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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Making Doll Food Polymer Clay 101 pt 2

This week we are going to be talking about conditioning your polymer clay. When you open the package of clay it needs to be warmed up, kind of like when we stretch before we exercise. Just like an athlete's body needs to warm up so does your clay.

It doesn't matter if you are opening up a brand new package of clay or if you are picking up a block of clay you used before you need to condition it every time you work with it.

Don't worry, it's really easy. Just work with it in your hands to make it more pliable. Depending on the brand and age of the clay this process can take a while. Some brands (Fimo) take longer and so does clay that has been around a while.

If your clay is really cold and or hard try warming it up a bit. I usually tuck the package into a item of clothing against my skin for a while. Body heat can do wonders for getting you clay ready to work.

Now if you have some really hard or dry clay and you have been trying for a while and it just isn't coming together some of the clay manufacturers have products that can be added to help with the process. If you are really desperate and want to get the clay softened quickly add just a drop or two of oil. You can use mineral oil or vegetable oil for this. Remember I said a drop or two. Don't add much just a tiny drop and try to work it in.

Now what if you have the opposite problem and the clay is too soft. Yes, this does happen, some of the brands are very soft and hard to work with. For this take a plain sheet of paper and lay the clay on it for overnight. In the morning you should see an “oily” stain on the paper and the clay should be a slight be firmer.

Now you may be asking why would we want clay that is harder, of more correctly firmer? When you are trying to make items with really fine details you need a firm clay. You just can't get the details to stay with a soft clay. On the scale we are working with for the 18” dolls this is not as big of an issue as it is with my dollhouse miniature work.

I hope this information was helpful, let me know if you have any questions. 


  1. Joanne, thrilled you're doing this series ;) Is there a problem combing 2 different brands of clay in a project? Thanks so much.

    Melinda C - evrnstitches

  2. I think I talked about that in the first post in this series. But, yes, with the exception of the Kato brand clay all the others can be mixed. Just bake at the lowest specified temperature.