For beginners and experts alike there is always something you haven't thought of. If you add any useful hints and tips to the community blog, it will be added to this list of tips.
Useful tit-bits on other sites:
Review of liquid clays - useful information here:
Hints and Tips
What makes polymer clay lose its flexibility is the plasticiser that fuses with the particles of polyvinyl chloride when the clay is cured.
crumbly clay will become workable by conditioning.
From Jamie Carrington (miniaturist): 2 oz of Premo Beige to 0.1 oz Premo white. Mix until it's all one colour and let it rest for a few minutes to firm up. Great clay, firm and strong when baked.
Kato clay cooks best at 325- 340F (171C) - for 45minutes to 1 hour.
If you want to make it flexible put it back into the oven for minutes at 93C
Prisma colour makers are compatible with polymenr clay - alcohol based.
Use crepe paper as a texture
Push seed beads into your clay with the rubber end of a pencil
Use rubber thinble as a texture
From Sheila Stevens: I have just found a thread from www.ukstampers.co.uk/forums which has many posts about Inka Gold & its habit of going mouldy. Apparently one reason maybe using fingers to apply - bacteria on fingers - but I always use small cosmetic sponges, keeping a different one for each colour. As for some colours drying out, a suggestion is to cover with clingfilm after spraying lightly with water.
From Blue Bottle Tree it has been suggested that you use a varnish (probably Darwi Varnish (available here) and add Pearlex to it to make a paint to use on your clay.
Look in your food cupboard for inclusions: ground spices, cocoa powder, herbs – so many possibilities. #polymer clay Only use substances as inclusions that will not rot – like dried spices and herbs.
We know to drop translucent clay into ice cold water after baking. Alternatively heat with heat gun for seconds.
Have you tried using the eye of a needle for texturing your polymer clay?
If you don’t like putting gloves on to stop fingermarks, just cut off the fingers of the gloves and use only those.
Put cornflour (cornstarch) on the palms of your hands to stop the moisture of your hands making your clay sticky.
Cola cans have concave bottoms – great for shaping your clay (But be careful not to get an image of the date like I did….)
If tumbling your beads as an alternative to sanding put soap flakes in the tumbler, not detergent.
If you get bubbles in your clay when rolling out, pop them with a pin and stretch your sheet to release the air.
When cutting canes, turn them with every cut to avoid distortion.
Cover your egg with liquid clay and cure it before laying a polymer cover on it – makes it harder.
If you are covering eggs with clay you always need to leave a small air hole in the egg so the clay won’t crack during baking.
Mix ground pepper with translucent clay to make a lovely grey slate colour. But then of course you can add embossing powders too
Mix paprika with translucent clay to get a lovely natural red- orange colour.
Dried herbs used as inclusions make wonderful faux jade.
Put cling film over the indentations when making mokome gane – makes the pattern cleaner.
Before Baking, freeze your beads before putting holes in them. Easier than drilling. More accurate than when clay is soft.
Hold your beads on a wire so they don’t spin off when buffing them on a Dremel.
When reducing a cane make a registration line on your clay with translucent clay, so you can keep it straight.
Thought of using an egg slicer to cut your clay?
Blu tac gets clay off your fingers.
A very small amount of mineral oil on your finger can smooth out wrinkles on your clay.
Polymer clay can be used indefinitely if properly stored: it does not dry out. Indeed most clays benefit from keeping.
If you use mica powder on the outside of your project do not sand it – glaze it.
Do not work with your clay on a wooden surface – it will discolour the grain of the wood.
When cutting canes always rest them or freeze them before cutting.
Gently indent your cane with a hair comb as a guide for even slices when cutting a cane.
Those who sew, look for textured fabrics which can be used to texture your clay – lace is ideal.
Sandpaper produces wonderful texture effects on your clay.
Texture with screws, old tooth brushes, buttons,washers,chains – have fun and experiment. Texture with combs, scrunched foil, brushes, buttons – so many possibilities.
Texture with belt buckes, rubber gloves, cut glass, pipe cleaners, plastic toys, orange peel – use your imagination. #polymer clay
When using your extruder, soften your clay put in a waterproof bag in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
Bake with the good side down because hot air, and bubbles rise.
Make your own moulds by pressing leaves or seed heads, or shells into scrap clay and bake.
Use a bed of cornflour (cornstarch) when baking your clay.
If you cover your clay in the oven (recommended) cook for longer.
You can use fine sand or baking powder as an alternative bed for your clay when baking.
When making holes in your beads coat the piercing implement with cornflour (cornstarch) before using.
You can use eye shadow as a colouring in your opaque clays. Do not use same brushes on your eyes though.
For European clayers Tesco basic cling film does not have plasticizers in it so won’t leech your clay.
Lisa Pavelka has transfer paper onto which you can print your own designs for your polymer clay.
Make bevelled edge on your clay by putting sheet of cling film over clay before cutting with a cutter.
When putting holes in beads cradle them in the palm of your hand rather than hold in your fingers – less fingerprints.
Do not roll your left over clay into a ball – it is more likely to collect bubbles.
Translucent clays tint so well with tiny amounts of alcohol inks
When making canes remember that low contrast colours will disappear when the cane is reduced.
Square canes are easier to slice than round ones.
Adding a little gold to colours that seem to be incompatible will make them match.
Put pearlex on your clay and bake, and then you can seal it with liquid clay (and bake again).
You can produce scented clay by adding chopped vanilla pods into your clay.
Look at your cane through the wrong end of your binoculars to see what it will look like when reduced.
Have you thought of adding beach sand into your clay to create texture?
Always have a good thermometer in your curing oven and check often – almost all ovens ‘spike’.
Use translucent clay as one of the colours when making mokome gane – very effective.
Layer metal sheets onto your clay and roll through pasta machine to create lovely crackle effect.
Put fresh clay with old clay for a few days – the plasticizers will leach out and soften the old clay.
Black darkens (never use much), white brightens, and ecru mutes.
Do not sit your projects in cornflour (cornstarch) for too long – it weakens the clay.
You can use inkjet transfer paper often used for fabric as an effective and economical image transfer paper.
Before slicing cane you can bake it for 10 minutes to stop it being mis-shapen when you are cutting.
Make blown eggs into rattles for children by putting a few grains of rice inside.
Try putting brightly coloured paper collage cut outs on your clay and cover with thin layer of translucent.
Brushing interference violet (or other interference colours) on black clay produces stunning effects.
For effect, when doing mokome gane vary the thickness of the clays you build up.
For variety, use sheets of skinner blends in your mokome gane.
Use PearlEx to boost the mica content of your clay when doing Mica shift work.
When baking to a curved surface put foil on curved object to stop clay from sticking.
To be meticulous use one pasta machine for white clay only and a different one for your other clays.
Ice cubes help get clay off carpets.
Revive old canes by wrapping Fimo Mix Quick round a cane for a couple of days
Have you tried putting thread into translucent projects?
If clay projects have gone dark or dirty, pop them into bleach for a while.
You can cook flat projects in a ceramic tile sandwich so you don’t need to sand them so much.
Put foil on black clay, put it through the pasta machine to crackle. Put it through in two directions for effect.
When you sand beads with different grades of wet and dry sand paper, change the water between each grit size.
White clay attracts dirt. Keep it covered at all times. Clean your pasta machine and blades constantly whilst working with your clay.
Denim – or your jeans- are by far the best way to buff up your clay
If you are putting findings into your clay be sure to add a loop on the end so that it doesn’t easily slip out.
Use an old food processor to condition, soften or slice your clay. Do not use for food afterwards.
If your pasta machine leaves black marks on your clay run a paper towel soaked in surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) through the machine.
You can add pearlex powder to liquid clay for effect.
You can mix different brands of clay but be aware of the temperature. The best idea is to cure at the lowest of the temperatures, but to cure for longer.
If you are texturing your clay dip your tool in water first to stop it from sticking to your clay.
Chisel tip of sculpey tools is so useful for removing excess clay or glue from your project
Use etch and pearl tool to hang beads on when cooking them
Stick etch and pearl tool, or wires, through edges of take away metal container when hanging beads for cooking
You can tint sculpey glaze with alcohol inks
Mix alcohol ink with Glow in the Dark clay and the glow property remains.