How to Make a Metallic Leaf Journal

Transform a simple notebook into an elegant journal with polymer clay and mica powders.

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Materials and Tools:

journal or notebook
gold polymer clay
polymer clay blade
pasta maker
waxed paper for masking
scissors
mica powders
green leaf with nice veining
texturing tool or white Scotch Brite scouring pad
rubber or hard plastic stamp
smooth tile or piece of tempered glass
polymer-clay-safe varnish
soft-bristle brush for varnish
glue

Steps:

1. Decide what size your notebook embellishment will be and cut waxed paper to that size. Create a frame-type mask by cutting away a small square in the middle of the waxed-paper piece. Save the cut-away square to use later. Cut another piece of waxed paper to the size of the finished piece and cut out another shape from the center, larger than the square but smaller than the final piece. Save both the frame and inner cut-away pieces.

2. Condition gold clay in the pasta maker until it's smooth, shiny and uniform in appearance. Roll it out to the desired thickness, on a No. 3 or 4 setting, and place it on smooth tile or tempered glass.

3. Place a leaf, vein side down, in the center of the clay. Place a sheet of waxed paper over it and burnish the shape and texture of the leaf into the clay with the back of a spoon, ensuring that the leaf remains in place. Remove the waxed paper.

4. Center the waxed-paper mask over the leaf. Press down gently around the inner square.

5. Apply silver mica powder with your fingertip or a paintbrush to the exposed clay within the square around the leaf. Blow or brush away excess powder. Remove the waxed-paper mask.

6. Place a square of waxed paper reserved from step 1 over the area you just powdered to protect it. Center the second mask frame over the leaf and press the inner edges down gently.

7. Texture the exposed clay areas with a texture tool or a white Scotch Brite scouring pad, being careful not to texture inner or outer masked areas. Apply gold mica powder to the textured areas. Remove the waxed-paper masks.

8. Place the waxed-paper mask over the inner areas that have already been worked. Impress a design around the perimeter of the piece with a stamping tool, being careful not to disturb the masked inner areas. Remove the mask and leaf.

9. Place the original frame mask over the piece and cut around the outer perimeter to form the metallic embellishment.

10. Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

11. Varnish with a polymer-clay-safe varnish and a soft-bristle brush. Allow to dry completely.

12. Glue the metallic embellishment to the front of the journal or notebook.

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