Cymbidium Orchid | Polymer Clay Tutorial Vol-075

Cymbidium Orchid Pendant - Polymer Clay Tutor6 Videos #550 to #556: Sculpted polymer clay orchid flowers… perfect for pendants, headbands, brooches and home decor.

Warm Summer days bring to mind, scented breezes and gorgeous exotic flowers. Why not make a stunning focal jewelry pendant of a lifelike Cymbidium Orchid (using polymer clay), to go with your Summer wardrobe!

It’s way easier to create these exotic flowers than you may think. Using just a few easy to use flower cutters (or you cut the pieces by hand if you don’t have the cutters), and some simple-to-follow instructions, your home and your wardrobe will soon be filled with beautiful lifelike Orchids!

Posted just below is a Sneak Peak and overview of my Cymbidium Orchid Pendant Tutorial. The rest of the 6 part video series will be posted tomorrow (Friday, August 1st, 2014) in Vol-075 at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library.

BTW, if this Sculpted Polymer Clay Cymbidium Orchid Pendant looks exciting to you, please do click that YouTube Like button. Many of you have been giving the Thumbs Up to the weekly YouTube videos, which is great… Thank You! However, these monthly intro clips need some love as well. When they don’t get as many likes, it makes it look like they are not appreciated as much… which surely can’t be true with all the nice comments you all leave :)

Vol-075-1: Video #550: Introduction: In this 6 part video tutorial series, you will learn how to create my original Cymbidium Orchid Pendant design. Included are many tips, tricks and techniques that you can use to create this stunning flower in the colors and style I suggest, or your own. Truly a one-of-a-kind polymer clay project. This gorgeous Cymbidium Orchid Flower design can be used to create gorgeous pendants, brooches, hair bands, pins and other jewelry pieces. Plus these flowers are great for making home decor items and whatever other polymer clay creations you can dream up!

Pt 2 Cymbidium Orchid Pendant Tutorial - Polymer Clay TutorVol-075-2: Video #551:
Orchid Petals:

In this video I will show you how to create a pearly color blend that is the perfect base for your Cymbidium Orchid Flowers. I will then show you how to use the petal cutters from the Wilton Gum Paste Flower Cutter set to create the three specially shaped petals. I will also show you a trick for using the same cutters to create much smaller petals, so that you can make a smaller flower if you wish. And should the Wilton cutter set not be available to you, I will share with you an alternative method of cutting out each petal by hand. So you will never be stuck without the right tools!

Pt 3 Cymbidium Orchid Pendant Tutorial - Polymer Clay TutorVol-075-3: Video #552:
Texture & Wire:

In this video I will show all the tips, tricks and tools needed to make perfectly shaped orchid flower petals, including how to add a wire to hold its shape and texture to make it look real. You’ll learn how to give the petals a lovely ruffled edge that takes it far beyond, just a cut out petal of clay. This segment also teaches you how to create the perfect stamen for the flower center. Plus some easy tricks for shaping the orchid flower throat.

Pt 4 Cymbidium Orchid Pendant Tutorial - Polymer Clay TutorVol-075-4: Video #553:
Color Dusting:

In this video I will first show you how you can give your petals texture by hand if you don’t have the texture plates I use. Then we move on to giving color to your Cymbidium Orchid Petals, using a combination of chalk powders and  mica powders. This is where your own creativity can really shine through. Go to Google and search for Cymbidium Orchids to find color inspiration, or use my custom color shades to recreate some beautiful orchids of your own. Of course you don’t have to use realistic colors if you don’t want to. This is your art after all! Also included in this video is a neat little structural support item that you can make, to support your delicate flower petals while they are baking in the oven. Plus tips creating pieces with lasting durability and beauty.

Pt 5 Cymbidium Orchid Pendant Tutorial - Polymer Clay TutorVol-075-5: Video #544:
Wire Wrapped Bail:

In this video, the petals  come together to become a beautiful flower. The wires are wrapped and twisted into a unique bail. Then, this roomy bail can be hung from a chain, a cord or it could even be strung artfully onto a scarf. As an alternative to making a wire bail for your flower, you could use floral tape and wrap the stem as you would wrap a silk flower stem. Then the Cymbidium could be wrapped onto a headband, clipped onto a shoe, made into a hat pin, added to a picture frame, or put into a vase as a home decor piece. Anywhere you want a tropical flower, you can use this polymer clay orchid design!

Pt 6 Cymbidium Orchid Pendant Tutorial - Polymer Clay TutorVol-075-6: Video #545:
Painting and Finishing:

In this video you will learn how to hand paint the spotted throat of your cymbidium orchid using a selection of acrylic paints. I will share with you my tips and tricks for getting the distinctive patterning. You will also discover the secrets to for making your own custom metallic paints and everything you need to know for creating a lasting finish on your piece. All the knowledge you will gain in this tutorial, will not only have you mastering the art of making polymer clay cymbidium orchids, but will also inspire you with ideas to use in many other types of polymer clay projects in your future. So enjoy!

Other Suggested Supplies:

  • Water.
  • Fine Liner Paint Brush.
  • Fluffy Art Brush.
  • Parchment Paper.
  • Baking Tray with Foil Pan or Cardstock for Tenting.
  • Uncoated Paper Clips or Stapler.
  • Paper Towel.
  • Preserve Your Memories II Spray Finish.

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials down. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay, even if it is a “sale” price. So please feel free to click whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for your support.

The full video series for the Cymbidium Orchid Pendant tutorial described above, is available in Vol-075 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

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Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my monthly library tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

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Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I’m new to this craft and I really appreciate your explanation of basic procedures and tools to create the projects, thank you. ~Linda-D

I so enjoy your on-going creativity and enthusiasm. I really appreciate your clear instructions and clear photography. I first got exposed to polymer clay in a metal-smithing class. We made pendants with bezels and filled the bezels with polymer clay. I was intrigued, and loved the colors. I took a one day workshop on polymer clay. It was a pretty slap-dash affair. I know people want to go home with something after a workshop, and one day is not much time to get into the details. But, I left with a couple of distorted canes, a few beads appliqued with canes, and not much else. There was definitely not enough information to keep going. I tried, with sadly disappointing results, a few things on my own, and knew I needed help. I checked books out of the library and started trolling You Tube. That’s when, thank goodness, I found your videos. The basics classes were just what I needed. I could see you doing what the books described and doing it step by step and explaining why. Now I feel confident enough to play and experiment and my results have much improved. Thank you! I also want you to know that I appreciate your business reliability. You respond to emails and phone calls. The videos and the payments come out when promised. I feel very fortunate to have found you. ~Judy-F

Cindy, Thank you so much for helping me to get my credit card info updated.  I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost my subscription with you! ~Tonya-S

Cindy, I started my journey with you – and this great community – with your Beginners Course. My finger hesitated for a second over the “buy” button, because money is a very limited commodity around here. But I haven’t regretted it for a single moment.  //  As everyone knows, on the web there are hundreds (thousands?) of videos and tutorials about claying, many of them free. I have watched lots of them, and still do: seeing lots of different ways of doing things is a great way to learn. And while I have occasionally seen a great tutorial on other sites, no one has ever come close to what you provide. Your videos are consistently good, and in a depth of detail rarely seen elsewhere.  //  Your manner is a large part of what made me choose to buy the video in the first place. You know what you are talking about, and you make it interesting and easy to watch and learn from you. You are relaxed and open, there is always a sense of ease about you. Your voice is easy to listen to. (That may seem trivial, but there are some videos I have seen where I cannot stand to watch because the voice is harsh, or the person chatters on interminably. I even listened to one where the dog was snoring in the background.) You seem like someone I would like to know personally. And that is important, because by now I have so many of your videos it seems I invite you into my home every day! I almost want to make you tea while you’re here ;)  //  I think you are a natural teacher. You know what people need to learn to do the thing you are teaching about, and you get it across clearly and simply. You motivate and encourage, you make me curious.  //  You keep great track of where you are in your discussions. Whenever you say “I’ll get to that in a minute,” you DO.  //  You keep a good balance between telling us exactly how to do something and encouraging our own creativity.  //  You have such a good sense of what to teach. There is SO much information about claying that I would imagine that one of hardest things to do when creating the beginner’s video was to decide what not to include. But you kept it all to a manageable level so that, as someone starting out, it didn’t feel like I was getting overwhelmed by the information or that you were pushing me to buy too many tools and pieces of equipment. You always seem to keep a good balance between providing information and options on the one hand, and not being overwhelming and confusing on the other.  //  Like a great book, this video is a resource I keep returning to, over and over. So, thank you for providing the great gift of this video, and I hope my comments have helped. ~Fran-V

Hi Cindy and Doug! I Just want to start off by saying Thank You for all the time and effort you spend in the making of all these Wonderful video tutorials. Really Thank You! I enjoy them so much and have made such a difference in the quality of the things I have made. ~Liz-A

The full video series for the Cymbidium Orchid Pendant tutorial described above, is available in Vol-074 at the Polymer Clay Library.

If you would like to receive 3 free beginner videos right now, plus some free color recipes that get sent out each week in my Friday email newsletter, please click this link: Polymer Clay Tutorials

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

Comments

  1. I have been one of Cindy’s students for a number of years now. Have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of her tutorials and she is also very good about responding to any comments or questions you may have.

  2. Well those turned out beautiful! So smart of you to figure out a way for us to adjust the size of our flower. Every time I wear my dogwood pendant someone complements me on it — this orchid is going to be an other awesome necklace to make. I love it already ;)

  3. Hi Cindy – what a beautiful project! Thank you so much for all the fantastic tips and tricks. You not only show us how to manipulate the clay but also how to support the petals, how to colour them and how to put the whole thing together! Brilliant!

  4. Hi Cindy,
    I just watched the videos while getting ready for work, oh I can’t wait to get started! Thank you again for your wonderful lessons, and all the work that you and your hubby do to make it possible for people like me to feel like an artist :)

    Ginny

  5. So feminine!!! These Orchids will bring compliments galore……….Looking at pictures of these beauties, you realize what nature has done. LOVELY. Can’t wait to get started.!

    Ty Cindy and Doug -each tute is better, or at least very different , than the previous one. Makes you head dizzy with ideas……….Keep them coming and we will be busy forever……………

    Love your Tutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. This is beautiful. I wonder if you could use the floral tape and then brush over it with liquid polymer clay.

        • Gina, that is a terrific idea! I don’t see why that wouldn’t work as long as you cover the tape with liquid clay first so your tape doesn’t burn. They actually make floral covered wire that you can use in low temps and bake in the oven.
          You could also cover the wire with PC and layer it with a coat of liquid PC.

          • Hi Gina and Dixie Ann, Unfortunately I don’t think that idea will work very well. Not because of the floral tape (which may or may not work because it is impregnated with a kind of wax like product) but more because the wired petals don’t seem to bake well more than once. (At least that was my experience.)

            It seems like the wire is fine when it is baked into a raw petal, but when I tried to re-bake them, they cracked along where the wire was. My thought is that when the clay was raw, it was able to stretch a little when the heat caused the metal in the wire to expand. But later after the clay had hardened, the expansion in the wire caused the clay to crack. This may not happen if the clay was thicker, but on these thin petals, everyone of them cracked.

            I had originally planned to gather these flower petals together and re-bake on a clay covered hair stick. But every attempt failed and I didn’t have time to figure out a way to avoid the cracking.

            So I am afraid, that you idea of covering the wire with the liquid clay would most likely cause the same issues.

  7. Cindy, you and Doug have done it again. I sat enraptured through the entire series. So many cool ideas to try! Especially love the “size down” technique angling the cutters to make smaller version of the orchid. Bet this cutter technique can be used for more than this project, and will be experimenting with my cutters this week. Thank you for always providing us with wonderful tutes!!!

  8. Cindy you are making me crazy with the last tutorial and now this one! What beautiful napkin rings they would make. Thank you so much for your great tutorials. Love all of them.

    P.S. Got a request for spiders. Can you believe that!!!!

  9. Looking forward to this tutorial. Haven’t worked with my clay for awhile and this would be a great tute to start the creativity flowing again.
    Thank you Cindy and Doug for another wonderful tute.

  10. I was sort of hoping that someone else would ask this question, but in video 3 the wire you used is a rose gold Artistic Wire. You say that it is a 20g wire and the package says it is a 24g wire. Do you actually use 20g and are using the package for illustration purposes? As I know you were running very low on the wire maybe no longer had the pkg of 20g wire left so showed the 24g) Or did you use 24g wire in the petals and it was just an error? Or does it really matter, would 20g work just as well as the 24g? (I am very familiar with wirework, but a novice with wire inside of polymer clay so I don’t know if there would be a very big difference to how it would affect it’s bendability, resilience, etc.) Thanks so much for answering!

    • Hi Chelsea, my mistake! I should have said 24 gauge in the video, just like the package said. You could possibly use 20 gauge, but it would be a little stiff. 24 gauge is better for this project.

      • Cindy,
        Thanks so much for responding. I thought that the 20g would be too stiff but I just was not sure as this would be my first time incorporating wire into poly clay in this fashion. I really appreciate your feedback! I can’t wait to finish my project now! ~Chelsea

  11. Cindy that makes perfect sense. I never thought of the existing baked petals and the impact it would have on baking them again. With all the wired petals I made last winter, I never rebaked any of them so I never experienced this problem. So glad you popped in and let us know about it.

  12. Hi Cindy, thanks for the video. The flower is stunning! As you know I’m a bit new to it all and it is my first time seeing the lumiere paint in action, the effect is beautiful and I will be ordering that in the future. One question though, because of the beautiful effect it gives I went to look it up. They seem to all say that lumiere paint is a heat set paint. I’ve noticed that there was no heat applied to the piece after the paint has been put on in your video and I wanted to ask you if there is a reason for that? Would the paint still set? Is heat not really necessary to set in your experience? Many thanks, Joyce

    • Hi Joyce, the paint I used in this tutorial is not Lumiere paint. I actually don’t have any of the paint… yet. Sounds like it would be an interesting one to test! Though being heat set, it would need to go on the clay at the raw stage in this case, because once the wires are baked into the petals, they do not like being baked a second time… it cracks them. (I tried so I know. It is most likely due to the metal expanding the already hard clay and causing it to crack.) I suppose it might work on the baked pieces if you used a heat gun and were careful to to heat the wired area for too long. The golden paint I used is called Pearlescent and it is just a liquid acrylic and not a heat set paint at all.

      • I wanted to pop in and answer this question only because I knew the answer for you and because I have a whole set of Lumiere paints – it is only required to be heat set on fabrics. The Lumiere line was intended to be made to be soft to the touch when painted on fabrics and thus the reason for heat setting. That said, it can be used on nearly any porous surface. I have used it on paper, canvas, quilts, polymer clay, styrofoam, and wood. I am sure there are more uses out there. :) I hope that helps.

        • Thanks Chelsea for your message. It sounds like it is a very versatile medium to use. And you have a whole set too! I will definately play around with it. I’m sure I will enjoy them. :) I really liked the lightness of the pearlescent paint that was used in the tutorial though…will have to be a future order then, shipping is so expensive for Australia…

          • Joyce – I totally understand! I am an Amazon Prime member just because of shipping! It also allows me to do things like try out the Lumiere exciter packs (which are basically samplers of colors) to see if I like them and not have to pay for shipping. Then when I did decide on what I liked, I was able to put in an order for what I wanted. I ended up liking the entire line of Lumiere set of paints so much because they can be both air brushed with (after watering down – I use Golden Air Brush medium though I know many that just use water) and screen printed with too. The reason I sought them out though was for a massive quilt project I had done for my mom and the Lumiere colors were vibrant, flowing, soft, and the metallics are incredible – especially on dark backgrounds. I also like that you can get almost the entire set of Lumiere colors in exciter sizes (0.5 ounce) in 9 pack sets for about $12 USD from Amazon. It is a great way to try out the colors with out having to commit to purchasing a full 2.5 ounce jar or more. For most colors I had to go through Jacquard because I needed the full 12 oz jars at the time, but currently I have enough paint to last a year or so :). I think the pearlescent is in one of the exciter packs available on amazon (and quite possibly at an art supplier. I don’t know if you have a Dick Blick or something like it, but they may have exciter packs locally you can check for. All my best to you! ~Chelsea

  13. Thanks Cindy yes you are totally right…I don’t know how I could have got that wrong. It’s even on the video screenshot…sigh, I went and bought a bunch already and will use your tips on how to use it with raw clay or to use a heat gun but have to be careful with not overheating the wire part etc. thanks for the tips!!! I keep being amazed at the creative ways you use clay!!! All your projects are explained sooo well (minus the clumsy student, myself of course : p ) thanks again for a wonderful tutorial!!!

  14. Couldn’t find the reply link for your message Chelsea and Cindy, so leaving it here.

    Chelsea – thanks for your message, I will look into the exciter pack :) amazon prime membership doesn’t apply to shipping to Australia. And no we don’t have dickblick, but I buy from them online. Again costly shipping…you guys are so blessed with all these at your finger tips!

    Cindy – thanks, I forgot about the search option. Will search for embossing powder and ways to use it with polymer clay now. I’ve been meaning to learn more about what effects it can give. Bit fuzzy to me this EPstuff…

    You both take care :)

  15. I have made a few of these so far as hair ornaments to match my outfits…I have had many compliments and now have been inspired to create a pair of cherry blossom earrings!

  16. Hi Cindy,

    I’ve just finished making the Cymbidium Orchids.. WOW you are such a talented teacher.. they came out perfect the first time because of your detailed step-by-step method of instruction. And camera work is so perfect!

    Thank you for being there for me… I’m logged on often reviewing your videos to improve my skills. I’m also learning to use the search engine at the Blog – that’s amazing!

    AND thank you for your introduction to the JoolTool.. I’m now using mine successfully and can’t wait to see more demos.

    This membership, Cindy, is the best thing I’ve done for myself in ages! Thank you so very much.

    Best Regards,

    Donna Schnare
    Airdrie, Alberta

    • Thank you so much Donna for saying that! I am so very pleased to hear that you are enjoying what you’re learning! I think you are going to love the JoolTool training videos we have prepared. It really is a wonderful tool!

  17. Hi Cindy (or anyone else who might know),

    What did you use to wrap the piece in for the headband? Is it just floral tape? Without giving too much away for those who haven’t purchased it, I’m assuming you would just wrap the “stems” in the tape, and wrap the tape around the headband? Did you secure it with glue or anything like that?

    Thanks so much for your amazing work – I’m floored every time I watch the new month’s tutorials!!!

  18. Ok, whoops…. I just rewatched one of the videos because I needed to do it along with you while you explained it. Had I not been talking to my husband the first time around while that one section of video was rolling I would have caught the answer to my question. Sorry!!! :-)

  19. I love this tute! I’ve enjoyed making the orchid and have also tried it using a lily flower shape and a plumeria flower shape in smaller proportions. My only issue now is that when I put it on a neckwire they fall forward when I pick it up. Is it supposed to do that or am I doing something wrong with the bail? I know when they are worn that the body itself will stop the piece from falling over forward, so is it just the nature of the way the bail is built along with the weight of the flower? Thanks for any advice! :-)

    • Hi Karen, yeah the design is such that it falls against the body to keep from flipping over. The only way to avoid that would be to make a much taller bail that stuck out above the flower. You could try and change the design, but I really like the way the bail is hidden behind the flower and find it sits quite nicely on the neck. You didn’t do anything wrong… I meant to make it that way. :)

  20. Hi Cindy, I am finally getting around to making the Orchids in your previous tutorial and thought I would offer a tip to everyone to make the orchids in smaller sizes since I like earrings to match my flower and jewelry products. Instead of trying to cut them smaller, I took the actual cutters and drew around them. Since most printers today have a reduce feature, I took the 100% size of the cutter drawing and recopied it at 50%, 60%, 75% and even down to 40%. From there I cut out the newly reduced sizes and pasted them on cardstock and cut around it so I would have a permanent copy. The nice thing about this is you can always have the same size flower and no guessing on the cutting out each piece!

  21. Baking petals twice without cracks/tears:

    On my first orchid I had all but one of my petals crack after I baked them twice. It was suggested that it was the wire expanding, but I had a different theory — so I did some tests.

    I noticed that my initial less-bent petal did not break on my first orchid. I believe the problem is bending the first-baked petals and then re-baking. When you bend the warm first-baked clay, it is stretching/thinning that clay upon the bend and putting stress on that area. When you re-bake the clay gets soft (the wire doesn’t get soft of course) and it tears and pulls apart where you’ve bent it the most — which looks like cracks.

    I tested this theory by making some petals and bending them before I baked them. I then baked and cooled them 3 times. No cracks/tears at all.

    Moral: Bend before baking if you are going to re-bake.

    • Lena, I ran into the same problem and had to resculpt some of my petals after I figured out what was happening. Now they are all bent and laid over a tube before going in the oven. :)

      • I just saved a toilet paper tube for my next batch! I had tried to roll some cardboard and it was not smooth. Then I had that “duh” moment when I looked at the toilet paper tube. LOL. Paper towel tube would probably be better – but I don’t have one of those right now. (:

    • Thanks so much Lena for coming in here to share your insides and help! I am glad you were able to figure out a way to keep the pieces from cracking… that not only helps everyone here, but that helps me as well. Thanks!

      • You are quite welcome. I had a similar problem on a bracelet and thought I owed it to myself and the community to do a little testing. Hopefully, it will help everyone skip past the same mistake I made.

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