I adore polymer clay and to create beads is one of my favorite hobbies. Usually I make sculpted flowers, but also work with Millefiori technique for my beads. I like to use stamps, inks, mica powders, acrylic paints etc. to model beads and charms. One of my last time favorite finish is crackle sealer. A crackle finish gives to the piece really nice Vintage look. As you see on the picture, I've used it here.
I'll tell you a bit about the cabochon creating process...
It is necessary to have metal or plastic shape cutter to make the correct shape, without it will be free-form piece, no cabochon. There are two ways to make cabochon: 1. at first you have to cut the cabochon shape from a white (or black, or ...) polymer clay sheet. You may spend a lot of your precious time to use the fingers to make the bulb and refine the edges or 2. you operate with absolutely unique Yettas Cabochon Technique. I found it time ago and I'm so happy to know!! It's really quick and effective method.
Next step is curing (about 30 min). While your cabochon stay in the oven, you choose your favorite picture, resize it to desired size and print out. Then take your scissors and cut out the form.
After the curing time ends let your cabochon to cool in the oven.
Now is coming the most boring and the most important part - sanding. You may skip it, but... the piece will be unfinished and will have a pretty cheap look. Usually I sand at first with coarse sandpaper, after medium, last - very fine sandpaper. Sometimes I start with medium, it depends of how even (smooth) is your creation.
When it's done, glue the picture on the sanded cabochon and leave it for a time. I like to use E-6000 for projects like that and it takes about 1-2 hours to dry before a finish glaze.
After applying the crackle finish leave it drying overnight.
And the last step - if you like, the cabochon can be antiqued with matching stain. Here I've used Renaissance Gold Wax.
Voilá! The Vintage style cabochon is ready to use.
As the picture shows, my cabochon became the element of pinky, feminine Vintage Brooch with organza ruffles...
Flowers on the picture are courtesy from Vintage Catnip. Also great free images you can find at The Graphics Fairy and Shabby Chic Papirskatter.