Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday Technique - Everything's coming up roses!

Hey there! I'm back and uber excited to share today's tutorial with you! I'm going to show you how to make your own polymer embellishments!

Since I've been on a bit of a flower kick lately, I decided I needed to make polymer roses. Won't these look so nice on my projects? Wouldn't you love to have some yourself? Well you can! They are EASY to make, and I'm going to show you how!

In Step 1, I took some polymer clay that was warmed and kneaded until it is pliable to form a small ball. I made several dozen of these as they are used for every petal. Step 2 shows the center petal, while Step 3 and 4 illustrate how each petal is formed be pressing and manipulating the clay. Use small uniform size pieces of clay to form the balls and petals. Each petal will look somewhat different from each other - which is perfect as no flower looks exactly the saame in nature either! Leaving uneven edges and fingerprints is perfectly fine for these too! The edges will roll outward, and the fingerprints leave delicate 'veins' on the petals - making them even more realistic looking! Curving the petals, and folding them to leave a small crease in the center lengthwise will aid you when you are forming your flowers too. They don't look too great at this stage so don't get frustrated! If you must, you can always reform the petals by squishing it all up and starting over!

In this picture you can see I have several petals and centers - and even some leaves - made up and placed on a baking sheet. As it is already hot here, I didn't really want to use my regular oven, so I put them into my countertop convection oven instead. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer of your polymer clay to bake these - except turn the oven down by at least 20 degrees, and bake them JUST until the edges begin to color. These are MUCH THINNER than what the manufacturer expected when they wrote their baking instructions!
If they are still somewhat pliable when you remove them, that is just fine! They will harden a bit more as they cool, and you don't want them to be brittle and crack! Any darkened edges add to the interst of the finished flower - so don't look on this as a burnt product or a mistake! Remember: There are no mistakes...just more opportunities for embellishment! :-)

Here are the things I will need to start forming my finished flowers. The polymer petals are all cooled and ready to use. As you can see in the picture - none of them look perfect, and all of them are somewhat irregular! Some are quite a bit darker in color than others too! It won't matter! They are still somewhat pliable, and if I see a spot or something I don't like on the petal, I can snip it off with a scissors!

I use a low temperature glue gun. I am too clumsy, and can guarantee there would be several burns and a regular stream of profanity pouring from my mouth if I was to use a regular hot glue gun! Not sure if you are as clumsy as I am, but I highly recommend you pick one of these handy little gadgets!
Now you need to load and preheat your glue gun and choose one of your centers. The important thing to remember for roses is that each layer will have an odd number of petals. You will need to wrap 3 petals around the center, tucking one end inside the edge of the last petal. Then you will need 5 petals for the next go around, and so forth, until your rose is the size you want. Place a small dot of glue beneath each petal as you build your rose outward. This picture shows 3 petals wrapped around the center. You can stop here if you like and have some beautiful buds - or continue to add as many petals as you want! Just be sure you have more than enough petals to complete your roses to avoid problems mid-project. In the next picture you see that I am holding a rose with five petals. I decided to stop adding on petals for that rose and was ready to move onto my next rose. I stopped when I finished almost all of my prebaked petals, so I could finish them all off.

To finish them off, I kneaded more polymer clay to make it pliable, and made a long, thin strip. I wrapped the strip loosely around the outside of each rose to give it a finished look and to add support. When I completed this for all of my flowers, I placed a tray of them back into the oven to bake for a few minutes so they would harden. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! You cannot adhere them to your finished projects until they are set and dry. You need to be extra vigilant at this point, as they can burn VERY EASILY! As soon as you remove them from the oven and cool them, you may use them as you please! You can add Stickles to them, use Glimmer Mist, Sparkling H2O's, Acrylics paint, or even color them with your favorite (non-waaterbase) markers! I decided to use mine as is! So here is the picture of three of them (as seen in the picture above).
But wait! The roses aren't on a project! Where is the finished project that I made with them? Well now, I showed you how to make them! Goodness aren't you a curious one! Well, then you'll have to come back here to Shelly's Images Blog tommorrow to see what I made with them!

See ya then! :-p Scrappy


  1. Scrappy...those are absolutely stunning! I can't wait to see your finished project! Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

  2. Supercute, thanks for teaching us...

  3. Wow Scrappy! This is a fabulous tutorial! Great work!

  4. Scrappy what a wonderfull tutorial you made.
    Thanks for all the work you did.
    Love it.

  5. Scrappy.. that is fabulous.. fantastic job on the tutorial... they are beautiful...

  6. I can't wait to get some clay and give this a try!! What an amazing tutorial!
    Hugs & Happy Days!

  7. WOW, great tutorial Scrappy!! Those came out FABULOUS!!