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Design for Kids (and Grown-Ups): 6 Polymer Clay Bracelets

by on April 19, 2014

We have been having a blast with polymer clay lately and I am thrilled to be sharing these tutorials for polymer clay bracelets with you today in partnership with Create for Less. If you aren’t familiar with Create for Less, they are a fabulous online source of crafting materials at incredible prices. I was already a customer when they approached me about working together and of course I jumped at the chance to hook up with a company I already supported! Create for Less was kind enough to supply me with the materials for this project. If you enjoy the tutorial(s) hop on over to their site and see all the wonderful art supplies they have waiting for you…..polymer clay braceletsCFL LogoPolymer Clay Bracelets

Easy-Polymer-Clay-Bracelets-BABBLE-DABBLE-DO-hero4

One of the things I love about polymer clay is the color. For this project I experimented with Premo Clay by Sculpey. Premo is a little fancier than your regular Scupley; it comes in some really interesting variations, like stone, glitter, fluorescents and even translucent colors. I’ve been wanting to tinker around with it for some time. The added dimensions give a little extra flair to clay projects, and since we are tackling jewelry I thought this would be the perfect time to flair it up!

This post is sponsored by Create for Less but all opinions are my own!

6 Clay Bracelets for Kids (and Grown-ups)

5 Polymer Clay BraceletsMaterials

Instructions

The design possibilities for polymer clay are infinite. I couldn’t just stop at one idea so I have 6 variations. I know, I went a little crazy! The first tutorial is the most involved; the others are super easy!

Polymer Clay Bracelet Tutorial 1 | Wrapped Wood

Best for grown-ups!

 Polymer Clay Bracelets

  • Step One Select the color palette you will be using. I worked with 5 colors.
  • Step Two Start kneading each individual color to soften it up.
  • Step Three Roll out each color into a long strand and group together to form a striped pattern. Pinch the stripes together to help bond the clay.
  • Step Four Flatten the clay using a rolling pin. For a wrapped bracelet you want the clay to be thin, about 1/8” inch thick.
  • Step Five Cut your clay into sections that are the width of the wood bracelet + the thickness of the bracelet x 2. For a 1” wide, ¼” thick wood bracelet your sections should be 1 ½”.
  • Step Six Press one section onto the wood and around the edges. Continue with the remaining sections until you have completely covered the wood bracelet.
  • Step Seven Pinch the edges of the clay around to the inner part of the bracelet. Be careful not to let these edges get too thick.
  • Step Eight Roll out a long piece of clay to create the bracelet inner lining. You want it to be about 1/8” thick and 1” wide. Remember that the clay you put on the inside of the bracelet will decrease the bracelet’s inner diameter and make it smaller. After rolling out a section, trim it to match the inner diameter of your bracelet.
  • Step Nine Lightly roll the clay lining into a spiral and then carefully unroll it on the inside of the bracelet to cover the rough edges of the striped clay. Gently press the sides into the striped clay to connect.
  • Step Ten Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions. Sculpey recommends 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked our bracelets for 20 minutes.
  • Step Eleven Remove from the oven and let cool.Polymer Clay Bracelets

Polymer Clay Bracelet Tutorial 2 | Wrapped Metal

Best for Kids!

These metal bracelet forms can either be reused OR integrated into the final bracelet. For kids it’s easiest to have them completely cover the bracelet form.

Polymer Clay Bracelets

  • Step One Select the color palette you will be using.
  • Step Two Start kneading each individual color to soften it up.
  • Step Three Press your clay around the bracelet form and decorate as desired. Be sure to press details into the clay to bond.
  • Step Four Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Sculpey recommends 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked our bracelets for 20 minutes.
  • Step Five Remove from the oven and let cool.

Polymer Clay Bracelet Tutorial 3 | Metal Formed

Best for grown-ups and older children!

This tutorial uses the metal bracelet structure as a form only.

Polymer Clay Bracelets

  • Step One Select the color palette you will be using.
  • Step Two Start kneading each individual color to soften it up.
  • Step Three Roll out each color into a long strand and group together to form stripes as in the wood wrapped bracelet tutorial.
  • Step Four Flatten the clay using a rolling pin.  For an open cuff style bracelet that will be made of clay only, you want to make sure the clay is  at least ¼” thick. If you make it too thin, it will be fragile and might snap when bending it around your wrist.
  • Step Five Cut your clay into sections that are slightly longer width of the bracelet form
  • Step Six Press one section onto the metal. You can either use the outside of the form or the inside. I found that finished clay is shinier when it bakes against a metal surface so using the inside of the form will yield a shiny outer surface to your bracelet. Continue pressing the sections onto the form and to each other. Make sure your seams are pinched together and flattened. The weakest part of this bracelet is the section seams so try and bond them together by gently pressing the clay edges together and burnishing slightly.
  • Step Seven Trim the dyes with an Exacto knife by running it gently along the metal edges. Soften the trimmed edges with your fingertips.
  • Step Eight Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Sculpey recommends 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked our bracelets for 20 minutes.
  • Step Nine Remove from the oven and let cool. Gently pop the bracket out of the form.

Polymer Clay Bracelet Tutorial 4 | Wrapped Cans

Best for grown-ups and older children!

Did you know you can use empty metal cans as forms for bracelets? Score for recycling! Small cans are great for child-sized bracelets, soup cans and large cans are perfect for adults’ wrist sizes. Make sure all sharp can edges  are removed or dulled.

Polymer Clay Bracelets

  • Step One Select the color palette you will be using.
  • Step Two Start kneading each individual color to soften it up.
  • Step Three Roll out each color into a long strand and group together to form stripes.
  • Step Four Flatten the clay using a rolling pin. A continuous loop clay bracelet can be thinner than the open cuff style because it won’t be subject to bending and therefore is less fragile.  I made ours about 1/8” thick.
  • Step Five Wrap the can with the striped clay and trim to create a straight seam. Press the seam edges together to bond the clay.
  • Step Six Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Sculpey recommends 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked our bracelets for 20 minutes.
  • Step Seven Remove from the oven and let cool. Gently slide a butter knife between the inner surface of the clay and the can to release the bracelet from the can. It make take a little working but it will come off!

Polymer Clay Bracelet Tutorial 5 | Wrapped Cans Alternate Idea

Best for kids!

Polymer Clay Bracelets

  • Step One Select the color palette you will be using.
  • Step Two Start kneading the colors together to form a marbled chunk of clay.
  • Step Three Roll out the clay into a long, thick strand, ours was about ½” in diameter.
  • Step Four Wrap your clay strand around a an empty can. Trim the ends to form a straight seam and then press the seam together to bond the clay.
  • Step Five Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Sculpey recommends 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked our bracelets for 20 minutes.
  • Step Six Remove from the oven and let cool. Gently slide the bracelet off the can. There is some give to baked polymer clay so keep rolling and pulling on it to remove it from the can.

Polymer Clay Bracelet Tutorial 6 |Free Form

Best for Kids!

This is the same as the tutorial above but does not use a can.  The final baked bracelet will not be perfectly round.

Polymer Clay Bracelets

  • Step One Select the color palette you will be using.
  • Step Two Start kneading the colors together to forma  marbled look to your clay.
  • Step Three Roll out the clay into a long, thick strand, ours was about ½” in diameter.
  • Step Four  Form the strand into a circle of the desired bracelet diameter. Trim the ends to form a straight seam and then press the seam together to bond the clay.
  • Step Five Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Sculpey recommends 15 minutes per ¼” of thickness at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked our bracelets for 20 minutes.

Whew! Inspired yet? There are so many more variations but I had to stop myself!

Polymer Clay Bracelets

Conclusion

As you can probably tell I’m a little obsessed with polymer clay and the possibilities for creating jewelry from it.  It’s also so inviting for kids to create with; my daughter loves the colors and the feel of working with clay. And when baked, polymer clay is durable, making it a really great choice for kid (and adult) made jewelry!

We made all these bracelets using materials from Create for Less. If you liked these tutorials I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over to Create For Less and check out all their products! They have everything under the sun for mad crafters like me and at really great prices!

CFL LogoPolymer Clay Bracelets

Thank you so much Create for Less for letting me have a fun creating with some of your wonderful products!

For more clay jewelry fun try making some clay beads: Polymer Clay Beads and/or Seed Beads.

And don’t miss out on more projects here on Babble Dabble Do!  Subscribe below or follow us on Twitter!

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie April 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

These are SO gorgeous, Ana! What a fun craft for kiddos and their grownups ;)
Stephanie recently posted…The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly: Upcycled PuppetMy Profile

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Ana Dziengel April 21, 2014 at 5:45 am

Thanks Stephanie! I don’t know who had more fun, me or the kids……

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meri cherry April 19, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Ok. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!! That hand picture might be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!!!! These are fantastic and you KNOW I love me some polymer clay!!! Fantastic!!!
meri cherry recently posted…Make Your Own Milk Jar VaseMy Profile

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Ana Dziengel April 21, 2014 at 5:45 am

:) My kids were fighting over who got to put on more bracelets; to ease the tension I asked them to hold hands and snapped a few pics! And BTW it’s all your fault I am now into polymer clay…..

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Kristen April 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

These are so fun and colorful! This would be a wonderful craft for my daughter’s birthday party. Thanks for the great post. I didn’t know about Create for Less and are happy to have discovered them.
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Ana Dziengel April 21, 2014 at 5:43 am

Yay Kristen! These would make a great birthday party project and fun for kids to take home as party “swag”.

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Leslie April 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Gorgeous! Gorgeous!
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Ana Dziengel April 21, 2014 at 5:42 am

Thanks Leslie! I love Sculpey colors!

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Jeanette Nyberg April 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Oh! I didn’t even know about Create for Less before this. Thanks for introducing me to another source I can obsess over. I’m seriously in love. And also?!?!? Your bracelets are freaking gorgeous. I haven’t ever tried Sculpey, but I have a feeling my daughter would love making these bracelets.
Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…5 Items I Done Found at TargetMy Profile

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Ana Dziengel April 21, 2014 at 5:38 am

Thanks Jeanette! Create for Less is a very good find ;) I avoided Scupley for the longest time because I didn’t know where to start….now I don’t know when to stop!

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Anna April 22, 2014 at 5:12 am

Wow these look so cool – I love it! Pinned :)
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Ana Dziengel April 23, 2014 at 5:17 am

Thank you so much Anna! We had a great time making them :)

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