Surf Kit on a Rope

I’m always into anything that can avoid a ruined surf session. And honestly, most surfy accessories and gear can be DIY’d. Always a good thing, right Martha?

So here’s an easy, cheap DIY in case those Carbon/Kevlar/Titanium/Plutonium fins get busted out by your shred style, brah.

So, you’ll need:

  • Sculpey III, or Premo! Modeling Clay (the clay needs to be a bit on the soft side, unlike a FIMO type clay)
  • A blade to cut the clay
  • Thin Paracord
  • Toothpicks or a heavy duty needle
  • Fin screws
  • Fin Key

Most of these items can be picked up at a craft store, with the exception of the Fin Screws and Key, of course.

I cut off a bit of clay from the block and rolled it into a thick tube. My polymer clay modeling skills are terrible these days, but I’m going for function, not style, like these guys:

I cut off the ends, then screwed one of the fin screws into each end of the approximately 1.5 inch long cylinder using the fin key. I did this when the clay was soft and left them in, even while baking. To screw these in soft clay, go slowly, and apply light pressure. Don’t screw past the top of the cylinder! This is why I hate hard, crumbly clay for this project.

Don’t worry. The screws won’t come out after baking unless you unscrew them using a Fin Key.

In the center, I used my needle to make 2 toggle holes for the Paracord to go through later:

I placed the clay on a silicone sheet and put it in my home oven at 230 degrees F for 80 minutes to ensure it baked throughout the clay.

After it was cooled completely, I didn’t need to do anything to the piece. Since it’s a type of plastic, there’s no need for sealants, and it’s waterproof. You can sand the piece, but I’m still going for function.

I threaded the Paracord through the holes, made a Lark’s Head Knot over the fin key, knotted the ends together, and now I’ve got three handy item types in one:

  • Fin Key
  • Fin Screws
  • Leash Loop (or multiple, depending on how much Paracord you use)

Yes, it screws another one right back in, so you can put replacements on since the threads on one company’s fin system generally stays the same, which in most of my boards is FCS.

You can take this with you anywhere, just be careful making it a necklace to wear while you surf. If it’s too long, it can come up and smack you in da face.

Could happen. To me.

Painted Shell Necklace with Beads

In my last post, I had polished up a plain This was the original shellbleached shell to prepare it for painting.

First, I made sure there was sufficient varnish before I put any paint on the shell. Acrylic paints work well, but there can be some visible cracking sometimes as the paint dries. 

At least three coats of varnish on both sides to seal it- even before any paint goes on

My paint pens seemed to do a better job keeping the coat opaque and crack free. I had decided to choose two bright, fun beach colors to paint the shell. I chose bright green for the outside, with a sky blue on the inside. I tipped the outer edge of the shell with a metallic silver paint pen just to give it some detail. The metallic helps to “class it up” a touch, in my opinion.

These are the same type I use to paint my surfboards

Be sure to varnish after painting as well

Next, I used some FIMO clay large hole beads I made in fun swirls of color to make a cluster of pearls/barnacles/use your imagination/whatevs.

I made these with bits and pieces of leftover FIMO…trippy, man

I measured off some lengths of Linhasita cord, then braided the middle section to make a loop for the Pendant, then tied a simple overhand knot to secure it under the shell’s hole at the top.

The Pendant loop will be a simple braid

 

Fold the braid over, and knot it

 

I used the natural hole at the top of the shell


Next, I strung each bead on a couple of strands of cords at different lengths in the shell’s cup and knotted them off. I slightly melted the knots using a lighter (outdoors, of course).

Frontside of the Pendant finished

Using Kumihimo braiding, I made a matching cord for the necklace with the Linhasita cord, with a small toggle also made from the same batch of FIMO clay.

It’s waterproof!

It’s reversible!


A funky, freshy, beachy necklace from a simple local bleached out shell. 

This could have been a worse craft. I could have been like Lisa Simpson’s friends and bedazzled the surfmobile with shells. Yikes.

Sweet Merciful Crap.

Sea Sluggin’ it out

imageimageSo I’ve been obsessed with Sea Slugs, Hares, and various Nudibranches lately. They are beautiful creatures, and come in many varieties.

 

A few weeks ago, I talked a little about Sea Hares, and I mentioned the Sea Slug Forum. This is a really cool site, and I’ve been learning a lot from it. They are related to snails, but their shell has pretty much disappeared into a thin shell plate on the inside. I’ve snagged a few neato diagrams from the site to show how the Sea Hare folds over the shell “remnant”.

Essentially, a lot of them look like a little folded taco with antennae if you’ve been looking at them too long. I thought this might be a crazy project with a bit of leftover polymer clay. So, I had a bit of fun.

I got all my polymer clay stuff together, like my silicone mats, blades, texture tools, and even some antibacterial gel (gets the polymer clay color right off your hands and cleans everything up!).

image

Next, I rolled out some wild, swirled clay I had leftover, and flattened it to about 1/4″ thick or less. I cut these into little squares with the corners cutoff.

Like I said before, they’re little tacos, so I’m going to make them that way by choosing a couple of squares with a nice pattern, and folding them into hollow tacos. We don’t want to put additional polymer clay inside, because that will take forever to bake all the way through, and you’ll probably burn the outside.

To give my Sea Hares a little cred, I used a ball point tool to create little undulations, making little parapodia. I added antennae (kind of creative license on that one), and added spots with other color polymer clay dots.

Finally, since I thought these would be fun as earrings, I poked a hole in the top of their foot….

I made made an even bigger version with some more scrap clay I had.

This was a mix of FIMO Soft and Sculpey Primo, so I baked these at 220 F for an hour, and that was probably a bit much.

I let these cool, and got out my paint pens to put some detail on the critters. I painted more dots, outlined them, added eyes, etc. Then I sealed each piece with sealant glaze in glossy. I used Sculpey’s Glaze.

When I was finished painting and sealing,  I needed to add jump rings and earring hooks to each of the little sea slugs using jewelry pliers.

Sea slug of my dreams…..image