Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Oven-Safe Work Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately.
Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.
Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per 1/4" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
A few ideas about notebook selection-
A heavy card stock, chipboard, or even heavy paper covered notebook will work for this project. However, the heavier the material on the front and back covers, the less the piece will curl during baking and cooling. Since paper materials don’t burn at 275F (curing temperature for oven bake clay) they can go right into the oven with the clay.
The spiral binding should be a material that can withstand the oven temperature of 275F. The spiral binding in my notebook is metal.
The color of the notebook cover should be something that complements your clay design as the part of the paper cover that shows through the spiral may still show when you are completely done. If a good color is not available, consider painting the parts of the cover that will ultimately show with complementary acrylic paint.
Prime the notebook cover with a very thin layer of Translucent Liquid Sculpey® (TLS). Allow the TLS to soak into the cover while you condition your clay sheet and mix colors.
Mix colors in very small amounts because you won’t need much to create the delicate pieces and you can always make more as needed. It’s important to reserve enough of the Frost White Glitter (FWG) to cover the notebook front.
The color mixes that I used are as follows:
Dark Orange = 1 part Orange + 1 part Alizarin Crimson
Medium Orange = 2 parts Orange + 1 part Alizarin Crimson
Orange = 1 part Orange + a pinch of Alizarin Crimson (I didn’t use any straight Orange in this project)
Sparkle Beige = 2 parts Beige + 1 part FWG
Sparkle Silver = 1 part Silver + 1 part FWG
Mustard = Mustard!
Make a thin sheet - not more than 1/8” thick - of FWG. You can do this by pressing conditioned clay through the pasta machine on the thickest setting or by hand-rolling it with the Acrylic Clay Roller. My notebook is 4 x 6 so one package of the FWG is plenty to cover just the front of my notebook.
Make sure the clay sheet is the appropriate size and shape to cover the front cover of your notebook.
Line a straight edge of the clay right up with the spiral making sure there is enough space for the spiral to function freely. Roll bubbles out with the Acrylic Clay Roller. Trim the edges of the clay to perfectly match the notebook shape with the Super Slicer.
Make long skinny Sparkle Silver ropes in various lengths. Taper both ends of each of the ropes. Position the ropes randomly making curls and curves as you wish.
When you like the position of the ropes, flatten them to the FWG background with your fingertips.
Next it’s time to make lots of flower pieces. You can use the Silicone Bakeable Mold to make all the individual pieces. But don’t bake the pieces in the mold. Just pop them out and assemble your flowers with the raw pieces right on the notebook.
To use the mold, fill a cavity with a piece of conditioned clay pushing the clay in with your fingertips.
Shave the back of the cavity to level with the Super Slicer.
Flex the mold to gently peel the molded petal or leaf out. Continue making as many petal and leaf shapes as you need to decorate your cover.
Organize your petals and leaves on a piece of paper so that you can have them handy for placing on your notebook. You can also audition your layout on the piece of paper before transferring them to the cover art.
When you are ready position your clay pieces on the cover art. It will look nice if you place some pieces completely on top of the vines and some dancing around the edges of the vines.
Use your tools, like the tip of an Etch ‘n Pearl or the rubber end of a Style & Detail to pressure the clay pieces permanently into place. This will add some detail and texture at the same time as they are set.
Likewise you can use your tools to deepen the textures that are already created in the clay pieces as you press them into place.
The skinny tips are perfect for adding detail in tight places.
Use the pearl end of an Etch ‘n Pearl to sit flower centers into place.
Add layers of details by pressing wells in the pearl flower centers then filling them again with a smaller pearl in a contrasting color.
Set rows of tiny pearls in flower centers and make buds on the tips of petals.
Use the smallest ball tool to impress dancing dots in groupings throughout the background.
When your cover art is complete, bake the entire notebook following the baking instructions for Premo. As soon as the baking time is finished, remove the hot notebook from the oven using hand protection. Place the hot notebook on a very flat surface like a countertop. Place a soft cloth over the top of the design and weight the cloth down with a heavy glass baking dish or heavy book. Make sure the weight is pressing the clay cover down but not bending the spiral. As the materials cool, the paper in the notebook will naturally curl which will make the clay curl unless you add pressure during cooling. Allow to cool completely before removing the weight.