clay Rings And Other Beaded Jewelry
For the last few days, I've been wrapped up (no pun intended! giggle) in searching out some new links and YouTube videos for this site. I found a few GREAT links on wire wrapping.
While wire wrapping is a technique that can be used to make your wire jewelry distinctive and unique, it is also a great tool to use with some polymer clay or glass beads. It can take your handmade beaded jewelry to new heights and will really get it noticed.
After all, making jewelry isn't just about making jewelry. It's about branding YOU and letting people know what kind of art you can create through your polymer clay or beaded jewelry.
How I Came About Choosing The ShooShoo Jewelry Brand For My Polymer Clay Jewelry
ShooShoo Jewelry Is My Polymer Clay Jewelry Business Name
While I've been making polymer clay and handmade beaded jewelry for some time now, I've never really branded myself with a "name". It was a hobby at first, even a passion you could say, but I didn't really treat it like a business.
Over the past few months especially, that has started to change. Jewelry making, especially polymer clay and wired jewelry, is such a part of my life now that I can't imagine living without it. So, I had to start thinking differently about my "little hobby".
I do quite a bit of internet marketing also, so, yes, I went the keyword route where I started researching jewelry keywords that I could incorporate as part of my "business name". But nothing really hit me. And I did lots of research!
I just didn't like "Michelle's Jewelry", too hokey for me, and I didn't want it to be with my last name. I wanted something people could remember, I wanted a bit of humor, I wanted something different.
Just a week ago, my husband came up with the perfect name for my business without even thinking about it.
Now you may be wondering what ShooShoo has to do with jewelry and it doesn't, not directly. However, in MY house, "shooshoo" with the sweeping hand motions means "I'm busy in my jewelry room and I'm not at a good stopping point!" Shooshoo means "not now, but later" (at least that's what it has come to mean when I'm in my jewelry room). The funny thing is, the jewelry room is the only place where I use that term, otherwise I never put anyone else off for later. I always make the time to talk or chat with whoever wants to communicate.
So when my husband made an offhand comment "You should name the business ShooShoo Jewelry", that resonated with me. Because when I'm in my jewelry workroom, the world and everyone else in it really do just sort of fade away so all I see, all I concentrate on, is my polymer clay jewelry.
I figured if you knew the story behind the name, ShooShoo Jewelry.com would be easy to remember.
Thanks for visiting my Polymer Clay Jewelry site!
Packaging Your Polymer Clay Jewelry Pieces
Some Tips & Suggestions That Will Help Sell Your Polymer Clay Jewelry
If you plan on selling your polymer clay jewelry, you may want to start thinking about how you plan on packaging your jewelry.
Think about this . . . You have two identical pieces of jewelry laid out on a table in front of you. One is laying on the table as is and the other is beautifully packaged in tissue paper and a small decorative box. Which one do you think will sell first?
Of course the packaged jewelry piece will sell first. EVERY TIME!
You see, while people don't mind paying money for what they like or want, they DO like getting something a little "extra". Whether it's a complimentary pair of earrings to go with a nifty necklace or it's a small decorated gift box or bag to place their new jewelry in. People perceive it as "getting a good deal" or "getting more than their moneys worth". It's a great marketing technique and you WILL sell more jewelry this way.
I happen to have sewed for years and I have tubs and tubs of fabric available at any given time. I also work part time at an upscale fabric shop where I can pick up small fabric swatches for free or almost next to nothing. It literally takes me under 3 minutes to sew a small decorative fabric bag to place my sold polymer clay jewelry pieces in before mailing them. My sales almost doubled when I started mailing my ShooShoo Jewelry pieces out this way and my repeat customer orders TRIPLED! Not kidding and not exaggerating!
Now you don't have to go that route, I did because it was easy and convenient for me. You may want to just wrap your pieces in colored tissue paper, a plastic baggy with a business card placed inside, or maybe a small gauzy drawstring from Oriental Trading might be appropriate. Small drawstring bags can be purchased from Oriental Trading for $0.40-$0.60 each.
Whatever your packaging style may be, do think about getting one. If you plan on selling polymer clay jewelry, it will sell much better with pleasant packaging.
How To Condition Polymer Clay To Make the Best Polymer Clay Jewelry!
For Beautiful Polymer Clay Jewelry - Do NOT Skip This Conditioning Step!
While I am a member of the Polymer Clay Tutor group and have access to all the beginner information that Cindy Leitz has there for people just starting out with polymer clay, I didn't happen to find that polymer clay learning link until after I'd been working with clay for a little while.
I had googled "how to condition polymer clay" and found some great links offering very good tips on different ways to condition clay and other practical advice on using polymer clay to make jewelry.
The Polymer Clayspot also offers lots of free tutorials on how to make different "canes". Canes is the polymer-speak for mixing clay colors together in such a way that you get a specific "pattern" when completed. There are some gorgeous ones out there and so much variety that you can make a new one every day and still not run out of options. Then factor in color choices and it's just never-ending.
VERY addictive, I must say. . .
Please take a moment to write a short comment at the bottom of this site in the Guestbook to let me know if there is a particular question you have about polymer clay jewelry making so I can include the answer in a future article. Thank you.
**I used the "spliced cane" technique from Polymer Clay Tutor to make the "cane" created for this gorgeous necklace set.
Polymer Clay Canes - How To Reduce Your Polymer Clay Canes Properly
Polymer Clay Cane Circles, Rectangles, and Triangles
Now, I know I've talked a few times about polymer clay "canes", however, most of the tutorial links/videos are for how to put your clay canes together. I just came across an Iris Mishly (PolyPediaOnline) blog page where she has free videos on how to Reduce Polymer Clay Canes properly. There are 2 videos comprising of about 15 minutes total and, if you are wanting to learn how to cane, you'll want to run over to see her videos.
They are very simple, no nonsense, but perfect for anyone who is into the polymer clay caning process. Please let me know what you think about these videos by posting a short comment at the bottom of this site in the Guestbook Section . . .
And, just in case you are still confused about what a polymer clay "cane" is, here is a short video from Alice Stroppel showing how simple polymer clay canes are made and what they are.
Thanks so much for visiting my Polymer Clay Jewelry site!
Christmas Holiday Polymer Clay Pens! - Make Your Own Snowman Pen After Watching This Polymer Clay Tutorial
ShooShoo Jewelry is a member of Iris Mishly's PolyPediaOnline and receives emails every so often featuring some of Iris's products or tutorials. Today I received a polymer clay tutorial on how to make your own Snowman Christmas Pen!
Talk about adorable!
The video is about 20 minutes long and can be easily followed to make your own wonderful Christmas gifts using some scrap polymer clay you happen to have hanging around.
Happy claying, Everyone, and have a Merry Christmas!
How To Make A Bridal Hair Comb Piece - Absolutely Gorgeous!
Handmade Beaded Jewelry At Its Best!
If you've been following some of the links that I've included here, you already know that Beadaholique has some great tutorial videos (yes, free ones!) on specific jewelry techniques. Here's a link that you can follow to make your own Bridal Hair Comb and it's absolutely beautiful.
Now I can just as easily see this made with a different bead color palette to match a summer outfit or to adorn a child's hair for a religious Holiday or Sacrament.
Learn how to make the hair comb and then make some more using your own spin on it. Let me know what you think about this video by leaving a short comment in the Guestbook section at the bottom of this site!
How To Attach Cord Ends To Your Braided Necklace Jewelry - Polymer Clay Jewelry At Its Best
Polymer Clay Jewelry Is Often Finished Off With a Braided Necklace That Needs a Finishing Touch
I just came across a very simple, yet effective video this morning showing how to Attach End Cords to a braided necklace piece. One of the cool things about it is that it also addresses how to add and use bead caps that don't already have a loop on them for easy attaching.
Sometimes it is the little tips you can get from watching this type of video that makes all the difference to someone who is just starting out making polymer clay jewelry from home. The video is from Beadaholique and it is worth mentioning that they have quite a few "how to" videos available at You Tube for those of you who would like to check them out.
Make a Fabulous Polymer Clay Jewelry Pendant in Ten Minutes or Less
Need a Gift Quickly? Make This Easy Polymer Clay Pendant Piece
Once you get hit with the Polymer Clay Jewelry bug, it won't take you long before you start having "leftover" polymer clay beads that are beautiful, but you just haven't either finished wiring it or you made another PC bead and forgot about the first one. We (polymer clay artists) enjoy the creating of beads so much that we don't always have time to finish the ones we've already made before moving on to another project, another technique, another bead!
So . . . here is a wonderful project to start using up those extra beads that you have stashed away!
This tutorial link is provided by Bobbi Maw, who does beautiful work. Her 10 minute pendant tutorial is easy to follow and quick to make. So make all the polymer clay or beaded pendants that you want with this wonderful tutorial.
***** All three of the shown pendants were made in under FIVE MINUTES!!!! Two of them were created by using bought beads I had hanging around and adding a few small complementary beads and the flower pendant was made using three different components of polymer clay beads that had been previously made. As you'll notice, just a tiny bit of change to the bottom of the wire curls made a big difference in how each of the polymer clay pendants look, however, they were all made using the same tutorial.
Using Color AND Texture In Your Polymer Clay Jewelry Projects
Polymer Clay Jewelry Ideas . . .
When it comes to jewelry, polymer clay artists often try to mimic or imitate nature.
We love to create jewelry that evoke the feelings of a calm sea, rough bark, a shiny shell, or a pebble that's been worn smooth from the elements. Flowers, leaves, sand, and so many other natural items are constantly being used to give interest and uniqueness to a piece of jewelry.
When just starting to make jewelry, I think many people place too much emphasis on the colors that are used along with the shape of the piece. And these are very important, however, let's not forget "texture". Leaves have veins along with their curves and sharp tips, flowers can be satiny smooth, indented petals, or curly fronds that almost demand a sculptured look. Shells can be smooth, rough, have spirals, or be a combination of all three. Texture will add a component to your polymer clay jewelry that will be uniquely YOU!
Adding texture to these items will not only have others looking at your jewelry, but giving them a second and third look. It will inspire them to touch your works of art, not just enjoy them visually. It should always be a compliment when someone feels compelled to "touch" a jewelry piece that you've created.
Pendants made of a single color can really pop when texture is added to the piece. Often, it's the "texture" that will enable the piece to catch more light as it has more "faces". Like the facets of a diamond enable the stone to reflect more light and sparkle, so does adding texture to your piece of polymer clay jewelry.
For example, the pendant shown here is a flower shaped piece where I used lots of dark colors and wild shaped petals. EACH petals is textured and sculptured to the point where it was difficult to get a good photo because it reflects too much light! It's a dark piece that doesn't look dark when worn because it catches light with every motion your body makes and really makes people look at it. It's a very deceptive piece.
While you can purchase "texture plates" at your local craft store, there are MANY items in your house that you can pilfer and keep in your jewelry workspace. Things like small pieces of screen, potato mashers, forks, a knubby tea towel, steel wool, a dryer sheet, rough sandpaper, the side of a spool of thread, a thimble, the leaves and bark from a tree, even crinkled up aluminum foil are wonderful for use in texturing your polymer clay jewelry.
Once you get the hang it it, you'll be looking at items you come across every day as possible "tools" for your polymer clay jewelry!
Polymer Clay Beads - Keeping Your Polymer Clay Jewelry Unique and Exciting
Conservative Jewelry is Nice, But Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry Sells
When it comes to Polymer Clay Jewelry, the only limit to what it looks like is your imagination. Polymer clay artists usually start out learning how to make round and oval beads and then branch out to squares, rectangles, leaf shaped, flower beads, and the list goes on and on.
There really is no limit as to what a polymer clay "bead" can look like. A long skinny "snake" of clay rolled up with a hole in the middle for stringing can make as attractive a bead as a beautiful flower with soft looking petals. Roll or wrap a few inches of wire leaving a space in the middle for stringing and that is also considered a "bead" or a component for a striking necklace.
So many people making polymer clay jewelry start out thinking that "beads" are round or oval and never get past that mindset! While round and oval beads are traditional and classic, start stretching your creative imagination and look around you for ideas.
I've seen colorful rocks and shells wrapped in wire that looked fantastic as bead components to a necklace. They can make wonderful pendants, too. A small piece of colorful glass pushed into a lump of polymer clay (make sure any sharp edges are covered) with small "eye pins" stuck into the clay on the sides before curing is another unique way to add some character to a piece of jewelry. Texturing pieces of clay with a nubby towel or a small piece of screen before curing can also make a dramatic addition to an organic looking clay jewelry piece.
Round beads are beautiful, don't get me wrong, however, leave some space in your mind for exploring the possibilities of rough, irregular shaped beads to really add a unique flavor to your polymer clay jewelry.
The photo shown here features polymer clay beads that were created using a mokume gane technique taught by Polymer Clay Tutor (I added a sheet of sterling silver leaf in the clay for interest) and added handmade copper links that complement the rough and craggy looking beads. It has a very organic and unique look to it that, while not a traditional looking necklace, definitely garners looks of interest when seen.
Traditional looking jewelry sells well and you should have some in your "inventory", however, practice stretching your conservative thinking every once in a while and create a piece that will encourage people to really look at your jewelry. The biggest complement anyone can give me when I wear a piece of jewelry that is unique is when the person feels drawn to touch the piece, turn it over and study it. That's when you know you not only make beautiful jewelry, but works of wearable art.
Polymer Clay Jewelry Inclusions - What Are They?
Little Things You Can Add to Your Polymer Clay Jewelry To Make Them Pop!
When you are making polymer clay jewelry, sometimes you need a little extra "something" to make your piece pop and give it interest . . .
One way to do that is to add "inclusions". These are items that you "add" to your clay before curing (baking) it to harden.
Here are a few examples and when they might be used:
1) Glitter! OMG, glitter can be found in so many colors and size sprinkles that the possibilities are endless! While glitter can be used in any polymer clay jewelry, I tend to use it mostly if I am making faux opal cabochons. Cindy at Polymer Clay Tutor has a tutorial on how to make those. Now, just a suggestion, sometimes it is best to use glitter sparingly so your piece doesn't scream "tacky!" Just saying!
2) Mica Powders are also another inclusion that I tend to use here and there. Try to purchase mica powders when they are on sale (or you have a coupon) as they can be a little pricey. Just fold a LITTLE bit into your clay as you condition it and wait until you see the gorgeous colors you come up with. Absolutely beautiful. Another less expensive version of mica powders is eye shadow make up! If you live near a dollar store that carries make up, check out their eye shadows and powders and pick up some glittery stuff to include in your polymer clay jewelry pieces.
3) Sand is another inclusion that can bring great results and feel to your clay jewelry. I will say this, IF you use sand (or other properties like sand), do NOT run the clay through your pasta machine as you will dent and ding your pasta machine rollers. Condition, roll out, and shape with your hands or an acrylic roller, NOT your pasta machine.
4) Micro beads, rice, spices, seeds, and almost anything else that is tiny, has color or slight shape, is game for using as an inclusion in polymer clay jewelry. I will say that anything made of plastic is NOT a good idea to add to polymer clay as it will melt and emit unhealthy gases when cured. Just remember that as in all things, moderation is the key.
I think it is worth mentioning a second time which inclusions should NOT be run through your pasta machine, but conditioned by hand. ANYTHING that is hard will ruin your machine. A few of these include sand, pebbles, hard seeds, micro beads, and metal pieces. A few inclusions that are just fine to run through your pasta machine are spices like oregano or cracked black pepper, mica and embossing powders, make up, glitter, and anything that is soft!
Polymer Clay Jewelry with Inclusions - Silver Glitter Added To Give The Impression of a Night Sky - The Glitter Was Blended Into The Dark Clay Before Baking - G
Creating Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry - Making It Your Own
Learn From Other Polymer Clay Artists, But Don't Copy! Create Your Own Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry!
When I talk (or write) to other people who make polymer clay jewelry from home, I sometimes get concerned when I hear them say that they found a design they liked on the internet that they copied. After all, there are copyright laws in place to protect artists from all types from infringement. But there is also the question of "why copy someone's work"?
Now, when you purchase (and sometimes they are free) a tutorial on the web, the artist will often write that you may make as many of the item as you wish. They will tell you that you can give them away or sell them as long as you put in a blurb about where the design came from. And that's OK, go ahead and make as many of the jewelry item as you'd like, after all, you have the artists' permission.
However, how about when you see a piece of jewelry that is so absolutely gorgeous that you have to make it? And I know what this is, because I do it all the time! I fall in love with a piece of polymer clay or wire jewelry that I see on the web and I'll bookmark it so I can come back to it.
I study it, I learn from it, I appreciate it.
But I won't copy it! It's NOT my design to copy!
Now, that's not to say you can't study the design and tweak it to "make it yours" . . . And tweak it enough that it's not completely recognizable from the original piece.
Change up colors, shapes, textures, sizes, wire work, etc. Change it enough that you make it your own and you don't copy someone's work! After all, you shouldn't take credit for something someone else designed. That's just not right.
For example, this photo shows a copper pendant that I made a few months ago. I had seen a design that I thought was awesome to bezel a cabochon and I wanted to make some. First of all, I changed up the wire (mine is copper - the other was silver) and the gauge (mine was a thicker gauge wire) AND I hammered (textured) it, which wasn't in the original photo. Then there is the cabochon. Mine is a teardrop shape versus round and of a different color and style stone. The wire that decorates the front of the stone is completely different from the original, too.
I made sure that when I completed MY pendant that, while it's still similar in that it's a polymer clay stone set inside a wire bezel, there are lots of changes or differences from the original pendant.
After all, you don't want to be known as the polymer clay artist that just copies other people's work, do you? Start being original from the get go. It will reflect in your work and your clientele!
Raiding the Kitchen For Polymer Clay Jewelry "Tools"
Yeah, It's a Polymer Clay Artists Inside Joke
I use the same philosophy in my polymer clay jewelry making that I do with everything else in my life. I believe in using things you already may have hanging around the house instead of going out and buying something new. If it can serve the same purpose, why not?
You'll want to have a baking dish/tray to cure (bake) your polymer clay jewelry pieces on. Utensils, tea towels, and glasses or dishware with raised imprints make great texture plates and molds. Start saving lids of all sizes and types, they are perfect for keeping groups of beads, findings, etc. together in one spot while you are using them. Cookie cutters come in so many shapes that these are perfect for ornaments, pendants, and polymer clay tile making. Parchment paper sheets (click on the photo to be taken to an Amazon link selling parchment paper if you don't already have some in your kitchen) are perfect to use while you are working with polymer clay as it won't stick AND it protects your work surface. Small balled up pieces of aluminum foil are also another great item to have on hand in your jewelry workroom as you can use it to texture your polymer clay surfaces before baking. And don't forget that plastic sandwich baggies make the perfect storage unit for opened packages of clay. Small glasses (like shot glasses) make great polymer clay cutters, too!
The bathroom isn't safe from polymer clay artists either! I often use a Q-tip instead of a paint brush to apply gloss or glaze on my finished jewelry pieces and small paper cups can be used to separate, store, stack, and mix so many things. Don't throw away your old toothbrush as the handles can be used to form wire shapes AND the bristles can be used for texturing, too.
And joy, joy . . . Raid the garage! That is a veritable treasure trove of found items (everyday items you can incorporate into your polymer clay jewelry). Things like washers, lug nuts, extra little drills bits and drivers (did you know that the end of a Phillips screwdriver makes the perfect imprint mimicking the top of a blueberry?) and so many other items. Don't forget that this may be the first place you go looking for a hammer and a small block of steel (to use as an anvil if you want to work harden your wire work), pliers, clamps, and the list goes on and on.
The longer you work with polymer clay to make wire and polymer clay jewelry the quicker you'll be at looking at everyday items in a new light . . . ways to incorporate oddball items into unique and awe inspiring jewelry!
**While I take it for granted that any items used to make polymer clay jewelry should NEVER be used after that for food preparation or brought back into the kitchen for personal use, I forget not everyone may know that. . . Once you use a dish, glass, etc for polymer clay use, please ensure it stays in your workroom and does not get brought back into the kitchen. Your pasta machine should NOT be used to make pasta if you've used it to blend clay. Commandeer a baking dish/tray from the kitchen for baking your polymer clay jewelry pieces and make sure everyone in the house knows that that piece is ONLY for baking clay, NOT FOR KITCHEN USE!
Best Flexible Molds For Your Polymer Clay Beads and Pendants
Check Out Penny Jo Couch's Best Flexible Mold FB Page
Using cabochon (beads without holes) molds are a great way to make gorgeous pendants! And using a mold also enables you to make them easily, quickly, and consistently! Those can be very important factors if you plan on selling your polymer clay jewelry.
I've bought MANY molds where I've been disappointed because it's awkward to use them, they don't last, and some are not clear and don't make a good impression when you place the polymer clay inside.
Not so with ANY of the Best Flexible Molds that I've purchased from Penny Jo's company. She uses a good quality material to make her molds, the clay can be removed from the mold easily, they wash up great when needed, and they LAST!
I wouldn't use molds for a long time because of a few bad experiences in the beginning, but Penny Jo's molds were recommended to me from someone in Cindy's Polymer Clay Tutor group and I figured I'd give it one more try. And I'm so glad I did!
The pendant shown here was the first cabochon I made using Penny Jo's almond shaped cabochon mold. I think it's gorgeous and I continue to be able to make stunning polymer clay jewelry with the use of the molds.
And, no, I don't make any money by suggesting that you check out these molds. They WORK for me and I'm just passing the information along.
**The pendant featured here was made by using the Faux Jade technique (I used the technique but used blue clay instead of green) taught by Polymer Clay Tutor, the almond cabochon mold by Best Flexible Mold, and a tutorial by Lisa Niven Kelly showed me how to make the wire wrap around the stone
Links That Will Inspire You To Create Beautiful Polymer Clay Jewelry!
When You Want to Make Polymer Clay Jewelry From Home But Don't Know Where to Start
I think all polymer clay artists hit a point every so often when they are in the mood to create great jewelry, but they don't know what kind of polymer clay jewelry they want to make . . . It happens to ALL of us!
Here are a few links that I go to all the time just to look and get ideas of what color or color combination I want to play with, maybe a certain curve of wire that gives me a hint of what I'd like to do. These links belong to artists that will INSPIRE you to create your own beautiful polymer clay jewelry.
Just a suggestion here, Folks, and I know I've said it before, but I don't offer these links so you can COPY someone else's work! Let the pictures inspire you to create YOUR OWN WORK! Because they WILL inspire you to create beautiful pieces of polymer clay jewelry and push you to always learn new techniques and methods to make your own jewelry from home.
Here is the Facebook page to view Daniela's gorgeous work: Polymer Clay & Wire Work Extraordinaire. This woman's work is so absolutely gorgeous that I find myself looking at her polymer clay and wire jewelry pieces all the time. She knows the secret to balancing color and line and it just shows in her jewelry pieces. Everything shown is awesome.
And here is another link that leads to Helen Breil's website. Her photo gallery is out of this world and she also offers tutorials on some techniques that you might be interested in. I am also adding in Helen's Facebook page as it has even MORE gorgeous jewelry designs. Her work truly is something to inspire and compel other artists to create unique polymer clay jewelry!
I always seem to be behind the eight ball when "new" things come up, however, I've jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to Pinterest! I have seen some of the most creative, amazing, unique, jewelry out there by just typing in the words "Pinterest polymer clay jewelry" and viewing some of the boards available. I mean, I can get lost for hours just looking at what people have made, getting ideas on how to challenge myself and soaking up the inspiration that is readily available. Try it and you'll see what I mean!
I'll come back and add a few more links here over time when I find the ones that REALLY make my eyes pop. I'd also appreciate you dropping me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if YOU have any polymer clay jewelry links that inspire you. I might even add them to this list!
** This bright and cheery necklace was inspired by the Woodland Necklace inside the June 2012 edition of the Bead Design Studio magazine. While the woodland necklace was created using a calming blue stone pendant, silver wire, and a small bird's nest component, I created my necklace with a sense of a coral sea instead of the woods. By using different colors, wire, and components, the necklace as a whole is totally different than what I got the inspiration from. Using a piece of genuine sea glass, a few shells, and some coral beads in this necklace just made it pop!
Cool Tip For Using Cookie Cutters When Making Polymer Clay Jewelry
Making Your Polymer Clay Jewelry Look Professional
Most polymer clay artists I know use cookie cutters on an at least occasional basis when creating their polymer clay jewelry. It's easy, fast, and you get consistent results using this method.
However, except in a few cases when it's the look you want, we don't like the squared off straight edges that using a cookie cutter gives. So, here's an easy tip to smooth out your cut edges.
Get a small piece of plastic wrap (most of us have some kind of Saran Wrap type plastic wrap in the kitchen) and lay it on top of your flattened out piece of polymer clay BEFORE pressing down onto the clay with your cookie cutter.
As the plastic wrap is pulled tight by the cutter being pressed down, it will automatically round off your edges and give the piece an almost beveled look.
Your polymer clay jewelry pieces will look much more professional that way!
**The photo shown here features a gecko shape that was stamped into polymer clay using a stamp from Michaels Craft Store, various mica powders were brushed into the indention to give it color, and the edges WERE beveled by using plastic wrap before cutting the sides of the piece. :)
How To Make Captured Polymer Clay Bead Chain Maille Jewelry
You Can Use Polymer Clay, Glass, Acrylic, or ANY Kind of Bead For This Jewelry Project
I just came across this How To Make Captured Bead Chain Maille Jewelry this morning and immediately thought of all the possibilities that this technique could be used for. Yes, whole bracelets or necklaces would be eyecatching, but think of how small groupings of this element would look as part of a designer piece . . . Yeah, got my creative brain working, too! :)
Beadaholique has some wonderful videos and tutorials on all kinds of jewelry making techniques so head on over there to see what this Captured Bead Chain Maille is all about or to see what else they have that you'd be interested in.
Polymer Clay Jewelry Sizes Appropriate For Kids
Polymer Clay and Beaded Jewelry Sizes That Fit Kids
I've recently received requests for polymer clay jewelry pieces that will be given to children. Normal necklace lengths of 16"-24" just won't do when they are being made for the smaller ones!
So, me being me, I googled jewelry sizes for kids and came up with the attached link. See how easy it is to find answers when you know how to look?
How To Wire Wrap Beads Onto A Form
Beaded and Polymer Clay Jewelry
Here's a video link from Beadaholique showing you how to wire wrap beads onto a form. It's a very simple method that teaches you the basics of wire wrapping onto a circular form that will lead you to experiment with different sizes of beads, wire, and form shapes. Add a dangle in the middle for a nifty pendant or make two matching briolette clusters for a gorgeous pair of earrings.
Like all the links shown here, it teaches the basics. It's up to you as to how far you go with experimenting with new shapes of glass or polymer clay beads, wire gauges, and forms.
Making polymer clay jewelry, or ANY jewelry, for that matter, is not hard. It just takes some practice and an imagination. Have fun!
FREE Video Tutorial on How To Coil Wire on a Drill - Perfect For Wire Wrapping on Polymer Clay Jewelry Pieces
Giving Your Polymer Clay Jewelry a New "Twist" . . .
Oftentimes, you want to add some wire work or wire wrapping to your polymer clay jewelry pieces to give them a different look or make them more unique. And while, yes, you CAN coil wire by hand, if you need quite a bit of wire coil, here's a wonderful video tutorial (and it's FREE!) by Lisa Niven Kelly on How to Coil Wire on a Drill.
Excellent wire coiling video, she takes it in nice easy steps so anyone can do this!
So give your next piece of polymer clay jewelry a new twist and add in some wire coils! No one needs to know how easy coiling can be.
Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry With A Bohemian Christmas Look - Vibrant Christmas Colors Give This Polymer Clay Jewelry Set Pizzazz
Polymer Clay Projects - More Than Polymer Clay Jewelry
Business Card Holder Art Vessels - A Different Kind of Polymer Clay Jewelry
While polymer clay is a great medium for making gorgeous jewelry, it's so versatile that you can use it for many other clay projects.
Polymer clay projects like Business Card Holder Art, polymer clay gift pens, sculptures, vessels and vases, and even tool handles. I've also seen picture frames and votive candle holders made from polymer clay.
The sky is the limit with polymer clay, it really is.
So stretch your creative brain and see what YOU can come up with!
Using Gilders Paste on Your Polymer Clay Jewelry
Polymer clay is such a versatile medium to use that it's no wonder it is so popular for using to create beautiful clay jewelry.
You can mix different clays, add inclusions, sand, buff, paint, seal, and add paste to it to achieve different effects and styles. This photo features a polymer clay marbled cabochon set inside what looks like a metallic pendant or bezel.
But it isn't metal, it's actually plain black polymer clay that has been textured, cured, and then gently brushed with gilders paste! Gilders paste comes in quite a few different colors, many in colors to mimic metals, is easy to use and creates a gorgeous sheen and look to your polymer clay jewelry pieces.
If you are starting off with a small budget, I have to say that I'd recommend getting the Celtic Bronze and the German Silver. I've used nine different color pastes so far and those are the two colors that I keep going back to. By the way, if you do purchase any Gilders Paste, make sure you purchase a small container of mineral spirits to use for clean-up. The Angelus brand even comes in an oderless state, which is really nice when your workroom is inside your home!
Once you get your feet wet making polymer clay jewelry, you might want to think about getting a small container or two of gilders paste to really put some special effects on your jewelry.
Polymer Clay Artists - Polymer Clay Jewelry Extraordinaire!
Check Out These Polymer Clay Artists Works
When it comes to polymer clay jewelry artists, there are a few names that come to my mind every time and they are EXACTLY the ones I go to when I need inspiration for a new project or just want to see what new polymer clay jewelry ideas are out there.
One of my top inspirations is Helen Breil Designs - she has absolutely beautiful work on her website. Her jewelry always inspires me to start a new project and stretches my creative imagination. The colors she uses, the textures, the awe inspiring shapes . . . Her work is gorgeous!
Another polymer clay artist who exemplifies style and simplicity is Tina Holden from Canada. Her website is called Polymer Clay Bytes and wait until she has in store for you. She sells tutorials that are easy to read and include lots of photos. If you get a mind block and can't think of anything you'd like to make, take a look through Tina's website and your brain will start exploding with ideas. Guaranteed!
If it's color you are looking for, look no further than Maggie Maggio! Her polymer clay website is all about color and how to play with it. Your eyes will literally soak up the splashes of color you see her using for her jewelry and just feast at the banquet. Absolutely gorgeous and sure to please.
While I will be adding other polymer clay artists to this list in the future, these three artists are a great start. Please let me know what you thought about my choices in the Guestbook section featured at the bottom of this site.
The Stroppel Cane Method - Easy Polymer Clay Jewelry Caning
When it comes to creating polymer clay jewelry, "canes" are often a way to make something special. There are so, so, so many cane tutorials available for free online that you could make a new one each day and still not run out. Change up the color scheme and you have a totally different look and feel.
Here is a link to a free video showing the process of making a Stroppel Cane, created by Alice Stroppel, for using up your "extra" polymer clay scraps, end pieces, or leftover canes that you don't/won't use anymore.
It's VERY easy to do and you will create a unique cane each time you use this technique.
Please leave a note at the end of this site to let me know what you think about this unique cane making method.
Feel free to send me some pics of your new polymer clay jewelry pieces using this creative process. Happy claying!
**The photo shown here is an example of jewelry made using the Stroppel Cane method. I used up a few "old" canes that I had (and wasn't going to use anymore) and some scrap clay to make the new cane. I added a few ornamental flowers and leaves and VOILA! New polymer clay jewelry using scraps and leftovers!
Two Easy Ways To Make a Beaded Braided Necklace Cord For Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry
Very Easy, Very Fast Unique Cording
For anyone who looks at this Polymer Clay Jewelry site on a regular basis, you know that I suggest checking out the Beadaholique videos for some great "how to" instructionals on all things jewelry.
Here is a link that I came across this morning on how to make an easy beaded braided necklace cord to add to your unique polymer clay jewelry. In fact, the video shows not only one way to do this, but TWO! Here is the link to the Beaded Braided Necklace Cord video.
Lentil Bead Pendant - Polymer Clay Jewelry
Polymer Clay Lentil Bead Jewelry
Polymer Clay is so Versatile When You Are Making Jewelry!
One thing that I thought would be too hard to create when I was learning to make polymer clay jewelry were lentil beads.
They are rounded circular disks that have beautiful swirls of color and make a gorgeous bead. You can place the hole at the top of the bead or make the hole go through the middle of the bead from side to side so you can string or wire it. Very versatile bead that can go on almost any type of polymer clay jewelry.
So, here's a how to make a polymer clay lentil bead tutorial (from Desiree) that shows photos of how it's done and a short video to get you through the process. She also shows some of her own gorgeous lentil beads that are sure to make you want to grab some clay and your piece of plexi-glass and start making your own lentil beads.
The lentil bead pendant in this photo started out round and was then manipulated into a teardrop shape to better suit the pendant I had in mind. That's one of the beauties of polymer clay, it is so easily shaped into anything you wish!
How To Make A Beaded T Bar Clasp For Your Polymer Clay Jewelry Piece - Make Your Own Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry - Start Creating Your Own Findings Instead of B
Make sure when you view this video that you look for Parts 2, 3, and 4 to finish the whole bracelet. The new videos have just been added and are as easy to follow as the first. Don't forget how easy it is to substitute crystals or polymer clay beads for the glass beads shown in the video.
Polymer Clay jewelry often contains different elements to make up the whole. Make your jewelry your own by adding or changing up other people's ideas and making something new of it.
Polymer Clay Pendants That Look Fantastic
Easy Polymer Clay Jewelry
Making polymer clay jewelry is not hard, it can just a little bit of time. But isn't it a wonderful thing when you can find "easy" and "time-saving" all in one step?
Kimi's Jewelry & Gifts has a wonderful link on how to make a polymer clay jewelry piece that IS easy and doesn't take long. Make up a few extra beads to match the clay and, voila, you can also make matching pieces to go with this gorgeous pendant.
Free Wire Wrapping (Wrap Polymer Clay Jewelry Beads) Tutorials
Wrap Up Some Polymer Clay Focal Beads For Extra Pop On Your Jewelry
While looking at some new polymer clay jewelry online, I came across a hub page today written by Jamie Brock and she had SEVEN very good FREE wire wrapping tutorials listed on the page. I took the time to look at each one and, while the specific tutorials she had listed were free, once you get to the new links, many were selling other tutorials. But, take your time, look around, there is some gorgeous work to be seen on these pages.
Here's the link for the free wire wrapping hub page. If you are like me, you always have a few finished polymer clay jewelry beads laying around that haven't been used yet. Grab your favorite and make up a new jewelry piece today using one of these free tutorials.
Necklace Options For Polymer Clay Jewelry Pendants
When it comes to finishing off your pendants with a necklace, you have lots of choices to choose from.
If you are looking for fast and simple options, you can always take a cord or a ribbon, thread it through the pendant bail, and tie a knot at the end to hang around the neck. That's pretty much the Necklace 101 version. The Necklace 102 version is to use the same cord or ribbon and place findings at the ends so the necklace is more finished.
Findings are by definition: The component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry that serve a mechanical function such as attaching, joining, linking. Examples of a few of these are the jump rings, clasps, and cord endings that we use to finish off a cord or ribbon necklace.
You may find that you like the simple appeal of a silver plated chain necklace. These are easy enough to find at any craft store (AC Moore offers a limited selection of plated bracelet and necklace chains for only $1), craft catalog, or just search online. The only thing you have to do is thread the chain through your pendant bail and you are good to go. The findings (the connectors and clasp) are already included and attached to your pre-made chain.
You also have the necklaces that you make yourself, whether they are strung or wired. Each jewelry artist has their preferred way to string a necklace. Some will only use thin beading wire, others like using a natural threading cord, while others like the strength and versatility of fishing filament. I, personally, enjoy the ease that working with fishing filament brings. I have 3 different gauge (thickness) filaments that I use in my "strung" necklaces; a 10, 25, and 50 pound weight clear string. While I prefer to use the 25 pound weight for most of my pieces, for very delicate items the 10 pound weight filament works better. Of course, for heavy weight items, the 50 pound weight filament gets used. It's just a preference thing. I don't like the way "beading wire" can kink if you fold or bend it, however, fishing filament can sometimes hold a shape that's not natural to the neck if the cord is bent in one place for a length of time.
Then you have the option of making wire links to complete your polymer clay jewelry pendants. And this is my absolute favorite option, however, yes, it does take time! The necklace is as much a work of art as the pendant, but it's so much more rewarding to make a piece that is all made by hand. Again, it's all a matter of preference.
**The darling polymer clay turtle pendants shown here were just completed with black cotton cording and silver findings. Before I cured the turtles, I pierced a hole through the chests so they could easily be strung that way. The photo below shows a necklace that was entirely handmade. Again, it's a preference thing. If you have a casual piece, cords and ribbons are perfect to finish them off. Something a bit dressier may look better with a pre-made chain, while if you want to go for the artisan look, handmade wire links and hammered pieces may be the way to go. It's all up to you and how much time you want to spend on a piece.
A Dogwood Flower Pendant With A Handmade Copper Link Necklace - Unique Polymer Clay Jewelry With Appeal
General Wire Information For Your Polymer Clay Jewelry
Wire Gauge Info For Use With Polymer Clay Jewelry
You'll find that the more polymer clay jewelry you create, the more you will find yourself needing to learn how to incorporate wire into your jewelry pieces. Stringing necklaces is perfectly fine, it's how I started out myself, however, in order to keep your jewelry fresh and new, you'll need to continue to learn new techniques.
Learning how to make wire wraps is probably the first step you'll need to add to your jewelry making skills. You can wrap polymer clay beads to dress them up, place beads on wire to make a link, and use wire to create handmade findings like clasps, connectors, and loops.
Wire comes in different gauges, or sizes, and while the sky is the limit as to what you use in your jewelry, certain gauges suit certain types of jewelry better than others.
Here are a few general rules of thumb (although these are not hard and fast rules, they will get you started in the right direction):
1) The larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire is. This always confused me when I first started making jewelry as I expected it to be the other way around, you know, the smaller the number the smaller the wire. But it's not, so start getting your head wrapped around it and know that your thicker wires are the smaller numbers.
2) While the larger gauge wires (18 and down are a "general" rule of thumb) are great for hammering and texturing, be careful that you don't over work them. Hammering and texturing (or dimpling) wire "work hardens" it, which is good, it will keep the shape you form the wire into better, but be careful with the smaller gauges. You don't want to weaken the wire because it's too thin to use as a jewelry link.
3) When hammering your jewelry wire to work harden and texture it, many small taps are much better than whacking it hard a few times! I'll repeat, small taps are better.
4) While a necklace made of all the same wire gauge can be quite elegant, using different gauges of wire in your components will add life and interest to your jewelry piece! Use a thick wire (12-16) for a curved frame, small gauges (18-20) for the wire links, and the smaller wire (22-26+) for use in wire wrapping . . . Wire working, like creating with polymer clay, is only limited to what your imagination can come up with.
If you don't know how to make a simple hammered bead link, here is a short hammered jewelry link video showing you how to do that. Have fun with it!
**In the photo shown here, I used a piece of 12 gauge copper wire for the neck piece (hammered and textured), 16 & 18 gauge for the focal piece (plus some 22 gauge twisted wire in the curls and 24 gauge for the wire wrapping), and 18 gauge copper wire for the beaded wire links. The stones used in this piece were garnets and dark red glass beads. Beads, wire, crystals, and a bit of polymer clay can make some outstanding polymer clay jewelry.
An Easy Way To Ensure All Your Polymer Clay Colors Don't Clash
Mixing/Blending Polymer Clay Colors For Your Polymer Clay Jewelry
One easy way to ensure the colors in your piece of polymer clay jewelry "match" with each other is to take a base clay like white, pearl, or ecru and blend a little bit with EACH of the clay colors you are using.
Using the picture of the pastel bloom shown here as an example, I used lots of colors of clay. You can see pink, yellow, green, lilac, and orange. Now what I did to keep all of the colors from clashing with each other is added a bit of pearl and translucent clay to EACH of the other colors when blending.
I added a slice of pearl and translucent clay to the pink, yellow, green, lilac, and orange clay that I used to make the petals of this flower. I mixed them well and then went on to create a "combed clay sheet" (tutorial from Polymer Clay Tutor) which I then used to cut the petals.
Using a bit of the same color clay with all of the clay colors you are using within a project keeps them from clashing every time.
Don't give up if something doesn't work the first time! Practice - practice - practice!
Polymer Clay Jewelry Must Have Tools and Supplies
The "Must Haves" and the "Would be Nice To Haves" . . .
In my opinion, while there are a few tools/supplies you absolutely must have to make great polymer clay jewelry, there are lots and lots of them that would be nice to have and will make it much easier. However, until you know that this craft/hobby/art is right for YOU, here are the few that you really do need to have to make beautiful polymer clay jewelry.
To make polymer clay jewelry, you need to buy some polymer clay. That's just a given. (duh, right?) If you click on the photo of the tools, it will take you to an Amazon link where you'll find different polymer clay packs and supplies.
While I do purchase supplies online, I also buy things at places like Michael's and AC Moore. If you plan on shopping at these craft stores, make sure you sign up for their online newsletters and promotions as they have coupons available all the time. Believe me, when you want to buy a pasta machine that costs $30, it's nice to have a 40-50% off coupon for the one item! (I believe in getting a good deal when I can!) Here is the AC Moore online address and here is Michael's.
You also need to have a flush cutter, some needle nose pliers, and some round nose pliers. Those are the 3 basic hand tools, however, if you can afford them, a second pair of pliers is often needed. If you want to string beads instead of placing them on ready made chains or using cords, you may want a pair of crimp pliers, too.
You will also need to have a straight blade and, while I know some people don't believe it is absolutely necessary, I think a small plexi-glass sheet is pretty close to indispensable. I use mine for rolling, flattening, cutting on (with cookie cutters) and making lentil beads.
A pasta machine may not be absolutely necessary in every polymer clay jewelers eyes, however, it took me two days of making beads by hand before I decided that the pasta machine was a necessity, not just a "want to have". I'm on my second one. Believe me, the day my first machine wouldn't work properly anymore, I was in the store and purchasing a replacement. Don't know how people work polymer clay without a pasta machine, especially if you happen to get a dry block of clay and need to spend extra time conditioning it!
Those are the essentials. Everything else is gravy; so before investing any more money, make sure that jewelry making is something you enjoy and want to spend time on.
Polymer Clay Brands for Polymer Clay Jewelry
Suggested Polymer Clay Brands
While I like to use the Premo and Fimo polymer clay brands for my jewelry making, that doesn't mean that I don't use some of the others at times. I also happen to live in the United States, so I have decent access to most brands whereas you may not depending upon where you live.
Eugena Topina has a great link that explains some of the differences in the polymer clay brands so it doesn't make sense to just reword it myself here. As promised, I'll be sharing as many resources as I can for those of you just beginning to learn to make polymer clay jewelry.
Eugena features some gorgeous jewelry she's made herself and also offers tutorials. I've personally purchased her orchid tutorial in the past and found it to be informative enough that I was able to complete the projects easily. (some tutorials end up being so confusing that you can't complete the project - so be careful where you put your money)
She also makes a good comment on polymer clay artists being able to mix clay brands together. Examples of times when this might be needed is if you get a block of clay that is hard or seems to be a bit dry. Mix a portion of one of the softer clays (like Sculpey or Craft Smart) with the Premo or Fimo and blend well. It will soften up the hard clay AND enable you to use a less expensive clay.
Using one of the less expensive clays for fillers (inside of larger beads) is another way to cut some costs down. If you know you are making a larger bead, use a bit of the less expensive, softer clay for the core of the bead and wrap your better brand of clay on the outside.
Can you tell I know how to make a penny squeak? :)
Crafter's Choice Offers Lots of Polymer Clay Jewelry Books
Wireworking, Polymer Clay Tutorials, and Lots of Beading Options Available
I've been a member of Crafter's Choice for a few years now since I'm involved in a few different crafts and I'm always on the look out to learn new things. While learning from video works well for some things, most of the time I like to learn by books. Crafter's Choice has quite a few books on Polymer Clay Jewelry, Improving Your Wire Work, and Beading/Jewelry of all kinds.
Buying my craft books from Crafter's Choice enables me to choose only the ones I want and I get a great price break on them. Plus, I'm lazy, I love shopping from home instead of having to get in my car and go shopping and HOPE that the store has THE Polymer Clay Jewelry Book that I am looking for.
Thank you so much for visiting my Polymer Clay Jewelry site. I hope you found some value here and visit again.
If you have any requests, questions, or concerns regarding polymer clay jewelry, please let me know so I can address it.
Thanks For Visiting My Polymer Clay Jewelry Site - Please Leave Feedback So I Can Improve This Site
Kathy Schliefert on February 13, 2018:
I have an idea that I bumped into you for a reason.Its to do with the art you do as the wire makes it flexible please remind me when I get back from trip to discuss a piece for you to make.
Kathy and IcyQueen
anonymous on October 18, 2012:
charmed karma on September 29, 2012:
this is an absolutely FANTASTIC lens! I am brand spanken new to POLYMER CLAY, and quite intimated!!! I will be referring to this often! THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN!
Nadin Art Design from USA on September 10, 2012:
I've found some new facts for me here, thanks for sharing them.
Barbara2659 on June 23, 2012:
This lens is not only informative, but it is addicting! I haven't used my polymer clay in awhile, and now I can't wait to use it again! I make sweater pins and long sticks to pull-up hairdos! I have also made brooches and pendants. I am definitely not as far along in the clay process as you are, so I need to work on my technique! Thanks for all the wonderful links!
anonymous on June 21, 2012:
Great info. Thanks.
rubyandmahoney on June 20, 2012:
This is a great collection of information. I just loved the tree of life pendant you made with the birthstones!
AshleySears LM on June 10, 2012:
Love this lense. I just bought a ton of polymer clay today.
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on May 05, 2012:
@ArtByLinda: Thank you so much! I always appreciate a "blessing" . . . :)
Linda Hoxie from Idaho on May 04, 2012:
You have so many different and beautiful pieces, nice lens. Blessings to you, and May the forth be with you (May 4th, 2012)
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 26, 2012:
@Loulie LM: You are so very welcome. Have fun getting back into jewelry making, it really is so satisfying! :)
Loulie LM on April 25, 2012:
Fantabulous lens!! :) So packed full of great info. I am getting back into jewelry making, and I will be back here to visit again! Thank u!
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 24, 2012:
@Jeffersway: Awww, Jeff, thanks so much for the comments. Sounds like I need to get you another sea glass pendant, huh? LOL
Jeffersway on April 23, 2012:
I am so proud of Michelle and what she has accomplished. Have to admit, I personally own ten, yes I said 10, pendants from her creations. Some are beautiful sea glass that I personally found and asked her to create a wire setting to hold them and others are clay pieces that mimic nature to a tee. Her work is breathtaking and in my opinion, truly under-priced! This site is only the tip of the iceberg that she's released into a magnificent ocean.
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 23, 2012:
@Deadicated LM: Thank you very much. :)
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 23, 2012:
@Deadicated LM: Thank you very much. :)
Deadicated LM on April 22, 2012:
You are very talented.
AceEmbroidery on April 21, 2012:
I know my daughter would love these!
WaterMom on April 21, 2012:
Wonderful lens! Informative and very frank, what a great resource for someone who wants to learn to make jewelry!
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 18, 2012:
@ClassyGals: Thank you so much for the sweet comment! And for the Angel Blessings! :)
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 18, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks, Patt. Yes, Cindy's tutorials made all the difference in the world when I started learning how to use polymer clay and I'll continue to be a member indefinitely. I'm up early every Friday anxious to see what's in my mailbox! :) If you can think of other good resources to place here, I'd appreciate the notice . . .
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 18, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks, BassBoatNeeded! :)
Michelle Lacroix Toro (author) from United States on April 18, 2012:
@makemoneyonline5: Thanks so much! I've been hearing lots about Pinterest, but haven't started a board yet. . . :)
makemoneyonline5 on April 17, 2012:
Fabulous lens! I love jewelry and craft so really enjoyed this lens. I have liked it and pinned it for you to my Squidoo board on Pinterest.
anonymous on April 17, 2012:
Nice that you are willing to share with others how to make jewelry. Nice lens.
anonymous on April 17, 2012:
Wow Michelle - there's a lot to read about here ! I too, am a Cindy subscriber. Isn't she great ? I have learned soooooo much. See you there. Pattw35