Page 1

11 BOLD street Leafy Transfer Valet Created by Susan O'Neill

11 BOLD street

Create an eye-catching valet (or “dish”, or “bowl”) to match your décor, or the season. Workmanship and attention to details are stressed in this example incorporating a 2-D transfer into a useful 3-D décor item.

Materials: • Premo Polymer, 1 oz Ultramarine, 1 oz Cadmium Yellow and 1/4 oz Pearl, thoroughly blended and conditioned • OR 2 oz other polymer color of your choice to coordinate with your chosen color scheme • Premo Polymer, 2 oz white, thoroughly conditioned • Magic Transfer Paper, (1) sheet • Dew Drop Brilliance Pigment Ink, Pearlescent Thyme • OR other heat set ink to coordinate with your chosen color scheme • Highly pigmented colored pencils, such as PrismaColor • Polymer-friendly satin varnish • Bake & Bond polymer adhesive Note: This is way more than enough clay, but you need a bit extra to roll out.


© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

• Tissue blade • Scissors • Felt (for leg bottoms) • Pointed wooden skewer • Small Plexiglas sheet or clear CD case • Texture sheet of your choice, 4” x 5” • Spray bottle of water • Soft paint brush • #400 and #600 wet/dry sandpaper • Small stainless steel mixing bowl • Wooden burnisher or paper folder • Pasta roller (or Lucite roller) • Wax paper • Baking tile • Small piece of corrugated cardboard • Tin foil for tenting during baking • Toaster or other dedicated, well-ventilated oven, calibrated with oven thermometer • Access to laser (NOT inkjet) printer Page 1 of 10 • Solid, smooth, washable work surface (A glass surface over top of a ¼” grid surface is

Step 1:Copy the included (or your desired image) to the Magic Transfer paper, using a laser printer. Size to approximately 5” x 7”. Hints for achieving a good image can be found here: magictransferpaper/index.html I have a mono laser printer at home and decided to add my own color. Using the colored pencils, color the leaves as desired, delivering an even, heavy coating and sharpening frequently. You will lose some saturation and I found that my colors were a few shades lighter, so choose your colors accordingly. I also noticed that metallic pencils, such as silver and copper did not seem to transfer as well as matte colors. Your transfer should be a bit oversize. If desired, you may choose as I did to sacrifice a 1/2” wide strip on a short side of your colored transfer to experiment on a small piece of the white polymer. You can apply the transfer as described below, rinse and see how your colors will turn out.

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 2 of 10

Step 1:You will first form the bottom layer of the valet. Roll the white and the base color to the middle thickness of your pasta roller (or approximately 1/16” thick by hand). Set aside the white. Note: Clean your pasta rollers well, and start with the white. Then role the darker color to avoid contamination of shades. Mist the surface of the polymer and lay your texture sheet over the clay, with the most “prominent” texture imprint facing up. Roll the assembly through the pasta machine at the same setting, trying to do it in one smooth motion. Remove the texture sheet. Note: If you aren’t happy with your impression, blot off the moisture from the polymer with a paper towel, re-roll it until smooth and try again. Gently blot the sheet dry with paper towels and using the tissue blade, trim the sheet to the largest possible rectangle which shows the texture clearly. Note: You also want this size to be about an inch smaller in each direction than your usable transfer size. Step 1:Drape the sheet, texture side up, over the bottom of the stainless steel bowl. Try to center the sheet and very gently press the edges tight to the bowl’s surface, eliminating any air bubbles. Note: Be sure that the bowl you choose has a flat, simple bottom without indentations and that it will fit into your oven with at least an inch clearance. Tent the top with tin foil. Bend “legs” onto each end of the foil, making sure that it does not touch the polymer surface and create a shiny spot. Cure the sheet on the bowl for 30 minutes at the manufacturer’s temperature. Cool the sheet in the oven.

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 3 of 10

Step 1:Very gently color the high points of the texture with the ink sponge, using a circular motion. I chose to cure this sheet before adding the ink, although it can be used on raw polymer as well. This way, I am sure that the texture is not distorted and can use a bit more pressure for heavier coverage. Return the sheet/bowl to the oven for an additional 15 minutes to set the ink. Let cool. Step 1:Trim the transfer sheet with scissors. Check the size of the white sheet and stretch it gently with your hands if necessary to fit the transfer and place on a piece of wax paper to facilitate handling. Lay the transfer colored side down on the polymer and gently and evenly burnish the surface a few times so that it makes contact with the polymer. Let rest for 15 minutes. While the transfer is resting, use your tissue blade to trim the edges.

Step 1:At the end of the resting period, pick up the polymer sheet, remove the wax paper and hold the sheet from the bottom, supported in your hand, under cool running water. The paper will dissolve and your design will remain. You may use your other hand to very gently rub away blobs of paper. Place the sheet on paper towels to dry. If you choose to blot the transfer surface, do so very lightly, or you will remove color from the pencilled areas.

Š 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD streetŽ

Page 4 of 10

Step 1:While the transfer dries, smear a thin but even layer of Bake & Bond to the valet base. You may use liquid polymer instead, but I like B&B for this purpose, since it is formulated to cure at the same temperature as the polymer, while liquid polymer is intended to fully cure at higher temperatures.

Step 1:Making sure that the back is totally dry, pick up the top transfer layer and apply it to the base. Cup it slightly to set the middle, then gently smooth to the edges. Think of putting a pie crust into the pan – lift the corners one at a time and press the top layer without stretching. Make sure that there are no air pockets, and if you find some, make a small cut with the tissue blade (on a leaf edge, not in a solid area, if possible) and release the air. Work slowly and carefully through this stage. The transfer surface is delicate, but not fragile. You can work over it with your fingers using reasonable pressure without damaging the design. Step 1:Invert the valet back over the bowl for support. Using the tissue blade, trim the top transfer layer even with the base layer. Don’t worry about being super perfect – you’ll sand these edges later.

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 5 of 10

Step 1: Carefully remove the valet from the bowl and cure, transfer side up on a piece of cardboard on a ceramic tile with the foil tent for 30 minutes. Let cool in the oven. You have a choice at this point: I rinsed my piece once again to remove any lingering paper, as I was initially afraid to stress the transfer too much. If you like your colors the way they are then skip this rinse. You may have a slightly fuzzy or nappy finish which is not at all unpleasant, especially as it will be varnished. This final rinse resulted in my piece having slightly lighter colors, but the black background was very smooth and shiny. If you rinse again, allow your piece to dry thoroughly before proceeding. Step 1: Apply a coat of polymer varnish to the transfer, following the manufacturer’s instructions and using a good brush. Allow to dry thoroughly. This initial coat will protect the transfer during further manipulations and from being spoiled by sanding debris.

Step 1:Using the remaining base color, make a polymer log approximately 3” x 3/4" dia. Use the Plexiglas or CD case to square the roll. Turn and press the sides until you have an even shape. Cut three legs from the middle of the log, each 3/4” long. (Not shown) Mist the legs with water and use the texture sheet to press each of four sides with the sheet to decorate the sides of the legs. The last two sides will get flattened slightly as you impress their opposite sides, but the design will still be legible. Use the Plexiglas to even up the un-textured “top” and “bottom” of the legs.

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 6 of 10

Step 1:Use the skewer to pierce an “end” and picking up each leg in turn, gently apply ink to the raised areas with your fingers. Cure the legs, plain face down on the cardboard, tented for 30 minutes.

Step 1:Soak pieces of wet/dry sand paper in the bowl for a few minutes, and then refine the edges of your valet, starting with the #400 grit. Do all edges, and then use the #600. Keep the piece fairly wet to ease sanding and to keep sanding particles from drying on the textured base. If you are interrupted, place the piece in the bowl of water until you get back to it. I like precision edges on my pieces, sanding until they feel completely even, before moving to the next grit. Inspect the corners, and using a downward motion, run the sand paper starting from the transfer side, not stroking back up. Do this several times to create a nice bevelled corner. Rinse the entire piece well in running water. Use a very soft toothbrush, very gently if you do get grit in the base texture. Step 1:To camouflage abutting surfaces which are uneven, building and interior designers use a technique called a “reveal”. If we stuck the legs right against the base, the texture would make it difficult for the legs to sit evenly. Make (3) slightly less than 1/4" balls from the base polymer. Put a dot of B&B in the center of one of the ends (I used the ends with the skewer holes) of each leg and set a ball on each. Don’t press down. Put a dot of B&B at three equidistant points on the flat part of your base. Place a leg, one at a time, ball side down, onto each of these dots on the base. Orient the leg before applying, as in leg corners or flat sides towards the center before applying. Press down gently but steadily on each leg in turn until the leg is about 1/8” from the textured surface.

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 7 of 10

Some B&B (or polymer) may ooze out if you’ve used too much. You can clean the B&B with an alcohol-soaked swab. The polymer from the balls should stop short of the edges of the legs. Use a smoothing or other rounded tool to remove some of the polymer, if necessary. Your finished leg positions should seem to float against the base. Turn the piece over, sit it down on its new legs and very gently press down and/or slightly rock it. The valet should feel stable. Get down at eye level and ensure that all legs are flat on the ground. Inspect the legs where they attach one more time and clean up or make any adjustments.

Cure the piece upside down on the cardboard, tented, for 20 minutes. Let cool in the oven.

Step 1:Give the surface and the newly sanded edges only (not the back/base) a coat or two of the satin varnish. Allow to dry thoroughly between coats.

Step 2:Cut to size and glue (or use self-stick) felt to the bottom of each foot.

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 8 of 10

That’s it!! You’ve created a wonderfully unique valet! What will you put in yours? I’d avoid sharp metal objects like keys, but a couple of wrapped chocolates or small trinkets would work nicely. Now, think about other transfer designs and valet shapes!

You can purchase Magic Transfer Paper in the Polymer Clay Productions shop! It’s the fool-proof way to transfer onto uncured polymer clay!


© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 9 of 10

Pattern for your use! Enjoy!

© 2010 Susan K. O’Neill - 11 BOLD street®

Page 10 of 10

Polymer Clay Transfer Valet- tutorial  
Polymer Clay Transfer Valet- tutorial  

Learn to use textures and transfers to make a stunning valet for keys, rings, or change!