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Proudly wear a vintage handcrafted
St. Patrick's Pin or Pendant for a
"bit o' the green" this St. Patrick's Day!

St Patrick's Pin craft of polymer clay
(click here for a larger
St. Patrick's Pin craft image)

There is Irish magic in this Victorian-style St. Patrick's Pin or Pendant; Vintage images from old Ireland are displayed in lustrous metallic or pearl settings. The magic ingredients are oven-baked polymer clay, metallic pigment powder, and iron-on image transfer sheets for your ink-jet printer.

Despite the professional results, this is a pretty easy craft. If you haven't worked with polymer clay before, you are in for a treat. It is fun to let your imagination run wild with shapes, textures and colors. Few tools are required and the oven-baking takes only about 15 minutes at low heat to harden the clay.

The oven heat is also what adheres the image from the transfer sheet to the clay, just like a hot iron transfers images to fabric. 8.5" X 11" printable iron-on transfer sheets are available in most craft and fabric stores, usually under the name of "inkjet iron on transfer." Who knew they were so versatile?

We went a little crazy and created six variations; three pins and three neclace pendants with holes for ribbons, or jump rings and chains.

With the FREE Vintage Image Download, we give you six St. Patrick's Pin images; three 1.5" circles and three 2"-wide ovals. With two 2 oz. packages of polymer clay, you can make all six designs.

Materials for St. Patrick's Pin or Pendant

  • Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!
    Vintage Images (FREE PDF download) printed on iron on transfer sheet (see Tips).
  • Polymer clay, white or light color (see Tips).
  • Rubber stamp with small shamrock or Celtic design (see Tips).
  • Metallic pigment powder (gold, bronze, copper and pearl) (see Tips).
  • Varnish or polyurethane, matte, liquid or spray (optional).
  • Ribbon, narrow green satin (optional).
  • Jump rings (optional).
  • Pin backs (also called bar pins) (optional).
  • Wax paper.
  • Cookie sheet.
  • Brayer.
  • Craft knife.
  • Decorative edge scissors with a small pattern.
  • Brush for varnish.
  • Implements for manipulating the clay: teaspoon, plastic drinking straw, bamboo skewer, etc.


  1. St Patricks Pin craft, step 1Preheat your oven to the temperature recommended by the polymer clay manufacturer, usually 275° f.
  2. Trim the vintage image using decorative edge scissors (see Tips).
  3. Tape a 8" square of wax paper to a smooth surface. Gently knead about .75 ounce of polymer clay into a ball and press it flat onto the wax paper. Roll it with the brayer into a smooth circle or oval about 1/8" thick and at least 1/2" larger than the trimmed image.

  4. St Patrick's Pin craft, step 2Place the trimmed image face down in the center of the clay. Use the back of a teaspoon to gently rub the image firmly onto the clay. Smooth the clay again with the brayer. If you are making a pendant, make a mark on the wax paper to indicate the top of your image so you can punch a hole in the clay at the right place.
  5. With the rubber stamp or other implement, impress a decorative border into the clay around the image.

  6. St Patrick's Pin craft, Step 3Trim the clay into a circular or oval shape around the imprinted border with a craft knife. To cut a perfectly round circle, you may want to mark the shape first with a circle template or the rim of a glass or can. At this point, you may also choose to cut decorative shapes around the circumference, such as scallops. Gently smooth the cut edges with your finger.
  7. To make a pendant, punch a hole at the top of the clay border using a straw or skewer.

  8. St Patrick's Pin craft, step 4Using a soft, round brush (an application brush usually comes with the metallic pigment powder kit), brush a small amount of metallic pigment powder over the top and edges of the clay, being sure to get it in all of the stamped or cut impressions.
  9. Place the wax paper with the clay on a cookie sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven. Slowly remove the transfer paper backing from the image with a toothpick or tweezers. Return the clay to the oven to complete the baking according to the timing in the manufacturer's instructions (usually 15 minutes total baking time).
  11. St. Patrick's Pin craft, step 5Remove from the oven and let it cool. Dust off the excess metallic pigment powder and gently polish with a facial tissue.
  12. Attach a pin back with glue, or use self-adhesive pins as we did.
  13. For optional protection, brush or spray a coat of varnish or polyurethane over the image and metallic finish.
  14. Pin it on or hang it around your neck - you are now "wearin' the green" and are safe from pinching.

  1. St. Patrick's Day pin craft, pendant ribbonTo make a simple pendant, loop a 24" length of thin, green satin ribbon or cord in half. Thread the loop end into the hole from the front of the pendant. Pull the loose ends through the loop and pull it tight into a knot on the pendant. Tie the loose ends into a double square knot at the length you prefer and trim off the excess ribbon. Our pendant example here is a smooth oval shape brushed with copper metallic pigment powder.

  2. St. Patrick's Pin or Pendant craft, scalloped edge detailA free-hand cut scalloped edge on the clay looks like hand-worked gold. Cut the scallops around the stamped design with a craft knife, and smooth the cut edges with your finger. Bush on gold metallic pigment powder. We inserted a jewelry jump ring in the hole to hang the pendant from a chain.

  3. St. Patrick's Pin or Pendant craft, copper finishMimic the look of hand-tooled copper by pressing rough fabric (like terry cloth) or textured plastic onto the surface of the clay with a brayer or teaspoon back. Brush on copper metallic pigment powder to get the look of our "Good Luck" pendant.

  4. St. Patrick's Pin, gold variationGet the effect of cast gold by randomly beveling the edges of the smooth clay with the back of a teaspoon. Brush on gold metallic pigment powder.

  5. St. Patrick's Pin craft, mother of pearl finishThis vintage, carved mother-of-pearl St. Patrick's pin is our favorite. It was Martin's brainstorm to punch a border of holes around the image, using a plastic drinking straw. With a craft knife, he cut simple notched scallops around the holes. One application of white pearl metallic pigment powder turned the baked clay into an antique mother-of-pearl heirloom St. Patrick's pin.


  • There are many brands of iron on transfer sheets available for your ink jet printer. We used Inkjet Photo Transfer Paper-3 Sheets. Read the printing instructions carefully, because only one side can be used for printing. Adjust your printer for printing on matte photo paper to achieve the best color results on the transfer paper.
  • Polymer clay is sold in small rectangular, 2 ounce chunks. White or light colored clay is the best for this craft because the image transfer film is translucent and takes on the color of the underlying clay. Also, the metallic pigment powder tends to obscure the color of the clay anyway. We chose Sculpey III Polymer Clay 2 Oz. Bar-Ivory, a mid-priced brand.
  • We had a tiny shamrock-shaped rubber stamp which worked perfectly for impressing a border around the images. A simple Celtic braid design would work, as well. You can even use letter stamps to impress "Happy St. Patrick's Day" or "Erin Go Bragh" or even a name. No rubber stamps handy? Improvise! You can create a three-leafed shamrock shape with a tiny heart stamp cut from a pencil eraser. Or just some circles from an uncut pencil eraser. Perhaps you have a decorative button or earring that would make a good impression. Use what you have with creativity.
  • Metallic pigment powder was our happy discovery for this craft. Brush it on to the clay with a soft, round brush before baking (the pigment kit came with two brushes). The oven heat will make the powder adhere to the clay. When the piece is cool, dust it off and rub gently with a facial tissue to bring out the luster. We used the Perfect Pearls 4-Color Set-Metallics of gold, pearl, bronze and copper. This brand has a resin ingredient that melts in the oven's heat and fuses the finish to the clay.
  • We believe trimming the image with decorative edge scissors is an important part of this craft. Regular scissors will give you a simple circle shape for your image, but the decorative cut provides a much more sophisticated, Victorian flair.
  • If you want to try this technique with your own images, remember to reverse the picture (horizontal flip) so it prints correctly onto the polymer clay. This is especially important if there is any text on your image.
We want to thank Marie Browning for the inspiration and technique behind this St. Patrick's Pin craft. Her wonderful book, Memory Gifts: Preserving Your Treasured Past in Special Ways is a crafting bible for those who love working with photos and other images.

Still full of the St. Patrick's Day spirit? Why not try our St. Patrick's Decoration for a crafty way to recycle those empty heart-shaped candy boxes from Valentine's Day? And be sure to check out our St. Patrick's Day image books in our Download Gallery!

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