simple and fun poly clay bracelet

ArtsyCraftsyOctober 21, 2002

I took a class this weekend making the cutest bracelets from poly clay. It was so much fun and so easy that I decided to do this project with my niece & nephew for our Secret Santa crafting day.

You need a bracelet blank from the craft store (or online), pearl white clay, artist chalks/chalk pastels, Pearl-ex, rubber stamps, & a permanent ink like Staz-on or Brilliance that will dry quickly and not smear, knife, glue & spray sealer.

We used pearl white Sculpey III and rolled 1/2 pack out to the thickness of a nickel (I think a #2 or 3 setting depending on your pasta machine). If you roll by hand, it is a bit thicker than pie dough.

Then we used artists chalks to color the raw clay. You can do random splotches of color or do thin diagonal stripes like a rainbow, blending the colors into each other. I used cotton swabs to apply the color, staying away from the dark chalks and keeping the colors bright. We then applied some assorted pearl-ex powders to give an irridescent sheen.

Then we used a rubber stamp with black Staz-on ink to stamp a mosaic collage stamp on the chalked clay. I pressed hard enough to make a slight impression in the clay.

Whatever stamp or stamps you choose, keep that in mind that your bracelet tiles will be 3/8" to 1/2" square, so pick stamps with smaller imagery that will show in the tile. Each bracelet comes with 11 links so you will need 11 tiles. Use a craft knife, tissue blade, or small Kemper cutter to cut your tiles.

I got enough tiles from 1/2 pack to do 4 bracelets, but you can also use the extra tiles or scrap clay for necklaces,pins or earring dangles.

The tiles were placed on card stock or mat board and baked in a preheated toaster oven at 225 for 20 minutes.

When the tiles cool, a coating of Krylon gloss spray gives them a nice shine

We used E6000 to attach the tiles to the bracelet.

If you do not have colored chalk you can get a nice effect just by making a deeper impression in the clay with your stamp (it does not even have to be inked- you can just dust it with powder or pearlex), and then highlighting the raised areas with coordinating pear-lex or even ultra-fine glitter. The red sculpey clay with gold flecks in it looks great with gold pearl-ex. Copper sculpey looks nice with jade green/gold or red/gold pearl-ex.

Here is a link that might be useful: stamped clay bracelet

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I almost forgot- before the tiles were sprayed with clear glaze, I edged them with a Krylon metallic marker to match the metal of the bracelet. Not necessary, but I think it gives them a more finished look.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 2:37PM
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Gorgeous!! The colors are fantastic!
Does Michaels carry the bracelet blanks, d'you know? I wonder if my local bead shop has them...
Thanks for the detailed instructions. Could I just use the chalks and a pearl white pearlEx on top? I don't have many colors.

I know your niece/nephew's mom is gonna love this gift!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 6:07PM
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Lia- I am not sure if Michael's has them or not- you might want to chek their online store to see if it is in inventory. My stamp store has them, and I know Stampington & Co. has them online. I ordered a dozen online this spring from The Powder Keg, but I don't think they carry them any more.
The most likely places to look would be probably be Rio Grande, Jewelry Supply, Fire Mountain Gems, or Eloxite. A Google search for "bracelet blank" will bring up some resources.
As far as the pearl-ex, just white would be fine, and will soften the intensity of the chalk color a wee bit so keep that in mind. We used another brand of mica powder & had a variety of colors, so I picked powders that matched the chalk underneath. You see the sheen of it more than anything- gives it that glass-like shimmer.
Later I will post another picture of a copper and gold one I made without the colored chalk- gotta use my scanner at work, though.
Doesn't it look like Skinner blend, only without all the work, lol!

Guess you were right about the poly clay ;-)!
"Aunt Karen"

    Bookmark   October 21, 2002 at 8:25PM
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Oh, faux Skinner-blend! I love it! (I'm too lazy to do the real deal!)

What other kind of mica powder? I'll keep that in mind about the white. 'Cause I've gotta try this! Maybe without the bracelet blanks. I saw a bracelet I liked on tv done with multiple jump rings joining the ...whatever you call it --the main pieces! LOL!

Is that a Dawn Hauser stamp you used?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2002 at 12:15AM
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Lia- I forget what brand of mica powder the teacher had- it is the same thing as Pearl-ex only different companies have their own names. I just happened to drop in for the new Expressions issue & the owner talked me into jumping into the class, lol! So I missed some of the info.
I would not link these with jump rings because the poly clay might not hold up too well to the stress- especially Sculpey III. You would have to put the holes so close to the edge. Now if you made thick tiles and pierced thru from side to side to string elastic, that would probably work. You could make a sandwich- front layer, back layer, and a spacer layer in the middle with 2 parallel grooves to accomodate the elastic.
I don't know for sure whose stamp it was, but the owner carries it- maybe a Stampington & Co design. I thought I had the same stamp here at home, and when I checked mine is the same little tiles but the pictures are not the same ones. I think mine is Dawn Hauser... it says Collage Pieces- Time2Fly by Uptown Design Company. I posted a pic in the gallery & it is just about the same size as the actual stamp.

Here is a link that might be useful: collage pieces stamp

    Bookmark   October 22, 2002 at 9:58PM
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Guess a person could use the mini-dominos on a blank bracelet too..........

    Bookmark   October 23, 2002 at 9:54PM
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Rosie, I love dominoes for bracelets!

Karen, I didn't think about the stress factor; thanks for pointing that out! I did link up one I made using homemade S links and it's done okay.

I don't think that's the same Dawn Hauser stamp I saw in Michaels. I like yours much, much better!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2002 at 3:22PM
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Karen! Look what you've started!! This chalk thing was my project for today. I made some tiles using the white pearl clay and chalked with a rainbow of colors. Ahhh... Rainbow is my FAVORITE color! :-) I really like how they turned out, but I didn't make enough to do a bracelet or anything, so I haven't scanned them yet.

Then, since I had some black scraps on my work surface from yesterday, I had to find out what would happen with bright chalks on black clay. I used copper PearlEx, too, and left a heavy dusting of chalk on the clay. Below is the link to 2 of my finished experiments.

Thanks SO much for sharing this technique! I LOVE it! There were my clay and my chalks just a shelf away from each other in the craft closet and I would never have thought to put them together!

Here is a link that might be useful: My chalked black clay things

    Bookmark   October 27, 2002 at 11:47PM
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Lia- you were right, the class stamp was a Dawn Houser stamp.
Your black clay necklaces look great! It reminds me of beautiful raku pottery. Hmmm... faux raku using a crackle stamp on pearly white clay, then accented with black clay....time to dig out my college pottery and take a closer look!

Here is a link that might be useful: Dawn Houser

    Bookmark   November 1, 2002 at 7:53PM
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Karen, I didn't think about the raku resemblance. Actually, my experiments w/ the black clay look better in real life. That's not always true --sometimes scans are flattering-- LOL! but in these the copper doesn't really show.
It takes a lot of chalk dust to get any color to show on the black clay, though; I think just straight up PearlEx would be better!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2002 at 8:42AM
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Hate to sound dumb-BUT....what is pearl-ex? I also want to say that I love your bracelet!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 10:02PM
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Jennifer- Thanks! Pearl-ex is one brand name of mica powder. They come in many different colors and it is the stuff that they also put in eyeshadows and nail polish to give that pearly shimmer, or the two-tone effect where the color changes as the light hits it. You can buy a set of powders at the craft store in the polymer clay section. You can apply it with a cotton swab or brush as a powder, or it can be mixed into paints to make them shimmer.
Here's the website.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pearl-ex

    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 11:09PM
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Thanks for the information. I am going to check this out.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2002 at 12:25PM
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Sorry, one more question. Are the tiles just glued to the bracelet link, or are the links pushed into the tile? Thanks again.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2002 at 12:31PM
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Jennifer- just glued on with E6000 which sticks to metal very well.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2002 at 7:35PM
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