How to Make Polymer Doll Food

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Polymer doll food is miniature food shaped from polymer clay, then cured in an oven to create a solid object that can be displayed in a diorama or doll house. Popular brands of polymer clay sold in craft stores include Fimo®, Kato® and Sculpy®. Polymer clay has a long shelf life and does not dry out while you are working with it. Unlike modeling clay, polymer clay needs to be "conditioned" before it can be used, and the cured objects should be treated gently, like porcelain, to prevent breakage.

Things You'll Need

  • Polymer clay in a variety of colors
  • Polymer clay cutting, carving and shaping tools
  • Acrylic clay roller
  • Craft pasta machine
  • Smooth acrylic, tile or plastic work surface
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie sheet
  • Oven
  • Polymer clay gloss (optional)
  • Small paint brush (optional)

Condition the Clay

  • Open the packages of clay. To make the foods listed below, you will need orange, green, red and white clays.

  • Use a clay cutting tool to cut off 1/2" of the orange clay block.

  • Place this piece of clay on the acrylic, tile or plastic work surface and press it with the roller. It will feel hard and crumbly at first, but the more you work it, the smoother it will become. You also can pick it up, roll it in your hands and fold it.

  • Pass the clay through a craft pasta machine, then fold it in half and pass it through again. You also may want to roll it in your hands a few times before putting it back in the machine.

  • Continue to work the clay as outlined in Step 4 until the edges no longer break apart when it's flattened and you can bend a thick piece in half without it breaking. It should be smooth and malleable before you try to make anything from it. If it's not conditioned properly, your cured items will crack and break apart.

Carrots

  • Pinch off a piece of this conditioned orange clay, and, with your index finger, roll it into a log on the work surface.

  • Press gently on one end of the log as you roll it to taper the end to a point. You may want to keep some of your doll items close by to check the scale of the food as you are making it. If the carrot seems too big as you are rolling it, break off a piece of the log and roll again.

  • Press the thin edge of a clay tool randomly down the length of the carrot to give it irregular root bumps and uneven skin like a real carrot.

  • Use a clay tool to poke a hole atop the carrot for the leaves, then roll a proportionately sized piece of green clay with your finger into a strand that looks like a blade of grass.

  • Bend the strand of green clay in half and use a narrow-ended clay tool to poke the creased end of the strand into the hole atop the carrot, so that two strands of green are protruding from the top of the carrot. Repeat this step for additional strands of greenery if two doesn't seem like enough for your carrot.

  • Repeat Steps 1 through 5 until you've made your desired number of carrots.

  • Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and lay the finished carrots on the parchment paper.

Watermelon

  • Mix green clay with twice as much white clay to create light green clay. Polymer clay is like paint. You can mix colors and they will blend seamlessly if worked enough.

  • Mix red clay with two to three times as much white clay to create pink clay.

  • Roll pink clay into a log 1/2" thick, or however thick you want the diameter of your watermelon to be. Press the ends flat so that the log is cylindrical.

  • Roll out light green clay to 1/8" to 1/16" thickness, and cut it into a rectangle that is large enough to fold around the pink cylinder without overlapping. Wrap the light green clay around the pink clay just until the light green clay touches itself. Trim off any excess light green clay.

  • Repeat Step 4, using dark green clay, rolling it slightly thinner than the light green clay, and wrap this evenly around the log.

  • Use a sharp clay knife to slice the log into circles. Each circle is a full slice of watermelon. Cut these circles into halves, quarters or eighths for pieces of watermelon to add to your doll's table. Add the watermelon pieces to the cookie sheet with the other miniature foods.

Curing the Clay

  • Preheat the oven to the temperature specified on your clay package. Different manufacturers cite different curing temperatures, but most say 275 to 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. It's important not to overcook or burn polymer clay as it can release toxic fumes.

  • Turn on the oven's overhead fan or crack a window for ventilation while cooking the clay.

  • Place the cookie sheet in the oven when the specified temperature is reached and set a timer. The clay packaging will tell you how long to cook it.

  • Remove the cookie sheet from the oven when the time is up, and leave it to cool on top of the stove.

  • Add polymer clay gloss with a paint brush if desired, once the pieces have completely cooled.

Tips & Warnings

  • Condition all the colors for your project at the beginning so they'll be ready when you need them.
  • When conditioning clay, put light colors through the pasta machine before darker colors to prevent the light colors picking up the residue of the darker colors.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to clean surfaces, tools and the pasta machine (especially the rollers) after working with polymer clay.
  • Store leftover clay in plastic sandwich bags or in the original packaging in a cool location. It will start to cure at 120 degrees, so keep it out of direct sunlight or a hot car.
  • Bananas can be crafted similarly to how carrots are made.
  • Craft stores sell clay molds that may include miniature food items. Dust them with baby powder for easier clay removal after pressing.
  • The pasta machine, work surfaces and tools must be used for clay only. Never use them to prepare real foods after using clay on them.
  • If you decide to use a toaster oven instead of a regular oven to cure the clay, the toaster oven should not be used for consumable food afterward. Designate a toaster oven, like the pasta machine, for craft-use only.

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  • Photo Credit Catherine Chant
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