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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Polymer clay hints, tricks and tips

Hello and welcome to the first installment of 
Polymer clay hints, tricks and tips.

There are many people out there working on Polymer clay and to be honest, starting out can be very exciting, but when it comes to actually creating a jewelry item to sell, that's a different story. 

When I first started out claying, I didn't come from an artsy background, didn't take any classes heck.. I only had 4 blocks of clay, a pasta machine and one basic book. I'm a self taught Polymer clay artist and let me tell ya.. it's been an adventure !   Along the way I have tried quite a few things and I thought I would share with y'all what I have learned. 

I've been asked by friends and family a few questions and it gave me the idea to share with y'all what I've learned over the years of 

Lets start out with:

 *Tricks and tips* 

One question I've been asked a lot is.. 
How do you keep the loops and eye pins from falling out?

  • A few simple solutions are, headpins, and eye pins. By inserting the headpin or eye pin into the clay before it's baked, it gives the clay something to hold on to. I don't like to waste the store bought eye pins, so I create my own. Same affect. 
  • By placing the eye pin or head pin deep into the item will keep the pin from falling out, it will also give your item more strength. Put a dab of TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) or Kato brand Liquid Polyclay before you insert the pin.
  • If you are going to strengthen your piece by either using tooth picks or wire, which is my preferred form of strengthening. You can add a tiny dab of TLS (Translucent Liquid Sculpey) or Liquid Polyclay will also work. It can be baked and acts as a glue to hold the clay to it's self. 
  • I would really stay away from inserting just a straight pin with nothing for the clay to adhere to, thus creating a stronger bond. The straight pin will simply slide right out after baking. Then you are faced with having to glue the pin back. (This happened to me way back when I first started claying- then it hit me - it's got to have something to hold onto) 
*Some uses for Liquid Polymer clay*

  • Add a bit of pastel chalk to your liquid polymer clay and it changes the color. You can use that for faux syrup, frosting, soup or cereal.
  • Use as a glue to make your pre-baked items stronger. Keep head pins and eye pins in place. 
  • Use as a bakeable varnish. You first bake your item, then brush on very thin amounts of TLS or Kato Polyclay. Then you must re-bake your item.
Here are a few examples of what I used TLS for:

I made the waffles then used a very tiny hint of brown and yellow pastel chalk along with my TLS and created the "Syrup" for the top. Then baked the entire item. 

Here I added more pastel chalk to create the effect of thick sauce. Drizzled it on top of the Spaghetti and meatballs. 

Another example of the use of TLS. I used a very tiny amount and brushed it on top of the french fries, then added real sea salt. This has created a bond to the clay so the sea salt won't come off. Then to keep the salt from melting away if the wearer were to get it wet, I brushed the entire piece with a Polyurethane sealant. I also used the TLS and pastel chalk to create the Ketchup on the plate. 

Disclaimer: I'm a self taught Polymer clay artist. I do not claim to be an expert. The above hints, tricks and tips are some of my own personal trials and errors that I have decided to share with you!

Thank you so much for stopping in and I hope you can come back sometime! 


  1. Cindy! I read this and was so thankful for the hints. I just want to make birds! LOL And maybe a squirrel. You forgot to tell the people to check for F or C!!!! LOL

  2. Thanks, Lee.. I'm glad that it was helpful !

    Have a great day!


  3. Wow,thats some amazing work! Lots of time and each piece looks tasty....Great job thanks for the hints!