Tutorial: Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Necklace

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Pendant
My crafting tends to take some predictable rhythms. In the spring I favor home improvement, summer is all about piecing quilts, I get completely caught up in the chaos of Christmas, and once it’s done I want to just collapse and swear off crafting altogether. That never lasts for long, but after the hard core marathon of Christmas, I do have to take my next projects a little easier. My post Christmas workout routine is a combination of soothing long-term projects – knitting, embroidery – combined with some quick projects to provide me with some quick gratification. Polymer clay is a favorite for that category since I can start a project and have it displayed in an hour.

With my accessory obsession, it was a no brainer what I’d make.

Polymer Clay Bezel Pendant Tutorial Step 1
Polymer clay jewelry can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be. I found a double sided blank bezel pendent, so I just shoved some polymer clay inside it. On one side I made it plain navy, and on the other I took two balls of clay…

Polymer Clay Bezel Pendant Tutorial Step 2
And mushed them together to make a marbled pattern. I wasn’t sure how the pendant would hold up in the oven, so I took the clay out and baked it before gluing it back in place.

Double sided polymer clay pendant
How simple, right?

But you can also get a little more complicated and make some faux turquoise beads. But it’s only a very little more complicated.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 1
Start with a ball of turquoise colored clay and a tiny bit of black clay, rolled into a super thin rope.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 2
Drape a little bit of the black haphazardly around the turquoise. Don’t use too much, a little goes a long way.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 3
Then you just manipulate the clay around until the black becomes subtly incorporated (NOT blended in) and some interesting ripply patterns come out. Sculpt the clay into the shape you want your bead.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 4
Remember to make a hole for stringing an bake as the package instructs. You could stop here and use the beads you’ve made, or you can go through a few more steps to make something really pretty and finished looking.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 5
With the finest grade sandpaper you can get your hands on, give your bead a good sanding. For smaller beads just sand by hand, but with this big pendant I used my palm sander with great results. I used the sander to get rid of any fingerprints I left behind or uneven spots, but I also used it to make facets like you’d see on a cut stone.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 6
Sanding leaves a rough texture, so after sanding you have to buff. This basically just involves taking a soft cloth – a scrap of leftover jersey from a sewing project in my case – and rubbing the bead with it. I used my palm sander again to save myself some elbow grease.

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 7
If you’re tempted to skip these steps, check out this before and after. One looks crafty and homemade, the other looks like a bead. What a difference, eh?

Faux Turquoise Polymer Clay Tutorial Step 8
I wanted a SUPER high gloss shine on these beads, so after consulting with the internet I decided to try floor wax. According to some experts, using anything but Future floor wax will eventually get sticky, but they don’t seem to make Future floor wax anymore, so I’m hoping this is the same stuff. So far, so good. I just rubbed on about a dozen coats, letting it dry between layers. But I was going for SUPER high gloss. One coat will still look great.

Faux Turquoise Necklace
I don’t think this necklace will fool anybody into thinking I’ve been spending time in New Mexico, but I’m not really interested in tricking anybody. I’m interested in cute stuff that actually fits into my budget, and polymer clay is even cheaper than the jewelry bar at Forever 21.

Green Polymer clay necklace
While I had the clay out I made a few other necklaces too. I tend to get my messy crafting done in batches.

Polymer clay teardrops necklace
This one is probably my favorite. I love a big statement necklace, and this one worked out to cost me $4 and an afternoon. That is some serious gratification to get my crafting mojo back.