Saturday, December 1, 2012

DIY Monogrammed Paperclay Ornaments

Lately I have been experimenting with  paper clay. I found several different sets of instructions online, and finally developed my own recipe, which is simple to make and easy to work with. Its an air drying clay which, when dried, looks kind of like grown up version of paper mache. I love using it to make small items like these ornaments.

Here's what you'll need to make this clay:
*1 roll of toilet paper
*1 bottle (6oz) white glue
*1/2 cup flour
*2 cups joint compound
*large bowl
*gallon ziplock bag

How to make it:
1. Unroll about three quarters of the roll of toilet paper into a bowl filled with water. Let it sit for about a minute.
2. Pull a small handful of the paper out and squeeze as much water as you can out of it. Then, honestly, comes the slightly tedious part... shred the toilet paper into very small pieces... the smaller the better. Any large pieces you leave will become chunks in the clay, so it is important to have the paper shredded finely. As you shred, toss the pieces into a gallon sized ziplock bag.
3. Add the half cup of flour, the bottle of glue and the 2 cups of joint compound into the bag. Seal it and knead the mixture until it is smooth. When I did this step, I placed the bag with the clay into a separate ziplock so that if it leaked, it wouldn't be a huge mess.  After you've kneaded it, the consistency should look about like the photo above.

And that's it! Now you have clay that you can use to make anything you like. My favorite things to make with it so far are these monogrammed ornaments.

To make these, simply pinch off a piece of clay about the size of a marble. Roll it between your palms to make a ball, then flatten the ball between two layers of parchment paper. Use a needle to make a hole for hanging your ornament later.

Now your pendant is a blank canvas for whatever you'd like to do! Use alphabet stamps to stamp your initials on the clay. If you don't have any stamps, you can use a mechanical pencil (without the lead) as a stylus to carve initials or other shapes into the clay... or you can leave it blank and paint the initial on after it is dry!

(If you have trouble with your clay being too sticky and "grabbing" on to the stamp, I recommend letting your clay air dry for about half an hour, then coming back to it and trying again. Once it is slightly drier, you will be able to make a clearer impression with your stamp or stylus. These pendants will take about 24 hours to dry, so you have plenty of time in the beginning to get your stamp just the way you want.)

Once your ornament is dry, get creative and paint it anyway you like! I also recommend adding  a protective layer of ModPodge (or any other glaze; I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish). There are so many ways you could decorate these...

Once you're done, you can hang these as ornaments from your tree, or give them as gifts. Hang one on a ribbon as a necklace for a child in your life (the joint compound makes this clay dry very hard; certainly tough enough for a child to play with); place one on a slim chain as a necklace for a friend; or  place it on the ribbon you use for gift wrapping instead of adding a gift tag.

Hopefully I will be able to add more photos to this tutorial soon; the rain here in California hasn't let up for days, and its been hard to get good pictures.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

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