Monday, 18 January 2016

Tutorial Polymer Clay Friendship Shamballa Bracelets

Hello there,

Today I want to share with you my new version of a very cool friendship bracelet.

Polymer clay
Cookie cutter or template of the form you want your charm in
Roller or pasta machine
Dotting tool or anything else to carve your design
Acrylic paint

Tutorial Clay Charm
First roll out your clay in the colour of your choice and cut out three pieces of your desired shape using a cookie cutter or a template you made from paper. I chose an oval form. They need to be as identical as possible as they will make one charm.

Here I smoothed them out, so they look neat.

In one of them you will need to cut two lines horizontally and remove the clay in the middle to create a sort of channel for the string to go through later. This is the middle part of the bead.
On another of the three pieces you start tracing your design. You can try it out on paper first if you're unsure. I chose to write monograms and then draw something the person who will wear it likes. In my case birds and music notes. You can indent your design with a needle tool, dotting tool or even a toothpick but I found that a thin dotting tool worked best as the clay didn't tear this way but was pushed aside leaving clean edges.

Once you are happy with your work you can assemble the charm.
Put the third cut out piece on your work surface, stick the middle parts on there, so that you have a small valley and then put the part with your design on top facing upwards.
This way you have created a hole large enough to fit three strings in there.
Now you can either smooth out the clay on the sides or cover them with some more clay to give it a smooth look.

Stick a toothpick inside the hole to make sure it doesn't collapse.

Bake the charm according to the instructions on your clay package on a piece of paper.
You can also roll beads from clay for your bracelet. Either for knotting them into the bracelet or just for the ends.

I was to keep it simple and so I only made some for the ends using red clay.
Evenly roll out some clay and use a small cookie cutter or a lid to cut even portions. This way all the beads have the same size. Roll the cut-out pieces in your hands until you have an evenly round ball and carefully pierce it with a toothpick. Bake them on paper.

After baking the charm I painted the indented areas black and let it dry. Then with a q-tip and nailpolish remover I carefully rubbed of the raised areas to remove the black that had gotten on there accidentally.

I glazed the charms and beads afterwards.

Then you need to start knotting your bracelet.
The frugal crafter has a very nice tutorial on this which is very detailed and easy to follow :)
So watch it and come back :)

You can add some beads every few knots or just knot until you reach where you want the middle and then add your created charm. You do this by feeding all three strings through your charm and pulling tight.
Then you just continue knotting. It doesn't matter with which string you start to knot again. It will look amazing anyway :)

I have done a bracelet before were I inserted eyepins at the sides of the charm. This seems easier when creating the charm itself but it will give you trouble while knotting because you'll have the strings behind the charm which also doesn't make it as pretty. Also it fell apart this week and I have to fix it... So trust me, this is the better way ;)

Finish off by putting your created beads at the ends of the bracelet so the closure doesn't come off and make a knot. Burn the ends with a lighter so the knots don't come loose and you're done.
Remember make two if you want them to be friendship bracelets ;)

Polymer Clay Friendship Shamballa Bracelets

You can make them for you and your friend or give both as a gift. Or just make one for yourself. Whatever you like.
I made them for my brother and his girlfriend. They wanted something plain but nice and they really like how the bracelets turned out. For myself it would have been a lot more colourful and floral ;D

I hope you liked this and you could follow my instructions. Leave me a comment if you did and your questions if anything was unclear.

See you soon

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