Learn how to make your own clay cutters for next to nothing! No doubt, when out shopping, you’ve seen passels of these shape cutters, and noticed they look pretty simple and straightforward…but are you thinking like me and wishing you didn’t have to spend the extra money for something you could easily re-create yourself?
If you have some cookie cutters laying around, they can work too, but sometimes they’re too big for certain things like jewelry pieces. Well the good news is that you can create some nice petite sized shape cutters that will be perfect for earrings or pendants!
So if you don’t want to spend money on those fancy cutters at the store, I’ve got some ideas, some you will love, no doubt. So let’s dive in with my findings. Some ways are a little tricky and others will make you say “why didn’t I think of that?”
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One way is with strips of aluminum. You’d most likely have to obtain these through a place like Lowes. If you’re skilled at working with material like that, I’d say go ahead, me, I have not so I can’t tell you how to proceed with that one 100%.
Another way is with simple objects. These may be limits however. But have a look around and see what you can find! For example, I have a few miniature party cups that work great for round circles; they’re just the right size and have smooth edges. Another thing that could work is the top from a juice or soda bottle. If it doesn’t have ridges on the sides, it can work!
Well, as long as we’re on the topic of soda bottles….I’ve found that the plastic from them is ideal for making cutters. Also miniature liquor bottles- more on that shortly. After washing out a 20-oz bottle, I cut the widest parts into strips. Once it narrows towards the neck, it gets difficult to do anything with, so I just left that part alone.
Here you can see that I cut alongside the label as a guide. Not sure what kind of shape I want to start with, so I thought, let’s try a heart…
I pinched one end to make the “point” in the middle, and curved up the ends, which took some guessing – I applied tape to the apex. If I need to trim it later, I can.
The next shapes I found that were easy to do were a marquis, teardrop, then I attempted a butterfly (or flower? I think I should have reconsidered, but by then I had already made the folds) It was all just a matter of pinching strips into shapes. Not that different from making those quilled paper shapes huh?
Then I used some washi tape (so they’d look pretty) and sealed off the ends. Now on to the next ideal object for cutters – little bitty liquor bottles! As you can see I have tape going around the middle where I planned to cut, as it makes it a lot easier to cut through plastic and avoid leaving sharp “jaggies” behind.
I used a knife to do this, too, not scissors. You will still have to use scissors to trim them more neatly, as it rarely cuts perfectly even. Definitely remove the tape right away, as it leaves gummy residue behind.
Then I used an emery board to sand off any rough edges, and a little tape to be decorative, and now to see how they work. I had one mini JD bottle for the square cutter, and an oblong shaped one that made a rounded rectangle (I think the correct word is “oblong”.)
That’s (the gold, anyway) Sculpey III, which is a little more entry -level (the kind I worked with the most as a teen-ager) which explains a little why the edges of the cutouts could be better. Note to self-use Premo! instead. Not too bad, though!
I think the liquor bottle bottoms worked the best, and cut the cleanest, so save those if you’ve got them.
Have fun, save those throwaways, you’ll never know when you’ll need them for a time like this!