Polymer Clay Bookmark

Attach a pre-made clay tile to handmade paper to create a polymer clay bookmark.

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Michelle Herren returns to make a bookmark using polymer clay and handmade paper.

Materials:

recycled paper: discarded mailings, office memos, etc.
alcohol-based inks
cotton linter (found in paper making section at arts and crafts stores)
blender
pour mold*
5-10 gallon plastic container
sponge
window screening or pressing cloth
couching sheets
press bar or other smooth 3" x 5" object
heavy books to place drying paper in
2 one-inch pieces of sticky-backed magnet
decorated polymer clay tile
glue dots
water
*Purchase a pour mold or learn how to make your own online or through a papermaking book.

Steps:

1. Place two cups of water in a blender.

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2. Add three cotton linter squares into the water and allow to soak for at least 10 minutes to break up the fibers.

3. Add one handful of recycled paper to the blender.

4. Set blender on medium speed for 40 seconds to allow paper and cotton to merge together and form pulp.

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5. Add a few drops of alcohol-based ink for color.

6. Adjust blender to low speed and blend for 10 to 20 seconds. You only want the cardstock to barely mix together with the rest of the paper. This is what causes the unique texture in your paper!

7. Place the pour mold in a plastic container and fill the container with water so that the water is approximately 4 inches deep. This will allow the pour mold to move freely in the water.

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8. Pour approximately one cup of the mixture from the blender directly into the pour mold while the pour mold is submerged in the water. The pulp will be trapped in the pour mold. Immediately swirl the pulp around with your fingers for five seconds to ensure even distribution of the pulp.

9. Remove the pour mold from the water and let it drain for approximately 15 seconds.

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10. Detach the bottom of the pour mold and place it, along with the sheet of pulp, on a cookie sheet. Place a window screen or pressing cloth over the pulp and begin pressing on the pulp with a sponge.

11. Wring out the sponge and continue this process (approximately five times) until most of the water is omitted from the pulp.

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12. Place a couching sheet on top of the paper sheet. Using a press bar (3" x 5" object for compressing), firmly press on the couching sheet to further reduce excess water and to bond the newly formed sheet of paper to the couching sheet.

13. Lift the couching sheet off the bottom portion of the pour mold and place another couching sheet on the bottom of the paper.

14. Place paper in between several books to dry flat over a period of several days. If you prefer, quickly dry your paper with a clothes iron set at no-steam setting.

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15. After the paper is made, tear a strip approximately 3" x 8". Tip: For ease in tearing, wet your finger with water and draw it in a line on the paper. Fold this piece of paper in half.

16. Place one magnet on each folded edge so that the magnets contact each other when the paper is folded in half.

17. Place a completed polymer clay tile on front of the bookmark, securing with glue dots or red-backed adhesive. Tip: The adhesive must be very strong adhesive — normal glue will not work for this project.

Website: www.mherrendesigns.com

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