Emoticon paper clips are really fun page markers. I use them to mark pages in cookbooks, but of course their use is limited only by your imagination. This project is a great way to introduce you to polymer clays.
I love working with this medium. I’ve made jewelry, figurines, picture frames, covered boxes and pens but there are many more uses. You can create many faux effects including simulating stones like tiger eye, opal, abalone, jade, agates, turquoise, labradorite, and many others. You can simulate a wood finish, leather or even knit fabric. You can make beautiful canes; logs that have a pattern throughout. No matter where you cut the design is the same. They are great for reproducing the same pattern repeatedly.
I really like the pearl effects. One of my favorite effects is the Mica Shift. This technique produces a 3D effect that shifts when you look at it from different directions, much like a tiger eye. There is even a technique to transfer images using liquid polymer clay. If you’d like to learn more about any of these techniques let me know in the comments.
To add additional effects you can add glitter, beads or other small inclusions. You can add texture using stamps or texture plates. Molds help me a lot because I am not a very good sculptor. I also use Sharpies to draw fine details.
Some of the tools I use include a pasta machine to roll out the clay evenly. (I got mine from a thrift store.) A long razor for slicing, an extruder, and shape cutters that look like very small cookie cutters.
I use q-tips dipped in baby oil to blend colors and join pieces as well as soften the clay. I work on a large clipboard that I cover with aluminum foil. I use a toaster oven dedicated to polymer clay.
- Roll your yellow clay out about 1/8” thick
- Cut out two 1″ circles for each.
- Sandwich a paper clip between the two circles.
- Using clay in various colors or Sharpie pens,decorate the circles to look like your favorite emoticons.
- Cook them in a dedicated toaster oven at about 160 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes.
- Apply a coat of polyurethane.
- Let dry and they are ready to use.
Safe Handling when Working
with Polymer Clays
Polymer clays can be toxic and should never be ingested. When cooking polymer clays, use a dedicated toaster oven in a well ventilated area as the fumes can be dangerous and will contaminate the oven. When working with polymer clays use dedicated tools that you won’t later use in the kitchen. Polymer clays are not food safe and should not be used on glasses or plates that will later be used for food. Wash your hands very well after working with polymer clays.