Now that you have become quite familiar with polymer clay and its properties, it is important to understand that there are some tips and tricks which can make your polymer clay projects a lot easier.
If you even face a mishap, you might still be able to recover from it and save your polymer clay assignment. We will list down some useful tips for you to try out.
You might also be able to figure out new hacks on your own when you start investing more time in polymer clay assignments.
So here are a few tricks. Do try them out:
If you get dirt or particles in your polymer clay, you can easily clean it. Take a Q-tip or a cotton ball and dip it in alcohol or nail polish remover and gently wipe the clay. This has to be done before the baking.
If your clay is hard, you can use clay softener. Alternatively, a little mineral oil works as well. Also, place your clay in a baggie, tightly seal it and place it in warm water.
Plastic baggies and ziploc bags are a great way to store your clay. Also, they can be tucked into a small space and the clay will be just fine.
If you want to roll out an even sheet of polymer clay, and don’t have a pasta machine, simply take popsicle sticks and stack up two equal piles depending on your desired thickness. Then simply place your clay in the middle, take a rolling pin and roll the clay. It will turn out even all the way.
You really don’t have to buy brand new tools to work on your polymer clay assignments. Here are your household objects as alternatives that work just fine:
- Use the end of a safety pin instead of a needle tool.
- Toothpick as a substitute of dotting tool for texturing.
- A pen or a paintbrush instead of a rolling pin.
- Razor blade can be used to cut polymer clay.
- Straws for making holes especially in necklaces.
- Used gift cards to cut clay or flatten pieces of it.
You can also make your own custom color of clay. Take some eyeshadow or chalk pastel, and scrape some of its powder into polymer clay, mix it well, and you have your custom color polymer clay.
If your clay is too soft, you can simply place it in the freezer for a few minutes. Another way is to roll out clay on a sheet of paper and then sit another sheet of paper on top of that, and then place something else on top of that to press it down for a few minutes. The paper will soak up all the excess oils which will make it less oily and soft.
Corn flour or cornstarch is really helpful in removing clay from the mold. All you have to do is rub some amount on the surface of the mold. Push the clay in and it should pop out a lot easier. You can also drizzle some corn flour on the work surface to prevent clay from sticking. It is also good in helping to smooth out fingerprints if your polymer clay is very soft.
Wondering what’s the best surface to work on? A white ceramic floor tile would be ideal, but you can also use glass and it will work just fine.
You can use coarse sandpaper to give texture to polymer clay or you can use fine sandpaper after baking to buff your pieces. Add shine, remove dust and fingerprints or smooth outer surface.
If you use your regular kitchen oven for baking clay, never bake clay at the same time as you bake food because the clay can release fumes which will then go into your food. Also, do not bake food right after baking clay either. Open up the oven to let all the fumes out.
You can bake your polymer clay pretty much in any cooking dish. It could be a metal tray or a glass dish as well.
In case your polymer clay charms are burnt, you can paint acrylic paint on it and try to save your piece. For a beginner, always start baking at a lower temperature.
Since polymer clay is oil-based and not water-based, it does not dry out quickly. You do not need to bake it straight away. Many clayists leave their polymer clay creations for days and then bake them later.
If you have trouble with parts of your creations always breaking off especially small or thin sections, you can use wire or liquid clay to secure those pieces to the main body of clay. Using wire inside your creations builds a strong reinforcement which keeps the pieces of clay stuck in properly from the inside. You can then just go ahead and bake your polymer clay as per usual.
If you are making large figurines and shapes, use aluminum foil to make the core shape. Once you have the core creation, cover it in polymer clay. This will not only save you polymer clay, but also if the clay is too thick, it won’t get baked properly so, it is a win-win solution!
If you have a collection of scrap pieces of clay, they work well to clean the work surface. You can use it to collect all the dust off your hands and fingers. Roll it on your work surface or just clean off little scrap pieces from your tools.
We hope our tricks and hacks will help you out in your next polymer clay project. For some beginners, some of these tips may seem advanced, but do not hesitate to utilize them where needed.