There are so many tutorials with polymer clay to choose from on the market right now that we are doing this article to help you select the most recommended paste for each job.
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Polymer clay craft tutorials: What are these clays?
They are modeling masses made up of particles that polymerize when heated, that is why they are hardened by baking them in the oven. For this reason, Fimo, Kato, and Sculpey are trademarks of plasticine for the oven, modeling clay for oven and polymer clay. The most popular brand in Spain is called Fimo, whose manufacturer is from Germany. Sculpey is an American brand that is now entering Spain with great success.
Tutorials with polymer clay: What are they for?
These marvelous masses are used for a wide variety of purposes. Its most popular and well-known application is costume jewelry, as you can create earrings, necklaces, rings, hair pins, bracelets, beads, among others. It is also possible to make a wide variety of fancy buttons, making all kinds of combinations, achieving effects of imitations of stones, marbled, with unique shapes, etc.
On the other hand, in other countries, there is a lot of attachment to the subject of buttons. They are also widely used to make figures, miniatures, and dolls. They are also used to create figures, rolls or appliques to decorate pencils or pens. They are also widely used to make refrigerator magnets, doing the work first and then placing the magnet behind with silicone or white glue.
Materials and Accessories to make costume jewelry with Fimo and Sculpey
• Ornaments for earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets.
• Nylon threads, leather, silicone, steel, laces¬.
• Beads to mix with the ones to be made.
• Varnish. Each varnish is unique for each brand (Fimo and Sculpey). Some craftsmen prefer to use only an alcohol-based varnish, but this varnish is not suitable if the varnished object is going to be put on the skin.
• Acrylic paints if we use white paste to paint it later.
• Softening liquid for adding to the doughs that have hardened a little.
Tutorials with polymer clay: How do I use polymer clay?
Next, we will learn how to use polymer clay, what tools we have (other tools that may be useful), and how to store them.
If we have a lot of imagination and patience, we can create an exciting jewelry box, boxes decorated originally, key rings and a lot of jewelry. In this section, we will talk about polymer clay in general.
Tutorials with polymer clay: How do I work with this material?
1. It’s important to know what you want to make. So that you have it clear and don’t waste clay.
2. You must also choose the colors and take advantage of if the clay has it by default, otherwise, you must combine to create the color you want.
This material is straightforward to mix and stays completely uniform. Also, to get the color you want you’ll need to know exactly what colors you need. For example, to lighten a color, the base color is mixed with white, but sometimes it is more complicated to get a color that requires mixing 3 or more colors. In this way, we recommend that you take tiny pieces of the colors you want to mix and make the first test to know the final result. If you like the color, you can go on to make the final mixture, always keeping the proportions used in the test.
Let’s start shaping it
To mix we have to put the colors together, make a little ball, and start to knead them, twist them, crush them, etc., until they are together. Depending on the paste it will be more or less expensive, and you will have to invest more or less time. As the paste softens, it will be easier to mix.
On the other hand, if we mix pastes of the same type the time will be the same. But if we mix pastes that require different times, we must keep them in the oven for as long as it takes for the paste with the longest cooking time. It is essential that you have a palette or document on hand that shows the color proportions.
It is essential that when we go to work with this material we recommend that you knead it a little as if it played dough so that it becomes more malleable when you receive the heat from your hands.
Polymer clay: What tools do we use?
Our hands are the only indispensable tools to work with polymer clay. For that reason, we must always keep them clean, mainly if we work with very light colors after working with very dark ones. For that reason, I recommend that you still have moist towels nearby so that you can clean yourself.
Also, the plastic wrap, which is needed to wrap the excess paste, will not dry out. It does not have to be a unique wrap; the paper we usually have in our kitchen is ideal for this. And with this, we have the advantage that if we use plastic wrap, we will avoid that the paste is full of traces.
A cutting tool is needed, with a thin blade that allows us to cut the paste. A cutter can help us. However, there are precise tools of this type with different cuts. This is where we cut to our taste what we want to do.
Clay Molding Sticks
These tools are useful for making details, creating textures, among others. We can use the typical tools that come with the play dough. For example, we have a set of 6 plastic sticks, among them we find spatulas to smooth and avoid fingerprints, sticks with different tips to create textures, punches, etc. With these tools together with our hands, we mold the pieces of jewelry we want.
This tool is going to be very helpful when stretching polymer clay, for example, when we are going to use cutters. We can also use a metal roller, made of varnished wood or plastic, while they are smooth and non-porous.
To the Oven
Once the figure is finished, it is time to bake. To do this well, we must follow the manufacturer’s instructions. The oven at home is enough. This paste is hardened in the oven, for example, if it is Fimo, it is placed in the oven at 266 ºF for 20 to 30 minutes. But NEVER DO IT IN THE MICROWAVE. So, once baked, we can leave our creations as they are. However, it will all depend on what our objective is. In this sense, if we want to give it a finish, we can sand it, then polish it, then varnish it and finally paint it.