Lace and Ink Texture for Your Polymer Clay Bead Jewelry Projects

Ink and Lace Texture “Brilliant! Love the diversity of these tutorials – from tribal patterns to pretty lace.” ~DJ

Polymer clay artists are always looking for new and interesting textures to impart on their polymer clay beads. One material that works beautifully for creating unique textures on clay, is lace.

The photos above are of three different samples of polymer clay that were given their patterned surfaces, with three different selections of real cloth lace, and pigment ink.

If you like this look, then you will enjoy next week’s Vol-020-3 Polymer Clay Video Tutorial. In it, I will be teaching the lace texture and ink technique.

So now would be a good time to start looking for suitable pieces of lace around your home. You should also purchase a pigment ink stamp pad in the color of your choice, if you don’t have one. You can find where scrapbooking supplies are sold, and even in a lot of dollar stores.

Lace can be found in many forms, including: Ribbon and trim; Fabric sheets; Old doilies; and even Window Curtains.

Keep your eye out for interesting patterns, weaves and designs. Most of you creative folks will probably already have a few pieces of lace in your craft supply bins. But for those of you who do not, you can check fabric stores, dollar stores, the sewing dept of Walmart, and secondhand clothing stores. You won’t need much, just a few inches will do.

By the way, does anyone have any good lace stories? As I went searching through the blog to find some fun quotes, there were not many to choose from.

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  1. carolyn, 16 January, 2010

    My mother and I went to Europe while I was engaged to Don. He was in Viet Nam at the time. When we went to Belgium I was fascinated watching the women making lace by hand. We ordered a chapel length lace mantilla for my wedding. They also sent appliques which were sewn to my dress – scattered on the skirt and bordering the scooped neckline. I carried a handkerchief with this lace along with my orchid bouquet. The orchids are long gone but I kept everything else wrapped in blue tissue in a big flat box in the back of my closet. I would love to make something in PC with this lace, especially now that Don is gone. One question: Will the ink get on the lace? I have a clear and a white stamp pad – could these be used with embossing powders instead of the ink? – Guess that is two questions, but you get my drift. I sure don’t want to damage the lace.

  2. Genevieve, 16 January, 2010

    Brilliant! You can never have too many textures!

  3. Cheryl, 16 January, 2010

    Hi Cindy

    Could you tell me where I can get texture sheets like the ones you used with the mica shift technique. Michael’s had only stamps.


  4. carolyn, 16 January, 2010

    @Cheryl: You can usually get them at Jo-Ann’s stores, but if not JoAnn’s on line has some. Another good source for all your PC needs is:

  5. Silverleaf, 16 January, 2010

    Cool, now I guess I need lace and pigment ink…

  6. Silverleaf, 16 January, 2010

    Reminds me of snakeskin!

  7. Silverleaf, 16 January, 2010

    @Carolyn, that would be a lovely way to remember Don and your wedding day. I really hope you can use the lace without ruining it.

    I live about 30 miles away from Nottingham, which is famous for machine lace-making (yes it’s the same Nottingham from the Robin Hood stories).

    I’ve just remembered I have an old pair of lace curtains which I use to shade my greenhouse in the summer, I guess I could use that.

  8. DJ, 16 January, 2010

    Carolyn, what a lovely way of remembering your wedding day. When I saw this technique, I thought of my grandma right away. I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t crocheting, embroidering or sewing. It would be a wonderful way to honor her memory, using either remnants of lace from her sewing or items she created by hand. The pieces could make meaningful gifts for family too.

  9. Cheryl, 17 January, 2010

    @Carolyn / Cindy. Thanks. I went to the online store and found makin’s texture sheets. I can’t tell what the designs are in each pack. Are there any other type of sheets? The prices are very good and there is a coupon up to the end of Jan. Cheryl

  10. carolyn, 17 January, 2010

    @Cheryl: has some really good texture sheets – nice and deep – a little more expensive but worth it. Studio by Sculpey also has texture sheets. I got a couple from a Hobby Lobby when I was traveling. I sure miss that store … Nevada is one of the few states that does not have a Hobby Lobby. You might also be able to find these on line.

  11. carolyn, 17 January, 2010

    @Cheryl: So I went to Hobby Lobby on line, duh! In their search box click on texture makers. These are the Sculpey ones – I think. Click on one of them and the next screen will list all sorts of clay stuff down the left side. Guess I can still shop Hobby Lobby. Thanks for making me think of the web connection. I really like Hobby Lobby – they have great products, good prices, and the owners are Christians! What more could I ask for.

  12. Cheryl, 18 January, 2010

    Just wanted to know are there any Jo-Ann craft stores in Canada and where?

    I went to the Studio by sculpey site and they have a list of sites where their products are available. Munro Crafts have the Lisa Pavelkar texture sheets available and they are cheaper.

    I also went to ‘Shades of Clay’ They used to have a store very near where I live in Mississauga but have moved. They have the makins texture sheets, also foils and ‘Impress It’ texture sheets and Helen Briel designer texture sheets too.

  13. Cheryl, 18 January, 2010

    Thanks for the info Carolyn . Hobby Lobby does have some really good stuff too.

  14. Cindy Lietz, 18 January, 2010

    Great discussion guys! It is nice to see you all chatting away, even if I can’t get the chance to pop in as often as i would like.

    @Carolyn: You won’t be able to use the pigment ink or clear embossing ink on your heirloom lace without wrecking it, but I think you could use cornstarch as a resist without harming it, as long as the lace is washable. When you see how the technique is done, you will see what I mean. Also since you would not be using ink, you would have to antique the clay to get the texture to show up . You could use an antiquing medium or acrylic paint after the piece was baked. If you wanted to use this technique more than a few times, I would consider making a mold of your lace instead, to avoid repeated washings of such a precious piece. I like the idea of using something as meaningful for your jewelry though. It would make your pieces extra special!

    @Silverleaf: That is so cool you live near Nottingham! I wonder if the name comes from knotting lace? Just a thought. Your greenhouse curtains, just might be the thing to use. If it doesn’t matter whether they are ruined, use them the way I do in the video. If not, do it the way I suggested to carolyn.

    @DJ: Same advice for you as I gave Carolyn and Silverleaf, when it comes to your grandma’s doilies! It has given me the idea to dig through the fabric and trims Mom gave me of Grandma’s and see what I can find of hers. Would be really special! :-)

  15. Cindy Lietz, 18 January, 2010

    @Cheryl: I don’t think there are any Jo-Ann stores in Canada. Don’t think there are any Hobby Lobby’s here either. It is such a bummer to have so few craft stores to choose from. Means the selection is much slimmer and the competitive pricing is nil. Oh well, guess we’ll have to keep going online when we can’t get what we need!

  16. Cheryl, 18 January, 2010

    Thankyou for the idea Cindy about making a mold of the lace. i remembered I have abeautiful lace table cloth given to m as a wedding present and I wouldn’t want to get it stained. I haven’t made any molds so far any suggestions as to how to go about it?

    Thanks guys for all the help

  17. carolyn, 18 January, 2010

    Cindy – It looks like I opened a can of worms – or at least set you up for more videos. It is a shame that the working with corn starch on the lace – and making molds of lace didn’t come before this tutorial. Well, I’ll just search for something less sentimental for now … and hope it isn’t too long before you can produce the other videos.

  18. carolyn, 18 January, 2010

    Well, I found some lace in one of the drawers of the sewing cabinet that once was my grandmother’s. She used to make little clowns, stuffed with the punches from her s-i-l’s hole punch. I still have one of the clowns – no lace on him. She used to donate them to hospitals. Anyway, along with lots of rick-rack, and seam binding, I found some lace hem facing. I pass this along now for those of you who might be looking for lace for this project. This should work just great. Now all I need is a pigment ink stamp pad. We are in the midst of the ‘snow of the season’ so I don’t know when I will get off the mountain in order to shop in Carson City. It is even snowing there, which is rare.

  19. Cheryl, 18 January, 2010

    We’ll wait patiently for the video or someone to send us some help meanwhile I’m sure i can search around and find some piece of lace too. The lace tablecloth came from Israel and it’s an ecru shade and really beautiful.

  20. Silverleaf, 19 January, 2010

    Nottingham became famous for lace during the industrial revolution, so it got its name way before then.

    Apparently it was once ruled by a Saxon chieftain named Snot and became known as “Snotingaham” which means “the homestead of Snot’s people”.

    There we go, a history lesson at no extra charge! ;)

  21. Penny, 27 January, 2010

    Two things about lace – the inevitable marketing bit: Studio have produced some texture sheets and one is called Chantilly Lace, and secondly, I spent the last few years learning how to make bobbin lace – however, it is so fine my eyes didn’t let me continue – and I have found it is more fun painting and claying the bobbins!

  22. Cindy Lietz, 31 January, 2010

    I love all these comments. It is so nice to hear that you guys are thinking of sentimental ways you can incorporate your special lace pieces into your polymer clay jewelry designs!

    As far as using cornstarch as a resist or release agent and making molds and such, there is already quite a bit of info on this site about those things. Just use the search box at the top of the page to find your answers. To be extra helpful you can come back here and let others know what you found. Hopefully this helps everyone to find answers sooner than always having to wait for me to answer them, since the volume of questions is now becoming pretty overwhelming for me to handle on my own.

  23. Donna, 25 March, 2011

    I recently made some texture samps from some vintage lace, some of which belonged to my mother. I just dampend the lace and put through the pasta machine with clay, which was well conditioned and put throughon a no 5 setting on my machine. Then lace and clay went through on a number 1 setting. Came out very well and have made earrings and a bracelet using the stamps.

  24. Cherie, 25 March, 2011

    Just wanted to make sure I got it right. did you condition the clay at the #5 setting and then put the lace and clay thru at #1?

  25. Donna, 25 March, 2011

    Once your clay is nicely conditioned,I put it the PM turning down a setting or two or my case til number five, then I go back to number one and put damped lace and clay throught together.This gives me a stamp 2mm thick. You may need to play with your settings and lace with clay dependindg on your PM. I use kato clay and this gives me a thin flexible stamp which goes through my PM. when using the stamp I also thin my clay to number five setting before putting stamp and clay through PM using water as a resist.

  26. Cherie, 25 March, 2011

    Thanks Donna. Have to try this one soon.

  27. Phaedrakat, 26 March, 2011

    I keep forgetting how the videos (preview/intro) used to get posted after the initial article. FYI, here’s the link to the
    Lace and Ink Texture/Technique — “tutorial” post.

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