Making Polymer Clay Flowers

Making polymer clay flowers is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Polymer clay flowers, using polymer clay molds, can be made and baked in no time at all. The idea behind polymer clay is that you can also mimic nature through your own handmade creations. Through the use of several common household items, you can create masterpieces that will last a lifetime.

Making Polymer Clay Flowers
Simple flowers can be created with several colors of clay and a little bit of time. First decide on your colors. For this simple flower, pick four colors. Two colors will be used for the center of the flower, one color for the petals and the last color will be the base or surrounding color.

This process will involve creating one large cane, which will then be sliced into ¼ inch slices and each slice will have the same beautiful flower design embedded in it. The base color can then be cut away to allow the flower to stand on its own or the base color can be left in place. If the base is left in place, this type of flower would make a great button. Just add two button holes in the center of the flower. Or you could make a hole in the base color and use the flower as a pendant on a necklace.

Make One Center Cane
After you have chosen your clays, set them aside and work with one color at a time. For the center of the flower, pinch or slice off a small piece of clay from each of the two colors. You will need enough of each color to roll out two canes that are about four inches long and about ¼ inch thick. Condition the clay and roll out the two canes.

Using a rolling pin, flatten one cane and then the other. (Do not use a rolling pin that you plan on using again in the kitchen. Once used on polymer clay, it will be contaminated and no longer safe for working with food). When the two canes have been flattened, place one piece of clay on top of the other and then carefully roll them up, just as if you were rolling cinnamon bread. (If you were to cut off a slice of this cane, you would see the spiral or pinwheel affect you just created. But don't slice it yet). The cane should now be about four to five inches in length and about ½ inch in diameter.

Each of the following canes should be about the same size and thickness as the center cane.

Make Five Petal Canes
Condition and create five canes. One at a time, press each of the canes around the flower center cane. Try not to press too hard and smash the shape of the canes as you attach them or it will compromise the look of your flowers when you cut the final cane into slices. When you have attached all of the petal canes, a triangularly shaped opening between each of the canes will be visible.

Make Six Base Canes
Cut six canes. Five will be the same size, but make one slightly larger. Set the larger cane aside and work with the five same-size canes first. Because each of these canes will need to fit into the spaces between the petals, they must be shaped to fit snuggly. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch each of the canes until you get a point on one end. Doing this will form each of the canes into long triangles. The point of the triangle should fit perfectly in between each of the petal canes. With the point facing downward, carefully press each of the triangularly shaped canes into place. Follow this same procedure with all five of the canes.

At this point, you have two canes. One large cane that contains the flower center, petals and the base color between each petal, and a small cane, which will be used to cover the large cane.

Flatten the small cane with a rolling pin. Flatten it out until you have a piece that can be spread thinly over the large cane. Once you have completely covered the cane, set it aside for a few minutes.

At this point, you will have one cane that is inclusive. If this cane is too soft when you slice it, the colors will all run together. To harden the cane a bit, place it into the refrigerator for about ten minutes.

When you slice into the clay, use a thin cutting tool or an old credit card and a slow sawing motion. Don't be alarmed if the first few slices are a little messy. By the third or fourth slice, you should see perfect little flowers suspended within a solid base-colored background. If you want to sculpt the leaves a bit more, now is the time to do so.

Bake the flowers for about 20 minutes at 275 degrees.

Polymer Clay Flower Molds
If you are using clay molds made from polymer clay, remember to use a releasing agent to keep the clay from sticking to the mold. A dusting of talcum power, cornstarch or baby powder should do the trick.

Dangers of Working with Polymer Clay
Remember to wash your hands and all surfaces that have come in contact with the clay. Properly discard of waste, keep the temperature between 265 and 275 degrees and do not return utensils used on polymer clay to the kitchen.

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