My kids loved this project. It took very little money, was endlessly customizable and gave us nearly instant satisfaction. I may caution you now to start hoarding your Christmas gift ideas. These are so quick, you could even make up a bunch to use as gift tags.
Easy Customized Pendants Craft
You will need:
- bake-to-harden clay, like Sculpey
- popsicle sticks
- cut out shapes, either for clay or small cookie cutters
- rolling pin
- stamps, either for metal stamping or simple letters and designs
- a Sharpie in silver or acrylic paint in your choice of color
- Clay glaze (this was the priciest item, and gave such a nice sheen, I’m glad I spent the money)
- Chains, jewelry notions, jewelry tools
Clay needs to be conditioned. The big girls like to run theirs through a pasta machine to get it the right texture and thickness. We’re not having any of that fussy nonsense. Just grab a good ball off the block and knead it with your fingers. Look for a soft, easily pliable texture; think of it as stress relief.
When you get it the way you want it, place the ball between two popsicle sticks (or two other evenly sized items; this ensures uniform thickness). Roll out the clay until it aligns with the tops of the sticks.
Using your finger, smooth the surface of the clay. At this point, you can move the clay to a baking sheet. I like to use one that is only for crafts, no worries about any kind of contamination between food and crafty goodness. A quick trip to the dollar store would fit the bill for this. I put the clay on the baking sheet before I cut it so I don’t have to move it again and get my paws all over it. Making sure the surface is free of fingerprints and whatnot from little hands, you’re ready to design.
We used a metal stamp set (available at craft stores) to write: Mom, B, Goalie, BFF, Love, and I like Pie, because who doesn’t like pie?
Big Important Step You Will Rue If You Forget: Use a skewer or other small sharp object to make a tiny hole in the top of each piece. Now you can bake the pieces as directed. Allow them to cool before removing from the pan. (Duh. They’re … you know…hot.)
Now the fun part. We used a shiny silver sharpie paint pen, but you can use modeling paint, nail polish or acrylic craft paint to create different effects. A note about the nail polish: Use sparingly. It gets a little too far into the tiny letters making it hard to read.
Allow to dry between coats and then apply the clear gloss with a brush. Allow to dry. Using jump rings, I attached a few charms to a necklace for my daughter. We also poked two holes in the bff oval to make a bracelet.
Wrap it up and give it as a gift, or enjoy your own work!
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Options: I used white clay because I wanted to create a variety of colors with paint. To me, if I’m going to do a craft, but maybe only once, I want to find the easiest, cheapest way. This was more cost-effective than buying tons of colors of clay, and being stuck with a mess of leftover stuff I won’t ever use again. I also used textured stamps to create pretty pendants for grandparents and a few with the kids’ fingerprints on them. You could also add their initial and give to aunts and grandmas, add them to gifts, make quick classmate or teacher’s jewelry, or even thread a ribbon through to use them as bookmarkers. My son used a big cat stamp that he wants to add to his backpack.
Let me know what variations you try.