Friday, February 10, 2017

PRACTICAL POLYMER CLAY PROJECT: Quick Polymer Clay Gift Idea For Men from HeArtfully Creating.

What to do when you suddenly discover a birthday celebration for someone you really admire posted in a local paper, but you missed it until the night before? Well, in our case, my husband could go and I couldn't. So his job was to make a handmade greeting card ASAP and my job was to make a gift using what I love working with, Polymer Clay.
Watch The MR.70 Video Below:

Because we really love this guy, if we had had more notice, I would have  worked on one of my really fun, but time consuming figurines. This guy is actually a hero to many of our peers. But, that gift idea was off the table. Hmmm....What can I make in a few hours for our friend that would be personalized and masculine? You see, as a girl (a 51 year old one :o) I tend to have no problem coming up with girlie ideas. Makes sense right?!
Why Key Chains Of Course!
If you ever have a rush gift idea where you do not want to buy something (way to easy and not personal enough - to me anyway), what works for males and females? Why Key chains of course! After all, pretty much all humans have a key, at least one. No, they may not use it, but it is at least a way to make a personalized gift. They can use it on a zipper pull or as a backpack tag or just throw it into a drawer. It is up to them. Nevertheless, it is a personal handmade gift, made HeArtfully from you or me!
What Are The Ingredients?
💗To work on: A Glass, silicone, or ceramic tile works well to work with
💗Tools like, assorted ball tipped and needle tools. OR, you can use a toothpick, needle, skewer and a straw, look through your junk drawer. Awe, come on, we all have one! :o).
💗For "MR.70," I mixed a gold glitter polymer clay and some neutral metallic clay in PREMO brand.
💗Unbaked clay adheres to unbaked clay, but since I purchased Sculpey's Bake and Bond, I used that to make sure connecting parts were essential "glued" together. It isn't critical.
💗I love the assorted collection of steampunk metal gears and such. They add a masculine touch in a quick and easy way.
💗For the keychain, I keep the findings or hardware for items like keychains and such on hand.
💗For metallic surface effects, aside from the clay colours, I also added Gilders Paste and Mica Powder. Then to antique it a bit, I used acrylic paint in an indigo.
💗 Ceramic tiles are cheap and easy to get at places like Home Depot. I bake all my pieces on a dedicated baking pan, with a ceramic tile set inside. A tent of tin foil or an aluminium cake pan works well to protect your piece
💗Cardstock or a recipe card works well to place your piece on. But place that on the tile.
What Kind  Should I Make?
The next question is what would be a good design? In my mind when designing a key chain, it is important to make sure it isn't too ginormous so they can use it.If you want them to have the option to use it, think of what size would be practical for you.
As always, it is best to sketch out ideas for the shape. If you know any themes that this person likes, then incorporate that into your design. What colours do they like? What are their initials and their new age?
If they love turtles, then make a turtle themed piece, if you don't have any idea or want something more simple and sleek, then what I did was to work with his initials and age. My husband knows him better than I do, so he told me he likes motorcycles. He actually said that after I had already made the keychain. So before firing it in the oven, not only was I able to translate the zero into a motorcycle wheel, to add to the masculinity, I added more steam punk type gears. As well, using some tools, (a straw would work), I was able to imitate screws. Then with a toothpick, tiny ball tool, and/or a needle tool, I impressed marks to add fun details just to enhance the piece.
Finishing Touches
Once MR. 70 was complete, I used my finger to rub on an antique gold Gilders Paste and a shimmer of mica powder. Once baked for about 60 minutes at 375F (I learned baking all clay at least an hour makes it stronger- from Polymer Clay Tutor). I let it cool completely and painted on Acrylic Paint In Indigo. Then I wiped it off. That way it goes into the crevasses and indents giving it some dimension and depth.

Once done, I added a clear coating of whatever  I have on hand that works on clay. It is to just protect the mica surface. But, you do not have to use anything.

All Done and Ready To Give Away!

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