Are you into the craft? Why Polymer clay modeling could be for you

Polymer Clay and Regular Clay:

Polymer clay modelingIf you’re immersed in the world of all things crafty, then you’ve heard of polymer clay. Polymer clay is a pliable, easily bent polymer compound used for sculpting in a way similar to clay. However, unlike traditional clay, polymer clay is made up of fine particles of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) submerged in plasticizers.

Nonetheless, it can be played around with in the same way as clay can. You may be wondering at this point, ‘if it’s the same then why not just buy traditional clay?’ The answer is simple; while polymer clay and traditional clay are mainly used for the same purposes i.e. sculpting or glass work etc., polymer clay has many advantages over traditional clay.

Polymer clay art craftWell first off, polymer clay does not dry out. You can use it for as long as you like without any fear. It has almost no expiration date as compared to traditional clay which dries out quickly and needs to be handled with care. Similarly, if you mix two or more clays together, more often than not you’ll be left with a grayish blob instead of the three vibrant colors you began with. In contrast, polymer clay is somewhat prone to turning into gray glop.

There is, however, one thing keeping many people from grabbing as much polymer clay as they can carry – money. That sounds so obvious, but the fact is that polymer clay is more expensive than traditional clay. Today it seems like the pros trumped this con.

Firing:

Your basic tools for using polymer clay are: Polymer clay craft

• Your clay
• Your hands
• An oven

Polymer clay does not dry out like most clay nor does it need extremely high temperatures to solidify completely. You only need to keep it in the oven for no more than thirty minutes depending on the specimen’s size. Polymer clay can be used in literally any form of art, but it is most commonly used in making jewelry. While firing, you need to make sure whether whatever embellishment you added to the clay is heat proof or heat resistant at that temperature or not.

Are there any health hazards?

This is the best reason on why you should use polymer clay. If being healthy is your aim while working with Polymer clay character modelingsubstances, then polymer clay is a godsend for you. Unlike ceramics, they don’t leave a powdery build-up after they dry out. This build-up can cause serious health issues if inhaled or digested. Nonetheless, your cutlery should still be ceramic provided that is finished with the right type of glaze.

Polymer clay does not pose as serious of a risk to your health as other clay. It is true that polymer clay isn’t completely safe, but it is better for your child or for yourself to play around with something that doesn’t have the potential to harm you. It has no health and safety concerns.

Crafting using polymer clay:

So, now you know that polymer clay is: Polymer clay jewelry pendant

• More durable
• More easily blended
• Less toxic
• More vibrant
• And easier to work with

Keeping all of this in mind, the question is what do you make? Well, you could sculpt using polymer clay practically everything. Sculpting tools are easy to get and cheap, you may also find alternatives to a few tools at home. More commonly, polymer clay is used for making jewelry pendants. Just find a base for your jewelry and start designing your clay onto it. Similarly, you can buy hooks and pins and stick them into your sculpted model before firing. Sculpting, glass work, textile work…The list goes on!

Teaching your kids how to create with polymer clay

I was after some healthy activities to do with the kids when I found out about polymer clay. It’s easy to model with because it is soft, simple to work with, and it’s versatile too. Plus, the kids will love it because it comes in a huge range of vibrant colors and they can decorate and paint it.

The grown-up stuff

Once you are done modeling, your creations need to be baked in the oven. It is important to follow the polymer claymanufacturer’s instructions when you bake your clay to ensure the best results. To prevent it from going brown in the oven, cover your art loosely with some aluminum foil to protect it.

I also discovered that once baked, it is water resistant and pretty robust and durable. This means there is no end to the things you can create with it!

Polymer clay is relatively new to the craft world. I did some research, and there is no need to worry about safety with polymer clay, as it is non-toxic. However, be aware that it is not certified as ‘food safe’ and make sure you wash your hands once you finished creating.

Don’t forget that if any of the art is going to be decorated with paint or embellishments, it may need sealing for protection.

The fun stuff

Polymer clay can be decorated with acrylic paint, and the clay can be painted before or after baking. The painting once baked is probably easier when doing this with kids, as there is no need to worry about ruining the shape of your creations!

polymer clay for bakingThe clay can be adorned with pretty much anything. So don’t be shy and get stuck in with plenty of glitter, paint, and beads. We even used things we had lying around the house like shells, buttons, and sequins.

There is a lot of scopes to add texture to your art. Polymer clay can be etched, and I saw some cute coasters made with etchings of leaves on them. The clay can be ‘roughed up’ with brushes to give a feathered effect or scored with something pointed. It can also be impressed with the sharp end of a pencil to make holes and even impressed with letter stamps.

There are so many things you can create, and the possibilities are endless. One of the great things about it is you can make it as hard or as simple as you like.

Inspiration

If you have little ones, you might want to stick to making simpler things like tealight holders and hand-prints. If your kids are a bit older, there are loads of great tutorials on making jewelry. Personalized jewelry would make seriously cool gifts for friends!

Polymer clay decorative

One of my favorite ideas was to make shape the clay into hearts and then put the kids’ names on them as a keepsake.

If you are stuck for inspiration, there are some great creativity tips for polymer clay on Pinterest. Or you could just ask the kids if they have any ideas – they will likely end up teaching you!

Let’s Get Creative! 5 Tips to Help You Relax and Create Better Sculptures with Polymer Clay

If you want to relax and improve your creativity at the same time, you should try using polymer clay and make little sculptures. It is a great material to work with. It is easy to use, inexpensive, and available in a variety of colors. It is also easy to find. You can get it from the craft store. More importantly, it is something you can focus your mind and energy into, and just relax during the process.

If you want to make the most of this activity, here are five tips that you should follow:

  1. Find your inspiration.bracelet-polymer-clay

Before you put your clay inside the oven to bake, you should form it into your desired shape first. What is it that you want to do with the clay? What kind of object do you want to create? Are you going to turn it into a bracelet, necklace, or some kind of accessory? Or do you prefer to turn it into an ornament or a decorative paperweight? You can check out social media and websites that feature do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for inspiration. This is especially helpful if you are a beginner who does not have much experience with clay sculptures.

  1. Ensure that all the necessary tools are in order.

There is no need for you to use complicated tools for sculpting. Nevertheless, there are certain tools that you will find to be highly useful in creating fine details. For instance, you may want to have a clay shaper set that consists of tiny rubber tipped brushes. These flexible brushes will serve as your little fingers when working on the clay.

You can also use a wax carving metal tool set, which consists of tools that have different shaped tips. In addition, youpolymer-clay can use a dentist pick. It may seem odd to use a tool like this, but it actually comes pretty handily.

It is inexpensive yet useful for sculpting clay. Also, you can use loop tools that are made from bent wire ribbon. Their edges cut through the clay and take it away from the sculpture. They are also useful in polishing the general shape of the clay. You can use these tools to shave away flakes of clay or make large grooves.

If you want to make perfect clay circles, you should get circle pattern cutters. They are tiny tubes that serve as clay cutters. They do not merely press down the clay. They also come with a button on top that you press to pop out the clay disk. If you have a pasta machine that you do not use anymore, you can use that to press your clay too. They can flatten out the clay as well as mix different colors.

Furthermore, you can use improvised tools such as needles and straws. You can also use toothpicks, wire, and old toothbrushes. You can even use your old cloud vape pen 2.0 to create designs on the clay. Repurposing things like this is not only creative but sort of environmentally friendly as well.

  1. Learn to properly bake the clay.polymer

As a beginner, baking clay can be pretty tough. However, as you continue to mold your clay and create sculptures, you get better and your skills improve. Keep in mind that if your clay is not properly baked, it will be prone to breakage and unusual changes in color. You need to make sure that your clay is baked just right so that it will be durable, attractive, and long-lasting.

See to it that you check your oven to ensure that it is at the right temperature. Do not forget to preheat your oven, and never bake your clay at lower temperatures. Otherwise, it will be incompletely cured. You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to baking.

Do not worry if you overbaked your clay. Baking it for a long time actually causes it to be stronger. When baking, make sure that you also protect your clay by covering it with aluminum foil. You can place it in between aluminum foil pans to prevent the heat of the oven from toasting the clay.

  1. Use the right kind of paint.polymer-clay-color

You may think that adding nail polish or gloss to your polymer clay will make it more attractive. However, you should avoid doing this because the chemicals in these products will only make the clay sticky in the long run. You should avoid using sealers and paints that require the use of paint thinner for cleaning the brushes as well. Nevertheless, you can safely use acrylic paints for your polymer clay sculptures.

  1. Store your polymer clay properly.

Finally, you should store your materials properly. Keep the polymer clay away from heat to prevent it from hardening or curing. Do not store it near heaters, radiators, or lamps. You should also keep it away from the window or under direct heat. Ideally, you should keep it in “clay safe” plastic boxes or plastic bags. The container has to have the recycle number 5 at the bottom instead of number 6.

 

How to eat healthy on a budget

Being tight on cash can make it difficult to plan your meals in a manner that keeps them both nutritious and tasty, while also keeping them light on your wallet. Fortunately, there are plenty of thrifty ways to eat healthy on a budget, if you’re willing to do some looking around:

organic-vegetables

  • Purchasing in-season fresh produce and stocking it in the freezer: There’s nothing healthier than fresh, organic fruits and vegetables for your meal. But they can be quite pricey when they are not in season. You might want to purchase them when they are readily available in the market and stock up on them for months when they won’t be.

For example, you could get several dozen cobs of corn when they are on the cheap and stash them away in your freezer, either whole or in bags. The corn will keep fresh for months on end, letting you enjoy healthy meals almost all year around.

  • Planning your meals around sales and promotions: Your local grocery store might have a savings scheme that puts up different groceries on discounted prices on a weekly basis. If you follow a 7 day meal plan, you could always plan your meals according to what’s on sale in the current week.

Of course, thanks to the internet, there is a much better way of turning a promotional discount into a healthy meal. Online vendors such as iHerb always have several different iHerb promo code floating on the internet that their customers can avail to knock a substantial amount of their shopping cart – you might want to consider shopping for fresh produce online so you can avail the discounts these websites offer.

  • Go for less costly meat cuts: Being on a strict budget doesn’t mean you have to leave meat out of your healthy diet plan. You could try less pricey cuts of meat, such as chicken thighs as opposed to chicken breasts. These may take longer to cook, but you can manage that with various techniques such as slow cooking.

For the more adventurous, there is plenty of flavor and nutrition to be extracted from skin-on, bone-in red meat cuts, as well as organ meats. These are extremely cheap compared to the more conventional cuts.

  • Incorporate beans and whole grains into your meal: Freekeh, quinoa, wheat and brown rice are rich in essential nutrients such as carbs and proteins, and they cost a lot less than meat. You can make just as tasty meals out of them, for instance, lentil soup, chilli, beans and bacon, wheat couscous and so on.
  • Try out ethnic food: Dishes from other parts of the world, such as Indian and Mexican, are incredibly flavourful and equally inexpensive. One of the staples for both kinds of cuisines is rice, a low-cost Furthermore, both focus on extracting flavor out of cheap food items like lentils, beans, chilli, and vegetables, so you don’t have to worry about spending money on meat.

You can modify their dishes to match your budget: as an example, you could create burritos with virtually any filling – an excellent opportunity to repurpose leftovers!

Health and Safety when dealing with polymer clay

People who have just started using polymer clay will be concerned about its safety. Polymer clay is non-toxic. Still, you should follow these safety guidelines when using polymer clay.

1. Don’t eat it

The polymer clay is non-toxic and won’t cause any health problems even when ingested. Still, it is wise to keep it away from children and pets. You must clean your hands after finishing your work with polymer clay. You should not let raw clay come into contact with any food.

2. Don’t eat from it

You can not eat food from dishes that are made from polymer clay. Polymer clay is too porous, and so they cannot be cleaned properly after they come in contact with food. Bacteria may develop in these pores.

3. Use clay-dedicated tools

You will find tools in your kitchen that work well with polymer clay. But you shouldn’t use them. Use clay-dedicated tools for your craft works.

4. Make sure the clay doesn’t burn

If the clay is baked at the correct temperature, you won’t need to worry about fumes. But you should be careful so that it doesn’t burn. It produces a light smell when baking. You can open your windows while baking so that the smell goes off. If the clay is burned in very high temperature, it releases toxic fumes. So, you should bake clay at a low temperature.

Follow these simple safety rules to avoid any accidents from happening. Polymer clay is a safe material to use; still, you have to be cautious while using it. If your children are using it, don’t leave them alone. Keep them under strict supervision.

Modeling our favorite superheroes with polymer clay

Polymer clay is inexpensive and wonderful to use. You can find it easily and mold it into anything you can think of. You can even model your favorite superheroes with it. Here are some tips how to do it.

1. You need the right tools

You should have the right tools model the figures. You need brushes, wax carving metal tools, loop tools, etc. You can use various cutters as well.

2. Make the clay firm

The polymer clay is too soft to use right away. You need to soak oil out of the clay with various sheets. The clay will be much firmer then and will be easy to mold into shapes.

3. Start with basic shapes before moving into details

You should first create the shape of the superhero you are going to make. Later, you can add details and eventually a noticeable character will appear.

4. Smoothing the clay surface

With firm clay, it is easier to smooth them with the fingers. You should make sure that the surface is free from bumps, fingerprints, and marks.

5. Baking and sculpting

When you make something out of clay, it is common to break one part accidentally while making another part of the figure. That’s why you should bake in sections. This way you can preserve the work that you have completed. You should set the oven to a low temperature and bake for a long time. If you put on high temperature, the clay might break.

6. Painting

You can use acrylic paints to do the details, like the eyes, mouth, logos, etc. Use various types of brushes according to your need. You can later put on a few coats of clear paint for color protection.

Use these steps to make your favorite superhero. Keep a good quality picture of your superhero in front of you while crafting. This way, you will be able to craft the details well.

Why we love polymer clay!

Arts and crafts using polymer clay can be a great activity for any age. They are flexible to use, bright in colors and offer to limit to creativity. You can make many things with polymer clay including dolls, wall hangings, beads, etc. Here are the primary reasons why we love polymer.

Brilliant color

1

You can get polymer clay in various colors from soft hues to darker ones. Some brands of polymer clay add white mineral clay to make the colors opaque. Other contains mica to give shimmer and shine.

Safety

2

Polymer clay has been tested and certified as non-toxic art materials. If large quantities of this clay are consumed, it may lead to intestinal blockages. If used according to the package instructions, the clays are safe to use. You shouldn’t let your babies or pets play with it without supervision.

Wide range of options

3

You can make almost any object with polymer clay. You can make miniature figures, houses, boats, ornaments, wall hangings, and anything you can think of.

Ease of use

4

Polymer clay is very easy to use. It doesn’t get hard like regular clay if you leave it idle for a while. So, you can finish your work with polymer clay anytime without worrying that your craft will dry up. You also bake the polymer clay in your oven to make it hard.

If you haven’t used polymer clay, try making something today. You will fall in love with it like us.