I received such an overwhelming response to the clay "knitted" ornaments I posted on Instagram recently, I decided to go ahead and create a tutorial for them!
Just to be clear; this is NOT an original idea. I was following this brooch tutorial HERE.
My ornaments are created the same way the brooch in the Russian tutorial is. The hardware is a little different, and I think mine calls for different Clay. (I'm not entirely sure since I can't read the original post.) Regardless, this is a fun, easy technique that yields beautiful results. C'mon, I'll show you!
Let's get started!
First of all, you'll need to collect your materials.
*Sculpey (Use as many or as few colors as you want)
*Screw Eye Rings (not pictured)
*Rolling Pin (or Jar)
*Painters Tape to secure your Wax Paper to your work surface (not pictured)
*Oven and Baking Sheet (not pictured)
(Ps. I would not recommend using Knives/Cookie Cutters/Baking Sheets that you would use for cooking. Sculpey is not foodsafe.)
Start by laying down your wax/parchment paper and taping it to your work surface with painters tape.
Grab your Sculpey and start rolling out ropes for your braids. Make each rope twice the length of the Cookie Cutter you're going to use. Each "knitted braid" consists of two of these ropes twisted towards each other. (This will make more sense in a minute!)
You'll want to twist your ropes in towards each other. Twist one rope to the left and one rope to the right. These will make up your "braids."
Line your twisted ropes up side by side, making sure they create a V formation in the middle.
Once you have enough braids to span the width of your Cookie Cutter you'll want to roll out a thin sheet of clay to act as the back of your Ornament. Roll a big ball of clay in your palms, then use your rolling pin/jar to get it nice and thin. (This might be my favorite picture ever...)
Place your rope braids on top of your sheet of clay in the order you want them to appear. Make sure they're nice and pushed together like little sardines.
Press down lightly to secure your braids to the clay base (don't smoosh them!) Then grab your Cookie Cutter and press through all layers.
Now, roll out two long ropes for the edges of your Ornament.
Place your first rope around the bottom perimeter of your Ornament making sure to press the rope into the nooks and crannies of your image. Once you work all the way around the edge, squish the ends together so your rope appears seamless.
Now, place your second rope on top of the first rope, retracing the perimeter of your Ornament. Make sure both of your ropes are touching all the way around the edges.
Once both the ropes are secured and smooth, I like to flip the Ornament over and carve the date into the back. It's up to you though.
At this point you'll want to screw in your hook. (You can leave this in while you bake it, but make sure you glue it in afterwards or it'll pop out!)
Bake at 275° degrees for 30 minutes. (You might want to designate a specific baking sheet for clay projects, if you don't have a spare one available, make sure to lay parchment paper on your baking surface before cooking.)
After your new treasure has cooled, you can coat it with Mod Podge (or any polymer clay glaze you prefer.) I like to do two coats of Mod Podge, making sure to get sealant in all the crevices.
Once this dries, superglue in your hook and you are ready for action!
This guy doesn't have to be an Ornament, you can always forgo the hook and turn it into a brooch, or a charm, or whatever! The power is yours!
Now go forth and make many, many "knitted" clay crafts! Christmas is almost upon us and it's time to make magic!
Thanks for reading!
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