Claw Jewelry Necklace Made with a Unique Polymer Clay Pendant Bail

Crab Claw Pendant

Cool Idea for Stringing a Stone Crab Claw that Had No Hole:

Today’s picture was sent in by Donnie who’s bio goes something likes this… “I live in the Florida Keys with a beautiful view of the bay. We have lots of parrots, dogs, a couple of bunnies and tortoises. I love making jewelry using all kinds of media. Polymer clay is new for me and I realize I have a lot to learn. I use coconuts from the yard, shells from the beach and seeds from fruit to create unique and unusual one of a kind pieces.”

The picture is of a Stone Crab Claw that Donnie turned into a pendant using polymer clay to make the bail. Much easier than trying to drill a hole through the stone. Plus the polymer clay adds a unique design element to the piece. Great idea!

I get so excited to see how members of the community here are using what they learn to experiment with all kinds of unique and wonderful polymer clay projects!

Donnie… the choice of a bronze clay color was excellent! The tones match the crab claw beautifully and give it an ancient feel. Very suitable for the piece. I also like the little ‘dents’ you put in the surface, They look just like hammered metal.

And what I really love about this piece is the masculine look you achieved. Guys are trickier to design for IMHO, and I think they would just love this pendant!

Another thing that’s great about the polymer clay bail idea, is its scale – thick and heavy enough to suit the claw nicely. Something thin, dainty or detailed would not have looked as good with the stone as this heavier bail does.

One thing that popped into my head was how cool it would be to add rivet heads at the bases of the ‘handle’… like what you might see in a real metal fabrication project.

That could be easily achieved by pushing a bronze, copper or aged silver colored brad into the clay before baking. You can see how I incorporated brads into a pendant I recently made, here: Number Jewelry Made with Metal Scrapbook Embellishments

Scrapbooking guru Tim Holtz, makes some small brads that would be perfect for using as faux rivets.

One last thing Donnie. When the photo of your claw pendant was blown up large on my computer screen, I noticed some fingerprints. Sanding very lightly with a high grit paper such as a 600 or 800 grit would remove them. Then buff to give it more of a metal sheen, though it probably shouldn’t get too shiny if it is to keep that old world look you’ve achieved with it.

Another option for removing fingerprints is wiping the surface with acetone. This approach works great on textured surfaces that are difficult to sand. Acetone is flammable though (and smelly), so use with caution.

Hopefully Donnie’s project has inspired others to think about ways to experiment and come up with other unique uses for polymer clay. I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 04 April, 2009

    Really unique project. When I fist saw picture I thought it was a ring and said, ” OMG, that looks dangerous!!” Very Unique. i love how PC can give us a variety of looks and we can keep things looking primitive or an very finished depending upon the project.

    I did not know acetone could be used to remove fingerprints in baked clay. Just one more tidbit of information we got here at this this wonderful site!!!

  2. MJ, 04 April, 2009

    Great design idea and wonderful suggestions to make it even more unique! Nice job Donnie.


  3. Cindy Lietz, 05 April, 2009

    Thanks Anna and MJ! I’m sure Donnie appreciates your comments!

  4. Maria, 05 April, 2009

    interesting idea about using acetone – so, just to be clear – you’re saying you can use it after baking, not before?

  5. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2009

    That’s right Maria. With acetone you use it after baking to remove fingerprints. With Rubbing Alcohol you use it before baking.

    Hope that makes sense.

  6. Donnie, 10 April, 2009

    Thank you very much, Cindy for your suggestions and Anna & MJ for your comments. I will look at all the other stuff I have done and go back with the acetone to clean things up. One question though, what will it do to the Perfect Pearls I brushed on before I baked it?

  7. Cindy Lietz, 13 April, 2009

    You’re welcome Donnie!

    Acetone would remove the Perfect Pearls so you may not want to try it on this project.

    Although I haven’t worked with Perfect Pearls myself, I have heard they do have a binder in them that activates and bonds with the surface when heated.

    If you did use acetone and removed some of it, you could add some more to the surface and re-bake it or use a heat gun to set it. Clear embossing ink would help it stick if it wasn’t sticking to the baked clay.

  8. Donnie, 17 April, 2009

    Thanks, Cindy! I am going to go back to everything I’ve
    done and take a good look (with a good pair of glasses)
    and do some clean up with the acetone. I will find out then what happens with the Perfect Pearls.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 01 May, 2009

    Do let us know Donnie! :-)

  10. Cara L, 02 May, 2009

    Dear Cindy, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to do your online bead course. My problem was that I was overwhelmed by all the reading material available and unable to translate the information into action. I was in a frustrated state of inaction. In Australia there are very few good polymer clay courses and they are expensive. Books do not show you exactly how to do things, just because the amount of pictures available are limited and the subtleties of technique are omitted. Your course however is invaluable. Your manner of tuition is the best that I have encountered. You are clear and concise and not a bit patronising. You are very generous because you give a clear message that these techniques are achievable and you encourage experimentation. I have you there 24 hours a day on video, so that I can recheck my methodology. I am not anxious about experimenting and now I can’t stop. I just finished a beautiful set of beads using translucent clay stained by dehydrating and grinding up the stamens of tiger lilies. To change the look again I added a drop of red food colouring. I couldn’t believe that they worked out so well. My next experiment is with waxed crayon as per your weekly online course. Mosaics are my ultimate goal. There isn’t enough hours in the day!! I look forward to your weekly lessons and will gladly subscribe to any course that you offer. Thankyou again.

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