Simplified Tools For Getting Started With Polymer Clay

Simplified Tools For Getting Started With Polymer Clay

A Beginner’s Guide to Polymer Clay

Removing the stress for you so you can get crafting quicker!

Introduction 

Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by for my first blog feature. My name is Kelly, and I love crafting & creating. For years I have worked with different mediums, from painting, mdf crafts, and wood & glass engraving, amongst others. I get an idea in my head or see something I like, and I wonder how I can do it too, that is beautiful AND budget Friendly.

 “Arts & Crafts” as a whole tends to get a bit of a bad rep at times, and it can be a little overwhelming too. It is not about who has the crafty gene or not but about trying, experimenting, and just having fun. 

 Remember, it’s okay to make a mess! 

Getting Started with Polymer Clay: Tips for Overcoming the Overwhelm and Choosing Your Supplies

 Polymer clay is like plasticine or silly putty but much safer and non-toxic, and you can bake it in your own kitchen oven! It is great for all ages, and you can go fast and smoosh colors together or take your time. It is so versatile yet so simple & easy to use.

I want to try polymer clay, but what do I need? Why is it so hard to choose? 

 When trying out a new activity, we want to research the basics, yes? Where we start, what we need, then we read the “DO’S & DON’TS to ….” It can become rather overwhelming obtaining even just the “basics” of the activity, and sometimes for some of us, it can be popped into the “hard basket” and never see the daylight again.

 Making sure we have the right products and don’t have to drop right in the middle of crafting just to rush to the store. 

Choosing the Right Clay: A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of Polymer Clay

 This is where your Beginners Checklist starts. Now, remember you can use things around the home. You just need a little bit of imagination. Otherwise, a simple list for the craft store is here too.

Clay: This is obvious, but there are so many options out there. The list of clay that I am aware of (and it may vary around the world). Some are basic brand titles, and there are some that have a brand names with different types. 

This is just a list of the clay, but I highly recommend reading The Blue Bottle Tree article found here, which is more in-depth on the types of clay available and what product is best for the type of creations you may want to make.

Cernit Polymer Clay

Kato Polyclay

Sculpey Clay: Sculpey Original, Premo, Souffle, Sculpey III

FIMO: Professional, Kids, Leather & Soft

Setting up your workspace and oven for polymer clay crafting: A beginner’s guide.

Oven: You can use your own kitchen oven as long as it can get between 120*C /248*F to 130*C/266*F; otherwise, you can purchase a small benchtop oven. Just remember to have an additional oven Thermometer & timer.

Clean work Space: This can be your kitchen table, serving counter, coffee table, or desk, especially for crafting. As long as it’s clean from clutter, dust, and hair or pet fur (trust me!)

Tile or Tray: This will be your workstation as well as easy transport to move your pieces to and from the oven. You can pick up a cheap tile square from your local hardware store (or) off the marketplace if you use Facebook. 

Additional Option: Aluminium foil to create a tent/tepee to protect your pieces while baking (this just helps to reduce the chance of them burning) as well as a piece of simple A4copy paper that your pieces can sit on (while baking).

Tools to Get You Started with Polymer Clay Crafting

TOOLS:  

 * Roller: Acrylic roller is ideal, but you can use an old wooden rolling pin, off cut of pipe (Pvc or copper pipe, for example), or a wooden dowl. Just make sure it’s smooth and has no texture or damage.

 (Additional Information: Pasta Machine: You don’t need one, but it does help to roll out the right thickness if you are making a large amount)

CUTTING: At home, you can use an old cheese or vegetable slicer, scissors, or a knife. I do recommend purchasing a craft knife & Blades as it will make it easier in time.

SPACERS: To get the right thickness of your clay, you can use a deck of cards, popsicle sticks, stacked cardboard to the thickness you want, or a pasta machine.

POINT TOOL: From home, you can use a toothpick, bobby pin/hair clip, sewing needle, or even a skewer. They are just as good as the pokey tools from the shop.

CUTTERS & TEMPLATES: Here’s the fun part. Use your imagination! Depending on the size of the item, you want to make a look in your kitchen drawers, plastic cupboard, or even old cutters in the kid’s art box. 

If you do not have these, you can create templates such as printing out simple images in different sizes like Triangles, diamonds, Circles & squares.

 Buying cutters from the store will open a world of possibilities for you. Getting basic shapes or a set if your budget allows it is a great start rather than buying individual items – but this could vary from country to country (and) shop to shop.

RULER: Straight Line, Zigzag, or wavy – your choice.
For the different lines, you can create a template from cardstock or cardboard, but some stores do sell plastic guides.

So there you have it – The basic rundown on getting started with polymer clay. 

Just remember you don’t need to have all the fancy materials or equipment to get started with polymer clay making. There is always going to be trial and error when starting something new, and it is perfectly okay to use what you have at home or find budget-friendly options. Buying bulk or through Facebook, groups can definitely save you a lot of money in the long run.

Conclusion to Simplified Tools For Getting Started With Polymer Clay

In conclusion, you don’t need to spend the big bucks to make this a fun and exciting craft activity, hobby, or business! Tile, oven, polymer clay & tools such as a craft knife & cutting blade, basic cutters & a toothpick or bobby pin are all you need to get started. You can get the basics for under $50 in total approx. (may vary for your location). Let me know what you have used around the house in the comments below.

On a side note, there are a lot of cons than pros when it comes to 1 particular clay brand. Sculpey III. It’s been mentioned it is not ideal for jewelry making as it has a bad reputation for breaking or crumbling, and there goes your work. 

I think it’s a trial-and-error type of clay as I have only had probably five items break or crumble out of 100s while using Sculpey III, (maybe I’m just lucky?). You can always mix a bit of the SculpeyIII with any other polymer clay brand; it can help with the clay being tougher (less breakage) and is great for making some colors pop.

That’s all for now – I hope you enjoyed the article. Please feel free to leave a comment below with any feedback on my article, along with any tips & tricks you have come up with while experimenting with Polymer Clay.

 xoxo, Kels

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