What Is and How-To Polymer Clay
Interested in using polymer clay? Here's some tips, tricks, and things to know!
First up: I love polymer clay! It is a lightweight, plastic-based clay you can fire at a low temperature in your own oven. Though you can color the clay yourself (you can mix in ground-up chalk, chalk pastels, or even eyeshadow to do this), another benefit of polymer clay is it comes in SO MANY highly pigmented colors already! This is great for little ones who are still messy painters. Sculpt, bake, and you're DONE and looking GOOD.
It can be a bit difficult to work polymer clay directly out of the package, though some brands are softer than others. Just personal opinion here, but I prefer Sculpey brand. It doesn't require much, if any, conditioning.
If you do get a hard or dry package of polymer clay, check out the Kylee Makes a Turkey Quick Craft video for some tricks on how to get the clay ready to go!
You can combine different colors and brands of clay for your desired color or consistency. Just bake at a rough average of time and temp between the two brands. The packaging of your clay will give you this information. I have a designated baking sheet to back my polymer clay on. There are many glazes, pigments, and additives you can explore in this medium, not to mention molds and stamping. It's endless really!
It isn't a super messy clay, except that some colors will transfer slightly on your hands, but this washes off quite easily in my experience. I like to work on a spare piece of glass, but you could also work on wax paper or even on your baking sheet.
You can attach metal and wood pieces to your pieces and keep them in while your polymer clay is baking. Since the temperature is so low while firing, you won't run into any problems with your oven.
If you're wanting an activity just for play, practice of fine motor skills, or for a sensory experience, I would probably go with play dough or an air dry clay, as it doesn't require any conditioning and is more affordable in the long run. However, if you're interested in making a keepsake for your kids, a gift for someone else, or decor for your home, polymer clay is the way to go!
Watch Kylee Makes a Turkey