Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons

This post could also be titled “Third Time’s a Charm” or even, “Look Guys, I Didn’t Burn This Batch!”  Haha.  I posted earlier this week a huge polymer clay fail due to an oven miscue – this is one of the things I was trying to make. Patriotic polymer clay buttons!

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

These are truly a beginner-friendly project, despite my previous fail.  See, if you didn’t read the post, I tried something new.  I read that some polymer clay aficionados use a dedicated toaster oven to keep their projects separate from their food oven.  Brilliant.  So I tried it, and my heat dial is WAY off.  I scorched two batches and gave up for the day.

But I still wanted the buttons!  I have a project in mind for them!

So, I went back to my regular oven and made these simple star buttons using 1″ round and star shaped cutters, and red and silver clay.

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

What you will need:

  • 2 colors of polymer clay.  I picked red and white.
  • Clay tools: a roller, and small cutters or a clay knife to freehand it.
  • Wax paper (or a clay mat) for protecting your work surface, and a non-food-use baking sheet.
  • A bead reamer, or even a toothpick or bamboo skewer for making holes
  • Glossy finish that’s safe for clay, like Sculpey Gloss Glaze, and a paintbrush
  • Optionally: “pasta machine” clay roller

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

First things first: you CAN use kitchen tools for polymer clay, but you should NOT re-use them for food again once they’ve become your clay tools.  Baking sheets, fondant cutters, rolling pins – these all work great, especially if you have extras or if you spot something in good shape at a thrift store or yard sale.  I love my pasta machine for conditioning clay, too!  But you shouldn’t grab it from your kitchen, get clay all over it, and put it back.  Just think outside the craft store, but don’t raid your active use kitchen items.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get rolling.  Teehee.

Roll out your base color clay about 1/8 inch thick.  It WILL be hard when you get started, you can either soften it by hand, or run it through your pasta machine, squish it up and roll it out again.  I freaking love my machine.  It makes it so much easier!  I rolled the red color out on a size 1.  Cut your circles.

Next, roll out your accent color (the silver, in my case) as thin as you can.  I ran it through my machine on the 5-setting.  Cut your stars.  These little cutters can be found in the polymer clay aisle of most craft stores, or even try the baking section near the fondant supplies.

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

Stick the stars on.  Press them firmly enough to attach them, but not so much that you distort them.

Next, add holes to your buttons with a reamer, a toothpick, or another disposable type of hole-poker.  Bake them according to the package directions, which will be at a low oven temp for about 15-20 minutes.  (Each brand and formula is different, so you have to check the package to be exact. Plus, cooking at too high of a temperature will set off your smoke detectors.  Ahem.)

 

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

When they’ve baked and cooled, brush a light coat of gloss on them to make them shine (if you want).

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

Tadaa!  Buttons!  Bet you’re excited to see what I do with them, right?  I can’t wait to show you!

Patriotic Polymer Clay Buttons at www.happyhourprojects.com

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Comments

  1. They are adorable!!
    Kelsy with Loose Ends recently posted..Neon Bib NecklaceMy Profile

  2. Hi… Love your projects! I’m new to using polymer clay so I have what might be a stupid question. Is the finished project supposed to be slightly bendable? I’m not sure if that’s how the final is supposed to be or if I’m doing something wrong? Help!

    Thanks…
    Susan

    • It shouldn’t be brittle or browned, but it should be stiff. If it’s still really flexible, it should bake a few minutes longer. You will get the hang of how long you should bake in your oven once you’ve done it a few times – I find I do have to bake slightly longer than the package directions. (Which makes sense – it’s better to check to find it’s slightly underdone and bake a few more minutes than find it’s overdone and now you’ve got to start over.)

      Immediately out of the oven, pieces will be a little bit bendy, while they’re still hot. I’ve used that time to shape and curve jewelry pieces that I’ve baked flat. It’s once they’re cool that they should be firm.

      That said – a little flexibility isn’t going to hurt, in most cases. But if you’re thinking it’s going to bake up brittle, like say, a clay pot – it won’t.
      Adrianne recently posted..For Laughs: Total FailMy Profile

  3. Debra says:

    They are pretty.

  4. Love your buttons they are really cute! And you make it look very easy. I’ve worked with polymer clay off and on some. But I get frustrated with it really quick, then it’s a while before I try it again. I’ve been wanting to try and make some birds out of polymer clay, but haven’t yet. Thanks for sharing your button tutorial.
    Linda recently posted..Hand Painted Bath SignMy Profile

  5. Jeanne says:

    Can you tell me where you got the star shaped cutter? I’ve been looking everywhere and can’t find anything in the right size. I’ve tried cake decorating supplies as well as clay supplies with no luck.

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