Polymer Clay

At the most basic, polymer clay is an oven bake clay. It won’t harden until you bake or cure it in an oven. It comes in a bunch of brands – Sculpey 3, Premo, Fimo are a few – and in a ton of colours. You can make sculpture, jewellery, canes, flat pieces, and all sorts of decor items.

Once it’s hardened polymer clay is PVC or, basically, plastic. It’s not food safe and it’s not the best material for large projects but it’s great for art pieces, minis, and what I call instant gratification crafting.

Working With Polymer Clay

Polymer clay brands differ by how firm or soft they are, at what temperature they cure at, what colours are available, and a variety of other features. You can mix and match between brands although you should try to keep to brands that work at the same temperature in the same project. Some people like to work with similar firmness clays. I don’t mind mixing it up.

Most of the tools I use with clay are straight out of kitchen crafting – fondant tools, rolling pins, a dedicated pasta machine, cookie cutters, baking pans, toothpicks, sharp knives – but you’ll do great with something to bake on, to roll clay flat with, to cut it, and to make marks.

Clay should be stored in clay safe containers or zipper bags away from heat. I stuff mine into a lot of plastic shoeboxes.

Curing or Baking Clay

Old cookie trays or casserole dishes are great for baking your creations. I line my with a few sheets of plain copy paper to keep the clay from getting shiny spots while sitting on the hot metal pan. Make sure your oven is the correct temperature BEFORE baking clay… burnt polymer clay is burnt plastic and stinks.

Most ovens are a little off temperature wise so make sure you adjust accordingly. Clay will generally have the baking times and temperatures on the package. You’ll want to go at least the length of time recommended because well cured (but not burnt!) clay is strongest.

Clay Extras