Find out which polymer clay tools you need, which ones you don't, what works, and what doesn't, and where you are best off spending your hard-earned cash.
There are hundreds of tools and gadgets for polymer clay on the market today. Some of them are essential, some are really nice to have, some you could do without, and some, quite frankly, are a complete waste of money. So how do you know what's what?
Well, on this page, you'll find lots of information to help you navigate the polymer clay tool jungle. It's so tempting to buy everything in sight, (guilty), but you really don't need to, and in many cases, homemade tools and hacks work just as well as the professional tools, at a fraction of the price. So before you go on a spending spree, take a look through the articles below to get an idea of where you will be best off putting your money.
This article, is an attempt to save
beginner polymer clayers a ton of money, trouble and frustration. You really don't need anywhere near as many clay tools as you may think in order to get started with polymer clay. In fact, after adding everything up, I came to the conclusion that you can buy all the tools you need and polymer clay blocks to last a good while for around $150. That's the same price as one or two useless gadgets!
I wish there had been information like this around when I was first starting out. I can tell you I spent way too much money on stuff I didn't need in the beginning. So if you are just getting started take a look at my recommended list of polymer clay tools for beginners before you go shopping.
Caring for your polymer clay tools
As you use your tissue blades you will find that the cutting edges will dull over time. They will still work, but they won't give you as clean a cut as they did before. Many people simply throw them out at this point and buy a new set, but you can save yourself the money and bother by sharpening them instead. It's really quick and easy to do and it will extend the life of your blades by a long way.
In this polymer clay tutorial, I'll be showing you three ways to sharpen your polymer clay blades, as well as the best way to clean them in between use to keep the cutting edge smooth and sharp.
The handmade dead tree polymer clay texture stamp I show in this tutorial is inspired by winter tree branches. It's easy and fun to make yourself, and it's a great way to use up leftover clay.
If you don’t feel like spending all the time it takes to make your own textures, I have various patterns available for purchase at my Etsy shop.
In this tutorial I'll show you how to use old leftover and baked clay to make your own pebble polymer clay
It's fun and easy. You'll end up with your own unique stamp, and in the process you'll be using up some of that old leftover clay that you don't know what to do with.
Another way to save a ton of money, is to develop your own repertoire of polymer clay textures. In this video I'll show you a few of the things that I have found in my home and garden, that I use for texturing my clay.
Once you start looking, you'll find all sorts of ideas for polymer clay texturing right under your nose. It's really worth keeping your eyes open for them, because texture stamps and sheets can be quite pricey. So take a look at the polymer clay textures I found and get inspired to hunt out your own.
You can find more handmade texture stamps for sale in my Etsy shop.
In this texture stamp review I'll go through all the
positives and negatives of handmade clay stamps, and I'll show you how to use
them in order to obtain the best results.
made from clay give great organic textures, images and patterns, with details that are hard to achieve with the manufactured rubber, or photo-polymer gel stamps. Plus you can make them yourself, incorporating your own designs into your work.
Check out my Dead Tree Texture Stamp Tutorial for an example of how to make them yourself.
If you would prefer to save yourself some time, you can find some of my own designs in my Etsy shop.
Helen Breil's texture stamps come in many beautiful designs, which make them very popular with polymer clay artists.
In this texture stamp review I'll be showing you how to get the most out of these stamps, as well highlighting their ins and outs so that you can compare them to other texture stamps available on the market.
Kor rollers were originally developed for use with other media, but, because of the deep, continuous impressions they give, they have become very popular in the polymer clay community.
In this Kor rollers review, I'll give you my first impressions of how they stack up, as well as, some tips and tricks for getting the most out of them.
Lucy Clay just came out with some new stencils a couple of months back. They make a great alternative to silk screens and they're much less expensive.
In this Lucy Clay Stencil Review, I'll go through everything I like about them, demonstrate how to use them on polymer clay, and give you a few tips and things to look out for when using them.
Helen Breil's polymer clay silkscreens are admittedly some of my
favorite. In this review I'll be highlighting why, in my opinion, they
are among the best on the market.
I use the Pills and Coffee silkscreen in this Swellegant and alcohol ink veneer, so be sure to check that out.
Spending your money wisely on the right polymer clay tools, will result in you having that much extra money to spend on the clay itself, as well as tutorials to teach you how to get the most out of it. Buying too many of the wrong tools is without doubt one of the quickest ways to blow way too much money, and introduce way too much stress, into what should be a fun and relaxing hobby.
With this in mind, I plan to add many, many articles to this section. There are just some things that you only figure out with experience, usually after the money has left your bank account. I plan to share that experience with you, in the hopes that you will end up making far fewer purchasing mistakes than I did.
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