If you haven’t spotted these retro Polaroid pendants then welcome to a new craze. You’ll find them littered all over Pinterest, Etsy and Folksy. I owe the inspiration of making one of my very own to the stupendous Diary of a Mad Crafter – if you haven’t eyeballed her blog then take a moment to have a look.
So if you’re keen to make one of these pendants then scroll down to see how I did mine, or take a peek at the Diary of a Mad Crafter’s tutorial – she’s the clay extraordinaire whereas I’m the absolute beginner. Hopefully you’ll avoid the mistakes I made when I crafted (sculpted?) mine.
I bought a white 56g pack of Fimo clay for a very modest price of £1.89 right here (free shipping btw). I’ve never used this stuff so kept it hidden in the top right craft drawer for several weeks before finally plucking up the creative courage. It’s not too scary once you start squeezing and plying it. The daunting part comes when you want to mould it into a specific shape. It takes a little patience.
Here are all the bits you’ll need to make a Polaroid pendant:
- White Fimo clay (the 56g pack will be enough for two pendants)
- Tools to cut and press the clay (I used a craft knife and a tube of Berocca as a rolling pin)
- A bail (a piece of jewellery that fits to the pendant and allows you to thread the chain through) – buy it for a pittance here
- An oven heated to 110 degrees Celsius (230F)
- A photo cut to 3cm x 3cm
- Strong craft glue
- Card template measuring 3cm x 3cm
- Card template measuring 4cm x 5cm
- Fine tip permanent marker
- Small piece of sticky tape (or paper craft glue)
So my friends, let’s begin this slightly frustrating task. If you’re not a Fimo clay beginner like me then it should be a breeze.
- Roll out a small amount of clay into two rectangular shapes, each measuring 5cm x 4cm (use the card template as guidance). You can make it smaller, which may look more charming.
- Keep the width thin, about 2mm, and carefully cut out the edges – cut around the card template but don’t press the card down into the clay or you’ll wind up in tears when you try removing it. The lesson I learnt is to be gentle, soft touch does it
- Place the smaller square card template on the top centre of the rectangle shape and carefully cut out the clay
- Remove the inner square and place the cut out rectangle on top of the other rectangle piece of clay. Line up the edges. Don’t worry if there’s a fine gap all the way around, you can fill in later
Place the clay in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes and then remove it. Let it cool slightly and then use tiny amounts of clay to carefully fill in the fine gap all the way around the edge of the pendant
- Place it back in the oven and heat for a further 20 minutes – but since all ovens vary keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Mine started to change colour slightly
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool
- Once cool I used a nail file to smooth the edge
- I was annoyed that the colour of the clay had changed, so I spray painted the pendant white. Apparently you can paint a coat of Fimo gloss varnish to finish it off. I’d advise against spray paint because it just becomes too fiddly and messy
- Once dry use a fine tipped pencil and write a word or two on the front of the clay pendant. Once you’re happy with the wording write over it in permanent marker. Because I used spray paint this was another tediously frustrating part and the finish wasn’t quite what I wanted
- Glue the bail to the back top centre of the pendant
- Pop your photo in the centre and secure it with either paper craft glue or a small bit of tape
Tips: If you would like to keep the photo in the pendant permanently then paint a layer of epoxy resin over it (so I’ve read). Also, use a glass or ceramic surface when rolling out your clay. I used my rubber cutting board and the clay stuck to it.
Grab a glass of wine. You’re done.