I am cheap, but I could not resist BUYING Bettina Welker’s Hinged Bracelet tutorial. So I had to buy some magnets. Then I needed to get some Kato clay (she says in the tutorial that she has made a bracelet using Fimo Classic but it may not be as strong, so I’m planning to make one with Kato and one with Fimo and comparing the results).
The next problem was finding something to use as a baking mould. I have some pastry cutters, but they are not wide enough. Our tumblers taper. My wrists are very small so tin cans are too big, a loo roll is too small and too flimsy. I contemplated buying wooden dowels or taller pastry cutters, but I didn’t want to wait till I could go on a shopping trip and… I am cheap. Therefore I spent a week rummaging through the cupboards and recycling bin checking the sizes of all the jars. Nothing was the right size, but there was a lot of paper.
Then I remembered this tutorial for making boxes using paper streamers and I had the idea of cutting up the junk paper into 5cm wide strips and making a cylinder mould. So two seed catalogues (and some time) later: Behold! A thing of beauty:
The last layer is a sheet of plain white paper so that the printing does not transfer to the clay. To be extra sure that the clay does not get stuck to the mould I also covered it with tin foil. And so, finally, a bake-able, firm cylinder with a customisable diameter. And not expensive! I’m planning to make a set of smaller ones to use as ring mandrels.
As I am making a hinged bracelet, it gets cut in half off the mould. So far I have successfully made two bracelet cores and they have come off without problem (and I haven’t even cut through the foil). The cylinder has a small amount of “squish” to it, so I believe a solid ring may also slip off without too much trouble. I will try this at some point.
I also want to get round to making the little boxes that the tutorial was intended for as they are delightful. Have a look.
Can’t wait to see the results!
excellent idea! Next time I get the bangle making bug I will try it.
I have been making more and it seems the Kato clay shrinks which causes it to become brittle and crack. Maybe it needs to be a little loose on the mould?
What a great idea! Thank you so much – I am definitely going to use this!
Glad I can help.
Binky Melnik said:
Your idea is great! I, too, have tiny wrists (5.5″), and what I use for bangles is Red Bull cans. I would imagine Red Bull is available in the UK. Also, Pepsi has come out with 7.5 oz cans, and those are tiny, too, and those are really good. If you can find either one, you might like using those for bracelet armatures.
What I have a hard time finding is oval cans or bottles. I’ve searched high and low and have yet to find a small oval bottle or can I can use.
I have a *terrific* small, rounded square olive oil bottle I use for making square cuffs. I dropped it ounce but thought fast and moved my foot so that it landed on my foot so it didn’t break. I had a large and painful lump on my foot for a couple weeks, but at least I still have my bottle!
(I also own Bettina’s hinged bracelet tutorial; saved up for it for a long time, and then when I went to buy it, IT WAS ON SALE! Whee!)
Oh how we suffer for our art 🙂
Good idea for the Red Bull cans, thanks.