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Polymer Clay 101


Hello CR8TiV people !! Today I thought I’d share with you things I’ve learned about Polymer Clays and also share some tips as well. Polymer Clay crafting is really getting popular and many people are now starting to become clay sculptors and it seems to stay withing making miniatures like foods, charms of favorite characters, and maybe Chibi characters. Making Kawaii “Cute” things out of Polymer Clay seems to be the majority.

I make whatever is inspiring me at the moment from a Polymer clay flower or making a special gift for someone. Now from my experience I tend to like Sculpey III over the other brands like Premo, Fimo, etc. The #1 question that Polymer clay beginners tend to ask is what’s the difference between all these clay. Well, I’ve worked with Fimo Soft and as the name states it tends to bake into a soft pliable state. It doesn’t fully get hard like Sculpey III does. I made a mouse figurine with Fimo soft and the ears were soft and bendy. It felt like the whole entire figurine was just going to fall apart bcuz it wasn’t fully hard.

Fimo Soft also takes longer to bake unlike Sculpey III which takes about 10-15 minutes to back @ 275 degrees where as Fimo Soft is baked at a low temp of 230 degrees for about 30 minutes MAX. It also advises you NOT to bake @ any temp higher than 230. For a clay that takes twice as much time as Sculpey III and does not bake up completely hard to me it’s a clay you’d wanna use when you’re trying to make something that is going to need to remain soft and pliable but if you want something that’ll bake hard like plastic then you’ll wanna use Sculpey III.

Now to talk about tools and what are the MUST-HAVEs and what are the tools you can DIY ….

Your house is filled with items that can be used as a clay tool whether for Polymer Clay, Air Dry-Clay, etc. But be sure that you separate the items from being used again elsewhere for example don’t take a fork … use it for Polymer clay then use it to eat your spaghetti. Even if you wash it the residue of the Polymer clay can remain on the fork so just keep it separate as a clay use only. To continue talking about the many tools in your house that you can use there’s things like a paper clip *Makes great air holes*, an old pen *Great for writing in clay*, a butter knife works to divide clay into pieces, a set of measuring spoons work great to measure out perfect portions of clay balls, etc. B3 CR8TiV with the things around your house ! (n_n)

Now let’s discuss the MUST-HAVEs for Polymer Clay or any clay use ….

#1 item is the Polyblade it’s a thin metal blade that is used to slice clay into even slices and to make clean cuts into clay. I have tried everything to replace buying a Polyblade from using a Steak Knife, Razor Blades, Xacto Knife, a blade made out of a soda can, etc. Of course these replacements do work but they don’t exactly give you the clean cut that the Polyblade can give you. I haven’t yet gotten to purchasing a Polyblade as I’m short on money but it is one of the things on my Birthday Wish List this year.

#2 item that is a MUST-HAVE is a Polymer Clay Pasta Machine. One normally costs under $30-40 dollars and comes in many different brands from Darice, Sculpey, AMACO, etc. I place this as a MUST-HAVE bcuz with a Pasta machine you can make even sheets of clay for making things such as clay canes or whenever you need clay to be a even thickness. Also you can make rainbow colored clays with a Pasta Machine using the Skinner Blend techniques. You can make clays in various shade of the color pallet … for example you can make a sheet of Red clay mixed with white to make a sheet of clay that goes from Red to Pale Rose Pink to Bubble Gum Pink to a Light Pink to White at the bottom. You can achieve this with a roller like a rolling pin or a round jar but it’s difficult to get a even thickness and clean mix.

#3 item is the Roller/Rolling pin. They do sell special rolling pins for Clay such as the Acrylic rollers, Plastic rollers, etc. But really anything round and smooth can serve as a roller from a beer bottle to a empty jar of peanut butter. You really don’t have to go buy those rolling pins made especially for clay sold at the craft store ! I mean you can if you want to but it’s really not necessary. I actually went to my local hardware store and bought a smooth 6″ metal pipe for plumbing for about $2 which works just as well. One that I think is quite useful is to get a Acrylic Brayer which isn’t exactly for clay but it’s quite useful for rolling out clay and the Brayer is usually used for Scrapbooking so it’s made not to stick and can easily be cleaned with a wipe of a damp cloth. I have this white plastic roller than came with a clay tool set and it was trash after one use. The color of the Polymer clay stained the white plastic and when I was rolling out a white piece of clay the color that had stained onto the plastic came off ruining a good piece of white clay. Clear Acrylic rollers/brayers seem to prevent that from happening.

#4 my next item isn’t exactly a MUST-HAVE but another useful item to have when working with Polymer clay and that is either a box of disposable gloves, baby wipes, or a damp wet towel. Working with Polymer clay then switching to a different color you’ll notice you’re hands are stained the color of the previous clay you were working with and unless you wash your hands the next color you work with will have hints of that color weaved in which isn’t something you want to happen. Most stores like Target or Warehouse store such as Costco, Smart and Final, etc. sell boxes of 50-100 gloves. if you’re sensitive to Latex I’d get a Latex free glove and sometimes the gloves are coated with a powder to help them slip on easier … that powder can sometimes irritate your skin as your hands do tend to sweat inside them. Unless you like sweaty hands I find the option of having a box of baby wipes nearby alot better. Just take a wipe and clean off your hands thoroughly before you start working with clay of another color. You’d be surprised at how the white baby wipe quickly turns into the color of your previous clay. Another eco tip is don’t throw out those baby wipes. I found some can be washed and reused just not to wipe a babies bum but take your used baby wipe and wash them with soap and water. It’ll rinse off the color that was dirtied from use, let them dry, and use a spray bottle to mist them moist again when you’re working on another clay project. But if the thought of constantly buying packs of baby wipes seems a bit outta your budget you can just use a damp towel and wipe your hands every now and then before working with another clay color. Trust me this tip is worth it.

#5 This next tip is more or less a MUST-HAVE for me but it’s purely optional and that is … MUSIC !! I tend to focus better when I have music on either via a Speaker player like my Magic Bullet or headphones. My choice of music tends to be meditation music like Zen music. I highly recommend you try out a artist by the name of KARUNESH. He is my #1 favorite and whether in the car, at home, on the computer, working on a CR8TiV project, or just relaxing at home … Karunesh will make sure you are at the most utter peace and serenity. Whenever I got Karunesh playing there’s no stress in the world that can drag me down. Music helps inspire you and helps you focus better in my opinion.

#6 Tip #6 is YouTube !! You can learn so many things from YouTube whether it’s how to speak another language, how to cook a shepherds pie, YouTube is the *NEW* Virtual teacher and you can practically find a video on anything and everything there. But for a crafter it’s your #1 friend in finding tutorials for a certain craft you wanna try out or finding some inspiration for your next craft project.

Here are a few YouTube channels that I recommend you check out if you’re going into Polymer Clay …

TheBroodingTom : Awesome clay sculptor ! = Link:

GentlemanBunny : Has cute clay tutorials ! = Link:

IHaveAStrawberry : Cute clay tutorials !  = Link:

PattyClayFlowers : Realistic clay flowers ! = Link :

ClaygroundUK : Tutorials on clay canes ! = Link :

Well, those are the YouTube channels that I recommend you check out and my Tips and what not on Polymer clay. I have more to share but I’ll share them some other time. Umm … (T_T) I gotta cut this short *Like it’s really that short. LOL* but it’s past 1am and I’m pretty tuckered out. Guess I’ll share some more CR8TiV tips and stuff again in the future. Hope you find anything I posted today useful and you’ll share this with anyone thinking about trying out Polymer clay or you are a beginner. I hope to someday in the future create some YouTube tutorials of my own for you guys but not at the moment. I need to develop a good amount of fan base first. So share my site with all your friends and help me gain more followers and fans to MYT CR8TiV. Until next time … B3 B0LD, B3 iNSPiR3D, B3 MYT CR8TiV !! ( _ _ ) …zZzZzZzZ Good Night and Sweet Dreams ! ❤ ~ MYT CR8TiV

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Adventures in Pom Pom Land – MUST HAVE Book !!

book 007

Hey, CR8TiV peepo ! It’s been awhile since I last shared a review on something but I had to share this book with you all today. As an early Birthday present to myself I bought this book “Adventures in Pom Pom Land” off Amazon. I was so excited when I got the book yesterday ! As soon as I opened up the book I almost came to tears cuz everything is so darn cute. The pictures are amazing and the book is very easy to follow and understand. My Mom first taught me how to make yarn Pom Poms when I was a little girl and I was addicted to the puffy balls. Soon after she taught me to crochet but I always had a special spot in my heart for yarn pom poms. They’re just so fun !

I never really knew what to do with my yarn pom poms after I’ve made them besides topping beanies I made. I did make a few pom pom creatures but this book took that to a whole new level ! The 25 pom pom animals featured in this book are just so darn adorable. With Easter around the corner I am hoping to try out the bunnies and chick pom poms. There were a few details that seem missing from the book such as how to make the neat and tightly compact pom poms that majority of the animal heads are. From my experience you get that neat and tightly compacted pom pom by snipping away as closely to the center of the pom pom as possible. I find squeezing the pom pom in your hand as you shape the pom pom helps squeeze up long strands and makes it a bit easier to trim evenly. Another tip is after the pom pom is formed … roll it in your hands like you would roll dough/clay into a ball. It helps the pom pom form more roundly and helps fluff up larger/fuller pom poms.

Overall this is an awesome book and in my opinion a MUST-HAVE book for those who love cute animals and have stashes of yarn remnants too small to make anything with. B3 CR8TiV and using the book as a guide try making other creatures besides what’s in the book. I’ll post up pictures of my Pom Pom creatures once I finish them up. I have a bunny and a rainbow feathered owl in the works. I recommend this book as it’s simple to follow and the making of pom poms is something for ALL ages ! Even a young child can get into this. B3 B0LD … B3 INSPiR3D … B3 CR8TiV ! ~ MYT CR8TiV

********************************************** UPDATE “EDITED”****************************************************

Hi, I thought I’d update this post by sharing some TIPS and HINTS to go along with this book. Hopefully my tips are useful and helpful to you !

Tip #1: In the book it says to use waxed twine to gather your yarn together to hold your pom pom strands. Some people might find it difficult to find waxed twine or even know where to find such a thing. My tip is use dental floss ! (n_n) It comes in a handy little storage box if it’s own and very inexpensive. I’d suggest you buy a unflavored just plain waxed floss but for fun you can use mint or cinnamon flavored floss. It’d give your pom pom and light scented scent of mint or cinnamon.

Tip #2: In the supplies part of the book they talk about glass eyes work best for the eyes of each pom pom critter. If you can’t find glass eyes or find that they’re a tad pricey as most glass eye beads usually just come in a pair and if you’re planning to make many pom pom critters the price can get heavy to buy multiple packs. I just bought a bag of black seed beads and pony beads for like $2. They work just as fine as the glass eye beads. Just glue them into the pom pom with the bead hole hidden away.

Tip #3: I do this for my sewing projects too but ALWAYS keep separate scissors for each craft. I have scissors for cutting fabric, paper, yarn, felt, etc. This way your scissors stay sharp for whatever project you are going to be working on. The 99 cents only store sells nice crafting scissors for $1 so you can buy a bunch cheap for each craft. If and when your scissors do start to feel dull don’t fret and toss them aside. I’m not really sure if this trick really works but I’ve been sharpening my scissors by taking a sheet of Heavy Duty Aluminum foil and folding it several times into a thick sheet then snipping through it with my scissors repeatedly. Supposedly this is suppose to sharpen the blades.

Tip #4: When trimming your pom pom you’ll trim away ALOT of yarn and the lint get’s everywhere from your shirt, the floor, etc. Keep a lint roller nearby handy and I bought a high edged trash bin from the dollar store which I use for my yarn trimming which helps keep the flying lint to a minimum.

Tip #5: Don’t throw out your yarn trimmings from your pom poms. You can reuse them by turning them into felt or felting material. What you do is take your yarn trimmings and wet them in a bowl of water. Squish the yarn trimmings into a ball or something by compressing all the water out. Let it dry and now you have a compressed sheet of yarn remnants which can be used for something else. You can spray a little starch or mix some white glue like elmers with water and roll them into a shape like Easter eggs. 😀 It recycles the yarn trimmings which otherwise would of been a waste.

If I have any other tips to share I’ll be sure to post them up ! But that’s all I have for now. Hope you find them helpful and useless.

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