AFCI Designer Swag Bag Challenge

Welcome to the AFCI Designer Section Challenge Blog Hop!

At Creativation in January members of the Designer Section were gifted a swag bag of fun products from a variety of manufacturers. I have joined in with a small group of my designer friends to challenge ourselves: select at least 5 of the products and create a unique project. You will find a complete list of our wonderful sponsors and the materials they provided at the end of my post. And now, it is time to play...

I jumped at the chance to play with polymer clay from Sculpey® as it is something I have never really tried before.  Sculpey® SoufflĂ© is extremely lightweight, comes in a lot of colors, and is perfect for jewelry making. I sliced off a piece of Turnip Souffle and conditioned it in my thrift store find pasta machine. 

I looked around on the internet and found a slightly advanced technique I loved called the Sutton Slice.  Basically you push clay into a rubber stamp and shave it off with a very sharp blade.  For this effect it is really important to not have any clay left on the surface of the stamp, just in the recesses.  Let's just say I did my best! 

The next step was to take a second color (I chose Poppy Seed, which is black.) and roll it out and then press it on top of the stamp, covering the first color.  Then you peel back the rubber stamp to reveal your creation.  (That is a pretty basic explanation but there are lots of great tutorials if you use the Google!) 

I used a biscuit cutter to cut out the best looking section I could find, poked holes on opposite sides of the circle, and then baked it according to the manufacturer's instructions (275° for 30 minutes per 1/4" thickness).  I think it turned out pretty great for a first timer, don't you?

I decided to add some details and doodles with the Spectrum Noir Metallic marker supplied by Crafter's Companion and then I set it aside.

Next up I reached for the Crafter's Pack of foil from Rinea. It is actually double sided paper foil, comes in a wide range of colors and measures 6"x12" which is the perfect size for my needs. 

The first thing I did with that beautiful, shiny and unblemished foil was to carefully crumble it all up!  And I do mean carefully because the point is to add texture, not tears!  When it was all wrinkled up to my satisfaction I smoothed it out and used double sided adhesive sheets to adhere it to a piece of 6"x12" matboard. I did this twice so that I had 2 pieces.

I die cut the matboard using the Eileen Hull Journal die from Sizzix.  Just look at all that gorgeous texture!! 

To really show off the texture I painted over it with acrylic paint from my stash (I was trying to match the Turnip clay I had used previously), not trying to get full coverage.  I actually wanted a lot of the gold Rinea foil showing through. After it had dried I painted over the whole thing with black paint and then used a paper towel to rub most of it off before it dried.

I ended up with a really cool finish with lots of subtle shine and color.  

Once the paint had dried again, I applied Beacon Jewel Tac Jewelry Glue™ along the spines... 

...and overlapped and joined the covers.  I also threaded gold elastic through the holes at the top and bottom.  The elastic also holds the covers together and provides a place on the inside to add signatures.  

At this point it was time to make the inside as pretty as the outside!  I painted it solid black and then pulled out the Prismatic Stencil from The Crafter's Workshop and Extreme Sheen 24k Gold acrylic paint from Deco Art.  I sponged over and around the stencil on the inside of the front and back covers. I love that mandala design!  It is so on trend right now!

I used the end of my paint brush to add dots to my mandalas using all the paints DecoArt provided... 

I also used the Spectrum Noir marker again to add in some teeny, tiny little dots. 

Having the stenciled outline of the mandala made it really easy and relaxing to just add the decorative touches.  It was really fun and I  could have done more but I had to make myself stop at some point!  Here's a peek at the finished inside covers.

Sculpey® had also provided a bottle of liquid bakeable medium and a mandala mold that you can put in the oven! I squeezed out the liquid, squeegeed it into the mold, and baked according to directions.  (300° for 15 minutes per 1/4" of thickness)  

Look at how beautiful and delicate they are!  But don't be fooled, they are very sturdy!

I realized  too late that I should have done a better job of cleaning off the extra Liquid Sculpey® before I baked it.  The lacy mandala had a thin film covering a lot of the holes.  I took them over the sink and gave them a good scrubbing with my vegetable brush - I told you - sturdy!  It did not remove everything, but my mandala looked a lot better!

I decided to add some pink mica powder to the Liquid Sculpey® to see if I could get a different color.  I mixed it on my craft mat...

...and also dusted the bakeable silicone mold with the powder. 

The pink mandalas came out even better than I imagined,but I set them aside for now.

I wanted to add signatures to the inside of my journal.  To decorate the covers I arranged some of the 3D Foam Squares from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L into a pattern.  I dusted them with gold glitter... 

...and then added in a stacked mandala from the Liquid Sculpey®. 

And now, drumroll please!  Let's see how it all comes together!  Here's my journal:

This is the outside of the journal as it lays open on a table.

I used the Sutton Slice piece to decorate an elastic used to hold the journal closed. 

And here you can see the inside of the journal and the first signature.  

I really am happy with how it turned out and I learned so much just playing with the products!  I may have developed a new addiction or two!

Here are links to the other Designers who decided to play along with this challenge!  I am really curious to see what they came up with, aren't you?  I wonder if they used the same combination of products?  Surprises and inspiration ahead!

Susie Bentz (you are here!)

Thanks so much for joining us!  

Disclosure:  I receive compensation in the form of free product and/or pay from companies and manufacturers in return for creating projects showcasing those products.  While the content of my blog is influenced by these products, my opinions regarding these products and projects are my own.

Sponsors & Materials for Journal:
Rinea - Crafter's Pack: Glossy - Ruby/Gold
DecoArt - Extreme Sheen™ Metallic Paint - 24K Gold
DecoArt - Americana® Acrylic Paint, Peony Pink
DecoArt - Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish, Lace
The Crafter's Workshop - Prismatic 6" stencil, TCW802s
Sculpey® Clay - SoufflĂ© Oven Bake Clay:Turnip, Poppy Seed; Silicone Bakeable Mold Mandala; Liquid Sculpey® Liquid Polymer Clay - Pearl
Beacon Adhesives - Dazzle Tac Jewelry Glue™
Crafter's Companion - Spectrum Noir™ Metallic pen, Gold Nugget
Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L - 3D Foam Squares

Other materials:
Sizzix Journal Scoreboard XL die
Sizzix Sizzles Matboard
Adhesive sheets, double sided
Elastic cord, gold
Acrylic paint: black, purple flash


  1. What a stunning project Susie, I think I will need to try this!

  2. Beautiful project and so many great techniques!

    1. Thank you Terry - I love to play with new techniques. I need to spend some time mastering a few of them - like that Sutton Slice! :)

  3. Tricia Podmore here to say, WOW what a stunning journal cover love the colors, especially that you tinted the clay pieces. Your foil is amazing. Thank you for sharing your talents and inspiration.

    1. Thank you Tricia! The best part is...they were all pretty easy so you can do them!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Cathy! I just kept adding ideas. I had to make myself stop at some point!

  5. so cool, love all the fun layers and how to all came together - great take on the products!!

    1. Thanks Erin - I really, really think I may have developed some new addictions...

  6. Oh my gosh, your project is so visually rich. I need to spend some time with it experiencing all the different textures.

    1. Thank you so much Janet! I had a lot of fun creating with all those new products!

  7. Wow Susie, you really did a fab job using your swag goodies! This journal is gorgeous. =)


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