How to make a polymer clay Sand Dollar


Hello and welcome to my little studio here at Irrysistable Jewels 🙂

I’m working on a new polymer clay necklace to add to my Etsy store and thought I’d take a breather and teach you how to make a Sand Dollar out of clay. It’s easy and anyone can do it! Nothing in nature is identical so only happy accidents can happen, therefore you can do this one without fear.

First you’ll need some polymer clay. I personally use sculpey but any clay would work. I’ll be exploring the different kinds of polymer in the near future. Make sure your clay is well conditioned and ready by working it in the palms of your hands until it is soft and malleable.

As far as tools go, you can use whatever works best for you. I started out with only a pocket knife and a toothpick but my dear Husband bought me some carving tools for Christmas, so I have graduated to using those now. I’m a firm believer in using whatever you can find that will give you the effect that you’re looking for though and have used some pretty unconventional items in my creations.

Pinch off enough clay to form the size of Sand Dollar you’re thinking of and form that into a small ball. Create one more small ball  and flatten both out until they are pretty close to the same size. Don’t worry about the edges at this point. No need for a perfect circle here.

Now with whatever you chose for a tool, I am using a clay stylus here, create the little star flower shape on the top of one of the circles. Usually there are five petals and smaller petals inside those, but this is your Sand Dollar so be creative here if you’d like. I created little dots in the center of mine with the stylus.

carve the 5 petal design into the the clay but not all the way through, just enough to indent it

Now take the Sand Dollar you just marked and dome the underside a little. You can do this with just your finger. Just a small dome though as Sand Dollars are not flat and not extremely puffy either.

Use either your finger tip or a ball stylus to gently dome the clay you just carved

Attach the other flattened circle to the bottom of the domed piece and carefully pinch the seams together until the seams disappear. 

pinch the seams gently until they disappear, your dome will flatten a bitcut out the holes through both layers carefully trying not to disturb the imprints

Very carefully, with a razor blade or sharp pick, cutout the holes through both layers. A little tricky to do without messing up the top but just be gentle with it and you’ll have a gorgeous Sand Dollar. At this point, you could add anything you’d like to the top, like stones or crystals. Make an indention as big as the stone and glue the stone in after the baking process or leave the stone in place and anchor it with more clay. Either way works, but I find that taking the stone out and glueing it back into place shows more of the gem and it’s my preference.

I’m not sure how most people go

Add paint,glitter or indentations for stones. Whatever you want at this point, it is Your Sand Dollar and should reflect your own personal style

about this next phase but personally I like to paint my pieces before I bake them. At this stage  you can add some glitter,paint or more texture. I added some pearl paint, a little copper glitter and a slight dusting of peach powder to this one. When you’re happy with the outcome, pop it in the oven on 275 degrees(if you are using sculpey clay, check the type of clay for the instructions on baking what you are using as all are a little different) for about 35 minutes. 

I will typically add more details to mine after it’s taken out of the oven until I get the desired effect and then cook it again. I like to seal my pieces with a clay sealant before I add any embellishments like gems, or stones.  Let your piece dry and set before adding it to any jewelry components. I am so impatient, I had to learn this the hard way!

I’d love to see your  finished Sand Dollars. I’m hoping to do many more this year and I promise I’ll get better at them. Maybe I will learn to do a video as well in the near future. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun making your own Sand Dollar. I’ll post my finished necklace as soon as it’s finished so you can see how I used my sand dollar in Jewelry.

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2 Comments

  1. As soon as I observed this site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

    Reply
  2. Hello : Thank you so much for sharing your blog and workspace with us. Your work is gorgeous ..You are so amazing talented with the clay. I aspire to be that good one day…Thank you again bye for now and happy crafting

    Reply

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