Monday, January 30, 2017

DIY Polymer Clay Heart Drop-Style Earrings

Today's DIY is is an easy way to make cute little polymer clay heart earrings for your favourite pals this Valentine's Day, or just because! I usually like to hand-form my clay, but this DIY shows you a shortcut to quickly creating simple shapes - perfect for whipping up a whole batch of homemade pressies! 

To make these earrings, you will need clay and an extra small heart fondant/cookie cutter, as well as a few basic jewellery-making supplies.  I opted for antiqued brass with a rosy golden pink heart, using my sneaky clay crafting trick of dusting with eyeshadow for a custom coloured pearly shimmer (see below!). 

  • Trim wire eye pins (two per pair) to size so they will fit inside your heart, with the loop just above the cleft.  You can trim and insert without a bend, or for a stronger hold, leave it a touch longer and create a tiny loop/zigzag/bend that will fit inside your heart to better grip into the polymer clay.  My eye pins were homemade and use basic wire wrapping to add a little extra style/length, but you can easily use ready made eyepins and skip the extra effort.
  • Work a small amount of polymer clay (I used pink) in your hands until soft.
  • For ease of handling and clean-up, place a piece of cling film on a flat work surface, position the clay, layer another piece of cling film over the top and roll the clay between them.  Cut your heart shapes (four per pair) with a small fondant/biscuit cutter. The clingfilm is optional, but this rounds the edges as the cutter presses through.
  • Gently pick up one heart and position your prepared eyepin on the back so that the pin is centered with the loop just above the cleft. Careful - direction matters: make sure your eyelet loop of your pins are either both in the same direction.  Sideways to attach directly to a standard earring loop and front-back to attach via a single jump ring.
  • Layer a second heart, back-to-back and gently press together, taking care not to distort the heart. Use a small round tool, like a stylus or toothpick, and/or your fingers, carefully smooth the edges so that there is no visible seam and your heart is uniformly rounded.
  • Optional: Brush lightly with a complimentary colour of shimmery mica powder or eyeshadow.  This alters the colour and subtle sheen to the hearts.  I find that combining pink with a coppery or bronze eyeshadow creates a gorgeous rose gold effect, which is what I used for these earrings
  • Bake to manufacturer's directions for your chosen clay and cool completely before continuing to make your earrings.  If using a glaze (optional) apply prior to proceeding. My hearts were not glazed for this project - I like the subtle shimmer as-is.  If you've dusted your hearts, give them a gently dry wipe once cool to remove any excess powder.
  • Attach your earrings to earwires. For direct attachment as shown, use small pliers to open your ear wire loop to the side, the same way you would a jump ring,slip the eye pin loop onto the earring, and close. For jump ring attachment, use small pliers to open your jump ring, slip the ear wire and eye pin loops onto the jump ring, taking care to ensure your heart is facing forwards for wear, and close. Always open/close jump rings sideways, never pull them open.

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