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.
Condition and sheet Pale Blue clay to a 1/8” thick sheet or through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. I made a 5” x 5” square paper template for myself so I could easily cut out a square from the sheet of clay.
Lay the 5” x 5” square of clay on top of a piece of paper. This will help you to flip the piece of clay over when we get to Step 6.
In the top area of the sheet, use a 1/2” circle cutter to create a hole. The hole should be about 1/2” from the top edge leaving plenty of room between the hole and the edge of the clay for strength. Use a ruler to make the cut out as close to center as possible.
Position a paper clip so that the top of the clip is clear of the top edge of the cut-out circle and the bottom of the clip is embedded in the clay. Use finger pressure to flatten the bottom of the clip level in surface of the clay.
Condition and sheet Pale Blue clay to a 1/8” thick sheet or through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Make sure you have enough clay to make another 5” x 5” square. Place this sheet of clay onto a piece of scrap paper so that you can easily move it around.
Flip the square of clay with the paper clip in it over on top of the fresh sheet of clay sandwiching the paper clip between the sheets. Use the Acrylic Clay Roller to gently seal the two sheets together. Use the Clay Blade to cut out the 5” x 5” shape as neatly as possible. This will create a tile that is close to 1/4” thick and can support itself as a wall hanging.
Place the scrap paper on top of the project and flip the double thick clay over so that the piece with the paper clip is on the underneath side. At this point it will be very handy if you are still working the entire project on scrap paper so that you can easily turn it and lift it when necessary.
Using a ruler and the Clay Blade, gently score shallow guidelines in the vertical and horizontal center of the clay square.
Next comes the doodly part. I intended at first to make my mandala shape to be based on six sections, so I started with the flower shaped cutter which has six petals. Later, in Step 10, I changed my focus to an eight sectioned mandala, but I think the beginning six-sided flower shape still works here.
When I make impressions in the clay using cutters I do a couple different things. First, I use the edge of the cutter that is folded, not the cutting edge. That way, the lines I impress are just slightly thicker. Secondly, I only press the folded side of the cutter in as far as the little fold. The impressed lines I’m making are only about 1/16” deep. This photo shows how the first shallow cut appears once the cutter is removed.
Throughout the tutorial, I’m showing you which cutter was used along the side of the clay for reference.
Next, as mentioned in Step 8, I decided I wanted to make my mandala pattern based on a series of eight sections instead of six because it would give a lot more detail. So I added diagonal guide lines from corner to corner in the square clay.
Then I impressed the scalloped square shape inside the flower once at the perpendicular center and once at the diagonal center, making sure the corners of the square shape landed right on the background guide lines.
Next, using the guidelines, I lined up the 1.25” heart shaped cutter with the center of the design and made eight shallow heart shapes.
Working from the center out, the next shape is the scalloped square.
In this step I added a 1/2” circle to the very center and 3/4” football shapes to the eight points.
Here I added the large crescent shape to each point. Where the shape didn’t fit onto the tile, I allowed it to hang off of the tile to keep the pattern consistent.
Finally, I added more football shapes in overlapping series to the original footballs to continue the pattern all the way out to the corners and sides.
Then I really went crazy adding details with both ends of the Dual End Detail Tools. I made lots and lots of divots with both the 2mm and 6mm ball tools. I added loads of dashes with the flat rubber tip tool. It doesn’t matter what details you decide to add, but be consistent and if you add one detail, you must remember to add it eight times so that all eight sections of the mandala are the same.
Bake the tile following the baking instructions in Step 1 above. If you bake the piece on the paper that you’ve been working on, remove the paper from underneath the piece as it’s cooling. Paper likes to curl as it cools and you do not want your clay piece to curl with it.
When the tile is completely cool, add a layer of white glossy acrylic paint to the surface. Work the paint into the details with your fingertip. Wipe away as much of the excess paint as possible with a damp rag. I prefer glossy paint to flat paint for this technique because I think it’s easier to remove from the surface.
If you work in small areas, removing paint as you go, the paint will not be able to dry on the surface of the clay.
When the design is completely filled in, allow the paint to dry completely. When my tile was dry, I noticed there were little bubbles in the design where the paint had not filled the line completely.
I worked more of the white paint into the cracks and allowed it to dry completely again.