Luck of the Irish – or – Polymer clay emergency crafting!

Polymer clay shamrock crafted last minute for my kids to wear to school.When you have a fully stocked crafting supply cabinet and especially when you work with polymer clay, you are well equipped to deal with many decorative emergencies. Let me explain.

As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s traditional to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. And in the world of elementary school children, it’s even more important because those poor unfortunate souls who DON’T wear green run the risk of getting pinched. One March 16th evening, when my children were in 3rd and 4th grades (ages 7 and 9), they were horrified to learn that their wardrobes did not include a single green item. Not a one. I was faced with the choice of making a late evening shopping excursion (which meant dragging these two and their preschool-aged sister to the mall), or put on my thinking cap and do what mothers have done since the beginning of time. I got creative. I sent my kids to bed that night, assuring them they would have something green to wear to school the next day.

After bedtime, I got to work. I mixed up some green clay and formed it into a heart-shaped log. Then I made slices from this log, four for each shamrock. Then I arranged them into a shamrock shape, crafted a stem from more clay, mooshed them together a bit, and put them in the oven to cure.

After baking, I mixed some holographic glitter with some varnish, and slathered it on top. I didn’t add glitter to the one for my son, out of respect for his 4th grade boy sensibilities. The next morning I hot-glued pin backs to two of them, added a bail and cord for the preschooler, and sent the kids on their way to school. The day was saved.

One year my kids covered pens with polymer clay cane slices to give as Christmas gifts to all their relatives.
Here are some pens left from the year that my kids made them as Christmas gifts for the family. The oldest could make his own canes, I sliced canes for the middle one to use, and my littlest kid just smooshed the clay onto a pen any old way. (I think hers are long gone. They were favorites because they didn’t roll off the table.)

I can’t tell you how many times polymer clay has saved us. One year I made a smiley face cane so that a certain kindergartener could make gifts for her teacher who collected them. Another year the kids made pens for their Christmas gifts to all the relatives. There have been brooches made. Last minute hostess gifts were created by covering vases with polymer clay. And many a Christmas Eve has been spent madly making jewelry for my mother. Has polymer clay ever saved the day for you?

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