Polymer Clay

Nachos Anyone? The Polymer Clay Kind!

Today I wanted to share a polymer clay project with you.  I love playing with polymer clay.  One of my favorite things to make are little cute charms you can use on a corded necklace, or a key chain, or whatever you like!  In this post I’m going to share my process of making nacho chips!

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For the nachos I used FIMO clay in a light yellow shade.  I like to put a small amount of corn starch on my work surface to keep the clay from sticking.  You want to “condition” the clay first and by this I mean you want to knead it and work it with your fingers until it is very supple and shows no cracks.  (good hand exercise!) *when purchasing your clay be sure to pick FIMO Soft which will make this process easier.  You can also use Sculpy clay which is often not only less expensive but much softer.

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Form your piece of clay into a triangle shape, like above.

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It helps to use a blade like the one above to help shape your triangle.  You can find this and many other polymer clay tools at Walmart, or craft stores such as Michaels (or online).

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As you continue to shape your triangle, slowly start to “smoosh” it down to make it larger.  Keep using your blade to maintain the triangle shape.

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Once you’re finished shaping it should look something like this.

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Next you want to add some texture to your nacho!  For this you can just use an old toothbrush, it’s the perfect tool to add texture.  You don’t always need “Specialty” tools to work with polymer clay!  🙂

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Now we’re “cookin’!”  Looks almost good enough to eat, right????

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Next you get to add a face!  You don’t have to do this but I like to make my charms cute! For this you want to roll out a very thin bit of brown clay (or black if you prefer)  Using a blade (I used an exacto knife, some people like to use a straight razor blade but be careful!!!)  cut 2 even small pieces of clay.

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Roll the bits of clay into 2 small balls such as above.  (alternatively you can bake the piece then paint the eyes in using a dotting tool OR use small seed beads for the eyes instead).

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Using a dotting tool such as the one above (which is actually an old scoring tool I had in my stash!)  form 2 small eye “holes”.  You can make these as deep or as shallow as you like.  Place the balls of clay into the holes and press gently using the dotting tool.

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The mouth can be a bit tricky, it’s still something I really struggle with.  So don’t be discouraged if you have trouble with this at first.  Remember you can always bake first then paint the mouth in if you prefer.  For this piece I rolled the brown clay out in a very thin strip, then cut a very small piece from this.  Using a tool (I like to use a long embroidery needle) pick up the mouth and try to curve it into a U shape.  Mine usually ends up like a smarmy smirk, only because I’m still learning, LOL

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Next you want to add some pink cheeks!  For this I took 2 tiny balls of light pink clay and pressed them next to the eyes as shown.  Again, you can alternately paint these in.

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Once your piece is finished, if you are going to make it into a charm, you want to add an eye pin.  For this I just use the same eye pins I use for jewelry making and trim them down to fit the charm (using wire cutters).  To ensure a good hold I use Sculpy Bake and Bond, dipping the eye pin into the nozzle then inserting it into the top of the charm.

This type of polymer clay must be baked to finish.  For this I use a toaster oven but you can also use a standard oven.  Follow the directions on your polymer clay package for baking times and temperature.  In the pic above you can see some other pieces I made at the same time.  I like to make my items in batches!

Be sure to let your items cool completely once they are finished baking.  This will complete the “curing” process.  If you try to handle your items before they cool not only will you get burned you risk damaging your piece.

Once your piece is completely cooled you want to seal it using some varnish.  There are many types of varnish to use and you can find a list on line of the different ones to use.  I use Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear Gloss and that works great.  Be sure to use in a well ventilated area, though the odor is really not that strong.  I sometimes use a cheap paintbrush to apply the gloss and then just toss it away.  Or sometimes I dip the piece into the Minwax and then hang it up on a rack with a large paper clip to dry (this is my preferred method!)

Give your piece 24-48 hours to dry and you are done!  Here’s another pic of the finished charms:

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I hope you enjoyed this pictorial, they really are fun to make!!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Now I want to go grab some nachos!  😛

Hugs, Beth