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Stamped Clay Jewelry (and Keychains and Gift Tags)

 

Several days ago, I was trying to think of a quick project to do with our girl’s youth group at church.  You know, something that we could do in about an hour.  That’s when I thought of making some oven-baked clay jewelry, that I have seen around the blogosphere for a couple years now.  Then I remembered that I recently saw a basic tutorial on Then She Made for making clay necklaces.  That’s all it took to trigger my memory and get the juices flowing.  

 

The girls are between 12-18 years old, so this was perfect for them……and fun for me too! :)

 

So, the idea just grew from there.  And I made more and more. 

 

 

Originally, I just thought we’d make some necklaces.  (This one is for Elli but she was at school while I was taking pictures this morning.  So Chloe is doing the modeling today.)

 

 

But then decided to turn some into key-chains too.  (Anyone have a baby born on Oct 16th?  I just chose a random day while making it but don’t have any Oct 16th babies.  Any takers??)

 

 

And then, at the last minute, I decided that this would be a fun gift tag to make ahead of time and then just add on to your next gift.  You could even press your name into the back, so your recipient knows just who it’s from.  But seriously, what a cute birthday tag or baby gift tag……..or a ‘thank you’ tag.  I better make several more of each.

 

 

But I think I’m the most crazy about this one.  And I don’t even have a fish.  Ha.  (Okay, Connor and Elli each have a beta fish.  So they can fight over it! ;))

 

 

But it turned out to be a lot of fun.  And Steve even got jealous and said “hey, save me some of that clay…..I wanna make something too!”  Okay mister!

 

My kiddos are super excited to make some later this afternoon.  (Because I made all of these in the evening after the kiddos were in bed.  They just saw the results.)  Connor wants to make some cool figurines and animal shapes and Elli is dying to add more charms to that necklace on the left.  I told her that they are all interchangeable and she’s beyond excited.  Wouldn’t it be fun to let the kiddos make some for friends’ birthdays?!?!  Especially if they’re not perfect and are obviously kid-made?  I love it already. 

 

 

 

 

Would you like to make some clay jewelry/keychains/tags for yourself?

 

Okay, let’s get started.

 

As I mentioned above, Then She Made is the blog that recently inspired me to finally try my hand at making something I’ve always wanted to try.  (Amy is much more proficient in her skills and she even sells many beautiful designs in her etsy shop.  And no, I don’t sell the things I make here but I’m pretty sure Amy could make you anything your little heart wanted.  Check out her shop……you’ll see! :)

 

But seeing her tutorial was all I needed to get me thinking.  Yay.  That’s when my fingers went crazy making more and more.  Because it was that addicting.  No joke.  Amy also mentions that you should plan on it taking about 3 hours.  I helped the youth group girls make theirs in about an hour.  But they only made one each and I told them to keep them simple.  (And they used letter stamps for writing words, nothing hand written.  That saved us some time too.)  But if you are helping someone who has big plans and wants to make something more intricate, it will take longer.

 

I bought my oven-bake polymer clay at Hobby Lobby.  I bought the Sculpey brand……mostly because my husband told me that’s what he used in high school.  It brought him a bit of happy nostalgia. ;) 

I bought 5 different colors of but kinda wished I would have bought about 10 more. ;) 

 

 

Using polymer clay is about the same for all brands.  Baking directions may be a little different, so check your packaging.  However, the next several steps will all be about the same.  Sculpey even gives some tips on their site for the softening, sculpting, shaping, baking, and glazing of their clay……you know, in case you want to learn more.  But words only go so far, right?  So here’s a few pictures to see the process:

 

 

To get started, break off a chunk and start kneading it between your fingers to get it nice and soft and warm.  Keep in mind, you don’t really need very much.

 

After it’s nice and soft, mold it into the shape you’d like it and smooth out the edges just how you want it.  And don’t worry, your own little finger prints in there gives it some character!

 

Now, you can start imprinting designs on it.  If you have rubber stamps, they work great.  But look around you…….you may have a really cool necklace or barrette or earring that would make the perfect imprint.  One of the girls at the youth group activity had a mustache ring on and she used that.  It was cute.  And perfect.  I actually bought these stamps at Hobby Lobby because all their stamps were 40% off.  (That store is funny.  Every other aisle is always on sale.  Then they switch. There’s always a sale there….which makes me happy!)

 

So, after you decide which stamp you want, go on and press it in.  This clay is not super soft so you’ll have to use some pressure but not too much because you don’t want it too deep either.  (And if you mess up, squish up the clay and try all over again.  No biggee.)

 

Then, decide where you want your hole to be and poke a toothpick through.  You may want to rotate the toothpick around to get a nice smooth and even opening, expanding it larger if needed.

 

 

If you want to add words or numbers and you don’t have the exact stamp to do it, the easiest method to use is individual letter stamps.  I have some metal stamping letters that worked great and were nice and small.  (But there are small letters of the rubber stamp variety out there too.) 

 

 

Once your clay looks just like you want it, place it on a tinfoil covered baking sheet and bake at 275 (F) for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch.

 

After it’s cooled, you can either stop here and apply your glaze or you can add some paint to give the imprint some dimension.  I have seen several methods using paint to give your imprint some dimension but Then She Made mentions using brown paint and not black because black stains easier on the spots you don’t want it to.  So I used brown and it worked great.  I’m not sure what sort of paint she used, but I found that some of this inexpensive acrylic paint worked great.  (But a reader emailed me to let me know that using stamp ink works great too.  Great idea!) 

 

So I just blotted some paint down into the cracks and inside the shape…….and then quicker than quick, I wiped it off.  If you leave it on there, it will soak in where you don’t want it to and will be hard to get off.  (**If you do get some unwanted paint around the outer edges, wet your paper towel and rub it off with that.  But the lighter your clay, the harder it is to remove unwanted paint.  So be careful.  I put a big blob on some yellow clay and didn’t wipe it off quick enough.  It stained in funny places and just looked dirty.  So I painted over the whole entire piece, then wiped it all off, to give the whole surface an even “antique” look. And that helped.)

 

Once you have wiped enough paint away and have it just how you want it, let it dry.  Then add a thin-medium coat of Mod Podge.  I used gloss but you could use matte also.  Sculpey also has a clay glaze available for purchase.

 

 

Then allow the Mod Podge to dry.

 

Now, decide if you want a necklace or key chain…….or whatever else you had in mind.  To keep cost really low, thread a piece of thin hemp through your hole and tie a knot. 

 

Or, for just a bit more buy some jump rings and chains at your craft store.

 

To use a jump ring, separate the two ends and poke through your clay opening.

 

Then bend the jump ring closed with some pliers.  That’s it.

 

Now attach to a key chain or a necklace.

 

 

Or do with it what you may.

 

*****As a side note, if you are adding layers of colors (like I did with that baby hand and the fish bowl), make your imprints on their separate pieces of clay and then be sure to score your clay before attaching them together.  What that means is that before adding on the blue hand, for example, I lightly scratched up the back of the clay with a toothpick and then I also scratched up the front of the green heart where the blue hand would go.  Then I pressed the blue hand down on to green heart hard enough to attach it but not too much too squish the hand imprint.  Scoring the clay gives it some texture so that they will stick together better.  Then you can bake it just like normal and then paint and glaze it.

 

 

 

Now make more.  And enjoy!

 

-Ashley

 

 

 

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Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Stamped clay jewelry (and keychains and gift tags)
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Comments

  1. Allison D says:

    We used these clays so much when I was little! Your keychains got me thinking, you could make some really cute zipper pulls with this too.

  2. inkblotters says:

    hi!!! we love your work!.

  3. Aaron says:

    Thank you so much for this ! Do you know how long I have searched the internet for an easy key ring method ! lol Thank you again :)

  4. roberta says:

    where do you find your alphabetic ‘s that small to make the clay keychains???

  5. Lisa says:

    I made some of these necklaces and keychains to give to my nieces and nephews for Christmas and they came out great! Would you happen to know what size jump rings you used for the keychains? The ones I got are too small…

    thanks!

  6. Carolyn says:

    How do the key chains hold up with actual use? Or are they more for just decoration?

  7. Valerie says:

    I want to do this with my 5 year old but may I get the color name for the pink that you used I can only find Ballerina Pink and that is to light thanks!!

  8. Button And Bean says:

    Absolutely adorable and thank you so much for the step by step tutorials. Would love to make one.

  9. Lisa M says:

    I love all the different colors you used! I can’t wait to try this. Pinning it for future! Thank you for sharing this!

  10. joanna says:

    I used your tutorial, found on pinterest, but why is my mod pogde sticky/tacky. What have I done wrong?

  11. Winnie says:

    Hi,

    I was just wondering what is the name or the maker of the family rubber stamps that you used? I love the characters.

    Aloha, Winnie

    1. joanna says:

      Stampabilities, I found them at hobby lobby, but I can’t find my package to give the product number

  12. sirilakma says:

    i love idea … thank you , Great Idea!!!!!!!

  13. Alyssa says:

    Love these. I didn’t believe you when you said it was addicting, but it really is. These are such fun and easy gifts! Thanks for sharing!!

    P.S. I squished my clay ball between parchment paper to got a nice smooth look if you don’t want your fingerprints on the project.

  14. danielle says:

    I wanted to stop by to let you know that I featured this on my site today in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post. Stop by and see!

  15. Katy says:

    I tried this last night and actually put ink on the stamps when I did it. It worked great. The only problem was if the stamp moved or you didn’t center it right, you had to re-work it, but this would be the case regardless. It cut out the painting step, so it was a bit easier for my daughter.

    1. Katy says:

      *I stamped it with ink and then baked it.

  16. AgKe says:

    uwielbiam Twojego bloga
    masz fantastyczne pomysły :)

  17. Adrianna says:

    Love it..love it…love it!!!

  18. Amanda says:

    LOVE this idea and it couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m going to make personalized keychains for my youngest to give out at her birthday party instead of the traditional goody bags filled with candy :)

  19. Kerry says:

    How cute! I wanna play with clay! :)

  20. Ashley P. says:

    So cute! I would love it if you posted more cute things you do for YW.

  21. Tyne Dimitrov says:

    I just had to comment on your fish key chain….I thought it meant that you liked fishy crackers…8) I know they are supposed to be for the kids…but I like them too.

  22. Vanessa says:

    I LOVE THESE!! I love them as the gift tags…great idea!!
    My oldest baby will be 23 on Oct 16th!! yay for October babies!

  23. Jo says:

    These are so cute! Can you tell me what size of jump rings you use?? Thanks!

  24. april gilbert says:

    Ashley, I’m coming in October… Bradley’s birthday is Oct 16.

  25. Kim K says:

    Can you tell me the brand of the letter and number stamp set you have? How tall are the stamps?

  26. Eva Scott says:

    oh my word, these are adorable!!

  27. Rag Dolls Rising says:

    This is a wonderful craft, have been looking for something like this to do with kids! thanks

  28. Kathleen D says:

    Super Cute! Love it!

  29. Evgenia says:

    I loved all of them!! Incredible idea for kids!

  30. Kasia says:

    :D :D :D :D :D

  31. Fernanda says:

    I just love your blog! You make the cutest things!

  32. Michelle says:

    I love this idea, thank you!! Do you actually put it in the oven & bake it once you have it made or it just air dries?

    1. Claire says:

      You have to bake it. Sculpey doesn’t air dry. Hope this helps!

    2. michelle says:

      You bake it after you stamp it right? And then if you do the extra painting, just use mod podge over that? Sorry for being a pain : )

    3. Alicia Hart says:

      Exactly like that. Modge podge gives a lot of things a nice finish. There’s gloss or matte, or a dozen other mod podge choices, so just make sure you get the one with the correct finish you want.

    4. Alicia Hart says:

      I mean mod podge, sorry

  33. Lynette says:

    I think I could definitely make some of these during my 4 month olds nap time. I love jewelry, and this would be kinda fun. And I LOVE key chains. I could make several and switch every month! Woo! :)

  34. Kristin says:

    What a darling idea! Wished I would have done this back when I was in Activity Days. I think I’ll let my little one make a necklace for herself and her cousin. They’ll love it! Thanks for always having such cute projects.

  35. Gwen says:

    Must do this with my crafty kids. They will love it! Adding it to my list of faves.

  36. TatteredSpinner says:

    The currency of my childhood economy was sculpey clay. I went through the big ten packs like nothing, so I’d do dishes/clean house while mom hopped in the car to buy the clay to pay me. Come to think of it, she might have helped that clay to disappear…

  37. Claire says:

    Haha we have been using sculpey since I was about 5 at my house. (I’m 14 and I love your site) My little sister makes liytle figurines and gives them to her friends for their birthdays. We have also done a similar project to this, but with real clay since my mom has a kiln. Also when you buy your polymer clay, don’t use Fimo. It tends to bo more toxic than Sculpey and Premo. This is especially important when making things with children. You probably also don’t want modeling clay, it will melt in the oven and make a huge mess. Sorry if you already know all of this, I just wanted to help in case you didn’t.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Good tip about toxicity

  38. Svetlana says:

    Hello from Ukraine!
    Thanks for this idea! It’s easy to do and so cute ) Hope I’ll found Sculpey here in Kiev ))))
    Your site is full of cosiness, I really enjoy it! I’ve found here a lot of ideas to decorate my home and especially kid’s room. Thanx again!

  39. SeiCreativ! says:

    So cute and simple as always! I like your ideas and your page! Thank you!

  40. Katie says:

    Ok…. I have everything except the clay;( Now I have an excuse to go down that aisle at Hobby Lobby! Those are adorable and would be awesome for a quick classroom project or party favor. LOVE! good tutorial

  41. Becca Harris says:

    What a cute idea! My son’s birthday is Oct. 16 :). He’ll be two (ack!).

  42. Rachel says:

    This is great! i’m always looking for affordable, fun craft ideas so I’ll have to try this one!

  43. Tiffiny Felix says:

    I want to jump up and down! I *love* this!! :D

  44. Tara says:

    you have the greatest ideas…and tutorials. can’t wait to try this.

  45. Colette says:

    I did this for my daughter’s birthday party this year, the girls loved it!

  46. Jenny Whiting says:

    These are so cute! I am also in YW’s and am always trying to find things that we can do – and finish- during our hour or so. So I’m curious if you really had time to bake them and let them cool and glaze them during the activity? My girls always take forever with crafts – as they are super creative and selective about what they do – we might have to save this for a sleep over or some longer activity. Thanks for all the ideas and examples!

  47. Darci says:

    What a fun project! I love the addition of paint to enhance the imprint. Thanks for the ideas!

  48. Katy says:

    Cute project! This might be our next family night activity. I am so glad I saw this b/c I was looking for stick people stamps and had given up!! I’ll be heading to Hobby Lobby tomorrow!

  49. Ali says:

    I was wondering if I pressed the stamp into ink of any color really how it would turn out?

    1. Ali says:

      Also could u use them on hair clips or if they r small enough make ear rings too! My little girl loves jewelry so I can’t wait to make these!

  50. Katrina says:

    Hi Ashley, These are just charming! Great photos too…I’m really enjoying your website/blog. Looking forward to talking with you! I sent you an email earlier about my Kids Sewing DVDs. Creatively, Katrina Marie

  51. Jenn says:

    too cute! I like your style! :)

  52. jaci says:

    I was so thinking u were going to say one of your kids had an Oct 16th bday! I would have been happy to share with them :)

  53. Holli says:

    LOVE IT! I have a whole box full of sculpty clay that I’ve had since I was a teenager, we won’t talk about how long that’s been. But this could be the perfect craft! And I’ll save my hubby some money and make myself a “mommy” necklace instead of him buying an expensive one. Thanks for the idea.

  54. Jenn says:

    Man I wish I could justify buying those stamps and clay myself! I love that keychain you made with the kids faces on it! How much would you charge me to make one almost just like it just with another little boy added on? :)

  55. Bridget says:

    These are adorable and my four year old will be in love!

  56. CelestialsCreations says:

    I’m so embarrassed that this never occurred to me before. How cute!

  57. Lysa says:

    These are too cute! & I already have all the supplies to make them-Score! :)

  58. brandy says:

    Oh, I just love these! How fun! I think my kids would love making these too. And I have a little one about to turn 1 on October 17, so almost! :)

    1. brandy says:

      Oh, and I have everything we need for these already! Bonus! My sis just got called as YW pres. I’ll have to pass these along to her. Thanks Ashley!

  59. Julie M. says:

    Those are absolutly adorable!!

    October 16th is a wonderful random day!! It is my daughter Katie’s birthday :) I’ll totally take the charm if you really want to give it away!! <3

  60. Leigh Ann says:

    So cute! My girls would love to make these!

  61. Melissa says:

    What a great idea! I will be doing this with my kids one weekend!

  62. Heidi says:

    Love it! I’m pinning this for our GEMS sleepover later this year!

  63. Tara says:

    I am totally doing this today! I have been searching for something fun and easy to do with Harmony!

  64. Aimie says:

    I love this so much! I have 5 daughters and we are always looking for cute jewelry and crafts!

  65. Cathy says:

    I love your ideas. I am going to use this for my young womens group also! Thanks.

  66. Kristen S- Craft GOssip says:

    I absolutely LOVE Sculpey!! My 5 year old was in awe of your pictures!! Just posted on Craft Gossip!!!

    https://lessonplans.craftgossip.com/?p=6870

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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