Tutorial: Make Cosplay Accessories out of Polymer Clay

Tutorial: Make Cosplay Accessories out of Polymer Clay

Hi, I’m Xarin from Three Smitten Kittens, and for some of you who don’t know, I’ve been making a livelihood for about four years now, making cosplay accessories out of polymer clay. It’s such a versatile medium that you can use to make anything from your imagination, as long as you’re equipped with the proper tools and knowledge. Here’s a basic guide for making your own cosplay jewelry from clay. This guide is for flat jewelry, but you can apply the knowledge here to your other projects. 

The example we’re using today are the hair accessories for Corrin of Fire Emblem: Fates.

Before that, here are some resource materials you may need to learn about clay!

Where to Buy Clay in the Philippines

Which Polymer Clay Should I buy?

Polymer Clay Starter Kit Shopping List

STEP 1: MAKE A TEMPLATE OR PATTERN OF WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE
 photo IMG_4235_zpshszwdpy0.jpgI have templates and patterns of almost everything I’ve ever made. I either extract the pattern from the actual reference on a software like Photoshop, or hand-draw my own pattern on paper or board, making sure to have accurate measurements. It helps make the item visibly proportioned and accurate. Having templates also gives you ease of reproduction–you can make an even, almost exact same duplicate copy, especially if you need to make something in pairs or more.
 photo IMG_4236_zpsxgldktsz.jpg
STEP 2: ROLL OUT EVEN SHEETS OF POLYMER CLAY

Making sure the sheets are perfectly even in thickness gives your accessory a professional finish. After conditioning the clay, I use a pasta machine to roll out even sheets of clay for me to use. It was an old pasta machine no one at home was using anyway, so I got permission to use it for clay. Note that once you use a pasta machine for clay, you MUST NOT use it for food again. Polymer clay, when ingested, can be toxic.Not everyone has a pasta machine or clay conditioning machine at home though, and buying some costs a lot. You can use slats instead to help guide you to getting an even thickness.

STEP 3: Cut out your clay using aid of the template.

 photo IMG_4237_zps8ehxihsp.jpgDepending on the thickness of your project, you may stack your clay on top of one another, and use a craft knife to cut your clay based on your template. I like to put the template on the clay and go over it with my acrylic roller lightly, so it “engraves” the design on the surface, and then cut based on it.

STEP 4: Assemble your accessory, bake and then add the finishing touches.
All that’s left is assembly of your item and then baking! Then you can add the finishing touches, which may be paint or varnish, and adding metal findings.
 photo corrin_etsy_main_zpsgigtrlzs.pngGoodluck and hope that helps!

Xarin

 

Which Polymer Clay Should I Buy? FAQs about different Clay Brands

Which Polymer Clay Should I Buy? FAQs about different Clay Brands

One thing I’ve been asked a lot in my craft by beginners is which clay brand they should buy when they’re starting out, or which clay brand is the “best” to use. So finally, I’ve decided to write a blog post about it! Actually this all has been written down a year or so ago in an e-book I was planning to finish but never continued—

There are different clay brands in the market from different brands, each with their own different properties. Not one is superior to the other—I personally think it’s a matter of what project they are suited to. If you make a wide variety of things like I do, it’d be best to keep stock of various brands that will fit your different projects.

Polymer clay is generally priced from 65-130PHP and is usually sold in 50g and 100g bars.


 photo IMG_0771_zps1f5loyze.jpgSculpey Bakeshop

One of the cheapest clay in the market. It is marketed as a kid’s polymer clay, thus it is very soft and easy to knead. Color selections are limited. It bakes brittle and heavy, with sort of a rough surface.

 photo IMG_0779_zpsx5utmz5m.jpgSculpey III

Sculpey III is easily bought in specialty art stores in the country and comes in a wide array of colors. The clay is soft and easy to condition, which is why it is recommended for beginners. The clay bakes with a matte, bisque finish.

 photo IMG_0775_zps9j3lnw7m.jpgPremo! By Sculpey

Premo is more pigmented compared to Sculpey III, and is a tiny bit more expensive. The clay bakes with a slight sheen, and has slight flexibility when baked in thin sections. Color selections are limited, and the complete colors are rarely carried in stores. This is a good choice for metallic-colored clays, and those with “special” colors (eg., marble, granite, glittered) The clay is a little firmer, making it suitable for detailed work. The clay cures to a slight sheen.

 photo IMG_0770_zpsaa9sh5oo.jpgFIMO Classic/Accents

FIMO Classic, manufactured by German company, Staedtler, is a very firm clay that requires a bit of conditioning, and in most cases, a clay softener. Despite that, this clay is still a favourite of many artists due to the great color selection, and the fact that the clay’s vibrant colors are retained very well even after being baked. FIMO Classic also cures with a glossy finish, almost like hard candy.

 photo IMG_0774_zps0ixuzdre.jpgFIMO Soft

FIMO Soft mostly has the Classic’s properties, except it’s (obviously) much softer and easier to knead. I find the colors from Soft have less shine when baked compared to Classic.

 photo IMG_0773_zpsnbct7xm3.jpgNendo Polymer Clay

Nendo is a locally-available clay that is noted for its supreme flexibility. The clay is easy to condition and is elastic. Once baked, the clay has a slight sheen, and is very flexible. As with flexible clays, the clay may be a bit sticky to work with for those with warm hands.

 photo flexi_1_zpsff65cf43.jpgFlexiclay 3 Polymer Clay

Another local brand, Flexiclay comes in a wide assortment of colors and, as the name suggests, has good flexibility. Flexi3 is firmer than Nendo, and is not as flexible, but it is easier to handle as they clay is not overly sticky or soft. To try out this clay and order some, you can check their facebook page here.

Sculpey Ultralight Clay

Most, if not all polymer clay has significant weight once they are cured, especially if you intend to make big pieces. Except Ultralight clay, which is almost like marshmallow to the touch. It only comes in one color (white) and is mostly used as the core or filler for bigger clay projects.

Liquid Clay

Different brands carry their own lines of Liquid Polymer clay that come in different colors. They become firm when baked, and are mostly used for adhering two pieces of clay together in the baking process, or as decorative “sauces” or paints.


Which Clay should I Use?

As I’ve said before, no clay is truly superior, each clay has its properties that makes it suitable for different types of projects.

Matte polymer clays that bake with a dry, “rough-to-the-touch” finish are ideal for paintwork. The rougher surfaces of these clays once baked make them ideal for being painted. Clays with a shiny finish will resist inks and paints unless they are roughened beforehand.

Firmer clays are ideal for detailwork such as engraving or carving out shapes or tiny details. Soft clays are easily distorted with a simple nudge, making them unideal. Firmer clays are recommended for making canes for the same reason.

Soft, flexible clays are ideal for making thin pieces pieces that have to resist breakage (ex. Flower petals). While soft, matte clays could also do the same thing, they bake hard and brittle, making thin pieces prone to snapping and breaking.


Hope this post helps you out if you’ve been trying to decide which brand to buy! Soon I might make a youtube guide so you can better see the qualities of the clay and their differences!

Ordering Sakizo Artbooks from AliceBooks Japan (from the Philippines)

Ordering Sakizo Artbooks from AliceBooks Japan (from the Philippines)

 photo alice_4.png_zpstlchdaov.jpegHELLO FINALLY TIME TO GET THIS BLOG UP AND RUNNING AGAIN! Today I’d like to blog about something that I’ve been frequently asked–how I order my Sakizo artbooks from Japan. It’s actually a pretty straightforward process that’s simply signing up and ordering, so this blog post will be ultra short and sweet! This process requires that you have a Paypal or credit card. If you don’t have either a Paypal or credit card, feel free to message me on Facebook if you’d like me to place an order for you for a small service charge.

 photo alice_1_zpsqismsabu.pngThe distributor of Sakizo’s works online is Alice Books Japan. Their site is in Japanese, but there’s a tab at the upper right corner that will translate the website to English for foreign buyers.

 photo alice_2_zps7xgcak1h.pngI recommend signing up for an account, which secures your details for you in case you’d like to purchase again in the future. Trust me, you’ll get hooked! Apart from Sakizo, who has quite the following among Lolita enthusiasts, I also recommend artists like Matsuo Hiromi and AZSA, especially for J-Fashion lovers~

 photo alice_3_zpsj0lemdmk.pngFrom then on it’s a simple matter of adding the artbooks you want to get to your cart, and then checking out and providing your details. Payment options are thru Paypal and credit cards. For the Philippines, I recommend getting the ordinary shipping, which costs about 800JPY (300PHP) for one book. I’ve used this twice now, and my books arrived to me in 7-10 days, with no tax. (These books pass as documents, and are never taxed whenever I order them, and are delivered to my doorstep.)

Take note that artbooks from popular artists like Sakizo run out fast, so if you want to get something you’ve had your eye on for a while, I recommend grabbing it as soon as you can! The Japanese Yen has low value right now as well, so it’s a great chance to grab the books for cheaper due to the conversion rate!

 photo alice_5.png_zpspof7058q.jpegI currently own three artbooks all from AliceBooks, and intend to get more when something interesting comes up again~

Happy shopping!

xoxo Xarin

Polymer Clay Cookie Sandwich Tutorial

Polymer Clay Cookie Sandwich Tutorial

HELLOOOOO KITTENS!! We’re finally back to blogging, technical issues with our internet connection and our website provider are now solved. *tears of joy* We’ve acquired quite the backlog, so let’s start and get our DIY ready right now! Today we bring you a polymer clay tutorial on how to make a “cookie sandwich”–a chocolate filling sandwiched between two crisp cookies… except it’s in clay and isn’t edible. xD

 photo cookiesandwich_10_zpsseciaof6.jpg

While you can’t eat them, they’d be perfect as keychains or phone charms, right?

 photo ingredients_zpsycshtbmy.jpgOur materials are as follows: Tan, white, translucent and yellow clay. Texturing tools like an old toothbrush and a pointed tool. Brown acrylic paint (i suggest something that’s not a dark muddy brown and instead is like a burnt or acorn brown), and your usual claying tools, like your roller and oven. We’re making cookies, so you also need cookie cutters in the shape you prefer.

 photo cookiesandwich_1_zpsmyqwaghy.jpg

Mix all your clay colors in the proportion pictured in the materials photo. You can actually just use one color of your preference, but I decided to mix colors because I really wanted to get the pale cookie dough look. Feel free to experiment with what colors you have available or what proportions you want. I want a classic cookie, so I’m using these colors.

 photo cookiesandwich_2_zpsphgpjqgh.jpgMix all the colors into a uniform, even sheet, and then take your cookie cutter out and cut out two cookie bases.

 photo cookiesandwich_3_zps5gybi7bj.jpgUsing a pointed tool, poke out holes in a uniform pattern that’s usually seen in cookies.

 photo cookiesandwich_4_zps6jxz0fdg.jpgRoughen up the cookie and make it look imperfect/not so smooth by dabbing an old toothbrush all over it.

 photo cookiesandwich_5_zpsmschppm6.jpgThe textured cookie should look like this. With that, you can bake this cookie in your oven according to your clay’s instructions. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s still raw and doesn’t have that golden-baked color! We’ll get to that after the baking~

 photo cookiesandwich_6_zps0t9qmkyn.jpgAfter the cookie is baked, take your brown acrylic paint and dab it onto the corners of the cookie, where the color should be more concentrated.

 photo cookiesandwich_7jpg_zpsi2ilwzee.jpgSpread the color from the corners towards the center. Looking more edible now huh?

 photo cookiesandwich_8_zpsklbo2b9s.jpgIf the color has become too strong for your liking, you can use a wet cloth to rub off the excess color to desaturate the color. After this, you can embellish the cookie by using some liquid clay/deco glue stick to make fake icing or such.

The cookie is perfectly fine as it is now, and I can imagine you can make pretty things like bracelets and earrings with a flat, one-layer cookie.

Oooorrr you can make a cookie sandwich!

 photo cookiesandwich_9_zpswu9pctpp.jpgSimply roll out a log of clay in whatever “filling” you prefer, and use some liquid clay to attach it. And then sandwich it between two cookies, and bake again using your clay’s instructions.

 photo IMG_3521_zpshgwrxfa5.jpgYum yum!

Happy crafting!

Tutorial: Ace Attorney Badge

Tutorial: Ace Attorney Badge

This is the delayed accompaniment post to our Ace Attorney Defense Badge tutorial! The Attorney Badge will complete any Ace Attorney cosplay, if you’re going as Phoenix, Mia, Apollo, or Athena. This tutorial uses polymer clay.

 photo materials_zpsixgl2i8n.jpgMATERIALS:

  • A circle template. If you don’t have a store-bought one, you draw circles using a compass on paper, and cut that out, to use as your template. Make your circle depending on how big you want your badge to be.
  • Gold polymer clay. We paint our badge after its baked so if you intend to do the same, color hardly matters.
  • Craft knife
  • Rubber shaping tools. Optional, but really help.
  • A pointed item, like a toothpick
  • Fade-proof, waterproof ink pen.
  • Brooch pins.
  • Paint or pigment of your choice. I will be using gold metallic spraypaint.

 photo 1_zpsmcsktswv.pngCondition and flatten your clay into an even sheet. Then cut out two disks of the size you want.

 photo 2_zpss2o6cnye.pngOn the second disk, cut out another circle in the center of it. You won’t be using that circle. Layer this “circle-with-a-circle-cut-out” on top of the first disk. You can make the edges smoother and more rounded using a rubber tool, or your fingernails.

 photo 5_zpspqavpd51.pngThe disk with the cut out will become the raised border around the badge. Using a toothpick, mark out the lines that will be the divisions in the border.

 photo 6_zps4jsyjlhg.pngStill using the toothpick, push these lines into the center of the disk, and drag it out was well toward the edges.

 photo 7_zpsbwn6fjmj.pngYou want it to look seamless to the first disk and not just something put on top.

Bake according to your clay’s instructions. After it has been cooled, I also spray it with some gold paint.

 photo 10_zps3yt9fpuo.pngAfterwards, I take my fade-proof, water-proof pen and manually draw the Libra scale in the middle of the badge. Practice first and use a good reference! I messed up mine a bit. xD

After that, it’s just a matter of waiting for the ink to dry and then sealing it in, and then attaching the brooch pins to the back.
 photo IMG_2978_zpslzqldybq.jpgYou now have a cute Defense Attorney badge! For those who prefer seeing things in motion, our video tutorial is also below. Please subscribe if you’d like to get updated on tutorials of cosplay or cute items!

You may also buy a badge from our Etsy shop here.

Thanks and have a great day! Happy crafting!

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