Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Make a Roll Up Scarf Slide or Ring in Polymer Clay

A few years ago I shared a free tutorial on how to attach an old vintage scarf ring finding to create a scarf clip.  It was a big hit but unfortunately, the supplier who sold the metal scarf ring piece ran out and was not able to get any more.  I searched everywhere and was not able to find any and if I ever do, I will let you know.

In the meantime, I have been working on different scarf clip designs and came up with a new way to create a simple scarf ring or slide.  I was playing around making some "roll up beads" and the idea came to me.  Why not roll up the clay on a larger form to create a scarf ring?

I know this is quite different than the original scarf clip but I feel I owe you a new tutorial as a replacement, none the less, and I hope you find this one useful.  The nice thing about making these is that you do not need any commercial findings.  All you need is clay and maybe embellishments such as rhinestones.

So now for the tutorial:

The first thing you need for the scarf slide is a tube-like form that is in the right diameter or thickness to fit the size of your scarf.  You want to be able to slip a double thickness of your scarf easily through the slide hole yet not have it too loose or it will not stay in place while wearing.

These are form samples shown in the above photo.
A -- Tubes we made from scrap clay.  You can make them in any size you want.
B - A whisk fell apart on me so I saved the handle and it makes a perfect size form.  I like how the paper covering slides off easily (see step 11).
C - A cardboard tube that I cut a piece off for easier handling. 

#1 - You will need some type of paper to use as a base for your slide.  Parchment paper works but I find that glue does not stick to it very well.  I have this roll of kraft paper tape that has a water activated paste.  It is very useful and I have baked with it over and over again.  This is what I used to make my cardboard bead rack for baking shown in the photo below (see picture/step 12).

#2 & #3 - If you are using the paper tape as I have here, you do not want the glue part sticking to the form so cut a piece long enough to wrap around your form several times.  Fold part of it over so that the glue is inside and will not be in contact with the form as you roll it on (#4).

Note:  You do not want to roll the paper on your form too tight -- you want it just loose enough that it can easily slide off to bake.

#5 - Cut a triangle template from paper or quilter's grid.  I like to use the quilter's grid as it has lines marked for measuring and is also transparent.  The measurements of your triangle (with a cut off end at the narrow part) depends on the size of the slide you want to make.  The slide I am making here is for a lighter type scarf so my form is 5/8" (16mm) in diameter (thick).

I want to be able to wrap the clay around the form twice and I want the width to be 1" (25mm) and at the narrow end 1/4" (7mm).  To find out what the length should be, rolled out some clay on a medium-thin setting and wrapped it around the form twice.  Unwrap the clay and measure the length.  For the 5/8" form I am using here, the clay needs to me about 5" (127mm) long.

I then cut out a triangle-like shape that is 5" (127mm) long, 1" (25mm) wide at one end and 1/4" (7mm) at the opposite.

#6 - Texture a sheet of clay.  I am using one by Lisa Pavelka here and ran the clay together with the texture sheet through my Dream machine on a #2 setting so the clay came out quite thin.  Cut out a triangle from your textured clay using the template you made as a guide.

#7 - Wrap the clay triangle around the paper on your form.  When the clay begins to wrap onto itself, add a bit of liquid clay to create a better seal.

# 8 - This is how the slide should look after it has wrapped around the form twice.  You will see how both ends meet.  If it is too short, there might be a weak point in between and too long will make it bulky.

#9 - This is a good time to add any embellishments as the form provides a solid backing when pressing in items such as rhinestones.  I share tips on working with rhinestones earlier here and here.

#10 - You can also add any mica powders if you wish.  You could also add the powders before wrapping onto your form if that is easier.  Just be sure to use the liquid clay in between to seal.

#11 & #12 - Slide the clay piece along with the paper off your form and bake it right on the paper.  You can lay it on soft batting or here I have them suspended on my handmade bead rack.

#13 & #14 - After the pieces are baked and cooled, remove the paper by gently pulling it away from the clay.  If the papers are in good shape, they can be used again.

Apply any glazes to seal the mica powders if used.  You can see my tips for polymer clay at the top page of my blog if you need more help with this.

Variation 1:
For a larger scarf ring I like to make it slightly flattened or the opening oval so it doesn't stick out too much and sits nicer while wearing.  You can flatten it after forming but it is a little difficult as the paper tends to resist and bounce back.  The other solution is to make a form from clay.  I rolled the thickness that I wanted and then flattened it with a piece of plexi-glass.

Variation 2:
Instead of creating a roll up slide, you can make a plain tube.  Here I added a clay embellishment where the seam is to not only hide it but add more strength at that spot.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bettina Welker Workshop

I had an incredible time last weekend when I attended a polymer clay workshop by Bettina Welker.  When I heard Bettina was going to teach, I had to go and was so glad I did!  The class was on Vancouver Island and so the weekend started by driving out with my friend, Joanne.

The workshop was for two days and I found it quite exciting to create something different than what I would typically make.  We also worked with the Fimo Professional clay so was a good opportunity to see how I liked working with it.  I have found that it does have it's uses and I like the fact that it was softer yet not too sticky even though the room was quite warm.  

Bettina's style is unique and the class consisted of us constructing different beads using various techniques.  These were the beads that I had made.  They are pretty much in the similar colors as I wanted to maintain a theme and of course lime green and teals are my favorite.

Beads I made in Bettina's class
After we made all our beads, Bettina showed us how we can combine them to create a necklace.  I am playing around with them at the moment to see what combination I like best.

Testing out how to arrange the beads I made in Bettina's workshop

These are the beads Bettina demonstrated in the class and then created a necklace with them.

Necklace Bettina made in class

She then had us write our names on a piece of paper and my friend Joanne was the lucky duck to keep it!

Joanne (left) with Bettina (right)
It was a fun time and if you ever have the opportunity to take a class from Bettina, I highly recommend it.  If it isn't possible, Bettina has several classes on CraftArtEdu that you can take.

I am so glad that Bettina and her family chose to come to Canada for a vacation and I hope they enjoyed their travels as much as we enjoyed her class!  We really appreciated that they were willing to share her with us while they were here.

And of course a big thank-you to Barb Alexander and Irene Corman for all the work that they put into planning and preparing such a wonderful time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Buttons for a Sweet Sweater at Intwined Fibre Arts Store

We sell our handcrafted buttons, shawl pins and other accessories through several yarn and quilt shops in BC and what we enjoy the most is dealing directly with the owners.  Each one has a unique style to their shop and are looking for different items to fit in with it. 

We like to customize some items for each of the stores as much as possible or fill a need if they are looking for something in particular.  In this case, Althea at Intwined Fibre Arts in Salmon Arm had knit a girls' sweater from this gorgeous yarn.  It needed 3 larger size buttons on each side in colors to match. 

We designed some concave buttons with a texture and fun colors to coordinate with the colors in the sweater.

We made extras for her store and with our color samples, she can order in her custom colors to go with other yarns she might have.

Visit Intwined Fibre Art's Facebook page for more knitting and crochet inspiration.

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Snap Base Findings!

Our snap supplies were getting low and needed replenishing and so I couldn't help myself to bring in some fun new items!   Here are a few samples to start and the others you will find listed in our online store. 

These snap bases have 2 large loops at each end and are available with a beautiful frame design or with rhinestones.  The bases have a slight curve to them making them suitable for a bracelet.  These are available in our Snap Supply DIY section only.

Snap Jewelry Links for Bracelets
These new clip hair barrettes are really sweet and come in 5 colors.  They are for sale in pairs or in bulk if you would like a bunch.

Snap Hair Barrettes

We have also added some new bracelets, pendants and necklaces.

We now have a larger supply of the Snap Flower necklace so are available in bulk as well as a new Spiral design.  I have several of these pieces for myself that I have been wearing for almost a year now and I absolutely love them.  I get a lot of compliments and it is fun seeing their face when I pop one of the snaps out to show they are interchangeable!

Snap Flower Necklace (left) and Snap Spiral Necklace (right)

These necklaces can be worn or sold as they are or you can change them up by switching out the chain for cord or other materials.  All of our jewelry pieces are completely interchangeable and this includes the velvet straps on the necklaces that can be switched out in different colors by simply adding a clip type clasp.

Velvet Ribbon and Necklace Straps available in 15 colors

The velvet ribbon is washable and colorfast.  It is available in our jewelry finding section along with the crimps and clip clasps

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gone Wild with Animal Prints and New Snaps

My knee is slowly healing from surgery in June and is nice to be able to walk normally with less pain these days.  My doctor says just no jumping, running, jogging or twisting action until it is completely healed so won't be out on the dance floor just yet.  In the meantime, I have been keeping busy with my clay as much as possible and excited about some new things we are working on this summer.

I was looking through my clay cane stash to see what we could make into snaps for our interchangeable jewelry and came across a container of animal prints that I had forgot about.  I realized they would look really great as snaps and so had to make a bunch in different styles!  They are now available in our online store.

Sneak Peek:   A shipment of snap supplies just arrived and we have some exciting new items such as the bracelet with the zebra snaps and the magnetic eyeglass holder.  We will share with you as soon as they are photographed and listed in our online store.  Don't miss out on any future sales or discount codes by signing up to our newsletter.  We promise we will keep your info private and will not spam you.