HOW TO MAKE A POLYMER CLAY NECKLACE
Polymer clay in white, pink, yellow, dark purple and turquoise 51cm (201/ 8") black waxed cotton cord Wooden skewer Craft knife Greaseproof paper Baby wipes Fine sandpaper All that’s standing between you and this necklace of dreams is a bit of canny clay rolling. Three beads and you’ll be there. Nod to the Memphis Milano movement with your version by embracing the brightest colours and playful squiggles – think one part Saved by
the Bell to two parts modern statement jewellery.
01 Break off small amounts of the white, turquoise, yellow, purple and pink clay and lay down some greaseproof paper on a flat, smooth work surface. For the large bead, roll the black and white pieces into cylinder shapes, as shown, and the others into balls, then flatten the white piece and press the wooden skewer into it.
02 Close the clay around the skewer and roll until smooth. Don’t press too hard, and make sure the clay isn’t rolled too thinly. Use the baby wipes to clean any smudges.
03 Now it’s time to start adding some colour. Roughly tear tiny pieces of turquoise clay and press them into the white bead, spaced out evenly along the length. Gently roll smooth as you go.
04 In the same way, add in sprinkle-shaped pieces of purple and pink clays. You can experiment with this by overlapping larger bits of clay with smaller pieces. Be sure to clean your hands with baby wipes in between using different colours to avoid any smudging.
05 Carefully slide the finished bead off the skewer. This can be quite tricky as the clay likes to stick to it. The best way is to gently grasp around it and twist the skewer until it becomes loose.
06 To ensure the ends of the bead are neat, carefully cut some clay away with the craft knife. You can chop the ends clean off, but you’ll need to push the skewer back in to recreate the holes at the ends.
07 Set it to a curved shape, using the image as a guide, making sure it’s not too twisted as the cord will need to fit through the middle. Set it aside on a baking tray.
08 For the complementary beads, you can experiment with size, shape and colour, or use the pink and yellow as shown. Roll the clay with your hands to make a sphere or a long tube bead. Squash them down to flatten, or twist new colours into them. Once you’re happy, push the skewer through to make a hole in each of the beads.
09 Add the complementary beads to the baking tray and place in a
preheated oven to let them harden. Keep them in there for a maximum of 20 minutes at a temperature of 100°C, or follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave to cool. The clay will only be completely hardened once it’s cooled to room temperature.
10 After the clay has baked and cooled, use a very fine sandpaper to dust off any imperfections. Using the image as a guide, thread the beads onto the cord.
11 Tie a basic, slightly loose knot around one end of the cord, and tie again to make a double knot for extra security. Make sure the knot can slide along the cord.
12 Finally, repeat Step 11 at the other end of the cord. This allows you to adjust the length of the necklace by pulling the knots apart or drawing them closer together.
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