One thing I’ve been asked a lot in my craft by beginners is which clay brand they should buy when they’re starting out, or which clay brand is the “best” to use. So finally, I’ve decided to write a blog post about it! Actually this all has been written down a year or so ago in an e-book I was planning to finish but never continued—
There are different clay brands in the market from different brands, each with their own different properties. Not one is superior to the other—I personally think it’s a matter of what project they are suited to. If you make a wide variety of things like I do, it’d be best to keep stock of various brands that will fit your different projects.
Polymer clay is generally priced from 65-130PHP and is usually sold in 50g and 100g bars.
One of the cheapest clay in the market. It is marketed as a kid’s polymer clay, thus it is very soft and easy to knead. Color selections are limited. It bakes brittle and heavy, with sort of a rough surface.
Sculpey III is easily bought in specialty art stores in the country and comes in a wide array of colors. The clay is soft and easy to condition, which is why it is recommended for beginners. The clay bakes with a matte, bisque finish.
Premo! By Sculpey
Premo is more pigmented compared to Sculpey III, and is a tiny bit more expensive. The clay bakes with a slight sheen, and has slight flexibility when baked in thin sections. Color selections are limited, and the complete colors are rarely carried in stores. This is a good choice for metallic-colored clays, and those with “special” colors (eg., marble, granite, glittered) The clay is a little firmer, making it suitable for detailed work. The clay cures to a slight sheen.
FIMO Classic, manufactured by German company, Staedtler, is a very firm clay that requires a bit of conditioning, and in most cases, a clay softener. Despite that, this clay is still a favourite of many artists due to the great color selection, and the fact that the clay’s vibrant colors are retained very well even after being baked. FIMO Classic also cures with a glossy finish, almost like hard candy.
FIMO Soft mostly has the Classic’s properties, except it’s (obviously) much softer and easier to knead. I find the colors from Soft have less shine when baked compared to Classic.
Nendo Polymer Clay
Nendo is a locally-available clay that is noted for its supreme flexibility. The clay is easy to condition and is elastic. Once baked, the clay has a slight sheen, and is very flexible. As with flexible clays, the clay may be a bit sticky to work with for those with warm hands.
Flexiclay 3 Polymer Clay
Another local brand, Flexiclay comes in a wide assortment of colors and, as the name suggests, has good flexibility. Flexi3 is firmer than Nendo, and is not as flexible, but it is easier to handle as they clay is not overly sticky or soft. To try out this clay and order some, you can check their facebook page here.
Sculpey Ultralight Clay
Most, if not all polymer clay has significant weight once they are cured, especially if you intend to make big pieces. Except Ultralight clay, which is almost like marshmallow to the touch. It only comes in one color (white) and is mostly used as the core or filler for bigger clay projects.
Different brands carry their own lines of Liquid Polymer clay that come in different colors. They become firm when baked, and are mostly used for adhering two pieces of clay together in the baking process, or as decorative “sauces” or paints.
Which Clay should I Use?
As I’ve said before, no clay is truly superior, each clay has its properties that makes it suitable for different types of projects.
Matte polymer clays that bake with a dry, “rough-to-the-touch” finish are ideal for paintwork. The rougher surfaces of these clays once baked make them ideal for being painted. Clays with a shiny finish will resist inks and paints unless they are roughened beforehand.
Firmer clays are ideal for detailwork such as engraving or carving out shapes or tiny details. Soft clays are easily distorted with a simple nudge, making them unideal. Firmer clays are recommended for making canes for the same reason.
Soft, flexible clays are ideal for making thin pieces pieces that have to resist breakage (ex. Flower petals). While soft, matte clays could also do the same thing, they bake hard and brittle, making thin pieces prone to snapping and breaking.
Hope this post helps you out if you’ve been trying to decide which brand to buy! Soon I might make a youtube guide so you can better see the qualities of the clay and their differences!
HELLOOOOO KITTENS!! We’re finally back to blogging, technical issues with our internet connection and our website provider are now solved. *tears of joy* We’ve acquired quite the backlog, so let’s start and get our DIY ready right now! Today we bring you a polymer clay tutorial on how to make a “cookie sandwich”–a chocolate filling sandwiched between two crisp cookies… except it’s in clay and isn’t edible. xD
While you can’t eat them, they’d be perfect as keychains or phone charms, right?
Our materials are as follows: Tan, white, translucent and yellow clay. Texturing tools like an old toothbrush and a pointed tool. Brown acrylic paint (i suggest something that’s not a dark muddy brown and instead is like a burnt or acorn brown), and your usual claying tools, like your roller and oven. We’re making cookies, so you also need cookie cutters in the shape you prefer.
Mix all your clay colors in the proportion pictured in the materials photo. You can actually just use one color of your preference, but I decided to mix colors because I really wanted to get the pale cookie dough look. Feel free to experiment with what colors you have available or what proportions you want. I want a classic cookie, so I’m using these colors.
Mix all the colors into a uniform, even sheet, and then take your cookie cutter out and cut out two cookie bases.
Using a pointed tool, poke out holes in a uniform pattern that’s usually seen in cookies.
Roughen up the cookie and make it look imperfect/not so smooth by dabbing an old toothbrush all over it.
The textured cookie should look like this. With that, you can bake this cookie in your oven according to your clay’s instructions. Don’t worry if it looks like it’s still raw and doesn’t have that golden-baked color! We’ll get to that after the baking~
After the cookie is baked, take your brown acrylic paint and dab it onto the corners of the cookie, where the color should be more concentrated.
Spread the color from the corners towards the center. Looking more edible now huh?
If the color has become too strong for your liking, you can use a wet cloth to rub off the excess color to desaturate the color. After this, you can embellish the cookie by using some liquid clay/deco glue stick to make fake icing or such.
The cookie is perfectly fine as it is now, and I can imagine you can make pretty things like bracelets and earrings with a flat, one-layer cookie.
Oooorrr you can make a cookie sandwich!
Simply roll out a log of clay in whatever “filling” you prefer, and use some liquid clay to attach it. And then sandwich it between two cookies, and bake again using your clay’s instructions.
MACARONS ARE FAMOUS worldwide not only as a tasty treat, but as a fashion statement and an absolute staple when it comes to fake sweets crafting. Today I’m going to show you how to make a macaron out of polymer clay, a project easy enough for beginners and still enjoyable for crafters of all levels. Here comes our polymer clay macaron tutorial!
Polymer clay for the macaron shell. I’m using Mint from FIMO Accent, but use any color you want!
Polymer clay for the macaron filling; I’m using Flexiclay 3 White.
Polymer clay template. Optional, but helps a lot. You can easily substitute it with a circle cut-out from paper. Cut out a circle that’s as big as you want your macaron shell to be.
Chalk Pastel, preferably a color darker than the color you’re using for the macaron shells. Optional, am just going to use it for a more realistic look.
Toothpicks, needles, or other pointed tools for texturing
Old toothbrush. Optional.
Any object with a flat top that can be used to press your clay. Can be your own acrylic roller.
Condition the mint clay and then roll out an even sheet with your acrylic roller or pasta machine. Thickness depends on the size of the macaron you are making, ideally 1/3 or 1/4 thickness of your shell. Cut out two circles of the size that you want your macaron shells to be. I use 3/4 inch diameter. These disks will be the “feet” of your macaron. Set aside. Prepare two balls of polymer clay of the same size. Using any object with a flat, smooth end, press each ball down into the same size you made your flat disks earlier. Make sure the clay is conditioned well so there are no cracks when you press them down! Layer this flat-top dome and the flat disks you made from earlier like so. Using pointed items, like toothpicks or needles, add texture to the flat disk part (the “feet” of the macaron) by swirling your needle/toothpick around and just making random movements. It will make “crumbs” in the surface, to imitate what the feet of a macaron look like. (yes that part’s called the “feet”) To add texture, you can take an old toothbrush and roughen up the top shell, for a more realistic look. If you’re going for the smooth look though, you can skip it!
I like to bake my shells after this step, to preserve the texturing on this feet. Too much handling can make you lose the “crumbs”, so I like to bake it as soon as I can. I also like to just make many shells in one go and store them, adding the filling later. When it’s baked and cooled, again, for a more realistic look, brush on some sealer/gloss (I use New Future gloss) onto the shells and scrape some chalk pastel with a craft knife onto the macaron shells. The still-wet sealer will help the chalk powder stick to the shell. When the first coat is dry, brush with it another layer of sealer gently, as to not rub out the chalk pastel. I find real macarons sometimes have darker sections in them and are rarely as smooth and perfect as decoden ones, so I decided to add “spots” to mine. Some macaron flavors also intentionally have this look–say, chocolate orange macarons. But if you’re going for the smooth look, feel free to skip this as well. Roll out your white clay into a long, thin log. Make it as thin/thick as you want the filling to be. Take this log and cut it up just enough to go around the macaron. This will be the “filling”–it’s ok if it’s hollow inside since no one will open it up anyway! Finally put the two shells together sandwiching the filling inside. Put in any metal findings like eyepins at this step.
Apart from clay for the filling, there are alternatives like silicone icing, or air-dry decoden icing that are available in specialty craft online stores.
This is the delayed accompaniment post to our Ace Attorney Defense Badge tutorial! The Attorney Badge will complete any Ace Attorney cosplay, if you’re going as Phoenix, Mia, Apollo, or Athena. This tutorial uses polymer clay.
A circle template. If you don’t have a store-bought one, you draw circles using a compass on paper, and cut that out, to use as your template. Make your circle depending on how big you want your badge to be.
Gold polymer clay. We paint our badge after its baked so if you intend to do the same, color hardly matters.
Rubber shaping tools. Optional, but really help.
A pointed item, like a toothpick
Fade-proof, waterproof ink pen.
Paint or pigment of your choice. I will be using gold metallic spraypaint.
Condition and flatten your clay into an even sheet. Then cut out two disks of the size you want.
On the second disk, cut out another circle in the center of it. You won’t be using that circle. Layer this “circle-with-a-circle-cut-out” on top of the first disk. You can make the edges smoother and more rounded using a rubber tool, or your fingernails.
The disk with the cut out will become the raised border around the badge. Using a toothpick, mark out the lines that will be the divisions in the border.
Still using the toothpick, push these lines into the center of the disk, and drag it out was well toward the edges.
You want it to look seamless to the first disk and not just something put on top.
Bake according to your clay’s instructions. After it has been cooled, I also spray it with some gold paint.
Afterwards, I take my fade-proof, water-proof pen and manually draw the Libra scale in the middle of the badge. Practice first and use a good reference! I messed up mine a bit. xD
After that, it’s just a matter of waiting for the ink to dry and then sealing it in, and then attaching the brooch pins to the back. You now have a cute Defense Attorney badge! For those who prefer seeing things in motion, our video tutorial is also below. Please subscribe if you’d like to get updated on tutorials of cosplay or cute items!
Hey everybody! To make up for not being able to blog last month, I have a jam-packed list of articles that I have here that I hope to all be able to publish this month. It’s been quite crazy for me recently, and things have been chaotic with the shop. I must admit I ended up depressed a lot of times, and stormy weather doesn’t help any. I am a gal that always prefers sunny days.
But personal stuff aside, today I am posting a short DIY armor tutorial for Sintra. I got a commission for minor armor for the character Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening (pictured above). I do not often and barely accept commission for armors and weapons, except for good friends and when I actually have materials I can work with. I meant to make the armor with foam x Wonderflex before, but craft foam was sold out in every shop I went to lately. D: Until I saw that Sintra is finally available off store shelves in National Bookstore. Its the preferred material of many cosplayers overseas.
Sintra from National Bookstore costs P65 for 1/8 illustration board size, and P135 for 1/4 illustration board size. I buy the smaller ones because they are easier to carry and there’s only a P5 difference. =_=
Before I start with demonstrating how I made the armor for Lucina, here are some basic Sintra tips:
Sintra is heat-formable, but dont expect it to expand or flex the way thermoplastics do; if anything else it shrinks and curls up into itself when overheated. When its reached that state it is practically impossible (or possible but extremely tough) to flatten it out again to its original state, so slow-but-sure is the method to heating it up.
However, once its heated up, it sets and cools down again almost instantly. Okay, not instantly, but in seconds. We are talking around only less than one minute working time here. Once you heat it and its bendable, you HAVE to set it to the shape you want immediately–or else it’ll cool down and harden on you, and because of problem #1 above we don’t want to heat it too often. If you aren’t used to handling hot material, get some work gloves ready.
It can only curve in one direction, and its flexibility isn’t wonderflex/worbla category. Don’t expect to be able to make boob-armor out of it; however its highly recommended for armor that only has to curve in one direction, like arm guards or leg armor.
Sintra expands/thickens when heated, so its sturdy on its own and needs no supporting material. It also has a coating which makes it water-resist
Unlike wonderflex/worbla though, the scraps aren’t moldable and I can barely come up with an idea how to use them. They are just scraps. =_=
I assume you have a heat gun. Its a great investment if you want to work with thermoplastics and prop-making materials. They are easily bought in hardware stores in malls (ACE Hardware, Handyman, True Value) and cost between 1.3k-2k.
First off, like with anything I do, I start off with a pattern. Because Sintra cannot curve in two directions, I am opting to make the raised part of the armor a separate piece from the bottom part. I’ll show how to make it look like one seamless armor piece later.
For making a pattern, just sit down and imagine how your armor would look like when its laid into a flat sheet. You can also press the pattern paper against your arm/leg/wherever you’re making armor for and draw a rough shape on the paper and then just polish it out.
I then trace the pattern onto the Sintra, and then cut it out. Use sturdy scissors as it can be a bit tough to cut through.
Take out your heat gun and for the flat pieces into curved ones. I take it slooowly but surely. I first heat the middle section where the curve is at its highest, curve it there, let it set, and then gently work my way from the middle towards curving the ends.
Remember that it sets almost instantly, so be quick! Use the lower heat setting on your heat gun too, to avoid overheating it.
Once the two pieces–top and bottom are curved--I position them together at an angle and then glue them together with industrial-strength glue, also holding them in place with some clamps so they are able to dry properly while holding the shape.
One thing I like about Sintra lots is that it thick and sturdy on its own–no need to support it with foam unlike worbla or wonderflex.
If you notice the parts where I glued the two pieces together is obvious, but the look we are going for is one seamless armor piece. So I fill in the seam with some wall putty.
By this time I also make the raised details on the armor. I used molded wonderflex scraps, and flexible polymer clay for them. If you want to use polymer clay, bake it on its own; do not put the sintra in the oven with it–the sintra WILL collapse in the oven heat.
More putty over wherever I can put putty on, and then sanding.
Sintra in itself doesn’t need to be primed before painting–its already got a great finish for painting, so putty only over the areas you want to smooth out. It’s one other advantage of Sintra–no need for lots of prepping before painting it.
Bef0re I spraypaint this spraypaint-primer on it, I use Diamond Glaze over it, concentrating on the gaps and cracks that there may be in the putty. I am lazy like that haha. Diamond Glaze is a 3-Dimensional gloss/adhesive. I use it to glaze my clay creations, but since it dries with a raise/3D effect, its almost perfect for making surfaces smoother and level, and filling in cracks. Diamond Glaze can be bought in special art shops.
Then I spray it all with this grey-colored acrylic primer. I love how this primer is grey; for me it creates a better base for metallics like silver instead of a white primer. My blue spraypaint was also a little to bright for the color I need so a darker primer works great for me.
Then I just spraypaint with gold and blue spraypaints. You know, cover the parts I don’t want painted on with masking tape so they don’t get the color, spray, rinse and repeat.
I dry brush black acrylic paint onto it afterwards to give it depth, and a more “used” look.
Afterwards I seal it all in and gloss it using more Diamond Glaze. There are also other projects I was working on there on my table, haha.
So that you’re able to wear it, I sewed these black straps with Velcro, and attached them to the armor using Fabri-Tac and Wonderflex scraps to seal it in place. :3
AND HERE IT IS.
Overall, I had a blast using Sintra, and would recommend it for basic armor DIY projects like these for those that want to get crafty. It has lots of pros going for it–its cheap, but lightweight and sturdy. Its practically as thick as an illustration board but its WAAAY much sturdier, and is waterproof even. There is less need to prime it for paintjobs. There are limitations to what it can do, but for what it CAN do, its an excellent material. I recommend it for basic armguards or leg armor.
Apart from National Bookstore, you can also easily buy these from art shops in Recto or along España. Good luck!
HELLO EVERYONE! Today I have another quick tip/tutorial for polymer clay enthusiasts–how to restore or soften dried or hard clay. If you’ve ever bought an unlucky bar of clay that was just ROCK HARD then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just get unlucky and buy a pack that’s rock hard and FLAKY. The clay doesn’t like to stick to each other and instead just crumbles like a bad piece of pastry.
There’s an easy solution to this problem though!
You’ll just need some oil, and a resealable plastic packet. Other sorts of oil can be used I hear, but the most common and the one I use is ordinary baby oil.
The clay I’m restoring for this example is FIMO Classic Raspberry. This really isn’t “old” but FIMO Classic in itself is a particularly hard clay. I cut it up a bit so you see what I mean by “flaky”–the clay tends to crumble off when cut, which isn’t what you want.
I just pop it into a resealable pouch and then pour a few drops of oil in it. I let it sit overnight or for however long I want the oil to sink in. Sometimes I leave it there until I need to use the clay! It’s guaranteed to restore the softness in the clay.
I recommend doing this for cut bars–don’t condition the clay you mean to soak beforehand, or else it could end up too soft. Soft enough to qualify as clay icing for cakes! Unless that’s what you mean to achieve. If you want icing-soft clay, just condition clay and let it soak in oil for a good amount of time. Trust me, you won’t need to stir it long like the liquid-clay technique just to get it to icing consistency!
But what would happen if it gets too soft for your tastes? What you can do is take the clay out of the pack and then just let it rest between sheets of paper, tissue, or whatever absorbent material. The paper will absorb the oils in the clay. You can let it sit for as long as you like, when the oils are absorbed to your liking.