From Polymer Clay

Jewelry, accessories and home decor items made from polymer clay

Make Polymer Clay Shape Cutters From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Three bottles to be recycled into cutters
Three bottles to be recycled into cutters

More Fun With Trash

If you’ve ever tried to cut a shape out of polymer clay, or any other soft medium that’s similar, you’ll know it’s not easy to make it symmetrical by hand.

There are all kinds of cutters for sale at craft stores, but why not combine helping to save your little corner of the planet with saving some dollars in your pocket?

Travel size, sample size, and even regular size bottles can be used to create free, easy-to-make and easily replaceable craft cutters. There are always more where they came from.

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Spring Has Come To ChirpHop Studio – New Earrings Came With It

Spring is finally here!!

And so are the first of a new group of earrings in the ChirpHop Studio Etsy store.

Take a look at the slideshow for a taste of what's new.

Some of them were inspired by a fairy garden exhibit at a local park, some of them were inspired by chance.

All of them were influenced by the light and color of Spring (my favorite season).

Stop by the store and get a breath of the new season.

Mother's Day and graduations are right around the corner. What better gift than handmade one-of-a-kind earrings or a pendant?

Coming soon... handmade decorative paper bowls. You've seen them undecorated in other posts. Now they've got their new coats on.

New line of earrings added to the ChirpHop Studio Etsy store!

We're excited to announce that we've expanded what we have to offer at the ChirpHop Studio Etsy store, by adding a line of earrings.

There's a variety of colors and styles, from long multiple dangles to short geometrics, soft spring colors to bright ones and everything in between.

Choose from shiny and matte finishes, translucent and opaque beads, recycled vintage jewelry beads and findings and handmade polymer clay beads.

Check out the slideshow above for a sneak peek. Then drop by and give us a look. If you like what you see, feel free to pin them, favorite them or spread the word.

You'll make that little bird very happy!  ChirpHop Studio favicon

Translucent Polymer Clay Hollow Bead Experiments – Part 4: Translucent Liquid Sculpey

Cornstarch and baking soda beads covered with Translucent Liquid Sculpey
Cornstarch and baking soda beads covered with Translucent Liquid Sculpey

Sad to say, the photo above is the best one to come out of the session where I tried to create translucent hollow beads with Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS).

I had read (where exactly escapes me now) about a polymer clay artist getting better translucent effects by painting liquid Sculpey. There wasn’t any further information than that, so out come all of the supplies.

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Translucent Polymer Clay Hollow Bead Experiments – Part 3: Return of the Cornstarch

Cornstarch and baking soda bead cores for polymer clay
Cornstarch and baking soda bead cores for polymer clay

After crossing paper off the list as a useful hollow bead core material, and realizing there was a crucial piece missing from an option I had come across earlier, it was time to take a second look at cornstarch as a contender.

I found a recipe for the traditional cornstarch and baking soda “play clay” of childhood. I remembered it as being heavy and cracking a lot when trying to make Christmas ornaments years ago. With any luck, neither of those factors should be an issue for this purpose.

What I’m looking for in my dream bead core is the ability to dissolve quickly and easily, so the bead won’t take forever to transform from filled to hollow.

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Translucent Polymer Clay Hollow Bead Experiments – Part 1: Core Materials

Dried papier maché clay and paper pulp patched with it (some sanded)
Dried paper, papier maché clay and paper pulp patched with it (some sanded)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m fascinated with some of the jewelry I’ve seen online that uses translucent polymer clay, especially when it looks like sea glass or glass glass.

After a lot of poking around for answers to how people like Kathrin Neumaier, Barbara Fernald  and other clay artists, like those featured on The Blue Bottle Tree blog create their pieces, I had some idea of what to do, but was still a bit fuzzy about how to create the effects I was after. There were hints here and there, but nothing that really gave me the complete picture.

There were plenty of tutorials available for a price, but I had no way of knowing whether they would tell me what I wanted to know.

It was time to set up the la-bOr-a-tory (mwah, ha, ha!) and try some experiments.

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Using Alcohol Inks to Color Translucent Polymer Clay

Polymer clay test beads colored with alcohol inks
Polymer clay test beads colored with alcohol inks

The reason I made all of those alcohol inks from Sharpies was to color translucent polymer clay. Now it’s time to put them to work.

I had no idea how much ink to use in proportion to the clay, other than hints online that it didn’t take very much at all. The translucent clay was also new to me and I wasn’t sure how translucent it would get. So…it was time to call on my inner mad scientist.

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DIY Alcohol Inks from Sharpies – experiments and tips

DIY alcohol inks from sharpies

It all started with a love of sea glass, and all things “frosted” looking.

On Pinterest, I came across translucent polymer clay being used to mimic it. Katrin Neumaier’s jewelry caught my eye again and again. Her work takes my breath away.

After researching this (and wandering off the beaten path a bit), I found that the clay can be colored with alcohol inks to create a more lasting color and preserve the translucency in a way that adding colored opaque clay doesn’t.

So… off to look for a starter kit of alcohol inks. This wasn’t working out for me. The popular Adirondack inks come in 1/2 ounce 3-packs, with names like Bottle and Mermaid.

I’m a pushover for a great name, and YouTube tutorials with Tim Holtz have helpful tips and techniques, but since I taught Color Theory for years, I’m picky about my colors and am pretty thrifty. I didn’t want to buy colors in a 3-pack if I only wanted two of them.

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