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Polymer Clay Polyzine

Copyright 2000-2004
Raleigh, NC
ISSN 1534-1038
All Rights Reserved.
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CD-Sparkle Barrettes:
A Trash-to-Treasure Project for
Beginning Clayers

By Suzanne Ivester
--Sponsored by--
The Clay Alley logo
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Remember those old recipes (from the 60s or earlier) with unusual ingredients, like chocolate cake made with sauerkraut, Jello with cabbage in it, and spice cake made with tomato soup? Well this project is a little bit like those—weird-sounding but tasty.

What can you make using black clay, a CD-R, a dog collar, and floor finish? Scratching your head? Well, don’t mess up your hair—you’re going to want it to look nice with your new barrettes. That’s right, barrettes! This “recipe” will make 8-10 barrettes, enough for you, your sister, her daughter, and your best friend.

Here’s everything you’ll need for this very simple project:

  • 1 two-ounce package of black Premo polymer clay
  • 1 CD-R (Note: The recordable CDs for data, not music, are the cheapest; regular CDs and DVDs won’t work)
  • Several 1-1/2 inch long barrettes
  • A craft knife
  • A pasta machine, brayer, acrylic roller, or straight-sided drinking glass
  • A ruler
  • A flat chunky chain, like a wide bracelet or a narrow dog collar
  • 1 sheet of copier or notebook paper, 1 smaller piece of heavier paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Future acrylic floor finish
  • Super glue gel


Step 1: Use your craft knife to cut around the inner and outer edges of the CD-R, with the label facing up (see the black dotted lines on figure 1). You don’t need to press very hard, just hard enough to cut through the film on the surface of the disk.

Step 2: Condition the clay. Using your pasta machine or roller, roll the clay into a sheet about 5 inches square. If you’re using a pasta machine, use the next-to-thickest setting. If you’re using something else, roll the sheet to a uniform thickness a little less than 1/8 inch.

Step 3: Lay the clay sheet on top of the CD (again, label side up). Rub the clay all over with your fingers to warm it and increase the bond between the clay and the film. Turn the CD over in your hand and watch through the disk’s clear plastic until you see the holographic film start to separate from the disk and stick to the clay. I promise, even if this sounds confusing, you’ll know when you see it happen.

CD Figure 2

Step 4: Carefully peel the clay off the disk with the holographic film stuck to the clay (as shown in figure 2). Don’t worry if cracks form in the film as you do this. Cracks can’t be avoided, and they’ll be part of the design!  Place the clay, shiny side up, on your work surface.

Figure 3
Step 5:
Cut the clay with the shiny film on it into rectangles at least
1 3/4 inches long.

Step 4 ImageStep 6: Cut a rectangular strip, 3/8 of an inch wide and 1 3/4 inches long, from heavy paper. This will be a template for your barrettes

Step 7: Place the chain on the shiny side of one of your rectangles of clay, parallel and close to one long edge. Now, press the chain firmly but gently onto the clay. You’ll hear the film crackling as you do this. Continue making chain impressions next to each other on all of the clay rectangles.


Figure 5Step 8: Center the template over one of the chain impressions on your clay and cut around it with a clay blade or craft knife. Continue using the template to cut as many strips as you can from your shiny clay. Cut off just the corners of each strip to give your barrettes a rounded shape.

Image 6Step 9: Fold the notebook paper into an accordion strip about 3/4 of an inch wide. Cover the folded paper with aluminum foil. Now fasten several barrettes over the strip of paper. Cover a heat-safe baking surface with another piece of aluminum foil and place the paper with the barrettes on it.

Image 7
Step 10: 
Pour a small amount of floor polish into a small bowl or paper cup. Dip each clay strip in the polish, covering it completely. Then place each strip on one of the prepared barrettes; position it the way you want it to be on the finished barrette. Bake the barrettes in a preheated oven at 275 degrees for half an hour.

Finished Barettes
Step 11:
  Remove the barrettes from the oven and let them cool. Now flex the clay gently to remove it from the metal. Give each clay strip at least two more coats of floor polish, letting it dry between coats.

Step 12: After the final coat of polish has dried, use super glue gel, according to the package directions, to glue each clay strip to a barrette. Now all you have to do is wear and enjoy!

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