For those that are visiting for the very first time, let me give you a little bit of background about me and what my blog is all about. I have been a rubber stamper for, oh, about 12 years now, and I LOVE using rubber stamps on everything! I adore altering items, creating things, and just expressing myself through art. In addition to my blog, Smeared and Smudged now has a forum for others to gather that have the same stamping addiction and interests, and my sister and I own a small rubber stamp company. But it all started with the blog, and I'm so excited and honored to be able to share one of my projects with all of you today.
This is the second year that Smeared and Smudged has hosted its own 31 Days of Halloween event, and it is by sheer coincidence that I happened upon Mrs B's blog last year. They say great minds think alike! Our 31 Days is all about presenting Halloween themed projects throughout the month, and this year we have 15 fabulous blogger/stampers participating in the challenge and showing off their hand stamped projects. So, if you get an urge to see some wonderful handmade Halloween projects, please visit the Wicked Blogs that are located in my sidebar any time during October.
So, now on to the project... I am sharing with you a recipe for making a stamped Trick or Treating protection amulet. Over the years, our world has become more and more dangerous, and any way that we can help to protect our little ones is worthwhile in my eyes. This is a fun project that is easy enough that you can share with your kids, and I'll include *tips* for a magical "recipe" that can be skipped if you don't want to use them and just want to make a cute child necklace. Remember, you can click any of the pics to enlarge them for more detail.
To start, you will need some clay of your choice (bake or air dry), a small locket, and a rubber stamp with an image you like. *Tip: If you are making a magical or protective amulet, you may want to choose an image that represents protection as you believe it. I chose a cat, as this is believed to be a very common witch's familiar or companion. Personally, my kids love the cat and we all feel that our little cats will guard and attend to them as they make their trick-or-treating rounds.
Soften your clay with your hands. *Tip: You can add a finely powdered protection mixture of dried herbs to your clay when softening if you choose. (One common herbal protector of children is Dill.) Take your clay and make a shape that will be large enough for your image. Try to keep it between 1/4" and 1/2" thick. Then firmly press your stamp directly into the clay.
Next, press your locket into one corner of your amulet. This will make the indentation for later attachment.
Using the end of a pen, add a hole in the top of your amulet for stringing.
After adding your hole, you will need to let your clay dry according to the package directions. If air dry clay, let dry for 24 hours. If baking clay, follow the instructions on the package. *Tip: If you added dried herbs to your clay, be sure to watch it in the oven!
Now that your clay is hardened, it's time to paint. Start by adding in your darker color that will be in the recesses of your image. You do not need to be super neat, as it will be covered along the edges. *Tip: Choose colors that represent protection to you. I chose to use white for protection, black to ward off harm, and orange for strength.
Your second step is to add color to the raised parts of your image. I used white, and I find it easiest to do this step with my finger so I can feel the ridges. Plus my finger is big enough that it will prevent paint from going into the recesses. Or, you can use a small paint brush.
Next, add your background color. Again, I used my fingers and a small brush for details and to correct mistakes.
After this portion has dried, turn it over and paint the back. When all the paint has finished drying, this may be a good time to add a coat of spray on sealer or gloss varnish if you want your project to last longer. Also, if you want to paint the front of your locket, do it now and let it dry, then seal.
The next step is to attach your locket to the front. Remember that indention that we made in the clay? Add a dollop of really strong adhesive, and then press your locket down. I used E600 industrial glue. It takes a bit to dry, but holds really well.
Here are a couple of pics that show you what the locket looks like. You may be asking yourself what the purpose of this locket is. Well, for you non magical types, it is a great place to store a cute pic of your child in all their Halloween costume splendor! *Tip: for you magical types, this is a fabulous place to add some dried protection herbs, a tiny annointed stone or crystal, or a small hand written affirmation for your child to carry around their neck.
Finally, tie a length of color coordinated ribbon to your amulet, and you are done! Your child now has a super cute and fun necklace to wear trick-or-treating. It can be adapted to be more elegant for older children as well. *Tip: While you are making this project, visualize your child being protected as they place it around their neck, having a safe and fun time during whatever festivities they plan on partaking in, and coming home soundly afterward. You may want to include your children in the process, or follow whatever ceremonial procedures that you are accustomed to prepare your materials for magic before hand.
Please note that I DO NOT believe that a protection amulet is a substitute for good old fashioned parenting and supervision, so please watch over your children as they enjoy their Halloween festivities!
I hope you enjoyed sharing my project. Like I said before, it is super simple and I hope that it has inspired you to create something special for a child in your life. Thank you so much for sharing this day with me on my blog. And feel free to peruse some of my other projects; we are 12 days in to our 31 Days of Halloween celebration, plus we hosted last year as well, so there is a ton of Halloween goodness to be found by clicking here for this year, and here for last year. Happy Haunted Blog Tour!