‘Scaly’ Polymer Clay Letters

April 23, 2012

I’ve got some color for your Monday morning.

A friend of mine asked if I would beautify some letters for her home. I told her I would try.

Her letters were sturdy, multilayer chipboard letters, a lovely surface on which to be creative. We chatted about colors and textures and basically she told me to do whatever. Don’t mind if I do.

After some long deliberations on creative direction, I decided to use polymer clay, one of my favorite mediums. And I decided to make a fish scale pattern, using lots and lots and lots of circles.

In order for the polymer clay to stick to the letters, both while raw and after baking, I first put down an even layer of white glue. Not too much, not too little. And then I started laying down circles. If the glue dries before you can get to it, just add a little more.

To make scales, layer the rows of circles by placing subsequent rows halfway up on the previous row, as shown below. Continue until the surface is covered.

When the letter is covered, turn it over and trim off the excess.

Kind of fishy. :)

I like a finished edge so I cut a narrow strip (not pictured), a little wider than the letter itself, and, after laying down a layer of white glue, laid the strip in place and again, trimming the excess.

Raw and ready to bake.

But first, a little metallic powder. The powder sticks better on the raw clay than it does on baked clay.

I planned on doing a metallic powder/alcohol ink mix so, after initially over-powdering the ‘J’, metallic powder was only applied to part of the ‘D’ and ‘B’. Then I baked them according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Then came time for the alcohol inks, my most favorite part of all. On each letter, I used a gradient of colors, flowing from one tone to another.

Earth tones are my go-to colors so my collection is a bit deep in this color range. :)

The pinks are just so bright and cheerful!

And the bluey greens. Ahhh.

I did go back and use the ink on the edge.

Lastly, I coated the letters in clear gloss spray paint and allowed them to dry. I really like how they turned out.

The alcohol inks almost look like enamel.

All ready for shipping to their real home. Thanks J and family!

Take care.

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Amy Christie

Amy is a wife, mother of two and a maker. Making is her thing whether it is food, DIYs or photos of her children. Follow Amy on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter, and through her once-a-month newsletter to keep up with the latest from this heart of mine.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cherie April 23, 2012 at 1:27pm

I never would have thought of something like this. It came out gorgeous!!

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