HOW TO MAKE A POLY­MER CLAY NECK­LACE

Mollie Makes - - Mollie Makes -

MA­TE­RI­ALS

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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