Make Your Own Jewelry: Laser Print Image Transfer to Clay

Make Your Own Jewelry: Laser Print Image Transfer to Clay main article image
Posted on February 2, 2021 by Jan Hunter
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Working with clay has always been satisfying and is a great way to release the tensions of the day. But did you know that you can also use the image transfer technique onto clay?

Creative Fabrica has several digital collections that could be used to create something similar to the hand made jewelry samples shown above. And who doesn’t love a new piece of jewelry?

You’ll need:

  • Sculpey clay (FIMO or KATO clay may be used)
  • Digital collage images (Collage Elements Bundle from Creative Fabrica)
  • Acrylic roller or pasta machine
  • Laser printer (black or color)
  • Copy paper
  • Qater
  • Ceramic tile
  • Jewelry Bezel (optional)
  • Clay cutters in shapes as desired
  • Blade (flexible)
  • Mica or Pearl Ex (optional)
  • Liquid clay (optional)
  • Small beads (optional)
  • Clay Gloss Glaze
  • Glaze brush with chisel edge
  • Water brush
  • Ribbon or chain
  • Closure findings

This is a great project for someone just starting to use clay. Knowledge of how to layer within a photo editing program is a plus. Let’s begin by designing your collage using elements found in the Collage Elements Bundle. Use your favorite photo editing program that allows you to work with PNG images. eCal3 is the software used for this project.

Create your collage

Measure the size of the cutter or bezel and create a shape using those measurements in your software as a base pattern for your collage work. Choose the images for the collage and layer within the base pattern.  If the software applies a stroke of color to the outline of the base, either change the color to white or remove the stroke color if your software allows. eCal3 allows the user to reverse the image within the program.

If your image editing software doesn’t allow you to reverse the images, remember to reverse the image in the print set up for your laser printer.  Print* the image(s) on regular copy paper, cut and set aside.  *Make sure that your printer is set to print at the highest quality.

Prepare the clay

Clay used for this project is Sculpey III. This clay needs to be baked and is not an air-dry clay.

The clay needs to be conditioned properly. This project requires a small amount of clay and a 2 oz package will make several pendants. For this particular project, white clay is used. Warm the clay with your hands, fold and work the clay until the clay is easy to shape into a rectangle. Using the acrylic roller, roll the clay to about ¼ inch thick. If preferred, you can use the pasta machine and use the thickest setting (1 or 2) to roll the clay out. Clay rolled on a pasta machine will be less than ¼ inch thick.

Place the clay on a ceramic tile. The tile provides a stable base and allows the clay to bake thoroughly with a nice finish on the back of the piece. Using the bezel or clay cutter to make an impression in the clay – do not cut entirely through the clay yet. This impression allows for placement of the image you will use to transfer to the clay. Using the blade, cut the excess clay away and remove from the tile. Repeat the process for multiple pieces.


Wet a finger and dab a drop of water on the top of the clay. This preps the surface for the transfer of the image.

Transfer the collage

Carefully lay the laser image face down on the clay.

Wet the back of the paper with a wet finger as shown in the image above. The entire image should be visible from the back of the paper.

Do not over saturate the image. Now, patience comes into play here, while you let the image dry on the clay. Sculpey is a petroleum based product and the oils in the clay may also penetrate the laser image – the image on the paper will not completely disappear when the paper has dried. Leave the paper on the clay for no more than an hour or so. Lift the paper from the clay to reveal the transfer. Every transfer may be slightly different. The same artwork was used on each of the three pendants shared. Each pendant is “one of a kind.”

TIP: Do not leave the paper on overnight. It will be very difficult to pull the paper from the clay.

Assemble the jewelry

For a rounded top:  Place a piece of plastic wrap over the piece of clay.  Align the cutter or bezel in the impression you made previously.  Now, press the cutter into the clay and cut the clay.  Remove the cutter, and the plastic wrap.

For a flat top:  Align the cutter or bezel in the impression made earlier and cut the clay.

If a hole is needed, use a small diameter straw to cut a hole in the clay.

If you need to move the clay to another area of the tile, slide the blade under the clay to lift and move.

There are quite a few options to add additional color to the clay. Some options include acrylic paint, watercolor, markers, and Mica or Pearl Ex mixed with a little water using a small water brush or in a mister. You can even blend the color onto the surface with your fingertip. If using a brush to apply the color, choose a small brush since this is a fairly small project and just a small bit of color will be needed in small areas.

If desired add any additional pieces of clay, beads or gems for decoration at this time, use some liquid clay to secure the pieces to the clay.

Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s directions*. If using Sculpey, it is recommended that you bake the clay in a pre-heated oven at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes for clay that is no more than ¼ inch thick.  Let cool on the tile.  The clay piece should be firm to the touch. These pendants were baked in the bezel.

Finishing touches

To add a finish, apply a thin coat of gloss glaze using a glaze chisel edge brush. The brush strokes will even out on the baked clay. A light coat works fine.  Allow about 30 minutes to air dry.  For a higher gloss finish, bake at 275 degrees for 5 – 10 minutes. Do no overbake.

To finish, add a ribbon or chain to the pendant.



If you try this project, be sure to share your creations with Creative Fabrica. We’d love to see what you create!


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