- Polymer Clay: Small amounts of several pastel colors. Here's the formulas I used to match the colors of the Necco brand candy hearts. (White refers to a 2:1 mix of Premo white and UltraLight; all other colors are by Premo.)
- Yellow heart: 1 part Cadmium Yellow; 4 parts white
- Orange heart: 1 part Orange; 7 parts white
- Green heart: 1 part Green; 7 parts white
- Pink heart: 1 part Fuchsia; 1/4 part Cadmium Yellow; 5 parts white
- Purple heart: 1 part Purple; 1/2 part UltraMarine Blue; 6 parts white
- Tools: Scissors, needle tool or toothpick, stiff-bristled paintbrush, clay knife
- Color laser printer or color copier
- Rubbing alcohol
- Corn starch or baby powder
- Candy heart (optional)
- Amazing Mold Putty (optional)
If you have one of the real candies, you can use this to make a mold (follow my button mold instructions). Note: Mold the blank side of the heart, unless you actually want to copy the texture from the words. Allow the mold to set.
To use the mold, press a 1/4 teaspoon ball of clay into the mold. Use a scraper tool or a clay knife to remove excess clay from the back. Pop the heart out and correct any molding flaws.
Don't want to make a mold? You can easily hand-form the heart based on a real candy heart (or a photo of one).
Use a color laser printer or color copier to print the words you'll transfer onto the hearts. Cut the transfer as close to the letters as possible. Here's a few phrases you can use for your hearts [PDF, JPG].
If you're creating your own transfers, I recommend using the "Stamp Act" font, 8 pt size, with kerning set to 1.5 pt — you can get this font free from Harold's Fonts. Be sure to select mirror image if you're printing your own.
- Lightly press the transfer sheet, printed side down, onto the clay. Don't press down too hard as this will cause a line at the paper's edge.
Use a soft paintbrush to paint a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto the back of the paper. Be careful not to move the paper, since this can cause smudging. Let the alcohol dry completely (til you can no longer see the letters through the paper), then repeat this step twice.
If you prefer, you can leave the transfer sitting overnight instead of using rubbing alcohol.
- With the transfer still in place, load a stiff-bristled paintbrush with corn starch or baby powder. Use a pouncing motion to tap the front (around the transfer) and on the sides and back. This leaves a light chalky residue, similar to that on the real candy hearts.
Brush the transfer lightly with rubbing alcohol once more. You should be able to see the letters through the paper. Use a toothpick or needle tool to trace the letters, creating an indentation in the clay. This step often makes it easier to remove the paper as well: as you're tracing the letters, you may see an edge start to stick up. Once you're done tracing, use tweezers or a needle tool to coax the paper up the rest of the way. Your message should be transferred onto the clay.
Be careful not to touch the transferred letters, as the ink is still wet and will easily smear. If you're not in a big hurry, I'd encourage you to let this sit a few hours til the ink dries. That'll help prevent smearing. But if you're in a hurry, continue on and just be really careful not to touch the ink.
- There may be a ridge where the edge of the paper was. Decide how much this bothers you. You can use the rounded end of a paintbrush (or a variety of other tools) to help smooth this out — but be careful not to smear the ink. You can also add some texture and baby powder to this area if it needs it — but it's much easier to do this if you let the ink dry first.
- Once you're happy with the heart, cure it in the oven according to the manufacturer's recommended time and temperature. If desired, use Loctite Super Glue Control Gel to attach earring backs after the clay has cooled.
More Candy Hearts InfoUse these links to find out more about the candy hearts & their history — plus find sayings to use for your own hearts.
- NECCO Sweehearts: Official site from the candy's maker.
- History of Candy Hearts: Includes info on how new phrases are selected, plus the new phrase lists for the past few years.
Polymer clay candy hearts are fun & easy to make. Not only that, but the polymer clay version is much more durable than the candies themselves — perhaps as durable as your love!