This Heart Thumbprint Key Chain is an easy project to make for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or a parent/grandparent’s birthday. I made this as a gift for my mom.
My mother, like a lot of moms, loves all things that have to do with her children or grandchildren, so I took some polymer clay and my son’s fingerprint and made a homemade key chain. It was one of the easiest projects I think I have made. Please keep in mind that this will require an oven to bake the clay.
Of course, you don’t have to use a heart shape if you or your little one prefer a different shape. You just need a smaller, 2-inch cookie cutter to make the scale right for a keychain. You could choose something as simple as a circle or a square or something fun like a dog bone or teddy bear shape.
And your clay doesn’t necessarily have to be red either! They make this easy-to-work-with clay in many different colors. So if your gift recipient’s favorite color is blue for instance, just make your heart (or another shape) with blue clay instead! If you feel really adventurous, you could even swirl a couple of different colors together.
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Heart Thumbprint Key Chain Materials
- Small Heart Cookie Cutter
- Red Polymer Clay (I used Sculpey III)
- Key Chain Ring
- Satin Glaze (optional) and Paint Brush
- Finger (for the print)
- Something to poke hole in clay
- Black Acrylic Paint (optional) OR Sharpie Fine Point Paint Marker
Heart Thumbprint Key Chain Steps
1: Roll the clay out to your desired thickness. I went with about 1/4 inch thick. Use the small heart cookie cutter and press it into the clay.
2: Remove the excess clay leaving just the heart shape.
3: Poke a hole into the top edge of the heart. I used a skewer to poke the hole, but a chopstick or end of a paintbrush will work fine, too.
TIP: After baking mine I realized two things 1) the hole wasn’t close enough to the edge and 2) the hole wasn’t quite big enough. So, make sure your hole is big enough and close enough to the edge to fit the key ring. But…if it’s too close to the edge it will be weak and will break easy.
4: Press your (or his/ her) thumb into the center of the heart. Don’t press so hard that you compromise the shape or break through the clay, but enough to leave an impression.
5: Bake the heart according to the instructions on the clay package. If you are unsure if your oven is calibrated correctly, i.e. heats to the temperature it is set to, be sure to use an oven thermometer to make sure your clay bakes at the right temp.
6: After the clay cools, decorate. I put my son’s name on one side and the date on the other, but you could easily just leave it blank, or write initials, a nickname, a message, etc. If you have a very steady hand you can likely just paint this on with black acrylic paint, but I recommend use a fine point paint marker instead. You’ll end up using it for so many other projects anyway!
7: Glaze the heart with the Scuply satin glaze and paintbrush and let it dry completely. The glaze gives polymer clay projects a lovely finished look and keeps your projects from looking like they were just formed out of Play-doe.
8: Very carefully add the key ring to the heart. I suggest wedging something into the key chain ring to hold it open while you insert it onto the heart. The clay will be firm but not perfectly unbreakable. Update: I would highly recommend adding a jump ring to the hole, like what you’d use for jewelry, and then insert the key chain loop into that jump ring.
That’s it! As I said, this Heart Thumbprint Key Chain is pretty darn simple and can be made in about an hour. It’s the perfect project for someone just starting out with polymer crafting and it doesn’t require a whole slew of polymer clay specific tools and materials to make.
And of course, you can really customize this project to suit your gift needs. For instance, if you have more than one child, you could put more than one thumbprint and make the heart a little bigger if needed. Or say you have a newborn baby, you could probably fit all of their tiny fingers onto the heart! Grandparents would rave over that for sure!
Aside from the fun options mentioned at the beginning, if you feel bold or are a more experienced polymer clay crafter, you could add texture to the back or add a scalloped edge to the heart even. If you don’t like the look of this key chain ring, there are loads of alternatives on Amazon to choose one, or you could even make one from twine or something similar.