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Time Resolution Reminder

We're a week into the new year -- how are those resolutions coming along? If you need a little reminder to keep you on track, try these easy polymer clay resolution reminders. Make them into magnets, bookmarks, or whatever works best for reminding you about what you want to do.

Step 1: Print It

Use word processing software to format your resolution in a font and style you like. You might want to study a product like Quote Stacks to get ideas for formatting -- for example, make key words larger, use shadow effects, etc. Once you're happy with your quote, print it to a laser printer, or copy it using a toner-based copier. Don't forget it needs to be in mirror image.

Step 2: Transfer It

This is the method I use for polymer clay image transfers.

Polymer Clay Image TransferPolymer clay with alcohol-soaked transfer on top

  • Cut out the image to be transferred, leaving a little white space around it. This makes it easier to peel the paper away from the clay later.
  • Use a pasta machine (or rolling pin / brayer) to roll out a sheet of conditioned polymer clay at least as large as the transfer. Thickness of the sheet depends on how you want to use it: thin long sheets make great bookmarks, while thicker sheets are sturdier for magnets or stand-alone plaques.
  • Place the transfer face down on the clay. To avoid smudges, be careful not to move it once it's in place. Smooth the paper down to insure all the ink is in contact with the clay. Then apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol or gin to the back of the paper -- still being careful not to move the paper. Let the alcohol dry, then apply more and allow it to dry again.
  • Carefully peel the paper off, a little at a time. If the paper seems to be sticking to the clay, try applying more alcohol (don't let it dry this time) before continuing to peel.

Step 3: Make It Original

Add some embellishments to make it your own:

Food Resolution Reminder "Food" Resolution Reminder with polymer clay fruits and veggies

  • Add something that matches your resolution's theme -- for example, I added some yummy-looking fruits and vegetables to the food resolution.
  • Borders add a touch of class. I used Shade-Tex texture sheets to create a textured margin on mine. Then after baking, I rubbed on Rub 'n Buff (for the time resolution) and acrylic paints (for the food resolution) in the textured area.
  • You're not limited to clay. Use bottle-caps, fibers, beads, or pretty much anything else. If you're concerned that something might not be oven-safe, wait and glue it on after the baking is done.

As you're working, be careful not to touch the transfer -- the ink can still smudge until you bake it.

Step 4: Bake & Use It

Bake the clay according to the manufacturer's instructions. If there's any warping during the baking process, you can place it under something heavy while it cools.

After it's cooled, glue a magnet to the back (I use super glue) and put it on your refrigerator. Or prop it up somewhere you'll see it often. I have several plaques propped up along the edge of my shower -- since the transfers are water-proof, it's a great place to get a daily reminder.

A couple of extra tips:

  • Since these transfers can be large, it's easy to trap air bubbles between the paper and the clay. This is a problem since the ink won't transfer if it's not completely touching the clay. To avoid air bubbles, try starting in the middle and smoothing outwards. If there's a stubborn wrinkle, see if you can nudge it into a space between words to minimize the problem. Or, make it easier on yourself and cut the paper into smaller segments before you transfer.
  • Having trouble transferring? Another method that often works well is to put the clay and paper together into the oven, then let it cook for 3-5 minutes before peeling the paper off. Put the clay back in the oven to finish curing.
  • If you're still having trouble with transfers, don't get frustrated. There's a ton of things that can affect their success. Let me know if you have a question -- or check out these handy resources:

Not only are the reminders themselves helpful -- but I think just the process of making them reinforces your resolution. As you spend time on the project, you're really committing yourself to your goal. And thinking about how to format it and what embellishments to add can help you think through what the resolution really means to you.

Best of luck with your goals!


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Wow really awsome.I never thought u can make things like that.!!!

Thanks, Ashish -- I'm often amazed by all the cool things polymer clay can do!

Those look great. I'd like to try and make one of these but I'd probably spend more time deciding what to write than actually making one. :)

How does Polymer Clay do in the rain? Those little vegetables got me thinking that I could make some cool plant markers for my garden.

Anthony, I can second the problem about figuring out what to say... These pics are just representative New Year's resolutions, btw, not my actual ones. I haven't decided on those yet! Maybe I should make it my goal to stop procrastinating...? :-)

Polymer clay itself does fine in the rain, and the image transfers described here should be fine too. You can give it a coat of varnish for extra durability if you want. There are some finishes that would run right off if you used them with clay -- things like permanent markers (oddly enough) or certain inks. Some things will heat set & some won't. There's even some finishes that are fine for a while, then get sticky over time. Sometimes you just gotta experiment to see what works.

I had my first little herb garden last summer, and I thought about making some plant stakes. Maybe a leaf impression of the particular plant along with the name? I didn't get around to it last year, but maybe in 2007. Hmmm... could that be a resolution?

One little hint: I like to use the mint rubbing alcohol. Not as stinky! Jenny from CrastTestDummies.com.... who is making transfers right now!

Sounds interesting! I've never heard of mint rubbing alcohol. Do you buy it someplace special, or do you make it yourself...?

Thanks for the hint!

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