Homemade polymer clay

Written by martin malcolm Google
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Homemade polymer clay
Squeezy polymer clay is perfect for modelling. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Squeeze it, mould it, shape it, paint it -- whatever you do to it, polymer clay is perfect for models. The commercial product, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is popular with kids, hobbyists and movie professionals. Baked hard in the oven, it doesn't warp, shrink or lose its colour. If you don't fancy all that baking, you can make your own polymer clay, from household ingredients. It'll harden in a few days, in a warm, airy place.


Mix together in a bowl, one cup plain flour and one cup cornstarch. Make a well or depression in the centre of the the mixture, using your knuckles. Pour into the well one cup white PVA glue, the kind that is sold for kids' art projects.


Stir the ingredients together thoroughly, using a spoon. This is likely to be hard work, as the mixture starts off very sticky and stodgy. Keep stirring, drawing the dry powder from the edge of the mixture into its wet centre. A dough-like ball of clay forms as the dry powder is gradually absorbed.


Rub a few drops of baby oil into the palms of your hands. This helps soften the clay when you work it and stops the stuff sticking to you, too. Pinch off a piece of clay and roll it between your palms, along with a drop of acrylic paint. Work the clay between your palms until all the paint has been absorbed and you are left with a small ball of clay that is an even colour.


Make small balls of clay in all the colours you require. Sculpt or model your clay into whatever shape or design you want. Cover the model tightly with a plastic bag if you have to leave it for a while, so it is still soft and pliable when you return it to it.


Put your finished creation in a warm, dry place where it will be undisturbed and where the air can circulate freely. A high shelf is a good choice. Leave your model for two to three days, until it has dried out thoroughly and has fully hardened. Sandpaper, paint, or varnish the finished model further, if you wish.


Store any unused home-made polymer clay in an airtight container. Put the container in a cool place, away from direct light.

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