Polymer Clay Tutorial


The polymer clay tutorial, lets you play with clay and make something useful for your home. 


polymer-clay-tutorial-soap-dish

Age: 10 and up

Difficulty: Easy

Time scale: 2 out of 5


Supplies:

  • 2 Pkg's of translucent polymer clay (I used sculpey) 
  • 1/4 pkg. gold clay
  • 1/8 pkg lime green or choose your own colors! 
  • Pattern stamp 
  • Green and copper pearl ex powders 
  • Medium ball end tool
  • Pasta machine 
  • Roller
  • Small oven safe bowl or bottom of gourd
  • Toaster oven
  • Tinfoil



I've been working on a less complicated, polymer clay tutorial, that will still produce satisfying results. This polymer clay soap dish is a great example. Anyone can make this, it's so easy and it's useful too!
Color coordinate to match your bathroom decor.


kitchen-scrubby-dish

This doesn't have to be for soap; it can be used as a catch all, or for holding a kitchen scrubby, jewelry or spare change. Adapt the size to suit the use.


Polymer Clay Tutorial


Start by conditioning the clay. Roll it, squeeze it, thump it. If it has sat around for a while, thinking about what it wants to be, it may be a bit difficult to whip into shape. Try wacking it a few times with a hammer, to beat it into submission. If it crumbles under the pressure, add some liquid polymer clay softener. Even old stubborn clay can usually be salvaged.

A never give up attitude, can really help! Fresh clay, of course is preferable, but if you are a craft supply collector, old clay happens! Anyone with hands weakened or damaged from arthritis or chemo treatments, should really use a soft, fresh polymer.

Hopefully, conditioning your clay, is a fairly uneventful procedure and you can quickly, move on with this polymer clay tutorial.

Choose either a small, oven safe bowl or the bottom, cut off a gourd. (If you have done any gourd crafts, you may have one.) If using a gourd bottom, dampen slightly with water.


mixing-clay-colors-together

Mix the translucent, gold and green clay together.

Flatten and run multiple times, through the pasta machine or use a roller.

Only mix, until it looks nice, still partially streaked. Too much mixing, will just produce a yucky color.


Never think you have to do a polymer clay tutorial, exactly as instructed! Do your own thing. It isn't necessary to use these colors. Try different colors, to see what you come up with. One of my favourite activities is color mixing, to see the surprises created. The pasta machine is really helpful for doing this.

Keep the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Run the clay through a few times. Hopefully, you have a long, fairly wide piece. 

Fold the piece over, end to end to double the thickness. Use a roller to squish the pieces together. You will need a piece approximately 6.5 X 4.5  inches. (If you want this for soap, check to make sure it is wide enough to fit.) 

If using only a roller, shape the clay into a ball, then flatten. Roll out to about the thickness of 2 quarters, stacked together. (No need to roll out and double over.)

adding-stamped-texture-to-clay

Rip the edges, all the way around, to make a jagged, rectangle shape with a finished size of about 6 X 4 inches.

Use a pattern stamp to create a design on the clay.

Flip, pattern side down.

skinny-snakes-for-drainage

Roll a piece of clay into a long, skinny snake, about 1/4 the thickness of a pencil.

Make 5 pieces, the same length as the long side of the clay.

Lay the skinny snakes, on the clay.

Leave about an inch, from each edge (on the sides only) and space evenly across.


ridges-in-bottom-of-handmade-soap-dish

 

Use a medium ball end tool to make ridges on each side, along the clay snakes.

These ridges will hold the soap up slightly, from the bottom, for drainage.

use-round-bottomed-object-to-hold-shape-while-baking-sculpey

Place a small, oven safe bowl or the bottom, that has been cut off a gourd, upside down.

Put the clay across the bowl, with the ridges down. Push down slightly, so the clay follows the contour of the bowl/gourd.

add-legs

 Roll out four balls about 3/4's of an inch.

Shape into cylinder shapes. These will be the legs on the soap dish.

Push onto the clay about 1.25 inches in from the narrow side and 1.75 inches in from the long sides.

They should end up spaced about 1 inch apart, the long way and 3/4's of an inch apart, the narrow way.

Use the ball end tool to smooth and connect the legs, onto the dish.

Add lines for texture.

flatten-feet-on-legs


Turn over, bowl and all and push onto the work surface to flatten the bottom of the legs.

Make sure the dish sits level and doesn't wobble.

Flip back over. Bottom of soap dish up, bowl upside down.

This is where you can add a little more pizazz, to this polymer clay tutorial, with a bit of green and bronze, pearl ex powders. Use on the bottom only, the inside will probably just scrub off.


Cover loosely with a piece of tinfoil.

Make sure to leave the soap dish on the bowl or gourd bottom (whichever you are using). If it doesn't have this support, it will get distorted, when baking. 

Bake in a preheated toaster oven for approximately 60 minutes. Check the baking instructions for the clay you are using. Adjust accordingly.

Let cool.

Pry the soap dish, carefully off the bowl.

Weren't sure you could make a soap dish, using polymer clay? Now you know, you can!


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