Polymer Clay Tutorial | Inked Surface Butterfly Earrings [VIDEO]

Inked Butterfly Surface TechniqueVid #143: “Love butterflies, they make me happy! Would love to be able to do them in polymer clay.” ~Cheryl-H

Imagine this pair of delicate inked butterflies, fluttering from your ears on a fresh sunny day! Well now you can learn to make them yourself, by watching the upcoming Vol-021-2 tutorial that will be posted in the Polymer Clay Video Library on Friday Feb 12th.

When I first introduced the idea, the following Yes Votes are just a few that were posted in favor of making this tutorial available at the library…

These are super cute earrings! I love the butterflies, and I love the cool earwires! I love how earrings like this hang on my ears — I’ll bet they really do feel light and airy. As far as sales go, these would stand out from others in a shop. I would need to get my hands on some cutters like that, though. Unless there’s a trick I could use with one of my other cutters? Phaedrakat

The kaleidoscope canes look amazing! Another nice thing in any lesson are the words “easy to follow!” Looking forward to this one. ~DJ

Dearest Cindy, please TUT those ASAP. I am a butterfly girl, oh, and a shoe girl, oh and a cat girl, blah, blah,blah. I love those earrings. You are incredible. They are beautiful. I’ll be waiting with my butterfly cutters in hand till you TUT that. Please hurry. ~Bonnie-K

There goes that genius creative brain of yours again! Oh how I wish playing with my polymer clay would result in something like this. TUT PLEASE!!!! ~Elizabeth-S

I’d certainly be interested in this surface technique! :) The end result is quite striking and it sounds versatile enough to cater for all tastes from classically feminine to bold and modern. ~Sue-F

Cindy, I love butterflies, they make me happy! They’re so delicate and colorful. I paint them with inks so yes, definitely, I would love to be able to do them in polymer clay. ~Cheryl-H

I like the butterflies! I vote yes for the butterfly earrings and the different styles of earwires too… I like the idea of making my own earwires in copper. ~Lisa-W

I love the inked butterfly earrings and would love a video on them. Thanks for all the great tips and ideas. I also really want to thank you for your generosity in promoting other artists. I look forward to Fridays to see what new project you’ve thought up for us. Thanks! ~Beverly-L

Hi Cindy and all. Love those Inked butterfly earrings  and can’t wait til you put the video in here. I am a butterfly gal too and was just deciding to try to do some B/F earrings so this is timely. March on Cindy the Army is at your command!! LOL Love, ~Elizabeth-K

Hi Cindy, I would love to learn the butterfly earrings. ~Loretta-C

I also would love to learn this ink technique on the butterfly earrings. Cindy your colors and your ideas all are grand slam good. Count me in for a big 200% YES!!!! ~Peggy-B

Well today you all get to see the sneak peek of the Inked Butterfly Technique video. Then, coming up on Friday February 12th, the full tutorial will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library as Volume-021-2.

Supplies & Tools: Video-021-2: Inked Butterfly Technique:

  • Teardrop Blend. I used a teardrop blend going from Purple (Premo) to Ecru (Premo) to Turquoise (Premo). You could use any colors including a plain unblended sheet, if you wish.
  • Translucent Clay. I used regular Premo Translucent.

  • Pasta Machine or Acrylic Roller.

  • Clay Blade.

  • Staz-On Ink Pad Jet Black. Or other solvent based ink pad.

  • Background Rubber Stamps in any pattern you like.

  • Clay Cutter. I used a small 4 petaled flower, Makin’s cutter that looks a lot like a butterfly. You can use your own butterfly cutter or any other shape of your choice.

  • Old Burnt Out Incandescent Light Bulb.

  • Oven Proof Dish filled with cornstarch.

The full version of the Vid-021-2 Inked Butterfly Tutorial will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday Feb 12th, 2010. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

Click Video Play Button

Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Inked Butterflies” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-021 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I just want to say thanks for a wonderful month of videos. They are absolutely wonderful. These were my first as a new member, and so very worth it. For just $3, I got four amazing videos and a beautiful color palette of amazing recipes! For anyone who’s been thinking they might want to join but they’re not sure – do it! Believe me, it is such an good deal – an incredible value. You’ll be so happy you joined! ~Phaedrakat

The following topics are included in this week’s “Inked Butterfly Technique” video tutorial:

  • See examples of several different earrings and beads using the inking technique.
  • Discussion of the types of clay, ink and stamps you will need to do the technique.
  • Learn a simple trick for getting the inked look on your clay and still be able to sand the image to a glossy shine without damaging the ink patterns.
  • Tips on how to cut, bake and finish your butterflies and other shapes for creating beautiful polymer clay jewelry

The full version of the “Inked Butterflies” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-021 Back Issue Package.

  1. Elizabeth S., 09 February, 2010

    The butterfly tut is coming, yea!!

  2. Hollie, 27 September, 2010

    Elizabeth, I love the butterfly earrings. Where do or how do I get the instructions to make these. Hope you can help.
    Thanks, Hollie

  3. DawnB, 09 February, 2010

    This is going to be fun! Looks like quite a versatile technique. Thanks!

  4. Silverleaf, 09 February, 2010

    Cool! They look really good Cindy, looking forward to Friday as usual! :)

  5. Phaedrakat, 09 February, 2010

    Yippee! They’re comin’ soon…

    such beautiful butterflies!

  6. carolyn, 10 February, 2010

    Absolutely love the teardrop earwires. When do we get a tut on them?

  7. Cindy Lietz, 10 February, 2010

    @carolyn: A tutorial on handmade earwires is scheduled for the last week of this month [Volume-021-4].

  8. Jayne, 12 February, 2010

    Great tut, Cindy! You’ve given me some new ideas for a project using this surface inking technique. Tell me, are there any markers that will work on clay in lieu of ink pads?

  9. carolyn, 12 February, 2010

    Is there a reason that we cannot use our pigment ink pads for this project?

  10. Michelle C, 12 February, 2010

    Very clever use of the light bulb Cindy, in this inked butterfly tute!! I presume that no protection is needed for the metal part?

    Also… if this was Fimo, which is what I generally use (although I just bought a tiny bit of Kato to try out from the USA) what would the temps be and for how long?

    I would really appreciate it if you could also state approximate times for other clays where possible… as I’d hate to burn mine. Does Premo generally take longer? An hour seems such a long time for something so small.

    Useful tuturial.. many thanks from Finland!

  11. carolyn, 12 February, 2010

    @Michelle: It is the thickness of the piece that determines the time required. Cindy generally recommends the hour at 265-275 for all the pieces. I have followed this advice and have had no problems with burning. If the pieces are thicker I’ve even gone to 90 minutes. If the temp is right, the length of time won’t hurt the piece – it’s not like cookies that will burn if you leave them in the oven too long. Since the pieces do have to be in the oven for such a seemingly long time, I try to make quite a few pieces to bake in each batch – usually get my tiles or bead rack pretty full before I put them in the oven. Sometimes pieces wait over night or even a couple days before there are enough pieces to warrant having the oven on that long. If you follow the guidelines on the packages for Fimo and Kato – reduce the temp just a bit so spiking does not exceed the recommended temp and then about double the time they suggest, you should be in good shape. These things are from my experience, but others may have more to suggest.

  12. Brenda, 12 February, 2010

    @Cindy : Ah!! I have been waiting for you to teach something on using the cutters. This is great!!!!

    Will you be doing a tut on the hollow bead Technic in the upcoming weeks? or have you done one and I have overlooked it???

  13. Lisa Whitham, 12 February, 2010

    @Cindy – I watched the vidieo and didn’t see you put a hole in the butterflies. Did you drill the holes after baking?
    ~Lisa :)

  14. carolyn, 12 February, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: I noticed that also, Lisa. I also wondered why she didn’t use the plastic wrap trick when cutting.

  15. pamagela, 12 February, 2010

    Many thanks for the ink butterfly tutorial video… also from Italy

  16. Janet Allen, 12 February, 2010

    Hi Cindy, enjoyed the butterfly segment. I have a tip for the Staze On ink pad. If you place a clear adhesive dot (like Zots) between the inside cover and the protective plastic piece that you need to lift off, you don’t need to manually life the plastic piece off. It comes off with the cover.

  17. Sue, 12 February, 2010

    Just to follow up on Carolyn’s excellent response, if you do try this out with Kato, note that it has a higher curing temperature than other clays (and a shorter curing time at that higher temperature). For this kind of thing made with Kato, I’d bake at 150C / 300F (the recommended temperature) or slightly higher for 20 to 25 minutes (the shorter end of that range if what you’re baking on doesn’t absorb much heat itself, or the longer end of that range if it does).

  18. Cindy Lietz, 12 February, 2010

    Thank you everyone for the wonderful comments! Glad you liked the tutorial.

    There were a couple questions that I will answer right here.

    About using a pigment ink pad instead of the StazOn, you can if you like but the ink color and design will be much paler and less dense if you use the pigment ink. The StazOn is a thicker more intense ink and seems to stretch better along with the clay than the pigment ink does.

    As far as the hole goes, I often wait until after it’s baked to drill the hole, especially on thin items like this that are so easy to drill through. This leaves more options for using the beads later. (I may want to drill in the corner instead of the center, or even maybe drill two holes. It just depends what I’m making with them.)

    I showed how to smooth the edges with cornstarch this time rather than using the plastic wrap trick for beveling the edges, because it is good to know more than one way to do things.

    And finally, I like to bake Premo, Fimo and Sculpey for an hour no matter the thickness just to be sure it is properly cured. I can’t tell you how much better my beads have gotten in strength and durability since I have started doing that. You must bake at the temperature suggested on the package for these brands without going over, if you don’t want to burn them. As far as the other brands, I haven’t really worked with them so I can’t give you any advice other than following the package instructions.

    Sue knows best when it comes to ‘tweaking’ the Kato temps and times, since she has done a lot of meticulous testing. Follow her advice on that.

    Btw, Sue (and others) it would be a good idea to either add your last name or initial to your name, since there are many different Sue’s leaving comments here now. We wouldn’t want to get you all mixed up.

    You may also want to add your Gravatar photo in place of the sideways G by your name, so we really know who is who. Makes it a friendlier place that way. You can always use a photo of your beads or your pet or something if you don’t like to have your picture on the net. It is easy to upload your photo. Just click the link by my name to find out how.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 12 February, 2010

    @Brenda: I may do a hollow lentil bead tutorial in the future. It is a little in-depth for a ten minute video so it may need to wait until I can make it into a mini-course. If there were only more hours in a day! :)

  20. Phaedrakat, 12 February, 2010

    @Janet: Thanks for the Zots tip! I have several Staz-on colors as well as other ink pads that have those little protectors. They get so messy sometimes! It would be wonderful for them to come off with the lid, yet still do their job. I’m definitely going to give your tip a try.

    Cindy, thank you for yet another wonderful video! These little butterflies are so cute. The ink technique is going to be quite valuable — I already have a couple ideas for it. But first, I will have butterflies fluttering on my ears! (That is, until my sister nabs them from me.)

    BTW, I have those same stamps from Michaels. I saw them and thought, “$1 each, I have to get them. They have such a nice, deep impression for polymer (good for texture.)” The stamp is on an acrylic block, so I started thinking that in a pinch, I could use them for some of my small, clear stamps. Perhaps I could even roll small lentil beads with it? Yep, I got a bit carried away by the dollar bin stamps. But they really were a good buy…

  21. Susan B, 13 February, 2010

    @Cindy L
    I have uploaded a gravatar…Susan “B is for bead”! to help unmix all the Sues and Susans! This is a delightful technique — very pretty and very delicate just like real butterflies.

  22. Cindy Lietz, 13 February, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Isn’t it funny how those $1 bins usually turn into $5 bins or $10 bins. LOL.

    @Susan-B: Thanks so much for uploading your gravatar picture. Showing off a favorite bead is a great visual anchor!

    @Everyone: Susan-B has shown that the image you choose for your Gravatar does not have to be a face photo. It can actually be anything you would like to have represent and distinguish you. All part of my master place to get rid of those generic sideways G logos :-)

  23. Phaedrakat, 14 February, 2010

    I’ll get there, Cindy. Bear with me!

  24. Silverleaf, 14 February, 2010

    Think I’ll try this with darker colours so I can use the metallic pigment inks I got for the lace technique. :)

  25. Phaedrakat, 14 February, 2010

    Silverleaf, that sounds like a pretty idea! Show us pictures when you’re done — we know you make beautiful things…;-)

  26. Brenda, 17 February, 2010

    ok, I am having trouble with the transparency not looking clear. Any recommendations on what type to buy? Also my first set burnt :(

    I made a necklace with pink ribbon to match the pink butterflies it has four dangling from it, and matching earrings for my grand-daughter she is five. I let her help put the jump-rings on the butterflies. they where not the prettiest butterflies but she loved them :)

  27. carolyn, 17 February, 2010

    @Brenda: Cindy discusses – in detail – the different types of translucent clay at this link: Comparison of Translucent Polymer Clay Brands

    Make sure that your oven is set so that the highest spike will be no higher than 275° – that oven thermometer is so important!

  28. Sue F, 17 February, 2010


    Just thought I’d mention that in my experience, Kato Translucent is one of the LEAST clear translucent clays, rather than one of the most as Cindy’s article indicates. And this is coming from a total Kato die-hard! ;D

    I normally use Premo Frost, which I’ve found to be the clearest of the translucent clays although it has a slight pinkish tinge. Regular Premo Translucent is similarly clear but with a stronger pinkish tinge.

    When Premo’s pinkish tinge will cause a problem, I’ve occasionally used Fimo Effects No. 8020 Transparent instead. It’s also quite clear as long as you only work it a little bit, is significantly clearer than Kato Translucent, and like Kato Translucent it doesn’t have any colour at all. Unfortunately, as Cindy mentions in her article, it is quite prone to plaquing, so I only give it a single pass through the pasta machine to get an even sheet before using it; if you try to condition it normally, you get lots of “moonies”. The other problem for me is that its curing temperature is on the very low side of the scale (110C/230F), where I mostly use Kato clay which is on the very high side of the curing temperature scale (150C/300F). So they don’t really go all that well together… either the Fimo is cured too hot and discolours a bit after all, or the Kato is cured at too low a temperature and isn’t its normal strength and hardness.

    A couple of other thoughts…

    When you take your translucent-covered pieces out of the oven, pop them straight into a bowl of ice water. That helps the transparency a bit.

    With Premo and Kato translucent clays, you can also improve the clarity a bit by giving them a quick blast with a heat gun, after taking them out of the oven and before dunking them into the ice water. While I’ve seen claims that this makes it “crystal clear” it’s never done that for me. However, when I’ve done controlled testing on it is has improved the transparency to a small but noticeable degree.

    And one final sidenote: When doing my translucent clay testing, I discovered that Premo Frost cured at a steady but moderately higher than normal temperature for a very long time becomes extremely transparent and golden, very much like amber-coloured glass. So if you want a golden transparent effect you can do that if your oven doesn’t spike, instead of say tinting translucent with alcohol ink and then curing at the normal temperature.

  29. Cindy Lietz, 17 February, 2010

    I am happy to stand corrected if I need to be Sue, since you are much more of an expert when it comes to Kato Polyclay. I got my information through research and watching Donna Kato herself get amazingly clear results after using a heat gun on a baked piece. It would be great to know what her secret is, since as you said, you were unable to get that result.

  30. Sue F, 17 February, 2010

    @Cindy: I too have seen reports elsewhere that Kato is one of the clearer translucent clays. But I’ve also seen other reports elsewhere that agree with my own findings about it being one of the least clear of the translucent clays. For example:

    If Donna Kato does get amazingly clear results with her translucent, I’d love to know the secret too! A heat gun helps, but not enough.

    On the other hand, Kato Clear Medium / Liquid Polyclay becomes completely transparent with a heat gun, although it’s usually slightly milky after oven curing only. That’s the only one that I’ve seen Donna Kato demonstrate, but I don’t have access to anywhere near as many videos here as you lucky North Americans do! I often use several coats of Kato Clear Medium to get a lovely glass-encased look (resin would probably do a similar thing, but I haven’t played with resin yet).

  31. Sue F, 17 February, 2010

    I just ran a few Kato translucent samples again to see how clear I could get them, and the results were still “not very”.

    I tried both the older (phthalate) clay and the phthalate-free formulation that followed it, taken straight from the packet as I’ve read that moisture reduces the transparency. For each, I had samples that had only a single pass through the pasta machine, and samples that had been conditioned normally. I tested samples with and without the heat gun; all samples got the ice water bath treatment. I also tested at both 150C/300F and 130C/265F.

    Even at the second-thinnest setting on my pasta machine (#8, 0.7mm when the cured sample was measured with calipers), it wasn’t particularly easy to read a printed page through any of the Kato samples. It was actually slightly easier to read a printed page through a #3 (1.8mm) Premo Frost sample than any of the #8 (0.7mm) Kato Translucent samples!

    So I’d really, really like to know how people get Kato Translucent to be clearer than other brands.

    By the way, I didn’t mean any of the above posts as corrections as such… I just wanted to let people know what I’d observed in my own testing because I’ve seen a lot of contradictory information around, and not just about Kato. It does make me wonder again about the speculation on different formulations that Penny mentioned in another thread: Kato PolyClay Color Recipes

  32. Cindy Lietz, 17 February, 2010

    Thank you so much Sue for sharing the results of your tests with us! There is nothing better than real life results to get to the matter of things. I love how absolutely thorough you are. It sure is appreciated! In future posts I will mention your findings if the topic of clarity comes up again. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! :-)

  33. Michelle C, 19 February, 2010

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the replies about baking. Much appreciated. Sorry its taken me a week to reply. I forgot to check the box for follow up comments!

    Just in case there are other Michelles here.. Ive signed in my name as Michelle Rainbow. I just LOVE them! I’d love a tutorial on making a rainbow arc pendant! :D

    Have a nice weekend!

  34. Phaedrakat, 21 February, 2010

    @Michelle – Rainbow: Rainbows are beautiful, aren’t they? There are lots of ways to do them with polymer clay. You can stack multiple color layers, or you can do a rainbow blend. Cindy’s modified Skinner blend (dubbed the Lietz Teardrop Method by its fans!) is a super-easy way to go, especially when using many colors.

    There are lots of articles on this site with rainbow-inspired items. Here’s one: J-Earrings Rainbow Jewelry

    And you can find more by using the search box. Actually, quite a few of Cindy’s video tuts & techniques can be used to make various kinds of rainbow pendants. Just substitute a multi-color blend or stacks of color for the suggestions in the tutorials. Have fun creating — Happy Claying!

  35. Brenda, 19 February, 2010

    Thank You ladies for sharing this info with me. I have company all weekend so no play for me :( But I will try some of these tips and let you know how it goes.

  36. Michelle C, 22 February, 2010

    Thanks. Yes, I have seen those, but what I was really meaning was a rainbow and rainbow shaped…small ones for necklace and earrings. I have done layers of colour but they have always been flat stripes, if I bend them the colours dont go right.

    I would like to see a real tutorial on rainbows that I could follow. It is probably a very simple thing for others, who have been at this a long time, but me.. I am right at the beginning. :D

    Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

  37. Phaedrakat, 22 February, 2010

    @Michelle Rainbow: Hi, Michelle, have you taken the Fundamentals course? It would give you a better understanding of how to manipulate the clay to get what you want. You could make a rainbow by doing a simple Bull’s Eye Cane or a Spiral/Jellyroll cane.

    These links go to the articles, which will give you some information, but the actual videos are in the Fundamentals/Polymer Clay Basics course.

    Anyway, if you look at the picture of the Bull’s Eye cane, you’ll see that it is a rainbow, of sorts. You could make the cane with layers of multiple colors, then just take a slice of it. Then cut the SLICE in half, and there’s your rainbow arch! The technique I’m talking about is based on thinking you want something like the earrings in this photo I found (no idea who it belongs to, it’s just the first simple rainbow I saw:) — retroandbeyondvintage.com/

    If this is what you’re looking for, cutting a Bull’s Eye cane slice in half would work perfectly. Or, if you want something a little “funkier,” take a look at today’s post. Cindy has a new tut coming out in March with a beautiful, rainbow-colored cane. A cane like this would work, and even glows in the dark!

    Now, if you wanted a larger arch, you could make the center of the cane larger, using a big log of white clay (or translucent.) Or, you could cut your cane slice in half, and then use a small, round cutter to remove the middle of the slice, leaving just the outer “arch” part. This is hard to describe in words — I hope you know what I mean. :-)

  38. alexa, 22 February, 2010

    I love this video!
    Yesterday I bought Staz-On Ink Pad but they had no more black, I’ve packed dark purple. I hope it also works with purple. I will try it as soon as possible :)

  39. Phaedrakat, 22 February, 2010

    @alexa: Hi Alexa, those Staz-On inks are really intense, and the purple is a dark color. I’ll bet it shows up just fine!

  40. Michelle C, 23 February, 2010

    Hi Phaedrakat…an obviously fellow lover of feline friends! :D Thanks for taking the time to reply to me. Really nice of you.

    NO, I have not taken that course. Mainly because of the expense. I would much rather have that course in separate units – or cut into four sections – or even better still with the ability to choose which bits I elect to watch… more simply I just cannot afford it. For me, it is too much in one payment.

    I am currently unemployed and any money I have in Paypal is from selling my personal bits and pieces online and not attached to a credit card. With people holding on to their money at the moment, what with the recession, my Paypal account is quite empty. My Mother gifted me my intial joining fees and a couple of backdated tutorials as a Christmas and birthday present – in fact its still in her name and I must change it over soon or she will get charged again in March! oops…

    I have found lots of useful information elsewhere online so I know quite a bit of the basics, (I was more of a modeller of Fimo than anything else beforehand – especially of Goddess figures) but I do want to get that course when I can – as I am sure it holds gems of info with regard to this realm of pmc using. Watching is always better than just reading isnt it! :D

    The rainbow earrings you showed are something I can do, they are simple enough. What I really mean is something more like a real rainbow effect… soft and delicate in the exchange of colours.. muted, like rainbows are…watercolourish and soft as the colours filter together…but small enough to be earrings and jewellery. The basic rainbow shown whilst the right idea of shape etc… was hard colours in each layer and that is not what I want to achieve.

    The idea of using a bullseye is very helpful though, thanks! Yes, I totally understood your descriptions. I guess I will have to try with a really teeny-tiny teardrop blend.

    Thanks for the heads up about the forthcoming tutorial.. I have to say it looks lovely! :D

    Thanks again!

  41. Silverleaf, 23 February, 2010

    @Michelle – Rainbow:

    How about this – start with a long rainbow Skinner blend (not a tiny one) on the thinnest setting, and a log of scrap clay. Starting with the purple end, wrap the blend around the log in a spiral, like you were making a regular Skinner blend cane.

    If your blend is big enough and thin enough, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the layers once it’s reduced a little bit.

    When it’s reduced to the size you want, cut it in half straight down the middle to make two semi-circle canes. Cut into slices, and cut out the scrap clay centre and you have rainbows!

    Or even better, you could use Idit Zoota’s play-doh technique, adding a thin layer of play-doh around the scrap clay centre before you wrap the blend. Then when you cut the slices you can peel off the scrap clay and put the slices in water to dissolve any remaining play-doh. There’s a tutorial for this here artbyyonat.polyclayplay.com/PlayDohVideo/IditsTech.pdf

    I’d make my own colours for the blend using translucent with either alcohol inks or little pieces of coloured clay.

    You know what, maybe I’ll write my own tutorial! :)

  42. Silverleaf, 23 February, 2010

    I actually went away and had a go at this! Scrap clay core, play-doh, rainbow blend made with small amounts of colours in Premo Frost. I made my own dough with flour, water, salt and vegetable oil from instructions I found on the internet – much cheaper than buying the “real” play-doh!

    And it works! Yay! My little rainbows are about 3/4 inch at the base and I made them quite thick and pierced them top to bottom so I can use them as charms or earrings.

    I haven’t baked them yet but I’m really looking forward to seeing how they come out.

  43. Phaedrakat, 23 February, 2010

    @Silverleaf: That’s awesome! Looks like Michelle-Rainbow was quite inspirational. I was trying to help, but I couldn’t get very technical until I found out the exact look she was going for (there are lots of ways to do rainbows.) I’m glad that you figured out the best (and really smart!) way to achieve the look she’s hoping for. I can’t wait to find out how your little rainbows turn out — are you going to show us pictures? Please…?

  44. Silverleaf, 24 February, 2010

    Yes of course I’ll show you pictures! I baked the rainbows today and they look good – it’s my first time working with coloured translucent Premo (I’m used to Fimo) to these were really a test run to see how much darker the colours got when baked. I think my rainbows will be darker than Michelle wanted but it would be easy to change that by using more translucent in the mix.

    I’m waiting until I have more beads baked so I can sand everything in my rock tumbler, then I’ll polish them and take pictures.

    I thought I’d combine the rainbows with clouds and raindrops, inspired by Cindy’s earrings she showed us – I love those so it would be cool to make my own version. I’ve started on the clouds using white/translucent jellyroll canes combined to make a cloud-like shaped cane. I might make little suns too.

    I love how much everyone inspires me, I should end up with some cute earrings pretty much out of nowhere. :)

    Phaedrakat, I don’t know if I have you on Facebook – my profile is at facebook.com/silverleaf79?ref=profile.

  45. cristina oliveira, 26 February, 2010

    Hi Cindy
    Let me ask you a doubt that hapen to me whem I did this earings- my translucent clay was Fimo that I used and it stay after I baked full of white spots , horrible.
    Do you think maybe it was the oven temperature, I used the correct one that is in the package or it was air that stay on the clay? Maybe you can solve my problem.
    thank´s cristina from Portugal

  46. Silverleaf, 26 February, 2010

    @cristina oliveira: That sounds like tiny air bubbles between the layers of clay. I had the same problem myself with Premo. I don’t know the best way to stop that happening.

    Or maybe it’s the translucent clay “plaquing”, Fimo does that a lot, gets little white marks in it. It gets worse if you over condition your clay so it might help to condition it less.

  47. cristina oliveira, 26 February, 2010

    thank you for your comments, do you think that kato or premo clay are better to use?
    The term is plaquing what happened to my earings.

  48. Silverleaf, 26 February, 2010

    @cristina oliveira: I like Premo myself because I find Kato too hard to condition. Premo is firmer than Fimo but still soft enough to work with easily. But other people think Kato is much better!

    Hopefully Cindy (or someone) will be able to help you better than me with your plaquing.

  49. Phaedrakat, 26 February, 2010

    @cristina o.: Sounds like Silverleaf gave you some excellent advice about your plaquing problem. I also found an article that discusses it, if you want a little more info. In it, Cindy talks about Comparing Translucent Clays, and confirms that Fimo Translucent is well-known for plaquing. The article also says, “Moisture on your hands and over-working the clays will cause more plaquing.” So, as suggested, condition your clay just slightly. Try not to handle it too much (which introduces moisture,) and keep your hands dry. The article has another tip about adding a bit of opaque clay… Well, you should check it out! Click on the article to find tips on baking translucent clays, as well as choosing one from the different brands. Don’t forget to read the comments at the bottom, as well — you can usually find lots of extra information there!

  50. Cindy Lietz, 17 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Jewelry Projects

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Inked Butterfly Earrings), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Carole Holt. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment. Your feedback, support and fun conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address each of your comments individually, please know that I do read them all. ~Cindy

  51. Deborah E., 10 August, 2010

    Hi Cindy,

    I’m wondering what you used to get the high gloss on your inked butterflies.

    Thank so much.


  52. carolyn, 11 August, 2010

    @Deborah E.: Without relistening to the video for a clue, I’d say these were just sanded and buffed. Cindy is a master at sanding and buffing!

  53. Mrs Rainbow, 11 August, 2010

    Yes, I just rewatched it and it was just lightly sanded and buffed with a 400-600 sandpaper onwards….

  54. Phaedrakat, 11 August, 2010

    @Mrs Rainbow: Nice to see you back here—it’s been awhile. Missed seeing you & your very cheerful name! :D

  55. carolyn, 11 August, 2010

    Love your name! Thanks for rewatching and giving a definitive answer.

  56. Mrs Rainbow, 11 August, 2010

    Sorry! I have been watching the vids weekly though.. but just not had time for any forums.

    I am a moderator on specialistauctions for the craft dept and that generally keeps me more than busy online. I’ve also been tied up with my sons leaving home… (I have an empty nest now) Just not enough hours in the day.. not even during our Lapland summer.. when the sun doesn’t set and we get 24 hour day light!!

    Nice to have such a warm welcome back though! ((((Thanks!))))

  57. carolyn, 27 September, 2010

    @Hollie – The instructions are in Cindy’s Tutorial Volume #021. Near the top of this string you can find out how to purchase this volume for yourself.

  58. Hollie, 28 September, 2010

    Thank you so much for responding. I really appreciate it. Hollie

  59. Cindy Lietz, 28 September, 2010

    Yes, thank you Carolyn for responding to Hollie. I’ve also put the direct link by my name just above, to where you can purchase the the Vol-021 back issue package. Have fun making the butterfly earrings, Hollie.

  60. Marion K, 21 June, 2011

    Hi Cindy,
    i dont have a bulb thats done, only 1 new. I wonder,if i use that and put it in the oven can it explode or something else nasty happen?

  61. Jocelyn, 22 June, 2011

    @Marion K: I’ve only used burnt out ones, all shapes, and have had a lot of fun with it (thin little bowls, etc.) but since they are made to resist power surges, think you’ll be fine with a new one.

    Just make sure it’s anchored so it doesn’t roll around in there and mark your hard work.

    Word to the wise for all, I’d start hoarding (lol) all those incandescent bulbs since it seems like they are phasing them out quickly. The new squiggly bulbs are taking over, and not at all sure if these new ones are oven safe.

    Does anyone know?

  62. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2011

    @Jocelyn: Yeah, I’ve wondered if the new “squigglies” are oven-safe, too. I’ve also seen some of the new bulbs come in the same shape as the old incandescents (an extra layer of glass covers the “squigglies”). Hopefully, someone will know if it’s safe to use that same old curve for our beads!

  63. Jocelyn, 26 June, 2011

    @Phaedrakat: Thinking I’m going to haunt EBAY, etc. for some scientific glass structures. Doing these strands wrapped around a glass rod (Hee hee, Mom’s collection of glass drink sticks…some work), can give you some radical sqwuiggles. Make great earrings…

    Also will take a look at whole floral glass shapes to use as molds for polymer clay. Anyone else have any ideas?

    Hope you and yours are well and happy, Kat!

  64. Cindy Lietz, 28 June, 2011

    @Marion K: Since regular incandescent light bulbs get hot in use, they are fine to bake on, even if they are not burnt out yet. I have never heard of them exploding in the oven, though as always, I would let them cool down naturally on there own. In other words, don’t plunge a hot light bulb with clay on it, into a bath of ice water to cool. Then it probably would explode… or at least break. Just use caution whenever you use glass and heat together.

    @Jocelyn and Phaedrakat: Thanks for helping Marion. I don’t know what I would do without the two of you!

    As far as baking on those squiggly florescent bulbs, I wouldn’t do that. Unlike the regular bulbs, they are not designed to get hot. Plus many of them contain mercury that would not be good if you got exposed to.

    As far as alternative curved baking surfaces, there are stainless culinary molds that are meant to be baked on that would work, but they can be very expensive. I have also heard that IKEA caries some rather large half dome door knobs that work well for baking on. I also have some ideas for making some domed silicone molds that I will do a tutorial on sometime soon. So don’t worry… if there are no regular bulbs left in the world, we will find something else!

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