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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tutorial: Beach- Inspired Clay Tags.

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
- skewer
- assorted starfish and shells
- textured chopping board or flat surface

To embellish:
- stamps and ink pad
- rusty wire
- pliers
- glue
- words from old books/ newspaper
- beads
- 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!
Monica x


  1. ...awesome!...a loVely step-by-step guide Monica, I will definately be giving these little beauties a try...Melxx :)

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks so much. Love the tags!

  3. Beautiful tutorial, Monica! Love the idea of stamping with starfish and urchins! They came out so cute!
    I use polymer clay for the tags I make, but might have to give this a go. Love the embellished rusty wire hoops, too!

    Have a delightful day, and thank you for putting this together! Always a joy to visit!

  4. Ciao,Monica!
    Your step by step tutorial is a great kindness from you; I'll write "Das" in my next shopping list!
    P.S. Well-chosen new photo!
    A hat with a bow:a charming Artist!

  5. Those look like they would be fun to make.

  6. I love making these and I have a little treasure chest of them:)
    Monica your tutorial is BEAUTIFUL..I could never have made such a tutorial.
    Just perfect.

  7. Your clay tags are so pretty. I think we might be able to get that kind of clay here. And I bet if I put it out in the sun here, they would be dry in no time. I can put a shirt fresh from the washing machine and it is dry in less than 30 minutes. Might have to try making tags very soon. Hope you have a great week. Tammy

  8. Hello
    I had the pleasure of viewing your art in Somerset Life but have to say this is a generous tutorial.
    Many Thanks.

  9. i just bought a batch of this very same clay and have been making some of my own tags with it. i like this clay MUCH better than the kind I used in the past. "Merci" dear Monica for this wonderful tutorial! (LOVE your avatar picture ....beautiful hat!) ;)

  10. Great tutorial. I like the sea creatures used as stamps for texture.

  11. Many thanks for all these lovely words! I appreciate you understand all the time and work that go into these tutorials, and I'm very glad you like them! Enjoy!

  12. Cute, cute, cute, cute! Thanks for the tutorial- xo Diana

  13. Those are fab!
    I'm thinking of tags for Christmas gifts... maybe if I get started now.

  14. Great tutorial...thanks so much for sharing it! I love the addition of the paper words and the beads and shells in the last photo are a beautiful touch!


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