How to Make a Dragonfly Pin

Use polymer clay and blend six colors and incorporate assorted glass beads to create a dragonfly pin.

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Materials:

2 oz. of polymer clay in each of 6 colors
ultra-fine glitter
iridescent mica powder
5 inches of 20-gauge wire
10 to 12 assorted glass or metal 4mm, 6mm and 8mm beads
1¼-inch pin back
instant-drying heavy-duty glue
pasta maker
tissue blade
acrylic brayer
wire cutters
needle-nose pliers

Steps:

1. Roll thin sheets of the six colors of polymer clay with a pasta maker.

2. Cut long triangular wedges from the sheets. Line them up next to one another in an interlocking manner and reassemble them to form a large multicolored sheet.

3. Sprinkle ultra-fine glitter on the sheet of clay. Fold the sheet of clay in half and run it through the pasta machine. Repeat this fold-and-roll about five times, until the colors have blended.

4. Cut the sheet lengthwise into four long, narrow strips. Stack the four strips atop one another. The cross-section design at the end of the stack is the design that will become the dragonfly wings.

5. Pinch, pull and shape the clay into a shape that resembles a dragonfly wing in the cross-section. When the wing shape is satisfactory, cut the long wing cane precisely in half to yield two wings - dragonflies have a double set of wings. These wings are stacked on top of each other, still maintaining the shapes of the individual upper and lower wings. Dust the edges of the double-wing cane with an iridescent mica powder.

6. Cut two slices of equal thickness (about 3/16-inch thick). Flip one wing slice over and arrange the wings center to center, pushing them together securely.

7. At this point, press a glass bead into the place where the two wings intersect. Make a depression in the clay with the bead and then remove. This is where the beaded dragonfly body will sit.

8. Bake the dragonfly wings on a piece of cardboard at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. While the wings are baking, make the beaded wire body. Using needle-nose pliers, bend a small decorative spiral at the end of a 5-inch length of 20-gauge wire. String about 2 inches' worth of assorted glass or metal beads on the wire.

9. Place the bead you used to make the depression in the clay at the point on the wire where you want the wings to be. Place one final, larger bead on the wire for the dragonfly's head. Cut the wire off flush with the head and put a drop of glue on the wire where the head sits.

10. After the wings have baked and cooled, position the wire body on them, seating the body bead in the depression in the center of the wings.

11. Place a drop of glue in the wing depression where the body attaches. Glue a pin back to the back of the wings with heavy-duty glue or two-part epoxy.

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