Thursday, October 4, 2012

Polymer Clay Acorn Pendants - A Tutorial

See? I have been having fun with polymer clay! Another fun autumn craft. :)

To make yourself a polymer clay acorn pendant, you'll need:

  • Polymer Clay
  • An acorn cap
  • Jewelry wire, preferably 20 gauge or thicker - about 4" length
  • Round nose pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Large needle
  • Paint & Paintbrush
  • E6000 glue, or another equally strong glue
  • OPTIONAL - A clear finish - I used Minwax Polycrylic, but you could also use Mod Podge.
Start by preparing your acorn cap for the wire by making a hole through the middle with the needle, or a nail.  It may take a little wiggling, maybe some light hammering on the end of the needle/nail, but it will make a hole.

Using your round nose pliers, curl one end of the wire around to make a loop.

Give the wire a little bend at the base of the loop, and then stick the wire through the hole in the acorn cap, so the loop is on the inside.

Holding the cap right-side up, hold the wire with your round nose pliers, and give it a bend.

Now reposition the pliers, and wrap the wire around the nose, forming a loop.

To wrap the wire around, start by holding the loop with your pliers.  Flat nose pliers work much better than round nose, but I don't have any flat nose pliers, so... I'm working with what I've got here. :)
Holding the loop with your pliers, wrap the wire around the base of the loop until you reach the acorn cap.  For me, that was three wraps.  Snip off the excess wire with wire cutters, and press in the end with your pliers.  Again, much easier to do this with flat nose pliers, but round nose works in a pinch.


There, the cap is ready! Now for the polymer clay. Take a piece and roll it into a ball.  The size will vary with the size of the cap, so there might be a little trial-and-error here to find the right size.

Once you've got a ball that fits into the cap, press it in and shape the bottom into a point, like a real acorn.

Now is the time where I like to add some texture to the clay.  One of my favorite things to use is....

My tweezers! I love the pattern of the finger grips. What I do is take my tweezers and gently press the pattern onto the clay, over and over until I'm satisfied with the look. 

Don't they look like little leaves? Cute!

Now you can choose to take the clay out of the cap and bake it, or bake it right in the cap.  I took mine out... Why? I don't know.  That's just the way I did it.  Either way, bake the clay according to the directions on the package, and then let it cool.


Watching the clay bake through my little kiln.  Pretty sure it's made for kids, but hey, it gets the job done!

If you took the clay out of the cap, you'll have to glue it back in with some E6000 glue.

Once everything's all put together, it's time for some color.  I used a pinkish ink pad, but regualr paint would work well, too.  Paint it, let it dry, and then finish it with either Mod Podge or another finish ( I used Minwax Polycrylic). You don't have to put the finish on the cap, but I chose to for mine.  Makes the whole thing glossy and shiny.  Let it dry, and then you can put it on a chain.

Ready to wear!

32 crazy awesome comments:

Kim said...

I love this project!!!! Wonderful instructions- I can't wait to try it out- thank you so much!!

Michelle L. said...

Loooove it! What a great tutorial, and the funny tweezer tip is cool!

geaux greene said...

Fantastic! I've been looking for a tutorial using real acorns- this is the best I've seen. Thanks for sharing your talent and creativity!

Melissa said...

Adorable! Thank you for the tutorial!!

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Love this tutorial! What is the little oven that you use to bake your clay?

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