Only the most devoted fans will have noticed that Leslie Knope has a waffle necklace, part of the Yachter Otter Valentine’s Day gift from Ben. For my Parks and Recreation premiere party, we made our own as a fun little activity and as a souvenir while we marathoned some episodes.
They are made with a little bit of polymer clay, which is baked and then drizzled with a shiny, syrupy glaze. They were really easy and we had such a great time making them.
The process is 3 main phases: create a mold (and bake it), create the waffle using the mold (and bake it), add syrup glaze (and allow to dry). Each phase is easy but requires a little time. For party purposes I made the molds before guests arrived.
DIY Leslie Knope Waffle Necklace
You will need:
- waffle-colored polymer clay (I liked the “Jewelry Gold” Sculpey the best)
- any color polymer clay for making a mold
- very small amount of butter-colored polymer clay
- acrylic gloss medium
- a few drops of orange and brown acrylic paints, or any colors to create an amber color
- eye pin (in the jewelry section of the craft store)
- jump ring (in the jewelry section of the craft store)
- chain or ribbon
- small jewelry pliers and wire cutter
First we make the mold that will be used to give the waffle it’s grid imprint. Start with the non-waffle colored clay, and knead a piece about the size of two dice it to soften it up a bit.
Roll it into a thick square using a small rolling pin or straight-sided glass or bottle.
It helps to flatten the sides a bit and then gently roll again, and repeat a few times.
Using the straight, blunt edge of a knife, press into straight, equally spaced rows, going in about 1/16 of an inch.
You’ll notice each square is a bit rounded on top. We need to flatten that out a bit.
So re-roll VERY gently.
Just to barely flatten.
Run the back of the knife through again, straightening out the grooves and making them even.
Trim off any oddly sized pieces.
I made a two molds of slightly different sizes to experiment with. Carefully transfer finished molds to a baking sheet. Bake at 275 for 15 minutes, or according to clay’s instructions. I like to use the toaster oven.
Allow to cool completely. Dust with a little cornstarch to make unmolding easier.
Rub it in a bit, but don’t let it clump up in the grooves.
Soften up a small piece of the waffle-colored clay. Size depends on how big of a waffle you want, but somewhere between a grape and a marble is probably about right. Roll into a ball and flatten into a disc. The thickness will be approximately the thickness of the finished waffle.
Press the mold gently but evenly into the top.
Hey, it’s a waffle now!
If it didn’t come out exactly right, re-roll and try again. It may take a few tries to get a feel for how hard to press. Add more cornstarch to the mold if it’s not releasing easily.
Cut a few small pats of butter out of yellow clay. Pinch the edges a bit to make the pats look a little melty.
Press into the waffle very gently.
Trim an eye pin to be shorter than the length of the waffle, if it’s not already.
Press it into the side, until only the eye of the pin is visible. The eye should be flat in the same direction as the waffle.
Feel free to get creative.
Transfer to a baking sheet and bake, 275 for 15 minutes, or according to clay’s instructions. Cool completely.
Pour out a small amount of gloss medium. Dip a toothpick in brown and orange paint and swirl in a tiny bit at a time, until you get the right color. Whole drops will be too much.
The gloss medium will dry shiny and clear, but while wet it will be quite cloudy and translucent, making it difficult to judge the exact color when dried. Test out a bit by allowing to it to dry first before committing, if you like.
Dab onto the waffle with a paintbrush. It can be a little thick and spill over the sides. Go over the pats of butter, too. Allow several hours to dry completely, but will be dry enough to move in shorter time.
Add the jump ring and make sure both loops are completely closed. String onto a ribbon or chain.