Paper Clay Pendants

This free jewelry making project shows you how to make your own paper clay pendants for handmade unique jewelry making.

by craftbits (shellie wilson)

What you need

White Glue
Bathroom Tissue
Paints, colors of your choice
Oil for your surface: cooking oil, or baby oil
Lacquer, (Alternative: clear nail polish)
Tools for making indentations
knife, marker covers, pens or pencils
receptacle for making clay: a glass or styrofoam cup, etc.


1.This clay, although it sounds simple, hardens into a rock solid product which looks exactly like a kiln fired clay. It is extremely
durable, and once the process is mastered, it can be used to make many different projects, including ornaments.

To make the clay: put water into a receptacle, about 1/2 of the receptacle would be right. It is difficult to give you proper measurements
but you will quickly realize the amounts. Into the water place bathroom tissue, and stir it around with a knife until it breaks up.
This won’t take long, bathroom tissue is designed to break into a mush, so it will happen almost immediately. If your mixture is really
runny, add more paper. I would say that it takes approx. 12 squares for 1/4 cup of water, and this will depend on whether it is
one-ply or two-ply. If it is still quite watery, hold your hand over the mush, and drain off the excess water. Then mix in the white
glue. You will need about one tablespoon for every 1/4 cup of mush. Stir until it is well mixed. At this point, it does not really matter
how soft or thick your mix is, the only thing affected by the consistency is the drying time. ( When dry, however, it is harder than
any clay I have ever used, including ceramic, and cannot be broken without some difficulty. It takes time to cure, depending on
the humidity, but can be speeded up in a 200 degree oven.) If you mix the mush to a thick consistency, you can actually roll
it out with a rolling pin, (or a bottle or a glass), and then cut out some shapes using pop bottle caps, small shot glasses, or other
things that you could use in a cookie cutter type fashion. You will still have to lift the shape in your hand, and smooth out the edges
with a finger-tip dipped in water.

2.To shape your pendant shapes, you can free-form, or draw shapes on a piece of paper, cover the shapes with waxed paper or a cello sandwich
bag or saran wrap, and form your pendants on the waxed paper or clear plastic, then move them over and shape another.

3.Another easy method to make round shapes would be to use the cover of a milk carton, or bottle caps, shape the clay on the top
of the cover, using your fingers to tap all around the edges of the cover to establish the round shape, and let it semi-harden there.
If you plan to make many pendants, you could make patterns by cutting shapes out of the lids of margarine containers, and shape
the clay on these shapes. To make the hole, use a pencil and make small circles in the wet clay until you have the size you desire.

4.When you have used up all your clay, make different designs in the wet clay using knives, pen tips, marker covers, etc. Experiment!
Once you have multiple pendants made, you can place them onto an oiled cookie sheet, and dry them in a 200 degree oven. (Air drying
could take 2 days or more.)

5.Once dry, paint any colors desired. Use your finger to dab streaks of different colors, or tap and dab with a brush. Allow the
paint to dry, and coat the entire surface with clear lacquer, or clear nail polish. (Lacquer is available at home supply stores, and is
used to protect the floors in bowling alleys, however, clear nail polish is a good substitute, just not as strong).

6.If you wish, you may add wire to the pendants, or just pass the cord through the holes. The finished product looks and feels
exactly like fired clay. If your finished pieces still feel slightly flexible, no worry, they will harden rock solid in a few days.

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