- Oven-bake polymer clay
- Wire – I used 18 gauge silver plated copper. I wouldn’t recommend aluminum wire for this.
- Jewelry pliers and wire cutters
- Glue (optional)
Now, if you have to buy pliers specifically for this project, buy round-nosed pliers. They definitely worked best. But, if you don’t have any, you can certainly make do with flat-nosed pliers. (My flat pliers are pictured above.) I also used my nylon pliers to straighten the wire – but again, if you don’t have those, you can make do without. I just enjoy working with wire (as evidenced by my nylon pliers, which definitely need new pads), so I have all the tools already.
Now, poke a hole in the center with your wire, keeping it as straight as possible. Then, take the wire back out. We’re not going to bake these with the wires in there, but we do need to make sure there are holes before they go into the oven.
Check your package directions – Sculpey bakes at 275 F for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch (90 minutes total for these). But go by whatever your package tells you to, especially if you are using a different brand. I had three bases rolled out and ready to go in the amount of time it took my oven to preheat. Then, just let them bake while you play with your kids, clean your kitchen – whatever you need to work on for a while.
I got to work on the wire holder. I made a few different words, but the “love” one came out the best, I think. I don’t have a really good way of telling you how to do this… if you can write cursive, you should be able to bend your letters without a problem. It may help to write it out on a scrap of paper.
On my first try, I was a little bit short for my spiral holder at the end. It still works, but you want more tail than this. I can’t really tell you how much wire to use, because it will depend how big you end up making your letters. If you’re able to uncoil as you go along, that’s the best bet.
So, for my next one, I started at the end and made the spiral first. This one works great.
Apparently it didn’t occur to me to start with the end that would get stuck into the base. Because this meant I had to work backward, so then I *really* needed to write it out before getting to work. So, let me recommend this: Uncoil about 2 inches, and then start shaping the first letter (in the case of “love”, the “l”) and then when you get to the end, cut off another 3 or so inches to coil up into your spiral holder.
I tried a few things, and ended up spelling out the following:
After testing all of them out – The word “love is really ideal for this project, because the letters are nice and simple. I also discovered, the smaller, the better. It gets less top-heavy that way if you’re going to use it for a photo or card. If you’re just going to put a little scrap in it (like the punched cardstock heart in the photo at the top of the post), then it won’t matter as much. Raya’s name was pretty wobbly. I ended up just putting a little heart on top, and put it on a shelf in her room. It’s really cute, but it’s too tippy to be functional – but take a look, it’s twice as tall as the “love” one.
When your bases are baked and cooled, and your wires are made, you can assemble them. Well, “assemble” is a bit formal – it’s just putting a wire in a hole, LOL. I dipped my wire in some glue first to help keep it secure.
Now – it’s ready to add a cute new photo!
Or… an old favorite from a special occasion. Happy Anniversary, Kevin! :)
I link up to these great parties!