Polymer Clay is so much fun! It is a modelling clay that is so easy to use and is hardened by baking it in the oven - no need for a kiln! Hooray! There are endless projects to be made with this clay - we have created simple planter pots, jewellery dishes, beads, brooches, tags and necklaces!
We have also researched a lot about using polymer clay to gather tips and information to share with you:
1. Always wash your hands well before using polymer clay (especially white!) to keep your clay clean. Also make sure your work surface is very clean. Wipe it down with baby wipes, ‘rubbing alcohol’ or baby oil regularly to keep it clean.
2. ‘Condition’ your clay every time you want to use it - roll it in your hands until the clay is soft and bends well without cracking.
3. If the polymer clay ever becomes too soft, just pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to become firm again.
4. Polymer clay is best stored in an air tight container or zip lock bag.
5. BASIC TOOLS: Use an acrylic rod, acrylic tubing or glass jar to roll out your clay (not a wooden rolling pin as this will leave marks on your clay). We suggest blades, x-acto knives and regular kitchen knives for cutting your clay.
6. To remove dust and dirt from your clay, use nail polish remover with a cotton bud or makeup pad (before and / or after you bake the clay).
7. BAKING THE CLAY: Place your clay piece in a baking dish or an oven proof plate (not metal). Make sure you bake the clay for at least 30 mins at 130ºC. We found that 60 mins was best - making the pieces very strong. If you under bake your clay it may become brittle. Always keep a watchful eye while baking - make sure not to burn the clay.
8. You can use a fine sandpaper with your baked clay to smooth out rough edges.
9. PAINTING YOUR CLAY: You can paint your clay pieces with acrylic paint before or after you bake the clay. We found the paint was more ‘scratch proof’ when we baked it. You can also seal your baked clay with acrylic varnish (but not necessary).
10. Check out Pinterest for amazing polymer clay ideas. We learned a lot about polymer clay at www.thebluebottletree.com and www.polymerclaytutor.com