Making Charms Using Polymer Clay Image Transfers – by Laurel

Polymer Clay Image Transfer Charms

Inspiration From A New Library Member Who Just Got Started With Polymer Clay:

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about how wonderful it is to receive all of your polymer clay bead making success stories. It’s the kind of feedback that makes a teacher beam with pride!

Well today I want to share a special feature (and lesson) just submitted by Laurel. She is a relatively new member at the Polymer Clay Library… and she’s doing a fine job of having fun with her new found knowledge of polymer clay. Here’s her story…


It took me awhile to make something I think might be worthy for you to show. And as far as showing something I learned from your site, well that would be pretty much everything I know about polymer clay.

The photos above are of little antique charms I did and made into a necklace and a bracelet. The techniques I used that I learned from you were, like I said, pretty much everything except the jewelry assembly. Here is how I made them.

I first picked out some antique looking photos from my Print Shop program. Printed them out small enough to use for little charms. I actually used transfer paper sold by Lisa Pavelka only because I have not found a good parchment paper yet to use the technique you taught on your site. Print the transfers.

Roll out white clay on #1 setting (after properly conditioning, of course). Place the transfers face down and wet as directed. Slide the paper off the transfer. Cut the transfers out in small square shapes.

Use your clay extruder to make a tiny snake rope. Make small frames for the charm tiles. Make sure you cut the corners at a 45 degree angle so they fit together better. I slip twisted silver jump rings on the side edges of the frame for the bracelet. I put eye pin bits in for the necklace. The eye pins worked better because then I baked the necklace charms in between tiles to keep them flatter. You can’t do this with the other style and so they came out a little more “sculptured”.  :) Use liquid clay and “glue” the frames to the charm. Carefully cut small diagonal lines in the rope frame. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through.

Use Pearl Ex powder and paint onto the frame. Then bake. After baking I tried Lisa Pavelka’s stuff that makes a glass like covering but I guess I don’t have the hang of this stuff yet because they looked awful. I threw those ones away. So, I did another trick I learned from you and just dipped them into Future Floor Polish. Two coats. Bake at low heat to set the Future. Then assemble. What La! Cute little charm tiles.

The trickiest part for me was the little frames and I got better and better as I did them. My best one is the “B” on the necklace. By the way, those are my initials. You could also do like “MOM” or short names. Anything more would get too long and hang to low. LOL

Techniques I used that I learned from you: Conditioning the clay, rolling the clay, what a clay extruder is, how to use transfers (never even knew you could do that), baking in tiles to keep things flatter, how to bake clay properly, how to use Future to seal and shine baked clay. So see, ALOT.

~Laurel @ Jewelry Jungle

Thanks so much Laurel for sending this in. I love it that you combined several different techniques into one project… image transfers, extruded bezels, liquid clay and pearl ex powders.

It’s also great to see that you have your polymer clay projects posted on your web site for sale. Very exciting! Looking forward to hearing more from you as your beads and beading skills continue to progress.

Hopefully your charm making story will be an inspiration to others that are also just getting started with polymer clay.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. aims, 22 May, 2009

    Love it!

    That is really impressive for a newbie! There’s hope for me yet!

  2. Arlene Harrison, 22 May, 2009

    I think this is just about the best advertisement you could get Cindy! I agree with Laurel that I have learned so much from your lessons. I haven’t tried the image transfer yet but have all the materials to do it. Now if I could just figure out how to add a few more hours to my day…

  3. Laurel, 22 May, 2009


    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I sure hope it does encourage other “newbies” because they will have so much fun exploring the clay world. I was thrilled that you thought my charms were good enough to feature on your blog. Stay tuned because I plan to get better and better. If you want to follow my exploits in the polymer clay/jewelry world you can follow my blog. And when I become famous from my jewelry and beads I will say “I owe it all to Cindy Lietz.” Well, most of it anyway. And thanks for the kind words aims. There IS hope for us all. :)

  4. Cindy Lietz, 22 May, 2009

    @aims: There is definitely hope for you! Just keep making stuff. You’ll see!

    @Arlene: Thank you! I too wish there were more hours in a day!

    @Laurel: You are very welcome! I love it that you sent in your projects! It is wonderful to see people are learning from the information. Can’t wait to see how far you go! You go girl!

  5. Jocelyn, 23 May, 2009

    Laurel, these are gorgeous! I love your choice of colors, they pop!

  6. Jamie, 24 May, 2009

    Since I just ordered a Makins clay extruder this week, the tutorial in # 7 will be just in time. I have a Sculpey brand extruder, but it is smaller and getting harder to push the clay through. So I figured it was time for a step up. Especially since you have given me so many good new ways to use one. Now all I need to do is make a place to work with my clay until my studio is done. It seems to be taking FOREVER! XOXO

  7. Laurel, 29 May, 2009


    Thanks for the nice comment and support.

  8. Josie, 23 July, 2009

    WOW beautiful work just love your Pearl Swirl. Maybe in a few weeks Mine might look like that. Cindy really is a fab teacher.

  9. Laurel, 23 July, 2009

    Thanks Josie. They were all pretty easy. And I am sure yours look good already. Check back to my site in a week or so though, I came up with a really awesome new design. I call it “Snakeskin”. Don’t know if anyone else has ever done it but I haven’t seen it yet. I just need to get the pictures taken and downloaded. Seems like that is the hardest part of all of this. LOL

  10. Sharon S, 11 November, 2019

    What can I transfer onto polymer clay. Pictures, newspaper articles, etc.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 12 November, 2019

    Hi Sharon, you can transfer any image that has been laser printed (which also includes things like magazines, newspapers and books). If you are going to sell your piece,it is important that the image is copyright/royalty free so you aren’t breaking any copyright laws.

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