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Hey, y'all! At the beginning of June, I had the pleasure of guest posting over at Dawn Nicole Designs. I shared the tutorial for my Faux Agate Polymer Clay Necklace, and today I want to share the tutorial here with you lovely people. If you've never used polymer clay before, I hope that this tutorial encourages you to give it a try.
Making the agate for the center of the necklace is really easy, and honestly, it's the hardest part of creating the necklace. Making the rest of the necklace only requires basic jewelry-making techniques that even the beginner jewelry maker can do.
To make the necklace, you'll need a few supplies. I'm linking to a few of them using affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something through one of those links, you help support my blog at no extra charge to you. (Thanks!)
The first step to making the necklace is creating the faux agate. If you've never used polymer clay before, this may seem intimidating, but to me, working with polymer clay is like playing with Play-Doh, so have fun with it! First, gather four to five different colors of polymer clay. To keep the agate realistic looking, choose a few different shades of the same color, along with white. I chose to use brown, copper, gold, pearl, and white. Pinch off some of each of the clays. Knead the clay in your hands until its soft and then roll it into a ball.
Next, flatten each polymer clay ball between your palms and roll into a snake.
Flatten each snake and cut in half horizontally using a craft knife or clay knife. It's not recommended to use something you eat with on polymer clay, so don't use a knife from your kitchen. Since I chose the dark brown as my "base color" for my agate, I actually made two clay snakes from the dark brown and then flattened and cut one of those.
Next it's time to layer the clay. You can see in the pic above that I started layering with my dark brown clay in the middle, and then sandwiched it between the copper, sandwiched that between the gold, and so on. Once all the clay is layered, it's time to mix and blend the colors. Please keep in mind that this process is not exact, so everyone's agate will end up looking different.
To mix and blend the colors, roll the layered clay into a snake, cut it in half, stand the snake on end, and smoosh it down with your palm or thumb. Then fold and knead the clay until you get a mix that you like. You can see in the pic above how even clay from the same "layered snake" can look differently after mixing and kneading.
Once the clay looks sufficiently like agate, shape it into agate slices--a half circle shape. Since I never like to waste clay, I formed all my extra clay into different shapes to use later. (Notice that some of the clay even looks like marble.) Once your clay is shaped, put holes in the agate slices. You can use the end of a coffee stirrer, a paintbrush, or even a toothpick for this step. Put the pieces onto a glass baking dish and bake according to the polymer clay package directions. (Once again, don't use a dish that you use to bake food. I have a special glass pie plate that I only use for baking clay.)
Once the clay has been baked and cools, cover it with a coat of glaze and/or Dimensional Magic. I covered both sides with Sculpey Satin Glaze, and once that was dry, I coated the top of the slices with Dimensional Magic and let it dry thoroughly. (If I would have had a glossy Sculpey Glaze like I linked to in the supply list, I probably wouldn't have needed to use the Dimensional Magic.) Once the faux agate is complete, it's time to make the necklace.
Choose a few beads that coordinate with your agate slice, thread them on eye pins, and use round nose pliers to create a loop at the end of the eye pin.
Use your jewelry pliers to open a jump ring and attach the beaded eye pins to the agate slice.
Use wire cutters to cut chain the desired length of your necklace and then cut that chain in half. Use jump rings to attach the chain to the ends of the beaded eye pins. Then attach a jump ring to one end of the chain and a jump ring and clasp to the other. Then your necklace is complete!
Because of the colors I used on my necklace, it is totally on trend with the boho look that's so popular right now.
The great thing about this necklace is that you could use different color beads and clay to create a totally different necklace that matches your personal taste.