Easy Napkin Transfers for Polymer Clay

Easy Napkin Transfers for Polymer Clay


so in this video I want to show you how i made these pretty bookmarks, and it’s a technique that you can use to make pendants and anything else that you want to make. I was at a family dinner over Easter and my Step-daughter had the most beautiful napkins, so I asked her if I could have a few.I said I think I can transfer that on to clay. so that’s exactly what I’ve done, and it took a few tries to get the the technique right, but it worked really well and I’m quite happy with them, so i thought I’d show that to you today. I’m using Premo clay you need a good sticky clay. I haven’t tried it on any other brands, but this is what I’m using – is premo claay and to demonstrate eill I’ll do bookmarks, but like I said you can do pendants, – this is one that I actually went back with some prismacolor markers and bumped up the color a wee bit, because it came out a little bit faded. so I have some bookmarks that sort of came out faded also, from my first tries and I’ll show you how to play with your markers afterwards. this one I coated with liquid polymer clay – Kato clay, and it’s a little bit tricky because your first coating you’re going to see all the little bits of a paper that didn’t get removed, but- so you’re probably going to want – if it’s a pendant you’re going to want to seal it with something. second coat seemed to seal all those little bits of paper in pretty good, so I’m pretty happy with that. you’re going to see when we remove the the paper – this is a really durable finish, I just scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed with my hands to remove the paper and paper came off and ink stayed on. the other thing to be aware of like I’ll show you on this one, on these napkins and these ones came from Costco, and you can buy pretty napkins almost anywhere, but all along the edge it’s got little perforations, and it’s really unfortunate because some of the pretty pattern is there, but this is what happens when you use the area with the perforations so I will probably take my markers and just go in and sort of clean that up a little bit. but mostly I think what I’ll do is just avoid the perforated area because it’s problematic. but anyway so let’s get started. so all you’re going to need is your Premo clay and for the bookmarks I’ve rolled it out on the third thickest setting of my pasta maker and I’ve cut cut it already into – like four inches long, but your length is really up to you. four and a half inches is what these are, so I thought that was pretty close to ideal. these are a bit bigger but I mean, it’s really up to you. so I have my clay here prepared, and I’ll just straighten that out. It’s a little bit crooked. but ok and then the width of them is again up to you. I’m going- I didn’t even measure it but I’d say probably an inch, slightly more than an inch. so I’m just going to divide this into as many sections as I get out of this piece of clay so I think these would make wonderful gifts and wouldn’t these be beautiful as a wedding shower or wedding favors at a wedding table, they’d be just awesome. so I’ve got four pieces here, and I’m going to use one of these bootlace ferrules to put a hole in there already – the hole you put in is going to be determined by whatever cording you want to use. you could use rat tail or you could use a t-shirt yarn that you’ve made, or this is all done with Sari ribbon, and I just had these metal big holed beads, but certainly you could do a nice polymer clay bead right there.so either use something like this, or a good sturdy straw will do the job also. so I’m going to leave at least an eighth of an inch for strength and I bake these for at least an hour – my usual hour and six minutes that I set my oven at. because you want them to come out very flexible so if you can see it’s quite bendy, so it’s it’s not going to break. so then I’ll take my napkin and cut a section and I find these napkins have at least three plies to them, so I remove two of the plies and the best way to do that is is on your cut edge and I’m going to have to bring that a little closer to me so I can see, but sometimes you can just sort of work that edge a little bit with your fingers and get it started. and let’s see here let’s get a tool in there and help you find that edge so you just want the top edge you can do it with two two layers too but one layer you’ll be able to burnish it better. so I’m going to separate some of these bookmarks take them from this side here, and give myself just a little bit of spacing and I can probably do two at the same time. so I’m going to lay this pattern down and you see right through it, so you’ll be able to tell exactly where you want it. just cut off the excess and then I’m going to take a piece of patty paper or use a piece of parchment paper or some type of paper that’s thin that you can see through. and I’m just going to burnish that on with my fingers, and I want to make sure I don’t get any wrinkles in it and get good contact with the clay. and you could do these one at a time but it’s just as easy to do two, if your pattern will allow it. burnish that on good, and then flip it over and I’m working on a piece of wax paper, so you really want to work on some type of paper that helps you pull it off, so you don’t have to get a blade underneath and distort it. so now I’m going to cut another piece – sorry I keep hitting my lamp. and let’s see I’ll try to avoid that perforated area and again I’m going to find that edge and then I’ll put the ink side down okay let’s see here, I want to get as much of this pattern in there as I can okay then when you’re happy with it and I could have cut that apart and put it in a little bit you know if I’d wanted this whole flower a little bit more prominent I could have cut it apart and done them one at a time so I’ll take that piece of paper again and burnish that. the burnishing is really what makes this work I’ll cut off the excess and that can be baked just like that. so that’s basically all all I’m doing. so that’s the bookmarks.I won’t do the other two because it’s kind of redundant to do it, but maybe we’ll do a pendant. so that’s going to go on my index card, and in the oven and I’ll cover it with my baking tin, and bake it for an hour and six minutes- counting the preheat time because I don’t preheat. so now I have another piece of sticky white this one is done on the number one setting for the pasta machine, so that’s my thickest setting and I’m going to cut out so I’ll cut out a circle and you could actually even use a piece of paper and get that beveled edge – a piece of plastic I mean, so then I’m going to look at my napkin decide where I want my image to be and give me a bit of a smaller section to put on there, and again take off the extra plies so you know that one just took the back ply so I got to get one more off here so I’ll put this down see where I want it and then I want some of the flower petals showing, so let’s go maybe here – take my little piece of paper to burnish it on. now I’m going to peel it off of here so that I can trim it a bit leave a bit of an edge if you want to try to get that pattern to wrap around and you don’t want to leave too much of this paper on here because I found that what it was doing was pulling against the pendant when it was curing and it sort of caused it to lift a little bit, and I didn’t get as good an impression. okay so what I’m going to do now, is I’m going to actually put it on my domed baking baking form first. I bought these in a bead store. they’re a big cabochon for – not really quite sure what you would have used them for, but it was almost like a belt buckle. but they do work great for the larger pendants. I can’t get this size to fit on a soda can bottom. but so whenever you’re doing a curved pendant like that, it’s really important to to get the edges to to stick, otherwise you get kind of a ruffled edge look, and it just won’t work for you now I might miss a little bit of color here on the edges, the edges are a little harder to get to conform to the round shape, but that should do it. so that’s going to be cured also with the bookmarks and I will be back when it’s all cured and I’ll show you how to take the paper off. ok I’m back, so this has been cured and I let it cool down completely, and I think it’s important to to let it cool down. I don’t think you want to put the pieces in when the ink is hot. you don’t want to put that in the water. so I’ll put this one in the water and I already put the other two pieces that I did in here, and they’ve been sitting here, soaking for probably at least a good half hour. so you’re just going to use your fingers, and just start to rub off that paper. so it’s going to take quite a while, now when I was doing the previous ones from last night I sort of had the bowl of water on my lap while I was watching a movie, and I would say it takes at least 15 minutes to rub it all off. and I did try on one of them to sort of hurry it along with a little bit of a scrubby, but it took off too much -too much ink, so you don’t want to do that. so I’m just going to do part of this for now and then you’ll see.- let’s see if we can get at least one side off so you want to rinse it off often, but it’s pretty durable you can even really scrape it with your nails and not do any damage, the thing with the paper, is you’re going to find -you think you’ve got it all off, and then it dries and you see little bits of white. so as long as it feels kind of rough, it probably has paper on it. once it starts to feel smooth, then you’ll know you’ve got all the paper off so I also take a terry cloth ( towel ) and that’s going to help quite a bit to get the paper off. so that’s starting to feel pretty good. so that left lots of ink there, I’m really happy with that. I still have to do the other side, and the pendant, but that’s basically all you do so while I’ve got a minute, I just want to show you how – if you don’t get the transfer you want, or even if you do get the transfer you want, and you want to kind of bump up the color, I’m going to show you how I use markers on it.- just get this paper off of this one real fast so I don’t know about you, but I’m going on the hunt for more beautiful napkins because this was lots of fun and I really enjoyed it and I hope you try it and enjoy it too! okay, so that’s pretty much all gone. the terry cloth helps quite a bit. so these are pretty durable – when I do the bookmarks, I always tell my friends that I give them to, or customers or whatever, that you know if you’re reading in the bathtub and it falls in the bathtub it’s not going to be a problem. you don’t really need to seal them at all, – for jewelry you might consider it, but that’s not coming off! you know I think that’s pretty good. so anyways I’ll put that away, and then now I’ll work on one of the older ones with the markers. so I’ve got my prismacolor markers out, – you can use the spectrum noir I think they’re called, the chameleon ones – any alcohol based markers. you might even be able to use sharpies I’m not really sure but anyways, I have these prismacolor ones and I just love them. and to help blend the colors I’m using a water brush this is a koi water brush and it’s filled with alcohol -so that’ll help me just blend things out. so it’s just a matter of choosing your colors and I’m using the brush section, and then I’ll just kind of bump up some of these colors and then the water brush with the alcohol in it can really soften those edges, so you’ll retain that sort of watercolor look. let’s try blue – so I’m using the thicker brush section -caps are so hard to get off there we go I’m going to just fill in some of what didn’t get transferred – put your own ink in these little water brushes are really nice, so I could play with that for hours and test it in water afterwards I guess to see how permanent it is. it should be okay though, because alcohol ink won’t come off in water. so I don’t think I’d even seal these. though you could I hope you can see that, how that blends that right out so you get really quite a lovely effect so anyways that’s an easy transfer with napkins. hope you enjoyed that and make lots of them and I’ll see you next time – bye!

100 thoughts on “Easy Napkin Transfers for Polymer Clay”

  1. BRILLIANT! Another hit out of the ballpark, Patricia! You are well on the way to becoming one of my gurus for polymer clay! So creative and original!

  2. Neat video! You can catch the liner corner with a small piece of tape, and it will separate fine. Catch the second layer, too, if there is one.

  3. Couldn't you just put duct tape or packing tape, masking tape on the back and then rip it off …l like waxing your legs . That should take the paper off the back and still leave the ink right?

  4. TFS Patricia !.. Where do I buy the clay ?.. I love your tutorial, had never known about this before. I subscribed as I would love to see more, that napkin is VERY pretty 🙏🏽💎😘

  5. Hi Patricia, excellent instruction. Can a NuWave oven be used for curing? 275F isn’t hard to reach but wondering if half the time would do?

  6. What if you don't have a pasta machine to make the bookmarks? Is there something else you recommend? I'm new to the clay. Love your bookmarks!

  7. This is very lovely and a great idea! I was wondering if you've tried to leave the paper on so the colors stay vibrant and sealing it all in liquid clay instead of rubbing the paper off? I'd really like to try it that way and bypass having to remove the paper and using markers to replace ink. Have you tried coating the finished product in liquid clay at all?

  8. I dont undertsand english and i want know wat is the name of pasta used please .you are very creative think for this video

  9. Really love this, but just a thought: If I were to sell these, wouldn’t I theoretically be selling someone else’s artwork (for example the artist who painted the flowers on a napkin)? Fine for personal use, of course, but what about sale?
    (Sorry for asking if you already talked about it in the video. I might have missed it.)

  10. Hello, this is simply lovely! what a wonderful idea. I was hoping you were going to show how you finished with the ribbon(?) I can see it's simple, but I can't see ultra clear. What kind of fabric is the ribbon? It has such a nice look and shimmer. did you simply thread the ribbon, glue a bead, and tied a knot near the ends and let the ends of the ribbon be?

  11. I followed your instructions and my bookmarks came out perfectly and flexible, too. Now I want to transfer some images on to smaller pieces to make a pendant and I want it to be hard. Do I change the type of clay? change the baking time?

  12. I'm wondering how you kept the white clay so clean…do you keep a pasta machine just for white?
    What is the name of the hole punch tool?
    The project is gorgeous!

  13. Just tried this, I think i got most of the paper off when wet, BUT it still feels rough is that normal or should it be smooth?
    as no more paper is rubbing off

  14. Good video, but…
    Please… Please… Please…!!!
    Stop pronouncing 'PASTA' incorrectly. It's VERY irritating…! SOOO many people are doing it! HERE is how it's SUPPOSE to be pronounced…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ElW26ZWBIs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq3U-aCPSoo

  15. It all comes down to personal opinion, but I think the perforations actually look super cool 🙂 It gives it this unique design.

  16. Omg… i tried it today….sooopr awsm… i made few magnets nd bookmarks… trial ones became magnets…. thanku for the wndrful idea…

  17. Oooh, such a pretty effect! I've been slowly collecting gorgeous, good quality (i.e., Caspari) napkins for a while…they're a decadent splurge for someone on a tiny budget. Mainly, I've decoupaged them onto rocks. But lately, I am very passionate about claying, and cannot wait to try this! Thanks for your excellent tutorial and inspiration, Patricia!

  18. I don't mean to rude and I really hope you reply. I see that you're shaking. I have that same issue and it really sucks at times when I'm trying to do small things with clay or drawing. I've pretty much gave up drawing but I really really enjoy working with my clay, it helps with my anxiety. My question is, do you shake often, does it interfere with your work and or have you found any tricks to help. I've also had to give up on crocheting as well, not so much because the jitters but I end up with a cramp from the tip of my thumb to my elbow and I'm not sure about surgery. Thanks!

  19. this must be a silly question but I really like this project and want to try, I am very new to polymer clay. Do you bake them after you put the napkin? and why do I need to "peel" it with the water? can just put resin on top and skip the water ? thanks

  20. Hi Patricia 🙂 Just came across your channel for the first time today and immediately hit the subscribe button.  When I was a girl my mother used napkins for decoupage and other items and she taught me an extremely easy trick for separating the layers of the napkins… Turn the napkin right side down on the table.  Cut a 2 inch piece of scotch tape. Hold one end  between your thumb and index finger.  In the center of the napkin firmly press approximately a fingers-width of the other edge down on the back of the napkin then pull it up while holding the napkin down. This will rip at least part of the back layer off.  repeat on the middle layer that is now showing with the next portion of the tape.  Then gently pull both the back and middle layers away from the front.  Hope this helps you… no more fussing with your little craft knife and taking the chance of cutting yourself.  Happy crafting!

  21. Are they breakable? Beautiful idea and it seems easier than on other materials where you have to use some glue.Thank you. Enjoyed the the video very much.

  22. This would be great if you could get a set of napkins to be used in a wedding to make for wedding favors! Would also be cool to make a necklace and earrings or bracelet for the bridesmaids and even the bride for a keepsake! 😊

  23. I see that 2 others have asked the same question, but as yet, havent seen an answer, so will ask myself, maybe I missed it. What temperature do you bake them at to avoid baking it at to high of heat…saw the amount, timewise, but not temperature wise. Would it be on clay packaging?

  24. Just remember though not to sell these, companies trawl YouTube looking for people selling their property, ie on this occasion the print… They're all out to punish the little guy these days so… free they can't really do anything about lol… love this video wonderful idea, I love the bookmarks.

  25. 19:48 I wish books were made like that haha! The worst thing is dropping a book in the bathtub while reading and relaxing… nothing worse than a book 50 times it's original thickness 😂

  26. Extraordinary process, looking forward to trying it, thank you for sharing it.  Can I just say, if you put the edge of a tissue between your lips for a second all the layers magically separate when you open them.  This works on paper napkins after cutting off the perforated/compressed edge.  Saves fiddling with a blade 🙂

  27. I tried this today on a switch plate. Turned out great. I used fimo effect with lots of glitter and it looks fabulous

  28. Thank you for such an informative tutorial. Love your calm demeanor, makes me feel that I could do i!

  29. Hi, I know this is an older video but maybe someone helpful will see my comment 🤞🏼. I’m new to polymer clay. Like new as in days 😂
    I’m currently laid up with a broken leg so I’ve decided to do something creative and, well, I found clay!
    I love this idea and thank you so much for the tutorial. My questions are though.. 1) why doesn’t the clay dry rigid hard? I thought that was the idea. Like if I chose to make little keyrings say and I bake them will they be squishy when finished? The other question is if you were to do as you suggested and use these as wedding favours (I’m married a while so not for me but maybe a friend some time) would I be using someone else’s artwork? I doubt I’d be hauled up in front of a judge for a craft project but could there be a copyright issue?

  30. Hi Patricia I love the idea and your end results is amazing but all what I need to make sure of and correct me if I'm wrong that you backed it before peeling the napkins, but why the book Mark's are soft while the round is hard what should I do to get this flexibility, thank you again for sharing such useful tutorial ❤

  31. Hi there! Wanted to give this a try. You can put the clay in the oven with the napkin attached without it burning? This is my first time using the material so am unsure how this works. Hope to hear from you, thanks!

  32. I know this is an older tutorial, but from my decoupage experience with separating napkins, slightly moisten your thumb and index finger and then just pinch the napkin between your moistened thumb and index finger by simply closing your fingers together and when you pul your fingers apart, the napkin layers will stick to your fingers thus separating the layers!

  33. FYI – the easiest way to peel off the 2 layers of ply is to turn the napkin over – image down to the work surface – take a small piece of sellotape and stick a small piece to the ply you wish to remove (leaving a small section unstuck to lift) … lift the tape and the ply will tear leaving an easy area to start separating from – difficult to put into words but hope I am making sense. ~ smile…

  34. So glad I found your channel tonight. What a wonderful idea. I am going to love trying this. Thank you for sharing.

  35. I just LOVE this idea. . I feel like I'm absolutely gushing 😍😍😍💞💕
    The napkin you chose is beyond gorgeous
    I can't wait to try. Thank you for the inspiration

  36. Air dry clay from www.bakerross.com.au is amazing with this craft. It’s a UK company but they have warehouses all over the world or you can buy from eBay I found buying 5x 250g worked out $6.40 cheaper then buying separately

  37. This an excellent tutorial. You explain simply and concisely so the viewer feels confident that they can succeed using the techniques you have demonstrated. I'd heard that the clay is flexible but I'd never seen it till you showed it on this video. Can you tell me what temperature you cook the clay on for the 66 minutes please. I'm dying to make my grandchildren some bookmarks!

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