Hi there! I thought that a tutorial inspired by the beach was in order in July!
I hope that both those who have already seen my clay tags in Somerset Life and those who didn't manage to get the magazine will enjoy the step- by- step instructions. This is very easy and fun, so it may be a nice way to entertain your kids during their school break! ;)
For the basic tag you'll need:
- white air-dry clay
- assorted cookie cutters
- rolling pin
- palette knife
- assorted starfish and shells
- textured chopping board or flat surface
- stamps and ink pad
- rusty wire
- words from old books/ newspaper
- anything else that strikes your imagination!
1. Soften the clay dough a little bit.
2. With the rollin pin, roll out the dough over the chopping board until you obtain a flat "sheet" of clay. Pay attention not to make it too thin. You can see the last pictures in this tutorial as reference.
3. Turn upside down, so the textured surface is now facing you. This step is not necessary if you don't use a textured surface (which I like because it adds interest to my tags!).
4. With the help of the cookie cutters, cut round shapes out of clay.
5. Moving the cutter right and left you'll be able to remove the tag easily from the rest of the sheet.
6. Practice a hole in each tag with the help of a skewer.
7. Now press into clay anything you like, in this case, a starfish. Be very careful and don't press too much, as you could damage the tag and break the starfish.
8. Use a palette knife to move your tags to a corner of the chopping board so they'll be ready for stamping.
9. In case you want to impress the urchin mark, be extra careful as it breaks easily!
10. Handstamp words before clay dries. You can also add them later on, but the effect will be different, less faded. When I make a batch, I usually leave some plain (without words) for any future use.
11. Put the tags on a tray covered in wax paper. Allow to try, preferably in the sun. Turn them often. The process requires a few days but it depends on the climate.
Note that "white" air- dry clay is actually gray and becomes white when completely dried. Then, it becomes simple to also get rid of the flaws around the edges.
12. You may embellish your tags with a loop made with rusty wire, adding beads, words, etc or simply with string or ribbon. The possibilities are endless! You can use different shapes and textures, different colors too as I did in the Valentine's tags I made for Stampington's blog back in February.
So, go grab some clay and have fun!