TUTORIAL: Holly Necklace

I’m sure you’re all excited about Christmas (I know I am!), so here is a little tutorial showing how I created a fairly simple holly necklace using polymer clay and wire. It’ll be perfect to give as a gift to someone special or to keep for yourself to wear to a Christmas party. Whatever you decide to do with it, enjoy and have fun!

What you’ll need: 

  • Polymer clay (dark green, dark red, yellowy brown)
  • Wire
  • Scissors
  • Very dark green acrylic paint (almost black)
  • Light green acrylic paint
  • Links
  • Necklace chain
  • Strong craft glue or hot glue gun
  • Clay varnish (I use the original FIMO one)
  • Paintbrush x2
  • Rolling tool
  • Cutting tool
  • Holly leaves (two or three sizes)

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Step one: 
Begin with a ball of dark green clay. I mixed some green and black to get this colour.

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Step two:
Roll out your clay so that it is approximately half a centimetre thick. Take your holly leaf and gently snip off the spikes, otherwise it will leave holes in your clay. Press your leaf into the clay and use your rolling tool over it evenly, so that when you peel the leaf off it leaves the indents of the leaf in the clay.

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Step three: 
Using the details as a guide, cut out the shape of your holly leaf. Once cut out, pinch the “spikes”.

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Step four: 
Repeat step three using all different sizes of holly leaves. You want around twelve altogether. Put to one side.

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Step five: 
Cut off approximately 6 inches of wire. Bend the ends very slightly so that you are left with a hook shape. Cut off any excess.

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Step six: 
Cut off two more pieces of wire, this time 1 inch long. Wrap them around your longest piece of wire a little so it feels secure, but leave the ends coming off like the photo above. This will help to keep the main stems secure so place them as evenly as possible.

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Step seven:
Wrap the whole thing tightly in dark green clay. I won’t lie to you, this part was fairly time consuming for me, so be patient. Try to make sure there is no wire showing, other than the two hooked ends.

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Step eight: 
Connect your leaves onto your stems as you like. Smooth the seams with your fingertips. Bake in the oven until hard (around 30 minutes at gas mark 4 or 180 Celsius).

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Step nine: 
Once cool, take some short pieces of wire (measure by holding up to your leaves) and place them on the back of every leaf. Use some more clay to connect it to the main leaf, covering the wire. Bake again for around 10 minutes.

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Step ten: 
Allow to cool again. Apply your dark green paint all over everything, then use some damp tissues to wipe the surfaces. This just helps to show the shadows and details.

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Step eleven: 
Roll out a few balls of red clay. Keep them even in size.

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Step twelve: 
Roll out very small balls of yellowy brown clay and place them onto the red balls. Use the end of your paintbrush to press into the middle of the yellow balls, leaving a nice big dent in the middle. Then use your cutting tool to make little lines around the outside.

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Step thirteen: 
Poke a small hole in the centre of the yellowy brown clay and also on the opposite side, in the red clay. (Please excuse the horrible nails!)

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Step fourteen: 
Highlight the edges of the leaves with light green paint.

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Step fifteen: 
Cover your balls with dark green paint, then wipe it off the surfaces like you did earlier.

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Step sixteen: 
Glue the “berries” into place wherever you like. 

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Step seventeen: 
Once the glue is dry, paint a layer of varnish over everything. Attach your links and chain. If you like, you could add a backing of felt or similar material, but I didn’t think it needed it.

Finished! Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoyed it!
I’m looking forward to trying out some more Christmas ideas very soon, so keep checking back. I have lots more tutorials on my website if you care to take a look.

Please leave a comment below with any suggestions, requests, questions, or just to let me know how your necklace turned out. Have a beautiful Christmas, lovelies! 

 

 

 

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