It’s the time of year when love is in the air, but if soft pastels and gentle blooms really aren’t your thing, add some zing to your Valentines day with a few homemade heart accessories. Bright colours, cheerful patterns and vivid beads make these pendants the ideal gift for a friend or loved one (or even to yourself – you deserve it after all, you’re ace!), and will last longer than a box of Quality Street and some supermarket flowers. We’ve got two great tutorials today which will help you whip up some heart-shaped treats in no time at all.
Fimo Clay Pendant
We love Fimo here at Sticky Tiger, simply because it’s easy to use and quick to harden. There’s not a lot you can’t do with it; mould it, shape it, cut it, paint it... the only limit is your own imagination! It also comes in a huge range of colours, that can be swirled together or blended to create new shades.
You will need:
Packets of Fimo in your chosen colours
Small plastic rolling pin (one from a child’s baking set is ideal)
1. Warm the Fimo up by rolling a small piece between your hands until it’s soft and mouldable. Firm it into a small ball.
2. Place the clay into the mould and press down firmly, until it fills the whole space.
3. Using the rolling pin, roll gently over the clay until it’s fairly flat. Don’t press too hard, or it will cause the Fimo to lift up before you’re ready.
4. Gently peel the clay out of the mould – try to lift it upwards as much as possible, otherwise the shape tends to stretch and become distorted.
5. Place the clay on a flat surface, and using the craft knife, gently cut the pendant shape out. Remove the excess clay and then smooth around the edges gently with your finger.
6. Insert one of the eye pins into the top of the heart shape, and then remove again. You need to make the hole for this before the clay goes into the oven, otherwise it’ll be too hard to pierce.
7. Cook your heart shape in the oven following the directions on the packet.
8. While waiting for your pendant to harden and cool, put your feet up with a nice slice of cake.
9. Once your pendant is cool, insert the eye pin, then string it onto your elastic.
10. Add some beads to either side of the heart – we kept it simple to make sure the pendant was the main attraction, but you could make it as complex as you like.
11. Place your brand new pendant inside an envelope or box, decorate with tape and string, and give to a friend or loved one. Alternatively, pop it around your neck and show your jewellery-making skills off to everyone you meet!
Hand-decorated Clay Hearts
Modelling paste is a little bit like clay, but much lighter and easier to soften. It air dries over twenty-four hours, and stays flexible, so you can sew into it (carefully!), paint it, or decorate it however you please.
You will need:
Acrylic paint in various colours
Silver Eye Pins or Pin Badge Backs
Small rolling pin (one from a child’s baking set is ideal)
Medium-sized heart-shaped cookie cutter
1. Begin by rolling a piece of modelling clay into a small ball, then place onto a hard surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1cm.
2. Using your cookie cutter, cut out several heart shapes, and then, if they’re going to be pendants, insert the eye pins into the top. Place on a baking tray and leave somewhere warm to dry out completely for twenty-four hours.
3. When your heart shapes are completely dry, decide which sections you want to paint, and mask it off using masking tape. The tape will give you a nice crisp edge, but will still peel off easily once the paint is dry.
4. Paint the shapes with two or three thin coats, and leave somewhere to dry thoroughly. If you want the back to be as neat as the front, turn your shape over and repeat the process.
5. Once dry, choose your washi tape designs, and stick firmly to the front of your heart shapes. Curve the tape over the edges, and then trim neatly with sharp scissors.
6. Once you’ve finalised your design, cover the whole of each heart with a coat of mod podge, leave to dry and then apply a second coat. The mod podge will add a nice shine, and will also make your shapes a little harder and more durable.
7. If you’re making your shape into a pendant, thread it onto a piece of elastic, and then add some beads either side. If it’s going to be a badge, stick the pin badge backs on with some strong glue and leave to dry.
8. Give your heart-shaped accessories to everyone around you, or pin them to everything you can find. Clay-tastic!