Polymer Clay Tutorial | Faux Opal Bake & Bond Technique [VIDEO]

Polymer Clay ButtonsVid #148: “Your faux opals really capture the deepness and the shimmering layers.” ~Angelghost

This polymer clay opal tutorial seems like it has been a long time coming… primarily because we started talking about it back around Christmas time of last year. Well I finally came up with my own version of faux opals that has more depth than any other  polymer clay “fopals” you have ever seen before.

Listed below are several of the “Tutorial Yes Votes” that were originally posted at this article: Using Iridescent Buffalo Snow Flakes to Make Beautiful Faux Opals

Just two days ago I came across my package of iridescent buffalo snow while looking for something else and wondered if the time to use it was near. That’s a little spooky for me, Cindy. I am ready to go with it. Looks to be a wonderful and never ending technique. ~Joyce-M

Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this one!! My big ole bag of Buffalo Snow is begging to be opened and transformed into something gorgeous. The pendant in the photo is stunning! Can’t wait! Can’t wait! Can’t wait! ~Elizabeth-S

Like Elizabeth S. I ran into my Buffalo snow this past week and was hoping that your tutorial would be coming out soon. I am ready to learn how to do this Cindy. I call action for the camera crew! ~Illaya-B

Yes, definitely! I’m mostly interested in the pale milky white ones. Looking forward to it! ~Laura-B

That’s funny, I was just looking at some “Christmas-ey” stuff that didn’t make it into the Holiday put-away gear. Good thing, I would have been reluctant to get it out of the garage. Actually, that’s not true. I would have braved the very crowded garage in order to make these beautiful opals! The ones shown on this page are gorgeous! I’m looking forward to making them. ~Phaedrakat

Count me in too, Cindy… been wanting to make these little sparklies. ~Lupe-M

Faux gemstones are fun in their own right as well as for the things you can do with them that are just not practical with the real deal. I haven’t made faux opal before although I’ve seen a few ways of doing it, so it will be great to see Cindy’s approach too. ~Sue-F

I have been waiting for the opal tutorial. I love fire opals with the red and orange colors. I’m ready to go. ~Linda-B

If you didn’t pick up some Buffalo Snow at Christmas time, I think the Arnold Grummer flakes are similar to it. They would be more expensive but I don’t think too bad. I’m looking forward to the tutorial. ~Freda-K

I’m ready!  I got 2 bags of Buffalo Snow and when I was organizing my studio the other day, I was hoping this tut was coming soon. ~Linda-K

I have been waiting for this tutorial also! Really looking forward to it, Cindy! ~Marsha-N

Peggy Barnes – That is so very sweet of you to offer to send some Buffalo Snow Flakes to those who were not able to get to find any. You are another example of how wonderful the people in this community are! Someone else has already generously offered to send me some (thru Cindy – thanks again!!!). So I’m all set. There may be others in need though and I hope they take you up on your thoughtful offer. These Faux Opal beads are just to beautiful for anyone to miss out on. Thanks again Peggy! ~Lisa-W

I would love to make the opals…this is my birthstone.
~Loretta-C

Hi Cindy. I love the Polymer Clay Faux Opal Pendent with Hammered Copper Jewelry Bail. I would love to see a video on how to make this bail. I tried to make faux opal from someone on the net but did not turn out very well. I think maybe the direction may not have been clear enough, as yours are. I look forward to starting my day reading the news letter with a hot cup of coffee. ~Barb-C

You are simply stunning, Cindy. Ever since my parents gave me an opal as a present when I was 10 years old, I have loved these stones. I have always worn it around my neck, since then. I read every article about making fake ones, that I stumbled upon until now and I never ever saw one that even came close to how the real stones look. But your faux opals really capture the deepness and the shimmering layers. I would love to see the tutorial and try it out :D ~Angelghost

With such a clear Yes vote, I am happy to say that the Polymer Clay Faux Opals Tutorial has now been filmed and will be available in the Polymer Clay Library (Vol-022-3) on Friday March 19th, 2010.

Supplies & Tools: Video-022-3: Polymer Clay Faux Opals:

  • Translucent Polymer Clay plus another color for your choice as a base. I used a 50:50 mix of Translucent and White Premo Sculpey.
  • Buffalo Snow or other brand of large flaked Iridescent Glitter.
  • Alcohol Ink (Optional).
  • Studio by Sculpey Bake and Bond or Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS). Although TLS is easier to apply, it is much more rubbery than the Bake and Bond. I prefer the Bake and Bond over the TLS because it is much easier to sand after baking and gives a nicer overall finish.
  • Parchment Paper.
  • Wet/Dry Sanding Kit.
  • High Gloss Finish such as Studio by Sculpey Glossy Glaze (Optional) .

The full version of the Vid-022-3 “Polymer Clay Faux Opals” Video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday March 19, 2010. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



 



Click Video Play Button

Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Faux Opals” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-022 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Thanks for the welcome! I have been poking around this blog for months now. I am kicking myself for not joining sooner. I see now that I could have had access to the last few months of videos for a third the price, but I thought I knew enough that I didn’t “need” the subscription. But, after watching my first 2 member videos, I can see that it would have been soooo worth it. I have learned some new things already, and I’m sure there are many more great things in store for me. You are a great teacher, and you have such a supportive group of people here at your blog. I’m glad I finally made it to member status! (If only there was a way to wind back the clock and get Vol. 14 to 19 for $3.32 each instead of $9.95! What a dummy I am!). Sorry, I tend to be long-winded. Thanks again for such a great place to visit! I think I’m going to like it here. :) ~Phaedrakat

The following topics are included in this week’s “Polymer Clay Faux Opals” video tutorial:

  • See examples of several different Faux Opals in a variety of color choices.
  • Discussion of the supplies needed to create these beautiful stone replicas.
  • Learn a new trick for getting incredible depth in your faux opals. Way beyond what has been done before with polymer clay.
  • Tips on how to get the perfect finish on your faux opals so it’s hard to tell it from the real thing.
  • I will also show you a great way to use the left-overs from the process for other polymer clay projects such as the inlay technique.

The full version of the “Faux Opals” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-022 Back Issue Package.


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Comments

  1. I am so excited this week is finally here. I have been waiting for your faux opal tutorial. We are on spring break here and I have everything ready to start Friday morning. Air head here finally found macro on my camera so will send you some pictures of the opals I make. Thank you so much for all you do for us. You are just amazing!!!!!

    Linda B.
    Kansas City, MO

  2. Hurray! Thank you for publishing the list of things we need cause now I know I have them all and I can try it on Friday! If I didn’t have things here I couldn’t just pop out to get them locally so would probably have to order online and that would feel like forever waiting.

    I have now started actually using your videos instead of just enjoying watching them and I am really impressed with how easy they are to follow. There are so many little tips that you share that I am sure you wouldn’t get in a written tutorial. It is nice to be able to see you doing it so I know I can do it just like you (well I can try ;)

  3. Here it comes! Yea!! The “opals” in the photo are stunning. With yet another wonderful tut on the way, I am confident I soon will have another pc skill in my repertoire. As always, thank you.

  4. I know I am a little off topic here but I would like to add my request for learning how to make the bail used in the beautiful piece pictured yesterday.

  5. Whoopeeeeee this one i have been waiting for (as if i don’t wait every Friday) Just to show you how your blog has got to me i am now talking to myself, when playing last evening i was saying i think this is how Cindy does it and my husband came into my work room and wanted to no who i was talking to LOL????

  6. YES once again I am on pins and needles. I got very close to working with my clay last week just in time for another bout of the flu. I have left my house twice over the last 7 weeks both times to go to the Dr. I have no immune system at all. So once again to the Dr. for more tests just to find out they can’t find anything out. It is my Fibromyalgia. I think they just like using that for an excuse when they can’t figure out what is wrong. Oh well it definitely could be worse and I am pampering myself so I can try my success at faux opals. There come the pins and needles again. I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas. Can’t wait this is going to be a great one. I know because they are all GREAT!!!!
    Thanks Cindy and Doug, Uuuuugggggggs to all, Peggy

  7. Canti wait for Friday!!! Opals are my mom’s birthstone and she had a beautiful expensive one given to her by her uncle (who worked on a ship) from Africa. She lost it many years ago but also talked about it. i saw the ring once. I am going to make her an opal pendant or earrings as her fingers are now swollen with arthritis and she also had a stroke two years ago. She still loves to wear earrings so I think that’s what i’ll do and send it to her. She lives with Dad in India so far away- I miss them.

  8. These faux opals are going to be fun — so much anticipation! I love the look of your “fopals,” as you called ‘em. Yummy! One question, is it really worth it to go out & get some bake & bond, or is sticking with my TLS okay for now? Actually, now that I think about it, I haven’t seen Bake-n-bond anywhere; I’d have to order it. Maybe my question just answered itself! Do any of you other US members have Bake-n-bond for sale at your local craft stores, like Michael’s or JoAnn’s? ~Kat, Riverside, CA

  9. First, I just love the modern world. I’m sending this while enjoying a beautiful day outside using a WiFi hotspot in Wilmington DE. Opal is the reason I became interested in PC, I can’t wait for Friday! Opal this month and Jade next, i’ve died and gone to PC heaven. Thank you Cindy

  10. How exciting! You’re right, technology’s amazing, isn’t it? I’m glad you’re getting your PC tut-wish. Have a fun & safe trip!

  11. Just how excited are we all, thinking of Cindy’s “fopals” on Friday? There’s more than a whiff of pc fever in the air! Thanks for the advance notice you give on upcoming tutes, that’s such a help, Cindy, in getting our ducks in a row. Dare I say, Friday is my birthday (I think I’m about 259 now) so it will be a v. special prezzie for that. Already thinking of lots of projects – pendant, mend my opal ring… what fabulous fun! XX Mary

  12. Seems silly on the eve of our opal venture, but did anyone do anything green or shamrock-y for St. Pat’s Day? Maybe next year.

    • @Mary: I did a pendant :) four leaf clover using the extruder it turned out really cute. My doctor told me that I should be living in a beach house making jewelry. *LOL* Now wouldn’t that be nice. All credit goes to Cindy and Coug for their awesome tuts…

  13. Ta-dah! Finally, everyone can bust out their Buffalo Snow! (Looks like I need some bake and bond…)

    Thanks, Cindy! Great tut! Happy Friday, everyone!

  14. Oh” look out craft stores here I come…. Opals are my Birthstone. Did you know that Opals and Turquoise are spiritual stones.. I am part Cherokee and researched a long time ago as to why Indianians loved Opals and Turquoise.
    The Opal helps those who use it to see possibilities.
    It correlating with our emotions. Clarifies by amplifying and mirroring feelings, buried emotions, desires including love and passion. Less inhibition, more spontaneity. Visualization, imagination, dreams, healing. Easily absorbs, stores emotions and thoughts..

    The Turquoise: is used for opening communication, creativity, serenity, spiritual bonding, upliftment;Opens the heart for giving/receiving. Symbolizes our source (spirit/sky) and spiritual love for healing, help. Like amethyst, it protects and detoxes from alcohol, poison, pollution, x-ray/sun radiation. Ancient absorber of “negativity”; protection from “evil eye”. Brings wisdom. Helps anorexia, headache, fear, etc. Throat, lungs, asthma, infections, teeth, hearing, high blood pressure, creativity block, depression. Thought I would share.
    PS. I looked this info up to share because I knew they had strong meanings behind them. It will put more meaning into your stones when making them :)

  15. Love the faux opal tute – I knew I would how about everyone else. I see many sparkles in our lives. Wow did not expect to use the bake and bond like that. It is amazing these beads can be polished into those beautiful stones. HIP HIP HURRAY FOR CINDY AND DOUG!!! Job well done once again. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. It is going to be 60 degrees plus here in Southeast Iowa with lots of sunshine this afternoon. Then snow and rain tonight and tomorrow. That’s Iowa don’t like the weather just wait a couple days it will change. I LOVE IOWA and the 4 seasons always something new to look forward too.

  16. @Brenda: That is REALLY interesting information you posted about the spiritual significance of opals and turquoise. I wonder if those meaningful attributes still apply to our faux versions of these little beauties?! I for one would like to think that they do :-)

    @Brenda – PS1: Let me know when you are set up in your Jewelry Making Beach house. I’ll come visit you. Doctors orders! :-) :-)

    @Brenda- PS2: That’s funny about the Coug-Doug typo. With all the work he does behind the scenes to make everything run so smoothly around here, maybe we are actually morphing together as one person… LOL. Both Doug and I got a chuckle out of this. Thanks for the Friday funny.

    By the way… HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mary. She is 259 years young today!!!!

    @Peggy: Thanks for the 3 cheers. I LOVE FRIDAYS and all of you guys and your wonderful positive attitudes.

    @All: I can’t wait to hear from more of you about how your Fopals are coming along… Or maybe we should call them Fropals (Friday Faux Opals) Hehehe.

  17. Fopalicious, Cindy! Love those opals and thank you so much for a great tutorial: is there a special technique for the round, red one? Is it manipulated while the B&B is still wet and how? I should just plunge in and try, shouldn’t I? And thank you so much for your birthday wishes on my 259th. (People say I only look 257 but I think they’re just being polite.) 19th March hereafter known as Fopal Day. XX Mary

  18. Cindy, I haven’t tried these yet (still need some B&B — bake and bond,) but I was wondering if you do the ice-water plunge after baking with this method? I know it aids clarity with regular translucent clay, but does it help with B&B as well? What about the heat gun method, right out of the oven? Or, did you just pull them out of the oven, let ‘em cool, and then sand & buff? I guess I’m just so amazed at how clear & beautiful these opals get — truly gorgeous!

    BTW, I believe that our creations carry the properties we put in them. So don’t think ugly thoughts when you’re making your fropals, or any faux stones…!

  19. I was so excited about this opal tut, that I paid my worker to come in for a couple of hours while I went shopping for supplies.. I’ve got it bad *LOL*
    I found the Snow at ” Party Supply” It is called confetti on the bag. I did not find the exact alcohol ink colors though. Does that matter?

    @Mary: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    • @Mary: I did the same thing with the red as the others, just didn’t push it down as firmly to the surface, so it stayed rounder.

      @Phaedrakat: Yes plunging in ice water is a great idea. I always do that with all my beads so I forgot to mention that. No need for the heat gun though. Just sanding and buffing will do it!

      @Brenda: LOL wish I had one of those paid workers… would come in quite handy! You don’t need to have the same colors of alcohol ink at all. You can even skip that step if you want and there is still lots of colors that show in the iridescent flakes. That is up to you.

  20. So who is superstitious? I love opals but have never worn them as my Grandmother insisted they were bad luck. Thought the clay ones would be OK but when I went to get my clay kit out tonight the mirror I normally work on fell of the top and crashed – hmm that’s bad luck for 7 years!

    After a moments hesitation I decided it was more likely my mirror feeling hurt that I was planning on replacing it (it’s lovely and smooth but off putting look down on your work area and I was having trouble with lighting due to glare from the mirror). Well I will have to get a new work surface now.

    Opals baking – can’t wait to see how they will turn out.

    I had trouble with dying the flakes they came out very bright colour and I tried mixing in more flakes to the same amount of ink but it just was bright in patches. My inks are bright primaries – perhaps more muted ones would be better.

  21. @Cara: Forgot to say “Sorry” about your mirror. Even if you aren’t worried about the bad luck, what a mess to clean up! GOOD luck to you, and I hope your opals come out of the oven gorgeous like Cindy’s!

  22. I guess I won’t be claying much this weekend :( My Mother in-law is having a hysta as I type. She went in knowing she had a lump in her Fallopian tube and they were to remove it. They said her tube burst and she has cancer
    :( …… She is a cancer survivor of 20 years. I am heart broken. I can’t get a hold of my husband either. I don’t know how he is going to take this news…

  23. Cindy,

    Wish I could have watched the neurons firing when you came up with this faux opal tutorial. You’ve outdone even yourself, and that is no minor feat. Oh, these are so beautiful! Sadly for me, my big ole bag of Buffalo Snow was something besides the flakes you used, but I will hit the party supply stores tomorrow in search of a usable substitute. In the meantime though, I bought some cellophane gift wrap stuff at Hobby Lobby which will allow me to practice the technique. Are you sure I can’t borrow just a tiny piece of that creative brain of yours? As I have said before, I will give it back, I promise (well, maybe).

  24. Brenda,

    I just refreshed the site and learned of your mother-in-law’s diagnosis. I fear anything I would say here would be so lacking in what I want to express. My prayer is that the gains in the fight against cancer will bring this lady, whom you love so much to a place of complete recovery.

    My love and prayers to you and your family,
    Elizabeth S.

  25. Thank you everyone. We are waiting on test to come back to see if it spread to any other places. So to take my mind off of it I tried making the Opal. It did not turn out. My B&B is really thick. Any suggestions to thinning it a bit?

    • @Brenda: First of all I am so sorry to hear about your MIL. I hope she makes it through this OK. Sounds like she is a tough woman and she has the strength inside. You are such a good woman to be standing by her side like that. I will keep you both in my thoughts.

      @EVERYONE: As far as the opal goes, don’t try and thin down the B&B. It will just run down the sides if you do. I did notice while filming it came out of the bottle easier, so I’m thinking the heat from the lights helped. You could try and set your bottle in a bowl of warm water to ‘loosen’ it up a bit. Also you can cut the tip on the bottle a tiny bit bigger so the liquid comes out with less squeezing, if you like.

      @Ritzs: You haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just that you’re not done yet. A VERY thorough wet sanding process is required to get your opals to look like mine. Start at 320 grit, go to 400, 600, 800 and finally 1000. Then you will need to buff well. You will have to put some concerted effort into this. Bake and Bond sands easier, nicer and clearer than TLS. It is really worth it to get a hold of some of the B&B product for this faux opal technique. — If you don’t sand properly or deep enough then that outside layer will be too thick and cloudy and you just won’t see the flakes very well. Just keep going, you’ll see that the effort is worth it. — If it is too frustrating for you, skip doing the the outside Bake and Bond layer… but you will be cutting back on the look of depth, considerably.

      —————————————————————————————–

      I fully anticipated that the sanding process would be an issue for some of you. So I’m going to re-emphasize and re-state the information that I provided above.

      The MOST IMPORTANT part of my faux opal technique is the sanding! It doesn’t matter if the outer Bake & Bond layer is thick. You can (and should) sand it thinner. In fact sanding is one of the main reasons why this opal, when done right, looks so much more realistic than most other faux opals you have seen.

      You MUST put in the effort to wet sand through all the grits. 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000 and higher if you wish. Then it needs to be buffed well.

      Have you seen a real opal in raw form? It doesn’t look that great does it? It is only after the sanding and buffing that all the wonderful sparkling layers are revealed.

      If you want that wonderful depth that you have seen in the faux opals I create, you are going to have to work for it. But it’s worth it! You’ll see! :-)

  26. Hello, I am new to Cindy’s tutorials and so far I am loving them. Cindy, about how long do you bake your fropals and at what temp? I know some PC artists use lower temps and longer bake times but what about you? Thank you in advance. I can’t wait for some time to call my own so I can try out your fropals. Opals are my birthstone and I think I am obsessed with them.

    Brenda, I feel very impressed to tell you that your Mother-in-law and your entire family are in the best of hands. There is a beautiful song called “He’ll do it Again” (sung by Karen Wheaton) about the miracles we can claim and believe in. You said yourself that your Mother-in-law is a 20 year survivor. Remember, NOTHING is impossible for those who love and trust Him. I say to you and your Mother-in-law, BELIEVE. That is all, believe. With all of these wonderful people lifting you all up in prayer you are surrounded by angels. I would be honored to add my prayers as well. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to pray for you.

    • @Cheryl V.: As far as baking temps go, I like to bake at 265F-275F for one hour. Then plunge into ice water after baking to help with the clarity of the translucent clay and liquids. Use an oven thermometer to make sure the temp isn’t spiking.

      For more info on baking, click the link by my name.

  27. @Cindy: I didn’t get to watch the fopal tutorial until late last night because I was too busy all day making my peony-kalei-heart necklaces to fill the orders I’ve been getting!!!! Three things you taught me, all rolled into one!

    I’ve seen tutorials on other opals and I think yours is the best. Can’t wait til I have time to try it.

  28. Hi; Cindy I made the faux opal yesterday and after baking for one hour they came out white and nothing like yours I used fimo white translucent a spot of alcohol ink in the clay as I wanted a very pale pink base followed the tut I only had TLS to use for the final coat I tried sanding but they still stayed white white no sign of the buffalo snow or only a shadow any idea what I did wrong I was very disappointed. Ritz.

  29. Hi All, I just got back from the hospital. MIL Is doing well. Thanks for all the kind support.

    The Fopal project has been interesting project. I couldn’t sleep last night so I stayed up trying to takle the fopal. I made them but man they are tuff. You have to sand & sand & sand & sand… Mine are clear.. The B&B is super thick and stringy like honey. I found it hard to work with. I am not giving up though :)

  30. Cindy,

    On the way the opals are made do you think it would work with the rose petals? Just using translucent clay and roses, cover with the bake and bond.

    Which were the different in finishes between the bake and bond and the glossy glaze? I’m just wondering which one to try in getting a better finish.

    Off the subject: Have you ever tried to make flowers (like the gum paste ones) with the polymer clay? There are videos with gumpaste on youtube. There is one lady that makes orchids with polymer clay.

    Michelle

    • @Michelle: Wow, when I was typing the above answer, a lot of people put comments in (I need to type faster!) The other thing you asked about – the difference between Bake & Bond and a glaze? The difference is that B&B is a polymer clay/bakable adhesive; a glaze is just a glaze. B&B’s not really what you’d call a finish — it’s a liquid clay/adhesive, which allows the iridescent flakes to lay at different levels so that your opals get the ultimate look of depth. A glossy glaze just sits on top of the clay, providing a shiny finish. Hope this helps!

    • @Ken H.: I’m sorry Ken I didn’t address your comment. I can’t see why you couldn’t try dipping it though you could run into problems. B&B is so thick and sticky that it may not dip well and since it is a liquid, dealing with the drips could be tricky. But you know me… you won’t know if something will work unless you test it. So why don’t you try it on one and see how it goes? Don’t forget to tell us what happens. I am curious about this!

      @Michelle: Looks like I missed your comment too Michelle. Sorry about that! Phaedrakat had a good response to this. I do love to try things and although I have stuck rose petals onto beads with B&B , I haven’t tried coating them with it yet. Why don’t you try it out yourself and see how it goes? Let us know what your results are and any problems you may have encountered.

      Also the Glossy Glaze is just a shiny coat to add after all the sanding and polishing was done. It can not replace the B&B as part of this technique.

  31. WOW I’m beginning to get a little intimidated by these opals. I haven’t tried them yet but I hope to Monday. I was wondering with all the sanding and I have the different grits of paper so that is not a problem. Does anyone think you could save on some of the sanding if you were to use your rock tumbler. I have the vibrating tumbler and it uses very little water. Do you think it would make a mess to put these opals in there with all that B&B on them. Has anyone gave it a try or even a thought?? Anyone have any input before I give this a try. I would only try 1 or 2 the first time out.

    Brenda I am so sorry to hear about your MIL. You and your family are in my prayers. Your husband is blessed to have you by his side.

    May God be with us all.
    Uuuuuuggggggggggs, Peggy

    • @Peggy Barnes: I also have fibromyalgia and sanding cramps up my hands quickly. A few month ago I found Desiree McCrory’s website, where she had a link to a tutorial on creating a sanding tool out of a battery-operated toothbrush. The tutorial required a different head for each grit of sandpaper, which I thought was not necessary, so this is what I came up with:

      Buy a cheap, battery-operated toothbrush with replaceable batteries. Use a hot-glue gun to completely fill in between the bristles in the round section that spins, so that those bristles become rigid. The round section still needs to spin, so don’t glue it to the stationary bristles.

      Cut out a circle of sandpaper in each grit, the size of the circle of spinning bristles that you just filled in with hot glue. Using strips of velcro (with the hooks and loops joined together) cut circles the same size as the circles of sandpaper or use pre-cut vecro dots.

      Use the hot-glue gun to glue the sandpaper circles to the back of the loop (soft) sides of the velcro. You now have a “sandwich” with the sandpaper on the top.

      Hot-glue each sandwich, in ascending order by grit, onto a long strip of cardstock, leaving enough room to write the grit number above each sandwich. Use a waterproof pen, like a Sharpee.

      Finally, cut one extra round of velcro and hot-glue the back of the hook piece to the round spinning area of the toothbrush bristles. Now all you have to do is choose the grit you want to sand with and separate the hook and loop of the velcro. Stick the sandpaper/velcro loop piece to the toothbrush/velcro hook piece and you’re ready to sand.

      When you’re done with a grit, stick it back to its velcro hook piece that’s glued to the cardstock.

      When any of the grits or pieces of velcro wear out, just glue on a new one.

      I always wear a surgical glove on my left hand while I hold the toothbrush in my right.

  32. Fantastic Video, I saw an Opal bead necklace when I was out in Las Vegas, didn’t go in the store to ask how much, you know the saying, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”, But up till then I had never seen round opal beads, they had always been cabs. Can you put the BnB in a cup and dip the beads into it for the final layer? Thanks again Cindy, can’t wait to try this one.

  33. Hi Michele, have you seen Cindy’s rose videos? Her Variegated Rose Beads are lovely. They are part of back issue Vol-013, which includes tutorials on Rubber Stamping texture, Anjou Pear Beads, as well as the Sculpted Rose Beads.

    These links are to the articles about them; to get to the actual tutorials, you go to the members video library (link at top of page,) and scroll down to “Volume 013 Back Issue Package.” Underneath it in red it says “Click Here:” That will show you previews of all 4 videos in the volume. I haven’t seen this one yet, but it’s on my list. I eventually want to get them all – they’re so good!

    Concerning your question about the rose petals — I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. The only thing you need to remember is the flowers need to be completely dry first. Cindy did an article about Rosary Beads using Bake and Bond. There are links to several other articles in this post that will give you lots of info on the subject. (Don’t forget to read the comments – lots of ideas, tips, & even pictures!)

    She also has videos with flower inclusions. If you want to look at those, it’s Volume 003 in the library. You can check out the video previews the same way described for the Rose beads, or I think they’re on one of the posts linked to in the Rosary Bead article.

  34. Wowsers! Opal is my birthstone (they were also my grandmother’s but she wouldn’t wear them because she thought they were bad lick). I have some raw opal stones so I totally agree that “rough” opals are nothing like the final ones. I’ve tried and tried other methods to make faux opals with terrible results. Using the Bake & Bond is a stroke of genious! For anyone who might want to know: automotive stores always have the best selection of sand paper grits (not sure why). The depth of these is amazing. I have to find the flakes but will try with the glitter I have just to learn the technique. Maybe I’ll wind up with colored versions of goldstone!!

  35. Right, I finally have some time to try this! I only have liquid Fimo so I’ll try that and see how well it works. I have a feeling it might be too runny so will probably require several layers but experimenting is part of the fun!

    • @Silverleaf: How are your experiments with Deco Gel coming? I was thinking about what you said about it being too runny. If that happens, I wonder if you could use a heat gun to partially cure it, to kind of “hold it in place” over the snow, and then slowly build up enough layers. I’m curious to see how it goes, as I know you’re very creative. Also, I haven’t any B&B yet, either, so I’m anxious to see if I should order some online, (or work with one of the 3 types of liquid clay I already have!) Good luck, Anna, and keep us abreast of your progress! I mean, could you please? ;D

      • @Phaedrakat: I am using the B&B It is super hard after baking. It seems to be harder than regular clay. I sanded mind both the wet and dry way the grit is coming off into to clay when I wet sand though. Mine are a little lumpy and my thumb has a blister from the sandpaper hitting it :( So I through them all in the tumbler. They have been going all night so I will let you know how it goes later today.

        • @Silverleaf: Thant sounds cool! I like Phaedrakat’s suggestion for heat set the layers to get them thick enough. That should work. I’d love to hear what happens with your testing!

          @Peggy Barnes: I am sorry to not have gotten to you sooner Peggy… Sometimes my life feels a little like a run away freight train! Thank God for people like Phaedrakat and everyone else to come to my rescue in answering questions so well!

          I don’t think the Polybonder will work. Though I haven’t tried it, from what I’ve seen it is a thin glue and not a thick liquid clay based adhesive like Bake and Bond. If you really want the look I got, B&B is your best bet (so far that is).

          Sure you can toss your beads in the tumbler, it won’t hurt them, but in my experience the tumbler really doesn’t take the surface down very far. There could be another grit that will work, but I just haven’t figured that out yet. Maybe if you tried a small power hand sander like one of those ones called a ‘Mouse’ would work if you put wet dry paper on it. (Another thing I’ve been wanting to experiment with but haven’t got to.

          You could try drywall sandpaper as your first step, to get the surface at least to the right thickness, then move on to the wet/dry steps. I’ve linked to an article by my name for more info on that.

          Hope you have fun with your Grandkids! I know you are crazy about spending time together! :-)

          @Phaedrakat: Thank you for all your outstanding help! Hope this doesn’t embarrass you but you are my guardian angel here at the blog. :-)

          @Brenda: Do let us know how the tumbling goes. I am curious.

          • @Cindy Lietz from Drywall Sandpaper: @Phaedrakat:

            Fimo gel doesn’t work very well at all. It’s far too runny so you can’t get a thick layer to cover the flakes, and once it’s in the oven it runs some more and pools over the tile around the piece. I thought that maybe I could build up successive layers to create the same effect as the B&B but after 4 layers it still looks awful and lumpy so I gave up.

            Also I found that the Wild Plum ink I used leached out into the gel and stained it, so I ended up with colourless flakes and bright pink gel, not quite what I was after. :( Think I didn’t let the ink dry enough in my impatience!

            I’ll be ordering some Bake & Bond later.

            I did try something different with the Fimo gel though. I extruded some black clay with the small rectangular die and laid it around a metal cookie cutter to form a “frame”. Baked on a tile and removed the cutter, then filled the frame with several layer of flakes and gel, baked for 15 mins or so for each layer. Looks pretty cool so far so we’ll see what happens – I want to add a layer of trans with flakes to the back of it to make it different on the reverse, and less transparent.

          • @Silverleaf: Thanks for letting us know how it went! I’m sorry it didn’t work out with the Fimo Gel. I hope it doesn’t take too long for you to get your bake & bond — and that it’s not too expensive. It looks like it’s about $3.50 over here, but I have to order it. Thanks for sharing your experiment, I appreciate it very much (& knowing for sure I have to order b&b.) You also helped by reminding us know to make sure the ink’s completely dry. Your other experiment/creation sounds gorgeous! Your explanation is very clear; I can just about picture it in my mind (I can see it, just not the exact shape!) I hope we get to see pictures when your project’s complete!

          • @Silverleaf: Thanks for sharing your findings with the Fimo Gel. That was really interesting. I had a similar thing happen with the ink bleeding into the B&B when I let it sit for several hours before baking. I like how the turned out though. Looked like some sort of Easter Egg Opal! LOL

          • @Cindy Lietz from Polymer Clay Color Recipes: I mentioned the ink spreading on Facebook the other day, and Tina Holden commented that red and purple inks particularly tend to bleed into other things – in my experience the Wild Plum seems to want to share its pinkness with everything! ;) Sometimes it’s pretty, but it can be annoying. Definitely worth waiting until the ink’s absolutely dry unless you like the tinted look.

            @Phaedrakat: No problem, it’s good to know that my experiments will save other people potentially wasting time and supplies. Makes me feel a little tiny bit like Cindy, “making mistakes so you don’t have to”, lol!

          • @Silverleaf: I noticed the red bleeding in mine as well. I mentioned before about the blister on my thumb “right” well my husband had got me some rubber coated gloves “LOL” like what he uses on his job. I never used them*hehe……. I showed him my beads and told him that the big red spot where from my thumb. I think he actually believed me. His comment was “I gave you gloves” Got to love em… :)

          • @Brenda: Your fopals are so pretty! You made quite the variety, as well! I love them all, but have to comment on the lovely earrings. I think I’ll have to try some in black, as well. I’m quite eager to try this technique. I know I’ll hate the sanding part, but the end result is WAY worth it!

            You are such a meanie to your hubby. LOL : ) Not mean, just a little fibber — making him think the ink was an injury from sanding! Did you get some sympathy, or just an “I told you so” about the gloves? You’re in trouble when the ink washes off… hehehe That’s funny! ;~D

          • @Phaedrakat: Thanks, I like them I wore them today to see if anyone complemented me on them. One client did.

            *giggles* No’ I got no sympathy. I told him that I was joking. We cut up all the time like that. He is so funny. He showed me those gloves again this morning. “you should really get a pair of these things” he said. I did get a cut though the dremel got me.

            @Silverleaf: Thank you… The irregular shape is growing on me.

          • @Silverleaf: Thanks for the warning about the ink bleeding problem. Although it might be a pretty effect for some things, I don’t want it to happen to my opals! Now I know to let my inks dry completely, and not to let them sit around much with the liquid clay (or B&B.) You really are like Cindy, “Making the mistakes….” I totally appreciate the save! You’re awesome! How did your other experiment come out, the extruded frame with the gel & snow in the center? They sounded like such a pretty idea. Please, let us know how they turn out too, Silver-‘Tutor’! ;-) Wait. :~\ huh? Sorry, weird stuff going on around here right now. Gotta go, cuz I’m lo-ooosing it… 8-D

        • @Brenda: Your poor fingers & blistered thumb! I sure hope the tumbler works! If the b&b is that hard, the tumbler should help a little at least. I guess it all depends on what kind of grit you’re using, or do you use river rocks? I can’t wait to hear how it turns out! I know when I get some b&b and make this project, I’m going to need a tumber or something. I have sissy fingers! (Actually, I have sissy everything!) Thanks Brenda!

          • @Brenda: Your opals are probably just fine Brenda, the water probably just made them look white. You should be able to sand them now with no problems.

            @Everyone: This technique really isn’t that hard, you just need to follow the directions just like I showed you. Make sure they are baked for a full hour so that they are nice and hard. They sand better that way.

            If the sanding is taking too long, start with a courser grit like a 320 or you can even use a 120 grit drywall sandpaper (see link by my name). Don’t use an old piece of sandpaper, because it just won’t do the job. Then go to 400 grit, 600, 800 and 1000 grit.

            This does take some effort but it isn’t anything that you guys can’t master, just as well as I can. You guys can do this, I believe in you!

  36. @Brenda: I figured you have a southern accent, and were typing like you spoke! LOL, JK. No need to blush, now, it’s just spelnig, I mean spelling…As for the beach house, I understand completely! I love the “idea” of living by the beach. But the practicality of it is a bit scary – as are hurricanes!

    I hope all is well with your mother-in-law. My thoughts go out to all of you!

  37. Hi guys I need help. I’m going to be gone over the next 5 days to be with grandchildren while Mommy and Daddy get away. I was packing some clay things so we could work on it while I am gone. I was getting stuff for opals together and I only have Poly Bonder by Lisa Pavelka not the bake and bond. Will this work or should I try to get some Sculpey B&B. I am leaving Thursday morning so if someone could give me some in-put before then I would be very thankful. Also did anyone know anything about putting the opals in vibrating rock tumbler to cut down on sanding. I don’t have alot of strength in my hands because of Fibro it’s not that I am too lazy ( well maybe just a little )
    Thanks so much in advance for any help. I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful group of artists.
    Uuuuugggggs to all, Peggy

    • @Peggy Barnes: Hi Peggy, I’m not familiar with the Poly-Bonder, is it just an adhesive or is it a liquid clay, too?

      If it’s just an adhesive, then no, you would still need Bake & Bond, or at least a liquid clay (like TLS, Fimo Gel, or Kato Sauce.) You could use a small daub of it to put the “snow” in place, but then you’d have to use the liquid clay to cover the snow. (This is the important step she mentions, where she squeezes the B&B around & around like ganache.) She mentions the use of TLS as an alternative in the video; but above she states you do get better clarity with the Bake & Bond.

      I haven’t tried tumbler sanding, as I’m still waiting to add one to my supplies. But, since Bake & Bond is still a polymer clay, you should be able to sand it the same way you do your other beads. In fact, Cindy recommends wet-sanding the opals, so using the tumbler should be okay too. Cindy did warn that this project requires a deep sanding, so you’ll probably have to add some hand-sanding, too. At least the tumbler can cut down on some of the effort.

      Has anyone tried this yet, who can give Peggy more advice?

  38. Ok… here are my final fopals. *LOL* they look ruff.

    Faux Opals by Brenda Moran

    I tried several ways with these things. First tried Cindy’s way. Then I wan’t more of a bead look. I got tire of sanding and through them in the tumbler. That beat them up a bit and turned them white. but they coated up nicely. then I thought I might try with a black background to help the colors pop like a real opal. I guess it was ok that way. Last but not least, I grabbed my rotary drill, put my sandpaper bit on and went to town <–Make sure to wear safety glasses. Ta.. Da.. I just sand with a finer sandpaper after I got the ruff stuff off. I wish I could get them more rounder. I guess that is what makes them unique..

    • @Brenda: You did it! That is so great Brenda, I knew you could. Don’t worry about the shape, the more practice you get the rounder they will be. I love the colors on the larger one in the background. and the earrings turned out great! There is a lot of depth to your opals.

      The Dremel was a good fix for you, glad you figured something out. Silverleaf is correct about the ink bleeding, if you let the ink dry longer and bake the beads quicker, there is less chance of the color seeping out into the liquid clay.

      Your husband was right about the gloves… they’re good for avoiding blisters.

      Thanks for sending in your photos. It will be encouraging to all of those out there who have found this technique a challenge and a bit advanced for them. Now they know with a little perseverance they too can do it!

  39. I keep wondering about using these beads for bracelets. Since they are flat on the back they wouldn’t look good on a bracelet since the beads roll around. How do you use this technique for round beads.
    My picture of my beads is on flickr. I sanded them starting with 220 then 320 and on up. They still don’t look like they should.
    flickr.com/photos/fredak/4464179559/

    • @Freda K: Freda I had a look at your opal photo on Flickr and I have a couple of things to point out that should help a lot in the making of these faux stones. This is a bit more of an advanced technique than the others I’ve shown, so it may take a bit of practice to get yours to look like mine.

      First of all, I think you are probably using TLS instead of Bake and Bond which ends up looking milkier. You can use it for this technique but it is not ideal. Also, the coating is not as thick as it should be since the surface is still very bumpy from where the flakes are sticking out. You would need to add another coat to get them to look right.

      You said you sanded through all the grits, but I can still see quite ragged edges and bumps on the surface. The courser 220 and 320 grits need to used until the surface is completely smooth before moving on to the next higher grit. If you just kind of scratch at the surface for a minute or two and then move on, you won’t end up with a glassy surface like the ones in the video. They will end up bumpy, scratched and white looking.

      As far as shapes go, you may find shapes other than the smooth round cabochon shape that I used, to be quite difficult to coat properly with the B&B. It won’t be able pull evenly over the sides. So try the domed cabochon shape first before moving on to harder shapes.

      And lastly, that brings me to the shape itself. These particular faux opals work best when they are treated like a cabochon and added to a bail or background piece of polymer clay. They weren’t designed to be used as beads with all of the surfaces showing

      If you want to make faux opal beads that are in shapes and seen from all sides, just do the first part of the tutorial and skip the B&B stage. This will create the type of opals that you have probably already seen out there, which although they do not have the same depth to them, they are still very pretty.

      Hope that helps Freda. Good luck!

  40. Thanks for such a thorough answer. I was a little frustrated with them because I sanded them so much longer than I usually do and it didn’t seem to do much. I’m going to get some B&B and try it with a cabachon like you said. Maybe the next batch will be better. The more I do something the better it gets. I know that and should have tried it more than once but now when I try it I’ll have a better chance of having them look like they should.

  41. I did googled real opal bracelets, and found that they’re mostly cabochons set in some sort of bezel. So this project’s Faux Opals in cabochon form vs. a round bead, is more “authentic.” To use them in a bracelet, you could make a small polymer bezel/backing for each f’opal. Then put holes in both ends of each bezel, and link them together with jump rings. You can find lots of other designs by looking at jewelry made with cabs; your creativity will be sparked and the ideas will flow…

    • @Phaedrakat: While I agree most opals are prepared as Cabs, I found the picture of the necklace I saw out Las Vegas, it is a $3,500 necklace done in 5.5-6 mm opal beads, I can’t figure out how to get this photo on to the comment section, but for anyone who wants to do a little legwork to see an extrodinary piece of jewelry here is the website: opalsandgemsofaustralia.com/crystal-opal-bead-necklace-556mm-gold-3500-p-103.html

      This necklace left an impression on me from when I saw it over a year ago. And I will eventually figure out how to mimic this with Cindy’s technique. (I have high asperations don’t I) :)

      • @Sue F: That is so cool Sue! I will have to try that. I only have a teeny piece of Frost left, does it work with trans? Or only Frost?

        @carolyn: I’m here to pat you on the back as well. Your work is stunning! :-) To reply to more than 1 person I reply to one and copy the message and code to my computer clipboard, then cancel reply. Then I reply to next one and paste the previous message above it. It’s a little bit cumbersome but it works.

        @Brenda: I am so sorry to hear that. :-( My thoughts are with you all.

        @Hobokenmary: LOL that’s too funny!

        @Ken H: Oooo Ken I see why you love that necklace… it is gorgeous! I was thinking you could try and make two half spheres, do the whole technique, bake and then glue them together and bake again. Would be a ton of work, but if you made a few bigger beads it might be worth it. Another option would be to stick the flakes onto a round bead with the B&B like you do but then bake it before adding the top layer. Then you could try dipping it. May get a lot of drips, but those could be sanded off. Just an idea or two to try.

        • Hi @Cindy,

          I’m sure it will work with normal Premo Translucent too, since they seem to be roughly equal in clarity but just slightly different in how coloured they are (or aren’t ;D). However I haven’t tried it exactly since I’m in the opposite situation to you: I have several large blocks of Premo Frost, but only a tiny bit of normal Premo Translucent!

          The same kind of “caramelising” and increased clarity seems to happen with all the translucent clays regardless of brand, although they darken differently and achieve different levels of clarity. I actually think it would be really cool to very roughly marble a whole lot of different translucents together and then to gently overbake beads made from that mixture as described in my earlier post, as that would likely replicate the imperfections and random cloudiness that I think are a lot more interesting than perfectly clear “gemstone quality” stones.

          (I’ve actually done a similar kind of multi-brand translucent thing before, but using small amounts of opaque+translucent and mica+translucent clay mixtures as well as various plain translucents, with a technique more like faux turquoise: chopping different mixtures of the clays up with a blade, covering the chopped pieces lightly with thinned white acrylic paint, roughly combining the different mixtures, and then pressing portions of this together to make beads. The end result of that was lovely and looked like a stone composed of various types of large crystals in warm but pale neutral colours.)

          You could also use a little bit of alcohol ink to further colour parts of the clay before mixing/marbling. And you could cut the mixture and insert very fine sheets of clay (e.g. a different translucent or translucent tint, or an opaque sheet) — or even brush on a thin layer of acrylic paint in a suitable colour — to replicate the planar fractures and linear inclusions that you see in some stones (if you did this, you’d probably want to cut your raw bead shapes out of the lump of prepared clay instead of the normal “pull a pinch off an roll it”, to preserve the straight/planar features added).

          I just love making faux gemstones! ;)

          (And I really will have to find the notebook where I recorded those particular results!)

          Sue

        • @Marion K: Hi Marion! I don’t want to say too much, or give Cindy’s video secrets away in this “open forum.” Still, did you use Bake-n-bond as shown in the tute? You mentioned using certain Fimo glitter clays…was that instead of flakes? Did you limit the amounts, & did you mix w/regular translucent?

          If you followed the steps in the video, then you probably need to sand more, as that’s where alot of members had difficulty (the Bake-n-bond bakes up really hard, so start with a heavy grit…or break out the Dremel.) Also, try reading comments on this page & other “opal” posts for more tips…
          Good luck!

          • @Phaedrakat:
            No bake and bond, couldnt get it overhere, have to try get it from somewhere,more searching to do,hahaha.
            And i didnt use the fimoglitter instead of the flakes but with flakes.
            I think maybe i put too much of the glitterclay in the translucent ?
            But i wont give up so easy, will try again until i get something that looks like an opal.
            Thanks Phaedrakat

      • @Ken H: Wow, that is stunning, Ken. I can see the attraction…

        What about wrapping the “extra stuff” around a round bead? You know in the video where Cindy takes the excess B&B and flakes and smears them on the parchment to bake for ‘other projects’? She mentions using it for inlays, but maybe you could make lots of that, and wrap it around a bead made with trans/white with flakes, already shaped into a round shape (maybe even pre-baked and attached with more B&B?) Just another idea…

      • Thanks for the link, Ken H! Just to be different (which is normal for me) I actually don’t really care for the necklace… but I totally love the raw opal chunks that it’s sitting on. The deeper colours peeking out of the matrix… that’s what I’ll be trying to replicate!

      • @Ken H: Wow, I can’t imagine a reason for someone to say they don’t care for this necklace! The opals are brilliant! There are people who prefer other styles — this is a classic, knotted necklace with gold clasp. A simple piece in design, but anything too elaborate might detract from the glossy beauty of the gorgeous opals. I can only imagine how they look in “person.” Good luck in your endeavor to create fabulous, round “fopals”… :D

  42. Hi all,

    Polymer Clay Faux Opal Pendant

    Here is a picture of my faux opal pendant. I’ve gotten so many compliments… thank you! The picture really doesn’t do the piece justice as compared to seeing it in person, but I thought I’d send this along anyway!

    • @Hobokenmary: Looks really beautiful — I’ll bet it’s a knockout “in person”. The colors are stunning, and the bezel looks great with it – what did you use? Anyway, it is a gorgeous piece! Thank you for sharing~

      • @Phaedrakat: Hi there Phaedrakat and thank you for the compliment. In the sunlight the pendant and ring is absolutely amazing. I use Patera bezels from Nunn Design. They are a bit expensive but the end result proves worth it. I also made a ring and earings in the fopal and instead of the Buffalo Snow flakes which I couldn’t find I found some iridescent decorating shred (or Easter basket grass) and cut that up instead.

        • @Hobokenmary: Oh what a great idea! I never thought of Easter basket grass… that is the perfect solution for this time of year!

          The Pateras are an excellent choice for ‘setting’ your faux opals. Any bezel or even the pronged settings would work. If you buy the setting first, you can custom design the size of the opal. Not an easy thing to do with a real opal.

          Your opal looks GORGEOUS! Thanks so much for sending in your photo!! Sharing these project pictures lets other members see that all of the techniques I teach are very doable.

          @Everyone – keep those photos and stories coming. Simply email your pics to me as JPEG attachments, and I’ll post them here at the blog for everyone to see. If you include a bit of write up, you may just end up seeing your name lights for an upcoming Spotlight feature.

    • @Hobokenmary: Wow looks great! Did you use red clay as a base?

      I have just baked my second batch of fopals. The first lot I didn’t bake long enough but I didn’t realise until I had sanded and sanded but they were too soft and didn’t sand well at all.

      This batch baked for a good long time and they feel very different – hard. I think they should sand up OK. Too tired to do it tonight so will have to wait til tomorrow. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

      • @Cara: Hi Cara, no I just used the translucent clay. I also used alcohol inks and I may have been a little heavy handed with the bits I dyed with the color called raisin. What the photo doesn’t show is how much green and blue is in the piece. Good luck with your sanding!

  43. I got some Sculpey Bake and Bond. Is that the same as Studio Sculpey Bake and Bond? None of my stores had the Studio Sculpey Bake and Bond. I figured it must be the same or they couldn’t use the name Bake and Bond. What about it?

    • @Freda K: Hi Freda, it’s called Studio by Sculpey Bake and Bond, but maybe there was and earlier version of it that didn’t include the “Studio” name? Does it say that it is a bakeable adhesive clay? Does it look anything like the picture in this Bake and Bond article?

      Let us know if you have the right thing and if it is in different packaging. If you have something else, let us know where you got it. Plus it would be good to know what to look out for — or what not to! Good luck, Freda!

  44. Phaedracat – the bottle says:
    Sculpey
    bake&bond
    bakeable adhesive for oven-bake clay

    I’m wondering if it is a new product from Sculpey. After all, they also sell the Studio by Sculpey products. Hate to open it until I know if I should. I also emailed Sculpey in case Cindy didn’t know about it but I don’t know if they will even answer the email.

    • @Freda K: I’m thinking that it is probably the new packaging Freda. Polyform has streamlined their products and some of the Studio by Sculpey products including many of the tools, now just have the Sculpey branding. So you probably just have the same stuff in a new package.

  45. So attempt 2 better but still not great.

    The bake and bond was firm enough to sand ok but I wonder if it is too thick – I can’t really see the flakes so it doesn’t sparkle or look like Cindy’s or Hobokenmary’s. When I was applying the bake and bond it didn’t run down the sides really – I even tried leaving it a good while so had to encourage it with a needle tool to the edges.

    Also the bake and bond is cracked in places? Have I baked it too long now? I think the first ones ended up being in for about 1 hour and 20 mins. I brought them out straight into iced water. I have to confess I didn’t use the oven thermometer cause I am fairly confident of my oven holding the correct temperature these days but I will get it out when I try the next batch.

    I shall post some pictures on my blog so you can see if you can spot anything I could do to make it better.

    I am going to crack this!

    • @Cara: Mine was pretty thick too. The edges I cut away with scissors before I started sanding. You have to sand pretty thin to see the flakes. My hand could not take the sanding that is why I got the dremel out. I can’t wait to see your Fopals though. I visited your blog and love your work…

  46. Also I possibly didn’t sand enough. I did sand it for about 20 minutes through grades, 180,240,400,600,800,1000,1500,2000 but I can see some scratches as well as cracks. I really must remember to dry my piece between grades to check I have sanded enough – I can’t tell wet still.

  47. Can’t seem to post pics on my blog just now for some reason. Will try again later. Thanks Brenda I think I probably need to sand more. I’ll give it a try.

  48. Cindy you mentioned putting the Bake and bond bottle in warm water. Mine is really thick, it doesnt move at all and though I cut the tip off to make the opening a bit bigger I’m having a real hard time trying to squeeze it out. I have trouble opening bottle lids and taps and have a lot of pain so I’m wondering what I can do to be able to use the bake and bond? have to do the EMG testing on Wednesday to check for muscle strength so i hope they have some answers for me. I’ve had a bad couple of weeks with my back and left arm too.

    • @Cheryl Hodges: Thanks for reminding me of that tip – I will try that to see if my bake and bond will run better.

      Could you take the whole tip lid off and sort of splurge it over? I guess that would mean more sanding though so it may not help.

      I hope you get some answers so you can play with your clay without pain!

  49. You are right Cindy about the Sculpey bake and bond being the same as the Studio Sculpey bake and bond. I received a reply from Polyform and they said: The Bake and Bond for Sculpey and Studio are one and the same. The only difference is the labeling. Michael’s is carrying our Sculpey Bake and Bond.
    Now, back to the studio!

  50. Cindy, speaking of faux stones, today I posted on my blog a reconstituted amber cab that I wire wrapped. dovedesigns.blogspot[dot]com I direct attention to you again as I do in so many of my blogs. I bet you could dup this stone … yes? It would be fantastic!

    • @Cara: I’ll wait to answer these until after I have seen photos and can tell what is wrong.

      @Cheryl Hodges: I’m sorry to hear you hands are hurting so much Cheryl. :-( Did the warm water help at all? You could try cutting an even larger hole in the top and let it just pour out. You could also try putting some in a zip loc bag with the corner cut off and you could squeeze it on like you would icing. It might be easier for you hands to squeeze the bag instead of the bottle. Warming up the bag in some water or with your hands may help too. Good luck. Let us know how it goes for you.

      @carolyn: Amber is such a pretty stone to make out of polymer clay, though the clarity of the stone you used would be difficult to duplicate. I will consider putting it on the list of tutorials if there is enough interest. Gorgeous pendant BTW! I would love to be able to wrap wire as lovely as that!

      • @Cindy Lietz: I did manage to get thick layers and snakes of Premo Frost almost fully transparent and amber in colour by deliberately overbaking it when I was seeing how closely I could replicate an internally-ridged encasing lampworking technique in polymer clay a while ago. I’d used a higher than normal temperature for Premo (but not high enough to “burn”; this was more like caramelising it) with a much longer baking time, and was quite surprised at how clear it became. It really did look like amber glass. I don’t have the details immediately to hand but will see if I can dig them up.

        • @Sue F: Oh, Sue, if you could dig up your notes that would sure get us a long way closer to being able to do faux amber. You are such a treasure – always so thorough and precise in your testing. I truly admire your patience.

    • Carolyn, your wire wrapped amber is absolutely magnificent! How long have you been using wire? I’ve attempted wire wrapping but my piece looked like I did it blindfolded using my toes, in other words, a complete disaster! Any suggestions?????@carolyn:

      • @Hobokenmary: I’ve been working with wire for going on 10 years. Don’t give up … and don’t toss what you consider a complete disaster. I have sold some pieces that I was ready to toss. One was a gold filled wrap that just didn’t work and I twisted it up and was going to trash it. I put it on a chain and it sold for $92! As the saying goes ‘one person’s junk is another person’s treasure’. This principle holds true for our clay work also.

  51. haha” You have a Don too…. My MIL just found out today that the cancer spread into the tissue of the cervix. I have been blue today. Great MIL’s are hard to come by. She is such a great inspiration to me. This is a different strand of cancer then what she had before. It worries me as well as the other family members. She is such a fighter and God is on her side. She has survived 3 times in the past 20 years. That cancer was rare, they did not expect her to live as long as she did.

  52. Well I decided to wait until I have the B&B to try my opals but my grandkids and I had fun with other crafts, mostly making Easter cards. So still no clay work for me.

    Brenda I love your opal earrings and the other beads exspecially the smaller blue one. I am so sorry to hear about your MIL news. As you said she is a fighter and she has all of us on her side. I will put all of you in my prayers and you MIL on my churches prayer chain. God bless her.

    Hobockenmary I love your pendant and I bet the sun compliments it so much. You and Brenda have inspired me. There is so much talent in this lovely community of Cindy’s.

    Ken I am sure you will do that necklace proud. I hope you have fun making the opals.

    I just want to thank of course Cindy and Doug but everyone else here at this blog you are all so full of information and wonderful help to all. I am really proud to be a part of this group.
    Uuuuuggggggs to everyone, Peggy

  53. Hobokenmary I apologize for the spelling mistake. I never was very good at spelling. Promise I will try not to do it again.

  54. @ Carolyn- looked at your website ‘Dove Designs’ First of all it’s a wonderful name. And your work is fabulous. I love all of them!!!

  55. @Sue F., Carolyn: Regarding the Faux Amber, I’ve seen a couple of tutes on the web showing how to make this stone, and they both involve using the alcohol inks. One of them suggests using the method you talked about, Sue — using different translucent brands (braided together.) This way the subtle differences in them (clarity, color, etc.) more closely resembles nature. It’s a great idea! I’ve got some Faux Amber recipes in my books, but they involve tinting trans with clay. I think using alcohol inks will probably give the best clarity.

    • @Phaedrakat: Alcohol inks would certainly give better clarity than tinting with opaque clay. But you might not need them… when I was playing with the above process it was the controlled overbaking that turned the translucent ultra-clear. The overbaking also resulted in the translucent becoming somewhere between pale gold and pale brown depending on the brand and how much it’s overbaked, which is exactly what you want for faux amber anyway despite being something you usually try to avoid. You’d probably only need alcohol inks if the colour variations through overbaking weren’t sufficient for the effect you were trying to achieve.

  56. HI there Cindy and everyone else.
    Love these faux opals. I’ve already made just one using Crystal Aurora fusible film, but chopping it up is a pain.
    Buffalo snowflakes are non-existent in the UK (even on Ebay) as are the other makes you suggested – but … I have just got hold of some ‘wedding table confetti’ made by ‘Bright Ideas Marketing Ltd’ and it looks to be perfect – irridescent, large flakes in a 90g jar.
    School holidays started today (I’m a Reception teacher) and I can’t wait to begin.
    Judy

  57. Sounds to me like we could start a separate fibromyalgia club. Thank God mine is fairly well under control and has been ever since I broke my back and had to go to a spine and pain specialist. The arthritis is in check also. My son used like to make up words and he said that I had arthralgia. Believe it or not, arthralgia is now a listed medical condition. Cindy, you really do help those of us who have limitations. You teach us how to make complex pieces with the least amount of strain. Thank you so much!

  58. I’m super busy today but I just wanted to pop by and thank everyone for your fantastic tips and ideas! Sue your faux Amber sounds awesome, and Linda I love the tooth brush tutorial! The more you guys share with each other, the more valuable a resource this sites becomes for you all. So keep it up, I love it!

    I also appreciate what you said Carolyn, “You teach us how to make complex pieces with the least amount of strain. Thank you so much!” I have had trouble with strength issues myself in the past and I know how frustrating it can be when you just want to create and your body fights it. I think polymer clay can be a healer, a positive distraction and a great therapy for your body and mind. Thanks for understanding that and encouraging it!

    And lastly for Judy, one of our members by the name Silverleaf lives in the UK and gave us some info in another thread on a UK Equivalent for Buffalo Snow. If you click the link by my name, it will take you to her comment.

  59. Just wanted to let you all know that you can get the Arnold Grummer’s Iridescent Flakes from Donna Kato’s site: prairiecraft.com
    Right now they only have mint green and icy blue available. They are on sale now for $3.50 for 5 oz. I went to the Ace site to buy Buffalo Snow but by the time I checked it out they had something called Buffalo Snow Hi-Lites but it looks like thin red tinsel. Hope this helps anyone that is still looking for Buffalo Snow.

  60. Does anyone know where I can pick up bake and bond, on the joann site its 2.99 no big deal there but when they added on the shipping and tax it came over 10.00.

    • @michelle: Hi Michelle, I’m from SoCal, too (Riverside.) I’m sorry, but I haven’t been able to find Bake & Bond locally, either. Not at JoAnn’s or Michael’s, anyway. We used to have another big craft store (Beverly Craft,) but it closed last year. Do you have any other large craft stores in your area? I’m curious…

        • @michelle: No, but Kit Kraft looks interesting! I checked the website. Hobby Lobby’s website shows no California stores. Did you hear about them coming here? That would be cool. They seem to carry more polymer clay items (or at least more clay.) They carry Kato, which Michael’s & JoAnn do not. Have you placed your order for Bake & Bond yet? I still haven’t done it. I have too much chaos going on right now. I just need to sit down and make a big order. Maybe tomorrow… :D

          • @Phaedrakat: I want to find somewere thats close because shipping and handling for a 3.00 item is stupid to pay, I think.. Plus our sales tax no matter where we buy it.. Im going to see if ebay or someone in etsy is selling it.

          • @michelle:
            Hi Michelle, I was in Galesburg, IL yesterday taking my grandaughter home and they have a Dick Blick Art store there which has the 4 oz. bake and bond for 3.99. I also contacted Trish at polyclayplay to see if she could add it to items she sales at her site. She doesn’t offer it right now but she does have a lot of Polymerclay items she does sale so maybe she will be able to get the bake and bond also. If you have a Dick Blick art store near you try them. I also think if you google their name you can find out if they have ordering over the internet. I will let you know if I find it anywhere else. I haven’t been reading the blog everyday because of my health or busy with other items. So I did not realize people were still looking for it. I hope this information helps you and others still looking. Good Luck. Also I plan to experiment with my tumbler and faux opals this week. My hands can’t take all that sanding. My husband will help but he does so much for me now I hate to ask if something else will do the trick. Will report back if I have any luck. I am going to rty some of the grits that I got when I bought my tumbler they are for rocks so who knows what will happen. I will say a prayer and give it a go.
            Uuuuuuuuugggs to all, Peggy
            I forgot to mention I live in Iowa on the boder of IL so Galesburg is only 60 miles that’s my half way spot I meet my daughter at when I am getting or taking my grandchildren. If all else fails I can purchase some and mail it to you just for the actual cost no added shipping and handling fees the others pile on. Let me know if I can help anyone out with the B@B. I also got so more buffalo snow if anyone is still looking for it.

          • @Michelle, Peggy: The Dick Blick store Peggy mentions has three LA stores, which should be within an hour’s drive from you, Michelle. Well, maybe not counting traffic! :(

            If you decide to check it out, please let me know (and which location you went to.) I’ve got several things I’d like to shop for out LA-way, so a store with good polymer clay items would be just the excuse I needed. I, too, hate the idea of spending lots of postage on an inexpensive item. That’s why I’ve been trying to buy everything on my list at once from one place (the shipping’s cheaper that way.) But, I can’t seem to find everything at one single online store. Dick Blick has things from my list, but no Kato clay (been wanting to try.) Hobby Lobby has lots of goodies, but no B&B. And so on. As far as taxes go, I think you can avoid sales tax with certain out-of-state stores (I didn’t have to pay tax when I ordered from Polymer Clay Express.)

            Peggy, you’re such a sweetie to offer to mail B&B to people. You’re a lovely person. Always so upbeat and cheerful, too! I wish you luck with sanding your opals in the tumbler. There has to be some way to make the process easier for you. You deserve some gorgeous opals without hurting yourself further! Let us know how the tumbling media works for you… Have fun, ladies! Good luck, too~

          • @michelle: Hi Michelle, Unless you read this in the next few minutes, this won’t help. But perhaps they’ll repeat this offer in the future! The Clay Store (.com) has free shipping, but today’s the last day. They do have Bake and Bond, and since they’re in another state, no sales tax. I hope you get this in time!

          • @Phaedrakat: Very behind on blogging as you can see, but I live in TN and can get B&B at a couple of places. Would be happy to purchase….would be good if you could get a couple or more and then send USPS flat rate….It works wonderfully and I use it alot so ordering several would not be a bad idea….and the postage remains low

          • @Bonnie Blasingame: Hi Bonnie — whew! I guess I’m behind on blogging, too…as my reply 3 weeks later can attest to, LOL! I got my hands on some Bake & Bond thru mail-order (and then found it at JoAnn soon after, of course!) I notice it’s pretty available in the stores these days, so I think I’m okay with my supply level. Thanks for letting me know, though — very ‘cool’ of you! Here’s hoping you had a wonderful holiday season, and that 2011 is totally fabulous for you! ~Kat :D

    • @michelle: Hi Michelle, you probably have some Bake and Bond by now. JIK though, I found it at my local JoAnn’s (Riverside) today. I ordered it online at The Clay Store, like I mentioned, and rx’d it in the mail yesterday. Wouldn’t you know, I found it after that! Anyway, I wanted to tell you so you could give your JoAnn’s another try. Mine had their Studio by Sculpey clay on clearance for $.97 — yep, 97 cents! They had almost every color left, so I think they just reduced the price. They were also clearing out theirS by S Shape Makers for $1.97. Even though I have tons of clay, cutters, & texture, I had to buy some of the clay and the only leaf set they had left. I’ve been wanting to try the clay — the colors are so gorgeous, and the way people describe its suede-like feel makes it too tempting… Anyway, I hope this helps. I’m officially done telling you about Bake and Bond opportunities now (unless you ask, of course…) :D

  61. @michelle: Brenda tried the rock tumbler (above) with mixed results. See here. It sounds like she did much better using her Dremel. From what Cindy said, it seems like the B&B might be too hard for the tumbler to break down (unless you use some kind of coarse grit — which she said she hasn’t figured out quite yet.)

    Sounds like you need some elbow grease & sandpaper to get the deep clarity. (Or the Dremel/rotary tool.) Oh, and if your coating is really thick, you can start the sanding with a low-grit drywall sandpaper. Sorry, you probably didn’t need a summary of what’s already been said, huh? I’m just hoping that someone’s had rock tumbler success by now! ???

  62. Hey Cindy and all, I have visions of us all looking for dead bugs to include in our amber pieces…..lol. Down the road I would love to have a tute on this. It’s among my favorite gems.

    This place has been a God send for me because I was trying to learn all this from books and seeing it and reading all the tips and hints has been wonderful.
    Andrea

    • @pollyanna: LOL, the bugs would really make it look authentic! There are some good ideas being tossed around for the faux amber — Sue F’s “carmelized” translucent sounds especially exciting. There are lots of gems on Cindy’s list, but I’m sure she’ll get to this one eventually! (I don’t know if she’ll add bugs, though… ;-) I, too, feel like this place is a Godsend. I love all the inspiration, tips, & ideas I get from this place. And of course, Cindy’s videos are fabulous!

  63. NEW PHOTOS JUST ADDED:

    Polymer Clay Faux Opal Pendant

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Polymer Clay Faux Opal Tutorial), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Carole-H. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment in this thread. Your feedback, support and engaging conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address everyone individually, please know that I do read everything. ~Cindy

    • @michelle: The Bake and Bond seems to be much easier to find, now. I see it whenever I go to JoAnn’s, and it’s at Michael’s now, too. (In my area, Riverside, CA) Cindy’s tute was ahead of it’s time! :D

  64. Wow, did I mess up! Tried this yesterday using glitter I had on hand. Some of it melted inside. I’ve got bubbles inside where the glitter melted, and I think my bake and bond was way too thick. It never smoothed out and I wound up with ripples. What’s with that? I’m so bummed… I’ve got book beads baking now. Hopefully THEY get good! :)

    • @Tanya L: Try some rough sandpaper or the low grit drywall paper and grind down the too-thick layer of B&B. Then start sanding them smooth—maybe they look better under that rippled layer of Bake and Bond than you thought??? (The melted glitter might have made some cool effects in some of your beads…)

      I’m really sorry that happened. You must have used a plastic glitter with a low melting point. Next time–metallic glitter (or the Buffalo/X-mas snow!) I hope that your book beads turn out well! Fingers crossed… ~Kat

      • @Phaedrakat: Thanks, Kat. The book beads turned out great! I also made a bunch of hammered copper book marks that turned out good, too (my first try at ‘em), so I guess these two successes make up for the opals. I did sand the opals really, really well. There are actually some small holes where, I’m guessing, the glitter melted. It was “snow” glitter, so I thought it would work. Maybe if I use Sculpey Gloss it’ll fill in the holes and salvage them. I’ll play a little. I can’t wait for the Buffalo snow to hit the stores!

        • @Tanya L: Congrat’s on your books and bookmarks! So cool when something works on your first try. I just love those little book beads; they’re such a cute invention by Cindy. As for the opals, I could send you some snow if you want. I bought a bag of Buffalo Snow last Christmas, and it will take forever to use all of it! I could put some in a snack baggie, enough so you could experiment a bit and make some opals without worrying about melting glitter! Let me know if you want me to—then you could ask Cindy to give me your address or something. I need to remember where I put it, though (I have so much clay, as well as all the “other stuff” that goes with it!) ~Kat

          • @Phaedrakat: Kat, that would be so great! And so appreciated. That’s what I love so much about people here on this site.. Take your time trying to find it – I don’t want you over doing it. I’ve got plenty of other tuts to try in the meantime. :) Thank you very, very much, Kat. You are awesome!

          • OFF TOPIC @Tanya L: I did get your email address from Cindy, but I didn’t have enough time to send you a message from my “trusted” laptop (the only computer I feel safe accessing my email from.) I know, I’m weird, right? I’m fine using the other computers for the blog, but my email and other business is done with my laptop only. Anyway, I promise I will email you soon—it’ll be fun “talking” to you via email! I’ll start looking for the “snow” tomorrow. Then, I will let you know when it’s ready for shipment, so you know to watch for it. I’ll be talking to ya soon! :D ~Kat

          • OFF TOPIC >Phaedrakat: (We’ll see if my link (?) thingy worked) Thank you so much Kat! I don’t know that that’s being weird. I’m always running all kinds of spyware & adware programs to try to keep my computer clean. And I’ll be watching for your email!

          • OFF TOPIC @Phaedrakat: Ok, how’d you get Tanya L in blue after “OFF TOPIC”?? OHHHH, I wonder if you added the “OFF TOPIC” after hitting “reply” and all that gibberish was there? And another thing, how do people get italics and bold lettering??

          • @Silverleaf: To do it you just need to know a TINY bit of HTML coding.

            For bold, type then your bold text, then to turn the bold off and start normal type again. You’ll need to remove the spaces in the code I’ve written here – I can’t write it exactly because if I do the code will become invisible and just apply the bold to the type and you won’t be able to see it – does that make sense?

            For italics you do exactly the same thing but with “i” instead of “b”. your italic text normal text.

            Let me know if that isn’t clear! It’s kind if tricky to explain but very easy to do.

          • @Silverleaf: Oops, even with adding the spaces the code got applied to the page, sorry!

            Okay, I’ll try again. For bold, type “b” surrounded by angle brackets/arrows. They look like < and >. So < NO SPACE b NO SPACE > then the text you want in bold. Then turn off the bold by typing exactly the same but with / in front of the b.

            < NO SPACE b NO SPACE > bold text < NO SPACE / NO SPACE b NO SPACE >

            For italics use i instead of b.

          • @Silverleaf: Sorry, that looks really really complicated, doesn’t it? Let me see if I can do this in a more sensible way.

            Okay, try this page tizag.com/htmlT/htmlbold.php. The first blue box has the code I’m talking about – just use the same code with i instead of b for italics.

          • @Silverleaf: I saved the link to that page. Yeah, it’s really difficult to explain something that’s pretty easy, especially when things disappear on you! Thank you Silverleaf! :)

          • @Silverleaf: Ok, I’m amazed… HOW’D YOU DO THAT???? Shortcut keys? I’m down on my knees here, and believe me when I tell you that it’s hard for me to get back up, so I don’t do that for just anyone! LOL!

  65. Hey guys… there are some downsides to getting creative with using those html tags. One is that it can sometimes cause your comments to be filtered into the moderation queue (more work for Doug), or worse, to the spam folder (where they will likely never see the light of day after getting buried in amongst all the crap that ends up in that folder).

    The other big down side with using html coding is that if you forget to add a close tag, it can really mess up not only your comment, but sometimes the entire page. Again, more work for Doug… or worse depending on how bad you mess up, it can crash the entire blog :-( (MUCH more work for Doug).

    Just a word of caution… especially for those of you who know just enough to be dangerous :-)

  66. I just noticed this thread, and was going to mention how I messed up before and had to have Doug/Cindy fix my HUGE, bolded comment! So I just use html from time to time, when I’m really AWAKE. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll mess up and cause more work for Doug and Cindy. They certainly do enough as it is!

  67. @ Brenda – I want to make round faux opal earrings for my mother. She has arthritis and doesn’t wear neclaces. It’s her birthsotne and she lost the real opal her uncle had given her. I could use a metal back or a bezel but I don’t think she would like that type of earring. Your opal earrings are gorgeous. Could you help me, tell me how to go about getting a round stone?

    • @Cheryl Hodges: Cheryl, I may be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an opal that wasn’t set in a bezel. I’ve always assumed that’s because opals are so delicate. They’re very soft and porous and can crack and break easily.

      Anyway, you may not care about this, but I thought I’d point out that it would be obvious that the opal isn’t real if it’s a round dangle…assuming that I’m right about opals always being protected in a bezel.

      • @Linda K.: When I was on Vaca in Las Vegas a few years back I saw a strand of round opal beads in the shops at Caesars, I will try to find the link to the photos ( the store has closed it’s brick and mortar shops and went totally on line).

    • @Cheryl Hodges:Sure, I would be happy too assist in helping you. It was really tuff making these. I will chat with you on FB to help you get these done for your mother. It took me day’s to get these to look like that. I had blisters from all the sanding.. I turned to the dremel tool after that :)

      • @Brenda: Brenda you had to really have a hard time making them. I can’t for the life of me figure out how you’d do it! And they are simply stunning!

      • @Brenda: Are you keeping your technique secret, or can you let us in on your method, too? I’d be thrilled to learn how to make your round opals as well (if possible.) It’s definitely clay-related, so it’s not like anyone is going to complain about it… ;D
        Thanks for any help, Kat

          • @Brenda: Man that’s a lot of sanding. The Cabochon that I did when I tried this technique took me using the dremel with normal sandpaper to get it oval and to get rid of most of the bumps on the dome of the cab before I could even think of using the micro-mesh sanding pads. When applying the BnB did you dip it in or “drape” it on like in the video?

  68. The link to the photo is further up in this blog, but since there are SO many comments on this one here it is again- opalsandgemsofaustralia.com/crystal-opal-bead-necklace-556mm-gold-3500-p-103.html

    Just add the www in front and it should work

      • @Tanya L: I dug a little deeper and discovered a 10mm version of the necklace almost $12K. I wanted to do full round beads from day one when Cindy announced the Faux Opal technique, haven’t been able to devote the time to figuring out how to do it though.

    • @Cheryl Hodges: I always try to study Mother Nature before I try to recreate it, that’s what I did with the jade, not sure whats next but I will be looking at real examples of whatever my next choice is.

  69. @ Ken – That’s a really good way to make faux stones, study the real thing and try and get as close as possible. your jade beads are so real looking and simply perfect. I have to try doing some jade. I have some carved tube shaped beads of bone and i would love to replicate them in jade so i have to make a mold; two halves I guess and will have to join it.

    • @Cheryl Hodges: Another secret of Faux’s, and I don’t remember where I heard/read this is when using the faux in something, treat it as if it was real. I’m trying to work on a formula that looks like cab rubies, when I get the color correct, I will use the clear rhinestone roundels with them, or faux Turquoise with Bali silver beads, they’re the best examples I can give of using a faux as if it were real. That’s why Cindy’s Turquoise bracelet works so well.

  70. I have been trying forever to get buffalo snow flakes. My local Michaels does not have them. I have ordered on line several times only to be told that they are no longer available. Could someone please help me find them?
    Thanks Kathy B

      • @Phaedrakat: It was so nice this morning to read all these wonderful comments from you all over the blog. Nice to have you active again. I missed that! Hope your holiday was a good one and that you are rested and refreshed for another exciting year of polymer clay. Happy New year to you my friend!

        @Kathy Bloom: Ken had some good advice should you need it. I also know that Terry Morris (our favorite UV Resin Guy at epoxyjewelry.com) is looking into carrying the Buffalo Snow for you all. He asked me what the UPC code was on the bag so he could find the right one. Don’t think he has it in his shop yet but I would keep checking if you’re having trouble finding it elsewhere.

        @Ken H: Thanks Ken for helping Kathy! I had kind of forgotten about the Grummer Flakes. Thanks for the reminder!

      • Well what to do you know! I googled Arnold Grummer Iridescent Flakes and guess what? As soon as I saw the package,I knew I had some. I have a package with three different colors just sitting there in the drawer with my glitter. I can’t remember where I got it but I will remember it the next time I need some. Thanks to everyone for helping me find this in my stash. After all this fuss, gues now I actually have to do something with it!

  71. To Kathy Bloom…..I bought 3 bags of the the Buffalo Snow Flakes just before Christmas and have not had a chance to do anything with them. i would be happy to share 1 bag with you. I know how frustrating it is to see something really cool and get all hyped up about it and then can’t find it. When I get rich I am going to start a Polymer Clay store and have EVERYTHING ever needed or will need by the Polymer Clayer…..don’t get real excited….getting rich doesn’t look like it is about to fall in my lap or anything…..but still will share.

  72. @Bonnie Blasingame: Very kind of you Bonnie! In regards to sharing supplies and materials, please follow the link by my name for information about how to to be able to connect with each other directly for sharing personal addresses and contact details.

  73. Has anyone else since this was posted used the tumbler? I bought some small white rocks to use in it. and anyone try to buff with it too?
    just curious.

    • @michelle: Hi Michelle…just trying to “bump” your question–w/my reply–back into the recent comments list. Hopefully someone has used a tumbler recently for their Faux Opals, and is willing to share info about the process (and whether it was a success or failure.)

      As for your other beads, you should check out Cindy’s video tute: Polishing Beads w/a Rock Tumbler

      There’s lots of information in the article on that page, too (and also in the other rock tumbler posts here at the blog. Use the search box to find at least two other tumbler articles.) The comments under the articles have even more information — and they’re quite entertaining, too. For awhile there, members were trying everything in their tumblers, experimenting with their processes. Cindy finally did her river rock tutorial, though, and that’s the method she loves for her smaller beads. So, anyway…
      Good luck to you…I and hope you get the answers you need! ~Kat

  74. Boy this is a busy time of year for me! Which is obvious since I’ve been MIA here at the blog for several months now! I am building up inventory, as I am scheduled for 23 festivals this year! (including a 9-day one!) I am also excited to share that I was accepted to an actual “art show” in a nearby town!
    I did, however, finally get around to trying the fopals today. I couldn’t find the exact same flakes that Cindy has but I found irridescent confetti flakes at the Factory Card Outlet. They seem to be doing what they are supposed to in the fopals so far. My problem is that mine are coming out cloudy. I am sanding like crazy, am I not baking long enough or at a high enough temp.? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  75. Do you by any chance know of an organization (or the best) that I could join to find information regarding festivals and the likes. I know of many organizations, but they all want you to join, etc. and just don’t feel the need (or have the money LOL) just to be joining all of them. Felt you might have some knowledge in this area (I have filed you under Cindy…All things Polymer Clay)…..thanks for any help and many congratulations to Carrie…perhaps she would have the info I might need…. festivals around TN, GA, NC, SC…..southern eastern states……..Blessings, Bonnie

    • @Carrie N.: It is so great to hear from you Carrie! Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I read your comment when it came in but didn’t have the chance to answer right away. Then it somehow got buried until now. Congratulations on all your success! I am very proud of you. You must really have a sense of accomplishment. I know how busy and stressful those kind of events are.

      Although the faux opals are really cool, they may be too much work for you to be making for an event like this. You may want to try the flat bezel version with the UV Resin instead which is a lot easier and quicker. The technique is in the Katiedid Video (linked by my name) but you could use any type of bezel instead. They use the same flakes and Bake and Bond, but there is no sanding involved.

      As far as the ones you have made, it is difficult to know the problem without seeing them. It could be temp, time, not using ice water right out of the oven and/or the sanding process that needs more work. Most Faux Opals made this way do have a cloudiness to them, so unless I can see them, I can’t help that much.

      Thank you for answering Bonnie’s question so well!

      @Bonnie Blasingame: I think Carrie did a great job helping you out. The only advice I would have right now is to do some Googling like she suggested and to also see if the International Polymer Clay Guild has some helpful information on the events and festivals available in your area.

  76. @Bonnie: I live in Indiana and they put out an annual Festival Guide for the entire state. Another thing that is helpful is to call around to different Chamber of Commerce offices. They can usually tell you what festivals are going on in that particular county and who the contact person is for vendor space. I have also just done searches on Google and Yahoo for “festivals in (whatever state you’re looking for)”. Hope this helps you!

  77. Hi!
    Of course i cant get the iri snowflakes over here. What i can get is iridescent foil, but i guss i cant use that as its only onesided. I ordered some flakes in a nailshop hoping that will work. Is there anything else i can use. I saw iridescent paper somewhere but i think thats too thick?
    Thanks,
    Marion

    • @Marion K: can you get Arnold Grummer Iridescent Flakes, they’re used in paper making if I remember correctly. they’re what I used and they do work.

      • @Ken H: Oh yes, the Arnold Grummer flakes are gorgeous, such pretty colours! I organised an inchies swap over at polyclay.co.uk recently and one of the ladies who took part sent me three little bags of the flakes along with her swaps, in different colours, and I love them. They are nicer than the flakes I already have, that’s for sure, but I think she had to order them from the US.

      • @Ken H:
        Cant get any iridecent flakes at all. Well, im waiting for the flakes i ordered from the nailshop but i dont think thats what i need. And waiting for fine iri powder as well. Its very hard to get stuff for this hobby overhere. Looked in shops online for scrapbooking as well, but they have only glitter glues.

    • @Marion K: Whereabouts are you? I have more iridescent flakes than I could ever use and I’d be happy to send you some – I couldn’t find the flakes at all in the UK but I finally ordered some from a company called Economy of Brighton.

      Are you on Facebook by any chance?

        • @Silverleaf:
          Hi Silverleaf, in in the netherlands. I thought i finally found some at Save-on-Crafts.com but-again- the aswer was: Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately, we only ship within the United States at this time. We do not currently have plans to expand our business into the international market.

          Im not at facebook, ive tried but seem to do something wrong,i get errormessages all the time when i try logging in. Changed password servral times, but it doesnt help.

          If youre sure you can miss some of your supplies i would be very grateful!!
          Just tell me how i can pay you -maybe with paypal?

          Thanks so very much!!

  78. Marion, why don’t you make up a list of the stuff you need, and next month, after 8/1 ahem, I’ll purchase it for you at online wholesale outlets here, then pack it all and mail it to you anyway you want? Be glad to do it for you and others who cannot get items due to isolated locations?

    • @Jocelyn:

      Oh Jocelyn, youre an angel!!!! I will have a look around as soon as possible.
      Can you advise me on stores where to look for reasonable prices?
      It would be easiest for you if i could get the stuff in one store wouldnt it?
      But maybe thats not possible. Anyway, if i get a shoppinglist can i pay you for the supplies and shipping to you and shipping to me as well by paypal?

      • @Marion K: I will extend this offer to you and a few more since will be stuck inside in A/C for August and be more than glad to combine stuff and send if off from me.

        You can order from as many online stores as you wish, just have them send it to me, and I will repack all and send it to you the cheapest way I can from my house. Or if you need the credit card help fronted, contact me on Facebook. I am Bluesuede Shoe there.

        All I plan on doing is using the cheapest or best (whichever is your choice) system to get it there. All the major carriers stop here daily, as many have their meds bulked via them.

        I will come back with a list of my fav online stores…..

      • @Marion K: Here a a few of my fav links, the final one by Clay Factory contains an instant link to just about any supplier out there…..

        polymerclaysuperstore.com

        dickblick.com

        polymerclayexpress.com

        polymerclayworld.com

        clayfactory.net

        google.com/Top/Shopping/Crafts/Supplies/Polymer_Clay/

      • @Marion K: Lovely to get the email from you! I’ll be writing back later today. To solve one mystery, due to MS and the way the heat/humidity triggers flares, I spend most of August inside in air conditioning, lol!

  79. Ive tried the opals using half and half white and translucent clay and just translcucent clay, plunged them into icewater directly after baking but i see no transparency at all!!! Ive sanded them for a very long time hoping that would help but no. What did i do wrong? I used fimo effect glitter blue,gold and green -very small amounts. Is that mybe the cause?

  80. Just a reminder for anyone interested in trying Cindy’s Faux Opal technique in Volume 22. This is the time of year to get Buffalo Snow at a craft store like JoAnn’s or Michaels because they sell it for Christmas decorating. I put off getting some until recently because I could only find it via mail order before, and the S&H cost more than the snow.

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