Thursday, February 18, 2016

My First Polymer Clay Buttons!

On February 5th, I played with the polymer clay my husband and my boys gave to me for Christmas.

The salesman at Michaels assured my husband that the clay could be baked directly in our home oven. However, I did a fair amount of research on-line and discovered the clay leaves a residue in your oven which can cause fumes at temperatures generally used for cooking food. If you do cook the clay in the same oven you cook food in (information I found on this was mixed), it is my understanding the entire oven - including the racks - should be cleaned before cooking food.  Personally, I opted to save up and wait for a 50% off coupon to Joann Fabric and purchased a craft oven just for clay. This also allows me to set the oven up on our back patio, so I do not have to worry about keeping the house well ventilated to avoid exposure to the fumes the clay gives off as it cooks. I also found a 40% off coupon for a clay conditioner (which is similar to a pasta maker, I guess.) 

The clay oven I purchased also recommended purchasing an oven thermometer and I am SO glad I did. Sculpey Premo clay should be cooked at 275 degrees F. The oven I bought goes shows 250 and then 300. I assumed setting the dial betwen these two would be roughly 275. Wrong. It was just shy of 300. Thanks to the oven thermometer, I discovered turning the dial just barely to the left of 250 heats the oven to 275. Who would have guessed?

Anyway, my first attempts playing with clay were quite fun. I loosely followed this tutorial by Lisa Clark of the Polka Dot Cottage, because I liked the look of her buttons with small dots. I continued rolling out the scraps and cutting buttons for those pictured on the lower part of the photo above. 

After baking the clay, I was surprised to discover the larger buttons were still quite flexible. Thinking I must have done something wrong, I put my Google search engine to work and discovered this is normal for polymer clay. In my case, this was great news. I plan to add these buttons to my CQJP 2016 blocks this year and feel they will be far easier on the embroidery in the washing machine than buttons with a more ceramic feel would be.

Oh - before I forget, I saw a couple of items that may be of interest.

1) Mary Corbet has a crewel embroidery pattern giveaway on her blog that is open until 5 p.m. (Central Time) on February 24th.

2) Pamela Kellogg announced there will be a special Holiday Edition of the Crazy Quilt Quarterly to be released in September. She is requesting submissions of Christmas and Hanukkah themed blocks by May 1st. You may find more details here.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 
Renee

11 comments:

Justine said...

Gorgeous! They look like great fun to make.

Christine Barnsley said...

Hi Renee! That is good to know about the oven.... I'm worried now.... my daughter bakes her clay in our food oven.... I hope we haven't been slowly poisoning ourselves! Brilliant idea to get a dedicated craft oven. Anyway, I love your beautiful buttons and I look forward to seeing them on a CQJP block! Christine x

Createology said...

I love your clay buttons. I think you are very wise to use a dedicated clay oven outdoors. I just donated all of my clays and oven to Hospice Gift and Thrift. I kept buying supplies and clays but never used them. The two times I did try clay I was not happy with my results. Too bad I never tried such practical and pretty and functional buttons! Embracing Creative Bliss...

Katie said...

Well those are too adorable! Great job!! I would definitely call that a successful first attempt.

lynn cockrell said...

Those buttons are awesome! It can be difficult to find that perfect button for a project. I think I will be making some of these, so I'm pinning this to my Crafts & Crafts Techniques board and also to Sewing and Embroidery Inspirations. Thanks for sharing!

Tiffstitch said...

Sounds like you and clay are meant to be. Those are awesome buttons!

KimM said...

Oh my gosh! You are so talented! I love your buttons! Absolutely awesome
Hugs
xxx

desertskyquilts said...

All of the buttons are wonderful! You did really well, and I can't believe you are a beginner enhanced by internet searching. The craft oven sounds like a much better idea!

Renee said...

Lynne, I hope you have fun making buttons! I would love to see what you create. :)

crazyQstitcher said...

I like your informative news about the oven, which would be appreciated by other shrink plastic users.

The buttons are all great. I love your scrappy buttons best of all. They'll look fabulous on your CQJP blocks.

Brigitte said...

They are really beautiful, your buttons. And I can understand that you didn't want to bake them in your cooking oven - I wouldn't have done it either.