Today we're sharing the last in our mini-series of homemade hair accessories with a special set of polymer clay floral applique elastics. These require a little more crafting that the button and ribbon hair bows or rolled ribbon rosettes, but don't let the size and detail fool you - these are a very adoable craft with a few inexpensive supplies and a little time/patience. The same applique techniques can be used to create other jewellery and clay crafts. To make your own:
- Condition and roll a small ball of clay. Press gently to flatten into a shape for your base.
- Create applique designs (as detailed below) and add any optional accents (if heat safe). These applique designs are VERY tiny, so don't stress about little imperfections. Perfectly imperfectly handmade!
- Bake to manufacturer's directions for your chosen clay and cool completely.
- Glue non-heat safe accents into place, if required.
- Secure any attaching hardware into place and allow to set/cure before use.
Tip: Creating custom shades of clay by working together different polymer clay colours is a great way to get an custom match to your outfit without needing to buy a million packs of clay.
- To create a simple floral applique:
- Using small amounts of clay for your petal and centre colours, one at a time for each colour/shade, create a tiny
ball, roll into a tiny cane, cut off wee little pieces, and shape these
into tiny balls. Centers should be slightly smaller than petals.
- Place petal balls carefully into position on your base, then use to each leave use a small tool like a toothpick or a clay stylus to press an indent into the center of each petal
- Place center balls carefully into position and gently press to secure. If you'd like to accent the center, you can use the tip of a needle, toothpick, or clay stylus to press a small hole into the middle.
Tip: If you are creating an all-over design, such as the pink and blue style shown, you may find it easier to create your full layout before adding the indentations, centers, etc. so that you don't accidentally "smoosh" things or smudge detail during handling.
- To create stems/vines:
- Using small amounts of clay your stem colour, create a tiny ball, roll into a tiny cane.
- Pinch (or pull off) the trailing end to create a pointy end tip.
- Place carefully into position on your base.
- If you'd like to add texture, press lightly along the stem/vine with a small tool like a needle, toothpick, or a clay stylus.
- To create leaves:
- Using small amounts of clay your leaf colour, create a tiny ball, roll into a tiny cane, cut off wee little pieces, and shape these into tiny balls. Make these oblong/oval if you want to create a narrow/tapered looking leaf.
- Place leaf balls carefully into position on your base, then use to each leave use a small tool like a toothpick or a clay stylus to press an indent into the center of each leaf, dragging slightly towards the outward tip if you'd like to create a more tapered appearance.
- Get creative! Once you're comfortable with the basics, you can experiment with other accents and creations. For anyone who is curious, my little busy bee is an easy one, made with a spiral of two small canes (yellow and black) rolled together plus wee little translucent white/pearl clay wings, and a black ball eye with tiny indent.
- Options for adding elastics:
- Small/light pieces can be secured to an elastic by sewing the elastic onto a small piece of material and gluing onto the back of the clay accessory. This technique is shown in the tiny pairs of matching elastics in this post. It is not recommended for heavy/large pieces.
- Button shanks can be glued onto the bottom or a piece or embedded in a piece during creation. Since a bottom shank can make it awkward to work on a piece, you can use a platform with a slit (e.g. a notched piece of Styrofoam) if you prefer not to attach separately.
- If you can't find a suitable shank, you can create your own using an eyepin. I recommend adding zig-zags or loops to ensure that the pin is securely gripped into the baked clay.
Christmas is coming and now's the perfect time to get a head-start on your holiday pressies. We'll be giving you a peek at some of my own holiday DIYs over the next few weeks. I have a few more custom kid's crafts prepped for posting and some fun crafts for other ages on your holiday list as well. Stay tuned and happy crafting!