How to Use Two Part Epoxy Clay for Other Art and Mixed Media Jewelry-Making Projects

Two part epoxy clay used to be useful for repairing things, especially in home improvement. To fix cracks in a pool or to fill in any cracks in leaking pipes, DIY individuals and handymen alike mix equal parts of it until it's a uniform color, then pat it down or glue the two broken pieces together.

Well, epoxy clay is no longer restricted to home repair jobs. It's a versatile, durable clay that air-dries and is adhesive to almost anything. Crafters usually put it in frame or bezel settings, embed objects (like beads and gems), and set it aside.

But what if you don't have anything with bezels or frames?

Well, epoxy clay isn't limited to just those alone. You can mold it, sculpt it, shape it, or cut it out with cutters (just like polymer clay) to make customized charms. And it doesn't just stop at mixed media jewelry making. You can use the charms to embellish your scrapbook pages or decorate your home!

Where Epoxy Clay can be Found

Before buying online, look around at your local bead store or your craft store for it. If you can't seem to find it anywhere, look for a vendor online. If you can, search for local stores with online shopping sites. They offer discounts and coupon codes to make buying it more affordable.

Here are some words of caution while buying epoxy clay from the hardware store. Some of them are not of good quality and some are too dull to work with or not tacky enough for your embeds. It's cheaper to buy them, but consider buying a quality clay you can possibly and comfortably afford.

2 Part Epoxy Crystal Clay Incl 36 Swarovski 1028 Elements WHITE 45115
2 Part Epoxy Crystal Clay Incl 36 Swarovski 1028 Elements WHITE 45115

The chatons in the little bag are optional - you can either do another project with them if they are not enough for your other ones.

 
Some clay kits have parts labeled "A" and "B" so you can know how much of it to mix with.
Some clay kits have parts labeled "A" and "B" so you can know how much of it to mix with.
Make sure the clay is thoroughly mixed and of uniform color.
Make sure the clay is thoroughly mixed and of uniform color.

Clay Basics

As with all brands of epoxy clay, there are 2 parts: one is the resin itself (the colored part) and the other is the hardener. Pinch a portion off of each, make balls out of them, and put them side-by-side to make sure they are equal. This is very crucial for hardening once the two are mixed. If you want to be accurate, weigh the balls out using a scale lined with wax paper.

Make sure you're using clean hands so you will not embed any dirt or grime in the clay. If desired, use a set of rubber gloves.

Next, thoroughly knead the clay. Flatten the two equal balls simultaneously, pull apart, stack the halves, and repeat. Then, knead like bread dough. This is another critical step to ensure that it cures properly as it dries, so knead until there are no streaks or striations and until the clay is of uniform color. It can take 2-3 minutes to knead.

To pick up tiny objects, like those Swarovski crystal chatons, I suggest using a beeswax-tipped toothpick or other jewel pick.
To pick up tiny objects, like those Swarovski crystal chatons, I suggest using a beeswax-tipped toothpick or other jewel pick.

What to Embed and How to Color It

Epoxy clay is adhesive, so it's ideal for embedding small objects.

You can create a druzy or pave look by adding sparkly objects in the clay. Small Swarovski crystal chatons work good if the clay is to be shaped thicker. But for relatively thin (but not too thin) projects, flatback rhinestones more or less are better. You can embed acrylic gems in the clay for frugality's sake, but it would tend to melt in extreme heat. Buy the cheapest glass rhinestones you can possibly afford.

If rhinestones are not your thing, you can use microbeads (holeless, small beads) or glitter to fill in large sections. Also, you can embed small metal charms, small other freeform epoxy clay pieces, gemstone chips (especially for a cobblestone/mosaic effect, or crystal beads.

You can even use pearl powders or pigments if there is zero space between your embeds and make the background color multicolored. I suggest that you buy ones with binders mixed in. If you want to color your epoxy clay, I suggest that you use water-based inks, but be careful not to water it down. Thus, add the ink gradually - remember, a little goes a long way.

Keep in mind that working time ranges from 60-120 minutes, so I suggest that you plan your designs out beforehand.

Preciosa Chaton Medley, Light Amy Mix - 5 Grams
Preciosa Chaton Medley, Light Amy Mix - 5 Grams

Preciosa chatons also work good with epoxy clay.

 
Martha Stewart Crafts Metallic Microbeads, 12-Pack
Martha Stewart Crafts Metallic Microbeads, 12-Pack

Excellent for filling in zero spaces and adding extra dazzle.

 
Ranger Perfect Pearls Embellishment Pigment Kit, Aged Patina
Ranger Perfect Pearls Embellishment Pigment Kit, Aged Patina

Besides adding shimmer, it can color your clay into whatever shade you want. They have binders mixed in, which help the powder stick to the clay nicely.

 
Ranger DRI-20288 Tim Holtz Distress Ink Reinker, 0.5-Ounce, Mustard Seed
Ranger DRI-20288 Tim Holtz Distress Ink Reinker, 0.5-Ounce, Mustard Seed

Quality water-based inks like this can color your clay.

 

No Need for Bezels on This...

I have decorated the phone case with the epoxy clay with crystals embedded and mica powder brushed on.
I have decorated the phone case with the epoxy clay with crystals embedded and mica powder brushed on.

Where to Put the Clay

Epoxy clay sticks to just about anything, but you don't have a bezel setting to put it into. But do not fret - there are a lot of items that can be embellished with it.

For instance, Cell phone covers with bling (read: rhinestones) are always great accessories to show off to your friends. But buying them or having plain ones custom-made can be expensive. Especially with hard ones, they can make great canvases for the clay. Just place the clay on the clean case, making sure that it doesn't go over the edge or it will not close properly. Then add on the bling (or other small objects on hand) and color.

Freeform and molded charms and buttons made from clay needed something that won't stick when they cure. To prepare the surface, cover it with some newspaper and put a Teflon mat on top of it. The type of mat works with them because it's a nonstick surface. One way to get one is to buy a Teflon baking sheet and dedicate it only to crafts.

Once hardened (it can take 12-24 hours for it to cure), you can loop jump rings to them for pendants or charms or you can tie a loop with string for dazzling ornaments.

Regency Reusable Cookie Sheet Liner
Regency Reusable Cookie Sheet Liner

Here's an example of a nonstick surface that can be dedicated for crafting, like freeform epoxy clay projects.

 

Clay Heart

Here, I shaped the epoxy clay into a heart, embedded  glass flatback rhinestones, and brushed on a mixture of red and copper pearl powders. That's another proof that you can make jewelry out of it without a bezel!
Here, I shaped the epoxy clay into a heart, embedded glass flatback rhinestones, and brushed on a mixture of red and copper pearl powders. That's another proof that you can make jewelry out of it without a bezel!

Making Freeform Projects

Just like its polymer cousin, epoxy clay can be molded into just about anything you want. But You can't use any kind of mold, as it can stick to most. The best ones are silicone rubber molds, which can enable you to release the clay from the molds as they are flexible. You can buy them at your craft store or buy mold-making kits from that said store to make custom ones.

If you are not a mold fan, you can freehand your clay pieces. Just as you need clean hands to knead the clay, you should also need clean ones for sculpting your clay. The possibilities are endless - you can make monograms, hearts, wings, and other shapes.

If you are making pendants, keychains, ornaments, and charms, you can punch holes with the end of a paintbrush (especially when you're brushing on micas later on) or a straw you don't mind throwing away. Alternatively, you can roll a small snake of clay (if you have a bit remaining) and attach to it, forming a loop on top.

Again, once mixed, the clay has a 60 to 120-minute working time, depending on humidity, temperature, and brand of clay. So I suggest that you plan your design accordingly.

Epoxy clay is a versatile modeling medium that air dries within 12-24 hours and lasts longer. Especially when mixed with acid-free, water-based inks or paints, you can embellish your scrapbook pages with charms you have made. You can make customized ornaments for your Christmas tree or other holiday tree or you can show off your pendant or charm you've made to your pals when you and they go out together. The only limit in making projects with them is your own imagination!

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Comments 5 comments

tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

I use epoxy resin, but I have not heard of the clay. This is very unique and interesting. Can it be dyed? You have my craft senses going when you said Christmas ornaments! Excellent!


bridalletter profile image

bridalletter 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

I think that is really cool. I have read a little about it before. Always glad to see a how to video with it. I love butterflies, that would probably be my first piece to try. I will come back to the hub when I am ready to buy the resin clay. Thank you for the details.


talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL Author

Tammyswallow, the clay can be dyed. You can use any water-based ink or paint. I suggest wearing gloves for that since it would get messy. But anyway, thanks for reading.

Bridalletter, thanks for reading my article. I hope the video inspired you!


creativespirit63 profile image

creativespirit63 4 years ago from Omaha, Nebraska

I love this stuff! I use it for all kinds of things, like holding parts together, covering a glass piece I need to make stronger, a base for mosaic of odd shaped things. Alcohol inks work, too.


talfonso profile image

talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL Author

creativespirit63, thanks for the comments! If you have an excess surplus of two part epoxy clay, don't hesitate to make your own charms!

Speaking of alcohol inks, using them worked with the clay beautifully. But because they are transparent, they tint it in a more or less of a pastel color.

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