What did we do before polymer clay? It's one of those inventions--like squeezable ketchup bottles and self-cleaning ovens--that really shows what technology can do to improve lives.
You can do so much with the stuff and this Halloween we made these cute little clay earrings that went together in under half an hour and pleased my teen daughter to no end.
I've got step-by-step instructions for making your own and the great thing about pumpkins is that they're not perfectly round or smooth so even smaller children could make tiny pumpkins that would still be pleasing to the eye. Instead of turning them into earrings you could also easily make them into a necklace.
orange polymer clay (such as Sculpey brand)
green polymer clay
gold earring hooks
1. If you use the Sculpey brand it's already scored into four little logs of clay, break one of those logs off and pull it gently into two equal halves. If you're not using Sculpey, that's fine too, just break off a piece of clay that's about the size you'd like your pumpkin to be.
2. With the index finger and thumb of one hand and the index finger and thumb of your other hand gently roll and press the piece of clay between your fingers, turning it around to make it even, so that all the wrinkles get smoothed out and that it generally is pumpkin shaped--though remember pumpkins aren't really round so you're not going for perfection here. I kind of let mine be rather cylinder shaped. Repeat with the second lump of clay so that you have two.
3. Take a needle and gentle press it along the sides of the pumpkin in radiating line patterns from top to bottom just to kind of give it that pumpkin look--see the picture above.
4. Break off a tiny piece of green clay (you hardly need any, it goes farther that you think) and roll it like a snake between your fingers. Break it in half and press the jagged edge against the top of one of the pumpkins then repeat with the other half on the second pumpkin. See the above photo.
5. With a needle poke a vertical hole through the entire length of the pumpkin. The needle should be fat enough to make a good sized hole large enough for a piece of wire to go through. The clay won't shrink when it hardens so you can make it the true size you need. I put my holes a little off to one side--kind of like the earth's axis is off to one side--so that I don't have to push it through the stem as well (the small pieces of clay can be harder to get a clean hole through so I just avoid it altogether by missing the stem).
6. Bake the pumpkins according to the package directions--for Sculpey that's at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take them out and let them cool down.
7. Take a 3-inch length of gold wire and poke it through the hole. Note: Instead of a piece of wire it's better to use the long gold pins you see in the picture above which you can get along with the earring hooks in any place that sells equipment for making jewelry. If you have the long pins it's a little easier but you don't necessarily need them.
With the pliers bend a tiny loop in the bottom of the wire underneath the pumpkin to keep it from slipping off the wire. Then trim the wire to the length that you'll need and bend a tiny loop at the top of the pumpkin as well like you see in this photo.
8. Gently bend open the hoop at the bottom of the earring hook then hook it through the loop you've created for the pumpkin and bend it back in place to secure it. Repeat this whole process with the second pumpkin and you've got a sweet pair of earrings!
If you wanted a necklace instead you could either poke a fatter hole through the pumpkin horizontally and thread string through it (make sure the hole is big enough) or instead of attaching an earring hook you could attach a little gold loop and run a chain through it. Either way would be fun for fall.
Grace and I had fun churning out little sets of pumpkin earrings so if your time is limited and you'd like a set check out my Etsy shop.
And as for other great Halloween ideas:
* A recipe for pumpkin cobbler from The McIllece Spot
* An etched glass pumpkin jar from my own files
* Another Halloween idea with polymer clay: a ghost pendant
I'm sorry for not announcing the winner of the Rick Rack Attack Giveaway yet but I still haven't heard from the winner yet. I'll give him till the morning to respond and then draw again. If at first you don't succeed, draw, draw again right?
Sponsored by Pak Naks--Decorate your stuff with these adorable rubber charms.
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