Fun with Polymer Clay: Flower Pen

© 2009 HMasseyArt

Supplies:  3 bricks of Fimo 2.0 oz polymer clay (1 effects white glitter, 1 soft blue, 1 soft green  Bic Stick Pen (the tip with ink needs to be removable)  Polymer Clay blade (or razor blade)  Polymer Clay acrylic roller (or non-porous roller)  A non-porous tile (with no texture) for rolling and working with clay. The hardware store is a great place to pick one up.  Paper towel to wipe roller and blade as needed.  Before you start working, read the back of the bricks and note the temperature and amount of the clay needs to be baked in the oven. For the clay used here, it notes 230 degrees F for 30 minutes.

clay time Fimo

 Wet-sandpaper – 400, 800, and 1000 grit. I usually purchase this at an automotive
parts store. The one pictured below has an assortment of the grits I need plus 220 grit. I would not recommend using 220 grit on polymer clay since it quite abrasive and leaves scratches. Cut the sandpaper into smaller squares making sure the grit # is displayed on the back. If not, write it with permanent marker as a reference.

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 Baking dish or pan with egg crate foam or polyfil. The pen needs to be placed on
something soft while baking (that will not catch fire on a low temp of course). The egg crate foam works well. I have a baking dish dedicated to polymer clay since you should not cook food on anything that has come into direct contact with the clay (you can read more about this on the internet). The first pictures shows an example of the egg crate foam face up, however, it should be face down for this project (second picture).

Not pictured:  2 pair disposable latex gloves (optional). If you are allergic to latex, use the gloves that are latex- free. These gloves prevent finger prints and the colors from the clay staining your hands.  Bowl with ice & water large enough to place pen in after baking.  Soft cloth or towel to dry pen/rub smooth.  Future Floor Polish (optional if you want a shine - refer to step 49 for other optional supplies)  Ziploc baggies for leftover clay.

Now let’s get started!
1) Put on a pair of gloves.

2) Remove the pen tip & ink by
simply pulling it out. Set all the pen parts aside. As a note, we will not be using the pen cap.

3) Start with the lightest color of
clay – the white glitter. Place on the tile and cut about ¼ of the brick (package) with your blade.

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4) The next step is to “condition” the clay to make it soft and remove air bubbles. Do this by
kneading the clay with your fingers, flatten with the roller on the tile, fold over, then roll again. Repeat this a number of times until the clay is soft (about 10-20 times or more if needed).

5) After conditioning the clay, roll it in a ball with your

hands.

6) Roll the ball into a log about 2 inches long then set aside.

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7) Repeat steps 3 & 4 with the

medium color of clay (green). After conditioning the clay, roll it out somewhat thin (not too much). As a note, you can see how the gloves came in useful to avoid green clay on your hands.

8) Lay the white log toward the top of the rolled piece as shown.

You will trim and roll the green clay around the log as indicated in the next several steps.

9) Cut the green clay across the top where the log is placed, then the cut the sides. Move excess pieces to the side.

10) Use the blade to lift the top of the green clay off the tile and wrap around the white log. Cut
the green clay at the bottom and wrap to make a seam.

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11) Mend the seam with your fingers by pressing and working the clay together until it is

somewhat smooth. Then roll on the tile using your hand until the seam disappears. Your palm works best to avoid impressions of wrinkles from your glove. The last picture is the

result.

12) You have now made a simple polymer clay “cane”. Roll the
cane into a long snake with the palm of your hand. Start in the middle and roll out toward the ends - on each side. Make it about 10 inches long.

13)Cut off each end where the white is exposed and make it 9 inches long.

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14) Cut six sections 1-1/2 inches long (use the tape measure
to mark each section to cut). These will become the petals of the flower.

15) Knead the leftover green clay from steps 9 & 10, roll into a ball, and roll into a snake that is
not as thick as the one for the petals. Cut one section 1-1/2 inches long (I used a petal as a guide to measure). This will become the center of the flower.

16) Place one petal section against the center section.

17)Wrap the balance of the petals so they fit snug around the center (total of six petals).

18) Now it’s time to wrap the flower with the blue clay to finish off the cane. At this point, I
recommend putting on a new pair of gloves.

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19) For the dark clay (blue), cut about 1/3 of the brick. Fimo has layers marked – cut off about 3.
Condition the clay and roll into a log. Cut about 1/3 of the log and roll into a thin snake.

20) Roll the snake long enough to cut into six sections the same
length as the flower. This will be used as spacers between the petals. Cut into the sections using the flower as a guide.

21)Position the small blue clay pieces between each petal and press slightly.

22) Roll out the leftover blue clay from step
19 to wrap around the flower. Use the same technique in steps 8-11. Set aside any leftover blue clay to use later. Here is the end result of this step:

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23) Rolling out this flower to make it longer and thinner is called “reducing the cane”. To reduce a
cane, slightly pinch/squeeze around center. Pinch/squeeze slightly around and around from center working toward one end, then start from center of cane again and work toward other end. Reducing a cane in this method prevents distortion of a pattern. The cane will lengthen.

24) Continue to pinch, squeeze, and roll until the cane is

about a ½ inch thick (it will be quite long). After cane is formed, move aside to set (for about 10 minutes). Setting the clay will allow for better cuts of the pattern without distortion. For best results, allow the clay to set for at least a couple of hours.

25) In the meantime, you can start covering
the pen shaft. Cut off about 2 sections of the blue clay from the brick and use the leftover blue clay, from step 22. Condition the clay and roll into a log about ½ to ¾ inches thick.

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26)Cut off about 4 sections and flatten them with your thumb.

27) Use your blade to lift off one of the flattened slices and apply to the closed end of the pen
shaft. Press the clay and wrap it around the pen.

28) With your hand at the end of the pen
with the piece of clay, roll it across the tile a couple of times to work out the air and to make it stick to the shaft. It does not need to be perfect at this point.

29) Repeat steps 26-28 until the entire pen is covered.

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30) Once the entire pen is covered,
take the palm of your hand and roll it smooth. You may run into air bubbles and if so, cut a slit in the bubble with your blade then pinch and press with your fingers.

31) Continue to roll out the pen and work out the air bubbles until smooth. You can also slide
your finger along the clay to smooth out imperfections.

32) Now finish off the ends. On the closed end, wrap and shape the
clay to cover (you may have to cut some off with your blade if there is too much on the end).

33) On the open end, cut off the excess clay and pinch slightly to
close any gaps. Remove any clay from the inside.

34)Now it’s time to apply the flowers to the pen. Place the flower cane on the tile, cut off the ends, and cut in half.

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35) Look at the ends to see which one has the best flowers. Slice thin pieces from that end of the
flower cane.

36) Apply the flowers to the pen starting close to the open end. Leave a good gap between each
flower on the pen to allow the pieces to expand when rolled smooth later on.

37) Roll the pen with the palm of your hand until the cane slices are smooth. You may have to
shape and trim the ends again.

38) Now you are ready to bake. Be sure to preheat
oven to the recommended setting for the clay. Place the pen on the back side of the egg crate in the baking dish or pan (or on the polyfil). Place in the oven and bake as directed on the clay package. My oven bakes a little cooler, so I had to adjust to bake longer. You will need to adjust if your oven bakes too hot or not hot enough.

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39) While the pen is baking, you can start on the pen base. 40) Condition a small amount of the green clay and roll into 4 tiny
balls. Condition the blue clay and roll into a large ball. Apply thin slices of the flower cane and roll until ball until smooth.

41) Press the ball down onto the tile so that it flattens the bottom.
Set these pieces aside for now.

42) Once the pen is done baking, place in the bowl of ice and
water. Let sit for a couple of minutes until cold.

43) To make the pen soft & smooth, you will need to wet-sand. Use the piece of 400 grit and
under running tap water in sink, sand pen with up and down motion along pen casing. Be sure to turn pen while sanding and keep under the running water. Work out any imperfections in clay with this grit sandpaper, however, be careful not to sand in any one place for too long (this will create more imperfections). Sand with this grit of paper for a few minutes. Continue to wet sand with 800 grit, then 1000 grit - each for a few minutes under running tap water. 44)Dry pen by rubbing (polishing) with soft cloth. This will provide a shine.

45) Shake out any water inside pen casing and make sure it’s
dry. Insert the ink/tip.

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46)Press the pen tip into the base and remove. Make sure not to press it all the way through. If you do, then smooth clay over the hole in the bottom.

47) Press the 4 green balls to the bottom of the base for the feet.

48) Bake per clay package directions (in the same baking dish/foam as the pen). Once done, put
into bowl with ice and water and wet sand carefully if desired.

49) To make the pieces shiny, you can brush on Future Floor Polish (be sure and remove ink tip
before doing this). I use a bamboo skewer to place the pen shaft on and poke it in a block of Styrofoam to let it dry. For the base, I place it on wax paper or a paper plate. I recommend at least 2 or 3 coats of Future which is an acrylic finish. Dry for about an hour or so before assembling. 50)Store in leftover clay in the Ziploc baggies.

Congrats – you’re finished! Great Job!!

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