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Celebration Frame Tutorial


NOTE: The projects and tutorials on this page were all created by Laurel Nevans, Polymer Clay Artist.  You may feel free to link to this page,  but you may not copy or reproduce any part of it without the written permission of Laurel Nevans.  Please link to tutorial index  page, rather than linking to this tutorial page.  All projects and tutorials on this page are copyrighted by Laurel Nevans .

I started making these frames years ago!  I call them "Celebration Frames" as I usually make them to commemorate some sort of event (birth, wedding, etc.)  In fact, they're the PERFECT gift to make when you receive that birth announcement in the mail!  These frames are a good beginner project, and can be personalized in millions of ways.  They can be embellished with cane slices, rubber stamps, or your own designs engraved with the tip of a toothpick.  The example below shows a frame made to celebrate a baby's birth, and a second made to celebrate when I adopted Lucy, my Rat Terrier.  You can usr your favorite clay colors, but I find metallics are particularly good for this project.


Materials:

  • Wooden Frame
  • Sobo Glue
  • Paint Brush
  • 2 packages each of translucent and silver polymer clay or equal hunks of silver and translucent cut from pound blocks. 
    (My choice of clay for this project is Premo, but other brands of polymer clay may be used)
  • Pasta Machine or Roller ( A Pasta Machine makes this project MUCH easier)
  • Blade
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Toothpick or skewer
  • Diluent (optional)
  • Pearl-Ex Powder in Gold & Silver (Optional)
  • Cane Slices (Optional)
  • Future Floor Wax (Optional)

Procedure:

         
  Step 1   Remove backing and glass from frame.  Bake in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes to dry wood.  Using paintbrush, coat frame with Sobo glue and let dry.   
  Step 2   Mix together equal parts silver and translucent clay.  
  Step 3   Roll clay into sheets.  If using a pasta machine, roll to approximately #3.  If using a roller, roll sheet as thin and as evenly as you can.  
  Lay clay on frame   Lay sheet of clay along edge of frame.  Trim away excess with your blade, leaving enough clay to smooth onto the frame..  
  Smooth   Smooth clay onto frame.  Trim away excess with your blade.  
  Repeat on all sides   Repeat on remaining three sides of frame.  
  Smooth seams   Smooth joints with your finger.  (Tip: putting a drop of dilutent on your finger will help you smooth the joins until they are invisible.)  Smooth away any fingerprints.  
  Crumple foil   Cut strips of foil to size of frame edges.  Crumple and un-crumple foil.  
  cover w/ foil strips   Apply strips of foil to edges of frame so that you are able to lift each strip individually for the later steps.  Roll or press foil onto clay.  (The foil will texturize the clay.)  
  Expose top   Lift top strip of foil to expose what will be the top side of the frame.   
   Your ALT-Text here   Using toothpick or skewer, engrave name on to top of frame.  (This frame is for a new baby, so I'm writing his name along the top.)  Recover with foil when finished embellishing top.  (This will protect the top from fingerprints while you finish the other sides.)  
   Your ALT-Text here    Your ALT-Text here  
   Your ALT-Text here   Repeat on the other three sides.  I engraved the baby's birth date along the bottom.  I used the toothpick to make designs along the sides.  You may also embellish the frame with cane slices.  
   Your ALT-Text here   Press the foil onto the frame.  This will reinforce the texture and create small shiny spots on the clay during the baking process, further enhancing the textured effect.  
   Your ALT-Text here   Place upside down on baking surface and bake for 30 minutes at 275 degrees, if using Premo.  If using other clay, bake according to time and temp on package.  
   Your ALT-Text here   As soon as it is cool enough to handle, remove foil.  Do not handle any further until completely cool.  
   Your ALT-Text here   Picture of Finished Frame  
   Your ALT-Text here   Close-up of "engraving" on bottom.  
   Your ALT-Text here   Here's a celebration frame for my dog, embellished with paw cane slices.  
  Optional: Gild Frame  
   Your ALT-Text here   Apply a drop of dilutent along top of frame.   
   Your ALT-Text here   Spread with your finger until clay surface becomes slightly tacky.  Repeat on other three sides.  
   Your ALT-Text here   Sprinkle some gold and silver Pearl-Ex on to a folded piece of paper.  Rub on to all four sides of frame with your finger.  
   Your ALT-Text here   Shake off excess Pearl-Ex.  Apply 2-3 coats of  Future to protect Pearl-Ex from coming off.  
   Your ALT-Text here    Your ALT-Text here  
  Completed Frames  

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