DIY starfish cuff bracelet

by SheKnows
Sep 26, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. ET
End of summer sadness? Reclaim the bygone days with this easy-to-make sea treasure that will never go out of season!

1 /34: Supplies

1/34 :Supplies

To create this cuff you'll need: Easy Mold silicone putty, firm oven-hardening clay, a starfish, spray paint in your choice of color and a glass similar in shape and size to your arm.

2 /34: Starfish

2/34 :Starfish

If you don't have a starfish laying around, they're easy to find at most craft stores.

3 /34: Silicone putty

3/34 :Silicone putty

For this project, we used Easy Mold silicone putty.

4 /34: Two types of putty

4/34 :Two types of putty

There are two parts to this putty that you'll be mixing together.

5 /34: Equal parts of each

5/34 :Equal parts of each

Begin by taking equal parts of each of the Easy Mold silicone putties. The putty will remain workable for 3 minutes, so imagine you're in the Olympics for timed putty races and start kneading it together quickly!

6 /34: Twist together

6/34 :Twist together

Twisting is the best method!

7 /34: Keep mixing

7/34 :Keep mixing

Just keep twisting and turning to mix it completely.

8 /34: One color

8/34 :One color

You want it to be one solid color.

9 /34: Shape putty

9/34 :Shape putty

Once your putty is one solid color, shape it into a rough base for your starfish.

10 /34: Add starfish

10/34 :Add starfish

Press your starfish facedown into the putty and work the putty around each arm.

11 /34: Press putty

11/34 :Press putty

You should have ridges up the side of each arm, so if you poured water into the mold, nothing would spill out the sides.

12 /34: Finalize shape

12/34 :Finalize shape

Give the whole starfish an extra press to imprint all the little ridges into the mold. Leave the mold for 5 minutes to ensure everything is hardened. It cannot be altered after it's dry.

13 /34: Remove starfish

13/34 :Remove starfish

You should now have a rubber mold that's easily separated from the starfish.

14 /34: Move onto the clay

14/34 :Move onto the clay

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F and tell everyone you're baking something delicious... this is a lie, but it will be entertaining for you when they find out it's a silicone mold!

15 /34: Slice off pieces of clay

15/34 :Slice off pieces of clay

Grab your firm oven-hardening clay and start kneading a piece in your hand. The warmth of your hands makes it easier to work with.

16 /34: Add clay to mold

16/34 :Add clay to mold

When the clay feels workable, roll out long pieces and begin pressing them into the arms of the mold.

17 /34: Fill in shape

17/34 :Fill in shape

This will take several pieces.

18 /34: One more piece

18/34 :One more piece

Keep repeating this process until you've filled in all the arms.

19 /34: Press clay

19/34 :Press clay

Once you've filled in the mold completely, start really pressing the clay into the mold.

20 /34: Work the edges

20/34 :Work the edges

You want to make sure there are no seams or breaks in the clay, which will weaken the structure, so work the pieces together until they're totally seamless.

21 /34: Carefully remove mold

21/34 :Carefully remove mold

Now you're ready to start removing the mold.

22 /34: Separate mold from clay

22/34 :Separate mold from clay

Carefully loosen each arm, then coax the clay out of the mold.

23 /34: Fully separated

23/34 :Fully separated

You should have a beautiful clay starfish now!

24 /34: Lay clay starfish flat

24/34 :Lay clay starfish flat

Check for any breaks or weak seams in your clay. Knead the seams together then re-press it in the mold.

25 /34: Smooth imperfections

25/34 :Smooth imperfections

You can rework the clay and repress it in the mold as many times as you like. This will make for a better cuff in the end.

26 /34: Remove extra clay

26/34 :Remove extra clay

Clean up any extra clay with a knife and straighten out any lumps in the clay with your fingers.

27 /34: Shape to your arm

27/34 :Shape to your arm

Once you have your starfish, drape it around your arm to see how you want it to fit. The longest legs should wrap around the smallest part of your arm, so it doesn't fall off two seconds after you put it on.

28 /34: Move the clay starfish to a glass

28/34 :Move the clay starfish to a glass

Once you're happy with how it looks on your arm, it's time to bake it! I like to use a glass that tapers at the bottom for a perfect fit. My glass was similar in size to my upper arm, so I draped the clay around the smallest end. Make sure the arms aren't hanging loose by gently pressing the ends onto the glass. You can use any oven-friendly prop for baking, such as wood, metal, porcelain or thick glass.

29 /34: Bake the clay starfish

29/34 :Bake the clay starfish

Place the glass with the clay directly into the oven, and let it bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove it from the oven and let everything cool for 10 minutes. If the cuff is disturbed at this time, it's likely to break or crack. So leave it alone!

30 /34: Pick a paint color

30/34 :Pick a paint color

Place the dry, cool starfish on newspaper in a well-ventilated area and spray-paint the cuff. I used Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Paint and Primer in Pure Gold, but you can use whatever color you like!

31 /34: Spray-paint the starfish

31/34 :Spray-paint the starfish

Once the clay is cool to the touch, carefully remove it from the glass/metal.

32 /34: Add another coat

32/34 :Add another coat

After an hour, flip the cuff and spray the underside. After both sides are dry, finish it off with a spray sealer.

33 /34: Finished starfish bracelet

33/34 :Finished starfish bracelet

And you're done! It may feel a little tacky for 24 hours after you're finished, so treat it gently until everything is hard as a rock!

34 /34: Ready-to-wear bracelet

34/34 :Ready-to-wear bracelet

If your cuff breaks don't be sad; just try again! Working with new materials can be a challenge, but that makes your success all the better!