Polymer Clay Tutorial | Ivy Leaf Charms Jewelry Project [Video]

Ivy Leaf CharmVid #154: “So
clever… I love
the shape of it and
the copper tendril is
genius.” ~Linda-K

With May now upon us, that means it’s time to start a brand new volume of videos at the Polymer Clay Library. And to kick things off, we’ll begin with a tutorial on how to make an ivy leaf charm patterned from a real ivy leaf. This technique can also be adapted to work with other leaf shapes, including many of the realistic looking leaves used on silk or artificial plants.

Listed below are just a few of the comments from those of you who have already expressed an interest in wanting to learn how to make ivy leaf charms of your own.

I love the charms and recognize how versatile they could be in creating all sorts of things. I’d love a tut.

Cindy – Wow, another absolutely beautiful piece of jewelry… I wish I had just half of your creativity!! Amazing!!! Not sure where I’d find an Ivy leaf to copy, but I’m game… maybe I could find some plastic ivy at the dollar store. So that would be a yes from me. ~Lisa-W

I love the idea of knowing how to do different kinds of leaves. I could make fall leaves as “welcome beads” for my next year’s class. I am so happy about all the coming tutorials. ~Jill-V

Yes please. Looking forward as usual to any video topic, and this seems very versatile. By the way your copper findings are fab such a lovely finish to the necklace.

Howzat! Cindy scores again! Yes please to the Ivy Leaf Charm. Such a charming story about baby Ivy and her sister Olive and I love that you made the ivy leaf bead using a real leaf. There are so many beautiful leaves we could use in this way (I think I’ve already rhapsodized about frangipani leaves!), once Cindy shows us how. ~Mary-U

I vote YES! The entire necklace is beautiful and so clever, but it’s the leaf that caught my attention. I love the shape of it and the copper tendril is genius. ~Linda-K

Well I am happy to say that the Ivy Leaf Charm tutorial has now been filmed and will be posted on Friday May 7th, 2010 at the Polymer Clay Video Library (Vol-024-1).

Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly 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 or Teardrop 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.

Supplies & Tools: Video-024-1: Ivy Leaf Charm:

  • Real Ivy Leaf. You could use other leaf shapes as well, including artificial leaves, as long as they are imprinted with natural looking veins.
  • Clay Blade.
  • Pasta Machine.
  • Good knowledge of making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends.
  • Strong clay in 1 or two colors. I used 1 square each of Studio by Sculpey clay in Wasabi and Spanish Olive. But Premo, Fimo or Kato in the colors of your choice, would also work just fine.
  • Straight Pin.
  • Incandescent light bulb. An old burnt out one will work just fine. I set mine in a dish of cornstarch to keep from rolling around in the oven while baking.
  • Headpin. I used one of my handmade balled copper headpins. You could use any headpin of your choice or just use a jump ring to hang your charm. The softer the wire, the easier it will be to wrap and twist.
  • Skewer or skinny bead mandrel for wrapping wire (optional).
  • Round Nose Pliers (optional).

The full version of the Vid-024-1 Ivy Leaf Charm video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday May 7, 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 “Ivy Leaf Charm” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-024 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy, I have been a member of your Polymer Clay Video Library for well over a year, and only just recently purchased the Beginners Course. It is worth every penny and I should have purchased it sooner. I have taken quite a few PC classes at the local craft stores and paid $20.00 a lesson and did not learn half of what I learned with your course. Each video teaches me some thing I did not know before! At the craft store we would spend about 2 hours being instructed and then when I went home I would not remember half of what I was taught because I was too busy following instructions and couldn’t take notes. With your course I can take my time and watch it over and over whenever I want and it is like you are teaching only me and concentrating on me alone instead of 4 or 5 people. I love it!! Thanks so much for the time and energy you put into your work! I enjoy everything you do! ~Maureen-G

The following topics are included in this week’s Ivy Leaf Charm video tutorial:

  • See examples of several different leaf charms in a several different sizes, as well as an example of a finished necklace using the charm.
  • Discussion of the colors and blends needed for thisĀ  polymer clay bead project.
  • Learn how to cut out and texture this natural bead shape using a super simple “tool” found in everyone’s home.
  • Tips on how to make the perfect edges and realistic shape for your ivy leaf charms.
  • Find out how to bake your leaf charms so they end up looking like a real leaf.
  • Learn how to add that special touch by creating a vine-like wire tendril to hang your charm by.

The full version of the “Ivy Leaf Charm” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-024 Back Issue Package.

  1. Peggy Barnes, 04 May, 2010

    Another can’t wait for FRIDAY. Got an ivy plant so I am ready. Just have to check my Studio by Sculpey clay to see if I have the right colors. If not I know I will have something in Premo that will work. Thank you again Cindy and Doug for bringing another great tute to us this Friday.
    Hope you enjoyed your Sunday even though Cindy couldn’t stay away the whole day. Shame on me for not asking yesterday.
    Uuuuuggggs, Peggy

  2. Ritzs, 04 May, 2010

    I am so looking forward to this tut, I feel it is something a little different We have just rescued a tree by striping the Ivy from it and now I am going to make some, (shuhuhu wont tell my husband ) cant wait for Friday.

  3. Elizabeth S., 04 May, 2010

    Ivy doesn’t do well in the hot west Texas climate so I may have to go the artificial route, but no matter. I’ll figure something out and will be ready and waiting on Friday. Thanks, Cindy and Doug.

  4. Silverleaf, 04 May, 2010

    I’m always up for anything leaf-shaped! I have a silver leaf pendant which I wear a lot – since my business name has “Silverleaf” in it as well I’m advertising myself subtly by wearing something cool. I’d definitely like to make one like yours in silver.

    I guess I could try one of two ways – black clay with silver mica powder for a sort of “old silver” look, possibly antiqued with acrylic paint as well, or silver transfer foil. Looking forward to it!

  5. Koolbraider, 04 May, 2010

    Yay, another reason to visit Michael’s!!! (As if I needed one…) I’ve never used the Studio clay. Cindy, will you be including the reason for using Studio rather than other clays? I love greenery so can hardly wait for Friday.

  6. Ken H, 04 May, 2010

    Ok, this really looks interesting, and since it can be done with “other” leaves as well, makes it that much more useful, I have a question though, if I’m starting to make stock to sell, what season/holiday should I be focusing on now that it’s May?

  7. Cindy Lietz, 04 May, 2010

    Thank you everyone! I’m glad you’re excited!

    @Koolbraider: I like to use Studio by Sculpey for these types of projects because of the suede like feel of the clay and the flexibility. But Premo, Kato and other strong clay brands will work as well.

    @Ken H: I’d work on Summer stuff right now if you’re going to be selling direct to customers. If you are selling wholesale, then I would work on Fall. Usually one to two seasons ahead is the best way to go. I’ve linked to last years trend article which will help you do research on future trends.

  8. Phaedrakat, 05 May, 2010

    These charms look so cute, I can’t wait to learn how to make them! I’ll have to “borrow” some of my neighbor’s Ivy, but I’m ready-to-go with the Studio by Sculpey clay. (A few weeks ago, I got all of the green & several other colors on clearance at Michael’s — $0.97!) I’ve been eager to try-out my new clay, and this is the perfect project for it. One of my houseplants has some really cute, tiny leaves. I’ll probably want to recreate them with this technique, as well. I know they’d make really cute charms. Oh, this is going to be so much fun!

    I’m also super-excited about the animal cane videos this month. Next week Cindy’s teaching the leopard cane, and two weeks after that — the zebra! And of course, the resin video happening the Friday in-between them~I’ve been waiting for that for so long! I feel like this is “my month” for tutes! As for anyone out there who’s on the fence about whether to become a member or not, this is a fantastic time to sign up!

  9. Carole Holt, 05 May, 2010

    looking forwards to Friday yet again this tut will be great i must buy an old fasioned lightbulb as all ours are the new low energy bulbs.Why do they think that now we are older we need these .i would prefer more light not less (sorry abot that little moan )anyway i hope to join in the fun on Friday.

  10. Phaedrakat, 06 May, 2010

    @Carole Holt: The new bulbs are kinda scary with the mercury warnings. Do you have recycling centers set up to accept these CFL bulbs there in England? Any special handling procedure, or do people just toss them in the trash like they do here in the US?

    I’ll moan with you about the light. They’re different, much dimmer than the old ones. I buy 100W (equivalent) CFL’s to replace some of my 60 or 75W incandescents. It gives me brighter light, while using a little less wattage. The energy savings aren’t what they could be, though. But since I’m good about turning off lights I’m not using, I don’t regret having the brighter bulbs!

  11. Linda K., 09 May, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Kat, I agree that the CFL bulbs are scary, especially if you break one and the mercury escapes. I’d definitely be afraid to put one in my clay oven. People who toss them into the trash don’t realize what they’re doing.

    I really dislike the light that the CFLs give, so I have mixed feelings about using them. The biggest problem is that I already use the highest wattage allowed in my lamps. When I switch to the CFLs, I can’t go up to a higher wattage to make up for the loss of brightness.

  12. Phaedrakat, 10 May, 2010

    @Linda K.: I feel the same way — the CFL lighting is so dim, it’s annoying! That’s such a pain how you’ve “maxed-out” on your bulbs. Oh, no! Pretty soon, you won’t have much choice, either — it’s getting much harder to find the incandescent bulbs lately! You’d better stock up on the ones you need for your lamps; if not, you might end up having to buy more lighting! :(

    I love your idea of a painting with polymer leaves as accents. I can’t wait to see what you come up with — hopefully we’ll end up seeing it as a spotlight here at the blog, too. It would be a fun change, and yet fitting (it IS based on Cindy’s tutorials…) ~Kat

    @Maria: I ran across this tip in another comment: Use acetone to tone down shine from baking on sleek surfaces, just like the backs of these leaves. Haven’t tried it yet, but if it removes fingerprints, then it must work for the shine! I imagine a gentle touch would be the best way to start, with just a little bit on a Q-tip. Then add more if needed. Let us know if this works for you, or whatever else you find works best! Thanks!

  13. Koolbraider, 05 May, 2010

    Looks like I need to research Studio by Sclulpey quick! It’s in the local stores and I have coupons!!!

  14. pollyanna, 05 May, 2010

    I can’t wait for this tute also. I’m picturing a necklace with various fall colored leaves. hmmmmm

  15. Cara H, 05 May, 2010

    Cindy thanks for the supply list, it is nice to have a chance to get stuff organised before Friday. looking forward to Friday.

  16. Phaedrakat, 06 May, 2010

    Someone mentioned putting aside some old light bulbs, as they were getting harder to find these days. I saw some new ones in the store — compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) covered with a layer of glass shaped like the old incandescents! They were priced high, though I didn’t see if they had any improvements (like the ability to be used in closed fixtures or whatever.) But, as for our clay purposes, the shape was there. Good to know if we run out of our old burned-out bulbs for a project. I wonder though, how the CFLs would handle the oven heat. There’s potential danger, since the newer bulbs are low-wattage, contain mercury, and often have instructions not to be used in enclosed fixtures. Never-mind! Probably best to save those old incandescents after all!

  17. christine le grice, 07 May, 2010

    Love these leaves, I’m also thinking metallic, bronze would be good.Made rather alot of green recently with the jade which I am very pleased with as well. thanks Cindy

  18. Peggy Barnes, 07 May, 2010

    SUPER AWESOME TUTE -This is one of my favorites. Just love the endless possibilities with different leaves. As always you and Doug have given your best and I am looking so forward to trying this tute.
    Once again have a super weekend and Happy Mother’s Day Cindy.
    Uuuuuugggggs, Peggy

  19. Silverleaf, 07 May, 2010

    Cool – I’ve tried this with black clay covered in red transfer foil and a beech leaf – the ivy leaves in my garden are really small. Looking good so far, will see how it looks when it’s baked.

  20. Maria, 07 May, 2010

    Great tutorial Cindy. I was wondering regarding baking on light bulbs -(which I do, BTW)- the back comes out too “plasticy” and shiny looking. If you were to use this as earrings, you can see the back. Wondering if anyone has some suggestions re making the back part look better.

  21. Linda K., 09 May, 2010

    @Maria: Would the Studio Satin Glaze fix the shine? I just bought some, so I haven’t experimented with it much. I did use it to seal a bead with Pearl-Ex and I think it has less shine with the glaze than without.

  22. Phaedrakat, 07 May, 2010

    Awesome video & technique! Thank you Cindy & Doug. This is another shining example of the extraordinary tutorials you guys make. I can’t wait to try — it seems pretty simple, and yet the results look intricate & detailed. It’s gonna be fun, experimenting with various leaves, & using different colors to antique them. I’m imagining all kinds of fun effects! Thanks again!

  23. Elizabeth S., 08 May, 2010

    I finally had a chance to watch the ivy leaf video and as usual I can’t wait to try the technique. Thanks Cindy & Doug!

  24. Linda K., 09 May, 2010

    I love this tut. I’m thinking of painting some grapevines and embellishing the painting with a few clay leaves to give it dimension. Still working it out in my head, but I think this technique is just what I need!!

  25. Linda K., 10 May, 2010

    It crossed my mind to wonder if using the Studio clay avoids the shiny back.

  26. Phaedrakat, 11 May, 2010

    @Linda K.: True! Hmmm…Cindy would know, since that’s what she used!

    Cindy — did your Ivy Leaves have shiny backs from having been baked on glass? Or did the texture of the Studio clay keep their back’s matte?

  27. Cindy Lietz, 11 May, 2010

    Hi guys, sorry to take song long to pop in here.

    As far as the shine on the back, just sand them with a coarse grit sandpaper like 320 or 400. That will remove the shine and make it more matte like the front. Using an antique finish like the Studio by Sculpey Antiquing Medium or even shoe polish, will minimize that shiny inside finish as well.

  28. Laurel, 15 May, 2010

    I am sooo behind. I just now got to watch this tutorial. These are so adoreable. I really love them. I am anxious to make some.

  29. Cindy Lietz, 01 June, 2010

    NEW PHOTOS ADDED… that relate to the theme of this page… Ivy Leaf Charms. Click on the link by my name for the full story from Brenda-M.

    Polymer Clay Projects

  30. Alice Frei, 24 February, 2011

    Since I changed my payment method to not be paypal how do I purchase back videos?

  31. Cindy Lietz, 24 February, 2011

    Hi Alice… you purchase back issues from the same back issue order page as before. The link by my name will take you there.

    The new “Add to Cart” links will allow you to add as many back issues as you like, to the new shopping cart system, so you can purchase multiple back issues in a single transaction at the check out page.

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials