Fimo clay is a brand of polymer clay. Polymer clay, or polyvinyl chloride, is a plastic-based clay that does not harden until it is baked in an oven. There are many brands of polymer clay, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, but Fimo clay is a suitable material for sculpting, doll making and making jewellery beads. When hardened, Fimo clay is waterproof, making it a durable crafting medium for everyday bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fimo clay, minimum of two colours
- Pasta machine, optional
- Nonporous work surface
- Water-based gloss
- Safety pin
Prepare your work space in a nonfood-related area. Your work space should give you enough room to work and hold supplies. The surface that you work on has to be a nonporous area. Use aluminium foil, acrylic sheets, or any other nonporous material. Keep the clay away from food and any kitchen utensils.
Condition the clay, using your hands or a pasta machine. Polymer can become stiff if it is stored for long periods of time and needs to be conditioned in order to soften it. This involves squishing the clay with your hand until it becomes soft and pliable. A pasta machine reduces the amount of work on your hands. To use one, place the clay in between the rollers and turn the crank to draw the clay through the machine. Repeat this process until the clay is soft. Conditioning also removes any air in the clay, making your finished piece more durable and less resistant to breakage.
Roll the clay in between your hands until you have one long solid tube that is 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) in circumference and 12.5 cm (5 inches) long. Do this for a minimum of two colours.
Mix the tubes by twisting them together. Roll the piece into a solid ball then roll back into a tube. Use a polymer clay slicer, available at craft stores, to cut the tube into two equal pieces. Twist the two tubes together and repeat this process until you achieve a marbled pattern. Be careful to not over mix the colours or you will only have one solid colour as a result. End with a tube, 2.5 cm (1 inch) in circumference.
Cut off 6 mm (1/4 inch) slices from the cane using the slicer. Roll each slice into a ball, making sure they are solid pieces without any cracks or lines. Each ball should have a smooth surface.
Poke a hole in the ball with a safety pin. The hole should be big enough to string a line. Gently hold the ball and handle it with care. If handled too roughly, you will damage the shape of the ball.
Bake the beads in an oven on a baking tray you have designated for clay use only. Follow the manufacturer's directions for baking and allow the beads to cool before handling. Do not over bake clay.
Gloss the beads with a water-based gloss to give them a finished look. Chemical-based glosses do not react well with polymer clay and if used will result in a sticky feeling bead. When dry, string the beads on a line, such as tigertail, or on a stretchy cord for bracelets. Arrange polymer clay beads with glass and gem beads for unique designs.
Tips and warnings
- Polymer clay can stain so wear protective clothing when working with it.
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