One of the biggest challenges when just starting out with polymer clay is having ideas for things to make. While it may be tempting to jump straight in and start with a complex and intricate project, starting with smaller projects is a good way to learn and hone skills and techniques while also producing great looking items.
Many people enjoy modelling with polymer clay and using it to make figures and dolls. One of the benefits of polymer clay is that it doesn’t dry out and it can be worked a number of times before it is baked with no ill effects. This means that it is ideal for beginners as if something goes wrong, the clay can simply be rolled back into a ball before trying again. The best modelling projects to start with are projects with simple details and this is a good way to build modelling skills.
Polymer Clay Jewellery
One of the most exciting polymer clay projects is jewellery making. Beads, pendants, drops for earrings and more are all easy to achieve using just small amounts of polymer clay. This is a good way to learn blending techniques and also develop ideas for surface design. Textured surfaces can be achieved by pressing things into the polymer clay and raised patterns can be added by applying pieces and shapes of polymer clay. Uniform sized beads can be difficult to achieve. One of the best ways to do this is to roll a ‘sausage’ of clay and cut this into equal sized pieces. This will give uniform sized beads when they are formed.
Covering Items with Polymer Clay
Another popular way of using polymer clay is to cover other items with sheets of clay. Any item that can be put in an oven can be covered with polymer clay. This includes sweet tins, glass items, metal items of cutlery and some pens. Even items such as crochet hooks and knitting needles can be covered and these make great gifts for yarn lovers.
Stunning results can be achieved when covering items with decorated sheets of clay. Marbled clay is simple to achieve by mixing two different colours of polymer clay together until they are partially mixed and a marbled effect is achieved. Polymer clay with special effects, for instance transparent polymer clay, is ideal for covering glasses to make candle holders. When lit, the candlelight shines through the transparent polymer clay to produce stunning results.
Card Toppers and Embellishments
Polymer clay card toppers are extremely popular. These can be expensive to buy in the shop, yet are quick and easy to make at home. Small shapes of polymer clay can be cut from sheets of clay or press moulds can be used to form three dimensional polymer clay items such as flowers or faces. The finished embellishments can be glued onto a handmade card.
Ornaments and Decorations
Ornaments and decorations are a quick polymer clay project and these make great gifts. Simply roll out sheets of polymer clay and use a biscuit or cookie cutter to cut shapes from the clay. These can be decorated before or after baking. If they are decorated after baking, glitter and other sparkling embellishments can be added.
Finding More Ideas for Polymer Clay Projects
There are many excellent books that cover all aspects of working with polymer clay. A library can be a good source of information and many libraries will order books in if they are not available locally. Other sources of information include the Internet where there are many websites available that specialise in the art of polymer clay.
There are many different ways of using polymer clay and once a few simple skills are mastered, any number of items can be made and enjoyed.