Using a Polymer Clay stencil with Paints and Powders

Polymer clay with stencils and paints
Polymer clay with stencils and paints

This polymer clay tutorial demonstrates using polymer clay stencils with powders and paints instead of the more commonly used silkscreens. Stencils are less expensive, and more forgiving in terms of working time than silkscreens, so they're worth investigating.

They can be a little tricky as the paint or powders can get under the stencil if you’re not careful. This tutorial should explain a few tricks to help you use your stencils with ease.

You will need the following supplies:

  • A stencil (I’m using some I got from eBay)
  • A tissue blade
  • A pasta machine
  • An acrylic roller
  • Polymer clay
  • Paint
  • Powders (These can be mica powders or pastels. I’m using pastels)

How to Use Polymer Clay Stencils With Powders and Paints

  • To start you’ll need a piece of clay rolled out on the thickest setting on your pasta machine. You’ll also need a stencil.
  • Place the stencil on top of the clay, press it down with your fingertips and roll over it with an acrylic roller. This will embed the stencil into the clay and will prevent paint or powder from seeping under the pattern.
  • Now paint the open areas as you want with a brush. Unlike when using silkscreens, you can take as long as you like to paint your piece in as much detail as you need. The stencils are much easier to clean, even if the paint has dried on them.
  • Once happy gently lift the stencil from the clay and place into a bowl of warm water to soak. You should be able to wipe away the paint then.
  • Allow the paint to dry before lifting up the sheet of clay.
  • The process is basically the same if you’re using powders like pastels or micas. I like to use my fingertips for the powders, but you can also use a brush or a makeup sponge if you like.
  • Make sure to blow off any excess powder before you lift up your stencil.

Using a Polymer Clay stencil with Paints and Powders

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