Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Pebble Buttons - a Quick Make

This project combines two of my favourite mini-obsessions: pebbles and buttons.  I can't believe I have never done this before now!  I've not worked with polymer clay much before but I think I might want to change that... it feels like it might become quite addictive. 

One pack of Fimo makes all these buttons (they're quite thick, so you could make more if you wanted them half the thickness):



Making these buttons was unbelievably easy and fun.  If you want to have a go, here's a really quick tutorial.



You'll need: 

 

  • a pack of polymer clay in a stone colour (I used Fimo)
  • scissors (or knife)
  • a needle (or something similar to make holes)
  • something to bake the pebbles on (not the same thing you bake your cookies on!)
  • a worksurface (not where you eat or prepare food!)
  • an oven (don't try to save fuel by cooking food at the same time!)

How to Make the Pebble Buttons:


1. Break the clay into small pieces.  You may want to vary the pieces, as in nature pebbles are all different sizes.

2. Roll each piece in between your palms to soften and mix the clay.

3.  Roll into a ball or short sausage shape then flatten with your finger or thumb.



4. To make the heart shape, cut into your flattened ball at one end with scissors.  Then round off the cut ends to make the top of the heart.  Smooth into the V-shape at the top with your fingers to soften the edges.  Pinch the bottom of the heart together to create a V-shape there too.  Smooth all the edges out with your fingers.



5. Using a sewing needle or similar, poke holes through the pebbles.  Wiggle the needle around to make the holes bigger, and poke from the back of the pebble too.  Brush off or smooth down any loose clay.



6. Smooth out any creases in the edges of the buttons, and smooth the top edges even further if required to round off into a pebble shape.  Most pebbles are flattish and oval in shape, which is easy to simulate.  The great thing is that making them all different makes them more like real pebbles and needs no measuring or symmetry!

7. Place on a tray or tile and bake in the oven for up to 30 minutes (check the pack for times and temperatures - they can vary from make to make).  Make sure your kitchen is ventilated - clay gives off fumes that you don't want hanging around.



That's it!  You now have some lovely pebble buttons to incorporate into art, clothing, jewellery, greetings cards - or whatever you might like.  I have some arty ideas for mine (pop back soon to see how that turns out - there may be several variations!) although I am already thinking I might have to make some more pebbles in different colours first.  Oh, the hardship!

If you're new to polymer clay, check out the tips at Polymer Tutorials - especially useful are the safety tips - if you don't read anything else then at least read those!

5 comments:

Mumaroo said...

I love this, so simple but brilliant!

Annie and Lyn said...

If you're a hand knitter or seamstress, and you like to make special/unusual items, you will know how hard it is to find just the right buttons.
Here's the answer. Make your own!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the comments - Annie and Lyn you're so right! There's so much you could do with polymer clay and a few ideas!

CatkinJane said...

They look great, I really fancy having a go at those. Thanks Wendy :)

Wendy said...

Brilliant Jane! let me know how they turn out. I am thinking of doing some more, in a range of colours and a bit of marbling in them maybe!