I played around with faux pearls yesterday and after a few people saw the pics that I posted I was asked “tute please?” So here goes. This is really not a difficult project, loads of fun and is suitable for all levels of polymer clay skill.
What you need:
White, pale gold, pale pink or pale blue pearlescent or pearlex powders.
Premo Pearl or similar polymer clay.
Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Sealer or similar.
Blade, tile for curing, soft brush, craft knife and a soft cloth for buffing.
How to Make the Pearls:
Thoroughly condition a piece of pearl polymer clay about the size of a golf ball.
Roll it into a log about 3/8 inch in diameter.
Cut slices of varying thickness off the log. These will form the pearls. The smaller the pearl the thinner the slice. If needs be cut the slices in half if you want even smaller pearls.
Roll the slices of clay between your hands to form a round ball. Don’t worry about the mica shift that happens at this stage. That will give the tonal variations in the colour of the finished pearl.
Place a tiny bit of the pearlex or pearlescent powder into a small ziplock baggie. If the base colour is too intense use a ratio of 1 part colour to 3 parts white and mix thoroughly. That will make the colour a lot softer.
Drop the clay ball into the bag (do one at a time!) and shake thoroughly. Remove the “pearl” from the bag and roll on a flat surface to work the pearlescent powder into the surface of the clay.
This is where you decide what shape your pearl is going to be. If you want round pearls, simply keep the coated clay balls round. You can pierce holes before hand or drill them through afterwards. I recommend you bake the pearls on a layer of cornstarch if you want to keep the rounded shape perfect. If you are making mabe pearls, flatten the ball slightly, so that the top is rounded and the base flat. If needs be tweak the shape of the pearl between your fingers. Mabe pearls are not perfectly round.
Using a flat blade lift the pearls onto a tile for baking. Smooth the surface of the pearl so there are no fingerprints or scratches to mar the lustre of the pearl. If needs be use a piece of cling film or a soft brush. A sheet of paper under the pearls will eliminate any shiny spots on the underside.
Once the cured pearls have cooled down LIGHTLY buff with a very soft cloth to remove any excess powder from the surface. Use in whatever setting you desire and coat with one or two coats of a water based sealer such as the Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Sealer.