December 2001
Volume 2, Issue 12
Convert a Paper Punch Into a Mold

Original tutorial by Jan Scarborough December 2001
Updated and edited by Jeannie Havel November 2012

Editor's Letter | Letters to the Editor | Beginners' Corner | Artist Interview: James Lehman | The Tools We Use | Video Review: Judith Skinner | Holiday Wish List | Using Paper Punches | Easy Greeting Cards | Christmas Candy Canes | Elements of Polymer Clay | Polymer Covered Push-Pins | Issues in the Crafting World | Email Us! | Home

              punch molds 1 Supplies:
  • punches (you can purchase these at any scrapbooking supply store)
  • polymer clay
  • embellishments

              punch molds 2 Making the Mold

Step One:
Start by baking a sheet of clay. I used setting # 4 on the Atlas Pasta Machine and baked mine between two pieces of tile to keep the clay flat. To ensure strength so the clay won't crack, I bake for 45 minutes and let the clay sheets cool in the oven.

Step Two:
Slip a piece of the cured clay inside the punch, allowing ample space around the edges of the punch. Now punch. (Yes, I had to stand on the punch to get it through!)

              punch molds 3 Step Three:
Using the outline piece (not the piece you've punched out), glue the clay sheet to a solid baked clay sheet. Alternatively, you can attach the clay sheet with TLS to another clay sheet, and rebake both pieces together. (I have done both and each method seems to work well.)

              punch molds 4 Using the Mold

Now you are ready to create with your mold. Roll a ball of clay and press the mold into it. Be sure to use a good release agent on the clay, like cornstarch, water or an automotive protectant.

You can then decorate your imprint with powders, texture, etc.

              punch molds 5 It's also interesting to use pieces of canes to create varied patterns. These can then be used as you would

any other molded piece--pierced and finished as a bead--or added to a backing to create a pendant.

Perhaps this project has not only inspired you to make beads, but perhaps make your own tutorials. With a digital camera and programs to convert PDF to Excel the process can be easy plus fun.