My Favorite Tools for Getting Started with Polymer Clay

My Favorite Tools for Getting Started with Polymer Clay

Welcome! If you're a beginner venturing into the world of polymer clay artistry, you'll quickly discover that having the right tools can greatly enhance your creative journey. With a wide range of tools available, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones are essential for your craft. That's why I've put together this comprehensive guide to introduce you to the must-have tools for beginner polymer clay artists. From cutting and shaping to texture and detail work, these tools will empower you to bring your clay creations to life with precision and finesse. So, let's dive in and explore the tools that will set you on the path to success in your polymer clay adventures.

Work Space

    Creating your own polymer clay pieces can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. To get started, it's important to have a suitable workspace. Personally, I highly recommend using this glass crafting cut mat as it offers a flat surface that is both practical and easy to maintain. With its ideal size, you'll have plenty of room to unleash your creativity while ensuring effortless cleanup.



    Once you've finished crafting your masterpiece, the next step is baking your pieces to give them their final form. For this, I suggest transferring your creations onto ceramic tiles, specifically the ones I've linked here. These tiles are perfectly sized to accommodate quite a few pieces in a toaster oven. By utilizing these tiles, you can ensure a successful baking process that will bring out the best in your pieces by avoiding bubbles. I recommend covering your clay with a piece of paper while baking so they do not burn. Personally, I use a toaster oven but when I started out I used my kitchen oven. Please be cautious when removing the hot tile from the oven, and once cooled enjoy the very satisfying sound of snapping the clay pieces off of the tile.


    Tissue Blades

    Tissue blades are incredibly versatile and serve multiple purposes in the polymer clay crafting process. They are primarily designed for cutting clay with precision. The ultra-thin and flexible blade allows for clean and accurate cuts, ensuring that your clay pieces are shaped exactly as intended. Whether you're creating intricate designs, sculpting figurines, or simply slicing through sheets of clay, a tissue blade will be your go-to tool for achieving sharp and well-defined edges.

    But that's not all - tissue blades are also handy for lifting clay from the work surface. With a gentle swiping motion, you can effortlessly separate your clay creations from the glass cutting board or any other surface you're working on. This is particularly useful when you need to transfer your clay pieces to a baking tray or when you want to reposition them without distortion. The thin blade minimizes the risk of deforming your work, ensuring that your clay maintains its intended shape and design.

    Acrylic Roller
    The acrylic roller will be how you condition your clay. When you open a new pack of clay, it should be somewhat soft but we need to condition it to make sure we create a malleable substance in which we can form whatever we want.

    Though I use a pasta machine now, this tool is essential for helping the clay stick to the tile, dealing with unruly clay and removing bubbles. I have both one with a handle and without, but it is a personal preference. The roller without a handle is wider!




    Starting out, I just had basic circle cutters and you would not believe the things you can make with imagination and a few different sized circles.

    I also used to print out small images and cut them out, then use an exacto knife to cut out whatever I wanted! 




    For making jewelry specifically, I enjoy using Sculpey Premo! It is durable and also very easy to work with. There are a variety of colors and it is usually easy to find at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. 


    Hand Drill
    One of my favorite tools is my cool little hand drill, although I have the electric drill for sanding. I usually prefer my hand drill for putting holes in jewelry pieces, because it is more precise and it’s a tedious activity that is good for my brain. If you are impatient, opt for the drill but please remember it is still considered a power tool and could take your eye out. 


    Earring Findings

      The components that will hold your jewelry pieces together! You will need pliers although some people use their fingers alone (I commend them as I could never.) 
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