gold bean bangles

April 28, 2011 § 8 Comments

Yes, a few strips of paper, a small handful of beans, and the golden touch of paint can make quite some fashionista cuff bangles.

 

I was hoping this would be my third installment of my bean-by-number series (the first being the Turkish tiles back in November and the second, Venetian masks, for mardi gras in February).  However, the concept is so simple, there is no need to bean-by-number.  Just a few straight lines of beans do the trick.

You will need some beans, a sheet of cardstock, white glue, self-adhesive velcro (I got mine at the dollar store), and gold paint.  PLEASE NOTE: I wore my gold bean bangles to work today and small parts of the paint have chipped off.  If you are going to use spray paint, as I did, perhaps the problem would be negated by a bit of primer.  Or, what I would best suggest: use acrylic paint and a paint brush instead.  The finish would be quite different, however, the end result would look like brushed metal, which has as much impact.

1.. Cut cardboard to preferred width and length, taking into account the extra space required by the velcro.  Adhere velcro.

2. Bean away.  You don’t have to follow the straight patterns you see here.  You can create all sorts of shapes and curves, which I’d like to try, too.

3. Paint one side.  Let dry.  Paint other side.  Let dry.

I’d love to hear if you try this out and how you’ve managed to negate the issue of paint chipping.

floral stamped clay bangles

December 14, 2010 § 37 Comments

There’s still time to make handmade holiday gifts!

These floral stamped bangles were inspired by an old, forgotten object in the kitchen: an outdated glass plate with rose embellishments.  I have always marveled at the embossed pattern on the bottoms of glass plates and was stricken with the idea of using them as stamps on polymer clay.  After a celebrated return in fashion, there’s no better time to wear floral accessories.

I admit, I had moments of contention with this project.   After a shattered first attempt and a frenzied call to my good friend and polymer clay expert, Karen at Subtle Details, I learned the medium is too brittle to form into a bangle without applying it on some type of reinforcement.  Given the purpose, the reinforcement has to be metal to withstand the clay’s baking process, as well as provide strength and durability to the final product.  I mulled it over for some time before it occurred to me — cookie cutters — they’re metal, already round, and require no further shaping or cutting.  What may be the shortcoming of the cookie cutter is its predetermined size.  I was restricted to the thickness of the cookie cutter and wish for a much wider bangle to showcase more of the rose pattern I’ve come to love.  And even with my bird bones, I could use a diameter that’s about 1/4″ wider (I used 2-1/2″).

To make this project you will need:

a. Oven-baked polymer clay in your choice of colors.

b. An embossed glass plate or any object embossed with a deep relief.

c. Cookie cutters, 3″ or 4″ in diameter.

d. I have not invested in any clay glazes and thought it was a great opportunity to use up some nail polishes, as they never seem to run out.  Use a color that is a close match to the clay, but not lighter than.  You can leave the clay as it is, but I felt it needed a glaze to finish it off. *Edit: Elaine commented below that not all polymer clays can be glazed with nail polish.  Please try on a sample piece before applying on your project.  Thanks for the tip, Elaine!*

e. 7/8″ ribbon.

1. Condition the clay and roll out about 1/8″ thick, making sure the strip is long enough to cover the whole perimeter of the cookie cutter.  Stamp the pattern on the flattened clay.

2. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the clay with an extra 1/4″ on each side of the cookie cutter.

3. Roll the clay on the cookie cutter.  Carefully trim and merge the seams.

4. Fold and flatten the edges onto the inner side of the cookie cutter.  Bake according to clay’s package instructions.  Let cool.

5. Glaze and let dry.  Using super glue or heavy duty double-sided tape, adhere the ribbon along the inner side of the cookie cutter.

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