Working with polymer clay can be both fun and exciting when making craft projects. The possibilities are nearly endless in what you can make with polymer clay. This type of craft can be done easily by crafters of all ages and skill levels. If you enjoy working with polymer clay, you may want to invest in a few tools. Some of these tools are:
- A pasta machine can help you immensely. Pasta machines can help you to condition the clay, roll flat sheets, or combine colors all with a precision and smoothness that is nearly impossible by hand. These machines usually retail for about $20 and can be found in most craft stores, right by the clay. If you cannot find one there you can buy a pasta machine at a kitchen store. It is crucial however to never use the pasta machine for anything but the clay; it cannot be used for food after touching the clay.
- A brayer or rolling pin-This can help you roll flat sheets of clay. This is invaluable if you do not have a pasta machine but again you will not get the same results.
- Slicing blade-This is an invaluable tool that makes nice even cuts and is great for slicing canes. Be sure to choose one that fits comfortably in your hand for steady cutting.
- Marking tools-These can include things like toothpicks for poking holes, a cuticle stick for making depressions, and pencils. Whatever help you get the effects you want on the clay can be a useful tool.
- Food processor-This is the tool that can be good to help condition clay and mix colors, but again you should remember like the food processor it can only be used for clay and cannot go in the kitchen. Many times you find food processor cheap at garage sales or secondhand stores.
- Garlic press-This is great tool for making spaghetti like hair. You can also buy clay extruder guns, with various tips to make different shapes. Some crafters have found the clay extruder guns are difficult to work with and very hard to clean, so they do not recommend them.
Along with the tools there are certain things that you should know about the clay. If you enjoy working with polymer clay, at first you can just invest in a few blocks of clay in the primary colors. Keep in mind that you can make more colors by blending the clays, just like paint. Combining colors is very easy using the following process: Roll out two lengths of rope of the colors you want to combine, and then twist them together. Roll the rope in half, and repeat the process. Repeat this over and over until all the colors are blended well. This is also a good way to make a color a little lighter, instead of buying a whole new package. Just invest in buying the 1 1b. brick of white polymer clay and you will then have enough white to do a lot of mixing!
You will want to seal your project after you have finished it. Keep in mind that there are many different ways to protect your piece once it is cured. If you like a shiny look, you can use good old fashioned clear nail polish to add sheen. You can just give your piece one coat and let it dry. Craft stores also sell polymer clay glazes, just for this purpose. These clay glazes come in both gloss and matte finishes. Another quick and easy finish is to spray it with an aerosol can of acrylic sealing coat that is available in most craft stores.