The Magic of Making: DIY Polymer Clay Keychains
Written By: Madeline Day
Polymer clay usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when the word “DIY” is mentioned. After all, clay is more closely associated with Play-Doh and nostalgic childhood memories. However, polymer clay is different from the crumbly and dry textured Play-Doh — it’s a moldable plastic made out of polymer polyvinyl chloride and can be used to make jewelry, charms, key chains, and more. Modeling with polymer clay not only cultivates a “Do It Yourself” mentality and spurs creativity, but it also remains a relatively safe and simple activity for those wanting to try something new.
For this occasion, in particular, we’re making pi(e) keychains. It’s suitable for anyone ages eight and above. This DIY should take less than an hour and is the perfect way to spend the morning or afternoon.
Take a 1’’ x 0.5’’ chunk of tan-colored clay and a 0.5’’ x 0.5’’ piece purple clay and start shaping them into rough triangular shapes. The tan-colored clay will be the pie crust, and the base of the charm while the purple clay will be the filling. The pie filling here should be three times as thick as the crust.
Place the pie filling directly on top of the pie base, making sure that the edges align properly. Gently fold the excess pie crust upwards so that the crust covers the back of the pie filling as well.
To texture the pie crust, lightly drag the tip of the toothpick, or your sharp tool of choice, in small, repetitive, circular motions along the pie crust edge. Also, make three slanted indents onto the pie crust edge.
Roll out a thin piece of clay of a different color (we used blue here). Split them into three roughly equal-sized fragments and arrange them on the tip of the pie crust to form a pi symbol. *This part requires detail, but don’t be afraid to try multiple times!*
Take a piece of white clay and texture it in a circular manner to resemble whipped cream. Use broader strokes than that of the textured pie crust, and then place the white clay on the slice of pi(e). Insert an eye pin wherever you want the charm to connect to the keychain — I chose the base.
Bake the charm in an oven, following the instructions on the package. Generally, polymer clay is baked at 275-350 degrees for five to 10 minutes.
6. Using jewelry pliers, attach two to three jump rings to the eye pin at the base of the crust. Then, attach a lobster clasp to the final jump ring, and the keychain is complete!
Whether it be an accessory for a purse or backpack, or a handmade gift, be proud that you made this pi(e) keychain on your own. Try making other charms or keychains and explore different creative possibilities. Continue to create, make, or tinker in your free time!