Friday, February 19, 2016

Guest Designer Lorraine Vogel: Creating Jewelry with Stencils!

Hello! I am Lorraine Vogel.
I specialize in creating polymer clay jewelry and I’m honored to show you how StencilGirl stencils can be used to create one-of-a-kind, polymer clay jewelry pieces.

Please remember that polymer clay and food do not mix.
Do not use any tool meant for cooking without thoroughly cleaning it after using it for polymer clay.

Let’s get started!
  Here is a list of supplies needed (most supplies shown here):
• StencilGirl stencils: Modern Buds and Layered Salad
• White polymer clay (I prefer Premo.)
• Smooth tile or non-wood surface (The plasticizers in polymer clay will ruin a wood finish.)
• Acrylic roller or some kind of rolling pin or wooden dowel
• Alcohol and archival inks (Do not use pigment inks. They do not dry well on polymer clay.)
• Ranger ink felt pad
• Craft or cosmetic sponges
• Clay or cookie cutters or clay jewelry templates
• X-acto knife
• Smooth glass or glass jar
• Gold jump rings
• Elmer’s glue
• Quick set glue
• Home oven (with precautions) or toaster oven dedicated to baking polymer clay
• Baking sheet
• Varathane or similar clear varnish
• Small paint brush

Cut about 1/2 of a brick of the white clay. Press it with your hands to flatten it.
Roll out the clay on a smooth tile or non-wood surface until it’s about 1/16-1/8’’ thick.

StencilGirl Stencil: Modern Buds
Start with the first stencil. Spray one side of the stencil lightly with water or dip the stencil in water.
The stencil needs to be wet so it releases easily from the raw clay.


Place the stencil, wet side down, on the raw clay. Roll the stencil into the clay so it’s flush with the clay.
Pick one or two colors of alcohol ink and drip several drops of ink on the felt pad.
Immediately start ‘‘pouncing’’ the ink onto the raw clay and the stencil.
Press the felt pad randomly and lightly with the ink all over the raw clay and stencil.

Pick another one or two colors of alcohol ink, dropping them onto a clean felt square.
Continue to lightly press the ink randomly onto the clay and stencil over the first color(s).
Let these inks completely dry to the touch.
Alcohol ink dries quickly, but wait about 1/2 hour before peeling off the first stencil.

Spray or dampen the second stencil with water.
Roll this stencil into the raw clay over the first round of dried inks.


Pick a few colors of archival ink. Starting with the first color, press a craft sponge onto the ink pad several times.
Stamp the ink onto the raw clay and stencil. Using a clean sponge, press it into a second color and stamp it onto the clay.
Continue with as many colors as you like until the exposed clay is completely covered with ink. Let the ink dry completely — a few hours or until the ink is dry to the touch.

When the ink is completely dry, slowly peel off the second stencil.


Now the inked clay is ready to be cut.

You can use a clay cutter, a cookie cutter, clay templates or an X-acto knife to cut shapes out of the clay.
Cut out a piece and carefully smooth the edges. Carefully place the piece on a glass or glass jar (I use a small candle holder).
Lightly smooth the clay until it’s completely adhered to the glass. Bake the piece according to the clay’s package directions — usually about 1/2 hour per 1/4’’ thickness, at 250 degrees.
(Cover the clay with aluminum foil if baking in an oven where food will be cooked.)
Carefully peel the baked piece off the glass when completely cool.

Using quick set glue, glue jump rings to the top on the back of the baked clay piece(s).
Squeeze a little Elmer’s glue on the back of the baked piece.
Spread the glue over the entire back of the baked clay piece with your finger.

STEP 10:
Roll another thin piece of white clay onto a piece of rough sandpaper, to give it texture.
Press the baked, glued piece onto the smooth side of the textured raw clay.
The texture should be on the outside of the back of the baked piece when the raw and baked pieces are pressed together.

STEP 11:
Using the X-acto knife, cut out the jewelry piece.
Smooth the edges of the raw clay on the back of the piece with the baked front piece
 Keep smoothing until the piece is one.

Place the jewelry piece on a piece of paper or card stock on a baking sheet,
inked side up and bake again according to the clay package directions.
Paper will not burn at the temperature needed to bake clay.
(Remember to cover the clay with aluminum foil if baking in an oven where food will be cooked.)

Let the baked clay piece completely cool.
(I sand the back and sides of my pieces using several grades of sandpaper, but it’s not necessary.)
Inked surfaces need to be protected from scratching and wear.
Coat the front of the piece with a thin layer or two of Varathane varnish or similar clear varnish.
(I then buff my pieces using a Dremel rotary too.)

I’ve shown my two-step process here.
There are several good online tutorials and YouTube videos which show other ways of creating polymer clay jewelry.

Here are a few of my finished pieces. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Keep creating and never stop exploring with your art!

StencilGirl Club stencils were used in this pendant.

StencilGirl Stencils: Mandala #1, Modern Buds

ARTIST STATEMENT: I am a graphic artist with a Commercial Art degree from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and self-taught polymer clay jewelry artist. Living in South Florida inspires me to create playful and colorful jewelry components using polymer clay. Many years ago, I took a local wire-wrapping class and I discovered the creativity of making jewelry. Soon after, when in a bookstore looking for jewelry-making instructional books, I picked up a book about creating polymer clay jewelry. I was hooked! Polymer clay is a fun and diverse medium and is a perfect vehicle for stencils and stamps, inks and paints. I continue to experiment and am always discovering new ways to enhance and manipulate it.
Pinterest: Wired Orchid
Flickr: Wired Orchid
Instagram: Wired Orchid


  1. Wow..Never heard of using stencil for making clay jewelry,Loved the detailed tutorial very much and the jewelry pieces are super trendy !

  2. What an exciting project! I see no end to the possible combinations of color and stencil patterns that could be used -- with every piece of jewelry unique! Many thanks for this tutorial!

  3. Lorraine is one of my favorite polymer artists, and I am so happy to see her being touted in the stenciling community, too. She is a multi-talented lady, for sure! Congratulations, Lorraine!

  4. Lovely!! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  5. Lovely!! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  6. These are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this technique, I definitely am inspired to try it, gotta dig out my alcohol inks! I've never seen cutters in such unusual shapes like that, can you share where they are from?

  7. Wow, what a great way to use stencils. Your necklace and earrings are beautiful.

  8. I agree with Julia you cutter shape is Fabulous- Can you tell us who makes it?
    What a great tute,thanks.

  9. Would love to know the soure for the cutter. Did anyone find out?

  10. This is unbelievable!!! This hand made jewelry is really beautiful & adorable. I am also interested in getting the cutter so that I can also try to make it myself.
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  11. Most beautiful and styles jewelry. Which will increase your style. You can easily wear this jewelry anywhere.

  12. Great tutorial! What is the name of the second stencil? I really like how it was used.

  13. Really, really nice! Thank you for an EXCELLENT tutorial!!!

  14. Thank you Lorraine for such a detailed and fun tutorial. There are so many great ideas and tips to try. I'm inspired by your creativity.

  15. LOVE this! I've used stencils, and this is the 2nd time in a week that I've seen them using alcohol inks. I've really gotta try this! Great tutorial.

  16. Gracias por el tutorial. Muy útil y fácil de hacer. Mis saludos desde Argentina Buenos Aires

  17. Gracias por el tutorial. Muy útil y fácil de hacer. Mis saludos desde Argentina Buenos Aires

  18. wow what inspiration, the first stencil is StencilGirl Stencil: Modern Buds, but what is the second one called? thanks

  19. Thank you so very much for sharing!! I've only ever used stencils as a silk screening device, but the result of your use reminds me very much of wax resist batik cloth. I have a question though - is there a reason you use regular glue to attach a back onto your pieces vs using liquid clay and then baking again?

  20. Quick set glue is super glue? Can you bake that glue without issues?

  21. The other stencil is called Layered Salad - it's mentioned in the supplies list.

    The superglue probably just needs to hold the jumpring in place while the backing layer is applied and after baking the clay will hold it in place.

    Great tutorial - thank you, Lorraine.

  22. AMAZING! Thank you so much for the fun tutorial.

  23. Thanks. I wasn't thinking of hold, just thought I had heard you weren't supposed to bake super glue. Maybe sandwiched between two layers it is fine.

  24. Thank you for so generously sharing this tutorial! Gorgeous use of colour and nifty use of tools! xx

  25. Oh my gosh ! Amazing. And a whole new door just opened ...

  26. Great technique. I love to know other ways of using the supplies I already have on hand. Thank you for sharing.

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  33. Wow..Never heard of using stencil for making clay jewelry, Loved this simple DIY guide very much and the jewellery piece they are so trendy!

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  35. Thank you so much - I love this tutorial and it's use of stencils and the lovely stylised motifs.

  36. Your tutorials for the earrings and necklace on yesterday’s stencil girl email had no visual tutorial only the printed instructions. I wish the video pics had worked but they would not come thru!!!


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