Ways to Add Color to Sculpey Premo™ Translucent

Have you ever come across a product so essential to your polymer clay projects that you go out of your way to find more and more uses for it? That’s how I feel about Sculpey Premo™ Translucent! I’ve found it to be the clay I reach for most and a big reason for that is how versatile I’ve found it to be. I’ve experimented quite a bit with adding color to Premo™ Translucent using a variety of art mediums, all with different effects. Let’s explore some of the ways I’ve successfully added tints to translucent clay today!

pairs of different colored polymer earrings

One of the easiest, most readily available products to add color to Premo™ Translucent is other colors of polymer clay! To maintain translucency, simply add a very small bit of colorful Sculpey Premo™ or Soufflé™ clay to your translucent. You can continue to add color little by little to reach the level of vibrancy you’re trying to achieve. Conversely, if you add too much, you can always add more translucent to reduce opacity. This is true of any colorant you choose to add to

Premo™ Translucent, making it incredibly easy to make adjustments as needed. Here are a few examples of jewelry collections I made using this technique. The clay retained its translucency even with the addition of opaque polymer clay, allowing light to shine though the pieces for a “jelly” effect.

Another adjustable medium that works wonders with Premo Translucent is chalk pastels. My preferred way to make them useable in clay is to gently shave the chalk into a powder with a tissue blade. I then mix a small bit of the powdered chalk into my translucent clay until I reach the desired color. Chalk pastels come in a wide variety of colors and will give a quite opaque look to the translucent when added in a high enough volume. I found this method to be perfect when making some fun avocado earrings recently. I used a mix of Premo™ Translucent and chalk pastel to create a very realistic looking avocado pit. Perhaps the most prevalent translucent coloring method in the polymer clay jewelry world involves alcohol inks. Alcohol inks are dye pigments carried in an alcohol solution. When the alcohol evaporates, the pigment remains and is very vibrant making it a great option for coloring clay. It can also be used to coat the outside of translucent clay bits which are then rolled out into a slab and cut into jewelry components. This creates a similar effect to stained glass. I use alcohol ink quite a bit in my pieces and I’ve found a little goes a long way, so be sure to apply inks with a light hand. The collections below were both created with Premo™ Translucent colored with alcohol inks.

Combining an assortment of colorful mediums in translucent polymer clay will also lead to lovely creations. When marbling clay or making organic stone looks, I love to use mica powder, paint, colored clay, and inks all together to achieve truly unique art. Mica powder in particular will give great sheen and impart a color shifting nature to polymer pieces. In the next photo, the Premo Translucent used was colored with inks and mica powder, then chopped and mixed in with pieces coated in paint, mica, and alcohol ink. The combination of colors and mediums lends a distinctive feel to the earrings. Sometimes a beautiful effect can be achieved without mixing an additive thoroughly into translucent clay, but instead applying it topically. Paint, mica powder, alcohol ink, chalk pastels, glitter, foils, and more can be added to the top of Premo Translucent to impart some color or pizazz to your pieces. Oftentimes leaving the translucent as is and simply adding color around unchanged pieces of it achieves a mesmerizing depth and translucency that can be stunning. The earrings below were created by chopping translucent clay into bits, coating them with paint, adding gold foil, and forming a slab. Being able to see through parts of the jewelry adds such nuance and interest. If I had to choose a Sculpey product I could never live without, it would definitely be Sculpey Premo™ Translucent. It’s such a versatile medium and I use it in the majority of my polymer clay jewelry projects. I look forward to using my imagination and discovering even more ways to add color to translucent clay! I hope you’ll be inspired to experiment too!

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