Tutorial: Moana Heart of Te’Fiti Pendant

Tutorial: Moana Heart of Te’Fiti Pendant

This weekend’s tutorial is a guide on making Disney’s Moana Heart of Te’Fiti pendant. The pendant–technically a piece of rock–is iconic to the movie, and is central to the plot.

When I made this tutorial, Moana was only recently released, and high resolution photos of the stone weren’t available yet, thus the end product isn’t as accurate as I’d like. Someday I may revisit this and make a more accurate tutorial!


 photo Moana-86.jpgReference from the Moana movie.
Materials:

  • Polymer clay in greens, pearl white, and translucent.
  • Scrap polymer clay
  • Mica powder
  • Microfine Glitter
  • Casting Epoxy (I use Castin’ Craft) and colorant (I use oil paints.)

 photo tefiti_1.jpgFirstly, I made a Skinner Blend using the pearl aqua green clay (my own blend of colors) and pearl white clay. Mica powder has been conditioned into each color to give it more shimmer, and the look of a precious rock. I didn’t want the rock to just be one slab of color, so I settled on making a soft gradient for it.

 photo tefiti_2.jpgThe Skinner Blend is a polymer clay technique for making gradients, and click here for a wonderful tutorial on it.

 photo tefiti_3.jpgI made the rock shape in scrap polymer clay, and go over it with the gradient. I usually use scrap clay to fill in insides of shapes or molds, so that nothing goes to waste.

 photo tefiti_4.jpgSmooth the gradient sheet over with a silicone tool. Now it looks more like a “rock”. Notice the rich shimmer thanks to the mica powder!

 photo tefiti_5.jpgI haven’t been able to take enough photos of this process, but next thing I do is roll a very thin sheet of translucent clay mixed with fine glitter, and then cut out shapes from it according to the shapes of the reference. I also cut out a shape from the rest of the gradient clay I made earlier, this time the darker part of it. I then put the cutouts over onto the base gradient rock, smoothing and blending it into it.

I then baked the rock in my oven, and then sand and buff it with a rotary tool. I meant for the stone to become a pendant, so I put in a screw pin into it.

 photo tefiti_6.jpgI wanted to give the rock it’s “glow”, so I mixed some yellow green oil paint into casting epoxy, then coating the base rock with it. I let it cure for a day.

 photo tefiti_7.jpgNotice how there’s an illusion of the rock “glowing” when it’s hit by light? It looks really pretty! *w*

If you’re aiming for a more accurate stone, I’d suggest casting the entire thing in Casting Epoxy for that transparent look, and perhaps mixing in some glow in the dark powder!

I hope this tutorial still helped you out, and I may redo this stone when time permits!

xoxo Xarin

 

Tutorial: Miraculous Ladybug Earrings

Tutorial: Miraculous Ladybug Earrings

This week’s blog update is a quick tutorial on one of our most sought-after products: Marinette’s earrings from the series “Miraculous Ladybug”.

The iconic earrings feature a red dome with five dots on them, mounted on a silver earring base. For this tutorial I’ll be using polymer clay and casting resin, to make a semi-transparent dome with dots encapsulated inside, to be sure that they don’t fade.

MATERIALS:

  • Polymer clay, in black.
  • Silicone putty, or any mold making material.
  • Casting Epoxy (I use Castin’ Craft)
  • Red colorant (I use red food color)
  • Silver earring base settings (I used 12mm ones)

 photo mlear-1.jpg
To start, I make molds from Silicone Putty with a base that I measured fits the earring base exactly. If you can’t make your own mold, or have no mold making material, be creative and use hollow domes from watercolor pans, as long as they fit your earring base! I made two molds here (other one not shown) to make a pair of earrings.

 photo mlear-2.jpg
I cut out five dots of polymer clay in black, and then position them into the mold, using liquid clay if needed to hold their place. Do the same for the other earring mold, and then bake in your polymer clay oven following your clay’s instructions.
The reason I use polymer clay for these earrings is because most people draw the dots on or use a printed base behind the dome, which will fade over time. Those are surely cheaper, less labor intensive ways to go about it, but if you plan to keep your earrings for years or want to wear them daily, and not just in cosplay, it’s worth it to go the extra trouble.

 photo mlear-3.jpg
When the dots are baked, I carefully pour a mix of tinted casting epoxy into the molds. Let it cure for at least 24 hours. Don’t know how to use casting epoxy? You can check my tutorial on it here.

 photo mlear-4.jpg
After the domes are cured, I pop them out of the mold. After that I may or may not need to put an extra coat of glaze or resin on them to make them shinier… and then finally, glue them to the earring base! And we’re all done!
It looks straightforward and simple, but is actually a time-consuming progress, however the results are quite cute!

 photo il_570xN.1138640241_swqk.jpg

Remember that if you aren’t confident in your skills or don’t have access to the materials used here, you can always put in an order for these earrings at my Etsy store. Support from my store guarantees that I can keep crafting, and providing free craft and cosplay tutorials on this blog!
Happy crafting!

How to Roll out Even Sheets of Worbla from Scraps

How to Roll out Even Sheets of Worbla from Scraps

Hey everyone! Today’s post will be quick and easy. This was a method I found out while I was reheating my worbla scraps the other day! I found the quick, easy solution to making even sheets was the same way I do with clay–with the pasta machine!

…Okay, the odds are pretty low that an ordinary crafter will have a pasta machine that they can just dedicate for crafts, but I do have one I use for clay. It was in the kitchen and was unused for decades. If you happen to have one you no longer use, consider using it for crafts like clay and worbla instead!

First, heat up your worbla a bit with your heat gun.
 photo IMG_4441_zpshrjghanq.jpgI let it cool to the touch and then put it through the pasta machine. Since the machine is all metal, the worbla won’t stick as long as its not too hot!
 photo IMG_4443_zps60hrxklt.jpgThis method is great because it makes the rerolled sheet completely even, and you can set a preferred thickness!

Goodluck!

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

 

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!

Cosplay DIY: Basic Sintra Armor Tutorial

Cosplay DIY: Basic Sintra Armor Tutorial

Hey everybody! To make up for not being able to blog last month, I have a jam-packed list of articles that I have here that I hope to all be able to publish this month. It’s been quite crazy for me recently, and things have been chaotic with the shop. I must admit I ended up depressed a lot of times, and stormy weather doesn’t help any. I am a gal that always prefers sunny days.

 photo sintra_lucina_zps4a09f490.jpg
But personal stuff aside, today I am posting a short DIY armor tutorial for Sintra. I got a commission for minor armor for the character Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening (pictured above). I do not often and barely accept commission for armors and weapons, except for good friends and when I actually have materials I can work with. I meant to make the armor with foam x Wonderflex before, but craft foam was sold out in every shop I went to lately. D: Until I saw that Sintra is finally available off store shelves in National Bookstore. Its the preferred material of many cosplayers overseas.

 photo sintra_0_zpsd99a4503.jpgSintra from National Bookstore costs P65 for 1/8 illustration board size, and P135 for 1/4 illustration board size. I buy the smaller ones because they are easier to carry and there’s only a P5 difference. =_=

Before I start with demonstrating how I made the armor for Lucina, here are some basic Sintra tips:

  • Sintra is heat-formable, but dont expect it to expand or flex the way thermoplastics do; if anything else it shrinks and curls up into itself when overheated. When its reached that state it is practically impossible (or possible but extremely tough) to flatten it out again to its original state, so slow-but-sure is the method to heating it up.
  • However, once its heated up, it sets and cools down again almost instantly. Okay, not instantly, but in seconds. We are talking around only less than one minute working time here. Once you heat it and its bendable, you HAVE to set it to the shape you want immediately–or else it’ll cool down and harden on you, and because of problem #1 above we don’t want to heat it too often. If you aren’t used to handling hot material, get some work gloves ready.
  • It can only curve in one direction, and its flexibility isn’t wonderflex/worbla category. Don’t expect to be able to make boob-armor out of it; however its highly recommended for armor that only has to curve in one direction, like arm guards or leg armor.
  • Sintra expands/thickens when heated, so its sturdy on its own and needs no supporting material. It also has a coating which makes it water-resist
  • Unlike wonderflex/worbla though, the scraps aren’t moldable and I can barely come up with an idea how to use them. They are just scraps. =_=
  • I assume you have a heat gun. Its a great investment if you want to work with thermoplastics and prop-making materials. They are easily bought in hardware stores in malls (ACE Hardware, Handyman, True Value) and cost between 1.3k-2k.

 photo sintra_1_zps38906199.jpg
First off, like with anything I do, I start off with a pattern. Because Sintra cannot curve in two directions, I am opting to make the raised part of the armor a separate piece from the bottom part. I’ll show how to make it look like one seamless armor piece later.

For making a pattern, just sit down and imagine how your armor would look like when its laid into a flat sheet. You can also press the pattern paper against your arm/leg/wherever you’re making armor for and draw a rough shape on the paper and then just polish it out.

I then trace the pattern onto the Sintra, and then cut it out. Use sturdy scissors as it can be a bit tough to cut through.

 photo sintra_2_zpsb4fa2060.jpg
Take out your heat gun and for the flat pieces into curved ones. I take it slooowly but surely. I first heat the middle section where the curve is at its highest, curve it there, let it set, and then gently work my way from the middle towards curving the ends.

Remember that it sets almost instantly, so be quick! Use the lower heat setting on your heat gun too, to avoid overheating it.

Once the two pieces–top and bottom are curved--I position them together at an angle and then glue them together with industrial-strength glue, also holding them in place with some clamps so they are able to dry properly while holding the shape.

One thing I like about Sintra lots is that it thick and sturdy on its own–no need to support it with foam unlike worbla or wonderflex.

 photo sintra_3_zpsa93bea6a.jpg
If you notice the parts where I glued the two pieces together is obvious, but the look we are going for is one seamless armor piece. So I fill in the seam with some wall putty.

 photo sintra_4_zps1d17c235.jpg
By this time I also make the raised details on the armor. I used molded wonderflex scraps, and flexible polymer clay for them. If you want to use polymer clay, bake it on its own; do not put the sintra in the oven with it–the sintra WILL collapse in the oven heat.

More putty over wherever I can put putty on, and then sanding.

Sintra in itself doesn’t need to be primed before painting–its already got a great finish for painting, so putty only over the areas you want to smooth out. It’s one other advantage of Sintra–no need for lots of prepping before painting it.

 photo sintra_5_zps74a66278.jpg
Bef0re I spraypaint this spraypaint-primer on it, I use Diamond Glaze over it, concentrating on the gaps and cracks that there may be in the putty. I am lazy like that haha. Diamond Glaze is a 3-Dimensional gloss/adhesive. I use it to glaze my clay creations, but since it dries with a raise/3D effect, its almost perfect for making surfaces smoother and level, and filling in cracks. Diamond Glaze can be bought in special art shops.

Then I spray it all with this grey-colored acrylic primer. I love how this primer is grey; for me it creates a better base for metallics like silver instead of a white primer. My blue spraypaint was also a little to bright for the color I need so a darker primer works great for me.

 photo sintra_6_zpsd2b6b9c2.jpg
Then I just spraypaint with gold and blue spraypaints. You know, cover the parts I don’t want painted on with masking tape so they don’t get the color, spray, rinse and repeat.

I dry brush black acrylic paint onto it afterwards to give it depth, and a more “used” look.

 photo sintra_7_zps2897b7e8.jpg Afterwards I seal it all in and gloss it using more Diamond Glaze. There are also other projects I was working on there on my table, haha.

 photo sintra_8_zps7af7a95e.jpgSo that you’re able to wear it, I sewed these black straps with Velcro, and attached them to the armor using Fabri-Tac and Wonderflex scraps to seal it in place. :3

 photo sintra_9_zpsdb7a1e8e.jpg
AND HERE IT IS.

Overall, I had a blast using Sintra, and would recommend it for basic armor DIY projects like these for those that want to get crafty. It has lots of pros going for it–its cheap, but lightweight and sturdy. Its practically as thick as an illustration board but its WAAAY much sturdier, and is waterproof even. There is less need to prime it for paintjobs.  There are limitations to what it can do, but for what it CAN do, its an excellent material. I recommend it for basic armguards or leg armor.

Apart from National Bookstore, you can also easily buy these from art shops in Recto or along España. Good luck!

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