Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Beginners guide to Polymer clay (Playdough for adults!)

This week my crafty crew and I spent a lovely day playing with grown up play dough! It's called 
 POLYMER CLAY. I hadn't even heard of it until today, but our fab FIMO expert Fiona (you can check her crafty blog out here!) showed us the ropes. I'm always astounded by how easy it is to make lovely things. You can make all sorts - buttons, brooches, jewellery or crockery.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how we made these lovely things.

Perfect pearls Coloured clay powder
Scalpel or good knife or cookie cutter
Aluminium foil
Stamps or moulds
backing tray
Rolling pin
Baking paper

   STEP 1
Decide what you want to make. I got inspired by this book cover and thought ... 'coaster'! you can use stamps to make a pattern or you can mould the clay into your chosen shape. Be it jewellery, buttons, crockery or coaster. The silicone moulds made for cooking are ideal, and you can even use household objects to make textures in your clay. For more ideas on this check out Polymerclayweb.com 

 STEP 2 
Now you need to work the clay until it is soft. You can do this using a pasta machine  (Fiona only uses hers for craft, now that's a keen crafter!) or if you don't have a pasta machine then you can just keep kneading in your hand until it is warmed up and soft. When it's soft enough you can begin! 

Give your clay the once over with your rolling pin, then lay your clay over your chosen stamp. Lay your baking paper on top and gently roll to make your imprint. Tip! if the clay keeps sticking to your stamp simply dust with talc.

Now here's my imprint. As you can see my stamp was different squares which was easy for me to cut out. So I cut them out first, and then coloured them with my shimmery powder using a brush. Using two different shades gave it real depth (I LOVED this bit). You could also use a cookie cutter to cut out different shapes. Don't forget to make a little hole if you want to use it as a necklace or keyring, and if you want to make a coaster I suggest gluing a cork mat to the pot for extra stability.


STEP 5. 
Now at this point you'd put it in the oven and you're done! However, as I'm making a tile I need to put my tiles on another piece of clay so they stick. Once I've done that I cut around the edges and TADA!! Lay some baking paper on your tray and place your work on this. Follow the instructions on the clay packet - ours was 110C for 30 mins. 

* Things to remember *

Important: ALWAYS cover your baking tray with a lid or foil as the clay gives of fumes  - and you don't want them contaminating your oven / food!

Once you have used something like cookie cutters, rolling pins or baking trays with polymer clay don't use it with food again. Perhaps get a disposable tray, and you can buy mini-rolling pins that are idea for craft.

Perfect Pearl powders contain a binder which helps the powder to stick to the baked clay. If you find the powders rubbing off or if you use other mica powders you will need to seal it afterwards.


Here are some of the other things my lovely crafty crew made. For most of us it was our first go ... just shows what you can do eh?! With the help of tea and cake of course ...

These were what my other crafty elves made ... aren't they lovely?!!

Eden taking the last cup-cake! 

Julies beautiful heart & Edens gorgeous buttons.

Nicki & Julies brooches, about to go it the oven!

My lovely craft club crew

JM x

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