Feather Clay Spring Hinge Bracelet

 1.50" wide, fits bracelet size approximately 6-7

 1.50" wide, fits bracelet size approximately 6-7

Interested in more ideas for clay hinged bracelets? You'll find 25 unique projects in my book, "Hinged Clay Bracelets" available on Amazon.

Two colorful ragged edged leaves overlap each other on the front of this bracelet while a spring hinge anchors them in the back. Clear blue, white and copper become so much more when they are blended together in this yummy polymer clay project. The clay shaving technique used, creates unpredictable color designs that will surprise and please you. Choose one of the solid colors for the lining which bakes with the outer feathers, forming a sturdy piece of jewelry. The hinge makes the bracelet easy to slip on or off. Simple tools add dimensional texture and the free templates help you cut a realistic shape. This project can be completed in a couple of hours. Yes, you can do this. Fair warning: make one and you'll want to make many more!

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 - Download and print out the template for the bracelet onto card stock. Cut out the images with a craft knife.

step 1 - Download and print out the template for the bracelet onto card stock. Cut out the images with a craft knife.

step 2 - Condition White, Sea Glass, and Copper clay. Roll each on #1 setting of the conditioning machine. Create three sheets approximately 4.50" x 3"; one of each color.

step 3 -  Blend the colors by tearing each into thin strips and overlapping slightly. Use an acrylic roller to press them to each other.

step 3 -  Blend the colors by tearing each into thin strips and overlapping slightly. Use an acrylic roller to press them to each other.

step 4 - Roll the clay into a tube. Twist the tube then flatten it.

step 4 - Roll the clay into a tube. Twist the tube then flatten it.

step 5 - Feed the clay into the conditioning machine vertically then horizontally on #2 setting. Repeat this until you are happy with the blend.

step 5 - Feed the clay into the conditioning machine vertically then horizontally on #2 setting. Repeat this until you are happy with the blend.

step 6 - Roll across a rubber stamp with the texture against the clay to leave impressions on the surface.

step 6 - Roll across a rubber stamp with the texture against the clay to leave impressions on the surface.

step 7 - Skim across the raised surfaces with a tissue blade.

step 7 - Skim across the raised surfaces with a tissue blade.

step 8 - Continue skimming until you like the surface designs and colors that are revealed. Roll across the clay to even out the thickness.

step 8 - Continue skimming until you like the surface designs and colors that are revealed. Roll across the clay to even out the thickness.

step 9 - Place the multi-color clay on a sheet of solid copper clay rolled on #3 setting. Press the card stock leaves onto the clay.

step 9 - Place the multi-color clay on a sheet of solid copper clay rolled on #3 setting. Press the card stock leaves onto the clay.

step 10 - With a pointy sculpting tool, draw lines following the center opening in the feathers. Hold the tool at an angle as opposed to using the tip, which will slice into the clay.

step 10 - With a pointy sculpting tool, draw lines following the center opening in the feathers. Hold the tool at an angle as opposed to using the tip, which will slice into the clay.

step 11 - Use a craft knife to cut out the feather shapes through both clay layers.

step 11 - Use a craft knife to cut out the feather shapes through both clay layers.

step 12 - With a blade tool, separate the layers on the straight edge of the feather. This is where the hinge will be inserted in step 20.

step 12 - With a blade tool, separate the layers on the straight edge of the feather. This is where the hinge will be inserted in step 20.

step 13 - Create a curve in a piece of 18-gauge jewelry wire. Align the cut edge against the center line on the feather.

step 13 - Create a curve in a piece of 18-gauge jewelry wire. Align the cut edge against the center line on the feather.

step 14 - Use a plastic credit card to press down on the wire, creating an impression in the clay.

step 14 - Use a plastic credit card to press down on the wire, creating an impression in the clay.

step 15 - Continue creating lines on both sides of the feather. Use a pointy sculpting tool to make short indentations on the feather edges.

step 15 - Continue creating lines on both sides of the feather. Use a pointy sculpting tool to make short indentations on the feather edges.

step 16 - Use a Q-tip to apply copper mica powder unevenly to the edges of the feather and the center line.

step 16 - Use a Q-tip to apply copper mica powder unevenly to the edges of the feather and the center line.

step 19 - Position one feather right side down on a 4" wide strip of parchment paper. Apply liquid polymer clay between the two layers on the straight edge of the feather.

step 19 - Position one feather right side down on a 4" wide strip of parchment paper. Apply liquid polymer clay between the two layers on the straight edge of the feather.

step 17 - Cut a 3" wide section from a paper towel roll for the bracelet form. Squeeze it to create an oval. A slightly oval bracelet shape will fit more comfortably on the wrist than a round one. In addition, the oval shape will guarantee the hinge is always on the center back because the bracelet won't spin around.

step 17 - Cut a 3" wide section from a paper towel roll for the bracelet form. Squeeze it to create an oval. A slightly oval bracelet shape will fit more comfortably on the wrist than a round one. In addition, the oval shape will guarantee the hinge is always on the center back because the bracelet won't spin around.

step 20 - Apply liquid polymer to both flat sides of the hinge and insert it between the layers. Position the other feather against the hinge, applying glue in the same way.

step 20 - Apply liquid polymer to both flat sides of the hinge and insert it between the layers. Position the other feather against the hinge, applying glue in the same way.

step 18 - Cut parchment paper to measure 5" wide. Wrap it around the roll and tuck the excess width inside to hold the parchment in place.

step 18 - Cut parchment paper to measure 5" wide. Wrap it around the roll and tuck the excess width inside to hold the parchment in place.

step 21 - Center the cardboard roll over the hinge.

step 21 - Center the cardboard roll over the hinge.

step 22 - Using the parchment paper, wrap one feather over the form. Wrap the other feather over the first being sure there is paper between the clay pieces so they don't bond while baking.

step 22 - Using the parchment paper, wrap one feather over the form. Wrap the other feather over the first being sure there is paper between the clay pieces so they don't bond while baking.

step 23 - Fold the excess paper into the roll to hold everything in place.

step 23 - Fold the excess paper into the roll to hold everything in place.

step 24 - Bake the bracelet with the roll standing, in a 275-degree oven for 30 minutes.

step 25 - When the bracelet has cooled, brush it with the floor polish to give it a sheen and protect the baked on mica powder. Use gentle, quick strokes working from the center of the feather out to the edges. Clean the brush on a paper towel between strokes to avoid smearing the colorful clay with excess loose powder that might remain on the surface. Attach a clothespin to keep the bracelet from rolling around as you work.

step 25 - When the bracelet has cooled, brush it with the floor polish to give it a sheen and protect the baked on mica powder. Use gentle, quick strokes working from the center of the feather out to the edges. Clean the brush on a paper towel between strokes to avoid smearing the colorful clay with excess loose powder that might remain on the surface. Attach a clothespin to keep the bracelet from rolling around as you work.

TIPS

The ideal way to open the bracelet is to hold it between your thumb and fingers. Press your thumb on the back, outside of the hinge and pull your fingers toward your thumb. This will force open the sides of the bracelet. Pulling at clay on the sides of the bracelet to open it may stress the clay or separate it from the hinge over time.

If the paper towel roll will result in a bracelet that is too small for your wrist, try different size mailing tubes, metal cans or other oven proof cylinders. Keep in mind, the finished bracelet will relax a great deal when you wear it, becoming looser. Cover any cylinder with parchment paper.

In step 21, don't expect the glued bracelet edges to stick to the hinge while it lays flat. When you wrap one side around the roll then the other, you will see that everything hugs the roll the way it should and the hinge gets tucked into the straight edges. Also, look through the parchment paper to be sure the straight edges are aligned with the hinge.

This bracelet can be adjusted in size to make it a little looser or tighter even after is is baked. Just set it in the oven at 275 degrees for about 10 minutes, or just until warm. With oven mitts remove the bracelet from the oven, hold it to the shape you need, and run it under cold water until it has completely cooled.

Ever have a hinge bracelet that slips around on the wrist causing you to constantly turn the hinge to the back of your wrist where it belongs? I mentioned this in step 17 but it bears repeating - A slightly oval bracelet shape will fit more comfortably on the wrist than a perfect circle. In addition, the oval shape will guarantee the hinge is always on the center back because the bracelet can't spin around.

 

 


Supplies

At Amazon

  • Clay conditioning machine
  • Liquid Polymer

Michaels

  • Premo Clay - White, Souffle Sea Glass, Copper
  • Tissue blades
  • Clay sculpting tools
  • Acrylic roller
  • Craft knife and card stock
  • Small paint brush
  • Copper mica powder
  • Rubber stamp
  • 18-gauge jewelry wire

Jan's Jewelry Supplies

  • .75" spring hinge

Miscellaneous

  • Future Floor Wax
  • Parchment paper
  • Paper Towel roll
  • Q-tip
  • credit card

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