Polymer Clay Central just posted a great tutorial by Kathy Canuel on making custom word stamps with polymer clay. If you've ever wanted to customize a gift by stamping the recipient's name, or add your own custom mark to a finished piece, or just save money on word stamps for polymer clay, her tutorial's definitely worth checking out.
To start, Kathy has you carve your word, mirror-image, into the clay, then follow that outline with extruded polymer clay. If you're like me & not crazy about your own handwriting (or if you have trouble writing in mirror image!), you could start with an image transfer instead.
Be sure to print your word/image normally (not mirror image like you'd do for most image transfers), since you want the stamp to be reversed. The transfer doesn't need to be perfect since you're just using it for a guide. Following the same method I used in my extruded clay texture mold video, I baked the clay sheet before continuing (to make it a little easier to work with), then added a layer of liquid clay. The honey-like consistency of the liquid clay catches the extruded clay pieces and keeps them in place, making it easy to follow the image transfer lines with extruded clay. Once you're happy with the word (check it with a mirror if you're having trouble visualizing it), follow Kathy's instructions to add a cute custom handle & bake it.Looking for more ways to get your message across in polymer clay? Here are a few things to try:
- Use Stamps. If you have a set of alphabet rubber stamps, you can use them with polymer clay to spell out anything you like. You can also buy hardware stamping sets (like this one) for a pretty good price. Note: If you've got a Harbor Freight Tools nearby, take a print-out of the website's special price into the store with you. They'll honor the price, and you won't have to pay for shipping. (Thanks for the tip, April!)
- Use a Label-Maker.
- Use Pasta. Uncooked alphabet pasta is a good size for lots of projects -- and there's the added benefit of being able to bake it right in the clay, then pop it out after baking. Let me warn ya, though, that it's extremely time-consuming fishing out the right letters to spell a word. Especially if you're obsessive-compulsive and decide that the best solution is to separate each letter into its own little plastic baggie. Just guessing here, mind you... no personal experience at all! ;-)
- Use Liquid Polymer Clay. Jeanne of ART for the HEART uses liquid clay and extruded clay pieces to create her own rubber stamps. The nice thing about these is you can run them through the pasta machine with your clay to get a great impression.