Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All About Fimo Clay: Basic Techniques

Polymer clay, also called Fimo clay, is the ideal tool for creating all sorts of small decorative items such as figurines, accents for adding to magnets or brooches, beads for making different types of necklaces, or even for making designs to glue onto a frame.

With Fimo clay, everything is possible with a little creativity!



  • Fimo clay or another brand of polymer clay
  • Grease-proof paper, aluminium foil, or parchment paper
  • For decoration: sandpaper, varnish specifically for clay, acrylic paints, etc.


  • Rolling pin or pasta machine
  • Household oven, preferably electric
  • Wooden work surface
    NB: Avoid plastic surfaces because the clay can damage it and metal surfaces because the clay can stick to it.
  • Latex gloves for smoothing finger marks from the clay and protecting the skin.


Make the model

  • Soften the clay:
    • Knead it with your hands for a few minutes OR
    • Add a softener (this will lighten the base color a little) OR
    • Run the clay through a pasta machine that's reserved for this purpose.

  • Mix different colors of clay to obtain the desired color. Think of white as a lightener for your colors!

  • Model the clay into desired shape.
    NB: Use whatever's on hand to get the shape, size, and thickness you want: pliers, utility knife, needle, rolling pin, garlic press, knife, nails, etc.
  • Decorate your creations (e.g. use beads you've created from clay or cane the clay, a process where you cut across a roll of different-colored clays to create geometric patterns).

Bake the clay

  • Preheat oven to 130°C (266°F), i.e. thermostat 4 maximum.

  • Place items for baking in oven on a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil so they don't come into direct contact with the oven.

  • Bake 10 to 30 minutes, according to the thickness of the clay.
  • If needed, reshape the form before the clay's hot enough to burn you.

  • Let objects cool completely before sanding, varnishing, or painting them.


  • Sanding: Sand under water to avoid dust. Use moist sandpaper to smooth your object and to get rid of finger marks.

  • Varnishing: Use a varnish made especially for polymer clay (matte or gloss), or a cheaper alternative is to use a product for polishing wooden floors. After varnishing, re-bake objects in oven for about 10 minutes to maintain shine.
  • Painting: Acrylic paint is the most suitable.

  • Gluing: After the object has cooled down from reheating (e.g. with varnish), you can add clasps, key rings, broaches etc. with super glue.

Translation: Emma-Jane


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