Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bags & Tags by Linda Hess

Wow! It has been a whirlwind of activity in my household and life over the past 2 weeks.  Sadly 2 funerals in 1 week, first my father-in-law at Arlington National Cemetery and then the best man from my parent's wedding, one of those life long friends (60 yrs!).  We also had our middle child graduate from James Madison University (2 graduation ceremonies in 2 days) with her degree in Engineering...GO Katie bird :-)  Add to that my normal life as an Art Teacher and my after gig as a polymer clay teacher and I am ready for a break.  Only 3 weeks until Summer (wow).

The end of the school year used to have me making thank you gifts for all of the teachers.  With one out of college, one in college, and one entering her senior year of high school I don't give as many teacher presents as I used to, but why not come up with an easy peasy project that could be used as a gift or a tag or a card topper??  Naturally I pulled out the Creative PaperClay and set to work.

Creative PaperClay®
texture sheets of choice
Pinata Inks
assorted cardstock (for cards)
assorted ribbons and trim (for tie-ons)
plastic bag (to protect work surface from inks)
optional: heart shaped cutter, Kemper© circle cutter or knitting needle

1) Pull or cut off a bit of the Creative PaperClay (I used about 1/8 of the block).  Rewrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying.
2) Separate the piece into smaller pieces and then roll each into a ball (mine were each about 1" round). 
3) Place 1 texture sheet on your work surface with the texture facing up.  Place one of the balls of clay onto it.  Place a second texture sheet or rubber stamp on top of the clay ball and press (think clay sandwich). 
Remove textured piece and repeat with other clay balls.
4) If desired, use a knitting needle or the circle cutter to put holes into the pieces.  This will allow you to easily tie components onto bags or card tags.
5) Place all clay pieces onto a plastic bag.  Time for coloring.  Drip Pinata Inks over the clay "shards" until you are happy with the look. I love how the inks flow into the nooks & crannies easily. 
If too much color is applied, dab with a paper towel to remove some of the ink.  Once complete, set aside to dry....OR pop the pieces into an oven (remove from plastic bag obviously!) and bake at 275° for ~20 minutes (NOTE: drying in the oven will not completely dry the piece...air drying will complete the process)
6) If you used a heart cutter as I did, the edges may be rough.  Edges are easily cleaned up by using a cool little tool called Sandits™.  Just rub it along the edges and voila! all the jagged bits disappear quickly.
7) Now the clay pieces can be added to cards, bags, boxes, etc.  The heart could even become a gift with the addition of a jump ring and lanyard hook! 

I hope you have enjoyed this project.  I think you can see with a few simple steps anyone can achieve WOW results that will have the gift recipiants wondering "How did she do that?!"


Ann Strecko Koeman said...

Great idea and lovely tags.

linda hess said...

thank you :-)