How to make Yuna's necklace
- Metallic silver Polymer clay (I recommend Fimo rather than Sculpey if possible for this one, because Sculpey is weaker and this is a relatively fragile design. On the other hand, I've never tried it with Sculpey, so it may work just fine.)
- One blue crystal (you can get foil-backed 'gem' cut ones from a jewellery supplier, or just a little faceted bead will do the job)
From a jewellery supplier:
- Four small screw hooks (silver colour)
- A few medium-sized jumprings (silver colour, about 5 or 6mm)
- A silver chain and clasp
- Silver metallic acrylic paint
- A thin rod or even a bit of wire
- A very fine drill bit (or a very thick needle, if you're stuck)
- A touch of superglue
- Smallish jewellery pliers
Now this one is easier than it looks, provided you don't mind messing around with the clay and tolerating a few failures. Have a really good look at some pics of Yuna's necklace so you know exactly what it ought to look like. You'll see that it's actually constructed out of five basic components: there's the elegant 'V' shape, the flower that hangs from its middle point, the two buds which hang from its right and left points, and a third bud which hangs from the end of the extension chain at the back of the necklace. All of these need to be attached in such a way that they dangle - they're not fixed.
I had some trouble describing what I did clearly for this tutorial, I think! If you're not sure what I mean, please keep checking on the photo of the one I made - I think that'll make it clearer.
So you're going to start with the V shape. Just take a rolled cylinder of clay, pinch it in the middle so it makes a V, and gently form the shape.
A couple of things to remember while you're doing this - firstly, the weight of the necklace and any tug on the chain is going to pull on this V shape, so you need to make sure it's thick enough not to break. Especially, don't make the pointy 'ends' too thin, because they're where you're going to attach the chain.
Secondly, try not to get too much in the way of fingerprints on the front of the clay - if you gently smooth over the surface you'll get a finish which looks much more 'metallic' when it's painted.
Once you have the shape done, lay it on something smooth and oven-proof to bake. (If you look closely at the necklace you'll see that the V is slightly arched - it doesn't lie flat if you put it down. I actually made a domed mould out of clay and baked it beforehand, then put a sheet of baking paper over it and laid the V on that to bake)
Next comes the flower. I actually make this in two stages - first comes the outside. Form the bell-like shape out of a lump of clay - use your fingernail to define the petals at the edges. Now use the blunt end of the pencil, or similar, to 'hollow out' the bell shape a bit. You don't want it to be too thin but you need a decent indentation. Finally, take one of the screw eyes and gently push the screw end into the top of the flower, so that only the loop is left outside.
The flower should now hang by the loop without any trouble. Hang it on the rod/wire/whatever you're using to be baked.
And now the three buds. To make a bud, take a tiny piece of clay and roll it into a ball - this is the 'core' of the bud. Now take four small pieces of clay and press them into flattish 'leaf' shapes - these are the petals. Press the four petals together around the core - don't quite press the pointy ends together, instead bend them back slightly so it looks like the bud is just beginning to open. Take a screw eye and press it into the bottom of the bud just like you did with the flower, so that the bud hangs with the 'open' end down.
Make all three buds and hang them also on the rod or wire, not touching each other. Try to keep all the buds the same size!
Now you can bake them - be careful not to overcook as these are very small and fine pieces of clay and they don't take too long.
Once the flower has cooled, you can add the inside of it. Make some more clay 'petals' and press them into the indentation so that they look like a flower. Take your 'jewel' and press it into the centre - then take it out again as you can't put glass or crystal in the oven. Hang the flower on the rod and bake it again.
You need to make holes in the three points of the V shape which are big enough for a jump ring to go through - and be able to swing freely. Take your little drill bit and gently use your fingers to 'drill' a hole through each point - the hole should be from side to side, NOT from front to back.
Now you're going to paint the clay pieces silver. Use some bits of twisted wire to hold the pieces while you paint them - put it through the loops on the flower and buds, and through the holes in the V shape. Paint them all completely in smooth silver - make sure you get it in all the nooks and crannies. The only exception is the indentation in the flower where you're going to glue the jewel - leave a space unpainted there so that the glue will have some purchase.
Hang the pieces up by the wire and let them dry. It doesn't matter if paint gets in the holes in the V shape, you can always poke it out again afterwards.
If you want to you can add a layer of polymer clay varnish at this stage. If you do, same routine as with the paint, and make sure it's all dry before you move on.
Use the superglue to glue the 'jewel' into the flower.
Finally! You get to construct the necklace. Take two lengths of chain - one is to go around your neck. Get it to the right length for you, and Cut this length in half. One is the extension chain which will hang down your back from the back of your neck. So you have three pieces of chain.
Use the pliers to open three jumprings and gently put them through the holes in the V. Before you close them again:
- Hang the flower from the jumpring in the middle. Close the ring.
- Hang a bud from the jumpring on one side. Thread an end of half the necklace chain onto the jumpring as well. Close the ring.
- Hang a bud from the jumpring on the other side. Thread an end of the other half of necklace chain onto this jumpring as well. Close the ring.
So now the front of the necklace - V shape, flower, two buds - should be finished. The necklace chain is in two halves, so now you have to bring it together at the back and add the extension chain.
Take the extension chain and attach the last bud to one end with a jumpring.
Take one end of the necklace chain and attach the clasp with a jumpring (I find it more comfortable if this end will be in my right hand when I'm putting the necklace on, but whatever suits you).
Take the other end of the necklace chain and attach the free end of the extension chain to it with a jumpring. This jumpring will also be the loop you clip the clasp to to close the necklace.
And that's it! Do up the clasp and you should have a fully functional necklace. Check out my version: