What to Know About Polymer Clay
Welcome to the colorful world of oven-bake clay! If you are new to polymer clay then you came to the right place. Whether it’s mixed media, beadwork, sculpting, or home décor, clay allows us to express our imaginations through our hands — and the medium that allows the most possibilities is polymer oven bake clay. Here’s why:
- It will not dry out – with other clay, you have to worry about finishing your project in one sitting because the clay will dry out and become unusable. Polymer clay stays soft until you bake it in your home oven.
- It’s durable – When you create with polymer clay your items will not crack, shatter or break easily. Polymer clay starts out soft but when baked in your home oven it becomes strong and durable. Jewelry is one of the top things people make from polymer clay and you can wear it without worrying that it will fall apart.
- It’s Versatile - You can make jewelry, home décor, sculptures, mixed media and much more! Sculpey® clays can be used with other crafting mediums to enhance crafts that you already make or participate in. For example – you can make buttons to add to your knitted sweaters, cover wood signs or frames with clay for a unique look, add details to mason jars and add embellishments to your cards!
Here are some tips to get started creating with polymer clay:
- Choosing your project - we have over 1000 step by step tutorials in our Project Section.
- Choose the right clay for your project – we have a clay comparison chart that you can reference here to help you choose the right clay for your project.
General Tips for creating with clay–
- Always protect your surface area: Grab some wax paper, disposable foil, a metal baking sheet or our Sculpey Oven-Safe Work Mat to protect your work area, as polymer clay can affect certain finishes. If you have a glass or marble workspace you don’t need any additional protective material.
- Condition your clay: Before working with polymer clay, you want to condition it, which helps with its flexibility. Knead and stretch the polymer clay with your hands, or use a pasta machine.
- Bake your creation: All you need to bake your polymer clay creation is your household oven — you can also use a toaster oven. Pre-heat your oven to the recommended temperature. Check your temperature with a pre-baking test or oven thermometer before baking your creation. Pay attention to the package time and temperature because not all clays have the same directions. Click here for a list of ours. NEVER put oven-bake clay in the microwave.
- Store your clay: Following your crafting session, make sure you store your leftover clay in a cool, dry area. Use a container or bag made of polypropylene plastic — this will have the number five recycling symbol on the bottom of it.
- If the clay you have is to firm – no problem! Just add a small amount of either the Solid clay conditioner or our Liquid Clay Thinner and Softener. Mix in until you get the clay consistency you want.
- If your clay is too soft – just leach it! All you have to do is roll the clay into sheets and place in-between white paper and place a heavy object like a book on it. Let it sit overnight and test it by conditioning it – if it is still too soft then let it sit again until the consistency is what you are looking for.
- To prevent cracking – if you are making pieces thicker than 1/4 inch it is best to create an armature or center (if making beads) out of crumpled aluminum foil.