4 Polymer Clay Hacks Every Crafter Should Master
Crafters love polymer clay; there is no second opinion about it. No matter the brand or type, it is one of the most flexible medium for your project.
I have talked a lot about polymer clay in my previous posts. If you missed all about Polymer Clay history or types, do take a look.
Right now, I am here with something more practical, so to speak. As amazing as polymer clay is, it is not very easy to master. I started playing with polymer clay recently and found a few issues which were killing a fun of creating.
If you are having a problem with polymer clay, know that it is not the end of the world.
There is always a solution you can work around. However, you don’t have to learn all of it the hard way.
So, with the help of some polymer clay experts, I bring to you some of the most amazing polymer clay hacks that just make life so much easier for any crafter.
Let’s start with number one.
Polymer clay comes in all colors these days, but many crafters prefer creating their own colors using different dyes sometimes we tend to use nail polish or spray paint for accent. Do not do it.
The solvent in those products would soften and dissolve polymer clay it also makes your creation sticky and gooey over time.
If you need a sealer to coat polymer clay, then you should use Fimo Gloss Varnish or Patricia Nimocks Clear Acrylic Sealers polymer clay safe protective coating. In my opinion, it is the best to use oil based sealers with polymer clay.
Hot hands and warm work areas will soften clay make it soft and sticks to your hands and tools. Best advice is to
try a more firmer brand of clay like Kato, Fimo professional. Placing clay in a freezer for a while can help.
Firm it Up With Leaching
If you accidentally add too much softener to the clay, you can use the leaching technique. Leaching will make the clay firmer.
So how you can do this.
First, place your clay between blank paper. Just make sure that you are using plain white paper because marked paper will transfer to clay.
If you are looking to speed up the process is the best to place a heavy object on top like a book. Make sure you have a barrier between your polymer clay sandwich and a book. Plastic wrap or white paper will do the trick.
The longer you leach it, the more of the clay’s plasticizer will leach into the paper and out of the clay and the firmer it gets. Do it for too long and it might get crumbs, though!
Check the paper after a little while and once you see the oily residue test your clay. If you find that the clay is still too soft, you can leach it some more.
If you find your paper very oily, replace it with a new sheet. If you over-leach the clay, you can always use Sculpey Liquid Clay Softener. Just mix in a drop at a time.
Good alternative for professional Clay Softener
Personally for me, the hardest and most tedious step working with polymer clay is a conditioning phase.
Conditioning will be even more challenging if you need to work with old, hard, crumbly polymer clay
There are few professional softener available on the market you can use
Sculpey Clay Softener
Fimo Mix Quick
Sculpey Mold Maker
A baby oil
Regardless of the softener you decide to use, conditioning will follow the same process:
Chop – you can use a blade or an old thrift store food processor to crumble old clay to small bits.
Combine with some Softener mix it up and place in a Ziploc bag and leave it alone for a few days.
Conditioning – Start by conditioning your clay using the pasta machine. Run a few time and see if clay is workable.
Corn Starch is a Good Friend
Many beginners don’t like the fact that the clay sticks in the hand, especially if you are too slow or have sweaty palms. One great way to avoid this is to keep a tray of corn starch next to you. You can keep dusting your hands in the starch to stop stickiness. The starch also prevents fingerprints on the clay.
These polymer clay hacks are not all, but these are enough hacks to help you through the initial phases of your polymer clay experiment. Don’t forget; you can learn a lot from merely watching the experts at work.
So you have a polymer clay hacks or tip you would like to share with fellow crafters? Leave a comment.