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"When I was a little girl I used to go through entire bags of heart candies, looking for those hearts with those special sayings that were perfect for my prospective valentines. Now that I've been playing with polymer clay, I can make my own hearts that say just what I want them to! It's easy and fun and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have. One word of catuion, though - these look very realistic! Make sure small children don't try to eat them!"

Supplies:

  • Three 2-oz blocks of white polymer clay, Fimo or Premo - each block yields 6-7 hearts
  • Small bits of each red or alizarin crimson, golden or zinc yellow, and teal or sea green
  • Pasta machine, acrylic roller, or brayer
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter, approx 1" size
  • Corn starch (optional)
  • Lettering stencil template or letter stamps
  • Needle tool
Instructions:
  1. For each package of white clay, add a small pea-sized pinch of either red, yellow, or green and knead or roll through pasta machine until colors are well-distributed. Start with small amounts of color - it doesn't take much to get that delicious light pastel color we all know so well!

  2. When you like your colors, form each into a slab of clay approximately 1/4 inch thick. (I used a sheet rolled through an Atlas pasta machine on #3 folded twice to make a stack of four thicknesses - see right) If using a different size cutter, make your slab about 1/4 as tall as your cutter is wide. This gives a realistic proportion to your "candies."

  3. Dust heart cutter with corn starch and press heart shapes out of your slab. Remove your hearts from the cutter carefully so as not to distort them. If desired, smooth corn starch over surface of each heart - this will prevent fingerprints and lint sticking to the clay.

  4. With lettering template, size up your words to be sure they will fit. With this particular template and cutter size I couldn't fit words with more than five letters. Place the template lightly on surface of your heart and press each letter in with your needle tool.I dug out a little bit of extra clay to make sure my lines were straight.

  5. Once you've gotten your words on, bake your hearts at the manufacturer's recommended temperature for about 45 minutes. These require a little extra time because they're so thick, but it's worth it!
You can also get fancy with your hearts by backfilling the letters with opaque or tinted Liquid Sculpey, using letter stamps dipped in Pearl-Ex or metallic powders, or using different colors of clay. The Fimo Soft red metallic makes really lovely hearts. Glue on pin backs or magnets, or drill and use as beads! Most of all, have fun!

Julia Sober
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