Sunday, May 6, 2012

****Notes To A Friend - Handmade Clay Earrings DIY****

Right about now I am enjoying an early cocktail while soaking up all the rest I can get on vacation.  Nonetheless I did want to share with you a DIY I did last weekend.  My best friend and I are huge crafters.  Although most of my expertise so to speak lies in jewelry, she is amazing in not only jewelry but crocheting.  A few years back she gave me a gorgeous gray and white crocheted blanket that is heavier than it looks, extremely efficient at keeping you warm and the pattern she used resembles little bunnies all in a row (Bunny happens to be a nickname given to me by my boyfriend that has really stuck).  Also, instead of doing the usual present exchange on birthdays and Christmas we tend to sporadically dole them out as we please.  The tradition started while we were in college.  Time was not on our side and it always seemed that around summer we were handing out last year's presents at the same time we were beginning the current year's holiday shopping so to ease up on the rush we just accepted that presents will be handed out randomly.  Now between the both of us we have bags full of chain, beads, fabric, and yarn sitting around waiting for the projects to commence and most of the time we end up handing out presents bought instead of

But, getting back on track, this little idea has been itching for completion for sometime now and this weekend was pretty mild so I was able to check it off the list.  The idea stems from her love the earring assortment packages you can get at Forever 21 or H&M that offer  anywhere 6-8 pairs.  She stock piles these and who can blame her really....they're usually super adorable.

While browsing around the craft store near the clay section, I saw a spring mix of mini cookie cutters and the idea really seemed possible.  I practiced a bit and even gave her a few of my first attempts which she loved but I still wanted to do the assortment.  It was really fun and very easy and I can't wait to give them to her.

  • Polymer clay 
  • Mini cookie cutters (a small selection should be available with the clay in your local craft store but you can find them on Etsy or Amazon)
  • Exacto 
  • Wax paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Disposable containers for paint (I used tuna
  • Paint brush
  • Rolling bin or round object
  • Tweezers
  • Flatback earring posts
  • E6000
  • Plain stationary 

  • Break off chunks of the clay and soften them up 
  • Lay out your wax paper and begin to flatten clay into a thin sheet

  •  Cut out your shapes. With my cutters the shapes proved to be ever so attached to the inside of the mold and I had to use a slim stick to gently push them out.  
  • Following the instructions on the clay packaging turn on your oven to required temperature
  • Lay wax paper onto a baking sheet and them place your shapes on the paper
  • Now bake away

  •  In about 15min my pieces were done but do check on the occassionally as it could take more or less time.  I normally judge their readiness based on how bendable the piece is...the more flexibility means a bit more time needed in the oven.  But remember to check the instructions on the clay as each brand tends to be a bit different.
  • Painting time!!! I wanted to color block my so it took quite a few coats of each color.  Plus all I had left were these colors and I opted for pastel paint.
  • It may be easier to use the tweezers to hold steady the shapes as you paint

  • Let them dry really well after each coat and if you prefer a glossy finish now would be the time to slather it on
  • All dry??  Great use the crafter's favorite adhesive, E6000, to attach the earring posts on the shapes.
  • Let the glue dry overnite for optimum results
Because packaging is everything and I am away on vacation this week, I thought it would be nice to mail the earring set to her.  You'd be surprised how pleasant it is to receive a piece of mail that isn't a bill, solicitation, or random sales flyer.  Especially with so much being handled online, why not give your local post office a bit of work.  I found these large blank cards with envelopes for a dollar at the craft store so after putting in a few holes I attached the earrings, used my signature stamp (that she actually found in a clearance bin one day for me) on the front and added a cute little message  inside.  Using an insane amount of bubble wrap to protect the package, I slipped it into a larger envelope and sent it out.

There is so much versatility with this project and because of its simplicity even a child can do it (saving the glue for adults though...E6000 is not something to play around with LOL).  With Mother's Day just around the corner I may track down a new assortment of cutters and give it a go for Mom.  I know that others use the polymer clay molds which actually come in a wider variety of shapes and objects so feel free to try those out as well.  Also I would love to try this with the translucent clay and then try another set with the gold leafing.  As I said, this is extremely versatile and open to any sort interpretation.

Do share if you make some of your own too!!!


Nina said...

Great tutorial! thanks!

Kimberly said...

this is so cute!

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