General info & ideas
....(various sizes, from large to tiny)
Large & Medium frames ...techniques, examples
Small frames esp. for ornaments
.....twisted & flattened
Very Small frames --for pins and pendants

Decorative tiles (various sizes)
....some techniques, appearance
....uses & ideas
........single tiles .....grouped tiles
....making, baking, attaching
....more tiles at GlassAttic
Tri-fold panels, triptychs
Displays for pieces

FRAMES, Mirrors, & TILES

GENERAL info & Ideas

Frames can be made for photographs, clay scenes, even small items like jewelry . . .or for anything you want to frame

...they can be made totally from clay ...or clay can be used to "cover" bought or made wood or metal frames, cardboard frame shapes/matt board frames/etc., or just about anything else that can go into a 275 degree oven.
...frames themselves or frame embellishments can also be made and baked, then later glued onto a frame (acrylic or any kind)
......Mary W's painted flat frames have a flat square of clay topped with a large rounded flattish bead glued onto each corner (beads are caned mostly)

...there are some special considerations for covering wood, and for general guidelines on covering any material, see Covering
...We buy the painted wood frames at the dollar store then sand them down to the wood.. Nan (though if it's acrylic paint, it'll work even better)

Frames can be created in other ways:
.... by stacking a sheet or slice or clay item on top of a slightly larger sheet... so the wider layer underneath extends past all sides of the smaller one on top of it, forming a natural frame
....replacement... a shape can be cut out and removed from a sheet, then a decorative sheet of the same shape can be dropped into the hole in the first sheet
...thinner "borders" or wider "frames" can be added around the edge of, or on top of the edge of the focal clay sheet
......e.g., ropes, rounded-edge (flattened) strips, or sharp-edge strips of clay could be wrapped around the focal area, or pieced around it, in various ways
.......these can be applied to all sides with one continuous piece, or be cut into 4 pieces then butted at corners, or around 3 sides with a separate piece at top, or any combination
....... these can also be textured and/or highlighted, or have other surface treatments
....caned border frames can be made separately, then be joined to the focal area as part of the total cane, or added separately whenever that frame is wanted
......any cane or row of canes can be squashed till it's flat enough to act as a frame... patterning in the cane will create a visually textured "frame"

For cutting accurate shapes and exactly parallel cuts, etc., an Omnigrid quilter's ruler is a good thing to work on ... Mary used the (back side of the) 6 x 12" one with bright yellow lines.. . . I've been using a sheet of graph paper stuck to the back of my clear acrylic work surface, but this would be better in various ways. Diane B.
...(see more gridded work surfaces in Tools > Work Surfaces)

For rectangles and other shapes, use templates or stencils from around the house to cut around ... box lids

shrinkage (noticeable usually only in larger, thinner pieces of clay, or larger fit-together pieces)
....I did a piece which was supposed to have exactly 6" square tiles. 54 of them. After the first 18 didn't fit quite perfectly in their places, I got wise!! Anyway:
... All brands of clay can shrink..... The ratio can be from 1% to 5%.
... but,
I found it depends on the softness -stickiness of the clay--how much plasticizer or additional solvent is present
....... thus, leached clay will shrink less than fresher, softer clay
........the thickness of the sheet seems to have an inverse relationship to shrinkage
....... so a thinner #4 or 5 sheet will shrink more than a thicker # 1 sheet... I suppose this is some factor of resistance and "stretch -- ie. the thicker piece has more body to resist the force of inward shrinkage.
... If what you are doing needs to be precise, I would suggest you either do a test piece and calculate your final cuts based on the shrinkage you find
...... Or cut your piece slightly larger than what is needed, then trim or sand down to fit after baking. Patti Kimle
... Someone also said their tiles didn't shrink when sandwiched between two bathroom tiles (presumably while baking)
... Another possibility is to create the clay sheet and bake it alone, then "veneer" it onto the frame with glue (... it could be rebaked after the initial baking if you needed that, without further shrinkage, I think).. . . If the frame isn't flat, this could still be done, would just be more fiddly and you'd want to cool the clay before removing it from the frame to bake. (for more info on "veneering" polymer clay, see Covering > Veneer Sheets). Diane B.

OTHER PAGES at GlassAttic with more ideas:
...for more frame & mirror decorating ideas, see Covering > Switchplates
...for clocks, see Covering > Clocks
.... and also see "Websites" sub-category below for many frames and framing ideas

NOTE:... most all frames on this page could be made in various sizes

MIRRORS (various sizes)

Mirrors are just sheets of glass with a reflective metal backing, so they do fine in the oven with the clay using our low temperatures.
...however, like other glass they can expand or contract more quickly than the clay, so the clay can sometimes crack especially when it's in larger expanses which can't stretch over the glass. . .so especially for clay "covered" mirror or glass, heat and cool slowly to avoid that problem by letting the item cool in the oven, and/or heating it in small increments
(...smaller mirrors and mirror tiles may not have the problem as much)

NOTE: The mirrors in these examples range in size from large down to 1" or so
... many of the ideas and instructions here could be used for various sizes of mirrors though
...the following will generally go from the largest to the smallest mirrors
Mirrors can be basically just framed (as one would frame a picture), or they can be partly onlaid with clay and clay decorations as well, even to make small scenes.

I've been making mirror wall hangings and standing mirrors.
....... I put a thin clay backing on the mirror, and then frame it with sliced canes.
.......The mirrors are just simple old cheap 12" mirror tiles (from hardware store) cut to the shape and size I want.
........They do not crack or discolor with baking. and they hold up under sanding the polyclay. They polish up beautifully.
... My mirror was about 15 inches X 12 inches and I got it cheap at Walmart (I think it was only about $4).
..... The mirror baked fine but the clay kept cracking.... I think the mirror expanded more when heated than the clay. . . At the time I didn't know to leave (mirror or glass under polymer clay) in the oven to cool slowly... It looks great now, if I do say so myself.

What I do to hang mirrors (esp. larger ones which can be very heavy) is to use a piece of telephone wire, fold it in half and twist it until you have a tightly twisted length. ... then embed the ends into a couple of flat pieces of clay, apply liquid clay to the clay and wire, and press firmly onto the clay back of the item (... be sure you've turned the ends of the wire so they don't pull out of the clay when baked). Hope this helps! Irene NC
...Irene's larger mirrors, framed with various clay tiles (stamped, antiqued, fauxs, etc.)

Chris Gluck's lesson on making a round frame for a square 8" mirror, using WireForm mesh or window screen for strength, creating holes in the clay for threading wire used to hang it, then embellishing the frame with artistic wire and funky colors and shapes,1793,HGTV_3433_1390596,00.html

Christi Friesen uses lots of sculptural elements on her frames (leaves, animals, scenes, squiggly bits, & mixed media embedded in the clay, etc.)
(which often cover up most of the visiblel mirror)

Crealand's many creative frames for medium-size round mirrors (various embellishment ideas)
... usually round mirrors... with "rays" or other things around circumference
... one has insects crawling on it ... the tree mirror has many branches & leaves ... one is a rainbow and cloud

Pauline's fish and underwater bas relief scene all around and on a small round mirror

one mostly-covered mirror with alien and stars, etc (leaving large hole in clay outside mirror area for holding mirror?)
... and one mirror with skull and flower onlays, by econolines r 4 girls

(I made a scene with a fairy princess sitting by a pool)
... I covered the parts of a mirror I wanted to be grass (with green clay), and made a shoreline with other clay
(...the mirror served as a strong base for the entire sculpture and reflective surface for the pond).
....After all baking was done, on the glass I used glass paints (GalleryGlass) in shades of translucent, white and blues to make ripples and the pond color I wanted. It turned out very well...later I also made a few lily pads and a frog to sit on them (just white-glued those to the pond). Sharon V.

Linda WP's lesson on making a polar bear with ice skates on mirror pond ...and a dog on a sled (made w/ FimoSoft's "Metallic White" clay)

Kimba’s mirror frames of lots of squiggly-rope onlays around and on a mirror ("Gorkley") (could be strings from clay gun which have been pulled from the disk rather than cut, resulting in pointed ends for the strands; these are onlaid around in squiggles or other shapes)

purplepapillon's clay frame-and-hanger combination on a mirror made with continuous revolutions of clay rope onlaid (little like Balinese Filigree) (part of which opens for a hanging loop at the top)... (imagestation...gone)

For smaller wall mirrors I want to cover with clay and hang, I cover the back with a sheet of clay, then embed a bent paperclip as a hanger. It is cheap and works great.

Ann & Karen Mitchells' lesson on making an entire hand mirror with clay (not covering an existing hand mirror)
... then adding 2x3" oval mirror .... embellishing back of finished mirror with leaf & clay ribbon roses,1789,HGTV_3239_1396639,00.html

Susan's framed mirror (gone--Dinko's website!?)

The Trash To Treasure guy had a mirror framed in pieces (of moulding)...none of which matched but it looked great! Rebecca

pocket mirrors
...very small round or rectangular mirrors can be covered, partly covered, or embellished in the same ways as other mirrors (above)
...if they're actually carried in a purse/etc, they'd need not to have projecting parts or to have a fabric or other small slip case to fit into
....for pocket mirrors, I don't cover the back (but just enough to go around the edges, or glued on well to the front with epoxy glue or E-6000?)
purse mirrors with skull and "alien" onlays by econolines are for girls (front)
...more at

the clay around Casstasstrophie's small round mirror is shaped as a strawberry cutout ... covered completely on the back side and over the edges of the mirror on the front side ....
many pocket mirrors with bas relief, onlays, etc on backs, by mosfatal
...more at:
Luinecu's large rainbow cane slices on back of small mirror
alphabits' bas relief on the back side of two small mirrors (optical illusion images)
Balinese filigree (half spirals) on the front of a mirror by Robotragicomedy
... and the front side:
mansonette's Balinese Filigree Mickey Mouse and background mirror (back)
CozmicStardust's geometric Balinese Filigree mirror backs

Sarajane's miniature mirrors... a fancy-framed gold Victorian wall mirror over a dresser
... and a hand mirror covered with metallic gold

Grant Diffendaffer's very small shisha mirrors embedded in clay... OR maybe the clay is on top of a large mirror, and it shows through where the square or circular cut-outs are? (see also Onlay> CD shards)
shisha mirror embroidery (India), and it's basic stitch attachment
round and square very small mirrors used as centers for clay snowflake ornaments (with onlays, texturing, etc) by PolymerJanna¤t=100_7325.jpg

other uses for mirror, and info:

I was thinking of covering some cosmetic compacts myself.... Or just use a mirror (and a form) to create one from scratch?
...compact blanks... each compact is round, and gold in color.... It has a round recess in the top that is about 1.5mm deep, to hold your clay sheet
.....each compact has two mirrors, regular magnification & 2x ...$4.95 for 9 or fewer...each comes in its own black box with a soft, black, drawstring pouch. Larry
...could also glue a mirror to the inside of an Altoid tin to use as a "compact," etc.

What if you could glue a small mirror onto the middle (of a CD) and cover the outer edges with a clay scene or collage, then hang it in a small bathroom or over a dresser
......... or possibly add a handle and outer edges of clay and make a hand mirror. Dar
....I cut a few pieces of a CD, and stuck them into a bead, baked at 250 for 30 minutes and it worked like a charm... Came out looking like mirror in the clay... looks great, baked up fine and the shiny CD under the translucent clay is terrific!
(or use the CD as a frame --see more on using CD's in Covering > CD's and Onlays)

small bits of mirror can be used along with polymer tiles when making mosaics

wonderful trick ...put a small piece of mirror underneath a gemstone for an eye..... the mirror will reflect some light back trough the stone, which will sparkle when it moves .......they seem to be more alive

If I want to remove the silvering or whatever it is called on the back of antique mirrors that have been damaged, I've used toilet bowl cleaner. Works super fast.---but do use precautions as it is not a substance that you want in contact with skins, eyes, etc. Jeanne
..........toilet bowl cleaners have an acid in them. Dotty CA
...I scraped the silvering off the backs of some of those very small round mirrors except on the edges as a substitute for small pieces of round glass... then I sandwiched a photo with two of the glass pieces to encase it, and used copper tape to seal around the edges. ethernaut .

...for more possibilities for decorating mirrors , see Covering > Switchplates

Larger & Medium Frames

(for possible shrinkage when using larger, thinner and also softer clay pieces, see above under General Info)

"covering" frames of various types

Amy K's lesson on covering a purchased matte board frame with diagonal rows of very simple canes
...she applies a coat of white glue first & dries it to give tooth to the cardboard surface
...after baking the whole frame, she paints the side edges and back of frame with acrylic paint
......(or could also just paint the whole frame everywhere first with acrylic paint, dry, then attach slices) (almost bottom of page)

I found the frame at Walmart, next to the stamping stuff....seems to be made of cardboard, but is covered with a ...gee, I don't know. it's either cloth, or paper made to look like cloth, white in color. cost about $4... they had 3 sizes.
I used tacky glue (on it), let it dry
...then I covered with a thin sheet of plain clay and baked it. (it had a couple of bubbles when I pulled it out, but I just pressed a book to it while it cooled) . . . kellieAK

Purchased wood or metal frames come in all types (molded, flat, etc.)
...these can be covered with clay sheets or slices, etc, in various ways
...a coat of white glue or acrylic paint (allowed to dry) must be used on bare wood in order to help the raw clay stick while attaching you're attaching it
...metal can be covered alone, or abraided a bit, or coated with white glue to give some tooth if there's a problem good thing about using an existing frame is that they often already have a hanging or standing mechnism on them
(see much more on covering metal or wood in general in Covering > Metal and > Wood...)

Lynne's (wood?) frame, covered with a sheet of patterned clay ("acrylic paint technique")... mitered corners
Ilysa's (wood?) frame, covered with various sheets of cane slices, etc.... corners not mitered
lesson on using many molded bits of clay (leaves/flowers/filigree from a push mold, using just enough clay to fill, then pulling edges back before removing from push mold) to embellish a white-glue-covered flat wood frame, with rolled-up spirals of clay/etc in any spaces left between the pieces
...... Lynne K then bakes her frame and clay, paints over all with acrylic paint then more glue, and adds a mult-colored sheet of metallic leaf over all... antiques with brown acrylic paint, then seals leaf with Future (could add leaf to raw clay shapes instead of having to use white glue size for leaf, if done carefully)
Donna Kato's lesson on covering a non-flat wood frame with long strips of clay (then cane slices?) over a coating of dried permanent white glue
...after baking she glues a piece of wire mesh (edges folded back first) in the frame to hang earrings from,1789,HGTV_3239_1370872,00.html

different-shape frames.... Michaels has frames in the different shapes -- snowmen, stars, trees, etc could also use cover various wood shapes, then create and add a slender "frame" on top as an onlay for holding the photo on top make a Christmas tree frame, I covered a wooden tree frame with a thin layer of clay.... then used my clay gun to extrude small ropes/strings of clay... I extruded a small amount at a time, then scraped across the end of the clay gun with my needle tool - which causes a group of those strings to stick to your needle tool - which you can then apply to the frame. ...It's a little time-consuming, but very easy to do. Ginny could use a large tree-shaped cookie cutter to make your own clay frame shape. Ginny

frame with plastic canvas as an armature ( = rounded contour)
....cut a sheet of plastic canvas the size & shape you want the frame to should be all in one piece, with the "window" cut out for the picture.
...roll out some clay to about med thickness on the pasta machine.
...lay clay on top of the canvas, butting any edges of pieces you need to join
.......the clay doesn't need to all be the same color...try geometric shapes, skinner blends, stripes cut with a wavy blade, etc
...use a brayer to roll the clay firmly onto the surface of the canvas....the texture of the canvas will probably show through but that can just be part of the design
...trim off excess clay around edges of canvas
...(add cane slices or whatever you want as embellishments --or bake first, and add these later) the frame clay side up in your oven and bake... the canvas may melt slightly, but that won't matter.
Important: turn the frame over (clay side down) to cool. it cools, the edges will curl up, making a nicely rounded contour for the frame. Suzanne

Lisa P's lesson on covering the top of the lid of a photo storage box (using epoxy for baked "flower" frames for photos, and tacky glue for raw clay embellishments),1789,HGTV_3352_1399654,00.html

Valerie Aharoni's strips of texture sheet forming an interesting frame (around a sheet-of-pattern which was surrounded by a textured base sheet as well)
...she used 6 long thin strips, each 1/2" or so wide
...placed 2 of them across the top of the frame area and two across the bottom (horizontally and a bit separated, reaching all the way across the tin)
... the last two strips were vertical, placed a bit in from the edge of the tin, and butted against the inner two strips)(top of an AOL CD tin?) (gone?)

acrylic frame with baked clay sheet glued onto it
...I'd suggest you bake the frame first, then glue it to one of those acrylic frames
..Walmart has tons of the acrylic frames in various sizes....some come with built-in stands ..and some with magnets attached
......the "back" of your frame will be the acrylic frame
......basically, you just make a frame of clay with a hole in it... bake it.. then glue on TOP of the acrylic frame after cooling
....... then insert the photo into the acrylic frame (since the clay has a cutout can see the photo behind in the acrylic frame). Jan
..Michaels' lesson on making a clay frame to glue onto an acrylic frame
.......3/4" strips of black clay are laid onto a paper template (w/ drawn outline of acrylic frame)...corners mitered or butted
.......slices of checkerboard cane are added, as well as sculpted chili peppers
...... frame baked, then attached to frame with superglue or E-6000/Goop (gone)

.....Donna Kato's lesson for acrylic frame ( of those that's "bent" over to form a sort of pocket for photo),1789,HGTV_3239_1375801,00.html

.......Skinner blend with some random floating canes for front... cut arcs in sides for interest
...... 1/16" thick black backing sheet, cut 1/4" wider on left and right
....... tapered thickish clay rod pressed onto 1/4" extensions & spiraled toward outside on ends
.......baked; then glued onto front of acrylic frame; slip photo into between acrylic sheets of frame avoid confusion in the instructions, keep these things in mind:
..........1. after step 4 the "backing clay" is completed
..........2. in step 6, the "border clay" is the backing clay piece completed before, and mitering refers to the perpendicular join at each of the 4 corners where the flattened clay snakes meet

magnet "sheets" have an adhesive back, so a layer of baked polymer clay can just be stuck to them (don't use Sculpey...too brittle when thin)
.....other magnets may have to strength to hold on top of the clay as well?
...some USES: small frames for frig.... or gifts... postcards... games..mosaics...etc.)
...available at craft(?) or office supply stores (these do NOT go through your printer, but a printed sheet can be pressed to the back of the magnet sheet after the release paper is removed instead of clay instead of clay... or the clay could be glued on while something else it stuck on to the sticky side)

Another thing I did that was a BIG hit was a large polymer clay frame for my brother's computer monitor
...He works by the Monterey Bay aquarium, so I did a underwater scene, complete with fish, seaweed, clams and the requisite sea dragon at the top!!! It …covered the ugly beige plastic area (that frames the monitor) Syndee
(for more on things to do to a computer, see Covering > Plastics)

What if you could glue a small mirror onto the middle (of a CD), and cover the outer areas with a clay scene or collage, then hang it in a small bathroom or over a dresser, or possibly add a handle and outer edges of clay and make a hand mirror. Dar
(or use the CD as a frame for a photo instead --see more on using CD's in Covering > CD's )

all-clay frames ...(front+back)

lesson on all-clay frame (front+back) by polymerclayexpress, with angled wire stand attached
...texture 2 sheets of clay (thickest on pasta machine), then trim to size desired (same for both)
...use a shape cutter to cut out a hole in one sheet (frame front) --they cut one hole off-center
.......trim tips off all corners and smooth to round them a bit, if desired
...cut 3 spacer strips of clay, say 1/2" or so wide (2 strips should be the height of the frame, and 1 the width of the bottom of the frame less the other 2 strips' widths --it will fit between them)
.......the strips should be fairly thin in thickness--just a little thicker than the photo you plan to put in them
...attach the 3 strips to the back of the frame front (2 sides + bottom, leaving top free) with a bit of liquid clay
(at this point, add a stand like the wire one below if desired...OR add another type of stand after baking )
...turn frame front over (strips down), and place it onto frame back (which is facing up)
...insert a sheet of cardstock, etc.a bit taller than the opening (or "two stiff blades"), between frame front and back to keep them apart and from sticking to each other during baking
(at this point, could highlight the texturing with a gold powder)
........bake... after cooling, remove cardstock (or at this point could highlight texture with gold metallic wax)
wire stand (fixed in place, angled):
.... bend in half (?), then twist together, 1 ft of wire (for a small-med frame)... bend into heart (or other) shape bottom area of heart (which will be top of stand), wrap each excess twisted wire around other one to secure together (bottom of heart should be rounded, not pointed)
.....on back of the clay frame back, hold joined area of wire stand in position, then press a ball of clay over it to attach firmly to frame back
....(op:) add decorative clay over join... texture a small sheet of same color clay, then use a small-medium cutter to cut out a shape and press it over the plain clay covering the wire join

lesson making all clay frame with space inside for photo in clay frame
1. first bake clay front separately (with the photo glass in place, if you want to use glass)
2. cut a peice of cardboard the size of the picture, only taller as a spacer.... wrap it in tinfoil ...put the foil-encased cardboard on the back of the frame with the excess sticking out the top
3..put the back of the frame on, leaving the top bit of cardboard sticking out of the raw frame (press down edges of backing clay to front clay?)
4. After baking again, pull the cardboard out leaving a pocket to put the photo in.

i read in a poly book by Mary Maguire one way to do this for glass and picture. need a piece of thick cardboard the size & shape of your picture
...make the "front" first (the frame that will go around the picture) and make it a little bit bigger all around than your cardboard
...then lay the cardboard on the back side (helps if you cover the cardboard with foil first)
...then cover the cardboard 3/4 up with a sheet of clay, trimming to fit the frame... press down well around the cardboard and bake.
...when it's cool, just slide the cardboard out, and insert your glass and picture.

To create a pocket for a picture, I cut a piece of cardstock or posterboard the same size as the picture...make the clay back piece big enough to cover the entire size of the frame
....Dust the cardstock with baby powder ...lay it on the back side of the front of the frame in the place where the picture will be.
....Lay the backing clay over the whole thing ... seal the bottom edge and the two sides.
....Then just remove the cardboard after the clay is cured, and cooled and put the picture in. Kim2

I rolled out [pasta machined] a thick slab of clay, and laid it on a tile
...then used a template I'd made earlier to cut out the correct outside dimensions (backing for frame?)
...I rolled out another slab the same thickness, cut out a frame the same way as before (template had a hole in it too)
... then picked up that slab and laid it over the first one
.. I gently pushed the 2 layers together and 'welded' the edges inside the photo cutout area and around the outside.
...I then worked with the entire frame [still stuck in place on the tile] until it was rounded and had no sharp edges.
...I then personlized it with a name..... After baking, decorate it anyway you want..
...I glue stiff cardstock [about #110] on the back of the finished frame, and then glue a hanger on the paper---better to just incorporate the hanger into the clay backing of the frame?)

hanging, particular

Here's what I do for hanging on a wall (especially the heavier) mirrors and wall pieces
.... fold a piece of telephone wire in half then twist it until you have a tightly twisted length.
....embed the ends into a couple of flat pieces of clay, apply liquid clay to the clay and wire, and press firmly onto the clay back sure you've turned the ends of the wire so they won't pull out of the clay when baked. Irene NC

You can make a stand for your frame from clay, from clay-covered cardboard, or from something else entirely
Glenna made a stand and "frame" to hold a wooden frame... by covering heavy wire(??) with clay
... the top section also has an open area created by a rectangle of wire containing a freestanding area of clay flowers and leaves
(...also see twisted-wire stand attached at an angle to back of clay frame, above in polymerclayexpress lesson)
(...also see more stands in Small Frames below)

other info & ideas

You could also just make a whole- frame mold pressing a real frame into some scrap clay, and baking
... then you could making all kinds of clay frames from that! Deirdre

How the heck do you get such a wonderfully even and smooth. frame around them (small items of jewelry?) ? Dotty.
...I usually put a log of clay through the pasta machine to flatten it some.
... then lay the piece I'm working on face down on a piece of paper
... wrap the flattened snake around the outside of the piece
.... laying flat makes the top edge (the one facing you) line up smoothly with the finished piece
....trim the snake....and then trim off any overlap there may be above the back of the piece. JAN

Tonja's small frames using Shapelets, or a handmade stencil or template (but ok for larger frames + photos)
(lesson) ...for example, using an template (say, an oval or lozenge shape) you've made from cardstock or something stiff:
...prepare a clay sheet (A) to use for the frame (perhaps stamp and powder it, or use a patterned clay sheet such as mokume gane, ghost image, faux's, caned, collaged, etc..)'s best to do this on the paper or tile you intend to bake on so nothing moves around too much the cardstock template on
the clay sheet ...cut around the outside of it, and remove the resulting inside shape
(to use for replacing with clay) a clay sheet (B) you want to use for the framed image or pattern
onto a piece of paper template on top of this sheet, cut around the template, and this time remove the resulting outside area
... gently remove this shape .. and then insert it into same-size opening of the frame sheet; press together gently complete the frame, cut off outside edge of frame (following the lines of the inside frame edge, or create a new shape)
...a clay rope or other embellishments could be added over the joined area, if desired

Tonja's collages of clay items and mixed media, on a backing, hung in regular frames

Marie's various frames for photos
mandalamama's various diff. frames for photos
bas relief dog on frame (Puppy Paws Frame, at made with Model Magic, but same for polymer clay)
bas relief cat on frame
Jon Anderson's framing borders made from canes
Barbara P's simple tiles in pastel colors placed around frame (with separating clay bars)... images stamped into clay but not highlighted or antiqued,etc.
various frames with tinted liquid clay embellishments
Tonja's mosaic of bamboo leaves ...with mosaic frame (outlined separately)
Hava's mosaic frame... also with mosaic background around molded clay "picture" in frame
nenuphar's Egyptian theme frames created by adding a fancy crown molding type onlay at the top and at the bottom only of a small rectangular sheet (probably gone)
Dotty's matchbox pendants with diff. dangles, charm... photo in drawer when opened (unusual "frame")
Tonja's frame made with clay rope formed into rectangle?, inside corners extra-indented?, then stamped (prob. with texture sheet) and highlighted with metallic powder (butterfly added after frame)

Marie S's smaller frame held in a large (post & lentil) portico-like "stand" consisting of 2 stacks of clay-covered spools/ form 2 columns with a span (lintel, entablature, frieze?) between them, and all on a clay base

Julianne's large 3-D dragon head sculpt protrudes from a wall "frame" of rocks and moss

lesson on placing transfers on cards, scrapbooks, etc., surrounded by frames (gone?)

Marina's small round frames made of twisted straw and ribbons (purchased?), inside which she has placed sculpted heads/busts. . . one fantasy woman has hair made of dried moss
*** look now at ---> http://www.marieidraghi.itinglese/epiccolopopolo.htm where ????

Los Mezitos Chicano Folk Art frames (brightly colored, graphic)

Well, I feel I got a lot of great stuff last night while dumpster diving
...behind a gallery (framing shops too) here that throws out some great scrap matting... frames... foam board, etc.
... I came home with some of the frame samples that you see on the framing department's walls.
.......but some of the pieces are just corner pieces (but some are fancy)... what can I do with those?. Hoda
...........First, I'd suggest using them for display if you do any jewelry- get a selection of corners, varied sizes, and spray paint them all gold.
...........Next, get a huge piece of cardboard (or your mat board!) and cover it with black velvet. Attach the frame corners randomly to "frame" a piece of jewelry- a necklace snuggled into a corner piece, a matching pair of earrings nearby, accented with their corner of a frame- maybe pointing toward each other- enough to point out that they go together, but purchased separately.
...........Or, paint them all one color (I love gold!) and build a sculpture that you could either set small objects on, or drape necklaces over. Making them all the same color helps them to blend into each other and show off your product, but they add nice texture and interest at the same time.
........... If you have a booth and use a mirror, hang some extra frame corners out at the sides, like parentheses, to accent the mirror. Nancy in VA

On Decorating Cents one time, the "trash to treasure guy" had a mirror framed in pieces of moulding.
....none of the pieces matched though, but it looked great! You could probably check out the website to see if it had info on it.. Rebecca

I have made a number of small frames for my grandson (snapshot size) for one year, so that my daughter can have a year's worth of photos on the wall at once....I put the names of the months on the frames, and deocrated them to match the month [sept. being school themed, etc.] ...You get to see how much your kids have changed over the course of a year this way.

Small Frames ....esp. for school photographs or other photos
(freestanding, or could be ornaments, magnets)

For a simple frame, roll a rope of clay and join the ends into a circle
...form the rope into the size and shape (oval, square, heart, etc.) of frame you want
...can then use a texture sheet (or stamps) to press over the whole thing (this will flatten and widen it...and also hide the joined area).. DB
...lesson on making a Christmas theme (red & white stripe) frame for a photo

ropes of decorative clay formed into heart or circle shapes, with purchased screw-in hanger
(...see also "Twisted Frames" below for a little fancier version of this)

Phyllis' frame for a pin (impressed gold-Pearl-Ex'd, with onlays of leaves and roses in 2 corners)

Sarajane's lesson on making a star (or other) shape frame as an ornament, adding a hole, then gluing a photo onto the back with a gluestick
...she decorated with onlays, texturing and a bit of glitter

my photo ornament frames.
... 3 in upper left were made by covering wooden drapery rings with cane slices or other decorative clay sheets, and in some cases adding onlays or metallic powder... stamped date also added as separate piece in hanger area¤t=bc46.jpg
.......if wood is bare, paint first with acrylic paint or clear acrylic sealer or permanent white glue to seal and give grip
(see more about covering wood in Covering > Wood)

lesson on child's hand frame for a photo... a template of hand is drawn on cardstock or construction paper and placed on clay sheet... cut around template with a toothpick (or hat pin, etc.)... place photo on from of plam and surround with rope of clay...(can add macaroni letters to spell name, or addother embellishements)... bake
...they glue toothpicks on the back of each finger to make the clay stiffer (but could also reduce the template size on a copy machine, or place the regular-size hand on another sheet of clay (a rectangle for example) to make it thicker and stiffer,2025,DIY_13750_2268661,00.html

Cecilia's many framed photos for xmas ornaments (onlaid) (website gone)

Becky's lesson on making baby bottle frames (for frig. magnets) with a bottle-shaped cookie cutter (& oval cutter for picture),1789,HGTV_3236_2251270,00.html

about baking the photos in the ornament project---bake away! .....They don't burn or discolour photos, 35mm prints, glossy or matte bake just fine...if you watch your temp....we bake at 275 degrees F.

... Polaroids are the least good in final results (occassional blotches )
...can attach photos to raw clay with white glue or liquid clay on the back (or Sarajane used a gluestick but the photo also had a frame to help hold it)
...sinilga coated the photo she used (for a clay cover on a photo album) with liquid clay on front, as well as back (details in Sheets of Pattern > Pieced)

...I covered the back side of one of a photo with scrap clay, and framed the sides of the front.
...I make photo frames for special occassions for special people in my life, and this experiment does indeed prove you can bake pictures... the process is a lot easier for me with a much nicer, clean-cut look on the back --where I would have to insert the pictures otherwise. cowgirls85rule

btw, Polaroid photos should not be trimmed or cut into for 24 hrs... after that, it's okay.

wouldn't it be fun to use those itty bitty instant "Polaroid" pics from your I-Zone camera and do the same time of thing, but smaller so it could be used as a pendant.....or a keychain...." Julie
...or in a frame or pin?

(for small-medium frames for mirrors, see above in Mirrors)

(many frames above in Larger Frames could also be created in smaller sizes... so check those out too)

"twisted-ropes small frames"

my lesson:
(two photos on this page show the flattened version of these):
Basic frame
--chop up at least 3-4 colors of clay..... Roll them together in a ball, then roll out into a log.
--twist the snake many times until the stripes are really small and close together, periodically rolling into a smooth snake to keep all the colors showing.
--drape into an oval shape (or any other shape) over the photo you want to frame to determine the length needed for the frame (...the opening should be a tad larger than you want it to be because flattening will make the opening smaller).
--cut off the extra snake from both ends, and leave a *straight* cut on each end.
--butt the ends together ... roll slightly to join well.
--reshape the frame on a piece of paper or on waxed paper, making sure the join is at the bottom (or the top -- just wherever you want to decorate).
--Now, you can either leave the clay frame round, or flatten it by pressing down on it with a flat, transparent piece of glass or acrylic, or the acrylic sheet from a store-bought frame, etc. (small round glass discs are sold at Michaels in the autumn/winter to make xmas ornaments) extra hard anywhere you think the frame is still too narrow
Decorate the frame anyway you like.
....we made 3 roses to go over the join by pressing a tiny log of clay into a skinny rectangle, then rolling it up from one end.
....we then made a leaf for each side of the roses by making a small green ball, then flattening it a bit into a teardrop shape... indented a line down the length of the leaf with a toothpick.
--cut an eyepin 3/4" long, or use a short U shape of wire (metal or plastic-coated wire) (can also cut off part of a metal or plastic-caoted paperclip)
......if using a plastic-coated wire, just press straight into top of the frame, since it will bond with the clay
..... but if using bare metal, zigzag the end(s) slightly and add liquid clay, white glue or superglue to it before embedding, then snug clay back around
.........or bake eyepin in clay, then pull out after baking and cooling and reinsert with superglue careful not to push the hanger through the inside edge of the frame
--bake on your piece of paper on top of a cookie sheet, for 20 minutes... let cool.
--add an ornament hook to your top loop
--trim and attach photo to back of ornament with white glue, or E6000
Back cover (optional):
... a back can completely cover the entire ornament back, or an area just larger than the opening side can be left open to insert or change the photo, or the photo can be left in permanently with no opening
...back could be made with clay, or with felt, leather, decorative paper, fabric, or anything else --for those, glue on)
.....if clay, use your baked frame to cut out a same-size sheet, or a smaller one if desired (in that case, be sure to leave enough room for the photo but not too much
....can use small strips or sheets of paper between any clay parts you don't want to fuse during baking (to insert photo)

OR make your frame freestanding by making a small stand for it pressing the baked frame into a flattened log of clay that extends well to the back side. If necessary, add a small log of the same color to the back of the stand next to the frame..... Remove frame carefully & bake stand.

HelenClayArt's different kind of twisted heart ornament
--two same-colored ropes twisted in heart shape... large bow hung from middle... leaves and tiny roses like mine below over the bow area (gone)

VERY SMALL Frames...... for pins & pendants, etc.

MANY mixed media frames, some ornate... many transfers + other tech's used ...pins, collage, etc
(for lessons, click on each picture) ...
(wait for them all to upload) ...
Marie Segal's framed transfer pins (check out frames in other galleries too)
Tonja's various frames for pendants
... one is an oval frame (rectangular exterior) onlaid only on a larger background clay layer, and acting as a "frame" for a decorative sheet of clay (animal skin)
Debbie Anderson's color and b&w transfer pins with frames, and some danglies, & other frames (click on Home Decor & Pins)

Charlene D's various kinds of frames, framing for pendants

Laura T's tiny frames for faux or other clay techniques (...these are earrings) (gone)
Tess' transfer of 1890's? lady in an oval, gilded frame, with pearls or pearly shapes at edge of transfer
Jenny Dowde's transfers with frames, for pendants
Tess' framed transfers pins:
...with crackled leaf, multicolor granite, scalloped gold textured or lacey mitered, textured/highlighted)
Gerri's many-techniqued, stamped, transferred, etc., frames
new place for framed things?... try home page (scroll down!...also click on all "Frames" pages) (pg gone)

Gay's various kinds of frames around stones, etc. (inaccesible)
Susan's patriotic frames around an eagle transfer (website gone)

Xtine's faux ivory frame, with leafy-flowery onlays, around cane slice of zebra

Cheryl's transfers framed with dimensional flowers and dimensional cane slice leaves
Marcy's framed pins made around transfers (rub-ons or stickers--could have been scanned instead)
... using onlays, clay ropes, etc
....some of her frames have tiny dots here and there, or cane slice embellishments (on the frame itself, or at one corner)

Tonja's"tin" pendants made by covering a tiny rectangular metal tin (with tiny Altoids, etc.)
...a dimensional onlay "frame" around transfer is created with a textured plain clay frame around top edge... then onlays on frame are added at top and bottom or corners only (flower and leaf canes, etc.)
...(cording runs through upper left & right sides of tin)

*Flo’s small metallic-effects frames (with transfers)

many small metallic effect frames, by Barbara Lang
faux metal, framed dog and cat transfer pendants

Monica's "hammered" metal frame... completely covered with gold (more in Faux-Many > Metals)

Monica's faux metal frame, textured? strip (row of upraised dimples in center, upraised rope on each side added later?), highlighted with gold (heart shape)
Sarajane's miniature, fancy-framed gold Victorian wall mirror over a dresser
Kathy G's many metallic frames around stamps (website gone)

Ed's small frame (for one cane slice).... faux metal, with a (sculpted?) leaf extending into frame area from each corner to "hold" the slice (gone)

OTHER THINGS to use as frames
Beckah's use of a doll house "window frame" (sill and outer molding parts, forming a dimensional rectangle) ... gilded... around a transfer

Cheryl's framed pin using buna cord ...also pin with red polymer roping (plus two rubber o-rings) (website gone)

for much more on the "stacking" method of framing (to create a background piece which also functions as a frame)
....see Pendants & Cording > Stacked Pendants . . . LOTS of possibilities there

for templates for cutting transfers into shapes ...or for stacking together to give the impression of framing
...or for using the same template to cut transfer and frame-with-matching-hole
(see Cutters-Blades > Templates)

Troika's lesson on making pendant frames (from silicone molds)

Nanetta's lesson on using Shapelet to cut open frame area in sheet of mokume gane

for making a "frame" created by masking off a blank area for the photo or transfer, then texturing and highlighting the frame area with metallic powders, see Mica > Leaf masking

Roll a rope of clay and join the ends . . . form the rope into the size and shape of frame you want, then use a texture sheet (or stamps) to press over the whole thing (this will flatten and widen it . . . and also hide the joined area).. DB

How the heck do you get such a wonderfully even and smooth frame around them (small items of jewelry?) ? Dotty.
....rounded strip
......I usually roll a rope of clay.. .and flatten it in the pasta machine into a strip.... I then lay the piece I'm working on face down on a piece of paper..and wrap the flattened snake around it.... that makes the top edge line up smoothly with the finished piece... trim the snake ... then trim off any overlap there may be above the back of the piece. JAN
....I c
ut a strip of clay for the frame, then fold it in half... using the (rounded) folded edge up, wrap around your piece (mine is often a baked piece)... then smooth the joins. Elizabeth (bottom of page)

Alison Ingham uses lots of clay ropes and shapes as onlay on frames around stones or other focal items
(see more similar items in Jewelry > Misc > Renaissance,etc.)

one idea I have tried for making framings is to use a clay gun with the die that looks like a 4-leaf clover (or tri-lobe too?)
...after extruding, twist the strand ... it should look like twisted wires
...then you can wrap this twist around an oval or circle that you want to use as the base for your setting…Darla

....Xtine's round or rounded frames ...most are impressed with just one texture on entire frame (which surrounds cane slice face)

impress and bevel the frame:
....another easy, but cool thing I do to the edges of pins or pendants (like leaf impression pins) is to roll a knurled tool up against the edge.
....I've told enough people about this to know that some don't know what a "knurled tool" is... it's any kind of cylindrical tool with that diamond-shaped pattern impressed into it (somewhere, usually on the handle…say a wrench, for instance).…I use (the handle of) a leather punch
…so when your pin is just ready to bake, roll the edge of the tool up against the edge of the pin (lengthwise).... this puts a little bevel on the edge with an interesting cross-hatch pattern to boot even squares it up a bit.  Mike  B.

How does Mike Buesseler get such a smooth rounded area for his trim around his lockets?
...I'm happy to share what I can... it's mostly a matter of attaching a thin, fairly narrow strip around the edge of the locket (or whatever you want to frame)
........(this technique works esp. well for metallic clays because the edge showing would be dull colored if you cut it)
.....I use a simple trick borrowed from sewing, I think..... I use a rolled "hem" approach. you prepare the edging, running it through the pasta machine, always fold the piece lengthwise in half... this means that one edge will have that fold--a rounded look--showing .... that is the edge that must face out (upward)
....then when you lay the strip around your piece, make it flush with the face of the piece... then trim excess off in the back. Mike B.

Donna Kato's framing lesson with (sharp-edge) strips....(around transfer, for a pendant)
...create a flat clay sheet (thickest setting) to use as a backing sheet on tile... sit freestanding clay transfer on clay
...cut 4 strips (wider and longer than you'll need) from another clay sheet (thickest setting) same color as backing
...using the back sides of the strips (for sharper edges), place 2 strips on opposite sides of the transfer ...snug up trim excess lengths, bend blade
along top of transfer with same exact curve (if you have a curve on your transfer)
...... & cut down through strips only ...remove ...repeat for bottom strip last 2 strips on opposite sides ..snug.... rub lightly over seams to erase seams
...trim all 4 outer sides to widths and curves you want for final piece ... bake,1789,HGTV_3238_3073583,00.html
(beg. with step 11 )
..Donna Kato's lesson on creating a tall frame around a "Huichol" pattern (created with seed beads on a layer of polymer clay) for a pin
...(in this case, she placed the baked shape on a raw backing sheet to add more thickness and to give the raw frame more raw clay to stick to... then trimmed excess away after adding frame)
.....cuts frame elements (strips of 1/2" wide and #1 thickness clay).... applies to one side of the shape, with the bottom side of the strip upward (the bottom side has the crispest edge)... cuts off excess strip (crosswise)... lays a second strip on 2nd side (and repeats for any number of sides)... smooths joins by stroking surface with a finger
.....also shows her sanding and buffing the frame after baking,1789,HGTV_3225_4044790,00.html (begin with step 7 )
Donna also inset inset various metal pieces, etc., inside the depressed pendant "windows" she made this way ("canoes & kayaks")

"bezel" is defined in various ways, but often the term is used loosely
...technically, a bezel may be a small metal case (like a box bottom)
which a gem or stone is set into to hold it securely.. often the top rim of the metal is pressed down over the top edge of the stone to hold it in mechanically ...some say the ring of metal that surrounds the stone is called the "collet".
.....but most people seem to use the term bezel for any metal (or othermaterial) which surrounds a stone, etc., and can act as a bit of a frame around it. DB
bezel is like a little metal tin ... and a "cabochon setting" is just a ring that goes around the outside edge.
......Rio Grande has sterling bezels only, but I think they have base metal c. settings.. obirtasil
...anything with a framed depression could qualify as a bezel??
..caneguru now sells sterling bezels in various shapes, both simple and compound

Art Heaven sells bezels, brass and sterling

Suzanne I's bezel frames with interesting embellishments

Desiree's lesson on using a 4"length of brass wire to make a wire frame (any shape ..e.g, teardrop, rectangular, octangonal, etc.) around a clay pendant... sort of like a bezel (see also Beads > Bezels)
...after creating a wire loop (with any other small connector loops she wants), she
lays wire frame on her clay (2 layers of #1 top color, and one layer of #3 middle color), and presses deeply into clay almost to bottom of stack with 2 pliers, which forces the clay "bead" up and projecting from frame... then cuts away excess clay around frame and pokes out clay from loops
...places this on another sheet of clay (back color, #1), and repeats removal of excess clay
...embellishes the top by pressing indentions and adding another wire shape, etc.... bakes.... antiques... sands/buffs

(more on bezels in Beads > Bezels)

Alicia's lesson on adding a (non-plastic) cabochon to a pendant... adding onlays & baking... then covering with gold acrylic paint. (gone? ...wrote)
Catherien's simple, and more complex, polymer bezels (gone)
Byrd's onlaid, etc., pendants... notice "hangers" & bezeled frames (website gone)

Celadonia's framed glass pebbles (onlaid leaves, etc.) used as pendants... could easily have image behind (attached with thin Goop glue) which would magnify it ... many with faux metal frames
(see more on glass pebbles in Misc > Marbles)

metal bottle caps (the ones from home brewing supply places which haven't been crimped) can be crushed to "roll back" the edges and create small round metal "frames".... (bag of 144 for $2...they have what they call left overs. Donna) ..the plastic liner inside can be removed by heating with a hair dryer, then lifting one corner and pulling out...
......miniature pies can also be made in regular bottle caps (see Miniatures for one website, and more on pies)
... this is a crushed screw-type cap: ...pins using bits of found metal to create an artifact look --Urban Relics (crushed screw-top bottle cap, inset with glow-in-the-dark polmer clay, beaten metal wire (other items have bone bead stitched on, inlaid ivory, transfers,etc.)
....I use "finish washers" upsidedown to make my miniature tarts (they look like bundt molds, but flatter with much larger hole --I tried using grommets first but they're a little narrow and not as sturdy). I got them at the hardware store (a dollar for 25)... one type is designed to be smashed, the other isn't. Marie
...any of these could be used just as frames for polymer patterns, cane slices, etc.

over 3000 brass charms, including small frames of all shapes (also filigree) (click on Catalog Pages, bottom of home page)
..... esp. pages 5 (hearts), 72, 74, 92-93, 97-99, 101 (bracelets)

Heather P's lesson on adding a row of simple cane slices to the edges of the clay (some of these look pressed into the edge)
... then trims them to only a thin frame width

Eileen's nametag pin with cane sheet frame separated from plain central area with ropes

To get a framed depressed area, try pressing something of the size and shape you want for your "picture" (transfer, whatever) into a clay sheet (maybe one that's been textured)
. . . (make sure the the clay is thick enough for the depth you need --or back it with more clay)
... any patterned clay sheet should be able to be treated this way as well

pendant magnifier loupes-- front surface could be covered with polymer clay, etc.; the loupe swings out from behind it (Confabulations) (only sell completed ones though?)

........(see more on magnifying glasses in Other Materials > Magnifying Lenses)

(..see info on swing-apart pieces hung as pendant to make a mini-photo album or locket in Pendants & Cording > Other Pendant Ideas and Hinges)

(...see more on framing transfers in Transfers > Websites)
see more on framing jewelry in Jewelry > Websites?)


framed Watch Pendants

Tracie framed watch faces... then hung them as pendants... (website gone)

Displays for Pieces,
or for Swap Items, or other things like photos

For my swaps... I have a 4'x4' velvet covered cork board going up the back hall to my room. Any thing that can hang from a pin goes there... and beads get strung on the strand that frames it. I also got some very nice little shadow boxes from Michaels... very reasonable with a 40% off coupon. These go up in my workroom for special inspirational pieces. Things that don't fit in, or on, either of those... go into two larger curio type cabinets... one in my living room, one in the upper hall. Joanie
............I like to use my old photographs in shadow boxes. ... then put in the box anything that relates to the picture. This could be flowers, baby shoes, old jewelry, books, etc (made from polymer or not). An example, I took a picture of my dad where he was at the beach using his metal detector. I included in the box some of the stuff he found and threw away. There was a bottle top, a child's car, an old chain, a penny and a fork. szaftoo


Debbie Anderson's color and b&w transfer pins with frames, and some danglies, & other frames, (click on Home Decor & Pins)
Tonja's many frames around transfers, etc.
Celie's transfers framed with Precious Metal Clay

Gerri's many-techniqued, stamped, transferred, etc., frames (scroll down! . . . also click on all "Frames" pages)
Marie S's multiple outlines of cane slices around image (transfer or faux scrimshaw)

Kris Richards' lesson on covering a papier mache frame and onlays using Jones Tones (and glitter)
frames,pins,collage, etc. (click on each picture for lesson!)
Celidonia's tiny ropes and other bits of clay framing and partly overlaying glass pebbles and cabochons, for small pendants

Marie S's framed transfer pins and other pins/pendants with fancy onlay framing treatments (look through all Galleries)

*(Irene Dean's) fatbak’s many-techniqued, tiled, frames & clocks (click on Mirrors and Clocks and Wall Pieces, under Older Work)
Singing Clay's stamped, antiqued, faux leather,"Loping Horses", switchplate, with thin frame
(click on Home Decor.Sw'plate)

*Garie's small framed bas reliefs & sculpts (small figures and scenes) (#1) (really #3)

Nancy's license plate holder covered with polymer (and sealed)
Karen & Ann's lesson on covering the frame for a license plate with base clay and clay slices (then they add a stamped area),1789,HGTV_3352_1818365,00.html
Lisa Pavelka's cane slice frame for license plate (and polymer veneers for parts of her van!)

Valerie's high relief plaque scenes (outdoor and figures/structures)

Caroline's seascape painting with onlaid sailboats and frame of window curtains (website gone)

PHOTOPOINT photos & others. . .all now gone
Mmasaur's transfers with frames
(website gone)
Paulo's faux wood, etc., frames layered, around a color transfer
(website gone)
Dotty's black-scroll frame around transfer, and others
(website gone)
*Kim's many framing ideas (around post. stamps)
(website gone)
*Jenny's many frames, some onlay
(website gone)
Tanya F's onlaid sealife frame, cut with pattern scissors around edges
(website gone)
*mtdew's many unusual frames
(website gone)
*Kate Andrews' unusual frame with feet used as props (can remove "picture" and use as pin)
(website gone)
Jan R's impressed and onlaid small frame, around a stamped/powdered image
(website gone)

Byrd's "frame" bezels for stones
(website gone)
Cheryl's beaded frames on small items (could do in clay too?) --for instructions, see Mixing Media/Seed Beads
(website gone)
Sue's covered cardboard frame with window
(website gone)

Byrd's framed Natashas, with spiral canes
(website gone)
catbyte's (Hazel) textured frame, and other frames, frame for baby
(website gone)
(website gone)

my twisted frames, xmas frames, etc. (see lesson above)
(website gone)

Cecilia's many framed photos for xmas ornaments (onlaid)
(website gone)
(website gone)

Ginny's xmas tree frame (gone?)
*Kimba’s "Gorkley"-type mirror frames (squiggly onlays) (gone)
*Annie's many caned, onlaid, mixed media, Skinnered frames (and her shaped ones) (unavailable?)
Heather S's covered frames (gone)
Susan's framed mirror (Dinko's website!?)
purplepapillon's frame-and-hanger on mirror made with continuous revolutions of clay rope onlaid (part of which opens for a hanging loop at the top)
Ed's small frames for pendants (gone)

Decorative TILES

...tiles can be created to stand-alone ...or to be grouped next to each other in a grid or mosaic
...tiles can be flat, or they be somewhat dimensional with onlays or texturing, etc.
...a base tile or a whole tile can be made with any technique, as a faux, etc.
...embellishments for other surfaces could be transfers, onlays (clay, anything), texturing/stamping/antiquing/highlighting, or decorated in any way possible
...can be embedded as a mosaic or as a replacement for ordinary cermic tile(s) ... or glued onto another surface
...can be displayed in various ways... or can even be functional for repairs

Some Techniques, Appearance

...mica powders.... metallic leaf.... marbling
....paint (sponged or painted or patterned)
....texture or stamp...onlays, etc.

tiles made from translucent clay mixed with herbs and spices (good use for old spices!) are some of the coolest I've made. Kim K.
(....for more on adding in herbs/spices, see Inclusions)

can also stamp on tiles with Fabrico ink too --bake 15 min to set ...
... for a memo pad made this way, add a small piece of velcro on the tile -and the other side of the velcro stick on a black erasable marker (for white boards) and ta da!!! you have a memo pad to sit beside your phone for messages
.......erases just like the white board, but the ink where you stamped doesn't come off--it is baked on. vbfll (could put polymer around edge as frame)

(antiquing) I used Pthalo blue water-soluble oil paints on my textured tiles
....I dabbed it all over (a too-bright metallic silver), then rubbed off all the high areas. What a beautiful "new" tile ...and the oils covered those deep valleys of the texture better than the acrylics... the metallic did not resist it either. Jane

many more ideas in Uses & Ideas just below

Uses + Ideas

single tiles

Tiles could can be hung on a wall or door/etc as a decoration or plaque.... or displayed sitting on an acrylic stand or easel... or hung from a "stand"... or used as an onlay on a box, etc ...or used as a coaster or plant "stand"... etc..

Garie's whimsical bas relief scenes on tiles
Pat S's sealife and other tiles (mostly flat

flowers in pots, vines, etc.. as onlays (on a large ceramic tile?)

Jenny D's round and square "tiles" (multi-layer, collage type tiles) which hang from an upsidedown sort-of-U-shaped bent metal rod which is embedded into a wood board... the 2 "hangers" may be strips of copper
Caryl's medium-larger tiles (with onlays) used as plaques

to create a stand or base for an object, plant, etc.....HGTV used a large ceramic tile (8x8 or an 12x12)
........then added drawer pulls to the bottom side for feet (small crystal-look ones but you could use anything --wooden beads, corks,etc) Lindaa
...could cover or combine with polymer clay too
...or could be a coaster (see Sculpting > Other Items for coasters)

grouped tiles

(largest tiles at end)

cover a purchased tile (ceramic or terra cotta) --small or large-- with a thin layer of clay ......generally backs are not covered
... then apply cane slices....or sculpt a scene... or otherwise embellish
stock white tiles can be purchased from hardware stores for 10-12¢ each

can apply a transfer to a purchased tile (smooth, tumbled marble, etc.)
(see info on all these in Transfers... under Lazertran, or Acrylic Mediums, Liquid Clays, etc., depending on the exact method you want to use)
Donna Kato's lesson on a photocopy transfer to a gold polymer clay "tile" (surrounded by checkerboard canes and a log border)... she burnishes the photocopy onto the clay, then bakes 30 min at 275, cools, then peels paper off tile,1789,HGTV_3239_1369990,00.html


Irene D's various rectangular tiles of diff. textures, caned sheets, fauxs, etc. .to create frames for mirrors, clocks, & other items
Larry's clocks (4" desk clocks & 10" wall clocks with tiles surrounding like Irene's) ...see his kits below also
Teri S's square clock with square tiles (various techniques) as border
Arual Creations' various tiles on frames
Teri S's square clock with square tiles (various techniques) as border

Larry's clocks (4" desk clocks & 10" wall clocks with tiles of various designs surrounding like Irene's)

BRPCG's logo frame ...various squares of different textures, surface techniques
many sets of tiles ....from class on design exploration by Julia Sober
(change to my Photobucket URL)

Sharon C's small tiles wall hanging (3 columns x 4 rows = 12 tiles)
...tiles in the 3 columns are held together with large jumprings... all hang from a crosspiece at top
...tiles have transfers,. onlays,. texturing,. antiquing (gone????)

Cheryl's tiles with various techniques... copper solder


on top of various other items or surfaces (any size tiles):
.....wood boxes or papier mache boxes,. notebook covers, Altoid tins, switchplates, trays, tabletops, etc., etc..
..Violette put her pattern "tiles" on the side of a large bookcase

Suzanne's recipe card file box covered with "tiles" over a base cover
Tonja's square box covered with "tiles"..impressed metallic clays with gold antiquing ( ... no grout?)
Patti's not-really-tiles, but inspirational (website gone)
various tiles

various lessons and photos of tiles (Cre8it's or nowwhatzine's)
.... some mounted on ceramic tiles, etc.
......some textured or stamped
(mostly using bulk white Sculpey --some folded double thickness of #1 pasta machine for added strength
........then often colored in some way with
their their tinted glazes)
....some are double or triple layers (using a framing paper layer etc..

... also notebooks, cards, vessels, even jewelry (glazes) .....

tiles can be painted on after baking (rather than building in the color in the traditional way)
....Laurie Mika's patterned tiles are textured while raw, then painted after baking
......for tabletops... frames....a "building" for a wall plaque... tops for boxes, etc .....,1789,HGTV_3258_3709285,00.html (lesson on making box)

could also use paints or inks to create various kinds of patterning on clay-covered tiles (clay could also have patterns or texture, etc.)
... for example, see Letters-Inks (alcohol inks), and Paints ('faux vinyl")

"tray" of tiles
....I made a tray of 6 tiles --3 x 2 (each 8") -- separated by grout
.......the tiles are inlaid into a wide and shallow, wood-board "tray," (rectangle of plywood, with 4 short strips of wood around the edges extending upward the same height as the tiles, as a containing outer frame ...when I added the tile grout, the whole thing was even on the top surface.
........the thickness of the lines of grout showing and also the wood border could be varied any way you want
........I made mine with textured regular ceramic tiles and use this as a hot plate area next to my stove and microwave (to put hot containers on --you wouldn't want to use polymer tiles for contact with hot pans, etc., though!)
....these could be used as lap trays for meals, or for messy projects ... or they could go on walls, etc. Diane B.

...various techniques used for MDPAG teeny tiny tiles swap

I'm going to cut some of my tiles up like you would cut fabric for a quilt to make into pieces for quilt patterns. Kim K.
(...for more, see Quilt and also Sheets of Pattern > Pieced)

the blank backs of dominoes can be used in various ways as "tiles" --take a look at these, e.g. (not polymer)

Jessica A's non-tile wall "plaque" in frame .... with collaged onlay (face and much more)

Irene's small textured tiles ... diff. colors and diff. heights... combined into 2 vertical strips (of diff. widths)
....used as onlay on background of wall piece as "framing" (left and right) (gone?)

Tiles can be used to fill an empty space anywhere
...or run just a line of tiles anywhere as a decorative touch

Claudine hides a hole left in the middle of a bathroom tile with a polymer disk (glued on?) which is made from cane slices

backsplash area... (the area right behind a stovetop might be a place where the tiles could get a large buildup of grease though and be hard to clean, or get scratched from being cleaned with abrasives)
....water splashing shouldn't be a problem though (unless the moisture is continuously in contact with the polymer, e.g. from a wet sponge or bar of soap). (see Outdoor > Water > Sun for info about problems with having polymer in long-term continuous contact with water). thing to consider doing in any of these areas would be to mount your tiles on a backboard of some kind which you could then attach to the wall.... these could then be mounted or hung anywhere, and they would have the same visual effect as inlaid tiles.
.......the advantages of doing that would be that if something happened to the tiles, it wouldn't be as much work to replace them, and you could also get to them much more easily to repair or clean
.......not to mention that you could move them around, or even take them with you if you move (rented apartments and houses often don't allow permanent changes too.) Diane B.

...I am currently doing my kitchen backsplash with polymer tiles, but have only replaced a few of the old "false bricks fronts" so I can see if they will hold up.
.......the best way I have found to do it is to glue the tiles on wire mesh with Weldbond... and then cement (thinset) them on mesh and all... then grout like ceramic tile. Joann

*interesting sections of tiles in bathroom, kitchen tile sections (gone)

One thing to realize though is that you can't use polymer tiles on the floor where people will be walking.
....They will eventually chip and could break.
..... If you really want to put some on the floor however, you could try putting some next to the wall or anyplace else where no one really puts their feet.
... A couple of possibilities to avoid these problems could be:
--deeply embedding the polymer parts in-between pieces of wood or regular tile so the polymer parts wouldn't actually be walked on (though cleaning might be a problem)
--raising the tiles up so they couldn't actually be walked on (if making an outer border). Diane B

Or tiles could be used along the baseboards instead of on the floor.... or as crown molding near the ceiling. Kim K.

Lisa P's polymer clay (mosaic) tiles framing a fireplace

small old metal tables (for patios, etc.) are great for tiles or mosaics
...usually the wood on which the original tile/s were laid will lift out can then be used as a template to cut a new piece of wood (paint to seal non-tiled areas) to hold the new tiles

panels from tiles which function like wall art .....or a screen
... finished items would also be handy since they wouldn't be permanent on walls when renting esp. (....e.g., do them on masonite panels which you attach to the wall with screws into the studs)


making, baking, attaching tiles

Tiles can be all clay (.....for larger ones, this might require a fair amount of clay, but can also be made fairly thin if using a strong brand)
....or they can have an armature underneath or inside, to save clay... or to strengthen them... or to make them lighterweight than ceramic tiles
...... the armature could be something thin, like wire mesh... or something thicker like illustration board, thin plywood, masonite, etc.

A beveled edge can be nice on the edges of the tiles and will make them look more like regular ceramic tiles, if you want that look
....if using a cutter or long blade, you can get a beveled edge by placing a sheet of plastic wrap over the clay before cutting
....... if using a thick armature, this will also work... cut the clay edge a little beyond where the armature ends

It's good idea to create your decorative tile right on the surface it will be attached to whenever possible (which means you wouldn't have to pick the whole thing up and move it to a suitable baking surface, or otherwise disturb the finished clay)
...instead, you can also create it on a (slick) ceramic tile, or something else slick and flat like a metal baking pan, so that it sticks to that surface while baking and avoids curling in the oven
.... remove the tile after baking, then you can attach it to a base of wood or whatever (using a glue suitable for both surfaces --perhaps Goop), embed it with tile putty, or use it any other way.

You can bake your tile on something sturdy, already affixed with white glue... Sarajane

Bake it on something really flat, like a sheet of cardstock
....while still warm from the oven but not burningly hot, glue it to your acrylic sheet (when you want to attach your tile to a material which isn't bakable). . .
...hold it in place with something heavy and flat while it bonds--I use telephone books on top.
......since the tile is still somewhat flexible while warm, you can make sure there are no bumps or curls
.....super glue is the best adhesive for plastic-to-plastic like this, usually.
...I would wait till its totally cooled, then glaze if you want (I like) Varathane. Sarajane

Whatever you do with them, make sure to bake the tiles as long as possible to create the most strength

Regular ceramic tiles usually have grooves in the back to catch the mortar when embedded . I think that should apply to (large?) polyclay tiles we make as well

You may sometimes also want to put a protective finish (or several coats, glossy or matte) to help protect them (but not nec.). Diane B.

(for possible shrinkage in larger, thinner and also softer clay pieces, see above under General Info)

(for cutting tiles,especially smaller ones, see also Cutters > Small Tiles)

more tiles at GlassAttic

tiles used to make "sheets of pattern" (can be various different pieces puzzle-pieced together)-- see Sheets of Pattern > Pieced

many tiles used in tile bracelets--, see Jewelry > Bracelets > Tiles

tiles -- and esp. very small tiles-- see Mosaics

cutting and using clay tile shapes --see Cutters > Cutting Small Tiles



Tri-Fold Panels (Triptychs, Icons, etc.)

These could be small thin tiles or other types of panels (or frames) (usually three sections, but could be any number --e.g., diptychs, quadraptychs) which can be hinged, or permanently bent so that they can stand alone (think of a fireplace screen).
...Originally used for religious icons; ancient Far Eastern art
...The 3 sections of this type are usually horizontal but they could also be vertical (though those couldn't stand alone).
...These could be frames for photos or other artwork or fancy papers/screens, for example,
or they could be plaques for paintings, transfers, carvings/stampings, etc., small pendants, faux ivory, or just anything at all.
...The 3 sections could also be parts of one transfer or other image.

Patti Kimle's tabletop triptychs, unframed (fronts are clay "paintings"... back sides are faux ivory--impressed with patterns of wheat&grass or sand&shells) with psalm, poems, quotations
Diane Dunville's framed tabletop triptych (moon river onlay/bas relief) (gone)
Beckah's gilded icon triptychs with transfers, open and closed (gone)
Tonja's standing Egyptian Art Piece
Dale Doroshow's story-telling triptych using clay with personal items, papers, beads, charms & small scrolls of text, & a sewn hinge (gone)
....and her various shrines (some composed of three panels joined together)
....and (gone)

wire-frame "shrines" --"artwork to honor memory making," from Amaco's 2006 3-D Memory Trends Designer Challenge
Dayle's hinged triptychs as "mini-book" pin (click on Open and Closed)

This kind of folded panel could also be used as a backdrop for a tiny scene (or add a "floor" panel to a diptych and have an open "room box")

What is a triptych?:
hundreds of triptych photos:, then enter the word triptych (be sure to spell it right <g>)

video by Tory (Victoria) Hughes --Hinges in Polymer Clay--- covers 3 ways to make hinges in pendants (or can use for frames or panels)
1. hinge on the side of a pendant or frame... 2. hinge two parts of a pendant together.... 3. hinge within a pendant creating a swinging part
...she mainly uses the "door hinge" type of hinge, in which a pin of some kind is run through tubes of clay which are attached to each side (usually two tubes on one side, one on the other side) ... she creates the hinge tubes in place for an exact fit; these can be bent or finished with a bead, etc. on each end; she also shows a method of running a pin/wire through one clay tube (attached to one piece of pendant), then bending the ends 90 degrees and supergluing into the non-tube piece.

.... for more info on hinges and types,
see Pendants-Cording > Hinges & Lockets & pivots hinges ... Books > Hinges ....
Vessels > Hinges

...for more inspiration for making triptychs, see at least Books + Minibooks ...Vessels ...Frames ...etc.