Making Polymer Clay Molecules

The kiddo (aka Chloe) is in senior chemistry but somewhere in the midst of all the equations and careful lab work, the teacher figured the class should make a creative model of a molecule. She picked a menthol molecule and rejected my helpful suggestion of just using different colours of starlight mints for the atoms. She did go for the starlight mint theme though with little red and green swirls on the carbon and oxygen atoms.

polymer clay molecules

The individual atoms are – you guessed it – polymer clay. In this case, a thin layer of frost white (because glitter makes everything better) over aluminum foil balls roughly an inch around. The hydrogen atoms are a little smaller. The colour swirls are Sharpie oil paint pens. The bonds are toothpicks which is what the kiddo would have changed… her bonds flex too much and should have been thicker skewers or shorter. Because there’s clay involved all of this is held together with strong, polymer clay suitable glue. I think she used my E6000 after frowning over all the toxicity warnings.

I’m always pushing people to use polymer clay for school stuff and prototyping so I admit to egging the kiddo on a bit here!