Polymer Clay Faux Jade Technique… Quick, Easy, Fun [Spotlight]

Faux Jade by Cindy Graveline “I love the faux-jade
video so much, that I
made two shades of green
in one evening.”

These “Spot” features are for you guys to display your accomplishments, share stories of inspiration and even ask for assistance with challenges that you may be experiencing. The projects are based on techniques learned from articles here at the blog, as well as from tutorials at the Polymer Clay Video Library. My hope is for these “Show and Tell” features to help everyone get to know each other a bit better, thanks to this wonderfully artistic medium of polymer clay. And… by participating, you can win some beads too!

Faux Jade by Cindy Graveline

I love the faux-jade video (Vol-023-2) so much, that I made two shades of green in one evening.

I made the dark green first, using Stream and Butterscotch Adirondack Alcohol Inks and verdigris embossing powder.

I liked it, but I wanted a lighter color… so I tried using less Stream Adirondack Ink and adding Citrus Adirondack Ink, again with verdigris embossing powder.

VoilĂ ! After sanding and buffing, I added a patina of gold acrylic paint and a coat of Future Floor Polish.


If you are interested in sharing pictures of your polymer clay projects with the community, please follow these 2 simple steps:

1) Email several of your photos to me as attachments. My email address is shown in the “From” line of the weekly Polymer Clay Newsletter that gets sent out each and every Friday morning.

2) Include a description and/or story about your pieces, being sure to reference the tutorial(s) or blog article(s) that provided at least some level of inspiration for your work.

Don’t be shy. Everyone is VERY friendly here.

In the comment section below, please do compliment each other; Offer encouragement; Ask questions about the techniques used; And in general… be social. This is your community! It’s up to you to make it a fun and supportive place to hang out. All of you are amazing and it’s wonderful to have everyone here!

I love doing the Faux’s and how sometimes we can improve on nature. Thank you very much for sharing this with us. ~Ken-H

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Lisa Whitham, 16 April, 2010

    Cindy G – Lovely shades of jade… The gold accents really set off the pieces! I had a lot of fun making the faux jade too!! I can’t wait to see how it turns out after baking…

    ~Lisa :)

  2. Freda K, 16 April, 2010

    I love both your colors of green. The gold really makes the veins stand out.

  3. Elizabeth S., 16 April, 2010

    I always look forward to seeing the personal interpretations of the tuts. I love how the addition of gold makes the jade “pop”, but also love how you you have holed some of the leaves in an atypical fashion for a unique presentation. Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Cheryl Hodges, 16 April, 2010

    Cindy g – Love your faux jade. The zipper pull is so interesting- I like that you put chain and sevral leaves; gives it a cascading effect. The gold really does set it off. Beautiful!

  5. JoyceM, 16 April, 2010

    Love your colors, Cindy G, and the added gold. Makes the leaves really pop. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Catalina, 16 April, 2010

    This is awesome! I love the depth you achieved. The gold is the best touch! You Rock! Or should I say: You Jade!! :)

  7. Lupe Meter, 16 April, 2010

    Awesome work…love all the shades you came up with!

  8. Peggy Barnes, 16 April, 2010

    True beauty, The zipper pull can be used for so many ideas, purse charms, chain pull on fan, key chain etc. The gold is just a perfect addition to your pieces. I like your lighter color better myself but either is fantastic. Way to go and THANK YOU so much for sharing. More and more inspiration what a wonderful blog we belong to.
    Many Uuuuuuuuuuuugggs Cindy G. and everyone else, Peggy

  9. carolyn, 16 April, 2010

    These are lovely. The gold gives a great finishing touch. I especially like the light apple green jade. Good job!

  10. Brenda, 16 April, 2010

    Beautiful!!! I love them…

  11. Melinda Herron, 16 April, 2010

    Very pretty. Beautiful work!

  12. Cindy Graveline, 16 April, 2010

    Thanks for the nice comments everyone :)!

  13. Phaedrakat, 18 April, 2010

    @Cindy Graveline: Hi Cindy, what brand of embossing powder did you use? It sure looks beautiful in your jade. Nevena’s comment made me really examine your jade again, and it’s Faaaab-ulooous! (That was supposed to be a sing-song “it’s fabulous”…) ;D

  14. Cindy Graveline, 18 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: I use Clearsnap embossing powder!

  15. Phaedrakat, 17 April, 2010

    Gorgeous Jade, Cindy! I love how you just jumped right in and made two shades. They are both lovely, and I, too, love the gold antique you added to accent the leaves (and the pendant at the top.) Good work! Makes me want to jump in and make some myself. (I’m working on carving out a better, decent work space this weekend. When I get it finished — look out!) I hope my attempt at jade comes out as pretty as yours!

  16. Silverleaf, 17 April, 2010

    Very pretty! Lovely shades of green :) and the gold is perfect with them.

    @Phaedrakat: Does that mean you’re feeling better?? Because if so, YAY!!! :)

  17. Elizabeth S., 17 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: How did your choir dinner go? Anxious to hear.

  18. Phaedrakat, 18 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf & Elizabeth S.: Thanks for the nice thoughts! Unfortunately, I overdid it when I was “space carving” (throwing stuff away, reorganizing, storing, moving, etc.) I have lots of jewelry & clay stuff that I can’t let go of (too valuable, & so useful, if I feel good enough to use it!) Anyway, I had to cut it short, and temporarily store everything. My back got so sore I couldn’t walk. I’ve been laying down, resting, but the pain is really bad. I find that when I overdo it like this, it takes several days for the pain to get back down to my “normal” level. So, I figure it will be another week, before I’m able to finish my “space” and be able to clay. (I hope!)

    Thanks for asking, and hoping I feel better, though. It’s really nice. Everyone around me is “used to my pain;” they rarely ask anymore, since they know I’m always hurting. I know lots of other members have pain issues. Do you have the same problem, where people around you just expect you to have pain, so they don’t bother to ask how you are? It’s almost like they think you’re somehow used to the pain, as if that could happen! You can get used to having pain, at least the part about not being surprised when you feel it. (I never say, “Hmmm, what’s that?”) But tolerating the pain never gets any easier, at least for me. Anyway, thanks again. You made me feel a little better, knowing someone wanted me to get feel good enough to join in the clay fun!

  19. Silverleaf, 18 April, 2010

    @Elizabeth S.: It went very well thank you! I got loads of compliments about the food and everyone had a great time. So when are you guys coming over for dinner? ;)

    @Phaedrakat: Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that. Sounds like you need to try to take it easy for a bit. Of course we want you to feel better – apart from the fact that no-one deserves pain like that, it’s no fun when you can’t clay!

    I know what you mean about people being “used to your pain” – in the same way people are used to me being tired because I’m always tired!

    And although I’m not having a lot of actual pain at the moment, I’m pretty much always uncomfortable. But sometimes I don’t notice until someone asks how I am – I start to say “I’m fine” and then realise that my shoulders don’t feel so good, or whatever. How weird is that? I guess I’m lucky, because a lot of people with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are much much worse than me.

  20. Phaedrakat, 18 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Thanks! I’m so happy your dinner turned out well. Believe me, I would love to come for dinner. It sounds like you’re an amazing cook! I’d also love to go back to England. I’ve been there several times, but never long enough! I’ve had a couple vacations, and lots of quick 2-3 day London stops when I was traveling through. I was also stationed there a couple times, on 3-month rotations. I loved it! :'( *sigh* Someday, I’ll travel again!

  21. Silverleaf, 20 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Well I’m biased, but there are some beautiful places in England! I live in the Midlands, right next to the Peak District National Park and I love it – the only thing I’d change is, I’d like the sea to be closer because I don’t get to see it very often.

    I wouldn’t say I’m an “amazing” cook! I’m competent, and know what flavours work together, but I like to keep things simple so the flavours of the food speak for themselves. As much as I admire all those fancy chefs, I can’t be bothered with all the messing around that goes into a lot of their dishes. Very Mediterranean of me I guess! :) I love to cook for people and make them happy, and I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like.

  22. Catalina, 20 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Well, you know you can come to Michigan and I will let you cook all you want! LOL!! I’ve been known to be a mircowave cook! My husband does a lot of the cooking because he likes it and he knows his “flavors”!! I’m more of a baker. Love to makes cakes, cookies, cheesecakes (cherry cheesecake is my speciality), fudge, brownies, and pies!! Love my apple pies!! (If I can say that and not sound too prideful :) Man, I’m hungry, now!!

  23. Silverleaf, 21 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Let me know if you ever make it over here! I love meeting fellow clayers. :) And I love different cuisines too – Indian, Thai, Mexican, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Malaysian, French, and of course good old traditional English food as well! I just like food I think, as my waistline is testament to. ;)

    @Catalina: If I had the airfare and the planes were running, I’d be over there like a shot! I love to bake too, lavender tea bread is my most requested cake (see I’m obsessed with lavender!) but I also like to make scones and cookies and cute little fairy cakes. I make little carrot and banana cookie treats for my rabbit, and biscuits for my dog too. I think we need a recipe swap, because that cherry cheesecake sounds amazing!

  24. Catalina, 21 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Lavendar tea bread? Sounds great! Yes, we should share recipes! Maybe your dog biscuits will be a favorite of my Art Director, Daisy!!

  25. Elizabeth S., 17 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Like Silverleaf, I hope your post means you are feeling better. Yes?

  26. Cara, 17 April, 2010

    They look great, looking forward to trying it out too.

  27. Lawrence, 17 April, 2010

    Great beads Cindy G. I too like the idea of the added gold as well as the different shades of green.

  28. Nevena, 18 April, 2010

    This is really beautiful ! Compliments! I can not find embossing powder here where i live,i read that it is used in paper crafting for creating 3 dimensional figures.But i don’t have much information about its relation to polymer clay? How does it bond to it ?Does this glittering effect come from the embossing powder?

  29. Phaedrakat, 18 April, 2010

    @Nevena: Hi Nevena, are you able to order things where you live in Bulgaria? Embossing powder works really nicely when making faux stones. But it’s primary use is in scrapbooking and papercrafts (as you saw in your research.) On paper, you use a stamp and a fairly slow-drying ink. You stamp your image, then sprinkle embossing powder on top. Then you get remove the excess powder, and use a heat gun to melt it. The powder swells up as it melts, and you end up with a raised image or outline.

    With polymer clay, you can mix the embossing powder right in with the raw clay, like Cindy G. did here. Then when you cure it in the oven, it melts and does its magic, and you end up with some cool looks.

    –You can also use embossing powder on baked clay. You can do it the same way you would with paper (like I method I mentioned above.) Use ink or something to make it stick to the clay, then blast with a heat gun (or pop in the oven for a few minutes.) You have to be careful using the oven, though. It can turn into a big, bubbly mess! That’s one reason it’s difficult to use on raw clay. The other reason is that the powder sticks everywhere, not just on an inked area. You can sprinkle embossing powder all over flat clay shapes, though, & cure in the oven with little difficulty. Just be careful to let them cool before touching. Or use a stencil to make designs. More elaborate things are more difficult with raw clay, though. So are round beads, because the powder can get all over the place as it melts…

    Anyway, that’s a little bit of info on embossing powder. I’m not sure which brand Cindy G. used. The color she used, verdigris, is a favorite. It’s made by several manufacturers. If you can’t get your hands on embossing powder, though, some people use colored sand to make faux jade. I think Silverleaf mentioned having a recipe using this method.

    One last fact about the powders is that they come in different thicknesses. There’s a “basic” kind of embossing powder; then there are really ‘fine’ types that are used for detail work. On the opposite end, there’s a really thick brand called UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.) Some people use this in “clear” to coat their creations, kind of like how resin or glaze is used. I hope this helps! Good luck~

  30. Nevena, 19 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Thank you for the detailed information-i am much interested in all glowing,shiny effects and thought that embossing powder had something to do with this. What is exactly your health problem,if you don’t mind my question.

  31. Linda K., 19 April, 2010

    Cindy, I love your faux jade beads. The colors are so pretty and the way you made the veins and designs with acrylic paint was really clever and creative. I especially like the blue-green color of the first bead.

  32. Cheryl Hodges, 20 April, 2010

    @ Silverleaf – I would so love to visit England. My mum’s cousins live there. My dad, sisters and my husband haave been and I’ve seen all the beautiful photos. One day I hope to be able to visit.
    I love to cook ; I like trying out foods from different countries. I’m from India so they use a lot of spices but i love italian and Chinese too.

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