Tips and Tutorials:
How to make a Millennium Ring
To make a Ring the way I did, you will need these materials:
A wooden curtain ring or similar, about 30mm diameter
A piece of thin flat material, I used 3mm plywood but you could probably use thick cardboard if you wanted
Ten brass (or other gold-coloured) screw eyes. If you don't know what they look like, this is one. You should be able to get 'em from any decent hardware store.
A pin - just a standard sewing pin will do, as long as it's long enough and has a plain flat head.
And something to hang the Ring from! I used a big zinc chain (also from a hardware store).
And you'll need these tools/glue etc:
A sharp craft knife, and possibly a small hacksaw if you're using plywood (I'm not strong enough to cut the 3mm plywood with a craft knife, but if you have a fairly strong man available it can be done. ^_^)
A ruler and a sharp pencil
A drill with a small drill bit
A can of metallic gold ACRYLIC (this is important!) spray paint. Non-acrylic paint won't dry on polymer clay because of the plasticizers in it, so don't be tempted to use anything else. ^_^
A pair of pliers, the smaller the better.
Always my first step: find as many pictures of the Ring as you can - it's a difficult one because Yu-Gi-Oh's animation is rather cheap, so the design (and the SIZE, good grief) isn't consistent between shots. But figure out what *you* think it looks like and how big you want it to be. ^_^ Quite honestly, it's always more important that you get it in proportion - overall size doesn't matter, but if the dangly cones are too small compared to the ring it'll look stupid.
Roll out a cylinder of polymer clay and make it into the ring itself (ie, the big circle that the dangly cones hang from). I used a kids' throwing ring as a template to get the circle absolutely round, but you could use a bowl, anything that works. Bake the ring.
Tip: it's more important to get the circle perfectly round than to join it up first time (you'll find out when you try it that it's *really difficult* to do both at the same time). So what I did was to not quite join up the circle, bake it like that, and then fill in the gap and smooth it over. I actually turned the bit I added into the thicker section at the top of the ring where the smaller loop joins it - look at the finished item to see what I mean.
Next we'll complete the big ring. Roll out thin cylinders of clay and wrap them around the ring to make the decorative bits; it doesn't matter if the back is a bit messy, nobody's going to see it. This is fiddly and you just have to keep going until it looks good - remember if it's driving you nuts, you can always bake the ring again with a few of them done and then add the rest. ^_^ BUT BUT BUT, for heaven's sake make sure they're evenly spaced around the ring! The dangly cones hang between pairs of the little decorative strips, and if they're not symmetrical it'll be really obvious.
Get the big ring baked and finished to your satisfaction. Since it's clay, and clay is cheap, you can do it as many times as you like, so I'd recommend taking the time to get it right. Once it's done the hard part is basically over. ^_^
Time for the dangly cones and the triangle! To make the cones I recommend a two step-process; if you look at them closely you'll see that they're actually the shape of a long thin down-pointing cone with a very short up-pointing cone on top of it. Roll clay out into the long cones and stand them up to bake, so you get a flat-based cone. Then put a little more clay onto the flat top to make the pointy top, and bake again (lying on their sides this time). NB. it's worth making a couple of spare cones, as they're easy to break when you put the screw-eyes in later.
As for the triangle, I made the actual triangular shape out of plywood (though I think you could probably use thick cardboard if you could live with it being a little less durable). Make the eye design out of clay and bake it, then glue it onto the triangle with superglue. To attach the triangle to the ring, turn the ring over and use a craft knife to cut three small triangular indentations in the clay from the back, so that the triangle fits neatly into the ring. Glue it in with superglue.
Now we're going to attach the cones. The wonderful thing about polymer clay is that even when it's baked it's quite soft, so you can screw your screw-eyes into it by hand with no effort at all. So, take a screw-eye and screw it into the top of each dangly cone. Do this SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY! It's quite easy to crack the clay while doing this, in which case you can either try to fill the crack with glue and just paint over it, or make more cones and try again.
Now do the same with the other five screw-eyes, screwing them into the ring where the cones are going to attach. Use the pliers to gently open these screw-eyes just enough to attach the other ones, so that when you've closed them again the cones are dangling freely from the ring.
Nearly done! Now we just need to add the smaller loop that the Ring hangs from. Take your wooden curtain ring and drill a hole through it on one side with the thinnest drill bit you can get your hands on. Drill the hole starting from a point on the outside edge of the curtain ring and pointing towards its centre. Now drill through the big ring from the top into the centre, again with a very thin drill bit. (You don't need to use an actual drill on the clay, you can twist the drill bit through by hand which gives you more control over what you're doing) The head of your pin needs to be too big to go through the hole.
Take your pin and put it (pointing upwards) through the hole in the big ring and then the curtain ring, so that the head of the pin is stopping it from slipping through the hole. Use your pliers to bend the pin around the curtain ring so that it attaches the two rings together securely. And slosh some superglue in there as well to keep the loops aligned correctly with each other.
(Quite honestly, you could probably just glue the little loop onto the big ring and not worry about the pin, but I was worried that it might break off if the ring got swung around).
And at last, as a reward for all your hard work, you get to play with paint. Set up a space where you can use spray-paint without getting murdered by any members of your family. ^_^ Cover it with newspaper and hang the Ring from some wire or something narrow. I put a length of wire through the loop and used it to hold the Ring while I painted it, then I tied the wire onto a rod and used it to suspend the Ring in a wastepaper bin. Figure out how you're going to do this before you start! It's difficult to find something you can hang the Ring from overnight when you're walking around with a gold paint-dripping thing that you can't put down. ^_^
Spray-paint the Ring gold. You don't need to use too much paint, but make sure you spray from all angles, especially on the front, so that all the cracks and crevices get paint in them. Leave it to dry overnight.
Add the chain, if you're using one. Cut it to the right length and use pliers to connect the ends.
And that's it!
Congratulations ^_^. Click on the thumbnail below to see what I ended up with.
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