Mistakes are a part of life. After all, they’re how we learn. But when it comes to working with polymer clay, some mistakes are best avoided. Here are some tips and tricks for how to avoid some of the most common clay mistakes. 

Using the wrong glue: One common mistake clayers make is using superglue on their product. Because polymer clay is so flexible, superglue won’t stick on the clay after it hardens. Try using a gel version instead.

Not pre-heating your oven: Pre-heating your oven will help you avoid the mistake of burning your pieces. Placing clay into an oven that’s already hot will ensure they cure at the correct temperature over the proper length of time. You can avoid mistakes such as cracking, burning or scorching with this simple step. 

Fear of claying: One of the biggest roadblocks holding you back may be the “I can’t” mentality. This is the biggest lie we tell ourselves! Sometimes, you just need to dive into your work and enjoy the process. Whenever you hear that voice say, “I can’t,” immediately override it with “I can.” 

Underbaking or burning polymer clay:Sometimes, oven temperatures are not transferable to what we read on polymer clay blogs. To avoid burning or browning your clay, try covering it with a tented index card. You can also avoid underbaking by setting your oven to the correct temperature outlined on the polymer clay package. Use an oven thermometer to ensure the right temperature.

Not storing clay properly: Store your polymer clay in a dark, cool area away from direct sunlight. Keep it covered to avoid dust and debris from getting on it.

Using nail polish as polymer clay gloss:Over time, nail polish will turn sticky when used on polymer clay. Use polymer clay sealer instead. 

Not washing your hands or workspace before working with clay: If you’re working with clear, translucent or other light-colored clay, it’s easy for dust particles to show up in your clay. One trick to avoid tainting light-colored clay with residues is to keep a ball of translucent scrap clay near your workspace. Roll the clay between your hands before working so it picks up any loose dirt and dust. Baby wipes are another easy way to clean your hands between colors.

How to Avoid Mistakes Using Polymer Clay

Having a general knowledge about clay can help you navigate your creative routine in useful and productive ways, while avoiding pitfalls. Here are the top seven most common mistakes using polymer clay and how to avoid them:Using the wrong glue:One common mistake clayers make is using superglue on their product. Because polymer clay is so flexible, superglue won’t stick on the clay after it hardens. Try using a gel version instead.

Not pre-heating your oven: Pre-heating your oven will help you avoid the mistake of burning your pieces. Placing clay into an oven that’s already hot will ensure they cure at the correct temperature over the proper length of time. You can avoid mistakes such as cracking, burning or scorching with this simple step. 

Fear of claying: One of the biggest roadblocks holding you back may be the “I can’t” mentality. This is the biggest lie we tell ourselves! Sometimes, you just need to dive into your work and enjoy the process. Whenever you hear that voice say, “I can’t,” immediately override it with “I can.” 

Underbaking or burning polymer clay:Sometimes, oven temperatures are not transferable to what we read on polymer clay blogs. To avoid burning or browning your clay, try covering it with a tented index card. You can also avoid underbaking by setting your oven to the correct temperature outlined on the polymer clay package. Use an oven thermometer to ensure the right temperature.

Not storing clay properly: Store your polymer clay in a dark, cool area away from direct sunlight. Keep it covered to avoid dust and debris from getting on it.

Using nail polish as polymer clay gloss:Over time, nail polish will turn sticky when used on polymer clay. Use polymer clay sealer instead. 

Not washing your hands or workspace before working with clay: If you’re working with clear, translucent or other light-colored clay, it’s easy for dust particles to show up in your clay. One trick to avoid tainting light-colored clay with residues is to keep a ball of translucent scrap clay near your workspace. Roll the clay between your hands before working so it picks up any loose dirt and dust. Baby wipes are another easy way to clean your hands between colors.

Using the wrong glue: One common mistake clayers make is using superglue on their product. Because polymer clay is so flexible, superglue won’t stick on the clay after it hardens. Try using a gel version instead.

Not pre-heating your oven: Pre-heating your oven will help you avoid the mistake of burning your pieces. Placing clay into an oven that’s already hot will ensure they cure at the correct temperature over the proper length of time. You can avoid mistakes such as cracking, burning or scorching with this simple step. 

Fear of claying: One of the biggest roadblocks holding you back may be the “I can’t” mentality. This is the biggest lie we tell ourselves! Sometimes, you just need to dive into your work and enjoy the process. Whenever you hear that voice say, “I can’t,” immediately override it with “I can.” 

Underbaking or burning polymer clay:Sometimes, oven temperatures are not transferable to what we read on polymer clay blogs. To avoid burning or browning your clay, try covering it with a tented index card. You can also avoid underbaking by setting your oven to the correct temperature outlined on the polymer clay package. Use an oven thermometer to ensure the right temperature.

Not storing clay properly: Store your polymer clay in a dark, cool area away from direct sunlight. Keep it covered to avoid dust and debris from getting on it.

Using nail polish as polymer clay gloss:Over time, nail polish will turn sticky when used on polymer clay. Use polymer clay sealer instead. 

Not washing your hands or workspace before working with clay: If you’re working with clear, translucent or other light-colored clay, it’s easy for dust particles to show up in your clay. One trick to avoid tainting light-colored clay with residues is to keep a ball of translucent scrap clay near your workspace. Roll the clay between your hands before working so it picks up any loose dirt and dust. Baby wipes are another easy way to clean your hands between colors.

Order Sculpey® Premium Polymer Clay

Even seemingly small clay mistakes can quickly turn into bigger ones! Boosting your knowledge about handling polymer clay can offset these mishaps. For questions on how to best use and store your product, feel free to contact us today or shop online for your next batch of Sculpey® clay.