Today, I’m popping in to share these DIY Polymer Clay and Wood Bead Mobiles that I recently created for our foyer. This project had all the elements that I love about crafting: architectural shapes, hard and soft elements, a bright palette, varying textures, and best of all, getting my hands dirty with a new favourite medium – polymer clay.
I gotta say, polymer clay has quickly become one of my newest favourite crafting materials. There are so many varieties of projects to create using this medium from home decor, jewelry, art and everything in between. Last year, I created 3 super-easy DIY Clay Wall Hooks using polymer clay so that I could hang a trio of Mini Wall Weavings on something a bit more decorative. After that project, I ended up instantly falling in love with clay (if you can fall in love with clay, that is 😉 ). And since I love mixing textures in the home, clay has become a natural extension of my creative process.
So, if you are looking to add a bit more personality to your home, I would highly recommend you try crafting with polymer clay. It is a truly unique material that anyone can learn to use. With some practice and experimentation, you can create some wonderful projects with it.
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In order to craft today’s DIY, you’ll need the following MATERIALS:
- polymer clay (oven-bake variety)
- cookie cutters (circular, diamond, and oval shapes)
- rolling pin
- flexible clay cutter like this one (or other sharp tool)
- non-skid mat (or wax paper)
- clay softener (or baby oil)
- wood beads
- yarn or twine
- washi tape
- baking pan & wax paper (not pictured)
- acrylic paint & brush (optional)
Step 1: Roll Out Clay
Cut off a small piece of clay using the flexible clay cutter or other sharp tool.
‘Condition’ the clay by rolling it in your hands. This process warms the clay and makes it more pliable. If the clay you are working with is a bit dry (i.e., if there are still cracks when you bend it after conditioning) add a drop or two of clay softener or baby oil. Once conditioned, roll the clay into a ball.
Place the clay on a non-skid mat (or wax paper) and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, press into the clay to create your circle. Remove excess.
Taking a toothpick, tunnel out a hole through the side of the circle.
Tip: Instead of pushing the toothpick through in one continuous motion, push through using small, quick, stabbing motions. This will prevent the circle from deforming. If you are using a wooden toothpick, as I did here, add a lubricant like baby oil or your clay softener for easier insertion.
Use the same steps for creating the rest of your circles, triangles and half moons. For this project, I used 2 different sizes of circles (4 the same size, and 1 slightly larger one for the center of the mobile).
Tip: If you cannot find triangular or half moon cookie cutters, simply use diamond and oval cutters and then cut them in half.
Step 2: Bake Clay
Place the clay mat (or wax paper) with all your ‘clay cookies’ onto a baking pan and bake in the oven according to the instructions on the clay packaging.
As a general rule of thumb, oven-bake clay is baked for a half hour for every quarter inch of clay. For more on this process see Baking Polymer Perfectly Every Time.
Once fully baked, remove the clay from the oven. Let cool before proceeding.
Step 3: Paint Wood Beads (optional)
While your clay is baking, paint your wood beads. (If you love the look of natural wood, then you can skip this process. Because I have mustard yellow in my foyer, I decided to add the same colour to the wood beads).
Tip: When painting wood beads, the easiest/mess-free option is to load them onto a skewer and add washi tape between each bead to separate and secure.
Then simply paint the beads. Let the beads dry for 1 full hour before proceeding.
Step 4: Add Yarn & Glue
Feed your yarn or twine through the clay and wood beads. Make sure to add a dab of glue at the opening of each hole and let dry.
Tip: Lay out your mobiles on newspaper to allow excess drip from glue.
Step 5: Hang Your Mobiles
Now it’s time to hang your creation. I added mine to an empty wall in our foyer and really love how much personality they bring to the space.
You can also experiment a little. Hang one strand and see just how much style this subtle addition makes to any vignette (as it did on the opposite wall of our foyer).
I truly believe that a house is not a home without a bit of whimsy to brighten a room. It’s all in the details 🙂
Happy crafting 🙂
For more craft, DIY and home style tips from around the web, check out the following link parties: Merry Monday, Welcome Home Wednesdays, Mad Skills, Tutorials and Tips, Family Joy Blog Link Up, Pretty Pintastic Party, The Creative Corner, Craft Schooling Sunday, Snickerdoodle Create-Bake-Make, Best Friday Features.