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Turtle pin

Combine polymer clay and bead-stitching techniques to make this cute brooch
Turtle pin

To make this turtle pin, create two polymer clay cabochons, and stitch a peyote bezel around each. Square stitch a base for mounting the cabs, and embellish the piece with crystals and pearls. Use earthy colors to give a natural look.

In the instruction below, you will learn how to make the polymer clay cabochons. For the remainder of the instructions – including how to make the base, create the cabochon bezels, and embellish and assemble the pin – download the free project PDF here.

Materials
Pin 1 1/4 x 3 in. (3.2 x 7.6 cm)
    •    1/4 oz. polymer clay in each of 4 colors: A, B, C, D
    •    17-21 6 mm bicone crystals
    •    33-37 4 mm glass or crystal pearls
    •    10-15 g 11/0 seed beads
    •    pin-back finding
    •    Fireline 6 lb. test
    •    beading needles, #12
    •    acrylic roller (optional
    •    2 cabochon molds: 1 x 1 1/2 in. (2.5 x 3.8 cm), 1/2 x 3/4 in. (1.3 x 1.9 cm)
    •    pasta machine*
    •    tissue blade
    •    toaster oven*
* Dedicated to the use of polymer clay

 

Tip!
Bead counts will vary depending on how large you make your cabochons and your tension in stitching the bezels.
Turtle pin Photo a
Photo A

Instructions: 

Polymer clay cabochons
If desired, protect your work surface by covering it with scrap paper.Wash your hands every time you switch colors.

[1] Condition 1/4 oz. each of four colors of clay by running each color through the pasta machine 10-20 times.

[2] Roll clay color A into a cylinder about 1/4 in. (6 mm) in diameter.

[3] Set the pasta machine to a fairly thin setting, and roll clay color B through it. Trim the sheet of clay so it is about as wide as the color A cylinder is long. Wrap it around the cylinder (Photo A), and trim the edges evenly. Gently press to remove air bubbles. This is a basic bull’s-eye cane.

[4] Set the pasta machine to a middle setting, and roll clay color C through it. Trim as in step 3. Wrap the sheet around the bull’s-eye cane, and trim the edges evenly. Repeat with clay colors A, D, and B, alternating the setting on the pasta machine between a fairly thin and a middle setting.

Turtle pin Photo b
Photo B

[5] Reduce the cane by pulling and rolling it lengthwise until it is about 1/4 in. (6 mm) in diameter.

[6] Using the tissue blade, cut even, thin slices of cane, and apply them to the inside of the 1 x 1 1/2-in. (2.5 x 3.8 cm) cabochon mold, filling in as many gaps as possible (Photo B). Repeat with the 1/2 x 3/4-in. (1.3 x 1.9 cm) cabochon mold. Roll the remaining clay into two balls about 1 x 1 1/2 in. (2.5 x 3.8 cm) and 1/2 x 3/4 in. (1.3 x 1.9 cm), and press them into the cabochon molds, applying enough pressure to remove air bubbles and seams.

[7] Remove the clay from the cabochon molds, and use the acrylic roller and your work surface to gently smooth any remaining seams. Trim excess clay from each cabochon, leaving a dome about 1/4 in. (6 mm) thick.

[8] Following the manufacturer’s instructions, bake the cabochons in the toaster oven. Allow the cabochons to cool completely, and set them aside.

To view or print the full instructions, please download the free project PDF by clicking here.

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