Jewelry Making for Scrapbookers

Have you ever wanted to make a gift for a friend and wished you new about something more than just scrapbooking? Scrapbook making techniques can be used to do more than just scrapbook.

I’m often surprised by the crossovers between hobbies, but never more so than recently when I discovered I could use scrapbooking and stamping techniques to make jewelry, and in lots of different ways.

Although scrapbookers use stamps on paper, there’s no reason to feel restricted. Stamps can be used on many things, and depending on the stamp they can look great stamped into something soft just like the seal on a signet ring.

The scrapbooking method for doing this is to use many thick layers of embossing powder and keep them hot before plunging a stamp into them. You can do this onto card and then seal the card with enamel or PVA glue, but of course you can do exactly the same thing with any form of clay.

Most craft shops have clay cutter molds, but you can use normal household cookie cutters, it’s just that the size may be larger than you really need to create jewelry. Ideally roll out the clay until it is a thin and even layer, many people recommend using a pasta machine. Then cut out your shape and decide how you are going to use it. If you are making a pendant, drop earrings or a key-chain you’ll need to make a small hole in the clay in the center at the top. A cocktail stick works quite well, but make sure the hole is large enough to allow you to use a jump ring. If you are making a necklace or bracelet you’ll need to make two holes at the sides. If it’s clip earrings you’re creating you can relax. No holes required.

Once you have your cut out piece of clay, you need to find a stamp the right size and stamp into it. The easiest way to do this is to ink the stamp before pressing it into the clay as deeply as you can without coming out the other side. The ink should allow the stamp to make an impression without sticking. Then be sure the clay is flat and either dry it in the oven or leave it to dry. It depends on the type of clay. Once the clay has dried you have a lot of options, you can decorate it with ink, with perfect pearls or with enamels. You don’t need to do anything fancy, just rubbing a finger tip with some ink over the clay should pick up all the highlights. You can use glue and add tiny beads to the design or you can create several small stamped plaques of clay and use them together to make a necklace or a bracelet. Some clays come in wonderful colors like black with a sparkle finish, stamp into that with gold ink and then embellish with gold once the clay is dry and you can have a spectacular piece. Coating with clear enamel makes them stand up to the rigors of use and of course you need to add findings to create a brooch or pin, a bracelet or earrings or necklace, or if you want to do something very simple, a keyring or cellphone charm. For something like a key-chain you can create two pieces and glue them together with a weight in between, then finish the hole off with clear enamel or even just several coats of PVA glue.

As a final step you can add your stamped ‘jewel’ to other beads or even pearls to create something really unique. The divisions between crafts are entirely artificial, spread your wings and enjoy a walk on the wild side!

You can see Tim Holtz Distress Inks at Dinglefoot.com where we sell lots of inks and other scrapbooking supplies.

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