How do you make a Cancer symbol astrology charm? How about oven-bake polymer clay!
...When I was in grade-school, my mom bought me several blocks of oven-bake polymer clay... a.k.a. Skulpey. I fell in love with it and used it to make creative gifts for just about everybody I knew.
There's so many possibilities for using polymer clay to create neat things. For example, you can make awesome clay beads, key chains, ornaments and creative charms.
In this tutorial, I'll show you how to use oven bake clay to create a unique astrology charm, featuring the Cancer symbol.
These clay charms can be made into fun homemade magnets, cute homemade key chains or even rear view mirror charms.
Key chains and rear view mirror charms in particular would be a great idea for a homemade sweet 16 birthday gift. You could also use this idea to personalize a photo frame or a birthday plaque with an astrology theme.
So... If you know someone who enjoys astrology, a personalized clay astrology charm might be the perfect thoughtful homemade gift just for them.
One of the things that's awesome about oven bake polymer clay, is that you don't need a lot of tools or special equipment to work with it. A simple straight edge glass for rolling plus a knife and a toothpick for example, will get you going on all kinds of fun polymer clay projects.
1. Prepare Work Surface.
You can tape a piece of wax paper to your work surface to keep it clean.
2. Condition Clay.
Your polymer clay will be hard and slightly brittle at first. To soften it, break it up into 3 or 4 pieces and warm it in your hands.
Start kneading and twisting the clay. As the clay gets softer, start rolling it into snake like lengths, squish and press back together, roll into ball and repeat until clay is soft, smooth and even.
Tip... If needed, wipe hands with cloth or baby wipe between conditioning different colors.
3. Roll Out Two Pieces of Clay for the Base of the Charm.
Do this however you like. One way is to put a ball of clay between two layers of wax paper and use a straight edged glass to roll it flat. Pick up the disk a couple times to prevent sticking.
Tip... It's a good idea to wipe your work surface with a lint free clean cloth between rolling different colors.
4. Cut Clay into Squares - One Slightly Larger than the Other.
Using a knife or other straight edge tool, cut a square or rectangle from the color you plan to use on top.
Lay this on top of the uncut disc. Now you can easily cut the other color slightly larger then the first (as shown below).
5. Snip the End off a Paper Clip.
If you want to turn your charm into a key chain, an ornament or a rear view mirror charm, you might want to make a hook on top.
A paper clip works great for this.
To create a hook using a paper clip, first open the paper clip and cut off the end as shown.
6. Enclose paper clip.
Next, press the paper clip gently into the bottom base piece and cover it with top base piece. Press down gently to stick.
7. Roll Clay into One Long Coil.
To make this Cancer symbol, take a ball of clay (in the color you chose for the symbol) and roll it out evenly into one long snake-like coil.
Next, cut the coil in half so you have two identical coils.
Each coil will be used to make half of the Cancer symbol so it's up to you how thick or thin you want the coils to be.
8. Create the Cancer Symbol.
This symbol is really fun and easy to make! It's basically a sideways 69 symbol.
I chose to make this clay version a little whimsical by creating spirals for the round parts.
To do this, take one of the coils and make a small spiral with one end. After a couple times around, let the spiral open to form half of the cancer symbol.
Repeat with the other coil.
After each half is formed, lay them across the charm base as shown.
Once the symbol is positioned to your liking, slice off the excess on each end with your craft knife.
Press down gently to stick, taking care not to flatten or leave finger prints.
Tip... The clay is sticky so you don't have to press much for it to stick together.
9. Bake Clay.
Bake clay on parchment lined baking sheet in oven at the temperature and time specified on manufacture's instructions.
For the Sculpey III used here, the pieces were baked at 275° F (130° C) for 15 minutes.
Tip... Do not over bake, Sculpey III polymer clay will scorch rather easily. Scorched clay is not pretty! :)