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Sculpey Premo™ A Different Twist on Hand-Tinted Photos

Designed by Syndee Holt

Starting at $5.99

This project shows you how to turn an ordinary photo into a unique work of art.
Grouped product items
Product ImageProduct Name Qty
Sculpey Tools™ Clay Conditioning Machine
Out of stock
Sculpey® Satin Glaze 1 oz
Sculpey Premo™ Beige 1 lb
  • A copied transfer made according to the directions below.
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Colored pencils
  • Software for photo manipulation (something you can use to add effects to a photo with)

Additional Resources

    Getting Started:
Please make sure your work area is covered and you are not working on an unprotected surface. We recommend working on the Sculpey® Oven-Safe Work Mat, wax paper, metal baking sheet, or disposable foil. Uncured clay may damage unprotected furniture or finished surfaces. Be sure to cover your crafting area appropriately.

Start with clean hands, unwrap and knead clay until soft and smooth, or condition by running clay though a Pasta Machine. We recommend using a designated machine for clay purposes only. When working with multiple colors, clean hands with soap and water or baby wipes (we have found that baby wipes work best) before switching colors. Shape clay, pressing pieces firmly together. Wash hands after use.

Begin by preheating oven to 275 °F (130 °C). After you are done creating; for best results bake clay on an oven-proof surface such metal, aluminum foil, an index card or the Sculpey® Clay Mat at 275°F (130 °C) for 30 minutes per 1/4" (6 mm) thickness according to package directions. Oven safe glass or ceramic surfaces are also acceptable for baking; however please note that the baking times may take longer as the glass or ceramic surfaces take longer to heat up. For best baking results, use an oven thermometer. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.
Digital Photos work great for this project but you can also scan your images into the computer, or select images from the web.
Once you decide on the image, open the image using the image manipulating software you have. Go to the effects list and then the effect listed as sketch, drawing or charcoal, depending on which effect looks best with your image.
If you wish, flip the image left to right, as the transfer process will create a "mirror image" of the original photo. Note: If the image contains wording you will have to flip the image horizontally to be sure that the lettering reads the right way once you make the transfer.
Print the converted image out. A good size is 3” x 5”; this allows you to print about 4 images on one piece of paper.
Inkjet printer images don't transfer well, take your sheets of images to a copier (toner based, such a laser printer) and copy the images, again manipulating the exposure (if you can). SOME COPIERS WORK BETTER THAN OTHERS DO - EXPERIMENT WITH THIS!
Now the fun begins. Condition and roll a sheet of the Beige clay about 1/8 inch thick; which is the widest setting on the Clay Conditioning Machine.
Trim the transfer to about ¼ inch around the image and place the transfer face down on the clay and soak the back of it with alcohol, using a cotton ball. Soak the entire piece of transfer paper for better adhesion.
Rub out any visible air bubbles with your finger or the back of an old tablespoon.
Allow the alcohol to completely evaporate (about 3-4 minutes, depending on the conditions of the room).
Re-soak the transfer with the alcohol and let set for about 15-30 seconds.
Begin lifting the corner of the transfer, watching carefully for any areas that didn't transfer fully. If you see such an area, lay the transfer back down and bray the area with the back of your spoon or your fingernail.
Once the paper is completely removed, you can wipe the entire image with alcohol to help remove any remaining traces of paper.
Trim the clay to the desired size and bake according to your package directions.
Once the clay is cooled it’s time to color. Don't use highly sharpened leads on my pencils - dull round works quite nicely on the clay. You can smooth and blend the colors with your finger or a cotton swab.
Layer the color on slowly; remember this is the fun part. Layer color upon color for a really rich effect. You can see how the green pencil strokes in the background add more color making the image a bit richer looking.
The edges of the piece can be finished with either a black Sharpie pen, Rub-n-Buff or acrylic paint.
It is not necessary to seal the image once you have it colored in but if you decide you wish to do so you can use the Satin Glaze. Lightly brush on a thin layer so you don’t smear any of the colored pencil. Let dry completely and you’re done.