Crafting with Clay: Beads and Buttons
A simple project using polymer clay to do with younger children is to make clay buttons. You can cut around templates with a craft knife, but small cookie cutters are even better to work with.
To make about 12 buttons, you'll need around one ounce of clay. Once you cut out the buttons, insert a toothpick or skewer to make the button holes (make sure the hole goes all the way through). Bake the buttons according to the directions on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet. Then you can paint them with acrylic paints, finishing up with a coat of clear gloss lacquer or shellac. (Use a toothpick to hold the button for painting and to dip it into the lacquer or shellac so you get a good coat.) Painting a white base coat first will give your detail painting a better base. You'll need a #3 or #5 paintbrush for the overall painting and a #00 for painting detail. Ask at your crafts store for these sizes or look for them printed on the brushes.
Try cutting clay into different shapes, like hearts, cats, flowers (daisies or pansies work well), little cows, ice cream cones, fruits, and vegetables...the more whimsical the better. For younger children, use simple designs, like hearts and stars, that don't require much detail. Older children can get fancier.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crafts with Kids © 1998 by Georgene Lockwood. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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