Friday, 19 February 2016

Tutorial Rose Notebook Cover and Pen

Hey there :)

Today I want to show you how I made this pretty notebook cover with red roses.
I made this for my best friend's birthday and now that I've given it to her, I can show it to you :)
It was a lot of work but I know that she can appreciate it and that she deserves it :)


Polymer clay
Texture sheet (see tutorial)
Clay shaping tools
Roller or pasta machine
Small rose leaves
Bronze powder or eye shadow
Acrylic paint


Roll out a sheet of clay in your desired background colour (I used black) and texture it to give it interest. I used my home made leave texture sheet for this.

Now make the roses.
Roll out your red clay (or whatever colour you want your roses) very thinly. I used setting 6 on my pasta machine.
Cut out your petals in varying sizes using round cookie cutters or by hand.

For the fully blossomed roses I used four small petals, five medium sized ones and six big ones.
Flatten the edges of the petals and make sure, they don't look too even but more organic.
It's easiest to sculpt your flowers on a toothpick. Wrap your first smallest petal onto the toothpick and then attach one after another overlapping each with the previous one. Always make sure that the petals look organic and not to round and artificial.
Once you have added your petals pinch them once or twice to make them look a bit like they have folded themselves at those parts. Look at pictures of roses for reference.
If you have difficulties understanding my explanations check out this amazing rose tutorial by Maive Ferrando who explains it really well :)

For the small leaves at the bottom of the roses' heads that wrap around I rolled out a sheet of light green very thinly (pasta machine setting 6) and then drew on curvy zig-zag lines at the edge and cut them out. Flatten their edges to remove the sharp lines.

Wrap them around your roses and buds and smooth out the lower part. I also textured the leaves with my needle tool
Roll out little snakes of the same green and shape them into the stems. The top should be bigger as roses have a bulky green part underneath their heads (I think that's where the seeds are in) smooth out everything carefully with a silicone tool or whatever you have, always making sure not to crush the delicate leaves and petals. I left the stems a bit longer and cut them to size later.

For the buds and roses that are just opening up, use fewer and only the smaller petals.

For the main branch I mixed some shades of brown together without fully bending them together so they obtained a wooden texture. 

I rolled a thin and long log and placed it on my textured base. Don't make it look too straight.

The easiest way to get pretty and amazing leaves is to pick some real ones from your garden or wherever you can get them. I used a really small branch for this.
Remember that rose leaves usually come in branches which means there is more than one leave attached to the main stem, they are clusters of three, five or seven.
So I rolled out a darker green thinly and pressed my branch of leaves into it. You can roll over it with your rolling pin if you prefer but I find that the clay underneath sometimes gets distorted this way so that it doesn't have the right shape anymore.
I pressed my leaves in with my fingers and carefully rubbed over them. Remove it carefully, lifting one edge at a time, so that you don't destroy  the real leaves and that they can be used over and over again.
Cut out your clay leaves and then to create the jagged edges, use your knife and cut into the sides. Smooth the edges carefully with your fingers, so they don't look as cut out.
Of course you can also create your rose leaves without using real ones. Just cut out a leave shape and using a knife or a needle tool, draw in your veins.

Then think about where you want your flowers to go. I placed them on the base to try out my design and then took a picture of it to remember the placement. Keep in mind that smaller buds are usually at the end of the branches.
But before attaching them permanently you need to put down your leaves. So they're below the flowers later.

I rolled out some more of my light green I had used before into a very thin snake. From that I created the branches for the leaves by placing small snakes in the desired areas. Then I positioned the leaves using my real branch as a guide: One is always at the end of the branch and the others are parallel to each other. This way it's always an uneven number of leaves. Put the ends of your light green snakes onto the leaves and blend them together carefully with your tools. I also made sure that the leaves didn't lay completely flat but some parts always stuck upwards.

After having attached all your leaves it's time for the roses. Place them where you want them and cut their stems to size. Then blend the stems into the main branch. It wasn't easy to assemble the roses in a way that the cover wouldn't be too bulky. Especially as I wanted one to be looked at from its side. This simply got so fat that I had to cut it away after having baked everything already because you couldn't even open the book properly... So keep that in mind. I therefore, had to make a new one which I carefully pressed onto the base to flatten its underside without distorting the visible part... In order to do that I stuck my needle tool into its middle part and pushed down. It wasn't easy but it worked.

If you want you can dust on some shiny powder before baking to make it even prettier. I used my copper powder and applied it with my finger by carefully brushing over the surface. You can also use a shiny eyeshadow.
Then bake your cover. It's best to do that on a ceramic or glass tile so that it bakes completely smooth.
I also made a leave branch for the back of the notebook which I forgot to take a photo of.
I painted the whole cover and inside of the cover of the notebook black to match my clay piece and then glued on my creation. I also gave it a wash of thinned out black paint to go into all the low spots.

If you want you can give the sides of the book some shine, too. I took a golden pen and while pressing the sheets together tightly I painted over them. Be careful that no paint seeps onto the whole pages and that you don't have your pages stuck together. Therefore, you shouldn't use acrylic paint for this. Maybe you should try if it works with your supplies on an old notebook first.

Here the finished cover, look at the upper big rose, it's a different one than above ;)

For the pen I first folded a piece of metal into a tube for the refill to go in. I also used the refill as a guide for this. My metal is really thick so it's quite hard to do this and I need pliers for it.

Roll out a thick sheet of black clay and cut it to the length of your tube and refill, leaving out the tip of the refill.
Cover the tube in the black clay and smooth out the seams. Texture it by rolling it onto your texture sheet.

Put on some leaves like you did earlier and create a small rose to go on top of the pen. Also make some small leaves to go underneath the rose. Put the rose on top of the pen using liquid clay - if you have any - for stronger attachment.
Brush on the same powder as you used for the cover and bake it.

Glaze both your notebook and your pen with a couple of coats so everything is protected and shiny.
And that's it.

Difficult project but definitely worth it :)
Do you like it?

See you soon

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