I get a lot of compliments on these rings and people ask me to make them all the time for them. They're good for using up leftover clay, and I sometimes make one in a pinch when I can't decide what ring I can use to go with my outfit. The leftover marbled clay can be used for smaller things, like stud earrings or little pendants or buttons.
First, gather all the materials:
Two or more Dime-sized lumps of polymer clay in your preferred colors
Aluminum foil, to create a ring form that can hold the ring's shape while the clay cooks
A ring that fits well or a little loose(not pictured) to help properly size the ring
Paper, pencil, and scissors for designing and creating the ring template
A twist tie or string (not pictured) for measuring your ring size
Cardboard or stiff paper, to make the ring template durable
A marker (not pictured) or other small roller, to roll out the clay
A knife, to cut the clay
A very flat work surface you can cut on. I use a book.
First, create the ring form. This is the most difficult part for me, but the form can be used over and over again for any type of ring.
This is done by folding a rectangle of aluminum foil into a two inch strip.
Roll up the strip as tightly as possible, allowing wrinkles so that the foil will cling to itself and stay rolled up.
You'll probably have to wrap the foil-roll in more foil to bulk it up to the right size.
Use the ring (mine is glass) to test the thickness of the form, and make it a little tighter and smoother.
Now, to create the ring template.
Wrap your twist tie around the ring form and cut to measure the length the ring will fit around.
Mark on the paper the ends of the twist tie, leaving room on either side of the line for the width of the ring.
Connect the two marks, replacing the twist tie with a straight pencil line.
Free the other side, leaving room again for the width of the ring.
Fold the paper widthwise so that the pencil line has a fold perpendicular to it that intersects it at its midpoint.
Unfold it, then fold along the longest line, and then mark the ring's widest point on one half. Drawing and cutting it while folded will ensure both sides are even.
You'll want to draw a sort of leaf shape with two points. Keep in mind, the ring template will be twice this width when unfolded, so keep it thin.
Cut along the line while it's still folded.
Use the foil form (or your own finger) to test the ring template to see if it will fit.
Trace and cut an identical shape out of the cardboard or stiff paper if you'd like your ring template to last many more uses.
Next, marble the clay.
Knead your two or more colors separately so they are nice and pliable. The most pliable color will show best and will be the dominant color in the ring. Roll the clay into snakes about the same length as your ring template.
Roll out the twisted clay into one smooth snake. If what you want is diagonal stripes along the ring rather than marbling, skip to Step 22.
Bend the snake in half.
Repeat Steps 18-20 until the colors are evenly distributed throughout the snake. Then, I usually like to twist the snake gently so that the marbling runs around it like a screw. Leave the snake a little fat and shorter than your ring template, because it will stretch to fit the template when you roll it out.
Use a marker or any other type of seamless roller to roll out the snake. You'll want to aim for around 1/8" thick. If it's too thin, the piece will be brittle. Too thick, and it may end up looking too bulky.
If there are any gaps on the edge of the clay after rolling, smooth those out with your fingers.
Set the template on top of the clay, and cut around it with a sharp, non-serrated knife. You'll want to cut straight down instead of at an angle the way I'm cutting it to demonstrate.
If you'd like to smooth out the edges so that they're round, now is the time. You can also use little cutters to cut holes in it if you like, or add clay accents on top of it. If I had my mini cookie-cutters with me, I would've stamped a heart right into the middle of this one.
Use only the non-serrated knife to get the clay of of your cutting surface.
If you want, you can choose between letting the marbling on the front or the back show. I liked the front, so I kept it that way, but sometimes using the back looks nice.
Wrap the clay around the foil form.
Be gentle when pressing the two points together. If you squish them down too much, it may make the ring too big and the bottom part too thin and it may break. If you do this, simply cut the part where the two points are fused together and re-wrap it.
You may want to gently rotate the piece around the ring form so that it doesn't stick to it when cooking.
At this point, you can bake or boil it according to the clay's package instructions. Personally, I like boiling it because it's quicker (around five minutes depending on thickness), and if I over-boil it, it doesn't get burnt, the color just fades.
Cool it with cold water and test its strength when completely cool. It should have a tiny bit of give, but if it bends too much, it still needs to be cooked.