How to Transfer Images to Polymer Clay

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Printable transfers work as well on poly clay as they do on fabric.
Printable transfers work as well on poly clay as they do on fabric. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Polymer clay is a versatile medium. It comes in every color of the rainbow, from white to indigo, pastels, metallic and translucent colors. You can color the white clay with paint or markers, add mica powder to any color and create dozens of texture effects with molds and textured objects. You can also heat-transfer images to polymer clay with ordinary fabric transfer paper. Try creating image transfer pendants, coasters, decorative tiles and even buttons with this method.

Things You'll Need

  • Printer transfer paper
  • Printer
  • Polymer clay: white, gray, cream, light brown
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie sheet
  • Wax paper

Choose an image from your computer. You may use a scanned image, an image from a paint program, clip art or copyright-free images from the internet. The images must not be under copyright, or you might run into legal problems.

Paste the image into a photo manipulation program, such as Adobe Photoshop. Flip the image so it’s reversed, especially if it contains words. This way, it will transfer onto the clay in the right direction.

Place the transfer paper into your printer so the image will print on the shiny side of the paper. Print your image.

Cut around the image with scissors, leaving about ½ inch of space of the unprinted part of the paper around the image.

Choose a light polymer clay color for your image. Images won’t show up on dark colors. Warm the clay between your hands.

Roll the clay out into a flat sheet about ¼ inch thick. If you want to cut the clay into a specific shape or size, do it now. Images work well on most geometric shapes, for example.

Place the polymer clay on a cookie sheet. Place the transfer sheet down on the clay. Rub the back of the transfer sheet firmly with a piece of wax paper on your finger. The wax paper helps apply even pressure to the entire image. Pay close attention to the edges.

Bake the clay at 200 to 210 degrees for about 20 minutes. Gently peel the transfer paper away from the warm clay and let it cool.

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