Working with oven-bake clay is a fun and versatile activity for adults and kids alike! It comes in many different colors and consistencies for all of your project ideas. If you're new to using oven-bake clay, you have so much to explore!
From designing jewelry to making personalized gifts, you can let your imagination run wild. This guide will explain oven-bake clay 101, including creative ways of using oven-baked clay to inspire your next creation.
What Is Oven-Bake Clay?
Also known as polymer clay, oven-bake clay is a soft and easy-to-use crafting material. It's manufactured with non-toxic synthetic ingredients, which makes it extremely versatile. This clay maintains its flexibility until you cure it in the oven, meaning you can shape and reshape your creations as many times as you want. After you put your clay into the oven, it'll maintain its exact shape and color as it hardens.
The best part about oven-bake clay is that you only need an oven and a few basic tools to craft your projects, whether you're modeling vases and figurines or crafting holiday ornaments. Sculpey® oven-baked clay comes in different textures and colors you can mix and match to make a truly unique masterpiece.
What Are the Benefits of Oven-Bake Clay?
There are many advantages to using oven-bake clay over other modeling materials:
- Colorful: Unlike natural clay that only comes in earth tones, oven-bake clay is available in dozens of unique colors, including metallic, granite and glow-in-the-dark varieties. If you're starting your collection, a Sculpey® multi-pack is a great way to test out different hues.
- Accessible: This type of clay is affordable and easy to use, so children, adults and professional artists alike can make their visions come to life. All you need to get started is a traditional home oven or toaster oven and basic modeling tools.
- Versatile: There are endless colors and textures of oven-bake clay for all of your crafting needs. Once your creations are cured, you can sand, carve or paint any of them to add the finishing details.
- Safe: All Sculpey® oven-bake products are non-toxic and approved by the Art and Creative Materials Institute. While you should never ingest clay products, it's OK if a child or pet consumes some by accident.
Which Oven-Bake Sculpey® Product Will Work Best for You?
Choosing the best oven-bake Sculpey® products for your crafting will depend on which projects you have in mind. Here are the Sculpey® oven-bake clay basics to help you choose the ideal product for your next creation:
- Original Sculpey®: This clay is perfect for beginners. Original Sculpey® is soft and easy to mold until you bake it in the oven. Plus, it's affordable and available in bulk sizes for school projects and simple crafts.
- Super Sculpey®: Available in four different densities, Super Sculpey® is made with the sculptor in mind.It's strong yet flexible for creating detailed structures — dollmakers, animators and artists of all kinds can mold, carve and paint the clay to bring their visions to life.
- Sculpey III®: Whether you're an experienced crafter, beginner clayer or creative kid, you can create colorful art with Sculpey III®. It's versatile, easy to use and comes in dozens of vibrant hues.
- Sculpey Premo™: This clay is firm yet flexible for experienced artists and crafters. Sculpey Premo™ is ideal for specialized techniques like mokume gane, caning and mica shift. Experiment with various colors to simulate wood, stone or porcelain.
- Sculpey Bake Shop®: Kids will love this clay. Sculpey Bake Shop® is super soft and effortless to mold for hours of fun. It comes in 14 different colors, so it's perfect for school projects, homemade gifts or creative playtime.
- Liquid Sculpey®: This liquid polymer clay is a unique material for creating intricate jewelry and home decor.Try baking Liquid Sculpey® into molds or creating free-hand designs. It's even great for scrapbooking! No matter what, the process is simple and the results are stunning.
How to Prepare Your Craft Space
Whether you're a professional artist or novice sculptor, it only takes a few items to set up your own polymer clay crafting studio.
The first thing you'll need is a flat surface — buy a dedicated work table or pull up a chair to the kitchen counter. All you have to do is cover your workspace with one of the following materials to protect the surface from damage:
- Aluminum foil
- Ceramic tile
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Sculpey Tools™ Oven-Safe Work Mat
Kids are happy to sculpt with their hands, but if you'd like to create a more detailed piece, it's helpful to stock your craft space with some modeling tools. Consider using unconventional items like a fork or a pencil or building a collection of versatile clay tools.
Finally, it's convenient to have a place to store your clay. One of the many benefits of oven-bake clay is that it never dries out, so it's easy to put away. Keep your stash of Sculpey® products in a simple basket or a container with a lid.
How to Work With Oven-Bake Clay
Anyone can learn how to use oven-bake clay. The process is simple and easy. If you're a beginner, you can follow these steps:
1. Choose Your Sculpey® Products
Once you've settled on a project, you can select from a wide range of Sculpey® oven-bake clays to find the ideal color and texture you need. Feel free to mix and match several together to achieve your vision.
2. Make Your Creation
Here's the fun part — stretch, cut, roll, mold, stack and sculpt your clay into your desired shape.
3. Bake Your Piece
When you're finished creating your masterpiece, it's time to cure it in the oven to get your finished product. Baking times will vary depending on the clay and the thickness of your design. Most Sculpey® products bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch of clay. Check the package for exact instructions.
4. Add the Finishing Touches
Once your piece has completely cooled, you can add the finishing touches by painting, sanding or carving into your clay. Adding a Sculpey® glaze will help seal your design so it lasts for years to come.
5. Clean Your Space
Now that your project is complete, you can clean up your workspace. It takes only a few minutes to pack away your clay and wash your tools.
Explore Sculpey® Oven-Bake Clay Products
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced crafter, there are always new projects to create with Sculpey® oven-bake clay — our premium products are simple and easy to use for crafting anything you can imagine.
At Sculpey®, we supply the tools, and you supply the creativity. Shop our wide range of oven-bake clay products to get started today!