This is a perfect DIY gift idea for Mother’s Day!
I love polymer clay. Have you ever used it? If you haven’t, let me tell you a bit about it. Polymer clay is an oven bake clay found in most craft stores. The multi brand clay comes in a whole spectrum of colors, can be texturized with any tool and be made to resemble just about anything. I’ve been working with the clay for a long time now and I’m still amazed at what it does. And to even sweeten this already sweet pot, it’s inexpensive stuff.
Some of my favorite items to make with polymer clay are pieces of jewelry, especially earrings. I like being able to make them exactly how I want them. For these earrings, I transferred a leaf drawing onto the clay to create a pair of one-of-a-kind earrings. Here’s how it’s done.
Easy Image Transfer Polymer Clay Leaf Earrings…
-polymer clay, color your choice
-pencil – I like the old school kind but mechanical works too
-polymer clay cutting blade
-sheet of wax paper, optional
-permanent markers, metallic pens, optional
-pasta machine, see below
If you don’t have a pasta machine (the same thing used to make homemade pasta noodles), a rolling-pin or brayer would work too. However, getting a smooth, even surface might be more difficult. A pasta machine used for polymer clay should only be used with polymer clay. No food.
I made a quick tutorial on how to condition polymer clay with a pasta machine found here. If you are using a rolling-pin or brayer, slice the clay like the picture above and knead it with your fingers and hands to soften it before rolling it out. The clay should be laid on a hard, non-porous surface like glass, plexiglass, granite, laminate, really anything but wood. I like to lay mine on a sheet of wax paper.
Using the thickest setting on the pasta machine, roll the clay out to a smooth sheet.
Choose a design and use the pencil to make a dark outline. The graphite of the pencil will transfer onto the clay.
Like the title says, I did a viney leaf design. Because there is a curve to it, I made a mirror image copy of the leaf. However, any design you choose will work. If you are thinking of using letter or number, remember that the transfer will be in reverse.
Once your design is ready, flip it over onto the clay and burnish the backside with the side of the pencil, making sure the whole design is on the clay.
Lift the paper part way to check if it’s transferred. If the image has transferred well, remove the paper entirely and repeat with the second image. If the image hasn’t transferred well, gentle lay the paper back down, making sure it lined up perfectly and burnish it more.
Take the cutting blade and away the excess polymer clay around the image.
As a final step before curing it, use the awl to make a hole to attach the earring.
Cure the clay in the oven according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow to cool.
The transferred lines are now permanent on the clay. I used a metallic pen to go over the lines only because I preferred it.
Then attach the jump rings and ear findings and the earrings are ready to wear.
What are your favorite homemade gifts to give?
Amy Christie is the maker of the blog This Heart of Mine, a blog of DIYs, recipes, and stories about real life. Amy is the mother of two young children and wife to a handsome blue-eyed guy.