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Clay handmade buttons
Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
Advanced Beginner
MO USA
Member since 8/2/09
Posts: 682
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Date: 11/19/12 12:46 PM

I have researched this on the internet and the only concern I have is the smell (while baking in the oven).

I was going to buy carrot buttons (for noses for my snowmen ornaments) and they were around $1.50 each. Well, then what they (quilt shop) suggested is to get the clay and make them. I was surprised that the block of clay was cheaper then one button!

What is so hard about cutting out skinny rectangles and putting two holes in it? I will find out. Anyone an expert on this? Any tips? I may even like doing this. LOL Thanks.

GlButterfly

GlButterfly
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 8/28/08
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Date: 11/19/12 1:24 PM

Having had no experience with this, I'm awaiting your story. I bought clay a few years ago to make shoes for the Barbie-sized doll, but that's as far as I got with it. I have not heard that there is a bad smell associated with it, but can't be positive. Let us know.

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That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

cindyann
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cindyann  Friend of PR
FL USA
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<


Date: 11/19/12 1:40 PM

I've used this clay for jewelry making and it's pretty easy to work with. I've never noticed any bad smell during the baking process. It will shrink a bit so you may want to make a test first. It bakes with a matte finish so if you want it shiny you'll need a finishing coat of some sort. I've used the Glossy Glaze that is put out by Sculpey with success.(NAYY) Have fun with it. It can be addictive.

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Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
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MO USA
Member since 8/2/09
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Date: 11/20/12 10:23 AM

I sure hope there isn't a bad smell. I will see soon if it becomes addictive . I wish I could find a carrot cutter but that would be cheating LOL. They do have cutters though. I am sure you know that.

I will take pics if they turn out. Thanks!

Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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MA USA
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<


Date: 11/20/12 12:48 PM

If you have a sensitive nose, they do smell- but it depends upon the amount of clay you're cooking. I use this clay all the time. It takes 10 - 20 min at a 225 degree oven. Bigger objects = longer time. But the smell dissipates in a few minutes.

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Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

veebee
veebee
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Member since 4/1/08
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Date: 11/29/12 11:09 PM

I've worked with polymer clay for many years and did many, many tests on it. There are stong clays and weak clays. Premo and Kato are two of the stronger clays out there. Fimo used to be but is about middle of the line nowadays. Strength is an issue with buttons, especially when you go poking holes in them. all major brands are washable once cooked (but I advise against putting them in the dryer). Glazes will come off with washing usually.

I did not test any with dry cleaning methods. Also, polymer clay can react to some plastics, usually in its raw form. They seemed fine with regular poly and natural fibers once cooked but if you've got some "interesting" poly fiber or some sequined thing I would test first.

Different clay brands have different levels of smell. The smell is not harmful but its advised to bake in a well ventilated area in case your oven isn't calibrated correctly as cooking too hot/burning *can* cause harmful gasses to be released. Basically its burning plastic which isn't good. An oven thermometer is an easy way to calibrate your oven. Cooking too hot can also cause discoloration.

Hope that helps. I worked with the stuff for about 10 years until health issues caused me to stop. It can be labor intensive. Strangely, for something so small.

m/m

m/m  Friend of PR
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NJ USA
Member since 4/4/05
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Date: 11/30/12 8:56 AM

If you're concerned about fumes and have a toaster oven and an outdoor electrical outlet you could do small batches outdoors instead of in the house. Also if you limited the oven to craft uses you wouldn't be baking in something you use for preparing food. I don't know if that's an issue with polymer clay but it's a big issue with many textile dyes.

NottaWadder
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NottaWadder
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Date: 11/30/12 11:44 AM

Most of the polymer clay artists out there will tell you to have a designated toaster oven for your clay.

Other experts will argue that it does not hurt to use the same oven for clay and for food.

I chose to have a separate oven. Then I quit doing clay so I cleaned the clay oven and now use it for food use.

But now I want to make some buttons, so I am back to trying to decide if I want to keep the toaster oven for food use only or if I am willing to put my clay in there too. It bakes perfect cakes and cookies so I hate to go back to my big oven for those.

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My Singer crew:
Sergei - Serger 14T968DC (set up as coverstitch)
Stella - Serger Stylist II 14J250 (set up as main overlock)
Quincy - Quantum 9960 (my main SM)
Newest addition: Stevie, my very first Featherweight! (221 Centennial)

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
ON
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10429
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Date: 11/30/12 11:46 AM

This sounds like a great idea. The only thing I'm curious about is, would they be washable?

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Sauvage
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Sauvage  Friend of PR
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Member since 7/22/09
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In reply to Valerie Jo <<


Date: 11/30/12 11:53 AM

Valerie Jo--I've thought about this question a lot, not because I need specialty buttons but just because it irks me to pay several dollars for TINY PLASTIC DISCS for heavens' sake.

I sometimes use alternatives, such as beads (like Cindyann I have jewelrymaking supplies), small coiled circles, and felted circles (the latter for mostly nonfunctional buttons).

No polymer experience here, but I admire the marbled and striped looks possible with Sculpey and think it would make wonderful buttons. If you do starting making your own, be sure to post pictures. You can even get metallic looks--some of the clay is metallic, I think, but a simple (and probably cheaper) way is to rub the uncured work in Pearl-Ex powder, or paint the cured (cooked?) piece with Lumiere. Available lots of places (Pearl Ex; Lumiere).

Finally, another thing you might try is Model Magic--an air-drying modeling compound, widely available (Walgreen's has it, for instance). It dries into a lightweight piece that might not be sturdy enough for a button--not attempted by me, yet, just another thing that's in the long hypothetical craft project queue--but definitely takes paint. No baking and no smell (as far as I remember).

There are clays you can make in the kitchen, too....

Enjoy! Post pics!

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Jeanne
2014 yards in inventory: (to be counted)
Yards cut/sewn:58
Yards purchased: 46.3

"People....so much bigger on the inside." Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," 6.04, by Neil Gaiman.

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