I have a fun clay project for you today to get ready for Valentine’s Day – this easy charm bracelet. I used my family’s initials to make it personal for me!
What you will need:
- Polymer clay in “conversation heart” colors. I have a lot of colors of clay, so while a few of my colors weren’t quite right, I blended lighter and darker colors as needed to come up with the “right” colors. If you do a lot of clay projects this is a great one since it hardly takes any clay at all.
- Roller, wax paper (for keeping your area clean) and a small heart-shaped cutter
- Stamps – I often use my metal stamps on clay, but I wanted something slightly larger so I used my tiny alphabet rubber stamps which are about 1/4″. If you need to buy stamps, rubber stamps are usually less expensive.
- Optional acrylic paint for darkening your letters
- Toothpick for making a charm hole, jump ring(s), jewelry pliers and a chain bracelet
In case this is the first project you’ve checked out with polymer clay, let me tell you a few things about working with it. It’s very easy and clay is inexpensive so you are likely to have a lot of fun with it. But there are a few precautions to take. As far as your clay supplies (rollers, cutters, and baking sheets) – you can keep costs down even further by using kitchen utensils from thrift stores or yard sales, since it works up very much like cookie dough and those tools work great, HOWEVER – clay IS NOT FOOD SAFE so you should never use *your actual kitchen utensils* for working with unbaked clay. If you decide to use a cookie cutter for a clay project, it’s now officially a clay cutter. You can’t mix your kitchen supplies and clay supplies!
All right, that said – let’s jump right in!
All I did was roll my clay out to 1/4″ thick on wax paper to protect my table, cut out hearts, and stamp each with an initial. If you haven’t done any stamping before, you might find it easiest to stamp the clay first and THEN cut the heart out, that way you have more control over centering your initial.
Then, use a toothpick to poke a hole in it (I preferred the offset look, but you could put the hole at the top and center it). It will need to bake about 30 minutes in a low temperature oven, but check the package directions as every brand can be a little bit different.
Once your charms are baked, I wanted to give them a more “authentic” candy look and paint the letters red. You just need a little bit of acrylic paint. I dabbed it on (it’s okay if it gets a little messy), and used a dampened paper towel to wipe off any excess surface paint. Just make sure you wipe it off right away because as it dries it’s increasingly more difficult to get paint off the top without accidentally removing it from the letters.
As soon as the paint was dry, I added jump rings, and added the charms onto a chain bracelet.
I decided to group mine all together. It would be fun to spell out longer names or a special message like “I love you” with more hearts, and space them out along the bracelet, too, for a more traditional charm bracelet look!
It’s an inexpensive and seasonal twist on the traditional stamped charm jewelry, and it’s perfect both for kids and for kids at heart – this one is for me, but imagine making one for your daughter or a friend for Valentine’s Day! (If you are making it for a gift, and you’ve already got your clay supplies out, why not make a Conversation Heart gift tag too? I have a tutorial for those, too!)