Let's get crafting!
For those of you who don't know me, I am the Sales & Marketing Assistant here at Clos LaChance winery, but in my free time, I am also an author/illustrator, crochet designer, and avid crafter! I'm always looking for new and fun ideas I can take and throw my own spin on, so for Valentine's Day, I thought we could take some air-dry clay, a bit of acrylic paint, some magnets, a bottle of delicious Rosé and have some fun!
What You'll Need:
Bottle of Clos LaChance Colibri Rosé (technically not required but highly encouraged, you can find here)
Air-dry clay (I use the DAS brand you can find here)
Small Cookie/Clay Cutters (These are the ones I'm using here)
Rolling Pin (I use a stainless steel one with thickness guides but any will do)
Non-Stick Surface (wax paper works too)
Craft Acrylic Paint (Here's a fun set that comes with most of the essentials)
Paint Brushes (x2. The set linked above has these included!)
Glass of Water
Magnets of course! (0.25 - 0.5 inch magnets)
Let's Get Started! Cutting out the Clay
First up, make sure you pour a glass of chilled rosé so you can enjoy it while you get crafting! Next, take out a chunk of our air-dry clay, placing the rest in a Ziploc air-tight bag for future crafting! Using your rolling pin and thickness guides (pens, popsicle sticks, etc so that you roll out your clay as evenly as possible), roll out your clay to a desired thickness - approx. 1/4 inch.
Select your cookie cutters from the lot and let's start designing. For the parent and child hearts, you will want the largest and smallest of the hearts in the pack. For the star, you will want the largest star and smallest heart for the face. The flower is using the smallest flower and heart!
The star and flower magnets are easy enough. You just cut out the largest parts first going all the way through the clay. Pop out your shape and using the smallest heart cutter, you want to press ever-so-gently an impression of the heart into the center of the magnet just enough to see the heart without digging into the magnet or through the magnet... eek! If you make a mistake, just roll out and try again! Ah, the beauty of clay.
For the parent and child heart magnets, you want to cut fully the largest heart first, pop that out, then taking the smallest heart you want it to be off center and slightly tilted as though the child is looking up at the parent. Again, as before, you want to push enough to make an impression but not cut through the clay.
Rinse and repeat for as many magnets as you plan to make!
Drying the Clay
You have two options with air-dry clay: (1) set it aside and wait, flipping the piece over now and again until it is fully dry. It really will dry and set just like the package says!, which brings me to option (2) bake the clay, but HOLD ON. Don't rush it ... let me explain.
Option 2: Baking the Clay
Put your clay pieces on a piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet when your oven is COLD. Only once it is in there should you set your oven temperature to the lowest setting (about 200-250°F). Now set your timer for 15 minutes and walk away. The oven will warm up with your clay pieces inside, bake for a bit, and when the oven timer goes off, let your clay pieces cool down completely in the oven as well.
Now check your clay for doneness. You'll know that air-dry clay is completely dry two ways: (1) there will be no gray areas, as the clay turns white when it is dry, and (2) if you flip the piece over and use your nail to test, it should make a mark without actually going into the clay.
If your clay is completely cool and dry, great! You can move onto the next step... painting!
If your clay is not completely dry, then repeat the process we did above until it is, making sure to put the tray back in the oven when it is cool, making sure to let the clay heat up and cool down gradually along with the oven. Once yours is dry, you too can move onto the painting portion of our craft!
Painting your Clay
If you have craft paint laying around, great! If not, you can go to any craft store or purchase some online as well (links above in the materials list for purchase ideas). You can buy pastel colors or make your own by adding white paint to any of the standard rainbow colors. In my case, I added white to pink, green, yellow, and blue.
Acrylic paint dries fairly quickly once it's on your paint pallet, so you don't want to leave it and have lunch. Make sure you have the time to sit and paint all of your pieces at once if at all possible.
Start with the base colors first. Now is not the time for the fine facial details or accents. Just make the hearts, stars, and flowers the main colors you like. If you are painting part and the wrong color gets on a spot, just let it dry and then paint over it with the correct color. That is one of the beauties of acrylic paint, you can layer it whenever you need to!
Once all of the base colors are done on the front and sides and dry, flip the pieces over and paint the backs (optional) where the magnets will go and let them dry.
Now is the time for taking fun Valentine's Day shapes and giving them personality!
Paint on the Faces
These just wouldn't be quite as cute if they didn't have a bit of personality, although you are asking the person who adds faces to all of her illustrations! For this part, you have a few options, you can use black, white, and pink acrylic paints and a small brush to add the small dots for eyes, lines for the mouths, little cheek circles, and arms on the parent hearts holding their kids. Another option if you have paint pens, like Posca pens, you can use those! They are fun because they are easier to control with a tip that is solid. As with most crafts, you just use what you can find!
Let these all dry before moving on to sealing and adding the magnets!
Sealing your Painted Clay
I listed some ways to seal air-dry clay in the materials list above, but it really depends on what you are planning to use these for. If you are just making a standard fridge magnet, Mod Podge is a fun, easily accessible way to go. You'll need to paint on several layers to build up the extra layer of protection.
If you want to make these into pins you can wear or put on your bag, they will be exposed to UV light outside, therefore, Mod Podge would not be your best bet as it yellows in sunlight. You can get a UV activated non-toxic epoxy resin that will create an even thicker layer of protection against bunking it into things or dropping them. You'll notice the difference in this picture here. The large blue heart and pink heart were sealed with epoxy resin, as well as the small green heart. The others were all sealed with Mod Podge.
Attaching the Magnets
Once your magnets are sealed, you've made it to the very last step: attaching the magnets! For this you will want one of two things: super glue or 2-part adhesive. In the video, I used 2-part adhesive which includes an activator spray as well as a bottle of the adhesive. Within only moments there is nothing that will pull the two pieces apart! One thing I learned and want to caution though if you do decide to use this method... put the adhesive on the back of the clay piece and then spray the magnet before pressing it down into the adhesive. In the video, I'll admit, I did the opposite (sprayed the clay and put the adhesive on the magnet) and one of the chemicals in the spray went through the Mod Podge and smeared the paint/ink on the front. I had to touch up the front to try to fix the problem.
If you are using super glue, you just put the glue on the magnet itself, hold glue side down to the back of the clay piece for 15 seconds or so, et voila! You are all finished making your fun Valentine's Day magnets for your loved ones or friends to show that you care and also that you're crafty!
I look forward to our next craft and sip night together! Put in the comments below if you made these magnets and share pictures too if you can on social media!