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Getting Started with Polymer Clay Crafting

Updated on October 1, 2013

Many Uses for Clay

Clay can be molded into beads for jewelry, miniature statues and figurines, bookmarks and many other crafted items.
Clay can be molded into beads for jewelry, miniature statues and figurines, bookmarks and many other crafted items. | Source

What is Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is an oil-based clay that can be shaped and then hardened by baking in an oven. Unlike water-based clays, polymer clay will not dry out as it is being worked with. Thus, it can be shaped and re-shaped as many times as needed until the design is right. And since it is oil-based it will not shrink as it hardens. Also, it maintains it's shape during the process, which makes it perfect for shaping detailed objects.

The clay can be purchased in plain white or various colors. The clays can be mixed and colored before hardening. After it is hardened, it can be sanded and painted with vibrant colors. A glaze can also be used to add that final touch.

What Can You Make With Polymer Clay

The possibilities with polymer clay crafts are endless. The clay is perfect for shaping into large beads to be used in bracelets and necklaces. It is perfect for making small keychains, fake fruit for the kitchen, small animal or doll figurines, christmas tree ornaments and many other decorative items.

Another quality of polymer clay is that it can be rolled out like a thin dough with a pasta maker. The dough can then be cut into any shape as desired.

Things You'll Need to Get Started

To get started with Polymer Clay Crafting you will need to purchase a few tools. You might already have many of the tools needed, but you can also go out and purchase the tools designed specifically for crafting with polymer clay.

A short list of some of the things that you'll need include:

Acrylic Paints and/or Powders
Brushes
Clay Roller or Pasta Machine
Cutters for Cutting Shapes
Glue
Knives, Craft Knife or Kitchen Knife, Exacto
Molds
Oven
Paintbrushes
Polymer Clay
Stamps

Specific crafts will call for different tools, so always check to see what you need before you get started.

Polymer Clay Projects

Bobbleheads - This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own personalized bobbleheads. These bobbleheads can be modeled after portraits to resemble real people. They are perfect for weddings and other special occasions. And if you don't want to make your own, there is a link to a website where you can have them custom made for you.

Lollipop Pendant Necklace - Here is a simple project to create a fun lollipop necklace. This would be perfect for children to experiment with as it looks fairly easy to do.

Bookmark - Here is a nifty project for a bookmark. This would make for a great gift for the bookworms in your life. Or make it for yourself...

Sculpey Bead Necklace - This necklace is so well done it looks like it is professionally made. It definitely is a great way to save money if you can make something like this.

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