Welcome to my blog of all my crafting adventures! You can become a fan of my Facebook page by clicking on the icon on the right. If you are local to College Station, TX and are interested in purchasing any of my items I sell at the Farmer's Market, please email lisa@lilyandoak.com.

My new website is up and running! You'll find it at www.lilyandoak.com. All of my Scent Melts and warmers are listed. I am working on pendants and magnet sets next. If what you want is not there yet, let me know what you'll looking for and I'll get it set up next.

Places I'll be selling:

February 19th--Brazos Valley Farmers Market in Bryan 8:00AM to Noon--Looks like it might rain, so I might stay home. :)

February 26th--Brazos Valley Farmers Market in Bryan 8:00AM to Noon

You can always contact me to view my products at my home in College Station.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Polymer Clay Image Transfers

I have recently decided to give polymer clay a try as a crafting medium. I was intrigued by some items on Etsy done with image transfers onto polymer clay. It looked neat and a great way to once again hybridize my crafting with my scrapbook design work. After doing a little research, I found that you can use inkjet printable t-shirt heat transfer paper. I bought some Avery brand light colored t-shirt transfer paper at Walmart and decided to give it a try.

I printed off a few designs from my collection of images onto a sheet of transfer paper. I cut them out close to the edges of the images, except on the words. Also, I flipped the images so that they would be correct once transferred to the clay. This is most evident with the "test" images.

Previously, I had test baked samples of the various polymer clays available at my local Joanns, Hobby Lobby and Michaels. I found that the Sculpey Premo brand was the most flexible and least brittle once baked. My other test squares all snapped in half with not too much effort. The Premo bent into a "U" shape without breaking at all. I also rolled out some white Premo using the thickest setting on my clay machine (Sculpey brand purchased at Joanns--reg priced $25, but paid $15 with 40% off coupon). Using clay shape cutters, I cut several small shapes. I use a smooth bathroom tile from Home Depot for my work surface. I can pop it right in the oven and I don't have to worry about the clay chemicals on my kitchen table. The clay should not be used with any tools that will later be used to prepare food. I then place an image on each one and rubbed to get all parts firmly attached to the clay.

Next came baking--275 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Remove the clay and gently pull off the paper. Continue baking to finish polymerizing the clay. The Premo clay requires 30 minutes total for a 1/4 inch thick piece. Mine are about 1/8 inch thick, but 30 minutes seemed fine.

The transfer worked great in that the image was transferred in vivid colors to the clay, but I did not like the edge that was left by the small border of unprinted transfer paper. In the future, I will try to have the paper go completely to the edge of the clay.

On the rose, there was a tiny pinhole in the clay that was really obvious in the finished image. This is a good example of why it's important to make sure the clay is smooth and the entire image is firmly in contact with the clay.
Overall, this image transfer method definitely has potential. One huge advantage for me is that it works with inkjet printers. There are other methods, but many require laser prints and most of us do not have a color laser printer in our home. Stay tuned to see my future image transfer projects. On the list of things to do is to make zipper pulls for my kids that have their names on the back--in case they misplace their belongings.

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