Common Polymer Clay Problems And Solutions

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By General Crafts Contributor Amy from the Etsy Shop DangerousRainboCraft.

I remember when I first started working with clay in 2007. I ran across all kinds of surprise issues with project outcomes. Frankly I was sometimes a little green with envy over the amazing works of other clay artist. I would ask myself why am I having “this” problem and they are not. So I want to share with you the solutions to the problems I had at the beginnings of my polymer clay journey.

Problem: The bottom of your clay work has an unattractive shine after baking.


The best fix I have found for this is to line your baking pan with plain white computer paper and place your work on top of it before baking.

Problem: My clay is too hard to work with.


When clay is hard and crumbles when you work with it don’t throw it away. To bring your clay back to life add small amount of liquid fimo and work it into your clay. continue adding small amounts of liquid fomo and needing it until it is just right for use. Don’t overdo it though you don’t want sticky clay.

Problem: My clay is too soft.


Clay can become tacky and sticky sometimes, to fix this I like to use a process called leaching. Leaching removes excessive oil that is in your clay. First lay down a sheet of computer paper then flatten your clay onto the paper. Place another piece of paper on top to sandwich your clay. You can firmly press it or use a roller to flatten it. Let it rest about 20-30 minutes before checking and repeat the process till your clay is just right.

Problem: Lint and dust specks on clay.


The first step I always do before starting work with clay is to wipe down my work area and tools I plan to use with any household surface cleaner and paper towels. Use paper towels that don’t leave behind lint not the expensive soft ones. Keep pets away from your work area. Don’t wear fuzzy clothing and avoid touching your clothing when working. To get your hands extra clean you can use a sugar scrub. Even after cleaning my work there can still be dust and lint in the air that ends up in my clay. To remove lint from your work before baking dip a cotton swab in some rubbing alcohol and gently rub it on the clays surface where the lint is.

Problem: Fingerprints on your work.


You can wear latex gloves but they can become hot and sweaty. Using cornstarch on your fingertips can help make fingerprints less noticeable. To remove fingerprints from clay you can use rubbing alcohol or baby oil to smooth them away. You can also place a piece of cling wrap over your work and smooth away fingerprints. Just be carful you don’t make any creases with the cling wrap.

Are you facing any challenges with polymer clay that you would like some tips on? Leave me a comment below.

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