Make a statement necklace with colorful polymer beads and dip-dyed tassels
I have just discovered polymer clay and had to experiment a little bit with figuring our correct baking time in my oven. The trick is NOT to overbake. I love the combination of the matte polymer texture with the casual cotton tassels.
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Mix up a small batch of fabric dye (use twice the recommended amount for extra bright color). IMPORTANT: soak through entire tassel in clean water for at least an hour, loosely wring out and then suspend tassel half way into the dye for about 10 minutes. Carefully hang up tassels to dry overnight (I tie them on closet handles).
While the tassels are drying, it's time to tackle the polymer beads. Cut up clay into even amounts (I made two different sizes) and knead firmly. Roll clay into balls and stick on a tooth pick. Stick all tooth picks into a wadded-up roll of aluminum foil. Bake in oven according to manufacturer's instructions (being careful NOT to overbake). Let dry.
Once beads are cooled off, remove from toothpicks, and make the bead holes larger by drilling through with a Dremel. Cut a length of bakers twine that is about 2.5 times longer than your intended necklace. IMPORTANT: get out all your beads and tassels, and figure out the exact lay-out of your necklace. Make a single knot about 12" from end, slip on first bead, followed by another knot.
When it's time to insert the tassels, cut off the temporary twine used to hang up the tassels, and pull the necklace twine through the top of the tassel with the help of a crochet hook. No need for knots before or after the tassels. The necklace closes by simply tying the twine ends into a double knot (make sure it is long enough to fit over your head). Done!