Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Coraline Button Key Tutorial

Sorry I've been gone for so long! I have been working on something extra special for you guys!

   It's a little different from my usual cute-sy theme, but Coraline is one of my favorite movies! This is a good, easy tutorial to help you for cosplay, or just to have a cool Coraline key!
*Warning: This post is very picture heavy!

  • Black polymer clay (or actually any color since we'll be painting it, but I suggest black)
  • A metal washer (the diameter is 1 inch and the hole is 1/2 inch)
  • A pin that you don't mind getting dirty
  • A water bottle cap
  • Black nail polish
  • A piece of notebook paper, newspaper, or anything else to cover your work area
  • A hot glue gun
  • And, oh, I suppose an oven, to bake your clay
Okay, now that we have our supplies, here's the first step!

   Spread out your clay so that it's as thick as you want your button to be. I recommend not going too thin for this, as we want a sturdy button. Use the water bottle cap as a cutter and use it to cut out a circle shape. Now, put the circle on the washer. Use the round part of your pin to make that circular indent in the button. This is where I suggest using a washer with a bigger hole because you don't want your rim too big. Also, this step is important because you want the line really defined.

   Sorry, I don't know what happened to the lighting in this one ^^". In the movie, Coraline's key has four holes. These are placed in a diamond shape, not a square shape. Use the sharp point of your pin to make those holes, then use the round end of your pin to make them more round.

   Now use the sharp point of your pin to carve the word "Coraline" into the top of your button. It's written simply, with the first letter a capital and the rest lower-case. Try to make it pretty deep so that the letters are visible.

   We all know how to do this one. Roll a snake out of your clay, but leave it moderately thick, as this will be the stick for your key. Mine was 1 3/4 inches long.

   Roll two thinner snakes. They don't have to be nearly this long, but this was just to show you. 

   Wrap them around the top of your stick. They only need to go around once each, so break off the excess and mush together the ends so it looks like a continuous ring. 

   Spread out some clay. Don't make it as thick as the button, but still, don't make it too thin. Here's where we make the actual key part. It's shaped a bit like a capital "H", but the side that will connect with the key is a bit thinner. You can search "Coraline button key" on Google images to get a better image of what it looks like. I just carved mine with my pin and then popped it out of the clay.

   Now, bake all three pieces (button, stick, and key). You may need to look at the packaging your clay came in for specific instructions, but mine baked in the oven at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. I would actually suggest doing it longer than this, like 45 minutes, I just didn't have time to do so. Also, plug in your glue gun right about now!

   Glue the pieces together. Remember what I told you, about the holes being in a diamond shape? You can see that here, so make sure that's how you glue it on. Also, the key part goes at the very bottom of the stick, and the thinner part is what attaches it to the stick. Don't be afraid to let a little glue show, as we'll be painting it.

   Lay out your notebook paper/newspaper to cover your work area. To paint the key, I used nail polish which I found easiest, but you could also use black paint. I liked the nail polish because for one, it already had a brush on it which makes it easy to use, and it's very shiny already, so our project doesn't require a coat of gloss. So, paint the key with nail polish, all over. Here is where you can cover up your glue mistakes. 

   Use your pin to redefine the line between those two rings on your key, and also to re-carve your "Coraline". I suggest doing this while the polish is still wet, as it makes it a lot easier. 

   Let it dry, and you're done! The drying shouldn't take too long if you used nail polish. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I look forward to writing again! Leave me a comment if you tried this, or if you just love Coraline!


  1. I love this idea :D Great result too!

    1. Thank you! I was thinking of maybe doing a Coraline cosplay in the future, and decided to make her cute button key!