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How To Turn Clay Creations Into Pins

Pins for your clothing or bags, etc.

Boot and mushroom pins Elizabeth made.

Hello! Welcome to Miniezshops how-to-sculpt series with myself Elizabeth. This blog walks you through how to turn your baked sculptures into pins for your clothes, bags, etc. Here's what you'll need:

  • A work mat to protect your table top. Nothing fancy, this can be a piece of paper.

  • Your baked sculpture, with a flat back. If you need inspiration check out my Youtube channel.

  • An x-acto knife or a tool with a flat edge.

  • Some clay. My favorite is Cosclay but any clay you have will do.

  • A baking sheet & an oven.

I might earn a commission if you purchase from some of those links but you can definitely use what you have and get creative with the tools.

A photo of the tools.

Once you have your materials it’s time to get sculpting:

Step 1: With clean hands, locate your baked sculpture. Make sure the back of it is flat. The back meaning: the portion that will rest against your clothes or bag. Having a flat back makes it so the pin post can rest evenly on the sculpture.

Step 2: Take a small piece of clay and warm it up. I like to use the same color as for the baked sculpture but you can use any color you'd like.

Step 3: Roll that piece of clay into a tiny ball.

Step 4: Set the piece of clay on the base of your pin backer/post.

Step 5: Set the pin post in the center of the back/flat portion of your sculpture. Some people use super glue or liquid clay here but that requires extra tools. I've found clay to be the most secure.

Step 6: Take a slightly larger piece of clay, warm it up and roll it into a ball.

Step 7: Press that clay ball flat.

*The size should be able to cover the metal base of your pin post but not be bigger than the back of your sculpture.

Step 8: Find the center of that clay circle and line it up with to pointed portion of your pin post.

Step 9: Press the clay circle into the pin post and push it all the way down to the sculpture back. It should be covering the metal base of the pin post now. If it isn't, add more clay.

Step 10: Smooth the circle onto your sculpture, making sure the new clay isn't visible from the front. You can use your fingers or your tools to smooth the clay.

* Some people use resin to cover their pin posts but that requires more materials and mess. I've found clay adheres really well to itself.

Step 11: Take your sculpting tool and press down the clay in between the main pin post and the tiny metal stub next to the post. That small metal piece is what prevents your pin from swiveling on your clothes, so it's important to make sure it's exposed.

Step 12: Take your x-acto knife or another tool with a flat edge and press it around the clay to make the clay flat. Essentially, make sure the clay isn't mounding up to the pin post.

Step 13: Keep smoothing the clay until it's to your liking. Then you can take a potters needle or toothpick to sign your initials.

Step 14: Heat up your oven and bake the sculpture according to the clay's specifications. Generally this is 275 F or 135 C for thirty minutes but clay varies from brand to brand.

Step 15: When your pin is done baking, let it cool for about 30 minutes, until it’s cold to the touch.

Step 16: If you'd like a visual tutorial here's my corresponding Youtube video.

Step 17: Wear, share or decorate with your awesome new sculpture.

I hope you have fun and make lots of cute little pins! If you have any questions let me know in the comments below. I always enjoy hearing what you’d like to know about the sculpting process.

Ps. if you feel like sending a photo of your creations, I'd love to see what you make and can feature it at the end of my Youtube videos if you’d like. Here's some of the pins I've made:

Thanks for reading, hugs - Elizabeth (miniezshop)

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