How to Soften Fimo Clay

Written by melissa wiechmann
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How to Soften Fimo Clay
Fimo clay comes in a variety of colours. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Since the 1950s, crafters have used Fimo polymer sculpting clay to make projects ranging from beads to figurines to whatever their imaginations can envision. Fimo clay comes in a plastic-wrapped package that keeps the clay in proper condition. If the clay is exposed to warm air or sunlight it can harden and crumble. In addition, if the clay is many years old, it can lose its consistency and will need to be reconditioned. Even if you have Fimo that has become hard or old, it can be restored to its original state.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Fimo Mix Quick
  • Food processor
  • Pasta roller

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Instructions

    Softening New Fimo Clay

  1. 1

    Remove about a quarter of the clay from the package by breaking or cutting it off. New, straight-out-of-the-package clay requires conditioning to make it pliable enough to work with.

  2. 2

    Knead the piece of clay with your hands. Your natural body heat will soften the clay. If the clay starts to melt, run your hands under cold water, or put the clay on a cold surface.

  3. 3

    Work the dough for awhile, then pat it onto a ball and put it on a clean work surface. With the heel of your hand, start rolling the clay into a long, thin log. If the clay cracks, it needs more conditioning. Continue working the clay in your hands until you can roll out a thin log that doesn't crack.

    Softening Hard Fimo Clay

  1. 1

    Purchase a package of Fimo Mix Quick if the Fimo clay has been exposed to excessive heat or warm air, or has simply been sitting around for a long time, making it hard to condition. Mix Quick is a clear plasticiser that helps soften hardened Fimo clay.

  2. 2

    Add a piece of Mix Quick about 1/8 the size of the hardened clay, and knead it into the clay.

  3. 3

    Continue working the Mix Quick into the clay until it completely disappears and the clay is the right consistency. Roll the clay into a long, thin log. If the clay cracks, continue conditioning until you can roll out a thin log that doesn't crack.

Tips and warnings

  • When you are finished working with the Fimo clay, wrap the extra clay in aluminium foil and place it in a zip plastic bag, removing the air.
  • A trick to speeding up the conditioning process is to use a food processor. Make sure the food processor is completely clean and dry; then insert the chopper blade and put in some clay. Pulse the processor, and you should end up with small chunks of clay that are easily manipulated by hand.
  • Another conditioning trick is to use a pasta maker. The pasta maker must be clean and dry before usage. Make sure to partially condition the clay by hand before you insert it into the roller. Stiff clay will only end up shredded. Pat the clay into a sheet and insert it into the roller. When it comes out, fold it over and insert it again and again until it has the perfect consistency. Kids can pretend they are making colourful pasta.
  • Fimo clay easily picks up dog hair, dirt or dust, so make sure to place the clay on a clean working surface.
  • Fimo clay that is as hard as a rock will not be able to be conditioned. To utilise this clay, you can scrape off small crumbles of the dried-out clay using a fork or similar tool. Add these crumbles to properly conditioned clay, and they will add a mosaic effect to your clay. Be sure this is the look you want before adding the hard crumbles, because once they are integrated into the clay you can't pick them out.

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