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Old 02-12-2013, 07:52
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Default Getting started with Polymer Clay

Hello! My mom is starting to want to make polymer clays to sell to place on bows as I make and sell bows. I helped her make a few yesterday and here are just two we made. Any thoughts? When people make these do they use molds or cutters? IF so what do you use and where can these purchase? Where is the best place to purchase supplies crafts stores or web sites, any help is greatly appreciated. This is suppose to be a purple bow and purple butterfly.
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:46
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

I might be able to help some. I do a good bit with polymer clay, but I'll tell you up front that I haven't made bow centers. Mostly sculptures. But I did recently make some flat heart ornaments to hang on a little tree for valentines day. You have lots and lots of options with polymer clay. Two of my favorite places to shop for it & anything related to it are:

ooakartistemporium.com & clayalley.com

I've purchased from both of them plenty of times and they both give awesome customer service too!

As far as how to make things, if you want to make a lot of the same thing that has some details on it, it would probably be faster for you to use a mold. I prefer silicone molds because the clay pops out of them super easy & you can even bake the clay in it if it is really detailed. There are lots of silicone molds on Etsy. You can also make your own silicone mold of something that you created or a favorite button or whatever. If you are going to do that, I would get Alley Goop from Clay Alley. That stuff is AWESOME!! Let it set overnight though before you remove what you are taking the mold of, it just works better that way & it comes out clean.

As far as shape cutters, your best bet is using metal cookie type cutters. Clay Alley has a good selection of them. Or you can go to polyclayplay.com & click on products. They have LOTS of Kemper Cutters, which come in all kinds of shapes and varying sizes. I have a bunch of them and they are awesome. They have a little plunger thing inside of them so the clay will come out and not get stuck inside. Some are quite teeny, so if you wanted a teeny heart to use as the nose of something or little circles for eyes.... there you go. To get your clay ready for using the cutters, the easiest thing to do is roll it out with a pasta machine that is dedicated to clay only, but if you don't have one, you can roll it out with an acrylic roller.

You can decorate your clay with all kinds of beautiful things too. Check out ooakartistemporium.com for lots of those things. She carries microbeads & ultrafine glitter plus the adhesive products that you can use safely on the clay.

Idk what else you might need to know, but hopefully that gives you a good start.

As far as where to purchase clay, it just depends on the brand and what size package you want. I've bought clay from ooakartistemporium.com, clayalley.com & dickblick.com. At Blick, their shipping is a little on the high side, so if you aren't buying a bunch at once, you'll want to see how much you are saving with them and compare it to how much it is somewhere else. You can get clay from the craft stores too, but I know the ladies at ooakartistemporium & clayalley have fresh clay, so if I can buy from them I do. But I've also purchased from Hobby Lobby & Joann's before when they had a really good sale on the small packages.

Last edited by TieDyesnButterflies; 02-13-2013 at 04:52. Reason: added info
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:35
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

Thank you so much for the reply I appreciate it! I will definately checkout the sites you gave to me and the information you gave will be very helpful I appreciate your help!!
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:28
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

Glad I could help. It's hard to know about stuff when you first get started.

One other thing that I didn't know at first, if you bake the clay in your home oven, your supposed to clean the oven afterward so that any residue from the clay doesn't wind up in your food. They say it's not anything to worry about if you only bake once in a while. I have a countertop convection oven that I use that is dedicated only to clay, but I tend to bake it alot. One of the ladies I know uses a roast pan with a lid that is dedicated to clay use only & she puts a ceramic tile in the bottom of it and puts the clay on that to bake. Another lady I know clips an aluminum pan upside down over top of another aluminum pan. That way the residue will stay in the pan and not her home oven.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:01
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Location: North Carolina
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

Your information is awesome! I have been buying from Hobby Lobby and it is expensive! I am not big into the clay, but my girls love playing with it. My 10 year old is pretty creative and has much potetial in the arts department. I don't usually bake their creations unless it is something they really labored over because of the cost of supplies.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:18
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

Hopefully you'll be able to bake more of her creations now and keep them! If you buy it by the bigger block, it's definitely cheaper too. The only time I buy individual 2oz packs is if there is a super deal at Hobby Lobby or Joann or Michaels. Like a few months back, Michaels had their clay for 99cents a package. The store I went to didn't carry Fimo (which is my favorite brand) even though it was pictured in the ad. Luckily, the Joanns across the street honored the Michaels ad price for me. So I stocked up on it! Premo is a really nice clay too, although for me, it smells more when I bake it so I tend to just stick with the Fimo as much as possible. It was the other one listed for 99cents in the ad. Maybe keep an eye out for a sale like that too. The clay should keep for a very long time, just keep it out of the sunlight and away from flourescent lights as much as possible. Some of the Effects clays don't come in the larger sizes, so those I'll get in smaller packages too.

I'd stay away from the Sculpey White. I started with that stuff bcuz its the cheapest, but stuff I made with it wound up cracking and it was a huge bummer. Totally not worth the time I put into it. Just my opinion on that. I'm sure there are good uses for it, but, I wasn't happy with the results & most of the people that I know don't care for it much either.

Anyway, it's good to know that some things I learned about clay will help some others. It's a really fun medium to create with!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:33
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

I thought it was just me when it came to the Sulky brand. I had made cute little animal sculptures for my girls and before I knew it, they were cracking or falling apart.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:57
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5girls View Post
I thought it was just me when it came to the Sulky brand. I had made cute little animal sculptures for my girls and before I knew it, they were cracking or falling apart.
That is such a bummer to have your hard work literally fall apart on you! I'd give it another try with Fimo or Premo. I bet you'll really like the results. And those are both nice & strong clays. Just make sure they bake all the way through if they are thicker. Sometimes a piece will crumble if the clay in the middle isn't totally cured bcuz the undercured clay will break down the rest of it. You can use tightlly wadded aluminum foil to bulk thicker pieces up too. It cures in less time since the clay isn't so thick, it winds up being lighter, and you use less clay so it keeps the cost down. I wrap the aluminum foil with either white floral tape or masking tape after I've gotten it as tight as I can. (usually pushing it against the table to get it as compressed as possible, then I wrap with tape bcuz the clay sticks to the tape easier. You can also coat the foil with Tacky Glue and let it dry, but that can be a pita , & the tape is so much easier and faster too!)

Good luck with the clay! And keep encouraging your budding artist!!! That is so awesome!

Last edited by TieDyesnButterflies; 02-15-2013 at 10:00. Reason: added info
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:54
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Default Re: Getting started with Polymer Clay

those are adorable!
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