Faux Gem Faux Metal Pendant

Pendant measures 2” x 2.75” with bail

Pendant measures 2” x 2.75” with bail

 

A visit to Beading Gem’s Journal will help you understand the inspiration that led me to create this pendant. I was impressed when I saw Ludmila Bakulina’s Faux Silver Polymer Clay Pendant. It could easily pass for genuine metal. Her brushed clay idea may become a staple in my clay toolbox! Ludmila’s free video tutorial makes it easy to understand the simple steps involved. While her project features a Larimar Gemstone, I chose to create my own focal piece with clay. I also came up with my own simple yet elegant design. The shape of the template is included in the pdf download at the top of this page.

Mixing translucent clay with polymer clay colors is one of my favorite techniques. While you might look at the colors and think they may not make the prettiest piece of jewelry, after they are blended together, they will surprise you. The translucent clay is the magic ingredient that produces the look of a true gemstone. My Faux Jasper Stone Pendant is another great example.

This project can be created in very little time with very little clay. And you don’t have to be an expert in clay making to complete this beautiful pendant.

Before you begin, condition clay. 

IMPORTANT NOTE - Setting numbers vary on clay conditioning machines.  On my Sculpey machine the thickest setting is 1 and the thinnest is 9.

Directions

step 1 - Roll out a four-inch square of copper (or color of your choice) clay on the number two setting of the conditioning machine. Drag a stiff brush horizontally across the clay. I tried several brushes but most were too soft. I also tried a comb but the teeth were too far apart. I found a mascara brush was the perfect tool.

step 1 - Roll out a four-inch square of copper (or color of your choice) clay on the number two setting of the conditioning machine. Drag a stiff brush horizontally across the clay. I tried several brushes but most were too soft. I also tried a comb but the teeth were too far apart. I found a mascara brush was the perfect tool.

step 2 - Print the pendant template on card stock and cut out the shape with a craft knife.

step 2 - Print the pendant template on card stock and cut out the shape with a craft knife.

step 3 - Place the cardstock on the clay and use the opening as a guide for cutting out the clay with a craft knife. Set the clay aside. This will be the backing piece.

step 3 - Place the cardstock on the clay and use the opening as a guide for cutting out the clay with a craft knife. Set the clay aside. This will be the backing piece.

step 4 - To create the “gem” cut out a single one inch square or rectangle from yellow, orange, and green clay. Cut out two pieces of the translucent clay.

step 4 - To create the “gem” cut out a single one inch square or rectangle from yellow, orange, and green clay. Cut out two pieces of the translucent clay.

step 5 - Roll out each piece with the palm of your hand on the work surface. Place them side by side with the translucent in between the colors. Grasp them together.

step 5 - Roll out each piece with the palm of your hand on the work surface. Place them side by side with the translucent in between the colors. Grasp them together.

step 6 - Twist them then roll them on the surface to create a cigar. Press the shape to be sure there are no air pockets. If you find any, push in the long ends, roll again and repeat until the shape is solid.

step 6 - Twist them then roll them on the surface to create a cigar. Press the shape to be sure there are no air pockets. If you find any, push in the long ends, roll again and repeat until the shape is solid.

 
 
step 7 - Fold the cigar in half. Twist again and flatten the clay slightly on the work surface.

step 7 - Fold the cigar in half. Twist again and flatten the clay slightly on the work surface.

step 8 - Press the clay into the middle size triangular shape of the mold.

step 8 - Press the clay into the middle size triangular shape of the mold.

step 9 - With a tissue blade, shave the clay down to the surface of the mold. Turn the mold over. Stretch and wiggle it to expel the clay shape. If the clay is especially soft, you may need to powder the mold cavity so the clay doesn’t stick.

step 9 - With a tissue blade, shave the clay down to the surface of the mold. Turn the mold over. Stretch and wiggle it to expel the clay shape. If the clay is especially soft, you may need to powder the mold cavity so the clay doesn’t stick.

step 10 - Place the shape flat side down on a ceramic tile. Bake the piece in a 275-degree oven for thirty minutes. With oven mitts, immerse the clay in cold water after removing it from the oven. When cool, buff it with denim or a Dremel tool.

step 11 - Lightly press a texture sheet onto the smooth side of the backing piece. The bumpy back of the finished pendant will prevent it from sticking to your skin.

step 11 - Lightly press a texture sheet onto the smooth side of the backing piece. The bumpy back of the finished pendant will prevent it from sticking to your skin.

step 12 - Add your signature stamp if you have one. Turn the clay bumpy side down onto a sheet of deli paper, which will allow you to rotate the piece as you work on it.

step 12 - Add your signature stamp if you have one. Turn the clay bumpy side down onto a sheet of deli paper, which will allow you to rotate the piece as you work on it.

step 13 - Roll out the excess clay and slice a 1/8” wide by 7.50” long strip with the tissue blade.

step 13 - Roll out the excess clay and slice a 1/8” wide by 7.50” long strip with the tissue blade.

step 14 - Apply Bake & Bond to the wrong side of the “gem” and position it on the backing.

step 15 - Place the center of the thin clay strip at the bottom center of the gem. Wrap the clay up the sides of the gem meeting them in the top center.

step 15 - Place the center of the thin clay strip at the bottom center of the gem. Wrap the clay up the sides of the gem meeting them in the top center.

step 16 - Cut three (approximately) .50” long pieces of clay to 1/8” wide.

step 16 - Cut three (approximately) .50” long pieces of clay to 1/8” wide.

step 17 - Position the pieces horizontally above the gem. Use a sculpting tool to smooth the edges at the sides. Do not press down on the center of the pieces so they will maintain their uniform shape.

step 17 - Position the pieces horizontally above the gem. Use a sculpting tool to smooth the edges at the sides. Do not press down on the center of the pieces so they will maintain their uniform shape.

step 18 - Wrap the two long clay strips to the back of the pendant around a dowel.

step 18 - Wrap the two long clay strips to the back of the pendant around a dowel.

step 19 - Turn the pendant over. Trim the excess strips and press two dimples into the ends with an embossing tool so the strips make contact with the clay beneath and create the bail.

step 19 - Turn the pendant over. Trim the excess strips and press two dimples into the ends with an embossing tool so the strips make contact with the clay beneath and create the bail.

step 20 - Turn the pendant over. Do not remove the dowel. With a soft brush apply mica powder to all the clay but not the gem.

step 20 - Turn the pendant over. Do not remove the dowel. With a soft brush apply mica powder to all the clay but not the gem.

step 21 - Lay the pendant on parchment supported by a ceramic tile. Allow the upper end of the project to extend off the tile as shown to create a flat pendant. If the pendant is placed in the center of the tile, the thickness on the back of the bail will prevent the pendant from remaining completely flat.

step 21 - Lay the pendant on parchment supported by a ceramic tile. Allow the upper end of the project to extend off the tile as shown to create a flat pendant. If the pendant is placed in the center of the tile, the thickness on the back of the bail will prevent the pendant from remaining completely flat.

step 22 - Bake the pendant at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.

 step 23 - Apply Future floor polish (or other protective coating) with a brush to all but the gem. 


Supplies

At Amazon

  • Clay Clay conditioning machine

  • Sculpey Cabochon Mold

  • Sculpey Bake & Bond

  • Dremel

At Michaels Store

  • Premo Clay - Translucent, Orange, Yellow, Green, Copper

  • Soft and stiff brush

  • Craft knife

  • Tissue blade

  • Dremel or buffing material

  • Sculpting tool

  • Metal or Wood Dowel

  • Ranger Heirloom Gold Mica Powder

Miscellaneous

  • Parchment paper

  • Ceramic tile

  • Future Floor Polish


Recommended Items