Combining polymer clay with standard rubber stamps is a fun and simple way to create custom accessories. Working with a bezel cufflink base (available from craft stores and online) and the ability to restart if anything goes awry pre-baking makes this a very easy DIY for clay novices or young crafters. A great craft to make for Dad! If antiquing with paint (optional), you will need to work carefully and quickly to avoid discolouring your clay, so it's best if you help any young crafters with this part as well as glazing (also optional). The same techniques can be easily applied to any bezel base (e.g. earrings, pendants, keychains etc). You can customise your designs to any colour and stamp/pattern that you wish. Small stamps (as shown) work well for a central pattern, alphabet stamps or punches can be used for initials, and large stamps or textures (lace works great) can be used to create an all-over pattern.
- Lightly scuff the inside of two bezel-style cufflink bases, wipe clean with a dry cloth, and set aside while you prep your clay. If your base is textured, you can skip this step. Scuffing is optional for smooth bases, but can help your clay hold better - a quick rub with scrap of sandpaper or steel wool on a fingertip works nicely.
- Select your clay colour and work a small quantity of clay in your hands until conditioned to a soft and pliable state for working. I used green, but you can choose any colour you wish.
- Roll a small ball of clay in approximately the amount you will need to fill your cufflink bezel base.
- Press the clay into the base with you fingers, taking care to ensure good contact with the edges.
- Press again, clay-side down against a smooth flat surface to fully flatten. Not quite right? No problem! Just remove the clay and start again.
- Stamp the surface, taking care to get a clean deep impression. Again, you can remove the clay and start again if needed.
- Repeat for the second cufflink base, taking care to ensure you align the stamping in the same position relative to the cufflink attachments so they can be worn in the same position as a matched pair.
- Bake to manufacturer's directions for your chosen clay and cool completely before continuing.
- Optional: If adding paint (i.e. antiquing), dilute a small amount of acrylic paint slightly with water and brush into the crevices of your stamped design using a small brush or a cotton bud. Wipe any excess paint from the raised surfaces with a damp cloth. Work quickly to avoid discolouration in unwanted areas...probably not a great point to stop for photos! Heheh! You can use a cotton bud with some rubbing alcohol to help with detailed clean-up if needed.
- Optional: If adding glaze, wait until your paint (if used) is full dry and apply to manufacturer's directions. A small bowl of rice or something similar can be helpful for setting the cufflinks in face-up whilst drying.
P.S. We're shuffling our schedule next month. Our weekly DIY day is moving to Monday starting from next week. Six for Saturday remains on Friday and Wednesday will be a wildcard slot for occasional freebies, special shares, and other goodies. Stay tuned for more creative fun!