This guide is for you if you are wanting to get into making cute clay charms out of polymer clay or have already started and consider yourself a beginner. I have been making kawaii style charms since I first picked up my first blocks of clay in 2012 and have learnt lots along the way, so I hope you get something out of this blog. I will be taking you through the basics of how to make a simple kawaii charm.
Firstly, choose your clay. I started off Sculpey III when I was first beginning and I would definitely recommend it! It has a large range of colours available, which of course you can also mix. Sculpey III is also much softer to work with than some other brands, yet not too soft. You can pretty much work with it straight out of the packaging without needing to condition it too much.
Secondly, have a clean workspace. This step is vital if you want to avoid dust and lint covering your cute creation. Here I’m using the Sculpey Work n Bake Clay Mat on my work surface. It is a silicone mat that protects your work surface and can also be placed in the oven when you are ready to bake!
Next, you may want to consider using some sculpting tools to help you create, blend and add texture to your charm. There are a huge range of tools available depending one what you need. My essentials would have to be a blade, a needle tool, a dotting tool and a rolling pin. As well as the bought sculpting tools, items you have around the house can also work just as well, including paperclips, toothpicks and balls of foils which I like to keep handy.
While making your charm, be sure to take your time particularly if you are a new beginner. If something doesn’t quite go right or look how you originally pictured it, that’s okay because there will always be a way to fix it. If you need to take a break from your creation then that is perfectly fine too!
Because polymer clay needs to be oven-baked, it won’t air-dry so you can leave a creation and come back to it when to are ready. Just be sure to cover it to avoid the lint in the air landing on it.
Once you have made your creation you can add in an eyepin to turn it into a charm. Then it’s time to bake the polymer clay in an oven so that it can harden. Place your charm on a baking tray that is lined with some parchment paper (or the Sculpey Work n Bake Clay Mat) to avoid it sitting directly on the tray and be at risk of burning. It’s also a great idea to create a little “tent” with some foil. This stops the heat of the oven going directly onto the charm and instead helps to circulate the flow of air around evenly. Check the baking temperature and recommended baking times on your clay packaging.
After baking, take the tray out of the oven and allow the clay to cool back down. Avoid handling your charm straight after pulling it out of the oven, as it will be at its most decimate stage and their is a risk that small details could break off.
Once the charm has cool, I usually add some superglue to the eyepin and then place it back into the charm. This help to keep it nice a secure. Optionally you can also add some glaze of your choice to your charm, but otherwise, that is it!