How to Make Polymer Modeling Clay

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Polymer clay comes in a variety of colors and has many uses.
Polymer clay comes in a variety of colors and has many uses. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Polymer clay is a special type of modeling clay designed to harden permanently when it is baked at low temperatures. It makes an easy clay for adults to use to create simple craft projects at home that they want to sculpt out of malleable clay and then bake in an oven at home. Although it is called clay, polymer clay does not actually contain clay minerals but rather is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and liquid plasticizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Polymer clay
  • Pasta machine
  • Rolling pin
  • Glass cutting board
  • Clay gun or extruder
  • Utility knife
  • Leather punch
  • Oven pan
  • Paint brush
  • Acrylic paints

Purchase craft or polymer clay at your local craft store. Select a color or multiple colors of clay that you like.

Think of a project that you’d like to make with the polymer clay. Consider making your own beads for necklaces and bracelets, a colorful ash tray or paperclip holder or a creative art project by combining the clay with other materials like metal and wood. Choose non-baking polymer clay that cures naturally when left out exposed to air if you are combining the clay with other materials to avoid burning or problems with your oven.

Run your clay through a pasta machine that you’ve set aside for exclusive use with making objects out of your polymer clay. Roll the clay flat onto a glass cutting board as it comes out of your pasta machine to create a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick sheet out of which you can form polymer clay objects.

Cut the clay into the shapes you need it to be with a utility knife and clay gun or clay extruder. Roll strips of clay into oval shaped balls and punch a hole through the center with a leather hole punch.

Place the molded objects onto an oven pan and set them in the sun or bake them in your oven at 300 degrees for ten to 15 minutes so that it hardens. Let the clay cool overnight or for 12 hours.

Paint the hardened polymer clay object, beads or sculpture with acrylic paint, if desired to finish your project.

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