Getting Started:Polymer clay may stain. CLAY MAY DAMAGE UNPROTECTED FURNITURE OR FINISHED SURFACES. DO NOT USE polymer clay on unprotected surfaces. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Work ‘n Bake Clay Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Start with clean hands and work surface area. Knead clay until soft and smooth. For best results, clean your hands in between colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces together firmly. Bake on oven-proof glass or metal surface at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per ¼" (6 mm) thickness. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME. Wash hands after use. Baking should be completed by an adult. Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). Test temperature with oven thermometer for perfectly cured clay. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the Clay Conditioning Machine for several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
Clean your bottle caps and make sure they are dry. Lay out a pattern of caps that you like. I made mine in a sort of flower shape and I selected colors to compliment the shape.
If you have used a bottle opener to remove the caps from the bottles, they may have dents in them. I like to get as many of the dents out as I can. I place a cloth on a hard surface and put the cap on the surface top down. They I use a dowel rod and a mallet to gently tap out the dents.
For this size project, you may want to work on top of paper or a Work ’n Bake Clay Mat. Roll out Gray clay into a thick slab about 1/4” thick. When I use Original Sculpey in a large project like this one, I begin by rolling over the clay with an acrylic roller as it comes from the box. Once the seams are rolled out of the clay, I fold it in half and roll again. I continue folding and hand rolling the clay until it is smooth and free of air bubbles. I do not use a clay conditioning machine (or pasta machine) for a thick project like this one.
Lay out the caps on top of the clay.
Gently push the caps down into the clay.
Trim the outside edges of the clay with a Super Slicer.
I used an extra cap to press the design of the cap edge in the blank spaces along the edges.
Roll a thick rope of Gray Original Sculpey about as thick as the stone. Border the edge of the stone with the rope.
Trim with the Super Slicer and smooth the seam with your finger
Transfer the project with the mat or the paper directly onto a baking pan. Bake as directed above. As soon as possible, transfer the mat or the paper with the project on it to a solid surface like a countertop. Using a spatula, gently remove the hot project onto the countertop to cool completely without the mat or the paper. If you let it cool on the mat or the paper, it will curl as it cools. Once cool, you can put it in your garden to enjoy. If you live in a zone that freezes, you will want to remove your stone to an indoor location for winter storage.