DIY Gilded Jewelry

by Alicia on April 28, 2011

My reign of terror with polymer clay continues! I’ve been wanting to make earrings this shape for a while and the necklace was an last minute addition. I like that’s it’s a little fringey but still modern. Have you been makingĀ any of the other polymer clay pieces? The supplies are the same: polymer clay (I used Pearl), craft paint (the same gold paint was used onĀ these earrings) and a few jewelry findings including chain, earring wires, wire or eye pins.

Here’s a rundown of the process:

  • - Condition your clay first (always!) and then roll it out into a flat pancake about 1/4″ thick.
  • - Use a clay blade or other knife to slice the clay into strips about 1/4″ wide and a little over an inch long. Then take a sharp object and poke a hole in the top of the pieces for the earrings.
  • - For the necklace cut the clay into a pentagon/house shape before slicing the 1/4″ wide stripes. Poke holes in each piece along the edge that would be the bottom of the house.
  • - Bake the clay according to the directions.
  • - After it’s cooled dip the end of each piece without the hole into the paint. I poured the paint into the cap for this step.
  • - Carefully wipe away any extra paint that may drip by using a brush and allow the paint to dry.

To finish the earrings I put an eye pin through the hole, finished it with a simple loop and cut off the extra. Open the loops and attach each end of the chain. (My piece was about 2″ long.) Add the earring wire directly or by using a jump ring.

To finish the necklace you’ll need to thread all the pieces (in the same order that you cut them!) onto the eyepin or wire and finish each end with simple loops. Attach the chain in the same way as above. I left a little extra room on the wire so I could gently bend it into an arc to allow the clay to fan out a bit. If your chain is long you won’t need a closure (just put it over your head) but I made mine shorter so I added a clasp in the back using a couple jump rings.

Do these steps make sense? I think it took longer to type them than it did to make the pieces- it’s simpler than it sounds. Are you comfortable making simple loops or are jewelry terms like eye pin total jibberish to you? I’m happy to explain more but sometimes I feel redundant. Let me know where you’re at!

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel April 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

What a lovely set! I usually associate polymer clay with ugly granny jewelry, but you always make it look so chic and modern! Thanks for sharing this DIY.

P.S. The steps totally make sense to me, but I make my own jewelry all the time, so I know my way around the basics.

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Alicia May 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

Thanks Rachel :)

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Jenell September 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

This is beautiful. Thanks for blessings us with your talent, wrapped up into a tutorial. Much appreciated! I will be trying this SOON!

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Alicia September 26, 2011 at 7:31 am

Thank you! Can’t wait to see your version!

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Denise September 28, 2011 at 3:21 pm

hey hi I have a question. How do you paint the jewlery but the parts that are in contact with the skin. I have a couple of good jewelry that I love but the gold paint it’s going bad. So I was wondering if there’s is any way to restore that. Thanks.

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Alicia September 30, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I’m not sure I totally understand your question- is your good jewelry metal? I don’t think you’d want to paint that. I would first try a polishing cloth- I like this one best: http://amzn.to/qe5KVu. Does that help?

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G. October 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Amazing!! Absolutely gorgeous!

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Alicia October 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Thanks so much!

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Lauren November 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

So I’ve got all the gear- and I’m giving it a go- I’m just finding it super difficult! It is so sticky that by the time I cut it- it sticks to the blade and my fingers. Any tips would be hugely appreciated!
Thanks!!!

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Alicia November 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Hey Lauren! I find that polymer clay can really vary- sometimes it’s much softer and stickier than other times. If it’s really soft and that’s why it’s sticking perhaps try popping it in the fridge for a while so that it can firm up a bit before you cut it. Let me know if it works!

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Jessica March 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm

this is beautiful! i thought the clay you were using had a marble effect, so when i saw the pearl finish clay at Michael’s, i wanted something a little different. I’ve never worked with polymer clay, so i was kinda proud when i mixed transparent and white clay together to make a marble effect that looked kinda like this http://retrorenovation.com/2008/07/01/10-tips-to-renovate-your-pink-bathroom/formic-161-white-brecia-marble/. Just thought i’d let you know. Thanks for the inspiration, your work is quite lovely!

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Alicia March 13, 2012 at 9:20 am

Thanks. That’s a great idea, too!

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Jules April 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Love this!
Do you need to seal your pieces? Or will the acrylic paint wear well over time?

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alicia April 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm

That’s good question. I almost always seal my pieces with light coat of clear spray acrylic.

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Gloria May 23, 2012 at 11:33 am

Absolutely beautiful! Thx for sharing how you made them. I’m thinking of trying polymer clay and your work is very inspiring.

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Alicia May 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

Thanks Gloria. If you like modern polymer clay projects you should also check out Lindsay’s at delightedmomma.com!

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francesca mystrawberrynose May 31, 2012 at 2:27 am

HI!!!! Your blog is amazing like your jewellery!!!! Congrats!!!! I follow you!!!!

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alicia May 31, 2012 at 8:23 am

Thanks Francesca!

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rita June 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

lovely. how do you poke the through the pieces neatly? e.g when poking through the other side does the clay create a bump? also can you cut with a sharp knife?
thanks :)

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Alicia June 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I wouldn’t try and use a knife unless you have a very thin, sharp blade. Using a small, thin object to poke through the clay will prevent/minimize the bump. I didn’t have any trouble with this at all.

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