Polymer Clay

My Top 5 Essential Tools For Polymer Clay

Working with Polymer Clay…..

I have realised that no matter how many hours I work with my clay and how many supplies I have around me I always reach for the same tools.

I mainly make jewellery, cute animal keyrings and Christmas decorations and these tools cover all these different techniques.

Polymer Clay is easier with…..

  1. Cutting Blades
Top 5 polymer clay tools

No the most exciting photo but these are my absolute essential when making anything with clay. I tried using a sharp knife when I began making polymer clay jewellery but when I was cutting a cane the blade was too dull to make a clear cut. A proper blade will always give the best finish.

These are the Sculpey blades and they come with several different blades in the pack. I use the two straight edge ones all the time; the more ridged one (pictured with the handles) for cutting blocks of clay, cutting straight lines and to scrape under a sheet of clay that has become stuck to my work surface. The flexible blade is great at cutting curved edged and making slices from my canes.

The third blade with the wavy edge cuts a decorative edge.

Using differnt cutting blades on polymer clay
These earrings were made by cutting polymer clay with straight and decorative edge cutting blades

2. Polymer Clay Machine

Polymer clay machine top 5 tools for polymer clay

Again, not the easiest item to make look pretty in a photo but I would honestly be lost without my polymer clay machine. This is the Makin’s brand but when I began with polymer clay I bought myself a cheap pasta machine and had many happy years using that one.

This is used for helping to condition the clay (the process in which the clay is softened before use) and for rolling out uniform thickness of clay to work with. The thickness of the clay can be altered by turning a knob on the other side of the machine and the clay is rolled through by turning the green handle. I believe there is a motor that can be attached to this machine too but for now I’m happy turning it by hand.

3. Polymer Clay Cutters

Polymer clay cutter set top 5 polymer clay tools

These don’t even have to be specific to polymer clay. Any little metal clay cutters will work. I can do so much with these from making clay slabs to making long polymer clay canes.

Easy beginner polymer clay flower cane
An easy flower cane made entirely using metal cutting shapes.

Top Tip – They are also useful for making beads of a uniform size. I roll the clay out on my clay machine and cut circles in it for beads. That way the beads always come out the same size

4. Oven Thermometer

Polymer clay thermometer top 5 polymer clay tools

This is pretty much self explanatory. There is nothing worse than spending hours on a project only for it to burn in the oven so an oven thermometer is essential.

This one is from Staedtler and is handy as it shows the temperature I need for hardening my Fimo (not leather effect though!) in red.

5. Polymer Clay Extruder

Makins clay extruder top 5 polymer clay tools

I have left this to last as I class this as a little bit of a luxury but non the less a tool I use frequently. Clay is fed into the bottom of the clay extruder and a handle is turned at the top to force the clay through the disc at the bottom. The resulting clay comes through in the shape of the chosen disc. The set comes with several different shape discs and is a great starting point although I must confess that I have now expanded on my disc collection.

I have used this extruder to make canes, details on polymer clay slabs, making hair on angels, beads and more!

Clay extruder cane earrings top 5 polymer clay tools
Earrings made with a cane made with the polymer clay extruder.

Top tip – store discs on a magnetic sheet and that way it will be easier to see the disc you want.

That’s my top 5 polymer clay tools….. nearly…… I will sneak an honourable mention in for my ball tools and paper piercing tool.

Top 5 polymer clay tools

I have really pushed the boat on the exciting photos in this blog post!

The piercing tool is a throw back from my card making days but I now use it for making holes in beads and adding small deails.

The ball tools were bought very cheaply as a tool for dotting nail varnish but I find them far more useful for polymer clay to add details and smoothing joins.

Are there any tools you just can’t live without? Or maybe tools you have found that are not really meant for your craft (like my nail dotting tools)?

Happy claying.

Hannah

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6 thoughts on “My Top 5 Essential Tools For Polymer Clay

  1. I used to create with polymer clay. Do you know if the clay has a specific shelf life? I have had mine for several years. I like your tips and your creations! πŸŒˆπŸŽ¨πŸ’•

    1. Thank you, I’m really glad you enjoyed my post πŸ˜€ As far as I’m aware there is no shelf life on polymer clay. The only issue is that older clay can be quite crumbly and therefore difficult to soften in order to work with. I have revived old clay buy adding small amounts of polymer liquid clay and softening by hand and with an acrylic roller. Whilst it’s in it crumbly, dry form and your mixing with the liquid clay don’t put it in your clay machine as it will make a mess of it. Once the clay is soft it’s fine to go through the machine.

      Sculpey sell bottles of clay softener so I imagine this would also be a good route to try if you fine your clay dry πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you, I appreciate your information. I will have to try adding the liquid clay. I like polymer clay jewelry because it is light weight. I have too many hobbies! Lol! πŸ€£πŸ˜„

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