Polymer Clay Tips From a Perfectionist

I’ve just gotten back to working with polymer clay. Hooray! It’s summer time, I have a part time job, and a lot of time to make my little arts and crafts. I can honestly say I’ve missed making tiny little charms. I looked through my little bin and felt the need to make more! :] So I took my box of polymer clay I left to sit for months and started to learn about it all over again. The few hours I got to mess with it, I have learned some things that I am willing to share with you!

1. WASH YOUR HANDS before you touch your clay. I’m a perfectionist and nothing irks me more than the little dust particles that gets on your clay. I know it’s inevitable, but you can take steps to minimize it.

2. Between colors, WASH YOUR HANDS. I know it’s a lot of hand washing, but colors can easily be transferred from one clay to another, especially with white and other light colors.

3. KEEP A CLEAN SURFACE. Yes, any dust you have on your surface may get picked up by your tools and your hands and can get transferred  to your clay. Now do you know how much it irks me?! :]

4. Keep a box of baby wipes, or damp paper towels, on your workspace to clean your hands, tools and the area between colors.

5. Wear gloves if you don’t want fingerprints on your little charms. Or before you start working on a piece, you can thoroughly knead a small piece of white clay to pick up any small lint and dust left on your hands. :]

6. If you see some particles or if your little charm has little rough or odd spots, sand down your piece with wet 400 grit and then 600 grit sand paper, but only after it’s been baked! Dip a small piece of workable sand paper in water and rub away the flaw. It might look like a different tint, but it’s an easy fix. Use glaze.

7. You know those little itty bitty tiny pieces of clay you have to try and attach to your piece? Maybe you were trying to stick the arm onto the torso. Well, to prevent it from breaking off in the future, stick a piece of wire in between both to hold it together along with some liquid clay.

8. To prevent the eye pins from coming off of your charms, you can do either one of the two things: Coat it with liquid clay before baking, or once it’s done, you can pry it out with pliers, coat it with super glue, and put it back in.

9. Bake the clay before you add any paint or glaze on it.

10. Keep a close eye on your clay when it’s in the oven. I’ve had burnt pieces in the past because of my carelessness. :( And it made my apartment smell so terrible!

11. Making a bead? A cheap way to keep a nice clean hole in your bead is to bake it with a toothpick stuck in it. Of course this only works for beads with at least one flat side. You’re gonna have to be creative and build a nice little fort for the toothpicks/skewers to rest on for rounded pieces.

12. If you’re planning to bake things at a later time, make sure to cover your creations with maybe a paper towel to keep dust from settling on them. :

I think that’s all for now! :]

Have a good weekend!

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