HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN POLYMER CLAY MACRAMÉ BEADS!

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 Macramé is my hobby and passion, and I take great pride in my work! I do this for pleasure, fun, and creativity.

The beads are a highly specialized product. There's not a hole big bunch of people out there who even know what macramé is! WE are a very limited group of individuals. These beads represent what I always wanted to use on my own MACRAMÉ projects. Now, I have them, and want to share them with you! Now, you too, can make your own Polymer Clay Macramé Beads!

Materials Needed

Sculpey Polymer Clay - Available in white, or colors.

Liquid Sculpey - Used for bonding the baked ring to the baked subject, for a solid bond, and for bonding rings that are made in 3 or more pieces.

Acrylic Paints - I prefer gloss, but they're also sold in matte, and translucent colors. I started with a starter kit of gloss, but now hand mix my own colors to reach my desired shades.

Metallic Acrylic Paints - Not required, but light sweeps of gold, silver, and copper make excellent highlights on top of your gloss colors, to really finish them off with an artistic flair!

Gloss Varnish - High Gloss is the BEST for a real shiny finish, making your beads sealed, and ideal for indoor or outdoor use!

Corn Starch - For dusting your raw clay to keep it from sticking to your mold or cutting board.

Tools Needed

Pasta Machine - To condition the clay, and create even thicknesses of clay to work with. I use setting #7 only, which has proven to be the perfect thickness to work with.

Polymer Clay Molds - I made a few of them myself utilizing a mold making material purchased at the local craft store, but I bought most of them on eBay! For some of my favorites - check out eBay Stores - Mad About Molds, Beauty and Craft, and Designs my Renee.

Triangular or rectangle template - for making the rings. I fashioned my own out of the flat part of a plastic milk jug, and made a few different sizes and shapes. I made a triangle 1/2" wide at the bottom, and 4" long. I also have one 3/4" wide at the bottom, and 5" long. Experiment! You wrap the long triangle of clay around a bolt, or other object, to make the hole. I also have them in rectangles, which are great for painting tiny pictures on.

Craft Knife - A MUST HAVE - and get extra blades so you always get a clean cut.

Paint brushes - I recommend an assortment of small, medium, large. I use both soft, and stiff brushes of all sizes, but I go through a lot of the tiny ones, for detail work. I have one that is fan shaped, and great for whisps!

Wooden Skewers - Used for Kabobs when grilling out. No, we're not going to eat while we work. I use these as a paint brush, great for very fine detail work, such as tiny eyes, eyelashes, dots or lines while painting.

Sculpting Tools - NOT REQUIRED! I have a set, but RARELY have used them. But they sure are impressive to show people who come to visit me! I think I'll hang them on the wall.

Cutting Board - Once you use it for cutting your Polymer Clay - please don't use it for food!

Bolt - or other round object that matches the size of the hole you want.

Baking sheet covered with Aluminum Foil - Any utensils you use can no longer be used for food preparation!

Texture Plates - These are not required. I use the flimsy clear type to make texture designs on the rings, and on the back of the beads.

 

NOW, LET'S GET STARTED!

MAKE RINGS

  1. Condition the clay through the Pasta Machine at setting #7. I do this several times, until I get a nice, smooth, flat piece.

  2. Place this layer of clay on your cutting board. Brush both sides lightly with cornstarch.

  3. Press the Texture Plate onto the clay. I rub it in with my fingers to make designs in the clay.

  4. Place your triangle or rectangle template on the flat piece of textured clay, and utilizing your craft knife, cut around the template so that your have the shape in a clay format.

  5. Starting with the widest end, begin to wrap the cut piece of clay around a bolt, or other round object to achieve the size of hole you want. Just wrap once, and there will be a remaining flap of clay to wrap.

  6. Place a thin line of Liquid Sculpey on the remaining flap of clay. This works as a glue, and will ensure you get a nice, solid ring! Now finish wrapping the strip around the bolt.

  7. Carefully slide the ring off the bolt. The corn starch should keep it from sticking to the bolt, so it slides off easily.

  8. Place your rings on a baking sheet that's covered with Aluminum Foil. Bake at 275F for 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. Set aside to cool. You will be using these later to bond onto the back of your molded subject, to turn it into a Macramé Ring!

MOLD YOUR SUBJECT

  1. Condition the clay through the Pasta Machine at setting #7. I do this several times, until I get a nice, smooth, flat piece.

  2. Fold this piece over two times, creating 1 piece that is 4 thicknesses of clay.

  3. Brush both sides of the clay lightly with cornstarch. Mold instructions may state to brush cornstarch into the mold. I DO NOT DO THIS! The molds get clogged up. I brush the cornstarch directly onto the clay, for a nice, clean impression.

  4. Press the clay into the Polymer Clay Mold of your choice. I hold the mold in my hands, and press the clay in with my thumbs. If you lay it down and press it on a flat surface - THE MOLD MAY BREAK!

  5. I use the texture plate to finish pressing the clay in. It makes a nice flat surface with a pretty design on the back of the subject.

  6. Carefully lift the clay out of the mold, and place on your cutting board. Use you craft knife, and cut out your subject, cutting close around the impression.

  7. Place your molded subjects on a baking sheet that's covered with Aluminum Foil. Bake at 275F for 10 to 15 minutes.

  8. Set aside to cool. You will be using these later to bond onto the rings you previously made.

BOND THE RINGS TO THE SUBJECT

  1. Condition some clay through the Pasta Machine at setting #7. I do this several times, until I get a nice, smooth, flat piece.

  2. Place a 1 layer piece of clay on your cutting board, and cut into small 1/2" squares.

  3. Flip your baked subject over to the back side, and put a small dot of Liquid Sculpey in the middle. Put one of the small square pieces of raw clay on top of the Liquid Sculpey. Then put another dot of Liquid Sculpey on top of the small square.

  4. Now, do the same to the ring - a dot of Liquid Sculpey - a small square of clay - and another dot of Liquid Sculpey. I locate it at the area where the triangle ended.

  5. Press the ring onto the back of the subject, mashing it into the softened clay. Make sure it's straight! This is the only time you will get to adjust it into the correct position. 

  6. Use your craft knife, and trim away the excess clay from around the edges of the ring bond.

  7. Place a "bead" of Liquid Sculpey all the way around where the subject meets the ring.

  8. Place your Macramé Rings on a baking sheet that's covered with Aluminum Foil. Bake at 275F for 10 to 15 minutes.

  9. Set aside to cool.

PAINT YOUR BEADS

  1. I use acrylics paints because the colors are bright, you can mix them to make your own colors, and they dry fast.

  2. When you've finished the painting, coat with Clear Gloss Varnish, to make them extra shiny, and great for indoor or outdoor use!

  3.  I also use glitters, and shiny Glamour Dust, to further decorate the beads, and make them SPARKLE!

Now you, too, have the most beautiful beads to use on your own Macramé Projects!


Back to FUNAMICS by DARNAMICS HOME!

darnamics@comcast.net

GARDEN PARTY! BEACH PARTY! FANTASY WORLD! TROPICAL PARADISE! POND LIFE! FRUITS AND VEGGIES!

WILD WEST! COUNTRY CHARMERS! NOAH'S ARK! INDIAN NATIONS! and HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS!

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These are very time consuming to make, and present. If you feel I charge too much, please consider that these are not made in a day, or two! Also, just one hand crafted Polymer Clay item will sell for $5.00 or more on eBay!

  1. Hand crafting the rings from raw polymer clay. I make them in batches, so I have them on hand when I'm inspired to make something.

  2. Baking and cooling the individual products.

  3. Bonding the base subjects to the rings.

  4. Re baking to create a solid bond. Many of these are made and bonded in 3 or more separate pieces, and require 2 or more baking's.

  5. Base coats of acrylic paints in a variety of colors. I paint one color at a  time, wait for that to dry before using another color. Each bead is painted using multiple colors for the greatest detail.

  6. Drying time for multiple colors of base coats.

  7. 1st coat of highlighting colors.

  8. Drying time for highlights.

  9. 2nd sweep of metallic highlights.

  10. Drying time for 2nd sweep of highlights.

  11. Detail work, for eyes, eyelashes, dots, and other extreme details.

  12. Drying time for detail work.

  13. Final detailing, one last go over. Some of the beads have multiple finalization, due to the number of colors used. 

  14. Drying time for final detailing.

  15. Clear coat varnish the front of subject.

  16. Drying time for initial varnish.

  17. Flip over to paint the rings.

  18. Drying time for base coat on rings.

  19. Clear coat varnish ring, and interior of ring.

  20. Drying time for ring varnish.

  21. Stage the completed work to prepare for photographing.

  22. Digital macro photographs in different positions.

  23. Download photographs to computer.

  24. Crop and edit photographs.

  25. Create and write up the description and presentation

  26. Upload edited photographs to the internet.