Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member but can’t seem to find that something special? If you want to give a unique gift that expresses what you wish to say, it’s time to consider homemade gift-making. Polymer clay is coming to the rescue!
Polymer clay is the perfect medium for making colorful gifts with tons of character. Anyone can create a fun, thoughtful gift with polymer clay, whether they’ve been a clayer for years or are just beginning. Polymer clay is soft, malleable and available in a variety of bright colors. It doesn’t dry out in the air and can last a long time with proper storage. For polymer clay to harden, all you need to do is pop clay creations in your home oven and bake them at the low temperature of 275 F – that is lower than baking cookies! In just minutes, you’ll have a durable, handmade gift.
Polymer clay is composed of plasticizers and fillers for high flexibility and brilliant coloring. It’s a synthetic clay that is also non-toxic, making it a great crafting choice for children. There are so many possibilities of what you can make with polymer clay. You can add decorations, paint creations after baking, cover objects, make imprints and so much more.
In this post, we’ll explore the top polymer clay gift ideas for all kinds of occasions. If you can’t find that special something in the store, why not make it and bake it with polymer clay?
How to Use Polymer Clay to Make Gifts
Crafting with polymer clay opens the door to the imagination and the heart. Best of all, it’s easy-to-use, and you can start creating with just one block of clay.
Polymer clay only requires a few basic tools, such as an oven or toaster oven to bake the clay, something to protect the work area like aluminum foil or wax paper, clay in the color of your choice and, of course, your imagination. Here’s what you need to get started using polymer clay for gifts, from the ideation stage to preparing your crafting space.
1. Choose Your Gift
Often, when we look for the perfect gift, we spend hours asking ourselves what a person needs or wants. However, sometimes the best way to choose a gift is to ask yourself what you want to say to that person. When deciding what type of polymer clay gift you want to create, ask yourself these simple questions to spark your creativity:
- What do you want to say to the person?
- What can you give them that will communicate your message?
For example, you might want to tell a friend that you are grateful for her enduring friendship on her birthday. Perhaps you could create a polymer clay covered picture frame containing a childhood photo of you and your long-time friend together.
2. Different Types of Gifts You Can Make
One of the greatest qualities of polymer clay is you can make just about anything you dream of. So, if you know someone who has been traditionally tough to buy gifts for, polymer clay is the solution. You can create a gift that represents their unique interests you can’t find anywhere else. Best of all — you made it!
Although there is no limit to what you can make with polymer clay, some popular polymer clay gift ideas include:
- Jewelry: You can use polymer clay to create or decorate necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, hair accessories, pendants, charms, brooches and headbands. Use polymer clay to make a colorful birth-flower necklace, for example. Know a June baby? Why not create a special polymer clay rose pendant to represent the flower of their birth month?
- Home Decor: Use polymer clay to create custom decorations for the home. You can make coasters, switch plate covers, bottle openers, picture frames, wall art and so much more. Create unique ornaments for holiday gifts or one-of-a-kind wine bottle stoppers for newlyweds.
- Toys: Kids love gifts that were made just for them. You can use polymer clay to create jewelry boxes, games, magnets, dollhouse accessories or magic wands. Give polymer clay gifts like a name plaque or cheerful nightlight cover at a baby shower.
You can use polymer clay to create gifts for any occasion, such as:
- Baby showers
- Bridal showers
- Housewarming parties
- Bachelor or bachelorette parties
You might want to give polymer clay gifts just because they are so much fun to make.
3. How to Use Polymer Clay
Once you know the occasion and type of gift you want to make, it’s time to get claying. Setting up your workspace is simple, and you can create gifts in the comfort of your kitchen. Ask friends or family to join in on the gift-making fun, or enjoy some “me” time and the therapeutic power of creating with polymer clay.
The type of polymer clay you use will depend on the project. There are several different types of polymer clay which serve a unique purpose. Sculpey® is the best and most popular polymer clay brand on the market. Types of polymer clay for gift-making include:
- Sculpey Bake Shop: Perfect for beginners and kids, Sculpey Bake Shop is soft and easy-to-use. Bake Shop comes in a 12-color multi-pack and is great for making small figurines, simple jewelry or covering objects.
- Sculpey III: Great for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike, Sculpey III holds fine details well. It’s a good choice for home decor, jewelry, figurines and ornaments. Available in 44 colors from bright hues to metallics.
- Premo Sculpey: The ideal clay for advanced techniques, Premo allows for precise color mixing and holds minute details. Premo Sculpey is available in 55 colors including glittery clay and fluorescents.
- Sculpey Souffle: For more experienced crafters, Sculpey Souffle is strong and holds fine detail. Sculpey Souffle is a good choice for making jewelry orlarge home decor pieces.
- Original Sculpey: Kid-friendly and beginner-friendly Original Sculpey is soft, easy-to-use, can be painted after baking and feels and looks like ceramic clay. Original Sculpey is available in White, Gray and Terra Cotta.
- Super Sculpey: For professional artists and filmmakers, Super Sculpey is excellent for molding masks or creating sculptures. It’s the softest of all the Sculpey clays and has a semi-translucent finish which resembles flesh when baked.
- Super Sculpey Living Doll: Super Sculpey Living Doll is perfect for professional sculptors and dollmakers. Dollmakers can create real-looking skin and easily paint their creations after baking.
- Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay: Liquid Sculpey is a good choice for making window clings, filling in carved pieces or using in bakeable molds.
Here’s how to use polymer clay and prepare your workspace for successful gift-making:
- Condition your clay: Before working with your polymer clay, it helps if you first condition the clay. Conditioning means warming and kneading the clay before use, and it helps with flexibility. All you need to do is knead the clay with your hands. You can also use a pasta machine or a clay conditioning machine.
- Protect your work surface: Cover your work area with aluminum foil or wax paper, or work on top of a sheet of metal, glass, marble or ceramic. Polymer clay could ruin the finish of surfaces, so it’s recommended to always protect your work area and avoid placing unbaked clay on furniture or fabric.
- Bake your gift: When it’s time for baking, always preheat your oven to the recommended temperature first. Check your oven with a thermometer to make sure it’s set right. Place your creation on a baking sheet or piece of foil and bake. Baking times and temperatures vary depending on the type of clay and size of the creation. Most Sculpey creations will need to bake for 15 to 30 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use a toaster oven, and it is perfectly safe to use the same oven you cook food in.
- Finish your creation: Once your gift is done baking and has cooled, you can sand, paint or apply a glaze to your design if you wish.
- Store your clay: Store your clay in a plastic bag or container and keep it in a cool, dry area.
Polymer Clay Gifts Ideas
With a few basics under your belt and a head full of ideas, it’s time to make polymer clay gifts your friends and family will love — and you’ll love making. From polymer clay birthday ideas to polymer clay wedding gifts, here’s inspiration to help you get started.
1. Birthday Gift Ideas
Birthday gifts are all about showing appreciation for a person and celebrating their lives. The best birthday gifts capture someone’s personality and show you understand who they are. Birthday gifts can range from humorous expressions of love to lovely tokens of adoration.
What you make depends on what the person likes and the message you want to communicate. For example, do you have a friend who enjoys spending hours writing down thoughts and dreams in a notebook? If so, consider making a polymer clay journal cover. Do you have a nephew who is obsessed with robots? How about creating an Original Sculpey Robot? Here are more birthday gift ideas you can create or decorate with polymer clay:
- Women: Jewelry, jewelry boxes, vases, notebook and pen sets, keychain charms, hairpins, decorated perfume bottles, candy dishes, candle holders, flower pots, decorative jars, lamps
- Men: Bookmarks, photo frames, coasters, phone cases, keychains, wall art, bottle stoppers, pencil holders, cufflinks, tie clips, bottle openers, grill forks, money clips
- Kids: Figurines, pens, dolls, miniature playsets, bookends, doll accessories, trinket boxes, mobiles, play vanity sets, animal characters, masks, jewelry, wall art, play food and utensil sets, personalized stationery, make-believe toolsets
Here’s a gift idea for a special lady whether that be a wife, friend, mom or sister. This decorated perfume bottle will make the birthday girl feel pampered and swept away to a different world as she dabs on her favorite perfume. Here’s how to make the Premo Liquid Clays Scent Bottle from the Enchanted Journey Design Ancient Artifacts Collection. You’ll need:
- Premo Sculpey Accents in Silver
- Premo Sculpey Accents in Gold
- Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay
- Sculpey Clay Conditioning Machine
- Premo Sculpey Graduated Cutter Set — Oval
- Sculpey Super Slicer Set
- Round flat-sided ornament
- Tacky glue
- Paintbrush to use with the glue
- Alcohol inks in your choice of colors
- Small paper cups
- Small brushes to apply liquid polymer clay
- Craft knife
- Metal pin tool
- Several small metal cutters, stamps or leatherworking tools of various shapes
- Small bamboo stick
- Ceramic tile
- Golden High Flow acrylic paint in Sepia
- A brush for the acrylic paint
- Paper towels
- Empty glass bottle
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Coat the bottle with glue and set aside to dry.
- Mix and condition the Silver and Gold Premo Sculpey using a middle setting on the clay conditioning machine.
- Cover the bottle with the clay sheet and press out any air bubbles.
- Add more clay to form the neck of the bottle and add other embellishments.
- Use the small cutters to create designs on the front and the back of the bottle.
- Remove the inside of the cut pieces with the metal pin tool.
- Create a base using a double piece of clay which had been conditioned on the thickest setting.
- Cut out a base using the flat ornament as the template and the craft knife.
- Apply the base to the bottom of the bottle.
- Use the same design to make a stopper piece.
- Use a small piece of bamboo stick covered in polymer clay to extend from the stopper into the bottle.
- Pierce designs into the stopper using the small cutters.
- Remove the inside pieces with the pin tool.
- Gently place the stopper flat on the ceramic tile.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes and allow to cool.
- Pour a small amount of clear liquid Sculpey in a paper cup and add alcohol ink in your color of choice.
- Fill the cut-out areas on the front of the bottle and stopper with different colors.
- Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit and allow to cool.
- Repeat baking after coloring the back of the bottle.
- Brush a thin layer of sepia acrylic paint on the bottle surface and use a paper towel to blot most of it off.
- Apply paint to the stopper.
When the bottle is ready, fill it with a scent the birthday lady will love.
2. Wedding Gift Ideas
Help newlyweds fill their home with unique gifts they can both share and enjoy. Household items make wonderful wedding gifts because they are functional and bring artistic flair to a home. Just like true love, polymer clay objects feel natural and are made from the heart.
You can create a picture frame to hold a honeymoon photo, for example, or decorate champagne flutes for a romantic evening. Other wedding gift ideas include:
- Catch-all tray
- Personalized wall art
- Personalized coasters
- Decorated utensils
- Wine stopper
- Keepsake box
Here’s an idea to make a special set of serving utensils newlyweds can enjoy for many years and many meals. These elegant pieces add a unique handmade touch to the list of kitchen necessities, and they’ll remember their love with every bite. To make Sculpey III Serving Pieces, you’ll need:
- Sculpey Clay Conditioning Machine
- Sculpey Super Slicer Set
- Sculpey Etch n’ Pearl, set of 3
- Rubber stamp with a circular pattern, no larger than 2-inches-wide
- Large serving utensils with plain handles
- Small spray bottle of water
- Craft knife
- Dark gray acrylic paint
- Small paint brush
- Paper towels
- Sculpey III — Buried Treasure
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Cut the bar of Sculpey into three equal slices using the Super Slicer blade.
- Set the clay conditioning machine to the number one setting.
- Roll each slice through the conditioning machine.
- Roll all three slices together or only use two if they do not all fit.
- Roll the sheet out, fold and roll it through the machine two more times.
- Lay the sheet of clay onto a plain piece of paper.
- Lightly mist the stamp with water.
- Press the stamp into the clay.
- Remove the stamp from the clay and blot the clay surface to remove excess water.
- Use the craft knife to cut out the smallest circles and set them aside.
- Roll the remaining clay through the conditioning machine and repeat the first six steps.
- Cut a slightly larger piece of the pattern.
- Repeat until you have enough pieces or “coins” to cover the utensil handles.
- Use the Etch n’ Pearl to gently roll the edges of each piece to make them look antique.
- Run the remaining clay through the conditioning machine on the number one setting.
- Set the machine to the number four setting and run the sheet through again.
- Tear off small strips of the clay and wrap each piece around the handle from the serving area to the top of the handle as a base for the coins.
- Press the coin pieces lightly into place on the handle.
- Place the utensils on a baking sheet and bake according to package instructions.
- Once the clay has baked and cooled, apply dark gray acrylic paint with a small paintbrush.
- Allow the paint to dry.
3. Holiday Gift Ideas
Sculpey is the ideal medium for creating holiday gifts. Whether you want to create a box to hold Valentine’s Day cards for your child or a keepsake ornament, there is so much you can do with polymer clay to celebrate and spread joy. Great polymer clay gift ideas for the holidays include:
- Picture frames
- Napkin rings
- Decorative spreader
- Decorative signs
- Candy box
- Mason jar lids
- Polymer clay flowers
- Embellished gift box
- Candy bowl sitters
- Holiday shadow box
Here’s a Father’s Day gift idea a father can cherish forever. Kids can give dad the Sculpey Keepsake Handprint Ornament. It’s easy to make, and kids will love to be part of the creation process. All you’ll need is:
- Sculpey Keepsake Deluxe Handprint Kit
- Acrylic Paint in your colors of choice
- Ribbon, twine or chain for hanging the ornament
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Knead the clay for two minutes.
- Form a smooth ball and place it into the middle of the ring.
- Flatten the ball until it fills the ring.
- Using the roller, roll clay inside of the ring until it is smooth and even.
- Gently push on the sides of the clay from the bottom until it is released from the ring.
- Wash and dry the child’s hand.
- Press the child’s hand firmly into the clay.
- Leave room to paint the child’s name on the ornament or a special Father’s Day message.
- Use the pointed end of the detail tool to make two holes at the top of the ornament for hanging.
- Add a name or date with the detail tool if you wish.
- Put the ornament on a baking sheet.
- Bake according to package instructions.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Paint a message or design with acrylic paint.
- Add ribbon or string for hanging.
Buy Sculpey Polymer Clay Today
When you make something for someone, you speak to them from the heart. Polymer clay provides endless creative possibilities so you can make the perfect gift for a special person in your life. Best of all, anyone can work with polymer clay and make something unique. Children can craft polymer clay gifts for their parents or teachers, and adults can create spectacular wedding gifts or jewelry pieces. Still can’t come up with a gift idea? You can always give Sculpey polymer clay as a gift with an invitation to join you for a fun crafting session.