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- Cactus Craft Round-Up: DIY Clay, Paper and Felt Cactuses
- How to Discover Your Passion: Ask Yourself the Million Dollar Question
- Making Zentiles: A Zentangle Project
- A Quick Start Guide to Zentangles
- Dear Martha Stewart – Thank You for the possibilities
- Pysanky Roundup: Resources and Inspiration
- Visiting St. Kitts: Inspiration and Artistry
- Daily Rituals by Mason Curry – Lessons Learned from How Artists Work
- Making a God’s Eye – Revisiting the Camp Classic
- Creative Exploration – The Cricket Loom
If you follow The Midnight Creative on Pinterest, you’re probably aware I’m slightly Cactus obsessed. Contemporary renditions of this desert plant are full of colour, texture and whimsy.
I’m having a 40th Birthday Fiesta this weekend, so I thought I would try my hand at making some potted polymer clay cactuses.
These colorful gems are particularly low maintenance when they’re in clay, paper or felt form. Want to make your own cactus garden? I’ve created a cactus craft round-up to get your ideas sprouting.
- Clay Cactuses | The Party Parade
- Cactus Ring Holder | Collectively Christine
- Polymer Clay Cactus Inspiration | JooJoo
- Clay Cactus Garden | Inspired by Charm
- DIY Cactus Plants | The Crafted Sparrow
- DIY Paper Christmas Cactus | The House That Lars Built
- Four Paper Succulents | Lia Griffith
- Crepe Paper Cactus Plants | Lia Griffith
- DIY Cactus Plants | Avanti Morocha
- DIY Felt Cacti | Garden Therapy
- Felt Cactus Craft | Benzie Design
- Needle Felt Cactus | Make & Fable
- Felt Cactus Pincushion | Lia Griffith
- Cactus Pincushion | A Beautiful Mess
What’s inspiring you lately?
Last week I wrote about approaching the January Daily Creative Challenge as more of a ritual, than a harried obligation. I have enjoyed what I’ve come to think of as my creative coffee breaks every afternoon in my craft studio/storage space/ guest room (I’ll tackle that another day). Adding another level of consistency has definitely helped me enjoy the proccess.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this month I’ve been making a scribed bead each day out of polymer clay; my theme is wildflowers. Each week I’ve played around with a different color scheme and this week I chose black and copper.
I thought it might be fun to give a quick tutorial, so you can experiment yourself. The first two weeks I used multiple colors of clay, and then used their organic shapes to influence what I would scribe into the clay. In the beads from week three, I only use black clay, and draw specific flowers into the clay.
Scribed Bead Tutorial
Step 1: Choose your clay. I mixed two colors of black. Sculpey Black and Sculpey Souffle Poppy. Poppy seemed to have more shine and the sculpey black seemed more suede, so I thought I’d see if the finishing would be matte, gloss or in between. Definitely more on the matte, suede side. But I like the stone-like results.
Step 2: Soften the clay by rolling it between your hands, or use a clay rolling machine. When both colors are soft, blend them together by mushing and rolling them until fully mixed.
Step 3: Make the bead by rolling your clay into a smooth ball. Flatten the clay into a disk and use an awl, needle, or skewer to poke a hole all the way through the clay.
Step 4: Scribe your bead. You’ll need an awl, toothpick, wooden skewer, needle or any other sharp, pointed stick. Then draw on you bead. This is the scribing part of the proccess. Make sure to press firmly enough as you drag your tool through the clay, or press into the clay. If the etched lines are not deep enough they won’t hold the pigment in the next step. I find this part tricky; it helps if you can let your clay sit and firm up a bit before you start scribing. You can also go over your lines a second time to make sure they’re deep enough too.
Step 5: Coat Your Beads in a pigment powder. Ideally, using a mica shift powder, such as Pearl Ex, you will apply it to the top of your bead using a small brush. Try to get the powder into all of those nooks and crannies. If, like me, you can not find any Pearl Ex powders, you can use sparkly eyeshadow as a substitute.
Step 6: Bake your beads according to package directions. Mine were baked at 275 degrees for 30 minutes
Step 7: Sand the beads using a wet/dry sandpaper with a 400 or 600 grit (its often found in the automotive supply section of your hardware store). I start with the 400 and sand off the top coating of powder. Then I use the 600 grit to do a final smoothing. The pigment will remain in the etched lines as you are only going to sand the flat surface of the bead.
Step 8: Enjoy! I’m starting to think ahead to how I will use all these beads. Perhaps on keychains with bright tassels…
Have you experimented with scribed beads before? I’d love to see your projects and hear your tips.