Sculpting With Polymer Clay (2023)

Introduction: Sculpting With Polymer Clay

By Tomdf

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About: When I was young I took all of my toys apart just to see inside. Eventually I learned how to put them back together. More About Tomdf »

Polymer clay is wonderful stuff. It's inexpensive, easy to find, and can be molded into anything you can dream of. A few years ago I started playing with the clay as a way to focus my creative energy away from video games. In this instructable I'll be sharing a few of the sculpting and finishing techniques that I've picked up while sculpting with oven-bake polymer clay.

The type of clay that I've always used is Super Sculpey, which can be found almost anywhere that has some kind of craft section. Joann Fabrics is where I've been getting mine lately.

Clay that you can bake in your oven has been around for years, but it seems like the popularity has ramped up recently what with the social medias and diy shop websites and all. Through those sources I found several artists that really inspire me; I see their work and can't help but be envious and mystified by their skill.

Monster Kookies - The Mad Scientist of Polymer Clay (
Beastlies - Adorable Mini-Monsters (
Beat Black - Polymer Clay in It's Most Visceral Form (

Step 1: Tools of the Trade

Although you don't absolutely need a set of sculpting tools, there are a few that are incredibly useful, especially for creating fine details. Over the years I've gotten several sets of tools but 90% if the time I only use four or five of my favorites.

Royal Sovereign Clay Shaper Sets
I love these little rubber tipped brushes. They are just flexible enough to work on a surface like a tiny finger. These guys are kinda expensive though (a set of four costs about $30,) but they are absolutely worth it.

Dentist Pick
You know the pointy ones that they poke around your mouth with? They also work great for sculpting and you can get them dirt cheap from American Science and Surplus.

Wax Carving Metal Tool Set
Similiar to the dentist pick, these usual come in a set of a dozen tools with all kinds of odd shaped tips

Loop Tools
As the name suggests, these tools are made from loops of bent wire ribbon. The edge of the wire cuts through clay and removes it from the sculpture and are useful for hacking out the subject's general shape. They can be used to create large grooves, or for shaving away small flakes of clay.

Kemper Circle Pattern Cutters
These small tubes behave like cookie cutters, but for clay. They are pressed down into a flat sheet of clay to cut a circle, which could be done with any metal tube, but these cutters have a clever button on top that lets you pop the newly made, clay disk out.

Pasta Machine
The classic style, hand crank pasta machines are perfect for pressing clay flat and for mixing colors. I've also seen people use these for making noodles, but you shouldn't do that after using one for clay.

Improvised Tools
I consider drinking straws and sewing needles essential parts of my tool set. Old toothbrushes can be carved into chisels and wire can be hammered flat to make knives and scoops. Plastic toothpicks also work very well as the ultimate multitasker.

A long while ago I was working on a zombie mutant thing who had exposed portions of muscle, I ended up gluing a half dozen sewing pins to a piece of wood to create a small rake. I then scraped the rake over the surface of the clay and smoothed it out with alcohol. The striation texture made the muscles look absolutely spot on, take my word for it (sorry, no pictures.)

Step 2: Firming the Clay

Personally, I think that Sculpey is way too soft to work with straight out of the package. Fortunately there is a simple trick to firm the clay up making it better suited for holding details. By soaking oil out of the clay with a few sheets of plain paper the 'squishy-ness' of the clay can be changed from bubblegum to beeswax.

  1. Flatten a ball of clay out onto a sheet of printer paper, I used a chunk of dowel to speed it up.
  2. Place another sheet of paper over the clay and press it down flat to get as much contact with the clay as possible. Here I've rolled a chunk of wooden dowel over the paper to ensure max flatness.
  3. Wait for a day and the clay will be much firmer and ready to use. The longer you leave the clay between the paper the more oil that will be soaked up, and the firmer the clay will be.
  4. If you want even firmer clay, apply a clean sheet of paper and wait another day for even more oil to be soaked away.

Step 3: Starting With Basic Shapes

Have you ever seen the early stages of a cartoon being drawn, how the artist will begin by creating vague shapes to block out the body of the character? They go in afterwards and add the details to the shapes and eventually a noticeable character emerges from the bubbles. The same process works equally well for sculpting, but instead of planning with lines you sketch with 3d shapes.

For example, the cheeseburger for this Pusheen the Cat sculpture was made almost entirely by rolling up balls of clay and smashing them flat with the palm of my hand. Instead of meticulously sculpting every single dimple on the meat of the cheeseburger, it was far easier to roll out a small snake of clay, cut it into sections, and roll the sections into balls that could be squished up against the hamburger. After the hamburger was made solid via baking, the bumps were smoothed out by smearing clay into the voids.

To create the lettuce and the cheese, two more balls of clay were flattened out on the table. Then I used a knife to cut out the square, cheese shape and the curvy lettuce. The pieces were then lifted off of the paper and draped over the hamburger like they were the real thing.

As you've probably guessed by now, the tomatoes were also made from squished clay spheres.

The top bun is more of a half squished ball, I rolled my finger along the top of the bun to smooth the surface and get the curve right. This particular cheeseburger needs to have a bite taken out of, something that would be very difficult to sculpt by hand. Instead of even trying to do that, I went to the kitchen drawer, found a drinking straw and used it to cut the bite marks out of the bun.

Step 4: Smoothing the Clay Surface

One of the most frustrating things about working with clay is trying to get a smooth surface. We've already firmed the clay, and that will make it much easier to smooth the clay with your fingers. However, if you want to a very smooth surface that is completely free from bumps, marks and fingerprints, there is another simple trick. Alcohol melts Sculpey.

We can take advantage of this by dipping a paintbrush in rubbing alcohol and then gently brushing the sculpture until the alcohol dries. Minor imperfections (fingerprints) in the clay will be dissolved and essentially buffed out of the surface of the clay. The cool part is that the stronger the alcohol solution is, the "mushier" the surface of the clay will become. This means that you can dilute the alcohol with water to make a less aggressive solution, effectively making a 'finer grain' of liquid sandpaper.

  1. Start with 91% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Brush it over the sculpture to remove large scratches, fingerprints, and tool marks.
  2. Mix water with the alcohol until you have about a 1:1 ratio. Continue brushing the sculpture with this new mix until the surface is as smooth as you can get it.
  3. Use water alone to brush the surface. With much brushing you will be able to get an almost reflective polish

Not smooth enough for you? Well, after you bake sculpey you can take sandpaper and polishers to it just like anything else.
Begin sanding with 300-400 grit sandpaper and go over the entire surface of the clay
Continue sanding with paper of gradually increasing grit density, all the way up to 1600
With dry sanding complete, start the process again with the 300-400 grit, but this time soak the paper in water first
Use polishing compound and a rotary buffer (I personally like the Dremel polishing kit) to finish off the surface. You will be able to get a glass smooth surface with this method.

Step 5: Baking and Sculpting in Sections

If you have ever attempted to sculpt something from clay, I'm sure you've experienced the pain of accidentally smashing one part of the sculpture while working on a different section. To spare my sanity, I like to bake the sculpture in sections and thus preserve completed work and give myself something to hold onto. Un-baked sculpey will stick to baked most of the time and when it doesn't you can use super glue to make it stick.

Here I've finished work on the cheeseburger so I baked it for about 45 minutes at 150 degrees before adding the body of the cat.
There are a lot of variables that can affect the outcome of your clay baking, and every source will give you a different opinion. Sculpey will crack if backed too quickly, or at too high of temp for too long, or if you look at it funny; it can be fickle stuff. My personal baking philosophy is to set my oven low and bake for a long time. It takes some patience and planning, but I've yet to have a crack result from baking this way.

The technique used for sculpting of the cat itself goes back to the cartoon drawing concept by starting with a bean shape. Legs were pinched out of the corners of the bean, and a ball was smooshed on and pinched to make a head and ears. To attach the head to the body seamlessly, I first smoothed it out as much as I could with my finger and followed that with some alcohol brushing.

Ears were then pinched out of the head. In the next step you will also see holes in the face of the cat for the whiskers, these were made with the end of a paper clip. A paper clip was also used to make the tail by rolling clay round it and shoving one end into the body.

Step 6: Basic Painting

Normally I use the cheapest acrylic paint I can find, usually small plastic bottles of it from the craft store, but for this project I ended up using some higher-end paint that is slightly more expsensive. I must admit that I did prefer the nice stuff, it was more concentrated and I was able to mix the colors with less mess than usual. Still, no mater which type you use the painting process is essentially the same:

  1. Paint a base coat with black or white acrylic paint diluted with water, it may take several coats. The base coat serves several purposes here: it covers up any discolorations in the clay and it also gives a backdrop to additional layers of colored paint so that they stand out.
  2. Mix the colored paint with water until you get it to an ink like state and begin painting. Plan your mistakes and paint the colors in an order that will make them easy to fix. Here I started with the red tomatoes because I knew that there was no way I would be able to do so without getting red paint on the lettuce in cheese. By painting the tomatoes first I am free to make those mistakes with the red and then cover them up later when I paint the cheese and lettuce.
  3. Depending on how concentrated your paint is, you may need to paint several coats of a single color to get it to the proper saturation.
  4. Some times it is easier to make fine lines, such as the mouth of Pusheen, with a marker instead of with a paint brush.
  5. When you have finished painting your sculpture cap it off with a few protective coats of clear paint. Matte clear spray paint is a good choice, but you can also use brush on acrylic.

I used paperclips for the whiskers of Pusheen. The were cut to length and bent slightly before being painted black. The whiskers were then glued into the cat's face before clear coating.

A Word on Arylic Paint
Up until recently I solely used the cheap paint that can be bought at most craft stores for $1.95 a bottle. I have dozens of these paints in about every color they make stashed away in my craft chest, which I thought was a handy resource. The thing is, when you buy a bottle of paint every time you need a different shade of blue, you end up with a lot of bottles that don't get used all that often. After two or three years the paint in the bottles will begin to dry up and you will be left with a drawer full of colorful bricks that are useless for painting sculptures.

After tiring of dealing with my own drawer of bricks, I decided to stick to buying only the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and black /white paint. When I need a different color I mix those 5 basic colors to produce it. I then keep these new colors in small plastic bottles or in an ice cube tray with a plastic wrap cover. This does require some forethought if you are going to need a large amount of one color though, be sure to plan ahead and mix enough the first time! Mixing a new batch of matching color is very difficult (for me at least), and the challenge is compounded by the fact that the paint is a slightly different color when it is wet as opposed to dry.

Step 7: Bonus Tips

Creating Textures
Remember how we used rubbing alcohol and a paintbrush to smooth out the surface of the clay. Well this technique can also be used to make simple marks in the clay look like a convincing texture. In the picture of the blue dragon you can see how marks were made in the clay with the pinched end of a drinking straw, as well as tiny balls of clay and other obvious tool marks. When these marks are dissolved a bit and brushed they start to meld together, making the skin look scaly.

Texture can be a powerful tool in your sculpting arsenal, especially when paired with paint. The grooves, ridges, and bumps give washes places to hide in and gives dry brushing high points to hit.

Texture Stamps
Much in the same way that ink stamps make imprints on paper, clay stamps can be made to easily make texture in sculpey. In the accompanying images you will see two yellow texture stamps that were made from clay and then baked, along with examples of the texture they make.

Stamps make filling out large patches of texture a snap, and by overlapping the stamps you can get a nice random look.

Using Tin Foil as a filler
Making a sculpture that is thicker than a couple of inches can be problematic. Not only is it a waste of clay, but thicker pieces are slightly more likely to crack during baking. Using crunched up tinfoil as a filler solves both of the problems, just make sure that your adding at least 3/8 around it to give yourself room to sculpt. I've tried using less but every time I do I end up hitting the foil and have to work around it.

Step 8: Epilogue

I began using polymer clay somewhere around 2007 and have spent many of hours hunched over tiny blobs of the stuff. Although the clay was good to me during that time I've recently moved away from it in preference of wax. In my experience poly clays are not suitable for holding fine details and more than once I've finished work on part of a sculpt only to find a massive fingerprint in the back. I've also broken most of my sculptures in some small way long after they were finished, which feels like backing your car over your own pet.

Sculpting wax, or more specifically, casteline, is used by professionals in the toy industry to create artwork that will later be replicated from a sturdier material, such as plastic. What makes wax so wonderful to sculpt with is that, with a bit of heat, it can go from solid to liquid and back again in less that a minute. It can be warmed up and worked like clay, or be kept cool and carved with sharp tools. It's strong and resists warping, it's easy to "weld" parts together by melting the joint, and you can touch it without out destroying details! It really is great stuff, expect an Instructable from me on the topic soon. If you simply can't wait, then search around and you will find plenty of instructions for working with wax, like this one.

Thanks for reading my Instructable, please do not hesitate to ask any questions or leave any suggestions! Remember that there is never just one way to do something and that practice does make a difference. Sculpting is a lot of fun and it is relative cheap as far as hobbies go, if you've never played with a chunk of clay your really should give it a go at least once, good luck.


Can polymer clay be used for sculpting? ›

Polymer clay is great for making sculptures, jewellery, décor, plant pots and a heap of more fun projects. Read on for more about how to condition (or knead) your clay and how to bake it.

Why is polymer clay so hard to work with? ›

Polymer clay gets harder as it gets older, making it difficult or even impossible to shape and use, especially if the clay has been left uncovered. Yet many don't realize that even the hardest clay is salvageable. You can use several methods to revitalize the clay, from hand-kneading to adding oils or diluents.

Why is my polymer clay not hardening? ›

Your Polymer Clay Creation Is Still Soft After Baking

If you take your clay out of the oven and find it's still soft, it could be one of two reasons: the temperature was too low, or it wasn't baked long enough. Test the accuracy of your oven with an independent thermometer and give the piece another baking cycle.

How do you know when polymer clay is conditioned enough? ›

To condition polymer clay by hand, it is best to work with no more than a two-ounce block at a time. Work the clay by kneading it and twisting it, ensuring that the entire piece is manipulated. When it is fully conditioned, it will be soft to the touch.

What can you not do with polymer clay? ›

Avoid these polymer clay mistakes
  • Not conditioning your clay. ...
  • Air bubbles. ...
  • Expired product. ...
  • Failure to clean work surfaces. ...
  • Failure to preheat the oven. ...
  • Under-baking polymer clay. ...
  • Using Nail Polish as a Polymer Clay Glaze. ...
  • Using a Spray Varnish on Polymer Clay.

Is Sculpey clay good for sculpting? ›

This clay is great for sculpting and making figurines. The flesh color to the clay gives it a great look, and can easily be painted. Sculpey III is popular for its softness, finish, and variety of vivid colors.

Does polymer clay crack easily? ›

When it comes to polymer clay, it seems that many people assume that it's fragile and will easily crack. Nothing can be further from the truth. It's a durable vinyl plastic when properly cured. It should never break under normal use.

Does Vaseline soften polymer clay? ›

Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is a much better option to soften hard polymer clay! Put a small amount of Vaseline on your fingertips and rub it into a small ball of clay. Cut the clay into smaller pieces and then squash the pieces together. Add more Vaseline, flatten the clay by rolling it out, then knead it again.

Does polymer clay crack over time? ›

Repairing Polymer Clay

However, both breaking and cracking can occur when the clay is not baked or cured properly. Cracking is almost always caused by insufficient curing or by baking a sculpture with uneven thicknesses throughout.

Can you overwork polymer clay? ›

Polymer clay softens as you work with it, due to which your soft clay might be a result of you overworking it.

What happens if you bake polymer clay too long? ›

Overbaking will cause darkening of the clay, and burning can cause bubbling and darkening.

What happens if you don't bake polymer clay long enough? ›

The clay must stay at the right temperature long enough for the particles to fully fuse, making a strong final result. If you don't bake your clay long enough, the fusion will not be complete and the clay will easily break and crumble.

How do you make polymer clay more workable? ›

Mixing a softer brand together with your hard polymer clay can work wonders to give it a softer, more workable texture. Revive tired, old clay by adding plasticizers. Translucent clay, translucent liquid clay, mineral oil, baby oil, Sculpey Clay Softener or Fimo Quick Mix can all be used to get the job done.

What temperature should polymer clay be set at? ›

Bake using a conventional home oven or a toaster oven and adhere to the time and temperature listed. In most cases, you can bake polymer clay at 275 degrees F for 15 to 30 minutes per ¼ inch of clay thickness. You should always check the package instructions for the most accurate information.

Should polymer clay still be soft after baking? ›

The polymer clay will be somewhat soft when you first removed it from the oven. It won't reach its final “hardness” until it's completely cool. Properly baked polymer clay will be somewhat flexible after baking. Thin pieces will be able to bend and flex – though you may not be able to bend thicker pieces.

How many years does polymer clay last? ›

HOW LONG DOES POLYMER CLAY KEEP FOR? It will keep indefinitely if stored in an airtight and cool environment.

Should you wear gloves with polymer clay? ›

How do you avoid leaving fingerprints on your polymer clay beads? A. Your best bet is to wear latex (or non-latex if you have sensitivities) gloves. Many clay artists use them when working on final touches to smooth and prepare beads for baking.

What is the best beginner sculpting clay? ›

Jovi Air Dry Modeling Clay – Best Beginner's Clay

It is very easy to use and has a workable, smooth texture that beginners tend to prefer. Best of all, this clay isn't too sticky, doesn't stain, and, once it has dried, you can paint it the color of your choice.

What are the disadvantages of sculpting clay? ›

Although it is a basic and useful material, potter's clay does have its disadvantages. It shrinks as it dries, so unyielding armatures buried inside will cause cracks if the piece dries out.

What clay do professional sculptors use? ›

Oil-based clay, also known as plastilina or modeling clay, remains pliable and never dries out, making it ideal for creating clay models for moldmaking, and maquettes. This type of clay is popular among professional sculptors due to its flexibility and ability to hold precise shapes.

Is polymer clay beginner friendly? ›

Polymer clay is an extremely versatile medium which is perfect for beginners and professional artists alike. It can be a challenging and complex medium for those who want to push the limits. But it is also very easy for beginners and newbies to get good results, once you know a few tips and tricks.

How do you seal polymer clay? ›

All you have to do is brush the wax onto your polymer clay creations and buff it into the cured clay. Leave to dry and you're finished! Sealing polymer clay with wax will: Leave your piece with a sheen.

Does polymer clay dry if you leave it out? ›

Polymer Clay cannot air dry on it's own. Though it may become stiff with time, it will not dry out completely. You should take care here as if you leave it to air dry for a very long time it may become very dry. Leaving it to air dry for months would result in crumbly pieces of clay which are of no use to work with.

Does rubbing alcohol soften polymer clay? ›

Rubbing alcohol will dissolve polymer clay, so it makes a fantastic cleaner for your hands, your tools, and your work surface. An alcohol-soaked paper towel makes cleaning your pasta machine much nicer. I always use alcohol to wipe down my tissue blades after using them with polymer clay.

Can you use vegetable oil to soften polymer clay? ›

Mix crumbled clay in a Ziploc bag with 1 drop of oil until your clay is fully mixed, softened and workable. It will become very pliable in your fingers. Don't add in too much oil, or your polymer clay will become sticky. Clean hands (if necessary) with Kitchen Wipes or Baby Wipes.

Can you bake polymer clay twice? ›

You can bake polymer clay multiple times. It can be handy to bake your clay in stages to avoid causing any damage to what you've done previously. Although it is important to note that it will be difficult to attach raw clay to a piece that has already been cured.

How fragile is polymer clay? ›

Polymer clay is not fragile. Since it is made from vinyl, polymer clay is flexible and you can bend or flex your project if it's thin enough. This is normal and expected. If your project doesn't flex or bend, but rather it breaks or snaps, it is not baked properly.

Is polymer clay permanent? ›

Polymer clay is a highly versatile, non-toxic, modelling material that can be hardened by baking in the home oven. Once baked it is permanent and can be cut, sawn, glued, painted and more.

Can you put polymer clay in the freezer? ›

You can even refrigerate or freeze your clay to extend its life. Bake: To cure the clay, place your finished creation on a ceramic tile or our Sculpey Tools™ Oven-Safe Work Mat.

Why did my polymer clay puff up? ›

Bubbles occur when air gets trapped in polymer clay during the mixing/conditioning process. It goes without saying that taking steps to avoid them before you bake is a must.

Why does my polymer clay curl up? ›

In this case, your clay did not have air in it, but rather under it. Think of what the back of a 'real' gingerbread man looks like after baking… very much the same. To prevent this from happening, the clay needs to have full contact with the surface it is baking on and it needs to be baked more evenly.

Can you eat off of baked polymer clay? ›

Polymer clay is not “food-safe” and should not be used to make utensils, bowls, mugs, or anything that will have prolonged contact with food.

How long should polymer clay sit after baking? ›

The clay needs at least 15 minutes to cure properly. Strength increases as the baking time increases. Always be certain to first check the oven's temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer.

Is polymer clay waterproof once baked? ›

Is polymer clay waterproof? Yes, once baked, you can seal your project with our glazes to make them waterproof. We do not recommend making dishes or utensils that you plan to drink from, eat off of or serve food even if they are sealed with the glazes.

Should I let polymer clay dry before baking? ›

Your clay doesn't need to be baked right away, but if you do wait to bake your clay, put it in a dark, cool place to keep it from drying out. It is best to avoid letting your clay get dry before you go to bake it.

How strong is polymer clay once baked? ›

How strong is polymer clay exactly? If baked correctly, it will not weaken or shatter over time, making it a perfect medium for keepsake handprints. Our most durable clays are Sculpey Soufflé™ and Sculpey Premo™. They maintain some of their flexibility, so they are less likely to break.

Why is my polymer clay sticking to everything? ›

Clay Consistency Matters

If you can't lift your polymer clay from your work surface without distortion, it's likely that your clay is too soft and sticky. The solution is to leach it. Cut pieces of polymer clay should hold their shape when lifted rather than drooping.

Do you use water with polymer clay? ›

In fact, you should not use water on Sculpey or with polymer clay, as it can make the clay brittle. Sculpey polymer clay does not require water to stay workable. It stays true-to-size on its own and won't expand or shrink, so you can get the dimensions just right.

Can you bake polymer clay on aluminum foil? ›

Can you bake polymer clay on tin foil? Yes, but you'll end up with a shiny surface where it touches the foil … use a piece of regular copy paper to avoid that, polymer clay is baked at a temperature that's low enough that it won't burn the paper.

How do you make polymer clay look like glass? ›

Many artists skip the sanding step, but it is one of the most important when putting a high sheen on your product. After sanding, shine the product with a buffing wheel. The buffing wheel can spin as fast as 5,000 revolutions per minute, and this will make your polymer clay shiny and glass-like.

Do you paint polymer clay before or after baking? ›

However you decide to paint your creations, it's best to apply the paint after baking the clay. The paint could change color or prevent your clay from setting in the oven. To avoid burning your fingers, allow your cured polymer clay to fully cool before you start painting.

What polymer clay won't break? ›

These include Sculpey Original and Sculpey III. These brands will break very easily even when they're baked properly. I don't recommend using them. Brands such as Cernit, Kato, Premo, Fimo and Pardo are far more reliable.

Can you harden polymer clay in the microwave? ›

Polymer clay has small oil molecules. If you put the polymer clay in the microwave, some form of cooking process will initiate. However, as the temperature inside the microwave is not even some portions of the clay hardens while other areas are soft.

What is the best surface for polymer clay? ›

An oven-safe silicone mat is an ideal surface when working with polymer clay because of its non-skid properties, ensuring the mat will not move as you work on your piece. A silicone mat can protect any table or surface while ensuring your clay does not stick.

Is polymer clay the same as sculpting clay? ›

Summary – Modeling Clay vs Polymer Clay

Modeling clay is a type of malleable clay we can use for sculpting and building, while polymer clay is a type of modeling clay that is designed to harden and is based on the plasticized polymer material PVC in combination with a filler.

Is polymer clay moldable? ›

It's very durable because when cured the polymers inside fuse together making a kind of plastic. You can bake it in a home oven unlike most traditional clays. You can make molds from it in all kinds of materials (including silicone) without using a mould release.

What are the cons of polymer clay? ›

Pros and cons of polymer clay
The shape is permanent once bakingMust be careful to not overbake
Is waterproof once bakedCan stain and damage surfaces
Remains soft in room temperaturePicks up dust and particles easily
DurableCan break easily
1 more row
Sep 1, 2022

Can I sculpt clay without a kiln? ›

When firing without a kiln, it may help to pre-dry you clay pieces in a kitchen oven set to 190 degrees F. With a kitchen oven, the pots are dried by "baking" below the boiling temperature of water for several hours.

What is the easiest clay to sculpt with? ›

Polymer clay is generally the easiest clay to work with. It can be formed very easily and you can bake it in your kitchen oven. There are even air-drying polymer clays, that you can get.

Will polymer clay change shape in oven? ›

Super thin and delicate pieces have a tendency to droop in the oven. When clay droops, it can pretty easily break off too or change shape while baking. You can use all sorts of mediums to create support for your polymer clay pieces.

Does polymer clay set hard? ›

The polymer clay will be somewhat soft when you first removed it from the oven. It won't reach its final “hardness” until it's completely cool. Properly baked polymer clay will be somewhat flexible after baking. Thin pieces will be able to bend and flex – though you may not be able to bend thicker pieces.

Does polymer clay crack after baking? ›

Here are some common reasons that you might see cracks in your polymer clay items after baking. Air Bubbles – Hot air expands, so air trapped within a piece will cause a bulge that often cracks or breaks.

Can you overcook polymer clay? ›

Overbaking will cause darkening of the clay, and burning can cause bubbling and darkening.

What clay hardens like plastic? ›

Betionol Moldable Plastic is an advanced modeling compound. When heated by hot water (66 deg C/150 deg F), it becomes moldable, then solidifies at room temperature.

Can I paint polymer clay? ›

Painting on polymer clay is completely safe and can help bring your vision to life. You can use hundreds of color combinations and painting techniques to create unique designs. Try painting over light-colored clay to make your design pop or colorful polymer clay to create a vivid color scheme.

Does polymer clay dry out? ›

Can Polymer Clay Air Dry ? Polymer Clay cannot air dry on it's own. Though it may become stiff with time, it will not dry out completely. You should take care here as if you leave it to air dry for a very long time it may become very dry.


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