Paper of all kinds
.....+ liquid clay or trans.clay, labels, "decoupage"/embedding... + papier mache, cards
....postage stamps, self-adhesive stickers (& shrinkage prob?)
.....bonding fabric to clay (in sev. ways)
........some uses ... misc
.....(inkjet printed fabric)
Threads, fibers, yarn + cross-stitch + needlepoint
...string art-spirelli ... embroidery
Knitting & Crochet
Macrame + knotting ...weaving + basketry

Dried nature (twigs,rocks,bones,gourds) & plants
Metal (& wire)
Glass, Ceramics, Shell, Mirror
Seed beads (+ holeless + larger beads)
...all-clay seed beads
...attaching non-clay beads (glues, mechanical hold) + holeless beads)
...patterns (Huichol,mosaic,peyote,x-stitch,etc.)...+ tools for placing beads
...misc. tips & ideas
Miscellaneous. (...incl.. Shrink Plastics)


Polymer clay can be mixed with all sorts of things (see other categories at end also). This category deals largely with things that are added onto, under, around polymer rather than mixed into it.

some materials suitable for creating mixed-media or collage pieces.... they don't have to be bake-able, as they can be glued on afterwards. Irene
- colored wire
- stuff for inclusions
- foreign postage stamps
- transfers
- metal or plastic charms
- feathers, fur (faux please), fabric
- copyright free drawings (your own, perhaps?)
- handmade paper
- metal washers
- glass or metal beads

Sea glass, shells, glass beads, friendly plastic,sand, glitter, metal, cogs etc from wristwatches, broken crockery bashed with a hammer until it's small enough, lace, thread, foil......
The curse of creativity! I look everywhere for my "bits". The fellow at the hardware looks at me funny, the lady in the kitchen department wonders what I cook, my kids collect all sorts of "junk" for mummy. Robin in the Great Southland

Stained glass bashed to bits, Charms, Real hair (human, feline, canine or otherwise) on purpose and unintentionally FEATHERS! Anything that sparkles or glitters, Jump rings, Mesh from a broken sieve or microphone (helps if your ex bf is a dj on this one), Chopped clay from a piece that didn't work. Buttons, Splinters (don't ask unless you wanna know) Metal shavings (ask a handyman or woman), Pieces of broken costume jewelry, old Girl Scout pins, Tobacco (don't try this at home), Ribbons.
You can find unusual and wonderfully weird things to include when you take things apart..... The insides of old watches have nifty little gears and cogs and wheels. I love to paw through the littles bags of whatnots at thrift shops.
Things I want to try in the future: Pine needles, Pieces of pine cones, Acorns, Nuts, twigs, wild hickory nuts, Dried beans, Aquarium gravel, Coral, Pennies (for your thoughts?) ...Kim2
A suggestion for getting leather (and faux fur and buttons and other cool stuff) really cheap: look in thrift stores (e.g. Goodwill) for old coats, vests, etc., and then cut them up. You'd be surprised what you can buy for $5! Suzanne

Magic Scraps (iridescent flakes & glitter in colors, metallic threads/yarns, glitter (and a pretty neat glitter sprinkling tool -- called a Glitter Grabber), beads, plus lots of other neat tools and stuff that could be used withclay. Mandabear

see below in Threads, String Art for adhering together threads (and maybe other porous bits of material, or non-porous?) on clay

look for more suppliers under the individual subjects, or in Suppliers


Raw clay both seal and adhere paper (or cardstock)... coat BOTH sides of the paper you wish to attach with Sobo (or another permanent white glue, possibly thinned a bit with water) before baking (...this will work only if your paper is thick and/or glossy enough for the glue not to completely soak through which would make it translucent)
.......let the glue dry ...then just "brayer" the paper onto the clay can add clay cutouts or whatever on top of the paper then too
...... then bake.
...or lightly spray first with a clear acrylic spray to seal)

Baked clay can also be treated like most any other surface for "decoupaging" paper images, or sealing over them... some possibilities:
....white glue (or "decoupage" glue) (see Glues > Decoupage)
....acrylic sealers (Varathane, etc... acrylic mediums... clear fingernail polish...UTEE) (see Finishes)
....clear epoxy resins (see Other Materials > Resins > Epoxy > Coating )

polymer head placed atop paperdoll body (& colored pencils?) (Donna H.)

I love adding clay "feet" to cast- paper vessels

*Petra's wonderful greeting cards, combining paper or cardstock with stamping and polymer (slices or molded pieces, etc.)
(....see much more on using clay for greeting cards or other cards, scrapbooking, and mini books on Cards page and also on the Books page)

embedding flatter pieces of clay right into paper pulp makes for some fantastic collage work

These techniques can be done with any paper
... pre-printed paper, photocopied images on paper, inkjet images on paper, original photos, etc
...but the thickness of the paper will need to be taken into consideration for the effect you want (.. the top layer of thicker papers may be able to be peeled off and used)

liquid clay
.."decoupage"...embedding, encasing the paper in liquid clay (along with the image on it)
.......cut out image to size that you want, but add 1/8th" or so ...smear back of image w/ liquid clay ...bake10 min's
.......when cool, do the same thing to the front of the image... bake . . . when cool, trim to the size you need
.......then adhere to the clay backing with a thin coat of liquid clay again .... and bake. MsEQuin
Lynn K's lesson on decoupaging shapes of origami paper with liquid clay (then applying it onto a sheet of flat clay ...trimmed... baked) for a pin
....(she used the Translucent Liquid Sculpey brand of liquid clay which isn't usually as clear, so to make the final finish a little shinier and brighter she also applied a layer of clear finish --Varathane, Future, etc-- on top after baking)

Donna Kato's lesson on encasing washi paper in Kato liquid clay then applying to white clay
..... she says that washi paper inks are solvent-based so some (esp. reds) can bleed when contacted with liquid clay if the ink side is not first sealed with a light coating of acrylic medium (she uses a gloss acrylic medium--could probably also use thinned permanent white glue as when using resin, or Varathane/Future)
.....she then "laminates" (encases) the coated paper with liquid clay, one side at a time, heating with a heat gun (till liquid clay turns clear) each time to cure it
.....cuts a shape from the laminated paper and rolls down onto white clay (since some papers may become translucent when in tontact with liquid clay --though shouldn't if sealed on both sides first?)
... (optional second layer) she also adds a laminated strip of washi paper on the liquid clay layer (using a bit of superglue underneath if it doesn't stick well), then uses a light coat of liquid clay and later a thicker coat (curing each with heat gun)... repeats for another strip
... uses scissors to trim off excess liquid clay
Jim Morris used a sheet of Japanese paper with metallic gold paint for the "wire," to make a pin
....Eberhard Faber's lesson on making (cardstock or?) heavy paper cone-shaped sleeves (with images on surface "decoupaged" both sides with liqud clay), into which a small bulb from a string of lights is placed

......the other great thing about using liquid clay is more possibilities of using powders and other embellishments (I used a bit of embossing powder on a few). Deborah
...You can make flowers out of tissue paper and then give them a thin coating of liquid clay
...You can form miniature items out of paper such as a trash can and paint it with liquid clay...after baking, paint and decorate. Ellen

....labels ... using liquid clay as a laminate over hand-coloured labels for jars
.....I also wanted the labels to be waterproof .... I took some cardstock and drew the name with a stylus ....then coloured over with (colored?) pencils ... then I put a layer of TLS over it (the TLS changed the colours of the pencils into mostly jewel tones) ....but they have a nice matte texture, almost like cloth.
............try sealing with spray fixative first, or just dabbing on the liquid clay, baking and then coating/baking.
.....I tried using other sealers to make the paper waterproof but those soaked into the paper, unlike the TLS which sits on top. ...I'm pretty pleased. husband suggested that I scan them in my computer and I think that would be great as I could take my time and make each label series a little drawing

....Dotty's fan, made with origami paper coated with liquid clay (website gone)

...Lazertran's website also has info about using its paper with stamping and decoupage, etc. (....see more on that topic in Transfers > Liquid Clay > Layers)

see more on using liquid clay with paper ...below in Stamps & Stickers
...and also in Liquid Clay > Strengthener & Decoupage

translucent clay
..Emi Fukushima's lesson on embedding washi paper with translucent clay, & baked) onto a larger shape of double-thickness black clay (textured with lace while a needle is retaining a vertical hole in between the layers for cording), then rebaking (she also adds a Chinese coin to the black base clay for her final pendant),1789,HGTV_3238_1383759,00.html

the spines of journals and around the rims of (paperclay?) bowls, polymer beads work very well

to display polymer clay earrings and pins
, I use cardstock with pieces of hand made/exotic papers pasted to them.

postage stamps & stickers particular
(also problem w/ glue shrinkage, paper)

several postage stamps on pins at SDPCG ...few feather onlays to hold stamp on, or other embellishments ...(by syndee?)
Dayle Doroshow's postage stamps:
...inside tri-fold panel "mini-book" pin
(open) ...(closed)
..."held" down with 2 random strips of crackled leaf clay ... on transfer? or original-stamp background
...inside drawer of clay-covered matchbox pendants
Tracy's framed postage stamp (pin?)
Skygrazer's stamp with onlay and coated with TLS liquid clay
Kathy G's postage stamp pendant, held downon bottom and top (gone?)
Sandy's lesson on using a sticker on Sculpey, baking, creating a frame with gold pen, then dipping in two coats of UTEE before adding a pinback (gone)
Jan’s postage stamps with envelopes pin (gone)
TLC's postage stamp pins (website gone)
Ed's postage stamp pendant on faux ivory
Kathy G's many metallic frames around stamps (website gone)

The images from either stamps or sticker images can be transferred to baked or raw clay in various ways using a scanner and printer, or a photocopier (for that, see Transfers)
...or the actual stamp can be decoupaged onto a baked clay surface.

It's okay legally to make copies of postage stamps as long as they are copied 75% or under and 150% or over their original size. I have read this in several copyright areas, including a manual at a copy center. ljcefali
....or you can use the whole stamp in your art, since you purchased it.

Marcy's framed pins made around transfers (rub-on, and stickers which were decoupaged with liquid clay --could have been scanned instead) ... using onlays, clay ropes, etc.

I once made an xmas ornament with a *sticker* of a regular postage stamp (it was a self-adhesive type). . . the image was just a bit larger than the real thing ..... I had a problem though . . . the raw clay background rectangle I put the sticker on curved upward while baking.. . . I'm assuming that this was from the stick-um causing it to shrink on that side . . . .
... I know I could have held it flat or weighted it while cooling, but that was difficult to do in this case because it had some embellishments on the front. Any suggestions on how to avoid this? I have a bazillion stickers I'd like to use, and more of the xmas postage stamp ones. . . they make good ornaments!
----dissolve the adhesive off, and dry? (what would dissolve sticker adhesive though?)
----coat front (& back?) of sticker with white glue?
........ I have the same questions for postage stamps with the lickable stick-um. . . Diane B.

To fix bent ones, I think it was Dotty who suggested that I simply hold the baked piece flat in my hands (or under running cool water) while cooling to make the embellished ones flat.
...OR, you could bake the pin/stamp on the clay first, place under weights (like the good old dictionary) until cool, and then embellish and bake again.. syndee
....and wouldn't curve during this second baking??

If the back sides of these ornaments or sheets are undecorated, then you can hold them flat while baking if you both make and bake the piece on the surface of a smooth tile ....the raw clay should should "stick" to the tile and be held flat to it while baking .... it can be popped off when it's cool. Margaret

If you use a heavy (thick) enough base of clay sheet behind the stamps, they won't warp (I've used both type of stamps ... lick -ems and stick ems). . . .. syndee

(lick-um or self-adhesive stamps?). . . geepers, I made those (successfully flat) stamp pins ages ago.
.... I do remember that I Sobo'd (coated with white glue) the postage stamps on both sides before adding them to the raw clay (I let the glue dry before using them). ....and they stayed flat. (the Sobo will act as a buffer, for one thing).

I spread liquid clay very thinly over my cancelled postage stamps when making my stamp pins. Michelle

I used liquid clay to adhere and to overcoat some origami paper (much like decoupage) and noticed that the difference between ones that buckled and actually separated from the clay base beneath was the length of time I let the piece sit before baking. . . .The ones that sat overnight before baking (my goal was for the TLS to self-level) seemed to totally absorb the TLS and remained the way I wanted them.
....but the ones that got popped straight into the oven warped.. . . I know that for paper to shrink, it must first get wet --wet with the liquid of the clay seems to do it. Jeannine

What about pre-baking the paper to let it do whatever it's going to do, before adding to the clay? Anybody tried that? DB
Actually prebaking a dry sheet of paper will not 'size' it.
. . . The best suggestion I have is to saturate the paper with whatever you are going to use, let it dry then attach it after the clay is baked. Not a very desirable method in some cases.
Paper shrinkage has to do with what the paper is made of, and whether or not additives have been added to the mash to size the paper…. most copier/laser printer paper has had additives put in the mash that protects it from shrinkage as well as the chemicals that copiers/ printers etc lay down upon it. That is why you don't find it shrinking. …

I like Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA) because it will keep the paper flexible in a collage yet protect it from UV, yellowing, and shrinkage. It comes in either gloss or matte. I found when putting pressed flowers on some vases last year that it works equally well on clay....actually gives the same protection to the clay and adheres the surface embellishments better than Varathene or Future. Dianne
...Yup, it will work with stamps and stickers and I use it with cardstock.
.... (I use a different type of adhesive --PVA Bookbinding glue-- with davey board, the thickest of cardboard, though when making a book). I like to saturate items with it for collage work and to get texture from papers, cardstock...I like to use it over the top of a collage surface as the sealer too.
Available at
I have seen Susan glue sea shells, pieces of glass, cardboard tubes, dried beans and many other things to her collages, not just paper. The reason I like her glue is it is matt and on paper you can bearly tell that it is there. I also use it for gluing dried flowers, and because it has a UV filter in it the flowers don't fade if I brush it over the tops. And again because it is matt you don't see it on the flowers. Some times I cover my pin backs with paper for a neater finish, I use PPA for that also. Christine

(repeat of above). I've noticed this exact same problem (as you had with stickers) when I do my TLS-decoupaged magnets
.... I've been taking some of my drawings and coating them with TLS, baking on glass like I do my transfers... but then instead of peeling the paper, I'll put the whole thing on a flat sheet of background clay and cut a little frame for it (to put over the edges?) (I did these for the Oriental swap). . . . every time I do the second bake where I have the paper framed by the clay, I get that exact same curl that you describe (with a postage stamp or sticker)
..... I've been smashing them flat with the phone book to cool, which then does make them flat, BUT the TLS-ed paper part ends up slightly wavy and bubbled-up
.... my theory is that polymer clay actually shrinks ever-so-slightly during baking. Since paper does not shrink it would explain the warp after baking.( In other words, I don't think the sticky stuff on your stamps is the culprit any more than the Sobo I use for little drawings. I think it's the contraction of the clay itself. I've been wondering how to overcome this problem myself.) Julia

I have a slightly different variation on the curving thang.... I baked a sheet of clay and let it cool. I had a piece of paper I wanted to laminate to the front, so I spread Varathane on the backside of the paper and placed it onto the clay. (I remembered that Sarajane Helm had used Flecto to stick baked cane slices onto a wagon or something.) I also Flecto'ed the front of the paper.... I baked the entire piece and it's now got a curve. . . .Since the clay was already baked, I don't think clay shrinkage was the problem ( I've had this sucker weighed down under four 12 x 12 inch ceramic tiles for two days and it's still got a curve). I suspect the paper being Flecto'ed is the culprit. Irene in western NC
...... it's possible that the Flecto was applied to your baked clay but not rebaked. ...I haven't had a problem with "gluing" a piece of paper on with Flecto if I don't rebake. (problem is, I like to bake Flecto-ed pieces to harden the Flecto). Irene NC

(decoupage)...I've made pins from stamps which were inkjet printed (best onto photo quality paper)...I used deco scissors that cut "stamp like" edges on the clay... if you use an inkjet printed image you need to spray it with a protective acrylic spray to keep it from smearing using the glue & sealer or you could also reverse the image on your computer and use it as a transfer
....baked a clay backing first ....then sanded the backing
... used white glue to glue the printed stamp down on the backing ...then I put a another coating of white glue over the front to encase it, like decoupage.
...I also sealed it all with an acrylic craft varnish (the kind sold with craft acrylic paints).
...It has worked well. I did the first ones about 4 yrs ago and they are still sealed and all layers are adhering just fine. Barbe

My recent experiments:
-TLS-coated paper (both sides) on raw clay -- shrunk (shrank?) in the oven.
-Sobo-on-the-back paper, allowed to dry on raw clay --shrunk/shrank also, but a little less.
-Flecto'd front and back paper, on raw clay -- shrink, shrank, shrunk. Irene NC

I have also made some of my own postage stamp designs on my computer, printed them, and used them with the clay. My canon inkjet printer was able to tolerate the Sobo smoothed on, in one direction, with my finger. That is if I did it gently so as not to smear the ink. Hope this helps. TLC
If you print your own postage stamps on your inkjet, you can spray the entire sheet of stamps with clear acrylic spray and that will help to seal them. I do this for my inkjet business cards most of the time and it helps keep them from running.... Then you could add the Sobo and not have to be as careful. Marty


Plain Fabric

Fabric can be used alone (without stiffening) with baked clay items in various ways:

... clothing for small figures or dolls (clay figures or other figures) (makes it easier to handle, esp. with liquid clay for draping)
(see Sculpting-Bodies > Clothing for more)
..Jody's scale skin for a dragon (or fish?) attached to cloth (with bent-tab at top?) with glue or liquid clay?? (website gone) & accessories for people (purses, tiles or as embellishments for clothing and quilts, etc.)
(see more on making purses, and sewing with clay fabric in Misc > Purses & Sewing)

...plaster cloth (wetted & draped around body & head) to make dress (blood spattered) & for headwear for zombie bride by lvl0rg4n...some in smaller strips

...fabric dolls & figures can have polymer clay faces attached
......Maureen Carlson's small fabric doll forms with polymer faces ( sewn to head through holes in each side of face)
....JJHandworks' fabric doll forms with polymer faces ...some have "masks" glued or sewn to head fronts... some have simple stuffed arms and legs, or no arms and legs ....bodies often pieced patterned fabrics, with beads, etc., here and there ... some have elaborate mixed media hair or headgear)

yoyo's (for embellishments on clothing & accessories or clay boxes, making "figures," etc... or for making "quilts")
.......yoyo's are gathered fabric disks .....edge of fabric disk is turned 1/8-/14" to wrong side a bit at a time and sewed down with running stitch using a strong or doubled thread... thread ends then pulled together to gather edges into a yoyo disk about half original size, and tied off ...the front side of yoyo is the one usually used (will have small opening in middle)
..yoyo's can then also be sewn together at their edges (butted), or they can be stacked to form columns, or glued or sewn to each other singly to make other shapes)
..also could be bonded to translucent clay or liquid clay, then used to make pins, figures, ornaments, etc..... or used as embellisments on clothing or on anything else ...when bonded to clay, may want to use the sewing machine for stitching rather than hand-stitching? (fabric yoyo how tos, projects, & measurements)
..Eileen used a single yoyo as "body" ...for head or an entire bust of a little bunny, snowman, etc.
........she used the yoyo flat... put a decorative button or stud in the middle of the yoyo gather to hide the hole (could be something being "held" if there were arms)
........then she glued a flat head, or face/neck/paws/collar, to top area of yoyo, extending past it too (her heads were made from clip art, but we could use polymer clay)
..or a yoyos could be used as a surrounding ruff for a molded polymer face, flower, or other item in the center... then used as pins or embellishments for sweatshirts, or anywhere
...use as a round frame ....or a base for other things
..these can look like simple posey type flowers too
for making canes that simulate quilt patterns, see Canes-Instr. > Quilt

Bonding Fabric and Clay

Generally, natural fabrics and fibers are needed when baking with clay because many synthetic fabrics cannot tolerate high temps, and can melt.
heoretically, I would go along with everyone about not baking synthetics, but in thinking about it I do use polyfill as a baking surface for some items, so it seems some synthetics would bake ok without damage. ..just bake small samples first to check. LynnDel

Many fabrics can be joined with sheets of clay to create "clay fabric" (then used in various ways):
...fabric simply pressed to clay .... or fabric joined to clay with white glue
...fabric embedded with clay ...or fabric embedded with liquid clay
.......fabric "decoupaged" onto solid clay with liquid clay

....cotton and homespun work well
....synthetics... polyester works but may also stretch (could be really interesting if you used that as part of your design)
....fabrcis with a really tight weave might not work as easily (as long as the clay can get into the weave though, it'll work)
....Velveteen is really bad bec. it has all those little specks of fabric floating around ...but works great for lining the inside of a box

pressed together

I just stick the fabric right on the clay and bake it ..... it bakes nicely and it stays no problem
.......(only for thicker sheets of clay, to make non-flexible sheets of "clay fabric"?)
...or could add a bit of liquid clay or white glue first as helpers

fabric embedded with solid clay

Polymer clay can be embedded right into the weave of many fabrics
....this creates a flexible sheet of clay-fabric
....the fabric will show only on one side if opaque clay is used, or fabric will seen on the other side as well but paler if translucent clay (or liquid clay) is used

..Marcia B's lesson on embedding clay into fabric (using translucent clay on top of the clay in order not to change the color of the fabric)
......for making roll-up she uses fine cotton cloth (sometimes with metallic threads) ... condition the clay with the pasta machine until about half the size of the cloth at almost the thinnest setting...then put clay and cloth (on back side?) through the pasta machine twice more at the same setting, then on the thinnest couple more times.

...Karen's lesson on embedding fabric with white or colored clay (from the back side)
....I run a sheet of (opaque) clay through the pasta machine (I usually start with # 3-4)
.......then put fabric on top of the clay sheet.... I run over the fabric a couple of times with my hand, or an acrylic roller
.......then put that thru the pasta machine on the same setting can then cut the clay fabric sheet with scissors if you want...... bake like you usually do. Karen
(here she also cuts out a shape from the clay fabric, applies it to a box or a glass ornament (or uses as a pin, and often adds a clay rope or other frame around the raw edges)

clay color possibilities:
...use translucent clay
...use opaque white clay
use an opaque clay to match the fabric you're using (...e.g., for dark fabric a dark clay, or light fabric, light clay) ... the color of opaque clays can affect the color of the final "fabric," so keep that in mind
...liquid clay (translucent, tinted-translucent, or opaque--LS, or others with white oil paint as additive)--see below

Shelly C's lesson on attaching clay and fabric with just a pasta machine
....rolls base clay to # 5... then through the pasta machine with the fabric on # 6
...can cut the fabric-clay sheet into any pattern shapes needed with scissors (she cuts small squares also for pockets, patches)

fabric embedded with liquid clay

liquid clay works very well for making clay fabric
....can embed a decorative fabric direclty with liquid clay
....or can transfer an image of your choice onto plain fabric with liquid clay (to make a "decal" sheet)
(....or can use liquid clay as a helper between a sheet of regular clay and decorative fabric)

Can use various brands and types of liquid clay -- translucent, tinted-translucent, or opaque (LS only) liquid clays ( or make your own opaque liquid clay with white oil paint as additive to a translucent liquid clay)
... Kato and Fimo brands of liquid clays will be the clearest

like dotty, i dilute the liquid clay (with Sculpey Diluent-Softener) to make it more drapable for figures' clothing
... saturate the fabric... squeegee off the excess with fingers... drape on figure... and bake. sunni

Bake in the oven as usual, or can also use a heat gun to bake the clay fabric if the piece is too big, etc. Jody
....some fabrics will darken with liquid clay, so you might try doing a few sample pieces first. Patty B.

embedding decorative fabric with liquid clay to strengthen it and stiffen somewhat
...I pour a thin layer of liquid clay (I use TLS) onto a sheet of glass... place my (decorative) fabric over it, and smooth it down
...... then I add another thin layer of liquid clay to the top surface and smooth it in with my fingers ..since it is on clear glass, I can check the underside to see any air bubbles ..once baked, just peel it off the glass. Patty B.
...I think it works best to put the wrong side of the fabric against the glass (surface next to glass will be slick and shiny)

embedding plain fabric with transferred images or patterns:
Alan's lesson on transferring a (butterfly wing) color image (printed on t-shirt transfer paper and allowed to dry overnight) onto plain-colored silk (type for painting on) with liquid clay
....then adding a bent wire... baking under a sheet of brass to keep it evenly thin
...removing from glass, and removing paper ... cutting excess liquid clay from around wings
...adding a clear finish (or paint)... he then attached two of the wings to a clay bodyto make a 3-D butterfly

Karen's lesson on transferring a pattern (b&w photocopied image) onto plain fabric with liquid clay
.....apply liquid clay to paper image (fairly thick coat) on waxed paper ironed fabric (natural or blend, medium weave --she used a med-light, tone-on-tone print fabric) face down onto liquid clay ...pat down to saturate, then press out air
.......(also apply liquid clay to back of fabric in same way if fabric not saturated)
...bake flat (not in convection oven because will blow around?) 10 min
...while hot, peel fabric off (can rewarm &peel again, or soak then rub, if nec.) ...let dry before using,1789,HGTV_3227_3150845,00.html

Can also "decoupage" fabrics onto raw (or baked) polymer clay
.... to apply it to your unbaked polymer project, coat the back of the fabric with liquid clay, and then also the front of the fabric with a thin coat ...bake (image will be permanently attched to the clay).... I sometimes do this with fabrics which have been ink-jet printed using special fabric-backed papers Dotty in CA (see below for more on those)


"white" glues can also be used to adhere fabric to clay since it remains flexible after drying (and/or baking) as well as being adhesive
(see more in Glues > White Glues).

I use white glue on the fabric, put it on the clay, and then bake. Never had a problem in 11 years. Annadara

I liked Sobo (a white glue) and fabric the best (...did all this before Fimo Gel liquid clay was released, so can't speak to that)
....the glue didn't dull the fabric whether it was lightly brushed on the back, or completely soaked the fabric (where the TLS did slightly deaden the crispness of the fabric patterns)
...rub Sobo on the fabric back or on the raw clay... lay fabric on clay...bake together
...different fabrics may be treated differently for a thick Chinese brocade (you can just coat one side of it with a "gluing" liquid) ...but for something sheer like silk organza, you are automatically soaking the entire cloth. Cassy

Emi Fukushima sealed sheer fabric to a sheet of clay with white glue (and clear sealer?) in her lesson
....(uses natural fabric?, cotton, rayon or any other type, but definitely sheer).
...she first textured a sheet of clay with lace (optional)
...she cut the fabric and applied it with Sobo white glue onto the flat side of clay sheet
...then added a clay rope-trim frame to hide and seal the fabric's edges, which she textured and powdered/gilded
...cut the clay around the fabric, trimming excess
...baked in a 265-degree oven for 45- 60 min.
...then she cut the fabric to the design and shape she wanted
...sanded and buffed edges if needed. ... and glazed with lacquer,,HGTV_3238_1371826,00.html

some uses for clay-fabrics (flat beads/tiles, "rolled-up" beads, pendants, pins, etc.)
........see lessons above
.......(esp. if you have a nice fabric with stains on it, )
cut good parts of the fabric into 1" and 2" strips... then make bracelets and chokers from them
............coat the fabric strips entirely in liquid clay... bake in oven for recommended time
............cut into choker or bracelet lengths... use either "ribbon" type clasp or piece of velcro on each end. Karen H.

....embellishments (on other items, boxes, etc.)
....coverings or linings (notebooks, boxes, pens?, etc.)

... freestanding items (lampshades, light "screens," etc.)

... hinges for articulated books, screens, jewelry pieces, purse flaps, etc.

....minatures (bedspreads, wallpaper, drapes, upholstery, rugs, lampshades, book covers, etc.)

... clothing for small figures, dolls (clay figures or other figures) (makes it easier to handle, esp. with liquid clay for draping)
.......Jody's scale skin for a dragon (or fish?) attached to cloth (with bent-tab at top?) with glue or liquid clay?? (website gone) & accessories for people (for purses, tiles or as embellishments for clothing and quilts, etc.)
......see more on making purses, and sewing with clay fabric in Misc > Purses & Sewing)

...fabric yoyo's (for embellishments on clothing & accessories or clay boxes, making "figures," etc... or for making "quilts") (see above in Plain Fabric for details)

fabric "origami" ideas ...transferrable to polymer (wallet, purse, checkbook cover, box, card, etc.)
...suppose it would be best to use Kato's Repel Gel (or another CA debonder on the clay, or possibly a heavy powdering of cornstarch on both sides of the sheet to prevent folded areas from bonding during firing?... or just in particular areas?)
...or could origami be done with liquid clay or translucent clay impregnated fa
bric?...(also Tea Bag folding?)
(also click on ornaments)
...can be later embellished with beads, embroidery, paints and by numerous techniques kimono template (very simple origami), shirt, etc.

(...for more ideas on origami/folding and clay, see Sheets > Other Techniques > Origami, Folding)


You can also butt two fabric-covered clay sheets ... their edge sides will bond together (thicker sheets best?)

When sewing seams for 2 clay fabric sheets laid on top of each other....the clay on the back will bond with other clay, making the sewing of the seams faster. Karen R.
(see more on sewing clay-fabric in Misc > Sewing and Purses)

(for much more info on making clay fabric in various ways especially for clothing for sculpts,
see Sculpting > Clothing & Fabric, and also Canes-Info > Sheets from Cane Slices (tho many clay "pattern sheets" besides cane slices could also qualify as "fabric")

fabric printed with patterns/images using an inkjet printer
...(diff. from ironing-on images from "transfer" papers onto fabric, or clay)

There are at least two ways to print an inkjet image directly onto fabric... you can purchase ready-made fabric sheets which are pre-treated with ink fixative for washability and colorfastness then bonded to a sheet of paper, or you can treat your own fabric then back it yourself.

fabric-backed paper ... piece of white fabric (pre-treated with an ink fixative) bonded to paper (the paper holds the fabric stable as it moves through the printer)
...print directly onto fabric... paper will be removed later (after ink is dry)... then ready to use
...add an image to polymer clay or to other surfaces
...after printing the image, cut it out and peel off the paper backing (the image is always perfect on the fabric)...need to let sit 24 hrs?
.......(decoupage) to apply it to your unbaked polymer project, coat the back of the fabric with liquid clay, and then also the front of the fabric with a thin coat ...bake (image will be permanently attched to the clay). Dotty in CA
I have used some of the sheets for photos... you have to be sure to let them dry thoroughly. I let them dry overnight... then heat set, then rinse in warm water in sink (I dry them with a hair dryer. Then heat set with iron again to be sure). (I did have a problem with them running before I let them dry well). Gma
...there are different kinds of fabric-backed paper?... regular cotton fabric is stiffer, whereas "silk" or ?? is more supple and thin?
...some of the fabric sheets are stiff which I don't like. I believe Printed Treasures are supposed to stay soft (silk??). Gma
...can purchase in fabric stores, quilt stores, and craft stores?
Jacquard's version
.......the silk is impregnated, UV resistant, and more supple ... the cotton is just plain cotton??
other brands:
(be sure and read the packages to see if the fabric has been pretreated or not)

OR treat your own fabric for inkjet printing ... (then back it with freezer paper --or with reg. paper or cardstock)
...most (quilters) use a bottled product called Bubble Jet Set to treat fabric for printing images onto's the most economical way to go and the results are great (for the same price as a package of 6 sheets, you can buy a bottle of the BJS and treat about 6-7 yards of fabric... it's easy to use too. Quilts 'R Fun
...cut fabric a little larger than your printer will accept... soak in BJS
...adhere the dried fabric to freezer paper** (shiny side) well with an iron (so there will be no bubbles underneath)
....OR can adhere to ordinary paper or to cardstock with a repositionable spray adhesive (one that works well is 3M's PhotoMount ... "embroidery" sprays may also work)
.. run through inkjet printer (do not use laser printer) ... can re-use freezer paper a few times
...instructions on the bottle tell you to gently wash the fabric after the ink has fully dried.
...I usually put all of my fabric sheets in the sink at the same time with a couple of drops of dish soap (Joy, Dove, Palmolive as long as it's mild) and wash them all by hand.
......don't freak out when you do this because there will be excess ink coming off in the water (the photo won't come off, and it won't transfer color to other areas). I wash each one, I'll squeeze out the excess water (not wring) and put them in a bowl, then drain the sink, put the fabric back in the sink (rinse the bowl well) sure to rinse very thoroughly and get all the excess ink and soap out of the fabric (or when you press the sheet after it dries, the soap residue will yellow the fabric) MSC
....then you can toss in the dryer if you have several, or just iron dry (no steam) if there are just a few... then they're ready to use.
(more info and purchasing: and
**they also have a heavy duty freezer paper which doesn't roll and curl as much as the regular stuff so a bit easier to handle



Barbara McGuire's lesson on making a leather "collar" necklace with glued-on flat decorative clay shapes (white glue... she uses Crafter’s Pick Ultimate Tacky Glue)... she also softens the sharp edges of the leather (or 5-6 oz. veg-tan leather) piece with an edge beveling tool (or a flat-ish linoeum cutter?) and stamps with metallic pigment ink before adding her raw (mica shift) clay shapes... closes clasp and bakes clay and leather together... adds leather sheen product for shine,1789,HGTV_3238_2227747,00.html
....suggestion for getting leather really cheap: look in thrift stores (e.g. Goodwill) for old coats, vests, etc., and then cut them up. You'd be surprised what you can buy for $5! Suzanne
...see Barbara's leather purse made over wire lampshade frame, with clay finial in Misc. > Purses

Threads, fibers, yarn + cross-stitch, needlepoint, etc.

Is yarn bakable? ...also, crochet cotton (#10) and stuff like that? (I want to use them as hair on clay figures)
...try some test baking: cut off snips of various yarns and bake, preferably on a non-metal surface such as a piece of manilla folder. LynnDel
...any natural fiber should be fine as long as its dry.

I bake DMC metallic floss into my clay things all the time . . .Shaneangel you wrap things with the floss, or just cut up the floss and add as an inclusion?..... I think it would be fun to do some tiny little clay worry dolls! Diane B.

collages using fibers with stamped and often metallic-powdered clays

fibers are also often used for wrapping, or tassels with clay vessels or vessel pendants
...Carol B's tassel cover (over wood form)

many bottles (med. and small) covered with mixed media including transfers, beads, fibers, etc.

Wigjig's lesson on making a twisted and coiled cord from wire and fiber (or other cording)
--they use a colored wire and twist it with a (gold) cord; the resulting twisted cord is then wrapped around a thin rod to create a coiled cord
Wigjig's lesson on mixing specialty fibers with wire (twisting, coiling, necklace, etc.)

simulating cross-stitch or needlepoint patterns (or those dots-of-fabric-paint technique for sweatshirts)
.... can recreate these patterns by making cross stitch canes... or onlaying baked clay "tiles" onto a base clay sheet
one of the gals had a garlic press that extruded square snakes
.....she was doing the most wonderful canes in cross stitch pattern. I found one at one of the big local linen and kitchen ware stores. It's one of the cheaper presses--nothing too fancy.
....(I've made clay) 'cartoon' animals, photographed them, and then converted them to cross-stitch patterns..
.....What a neat idea. ..I had thought of using some of my old photos to make canes before, but never thought of cross stitch or mosaics, etc
(see more in Mosaics, and maybe below in Seed Beads)

spirella, spirelli ("string art")

(spirella, spirelli) ....I've recenly tried a new craft ...winding threads on a (shape) to create geometric patterns .....the threads are held in place by tension once wrapped around the shape (& I also use a varnish as extra protection)
...I wondered if it would be possible to scale the process down to pendant-sized pieces using polymer clay instead of cardstock
...lesson: I made a few relatively simple flat shapes from clay (none larger than about 4cm) ---squares, circles, triangles etc.
...for each raw shape, I cut regular slots into the clay all around the outer edge
......I use either a blade (X-Acto type) ...or mounted needles I made (set in groups of 3, 4, or 5 in a row at about 1.5- 2mm intervals, into clay handles)...these work faster, but if the clay sheet is thicker than 2-3mm, the needles tend to distort it too much so I use the blade
...after baking, I've found that some of the slots have closed up so I just redo them all with an old thin tissue blade.
...threading is done after baking... I use a continuous length which is wound around the clay shape
......I ordered some thread online which was called 'metallic machine-thread' in silver and gold (if it stood up to use on a machine, I thought it would be strong)
polyamide/polyester blends seem to work well (and are cheap) --like these
... could use any thread, but beware ...some of the ones with actual metal foil wrapped around a thread core can fall apart as one applies them.
...for the thread ends, I tie a large knot into the end of the thread when I start... at the end of the winding process, I just tuck the loose end under the threads at the back (the slots are so tight, it's held in place). any case, I flood the whole piece with diluted spirit varnish (Fimo's alcohol-based sealer --non-water-based) which holds everything where I left it!... it sort of creeps into the body of the threads by a wicking effect....when it's dry, the thread's a lot less flexible than the untreated pieces and I hope it's less likely to come adrift from the clay (the slots are varnished too of course - so that helps the whole stability also)
...... I'd imagine that undiluted Future would do the same job as my diluted varnish - but you could let it down with a little water if you found that it wasn't wetting the threads properly when it's applied neat.
......there's no reason why you couldn't use epoxy-based varnish (like Flecto?) (I've used crystalcote on other pieces) to encapsulate the whole piece - but watch out for the dreaded bubbles which could well come from trapped air in the body of the threads & have a needle handy to pop them. Alan V.

I used to teach middle school math and we would do this technique on cardboard
...(some lessons & info )
....simple to fancier geometrics ...esp. for kids, but for anyone! .... (6th graders)
...odd shapes, for image components.
...simple lesson on doing spirella on card stock (large zigzag edges)
...lots of fancier string art... stars, images, etc.. (click on left categories)

any shape can be used as a base for string art
...a hole of some size and shape is created in the center from wrapping the traditional way, but if farther-apart slots were threaded they could also cross over the center area leaving no hole
..."notches" in the edges can be slots like Alan's... but cardstock notches are often scalloped or zigzaged
.....could use pinking shears or rotary blade, or deckle scissors?
.....slots are numbered, for some of these anyway, to keep things unconfused, but be sure they're all marked on the underside
..thread or string that is too thin breaks easily; string that is too thick is hard to work with and takes away from the intricate designs that you've created.
.......DMC metallic threads ..cotton crochet thread ...embroidery thread ....are 3 which are suggested but one site says "string or thread that contains polyester tends to
stretch over time so it is NOT a good choice?
...using lengths longer than 4 feet are often hard to work with because they tend to get tangled.

In the centers of some my polymer clay ones, I put dried flower 'lenses' (slightly domed).....I didn't bake the 'lenses' with the clay though.
...these dried flower lenses are sold as greeting card embellishments (real dried flowers, encased in a plastic dome which has an adhesive back) which are called mini gem stickers ....(NOTE: same company makes a similar set of dried flower discs but those have no plastic 'lenses' covering them (are not domed) -they're just a laminated flat disc which holds the flowers.)..Alan V.

see also Japanese temari balls for a 3-D version of similar wrapping ...


angeli's embroidery through holes in flattish baked polymer clay and embroidery threads/cords/etc... strong clay, strong threads required for the pulling necessary
...stamping into raw clay, then making holes which follow outline of part of stamp design, for embroidering through

Knitting, .Crochet

Jean Hornberger "covered" some of her polymer beads with real crochet (very fine stitch & cording/thread?), often allowing the color of the clay underneath to show through, and sometimes using multicolored threads
...she used various shapes and sizes of clay beads, even spacer beads
...often adds large, clay end caps to the both sides of each bead (where holes are)... often a plain one, then a patterned one on top (one even has cones for the outer end caps) (white)
...beadizzygrl's lessons on crocheting around wood balls and pony beads to make beads +necklaes made with them
........she crochets a hemisphere, lays the bead into it, then crochets up around the other half of the bead
.........It sounds hard adding the bead to crochet the last 2-3 rows, but it is not as hard as it sounds. Since I used a teenie tiny size 9 crochet hook, you can grab that back loop in each stitch fairly easy.... If the stitch is too snug to grab, I use my tapestry needle to lift loop a little for easier grabbing. beadizzygrl Gina
....(for actually crocheting with strands of clay, see Clay Guns > Crocheting)

point protectors for knitting needles ...point protectors are like "end caps" for the pointed ends of needles
...will act as "stops" to keep the completed knitting from sliding off when not being worked on
...protectors can be made from regular or flexible polymer clays (or a mixture), and can be created much like any bead (see Beads)
...the hole (made in one end of the bead/cap) should be long enough for the protectors not to fall off easily, and also tight enough to need pulling or twisting off (having a long enough hole should prevent the protectors from falling off accidentally... short holes might be a problem)......however, the hole could also go all the way through the protector bead and still be tight enough to grab the needle (but then wouldn't be quite an "end"cap)
....form the bead or shape you want, cool the shape if clay is warm....drill a pilot hole with a toothpick or pin where you want it .... then gently screw the bead or shape onto the end of the knitting needle and snug it to the needle if necessary... bake the protector in place if the needle is metal or wood (or gently remove and bake separately if it's a plastic that could deform at 275 degrees).... cool protector on the needle... to remove, twist while removing if the hole is long
....colorful examples of knitting needle protectors in various shapes (round "beads" and cones) with onlays
......these are made in only two "basic" hole sizes though (small hole fits up to # 8 needles; large hole fits # 9-13 needles)

Petra's patterned permanent clay ball beads for the ends of bamboo knitting needles ..

for covering the handle area of crochet needles, etc., with clay and with other materials, see Tools > Handles, and Disabilities > Tools

stitch markers...
(defnition: stitch markers are for knitting.... you place them on your knitting needles to help keep track of where you are in the work. You can place them at the begining/end to know where you start/finish, or you can place them every 10-20 stitches --helpful if you have a LOT of stitches on the needles....I placed them where the sleeves would go once when making a jacket so I knew where to start my decreases. knittychick)
.... each marker could be a small clay bead, clay slice, or miniature, etc. ... each should have a wire loop large enough to fit over a knitting needle (to mark the place in the stitches)... the "neck" of wire or small beads is usually medium-length or longer so that it will hang easily
Geraldine's lesson on making medium-necked stitch markers with thick cane slices
....she passes a wire pin all the way through a thick cane slice ...then wraps the excess wire twice around the knitting needle she'll be using
....(she actually makes hers a bit fancier by making a loop in the top of the excess wire then connecting a separate double jump ring --made around her needle, as above--) to it so the slice will dangle freely... and she also uses a wire eye pin rather than a head pin so she can dangle other beads from the bottom of the slice
...(part of the lesson is on making "dot slices" with a clay gun --see ClayGuns> Automatically Wrapped Canes-- but could use thick slices from any cane)
...(the round-slice markers at bottom of page have their needle loops created from the original excess wire, and don't dangle at that joint though ... for making those, see Wire > Basic Wire Shapes > "wrapped loops")

...for crocheting with strands of polymer clay, see Clay Guns > Crochet

...for making buttons to use on knitted or crocheted items, see Buttons

(for few more instances of crochet, see just below in Weaving)

Macrame + Knotting ... Weaving + Basketry

Naamaza's tote purse made from 9 polymer tiles held together with jute? twine ... each tile has 16 holes and twine is run through each one 3 times... one row of crochet? between each?

Monica's lesson on a macrame ring and cane slice
....lesson shows how to macrame some black cotton cording into a wide ring band... then hold a cane slice onto the front side of the band by placing an identical cane slice on the back side of the band, and pressing the edges of the two cane slices together around it... then baking

the new macrame!
Jeanne's macrame necklace (neck piece) using some large polymer beads (multicolored) (and also smaller glass & metal beads)
...the knots I used in the piece are just the basic knots (square knot, diagonal double half hitch, and half knot twist spiral)
....I used cord that I ordered from Whiteswan ... think it's conso
(Nylon Hand Sewing Thread ....used to sew buttons onto thick cushions by upholsterers..... smooth, shiny, holds the knots well but also is fairly easy to untie ...stiff, yet fine enough to fit through most 11/0 seed beads...ends can be melted... at least 20 shades (2 oz spools, approx.130 yds)

more macrame...mostly necklaces ---using leather, hemp or polyester knotting cord ...
more macrame photos (and lessons, if join)

kumihimo braiding and other knotting techniques (especially the "cabochon setting" ...knotting over and around a large cabochon type bead)
.... another venue for polymer beads ...I love the cords I've made so far. ...unless you want to buy lampwork beads with large holes, there really aren't a lot of neat beads that will go on them so I'll make some polymer beads to compliment the cords. A lot of the people in the classes were wishing that there were more neat beads to choose from to string on the kumihimo, and our polymer beads are perfect for that. Audrey (kumihimo)
...I love being able to weave cord to match my beads
.......filament silk thread is traditional for these, but I find that even rayon embroidery floss makes beautiful cord. Patty B.
...Kumihimo is actually weaving cord on a Marudai (round weaving stand) using Tama (wood bobbins)and a counter weight.
.....books can show you how to make your own weaving stand and substitutes for the bobbins by Jacqui Carey is titled "Beads & Braids"....various ways to use beads with the braid (includes 9 diagrams for making round, flat, spiral, rectangle and square cords which are easy to learn). way to use beads with kumihimo is just stringing beads (or a pendant) on after the braid is made'll need fairly large holes in the beads
.......other techniques are adding beads during braiding...weaving with pre-beaded threads... and before braiding. really learn about Kumihimo, then get Rodrick Owen's book, "Braids, 250 Patterns from Japan, Peru & Beyond."
..kumihimo inro cords are shockingly expensive to buy (the thinner braid of only 4 bobbins is most commonly used for holding an Inro with its Ojime "bead" closure and Netsuke "toggle") Patty B.
(for more on purchased braided cordining, see Pendants & Cording > Cording)

"tablet weaving" creates long strips of woven cording (like a belt or strap).... lots of patterns (simple to more complex)
... could be used with clay or clay beads? (scroll down and click on Table Weaving) (galleries)
... little equipment needed (one version is backstrapped weaving)
.......we could also make the equipment ("tablets" which are rounded flat squares with 4 holes punched out, and "shuttle" for holding the cording) from clay?

Josephine Kershner-Veal's wall hangings and collar-type necklace made with clay and wire, beads, bone, feathers, stone, glass, grapevine, etc (gone?)
...some also use completed sheets of knitted or woven material in a collage (or puzzle-pieced) with clay and other materials (these are glued down to a base sheet of clay with liquid clay or other glues?)

Karen in FL wove wide strips of semi-wood-like mokume gane in with her split ash reeds to make a basket (using the polymer strips as just another set of strips)... hers were all vertical... (calmlakebasketry)
....for more on actually weaving with strips of clay, see ClayGuns > Weaving,etc.

Naama's tote purse made from 9 tiles of polmer clay, held together with jute? twine ... each tile has 16 holes and twine is run through each one 3 times... one row of crochet? between each? (... a little like Xtine's vest)

...for crocheting with polymer strands, see
Clay Guns > Crochet
..for making buttons to use on macramed or woven items, see Buttons

Feathers can also buy many small white, colored, or naturally colored feathers in bags at craft stores, or fewer larger/ fancier feathers ...if you can't find the color you need, you can buy white ones and dye them with ordinary Rit dye. Diane B.

Even the feather duster can't escape our need for adding to the 'clay stuff'. I was making dreamcatchers a while back and needed more feathers than I had on guessed it ...the feather duster got volunteered!! The next time I went to the craft store, the same kind of feathers that were in the duster were being sold for $4.95 in a small bag that had about 8 feathers. You can get a whole feather duster for less than six bucks ..ya get a LOT more feathers and, usually, nicer ones to boot!! michele 'luny'

You can buy special dye for hair and feathers but all you need for your application is Rit fabric dye from K-mart or the drug store. A little goes a long way with feathers. ..Make sure you wash feathers with detergent first and set dye with vinegar at the end...
...Dying feathers----If you have any turkey or chicken ranches close to you ask them to save feathers for you. Wash them first, like human hair, they contain oil. Put them in a pillowcase (preferably zippered) and throw them in the washing machine. You can dry them on a line, (be sure to rotate the pillowcase to help drying the inside), or dry in the dryer as you dry your clothes. Do not dry on high heat.
.... To dye: In a pan put food coloring, water, and vinegar, bring to a boil, and then put in feathers until color desired. Dry thoroughly on a flat surface or you can put one color in a pillowcase.(careful may discolor pillowcase).
.. When you store the feathers, add a few mothballs to prevent the moths from getting into them.
.. or go here to do a professional looking job of it: Dyes intended for natural materials as opposed to fabric dyes seem to be more color fast. 1-800-331-8558 is the # for Hunters' Angling Supplies, they have two different varieties of dye in many different colors. Veniard is the preferred dye. --sunni

KellyK's tribal pins (some using feathers or mixed media) (gone?)
syndee's lesson on making Mardi Gras mask pins from Pearl-Exed mold faces, adding feathers, sequins and pinback after baking

polymer Native American face with many feathers around it, at PCC Claypen...elegant
Debbie J's feathers at bottom of African-look pendant
Karen's Featherbutts ...funny birds made with eggs to which clay feet, eyes and nose attached... real feathers stuck onto bodies (wings, tail, and crest)
Maer's funny birds with feathers sticking out of tail and top of head...made with clay bodies and heads (twisted wire legs & neck hold them together)

sunni's dragons with feathers for 2 wings and for "mane"
Michele's Fairy Dragons using real feathers (painted) (website gone)
sunni's tiny "spice" bottles with feathers for Wizard's Pantry Swap
kelly's tiny Bottles of Hope with crystal bead stoppers and wire/feather/bead extrusions (website gone)
Donna W's miniature fish " bones " (a white feather), head and tail polymer clay looks like you've used glitter hot glue or glitter fabric or paper paint to hold the feathers on.
Hi Diane! It's Tulip fabric paint with glitter in it and it stays on quite well. I had it left over from fabric painting days...In fact, I tested, and it requires real effort to scratch and peel it off, tho it can be done. Sarajane
(I'm asuming that you just dripped it on, or did you scratch the surace first?)
Well, I squoze it. Squeezed? yes, I squeezed the tube. No scratching. It probably would work for faux enamel/cloisonne--I only had gold and silver, so I never messed with it much! SJ

(see more on paints in Painting)

I've made sheet molds from real feathers (I used Sculpey Bake and Bend clay because it's soft) can use those to mold raw clay, then make a raised feather, cut it out, antique it or whatever.
...lesson: Roll a sheet of B&B to 1/2 your pasta machine's largest thickness. Generously powder with cornstarch. Roll the clay and feather through and bake the mold. Then use the mold against another sheet of clay same thickness. Roll through pm together and don't forget to cornstarch the raw sheet. Patti K.

it is illegal in the united states and territories to possess feathers of any bird covered under the migratory birds safety act (or whatever they call that) regardless of how you came by them: gift, windfall, purchase, roadkill or hunting.
. that actually covers almost all birds that are not on the list of avians for hunting! so if you have illegal feathers...and use them, be circumspect with whom you share them. my source for this information was the local federal wildlife marshall when i was seriously eyeing the gorgeous roadkill owls. the only exemption to this law are native americans who use various feathers for ceremonies. Sunni
....As for the (laws) about feathers. No urban legend here. There actually was an artist in Michigan a few years ago who had to surrender a painting in which she incorporated two pheasant feathers she found walking in the woods...She also had to pay a hefty fine on top of it. I lived in California when I heard about this so I called the Fish and Game people to find out the truth. ...You cannot use the feathers of any wild bird in art or jewelry whether the piece is for sale or not. You must buy the feathers from a bird farm or from a commercial source such as Hobby Lobby etc. AND. . . you must produce the receipts if asked. Obviously, like most government fiascoes, enforcement would be spotty at best, but that is the law. jessica


Flocking can be applied to the surface of:
...baked polymer clay (or clay first covered with matte or gloss acrylic finish till tacky, or tacky white glue, etc.)
.......inside boxes (or underneath bottom for protection) ... on back of pins/pendants design areas
.......on animals with short fur or areas of short fur, or to represent feathers on animals
.......on other fuzzy things in nature or in scenes (like model rr grass, etc).
.... non-polymer surfaces... like metal Altoid box interiors
Craftflocking (online).....many colors, lessons, and examples of ways to use flocking

MAKE YOUR OWN flocking:
Kerri P's lesson on making flocking from natural fibers like alpaca, kid mohair, silk and wool (knitting shops,etc) (could also use fiber "rovings")
...tie a number of strands together in a knot to hold all together, then comb out ends of fiber with fine-tooth metal eyebrow comb (e.g. Chanel 9)
...cut off shortest lengths possible (almost powderlike) into a container
...apply tacky white glue to small areas with paintbrush (beginning with least important areas?)
...moisten finger on damp towel, then press into flocking flocking lightly onto glued area and repeat with more flocking till glue covered, letting dry a bit as continuing
PURCHASED flocking:
...some colors should be available at hobby stores where supplies for making model rr and other scenes are sold (grass, leaves, etc.) hobby stores, look in the scale models area for model car upholstery
...probably also at local hunting supply stores (decoys, etc.?)
...I saw some flocking in the Michael's craft store the other day. It came with a dry colored flocking material in a bottle and a bottle of colored adhesive. You painted the item you wanted with the glue, then dropped in the flocking and swirled it around and dumped out the left over flocking, like you would do if you glittered something (can't find there any longer?)
Plaid stopped making Soft Flock (which came with a puffer bottle)
....(now) I actually buy my flock on ebay from a store that sells it mainly for making hunting decoys --that store sells all kinds of colours and quantities (and tthe decoy flock works well ! jennywren

...wear a dust mask since these tiny fibers can easily become airborne... can work in a large container lined with plastic bag or a plastic bowl
...when applying non-white flocking, can add a bit of acrylic paint of the same color to the tacky glue. Kerri
...since the surface can sometimes be seen a little through the final flocking, it can be good use the same color clay (with a clear adhesive) orsame color acrylic paint as the color of the flocking itself
... to spray on the flocking fibers....fill applicator (any plastic squeeze bottle with nozzle-type tip) only up to 1/2 full... then spray fibers on 8-10" from the item, keeping the same angle at all times (45 degrees)
...apply more fibers than you think you'll need
....adhesives:.... should be able to use many adhesives as long as they can be applied evenly and generously (acrylic glues/white glues/tacky glues, acrylic paint, acrylic sealers like Varathane --matte or gloss.... apply mised into these mediums, or after applying medium allow to dry to tacky stage then apply)
....must seal any surface first which might be the slightest bit porous before applying flocking ... (metals, glass and more plastics won't need a sealer, but rough up a bit if very slick surface)
....a fine mist of matte medium over the flock once the adhesive has dried can further help bond the flock to the item
...drying: let dry 10-15 hrs, do not disturb while drying... full cure in 72 hrs
...clean up: shake item over box or bowl... to reclaim excess fibers, wipe from bowl with dry, clean, soft brush wipe
... can vacuum to clean up... do not leave any fibers in applicator or will mix with next color

more info and lessons re flocking:

Dried Nature

twigs ..... rocks ... bones .... flowers & plants ....gourds

Cheryl's tiny mouse made with a pussy willow body?, to which a polymer head and tail are attached

fabulous (high art) figures with twigs used as woven cages or in bundles for torsos... other bark, pieces of gourds, moss, bits of nature, and other mixed media (the rest isn't polymer, but it could be) ...Akira and Larry Blount (look all around)

Dar's dried-bean-pod "body" covered with clay, with face attached (mold)

's lesson on using silica gel to dry a large okra pod (may take 3+ days), then covering the dried pod with clay to make a lizard

Kevin also uses bark, twigs, moss, grass, acorn caps, and all kinds of other natural materials in the photos at his website! (woodland banquet) (look all around his website!)

(see also Covering > Wood > "Sticks, etc" for covering sticks, pods, corks, nutshells)

Kevin Buntin makes 3-D "carved" wood heads (with pine cones as hats and moss for hair)... don't know if these are real wood or not, but could be done as faux wood too... color could be added in the same ways we'd color the suface of a flesh-colored face ....(see "Wood" below for more on wood in particular)
...various "coneheads" ... pinecone "hair/hats" on clay heads ... from recent Klew retreat, at Kim K's site
Connie at SBPCG cleverly utilized a pine cone as the body of a turkey ...and polymer clay for feathers and tennis shoes.

Glenna put some of her sculpted clay roses on dried sphagnum moss? or other material which was simulating a topiary

small rocks, glued together and painted to create these figures and other sculpts (silicone glue like E-6000/Goop, or even stronger Gorilla Glue, etc.."cement glue" suggested by one)
... polymer items could be added to the rocks... or just use these ideas for polymer inspiration (stonecraft)
(lessons & info) suggests holding the rocks together temporarily while creating the figures or other sculptures with a non-drying clay (though bread clay is mentioned, it definitely will dry but not immediately... could use polymer clay or modeling clay more easily?) ...

Selkie's polymer faces in framed collages ... other collage elements are nature objects, moss, etc.)

Mary Lamoray's painted rock (curled up deer)... surrounded by polymer leaves and other forest floor stuff

Suzanne dipped a turkey neck bone in liquid clay for a necklace component

I work with Sculpey's SuperFlex (Bake and Bend) clay all the time. Yes, it's tacky and somewhat greasy, but it's a problem solver. I use it ...for flexible sheet molds that can be run through the pasta machine. . . Katherine Dewey
...I use Bake & Bend for thinner molds in sheets which use low-relief textures and items. I recommend it for my leaf molds, and texture sheets. ...It is extremely durable and flexible and when the sheet mold is thin enough to go through the pasta machine with more clay. . . It can be used for thicker pieces also, such as molding a button or such, but it will not be as flexible in the thicker pieces as MoldMaker is. Patti K.
... or use for any nature objects such as twigs, seedpods, etc.

(....for all info on using gourds with polymer clay, see Covering > Wood > Gourds )

(just) dried/pressed flowers, leaves, pods, etc.

(for info on using liquid clay as "decoupage" for dried-pressed ferns, leaves, and flowers on baked clay, see this page under two categories: Liquid Clay > Strengthener ... also Plants & Flowers, etc. (decoupage, dipping)

pressed-flower collages ...mostly on greeting cards ...
many more:
...collages could also be created on baked clay
...collages could also be framed, or used as embellishment on notebook or album covers, or adhered to votives, or made into bookmarks,etc.

component pieces of flowers, leaves, etc. could be used in various ways too by carefully taking flowers apart, then press-drying the parts separately, and finally gluing them back together on a surface to make patterns or images
....component pieces of pressed flowers used to create figures --in this case, dried in a microwave (see below), then (white-)glued onto watercolor paper with a paintbrush,1789,HGTV_3255_3685369,00.html (Suzanne Shelton)

Another way to use a pressed flower might be to put a very thin layer of translucent clay over it, then bake
--but be sure that you've dried out every tiny bit of moisture from the flower because any steam created during baking will cause bubbles under or in the clay and/or plaquing
........(to increase the transparency of the translucent clay when it's used this way, use the thinnest layer of translucent possible, and the clearest translucent brand and type, and possibly also use ice-water "quenching"...then also sand and buff the clay (and/or using a clear sealer) --otherwise the translucent clay will be frosty looking (see Translucents > Clearest Results). Diane B.
.....thin translucent over flowers, plus molded filigree on top
....I've also put dried flowers between translucent clay--then run 'em through the pasta machine...they do break up, but look cool!~ deb

for info on using flakes of dried organic material (leaves, flower petals, herbs, etc.), and also powders such as ground spices (often inside or under translucent clay, see Inclusions)

I dipped some (not pressed?) dried flowers in liquid clay , let it drip down/off as much as it was going to, then baked it.... It turned out ok, not perfect. Lots of places the TLS was too thick and milky-colored. Kelly use either Kato or Fimo liquid clay because they're clearer? ...or brush off excess so it's thinner?
...I dipped some (stems of) grass seed into very diluted Transparent Liquid Sculpey (TLS), laid them on a the front of small clay-covered bottle, and rebaked it ....the grass toasted just a tiny bit giving it a more delightful golden color. Kim K.
(for more using liquid clay as decoupage for dried-pressed ferns, leaves, and flowers on baked clay,
see Liquid Clay > Strengthener ...and also same page > "Plants & Flowers, etc. (decoupage, dipping)"

While making some stoppers for my BOH the other day, I happened upon a bunch of flower & plant material I'd pressed in my Microfleur several years ago with my son (fun!)....I'd never done anything with some the finished ones so they were stuck away in a drawer.
....I saw several brown flowers (?) on a stiff stalk about 1 1/2" tall which I thought would work well for my orangey brown BOH stopper, so I dipped it a couple of times in clear Varathane to give it a glossy finish and to strengthen it a bit... when it dried completely, I stuck the stem into a faux cork stopper bead as a "finial" for the stopper .... I know it wouldn't stand up to rough handling, but it should be fine for anyone half careful with it, I think.... next time, I might use liquid clay as one of the layers for extra strength (it's the orange one with "cork" stopper)
....(I'm also not sure if I baked it after Varathaning or not now...would probably add even more strength ...see Finishes > Varathane for info on gloss, vs, satin, etc.)

other ideas:
...clay depressions:
.....glue your pressed flowers in a depressed area to protect them a bit (...or just to any baked clay surface)
.....pour Varathane or a two-part epoxy resin over dried material placed into a depression
(from there, leave as is, or cover pressed item with a microscope slide or other bit of glass in the depression)
...cover with glass, then surround it with an upraised frame
.....these could have other polymer onlays added to them on top or around the glass as well
.....(for more info: see Covering >Glass>Other for slides... Onlay... Mosaics-Inlays ...Frames)

Sherri's lesson on putting a thick layer of 2-pt epoxy resin (Envirotex Lite) over a whole pressed flower on baked polymer clay (after adhering it onto baked clay with white glue... drying...then sealing with more glue ....finally applying resin in center over flower, spreading to edges with toothpick--will cure somewhat dimensional) (must hv. Amazon acct to view... after logging in, use this Go on left..."retro" book)

...if gluing is done after baking, you can use various kinds of glues (including "white" glues)
...if gluing before baking, liquid clay in a very thin layer would probably be your best bet, or superglue, or possibly white glue also
(see more on all these glues in Glues-Diluent)

fresh leaves can be used to make impressions in clay, then be cut around and covered with metallic powders to create freesanding metallic leaves
.......or just highlight or color the impression only with metallic powders
.......or antique the impression-depression with paints
....or fresh leaves can be used as a "mask" over a sheet of Skinner blend clay so that metallic powders can be applied everywhere but the leaf shape, as a background
.....for those two techniques, see Powders > Mica Powders > Stamping & Texturing
.........and also Powders > Mike B's Masked Leaves)

transfers made from photos or scans of pressed flowers, could also be used in ways similar to any other polymer transfer
(see Transfers)

(...for pressed flowers which can be purchased already encased in very small clear (plastic or glass?) discs which are flat or domed "lenses," see above under Fabric, in "Threads & String Art")

quick-drying flowers & plant material... in a microwave (Microfleur, etc.)

Flowers and other plant materials can be quick-dried in a microwave
...a special unit called a Microfleur can be purchased to do this
...or it can be done with ceramic plates and paper towels, etc., without a special unit
more info
on Microfleur and places to buy one... plus more info drying .....

selecting best flowers for drying in microwave:
....pick after dew has evaporated and before blooms have fully opened
........iIf you won't be able to start the drying process immediately, place the cut flowers in a bucket of lukewarm water to keep the flowers from wilting. Place the bucket in a cool, dry place
.....those with a strong stem
... those which are low moisture (thick petals or fleshy stems aren't best for microwave --e.g., magnolia, hyacinth)
....those which are compact (flowers with multiple petals like roses, hydrangeas)
... remove imperfections --wilted petals, curled leaves or bruises (will be more obvious after drying), and stamens with pollen (will stain) color after drying will result from:
...... stronger colors
(blue, yellow, red, orange, plus pink buds) are best (...paler shades tend to fade after a few months, and may even discolour slightly in the press)
......newer blooms rather than older blooms

storing after drying:
....(UV) sunlight and fluorescent lights will cause fading more quickly

all kinds of power levels & times for the microwave are suggested in various places (from med. low to high... and from 10 seconds to 4 minutes)
so you'll just have to experiment, on less important specimens though)
lesson: and dry a paper towel (or two) on top of a plate, then place flower on toweling... add another paper towel (or 2) on top of that a second plate on top of your last paper towel
.... microwave for 15-30 seconds (high?)... check to see if they are dry.
........if not, re-microwave them at 15-30 second increments until they are dry (if paper towels become too damp, replace with dry ones)
.....can also use blotter paper, but still use paper towel next to flower
...can microwave multiple flowers at one time if they aren't overlapped (but takes a bit longer, and some color may be lost)
...may be best to let flowers continue drying after microwaving for awhile (even overnight) to get rid of all moisture in thicker areas
..dry flowers so they stay dimensional and dry by using a drying agent around them
........silica gel, kitty litter, or sand (fine builder's sand, silica sand), or (2 to 1) borax + white cornmeal
....cover flowers gently...cover container, put in microwave next to small bowl or 1 c of water to prevent excessive drying...set to defrost? or high (2-4 min.) ....after microwaving, let flowers sit in the dessicant (lid slightly cracked) overnight
....OR place flower in glass half-filled with silica gel, then gently cover with additional gel crystals. A cup of water
...... microwave on high power for 1 minute for most flowers, but some experimentation will be necessary... allow to cool before pouring gel out and removing flowers.

Wood and workworking

(see also just above in Dried nature, twigs, etc.)

There are actually many ways to incorporate polymer with woodworking, and with the whole subject of wood! . . .Here's a sampling of things that could have to do with wood, along with the pages here that will have more info on each:

-- insetting... mosaics & micromosaics....also marquetry, parquetry, etc.--Mosaics & Inlay
......e.g., stairs & bowls with inlaid polymer & be careful when trying to fit a *large*, or long, flat expanse of raw clay into an exact-fit space though because it can shrink just a bit during baking when large like that (if it's not weighted while baking. etc/)... there's more on that in Characteristics/Clays (under "Shrinkage"). Or bake the clay sheet first, then trim and glue.
..... parquetry (FimoBob's)
......I can also see insetting polymer into the "holes" of wood fret work like here, or backing them with a sheet of solid or patterned or blended clay which would show through to the top
--covering wood items....and veneering --Covering
......whole tables have even been veneered with polymer
--molded items for onlaying and embellishment --Molds .... Onlay
.......also texturing options: Textures ... Stamping ... Powders (metallic powders & waxes)
--faux wood, faux bark -- Faux Turq.& Wood (see FimoBob's parquetry above, e.g.)
--frames, etc.--Frames, Mirrors & Decorative Tiles
--vessels (boxes --freestanding, covered, etc.) --Vessels
--houses, constructions --Houses, Structures
-gourds, covering and/or embellishing --Covering > Wood > Gourds

ALSO? : covers or notebook covers --Books & Covers
...carving & turning --Carving
...cutters, templates --Cutters
...transfers --Transfers
...covering turned wood pen blanks --Pens
...masks & heads -- Heads, Masks
...other fauxs for inlay or embellishment....Faux-Ivory .... Inclusions ....(in addition to FAUX--TURQUOISE & WOOD)
...kaleidoscopes --Kaleidoscopes
...outdoor uses?? --Outdoor, Fountains, Globes

Metal (& wire)

~(Stainless Steel, Copper, Brass & Aluminum) Sizes and shapes of chips vary from sm. fragments to curly, corkscrew shapes, and anything in between. Unusual and charming… my husband owns a metal working shop. The scrap pieces that the shop produce are PERFECT for collage!
To Buy: If you would like a "mixed bag" of assorted metal chips, (quart size ziploc bag) we charge $10 plus $3 shipping to anywhere in the 48 states of the USA. Shipping extra to Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and overseas.
To Trade: I will trade for artistamps, old mail, stamps, (international, used or new) rubberstamps: ethnic/tribal, goddess & dancing, beads, ethnic looking jewelry, masks, handmade and/or beautiful papers and envelopes.If interested you can contact me directly at: Shoshana

We (my assistant Sue and I) did manage to stop them using clay long enough to make an experimental bead/brooch using metal, either bronze or copper which was coated with a salt and vinegar paste and which were then enclosed in a shoe box along with a bowl of ammonia and left for some hours. The experiment was a huge success! The oxidisation worked and the pieces emerged covered in this wonderful verdigris patina. Not sure if I actually got pics of all these, so try it yourselves one's easy, cheap and the end result is fantastic. Jenny

Many brass charms! Fanciful Brass:
(go to Gallery page) to see mixed media pieces
watch face dangles pendant by Confabulations
misc. watch parts

Elizabeth K's “Urban Relics” ...pins using bits of found metal to create an artifact look. (crushed screw-top bottle cap inset with glow-in-the-dark polmer clay, beaten metal wire, bone bead stitched on, inlaid ivory, transfers, pieces of burned Altoid tins, laser prints, etc.

(for aluminum flashing figures (cutting, preparing and covering or painting), see Covering > Metal)

Marcia Rocha's funny sculptures using clay & wire (animals, people, things)
Maer's twisted wire legs and necks on birds with clay bodies heads (feathers from tail and top of head)

Laura Balombini's pages with patterned clay sheets over wire mesh, etc., creating the upper bodies of amazing figures, birds, etc. (keep clicking on Next to see more)

(for much more on wire, see whole Wire page... for more on wire mesh, see Armatures-Permanent > Wire Mesh)

Glass, Ceramics, Shell, Mirror, etc.

*Moira's bits of patterned art glass surrounded by polymer for pins

7th-Sense's glass pebbles and clay (click on each votive which has glass pebbles to see many more)
Marie Segal's glass gems embedded in clay of angel ornament's dress
(... see more on glass beads & pebbles, etc., just below in "Beads, Seedbeads ")

catbyte's shards of fine china surrounded and embellished as pin (website gone)

Klew's beads made with polymer on glass or resin beads (varnished 5 times for strength)

Dawn S's sculpted face inside the opening of a large shell

Michele's Santa head using upsidedown clam shell for beard
Jan S's clam shell for angel skirt & lower body

Grant Diffendaffer's shisha mirrors embedded in clay... OR maybe the clay is on top of a large mirror, and it shows through where the square or circular cut-outs are? (see also Onlay/CD shards)

shisha mirror embroidery (India), and it's basic stitch attachment

SEED BEADS (mostly) + other beads

Robin's use of onlay and seed beads, etc.
Cindy P's minibook cover with seed beads and onlay
*Claudine's beautiful seed beed necklaces (not polymer, but definitely inspirational!)

Gerri's seed bead necklaces with polymer mini-book amulet pendants hanging from them, and mixed media
Rebecca N's seed beads and polymer beads necklace!
simple faces with seed bead eyes, on Jan's page
Tinidril's polymer cabochons surrounded by seed bead work (keep clicking forward-arrow until you see them all)
Kellie's polymer cabs surrounded by seed bead work
Barbara M's polymer "stones" (& real stones) surrounded with seed beads
Gail's faces surrounded by seed bead work

Daphne's bottles with encircling seed beads around bare neck & hanging wire spirals, etc.
Margot's (covered) vessels with lids using beads & wire, etc.
Lori G's semi-lesson on using beads with polymer clay (making holes, etc.)
Cris's hair/hats/wraps embellishment on (could be polymer) faces (gone)

All-clay (seed beads)

clay "seed beads" ... baked or raw can get a lovely effect of seed beads by rolling a thin snake of raw clay, chopping off tiny squares of it, giving each a quick roll with a finger into a ball shape
... use a blunt darning needle tool to pick them up one by one and poke them onto your raw clay surface (this should also create the "hole" in each one)
(.......these raw clay balls will stick better than glass beads to clay without a layer of glue, etc.)
......after baking, get a gloss surface on these by coating them with Future, etc. which will give the effect of real glass beads.
Helen F.
...Sherry B's tiny balls mosaic

(pre-baked clay balls could also be used, but would need to be glued to the clay or other surface using liquid clay, white glue, etc.)

A different simulation of rows of seed beads --curved or straight-- are used for some clay ropes of faux Balinese Filigree .... perpendicular lines are impressed along the rope, creating a line of "tiny tiles" ... or a circular "stamp" like a ballpoint pen part are impressed along the rope which looks more like a line of small round beads (see Clay Gun > Balinese Filigree)also see, in Onlay > Balinese Filigree
....Grove and Grove's similar faux mosaic technique created mostly by impressing and/or texturing long clay ropes repeatedly, so they resemble a "line of tiles" as they are laid on a base sheet (fish)...gone

Attaching (non-clay beads, pearls)

glass beads will bake with the clay just fineAny beads that are baked with the clay must usually be glass
.... some plastic beads may work too --especially if somewhat protected and/or not baked too long... experiment first if you want to try it

for plastic beads, you can always create an impression in the raw clay where you want the bead and remove it ... bake the clay... then glue the bead back in in afterward
.... or wire or thread/sew them onto or into the clay
... or for small ones, add a layer of clear finish or 2-pt. resin over the top of clay and beads
...most pearls purchased at a craft store are plastic and can't be baked....baking (real?) pearls will also change the color at certain temperatures, I am not sure how high though....however, it's a really interesting effect you can get by sort of toasting them. Gail

There are several ways to attach or embed small or medium-size non-clay beads (also "gems", glass pebbles, pearls, etc.) to polymer clay
...the beads can also be placed as individual beads, in strings, or as solid areas of many beads (see more below)

(esp.for seed beads)

"Glues" of various types can be used before or after baking ...and also alone or with other methods (like thread or wire).
....the best way to add a lot of beads to raw clay (as opposed to a bead here and there) is to use an adhesive which can be baked without losing strength

.....translucent liquid clays can be painted on the clay and the beads added to it (if the beads were larger though, more liquid clay might be needed around or over the beads as well) ...they remain sticky and uncured until baked, but are a very strong "glue"
.....Sculpey's Diluent-Softener acts a strong glue too; I think it might work alone in the same way (allow it to sit out on the clay for awhile so it can become a little tacky before you add the beads, if you want). could also use a white glue underneath ... the best one might be Gem Tac or Jewel It, since that type is made to adhere to non-porous surfaces like plastic and metal gems (they bake just fine) ... or perhaps Sobo
...You might want to roughen the surface of the clay also to give the glue more to cling to (if pre-baked)

...other clear finishes and sealers could work too, either under or over the beads (depending on size and type)
.....Future or Varathane could be used under the bead, and/o on top of them
.....clear 2-part resins (and floral "waters") could work too. D
iane B.

(to avoid baking beads)
I would impress the pearl in the raw clay to get a sort of dent where you want, and then remove till after baking and glue in later. take into consideration the irregular shape of some pearls too.... and whether those dents are going to be hard to match up to the pearls later.. if you have a 'longish' dent you are trying to fill with a roundish pearl it might be a problem so perhaps trying to either choose similar shaped pearls, or even keeping track of which ones were where in the soft clay would work. Gail

holeless beads in particular
....tiny, glass beads without holes, in packages/tubes...also called Beedz, Beadlets, micro beads, Micro Marbles, etc.)
...come in clear and colors ..ok to bake since they are glass and
.... can be held onto raw or baked clay with liquid clay (or possibly white glue, esp. Gem Tac), Varathane, Future, etc
....... or just sealed in with a clear finish
or clear 2-pt. resin
.I've been putting Beedz on baked clay with TLS & then rebaking
........(If they stick up too high, the outer surface can be scraped off(?), including the color, but if you get them in right they're fine). Marla
....Try making a deep (stamped?) impression in raw clay... bake... then give it a coat of Varathane making sure its a good thick coat and gets down in the impression... .wipe off the top of the piece, removing the raised-area Varathane coating, but leaving the Varathane in the grooves
...... pour in some beedz, wipe off the strays ... allow to dry
.......very cool effect, especially the metallic beads ...& good way to make the really fancy, reticulated /granulated armor pieces. Sarajane
I brushed a light coat of TLS on the clay, under the spot where I am going to embed the beads... then I pushed the beads gently into the raw TLS treated clay. (I have also just pushed them into the raw clay without the TLS, but I like using the TLS to assure they dont come off.).... I guess you could also push the beads in place then lightly brush a very thin amount over the beads.. . .If you are going to seal the piece with Future or polyacrylic or whatever, the TLS would not really be needed..... I haven't had a problem with the beads coming off after the piece has been finished. Lisa
...could cover an area or a whole object with these tiny beads .......spiff up butterfly wings, etc
........I have used bold (?) Beedz, Pearl Ex & translucent Premo clay to cover a raw clay pen.... I used translucent Premo, brushed in some opal-ish Pearl-ex and rolled the pen in it..... I then rolled the clay-covered pen in the Beedz, and rolled and rolled to get them in deeply.... After curing, I applied two coats of Future, and still no color change or bead loss. Deb
..someone used clear ones to evenly cover an image
...simulate bubbles ......or help with the sparkle of snow/ice. author?
....i used some little red glass hole-less beads as inclusions in some translucent clay once, and the color came off of the beads as I was mixing them in turning the clay pink.... it was an interesting effect but not what i was shooting for.. jen
......different colors may react differently. I suspect the gold or silver may not bleed.
... I did notice that I tried to add some bright shiney metal pink beads one time... during baking the pink disappeared, changing them to silver. Lisa sure not to put clay-with-bead-inclusions through the pasta machine!!

mechanical hold

You can have something which physically comes up around each bead to hold it in place... some may be combined with a "glue" as well.

CLAY ... any clay element (like leaves, little ropes, or other design elements) can be partly overlaid onto the bead well enough to hold it in place

BEZELS ....a real metal bezel, or a faux bezel made from clay (tiny rope, etc., faux metal or not)

could you string your beads on thread... even a few at a time connected by thread might help keep them in? Helen F.
.....long strings of beads could then be attached with a glue method, or tacked down periodically with small wire "staples" like "couching"
.......long strings could also be laid into liquid clay (or be buried later under a clear finish) to simulate Huichol beadwork or peyote, etc.patterns by stringing each row for that pattern, then lining up carefully when placing on the clay and perhaps removing the thread
.......I'm stringing the beads onto a needle and thread, then placing the seed beads with another needle, and just cutting the thread and pulling it (gently!) out of the beads when everything's configured the way I want it to be (single beads touching, or even singly not next to each other?....causing effect
(also see Patterns of Beads below for picking up, placing and manipulating beads with a toothpick, slightly sticky tool, etc.)
...tiny holes can also be created for thread or very thin wire "thread" in raw clay or in baked clay
...baked clay can also be sewn with a sewing machine, so perhaps that could be made to work somehow
(for sewing clay with a machine, see Glues > Sewing)
...or perhaps fabric impregnanted with liquid clay could be used (see Fabric above)

Your bead-framed polymer pins are really nice. . . how do you hold the concentric rows of beaded framing to the polymer discs??? Diane B.
......the clay piece is glued (E-6000) to an iron-on Pelon backing which has been ironed on to plain white paper
......I trim the backing to about an inch beyond the polymer piece and
......then I bead around the clay disc through the backing.
..... after I have completed beading all the rows around the clay, I trim the backing, glue on a pin back and then cover the entire back with ultrasuede or leather, cutting two holes for the ends of the pin back to poke through. (this is a common technique that beaders use with cabochons. I am glad that you like the beaded work; it's my favorite to do.. Cheryl
..Not being a beader I have another question . . . when you say you "bead around the clay disc through the backing," does that mean that you say string on 3-5 beads then put the needle down through the backing, up again with 3-5 more beads, down again, etc.? or do you go down for each bead?
........I'm also wondering if it would work reasonably well to just glue the string of prepared beads onto the backing, with flexible glue, or if that would be hard to get really even-looking. Diane B.
...this is how I sew the beads on ... I bring the thread up from the back, through the backing, string 4 beads, then go from the front to the back
... I backtrack 2 beads, bring the thread through the back to the front again, go through the last 2 beads that were added ... then add 4 more.
...I continue adding beads in groups of four and backtraking through the last two until I have completed a complete circle
......when the innermost circle is completed, I bring the thread up from the back about a half bead width from the completed circle and start my next circular line of beads.
...Bead & Button's website has some projects which feature beading around cabochons ...
this is a variation of the same technique
..... I've never tried gluing the beads on. I think it might actually be harder to glue and get an evenly spaced, neat result than to sew, but I don't really know. Cheryl
(website gone)

...Christy Friesen says to thread the bead on a piece of wire then twist (the wire tails) tightly ...trim wire to the depth of your piece ...insert into raw clay... the twists hold the bead when the clay is cured. Trina (add a bit of liquid clay or glue before inserting?)
.....Christy uses pearls & glass, metal, etc., beads to create her many onlaid, high-relief and 3-D sculpts (all held with wire?)... many diff. wonderful pieces

I wire my beads into the clay too but I usually use several beads in a row so it's not a big deal to thread wire thru them. Susan

Ai Ping Yeh wires freshwater pearls and small beads into tops and interior bottoms of boxlike pins-pendants in various ways
......(one way:) she puts short wire thru the bead, and inserts each leg through a tiny hole drilled in a baked clay sheet...bends the wire tails on the back side of then and adds a little piece of raw clay over each wire to hold it in place....she then drills a hole larger than the bead in her decorative sheet of baked clay which she lays over the bottom sheet , allowing the bead to be halfway in a framing hole ...(she'd found when she glued the beads in they came out if her pins were dropped). I bet this is more tedious than gluing them in.
.....for lessons & more details on Ai Ping's techniques on these, see Vessels > Closed Construction Boxes

Patterns of seed beads + tools
mosaic, Huichol, etc.

Patterns created with Huichol beadwork.... or peyote beading.... or cross-stitch... needlepoint ...Perler beading (...even patterns from coloring books or stained glass patterns), etc., should be reproducible with seed beads or with tiny clay beads, on clay in various ways:

...real Huichol inlay is actually done by pressing seed beads down into a surface covered with a layer of beeswax and pine resin (for extra stickiness)
........their wax layer ends up about half the bead's height... and holes in the beads show (face up)
Donna Kato's lesson on embedding very small seed beads (# 11) into a layer of polymer clay (on a tile) in Huichol patterns...
.......she first scribes a pattern lightly on the #5
clay sheet (for this size bead) with a needle tool
...... then coats it with a bit of liquid clay
.......she places them where desired (pushing each down into clay before removing tool)
.......trims around beads with blade... and bakes & cools
......removes, and glues unit (with liquid clay) onto a raw backing sheet of clay (med.thick) on a tile
......creates frame elements with strips of 1/2" wide #1 thickness clay, and smooths joins
......trims excess clay and bakes, sands, etc (she used
as pins),1789,HGTV_3225_4044790,00.html
...beadizzygrl lays her seed beads in grid and freeform patterns on clay shapes covered with a layer of (TLS) liquid clay by wetting the end of a ball stylus on a damp paper towel to pick up and place... some patterns are in depressed clay areas, some have added frames
... instead of scribing or dotting raw clay (and instead of eyeballing) to create a guideline pattern to follow, I guess a line or other transfer could be used too, especially if the beads weren't transparent or if there were a tinted grout used afterward or something.
...baked clay balls could be used rather than seed beads
, then finished with gloss finish
......raw clay balls could be used instead too
(as above in "all clay" seed beads)

seed beads used along with traditional mosaic tiles

fabulous "mosaics" made with leftover Mardi Gras beads
.....(but could use any beads --large or small, transparent or opaque, faceted or not, etc)

I first made a raw clay bowl (by putting canes over an aluminum bowl, took it off the bowl raw)
... and then I pressed seed beads on the inside of the bowl, in a flower pattern (like sand painting)
... baked... set it with coat(s?) of Future
... she loved it..... and loved touching the beads inside since she misses being able to bead (her wrists had given out)

tools for picking up & placing seed beads
...Donna Kato wets the tip of a needle tool with her clear Kato liquid clay to pick up the beads (picks up by pressing tool into an upfacing hole)
...beadizzygrl wets the end of a ball stylus with water from a damp paper towel
...I trimmed the end off a regular, round toothpick ... then dipped it in white glue and let it dry completely (don't want a big drop on the end, just enough to cover it) ....I use that "rubbery end" of the toothpick to pick up seed beads and press them into place perfectly straight ((in my case, they were for eyes). Marilyn

..I rub the end of a toothpick on some soft matching colored or translucent clay-- just to get the toothpick tacky)
......then I touch the toothpick into the seed bead hole, to pick it up... press straight down into place onto the clay with the toothpick as the "handler/placer," and pull straight up in a smooth motion-- avoid any side to side motion (this is one of those repetition-makes-it-easier deals)
......even if the bead does come out after baking, theres a nice bead shaped hole for it and it can be glued back into the spot! Sarajane H.
...using a round toothpick by itself is a good tool to start, but I find I usually have to blunt the toothpick for my beads by snipping the tip at bit... otherwise it sticks through too far and doesn't release easily. Halla
(also see Mechanical Hold above for placing seed beads with a needle while on a thread, etc, generally for a number of touching beads.)

patterns formed on grids can be found in lots of places --peyote beading is done on threads over a loom... cross-stitch, needlepoint, plastic canvas, dots of fabric paint ...even weaving
..Shala has a great page with loads of blank "graph" papers on them for designing with seed beads, needlepoint. and
..instead of placing each bead separately, for some designs the process could be speeded up by using long strings of beads (strung on thread or wire) to lay into the liquid clay-covered clay (or buried under a clear finish)
...... for gridded patterns, could string each row for that pattern, then line up each row carefully when placing on the clay
(..see above for using white glue as the base layer)

Perler beads pattersn

(for many more patterns and ideas, see also Mosaics )

Misc. beading tips + ideas

I have this nice beading tray, with a bean bag bottom (and a non-skid top with a pad that keeps the beads from rolling, it's awesome). so I can sit in bed, or in front of the tv, and bead.
Mine looks pretty much like that...there is a blue non-skid pad that sits in the tray. .the BeadSmith pads come in a pack of 3 so the beaders can work on one project, and then just roll up the pad with the beads and project inside, and move on to another project.
. . I also got some bead matts, the label on the bag says "The BeadSmith". ..made from material that looks similar to those blankets that look like plush fake velour .. these pads fit perfectly in the tray and stick to the non skid pad, so the matt does not move around in the tray. I can pour out a bunch of tiny seed beads on the matt and they don't roll all over the place, and when I go to pick up a bead on my needle I don't have to chase it all over the place! Kellie

I'm loving matching up seed bead color combinations with some of my polymer beads.
... I've even been making beads specifically to use for toggle clasps with polymer and imbedded wire that look really cool mixed in with all that flash.

freeform peyote seems to be very versatile
....the fun part is when you start making tiny polymer beads like lady bugs or flowers to go into your freeform seedbead thingys!! faun
....I've seen necklaces and earrings done this way on the whimbeads site I posted yesterday and the Bead and Button site.. Julia (see Julia's peyote bracelet in websites)

the center of those pendants is clear glass pebbles (the cheap ones used in vases).... I use the clear as they are the only ones I can get fairly small
...... I paint their backs with Duncans ceramic pearl or metallic........I tried to bake the paint first, but it bubbled ... now just let the paint dry on the pebble
... ...then place on my clay... and on the front lay the surrounding leaves (highlight with gold), and bake, with no problems. Mary V.
...(see more on glass pebbles and gems, just above in "Glass, Ceramic, etc.")

safely removing the gold foil backing from glass stones? (have some great cabs, but the foil backing on some of them is chipped, and looks bad. Sharon
...I've used toilet bowl cleaner to remove the silvering or whatever it is called on the back of antique mirrors that have been damaged. Works super fast.---but do use precautions as it is not a substance that you want in contact with skins, eyes, etc. Jeanne
........toilet bowl cleaners have an acid in them. Dotty CA
...I have had to remove the foil backs from some of the glass jewels I use on the object wheels on my kaleidoscopes. There are two ways to do this. One is to put the pieces into a jar which has a solution of vinegar and salt. A pint of vinegar to a half cup of salt usually works for me. Put a lid on tight and shake the jar. Let it sit for a few hours, and shake again. Do this for 24 hours. Then rinse and rub at any foil that's left using a towel. The second way is to use a mild solution of acid. I can't give you the strength on this as I don't use this method. But a lapidary shop might have the answer. I'm told it's much faster than the above method, but I don't like to fool around with any acid that's stronger than the vinegar. Dotty in CA



many wonderful jointed figures made with clay + beads, wire, charms ..with many types of parts and looks
Fayette's many wonderful dangle figures (gone)
(see many more of these in Sculpting-Bodies > Jointed)

Glenna uses her sculpted clay flowers (mostly roses) on or with all kinds of other objects, or objects she's created
... like metal baskets, corsages & bouquets, frames, candles, goblets, card holders accessories, headbands and tiaras, and earrings, etc. (click on all categories)

I picked up the April 2000 #36 issue of Bead and Button(page 40-42) and there is a great step by step article in there by Mary O'Dell on "Mystic Collage" (combining rubberstamps and colored pencils and polymer clay). Marty

My doll's neck is a brown sea glass bottleneck. The headgear is made of rusted metal bits I found on the ground. I made the body over a wire armature by wrapping and sewing on felt strips, then sewing on the crochet in pieces. Her arms and legs are button joints so she's posable. Jody B.

maribel's pins in pointed oval or similar curved shape, with very thin felt strips onalid and filling the left side of the shape, and cane slices filling the right side

Do try rocks. I enjoy mixed media, and rocks give weight and stability, literally, to polymer, and work well visually with polymer. I'm saying this as if I've done a lot, but so far only 3 clay-rock projects. The first one I did is a small Kachina doll, glued to a flat rock. In front of the Kachina I glued 4 very small, rust colored feathers and one small shell. The 2nd is a scene using various dried plant things and a Saguaro made of Sculpey. The third one, with 3 large faces, is the best so far. (BobbieMom)

Suzanne I's hedgehog with magnolia seed pod, etc. --nature items

figures with twigs used as woven cages or in bundles for torsos, other wood/bark, and other mixed media (the rest isn't polymer, but it could be) (look all around)

flat ethnic figures made with 2 long vertical twigs to which a body is attached in the middle (polymer heads, wire, feathers, etc.)... can use almost any materials for any of the parts though

Josh's angel made with clay head; petals from a silk rose and leaves for "wings," etc.

Roberta Altshuler's lesson on her Wild Woman (Spirit) pin (using waxed linen cording for hair, plus molds, leaf, Rub N Buff, layers of clay),,HGTV_3238_1386894,00.html
....also dried moss for hair
...uses doll hair around the molded faces on her pendants/ornaments, along with other small theme items in polymer
(more wild women and goddesses in Websites below)

(for fetishes and amulets, see Pendants & Cording > Amulets & Fetishes)

Eni's wonderful faux metal bezels, and doodles of clay ropes with real stones, molded items, mixed media, etc.

pipe cleaners (the bumpy kind) formed into animals... then bodies are embellished with shapes of raw clay (and bit of white tacky glue?) to add eyes, chest plate, and many other things, then baked at 265 for 15 min. (+ mini-lesson)
(more on these and others in Sculpting-Bodies > Bendy > pipe cleaners)

Celidonia's many little base-type scenes with mixed media (some with themes) for tiny creatures, etc. (look all around)

Northwest Naturals's wonderful minis (cradle, bed, swing, etc.) made with natural materials (the figures and some others have a bit of polymer)

Paulo's knotted twine (hemp? or something?) to hold necklace components (faux bugs' wings) (website gone)

lori's? cinnamon potpourri angel --polymer body, skirt of potpourri (website gone)

Maureen Carlson's wreath with polymer decorations

Cheryl's framed pin using buna cord and similar red polymer roping, plus two rubber o-rings (website gone)

Gwen Pina's figures with patterned clay sheets over woven wire frames, or other media, for upper bodies (like Laura Balombini's)

unusual, audio-tape-boxes box ...adaptable to clay --as "pictures" inside the clear cases and/or as lids, etc. ... Marlies made some triangular boxes (or could be rectangular or any shape) by standing 3 audio tape boxes on their long sides and gluing together with clear glue ... see also her covered video-box box

Tonja's collages of clay items and mixed media mounted in wall frames

I remember that you can take that plastic cording that the leather people use around billfolds etc....wrap it around a tiny dowel...warm it up [ Maria Filosa and Beth McDonald invented this technique] in an electric frying pan of hot water...and voila! permantly curled plastic cording! Don't know if this would work in hair or how you would attach it.... Cecilia in SD

For the cording I used rubber cord from Rio, (which I won't buy anymore), threaded that through aquarium air line tubing that I dyed yellow using Rit dye.( the Rit dying is just too much fun! I save it in jars and use it over and over.) I also embellished the cord with artist wire and o-rings. Geo (see Geo's URL in Websites, and Pendants/Cording)

Here is one method with which I've had some success in reshaping a curved flat piece. I take the piece out of the oven hot, bend it (with oven mitts on) as flat as possible then dunk it into ice water until it is completely cool. . . . I think it's the rapid cooling that does the trick. Dotty in CA

Matilda's dragonfly with Pearl Ex body, stamped mica tile & Pearl Ex & gold pen wings (for box, see Websites)
(website gone)
I bought the tiles at a rubber stamp store but you can order them from USArtQuest. I think they are on the internet.
I do not use wire on the wings. I know it looks like wire but what I did after stamping the wings with the permanent ink is to cut the wings out, then separate them by putting my nail between the tiles and splitting the wings. Then I mixed some Duo yellow-green and Duo pink-blue Pearl Ex with some Perfect Paper Adhesive and spread a small amount of the mixture between the mica wing layers. Put the layers back together and stick them into the clay body of the Dragonfly and bake.
Note: Mix the two above colors separately before applying the mixture to the wings. Do not use too much of the mica powders with the adhesive. It takes a very small amount of powder.
After baking the Dragonfly I used a gold leaf pen to outline the wings with the gold edging. Matilda Colf

website with lessons on loads of things to make from several hundred materials

shrink plastics

"Shrink plastics" are plastics which will shrink to approximately 2/3 of their original size when heated (and thicken).
...sheets of it can be purchased as PolyShrink, Shrink Art, Shrinky Dinks, Ultra-Thin by Vesta Abel, etc.
...or plastics which will also work can be found around the house, at restaurants, grocery stores, etc
.....these include clear plastic containers, foam meat trays or cups, chip bags (Doritos, etc.)...

The plastics can be colored with various pens, markers, pencils, inks, paints, etc.(freehand or by stamping, etc.), generally after being sanded first to give tooth, and after shrinking can be used with polymer clay in various ways... for example:
...Tina's shrink plastic images stamped with Brilliance inks and colored with chalks, placed on a backing frame of black clay imprinted with a stamp and antiqued with rub-ons and glazed
(middle of page)
...Sally's (edenhound's) beautiful dog portraits on shrink plastic.. embedded and framed with polymer

NOTE: see Misc. > Melting, Slumping or Shrinking plastics for all other info and lessons on plastics which shrink when heated



DB: find more & where is more?

Tory Hughes piece (see Vol. 12)
many bottles (med. and small) covered with mixed media and (often) polymer clay
...including transfers, beads, fibers, etc.
KellyK's tribal pins (some using feathers or mixed media)
many different scenes ...with all kinds of mixed media ....each as part of a "shoe"

Gerri's page on mixing media for other-medium artists, & another page with many lessons and
Tonja's mixed media collages with clay, in wood frames
Joan's faces surrounded with clay or mixed media

Gerri's seed bead necklaces with polymer mini-book amulet pendants hanging from them with tube hinges, and mixed media

*catbyte's shells, pearls, china, lace, etc. (website gone)
seasont's dragons in shells, etc.
(website gone)
Liz's use of Scrabble tiles on polymer pin (to spell a name)
Bobbi Laubhan's various shells onlaid on textured wall piece
(for now, use) (and look for being redesigned after highjacking)
Irene's many-techniqued, tiled, frames & clock (& box lids w/ beads, feathers, metal pieces, etc.)
Matilda's box with UTEE and Pearl Ex, (for dragonfly, see just above) (published in Jan/Feb Stamping Arts & Crafts Magazine) (website gone)
Garie's film cannisters (film spool art), etc., and all his things!
Simply Annie's things, wire, etc. (look around)
*Annie's wire loops with beads around hearts (website gone)
Heather R's Bal.Filigree with gems (Blue Votive)
~my tiny items (& applique) on quilt block
(website gone)
Julia's polymer leaves with freeform peyote bead bracelet (website gone) (click on peyote2)
~Jim’s printable books, seed covers, etc.! (could use for transfers?)
Cassie Doyon's abstract, mixed media clocks (...see more clocks in Covering) (find at new npcg site?)
Lori G's abstract forms (beads, found objects, embroidery, wire, fabric quilt) (click on several)
Annie Casper's many items with mixed media (look around!) (website gone)
Danqing's mixed media art jewelry (pendants) --wire plus

Cindy's "goddess" (mixed media wild women) pendants
Ginny L's many figures and heads, & mixed media--feathers and wire esp. (arty & whimsical)

Denita's simple heads & bodies with wire, beads, etc.

*wild jointed figures with transfers for faces (not polymer), "Milagro dolls"

*Cheryl's fabulous jointed figures (art dolls) with sculpted heads, caning, and lots of mixed media for skirts, hair

*wild, jointed figures (flat).. "paper dolls" (see more in Sculpting > Websites > Jointed)

Faun's tiny figures (some with wire hair); (website gone)
*assemblage figures with differently colored-patterned pieces (from wood, but still inspirational)
assemblage figures (hinged) diff. paper patterns, etc., but still inspirational

Krista's jointed "birds", using beads or wire for long necks, legs (see also assem. fig's below)

Turtle Press' list of good books to read on collage

(see also: Wire, Stamping, Powders, Onlay, Transfers, Paints, Liquid Sculpey, Heads/Masks )