Easy Clay Image Transfer

by Johnnie Collier

polymer clay image transfer

Of all the image transfer techniques out there, this simple method is my favorite for it’s ease and effectiveness.  Make your own beautiful keepsake pendants, charms, ornaments, home decor and more in just a few steps anyone can follow.  You don’t need to be a clay expert for this process.  Grab your favorite images, clay and a water mister, and you are ready to get going with this tutorial.

Supplies:

  • Polymer clay in a light enough color to make your transfer visible.  I used premo ecru color for an antiqued look.  I have used white and pearlescent in the past for different looks.
  • Laser jet images of your choice.  I have no idea where I got this image.  Probably Graphics Fairy if I had to guess!
  • Glaze or other sealer/finisher
  • Mister bottle with water
  • Jewelry findings of your choice to finish

Instructions:

  • Condition your clay and lay out a sheet bigger than the finshed piece you want.  I rolled this in my pasta machine at a thickness of 2, then folded it over to double the thickness.

Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

  • Cut out your image and lay it face down on the surface of your clay.  Burnish the image onto the clay carefully by running your finger across the back of the paper to remove any air between the image and the surface of the clay.

Polymer Clay Image Transfer Tutorial

Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

  • Spray the back of the image with the mister, making sure you wet the entire surface of the image.  Let this sit for a few minutes.


Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

  • With your finger, gently rub off the paper backing.  You don’t want to apply pressure in this step as you can damage your image.  The motion of your finger moving back and forth parallel to the plane of the clay will pull the paper off in clumps.  Keep doing this until you are satisfied with the quality of the image.  You can spray more water on there if you need to.  It won’t hurt the image.
  • Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

 

  • Cut your clay piece into the desired shape with a sharp clay blade.

Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

  • Polymer Clay Pendant TutorialI stick a bead pin in the soft clay before baking so I can put a wire hanging mechanism in later.  Some people drill a hole after baking, or use a glue on pendant bail.  The problem with poking a needle through raw clay is you can distort it, but with practice you will be able to do this without damage.
  • Bake your clay per package instructions.  Remove from oven and let cool before applying glaze or finish.  That’s all there is to it!

Polymer Clay Transfer Tutorial

Polymer Clay Pendant Tutorial

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Val August 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Great tutorial! I love the look of this method! ~Val

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2 jamie August 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Love this!!! I just liked it on Stumble Upon and I’m pinning it right now. Beautiful work and great tutorial; thanks!

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3 Pat Bennett August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

This is just beautiful. You have such talent and it is so nice that you are so eager to share this talent. Thank you.

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4 Deb Riddell August 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm

What a great tutorial, thank you so much for sharing it! When Pinterest is back up and running, I’m going to pin it to my Tutorial board. Thanks so much, Deb

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5 john August 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

This is probably the best image transfer process I have seen. Beats any I ‘ve seen at other craft sites. YOU”RE the BEST !

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6 SavedByLoveCreations August 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Thanks, dear!

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7 Sue August 5, 2011 at 5:52 pm

So cool! And so easy! I’m going to try doing a few of these for Christmas presents. Thank you!

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8 Melissa Johnson August 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm

This is awesome! Its so chic and charming. I love this project and am excited to try it. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring.

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9 Tammy August 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

This is really pretty. Good job!! Thanks for sharing it with us :)

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10 Carla August 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Lovely and do-able project. Thanks!

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11 Catch a falling star August 9, 2011 at 1:01 am

Of all the years that I have been doing polymer clay, I have never tried this.
I have alot of graphics I adore and would love to make one of these.
Your necklace is very pretty!

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12 MD August 9, 2011 at 4:22 am

magique
bravo
md

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13 Nicole August 9, 2011 at 9:16 am

Johnnie…..this is so pretty! I am always amazed by the number of creative ideas that you have! :)

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14 Vivienne @ The V Spot August 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

Adorable! Stumbled, pinned and tweeted this! :)

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15 katie August 10, 2011 at 12:33 am

LOVE this! Such a cool project.

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16 femmefrugality August 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Holy moly! Can you say Christmas gifts?

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17 Mandy March 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Hmm, I tried this today and only the top ‘layer’ of the paper came off. i kept trying and the layer with the image on it just pulled right off, image and all. I am going to try it again but I was hoping you have some extra tips?

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18 Linda March 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I must have tried this at least a dozen times and had the same problem. I just now noticed that the supplies call for a laser jet image. I had been using an ink jet image. Trial number thirteen will be happening tomorrow….

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19 Mandy March 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Darn, if thats the issue, theres nothing I can do about it then huh? Or do places like staples use laser jet?

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20 SavedByLoveCreations March 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hey guys! Sorry I am just now getting to this. It has to be laser jet or a photocopy. Inkjet is a no go. Having it printed at Staples or any of those places will work great for me. They use laserjet. Try that and let us know how you do! xoxo

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21 Linda March 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Success! I have access to a laser jet photocopier and copied my image with it. I really need to read directions better….

22 Linda March 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

What kind of paper did you print the image on? Also what kind of mister bottle did you use? I’m guessing its not a regular spray bottle, but something that produces a finer mist. Thanks for your post.

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23 Mununa April 7, 2013 at 6:04 am

Mister bottle is not a must! You can just as well moist the paper by wetting it with your fingers!
Good luck!

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24 mandy March 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm

haha, me too on the reading part!

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25 SavedByLoveCreations March 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Ha! Great to hear, Linda. Maybe I should bold the laserjet part, huh?!

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