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!
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.
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
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.
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.)
When they’ve baked and cooled, brush a light coat of gloss on them to make them shine (if you want).
Tadaa! Buttons! Bet you’re excited to see what I do with them, right? I can’t wait to show you!