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How to Make a Polymer Clay Necklace

Misha McGlown makes polymer clay gold nuggets to embellish her ornamental necklace.

When a friend started learning polymer clay, Misha McGlown encouraged him to start a jewelry line, thinking she could become his sales rep. Instead, Misha started making her own jewelry and was surprised with the response.

Materials and Tools:

rolling pin
wooden sculpting tool
shish kabob skewer
texturizing objects: metal pieces, buttons, chain
jewelry pliers
rosary pliers
craft paintbrush
polymer clay
fancy gold chain
8-10 fire-polished beads
8-10 aventurine chips
small gold-finished metal beads
8-10 Indian bells
jewelry straight pins
22-gauge gold wire
fancy clasp and hook
small and medium jewelry jump rings
gold spray paint
enamel: black, gold
acrylic gloss spray
aluminum pie pan
oven
knife
plastic cup
soft cloth

Steps:

1. Condition the clay by kneading it in your hands. Roll the clay into a sheet using a rolling pin.

2. Texture the clay by pushing small pieces of metal, chain or buttons into the clay. Turn the clay sheet over and apply the texture to the other side.

3. Using a small round object such as a button as a template, cut the clay into approximately 26 small pieces using a knife. Make a few extra pieces.

4. Smooth the edges of the clay pieces with a wooden sculpting tool. Pierce a hole in the center of each clay piece using a skewer.

5. Place the clay pieces in an aluminum pie pan and bake in a 275-degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool.

6. Cover both sides of the clay nuggets with gold spray paint in a well-ventilated area. Let dry.

7. Lightly brush a coating of gold enamel over both sides of each nugget. This will enhance the texture of each piece. Allow the enamel at least 15 minutes to dry on one side before turning the clay pieces over to paint the other side. Note: If brushed lightly, most enamel will not flow into the recesses created by the etching of the nuggets.

8. Cut 12 pieces of 22-gauge gold wire 2 inches long. Place the pieces along with the necklace chain and all metal findings (hooks, clasps, etc.) into a plastic cup. Brush the metal pieces with black enamel and immediately wipe it off leaving some of the enamel to antique the metal. Let dry.

9. Thread each fire-polished bead onto a straight pin. Create a loop at the ends of the pin with rosary pliers.

10. Cut gold wire into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Feed the wire through the aventurine chips, using rosary pliers to create a loop at the top. Wrap any excess wire (2 or 3 times) around the base of the loop. Clip off any remaining wire.

11. Once nuggets are dry, attach a medium jump ring to each nugget using pliers.

12. Lay the necklace chain out in a straight line. Alternate pieces in an evenly spaced pattern; line up all the trinkets and nuggets parallel to the chain. Attach all items (nuggets, beads, chips, and bells) to the chain with small jump rings.

13. Attach hook and clasp to the ends of the chain using two small jump rings.

14. For a decorative finish, hang one polymer clay nugget and a couple of bells to the end of the necklace.

Website: www.omomisha.com

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