Polymer Clay Pendant with a Message
I have made and sold a lot of these necklaces, and actually only have a few left, the one above is an example. These sell quite well at shows, because they can be sold inexpensively, giving the customer a handcrafted piece with a statement that speaks directly to them.
Small Item to Make Hole
Small Accent Bead
Small Printed Out Sayings or Phrases
Black Necklace Cord
Select a color of polymer clay you want to make your necklace out of, my color palette is earthy, so I always choose something in that range. The example above was a deep brown.
Condition your clay as you normally do. I use a pasta machine, followed by conditioning by hand.
FRONT OF PENDANT
Lay your clay flat, building it up to about 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut it into the shape you want- rectangular, square, oval. Create your design-some ways to do this : it can be carved, stamped or built up from other pieces of clay. The example above is built up with some carving.
Using a small pick of some sort, make a hole where you will string your cording through. Be sure to poke through from the front and back, making a good clean hole. I use small wooden pick up sticks or knitting needles.
If you are going to make an accent bead from polymer clay to place above the tile, this is the time to do it. I had a small round polymer clay bead I had made at an earlier time that I used. You can also use premade items such as a wooden bead, metal bead, or a metal washer as an accent.
Just an aside- some days I just feel like playing with polymer clay to make different kinds of beads but not for any particular design I am working on. I have built up a stash by doing this that I can go to at a later time. Since I work in the same general color palette, I often find a bead that works.
I painted my piece before I cured it. This piece was first given a layer of black metallic paint, that was brushed on, paying particular attention to getting the paint into the grooved areas, then quickly wiping it off, leaving an antiqued background. This was followed by highlighting the raised areas with copper Lumiere Metallic Paint. Then cured it following the manufacturer's instructions.
Once the pendant was finished curing, it was lightly sanded, then another touch of copper Lumiere paint was added.
BACK OF PENDANT
I save all kinds of old books for use in my artwork. After measuring the pendant, I find a book and cut out a small piece of it to fit nicely on the back of the pendant. I try to find a page with the print size I want that isn't overwhelming. Also be aware of the wording that will be visible. One of the first times I used printed paper on canvas art, the painting and the readable words were a total mismatch and took away from the finished piece.
Decide on a simple saying you would like to convey that will be placed on the back...this one says Artful Living, Some examples of other phases I have used are: Singing My Own Songs, Artist, Trust Your Heart, Dreamer...the list of possibilities is endless. Type up your list of phrases that becomes your go to sheet. I like to print it out on copper parchment paper.
You now have the base layer of printed words from your book and your paper with the selected phrase. Distress your printed page first. I use Ranger Distress inks for this, selecting a color ink that compliments the color of the clay used. For the phrase paper, I tend to use a black distress ink.
Adhere your printed paper to the back of the pendant, then glue the phrase on top.
After drying, I seal the entire piece with a acrylic sealer. I like to use Polyacrylic by Minwax , satin finish, that I get at Home Depot for a few dollars.
Here is my quick, easy method of sealing a piece. Pour a small amount of sealer into a plastic baggie. The baggie should be at least twice as long as the piece you are sealing, and only a 1/3 filled with sealer Emerge your pendant into the sealer, squish all around to cover it, then drag it to the top of the baggie, removing excess sealer as you are moving to the top of the bag. Grab it with a Christmas tree ornament hook, then hang to dry. Let it dry completely then recoat 2 more times.
The final step is to put it back into the oven to cure for about 10 minutes, I usually do this at about 200 degrees. Take it out, buff it slightly.
Measure a piece of cording to the desired length you want, string it through the hole, add your accent bead, tie a knot above the accent bead, then finish with a clasp or just a plain old knot, if it is large enough to fit over your head.
Click on the links below to see a few more examples:
Trust Your Heart Pendant
Living My Dream
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!