Inspired by a pair of polymer clay earrings I saw on Pinterest, I decided to try my hand at making some marbled DIY polymer clay ornaments. The tip I picked up was to use translucent polymer clay, which I had no idea existed, but creates the look of a gemstone or stained glass. Of course, I could not find ANY of it locally – my only craft store here was totally out of almost every single color of Sculpy clay. But I was already on a mission, so I ended up scooping up the last sort of translucent, sparkly pack of “Opal” along with a mix pack of random colors, a block of white and a block of glittered turquoise. I might try this again when I can actually get my hands on the supplies I want but, in the meantime, the DIY polymer clay ornaments I made turned out really pretty!
This is only my second time working with polymer clay (see the chicken ornaments I made here), and there’s a whole…world around this stuff. People invest in a lot of tools, make intricate designs, and have really complicated methods. It’s taken very seriously! So I’m sure my technique is not correct – but I just dove right in and it worked out, so don’t be intimidated!
Supplies for Making Marbled DIY Polymer Clay Ornaments:
- Sculpey polymer clay
- Liquid polymer clay (I used pearl for extra shimmer)
- Metal leaf (optional)
- Cutting board
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- Sandpaper (120 and 220 grit)
Notes on Supplies: this clay will stain surfaces, so don’t use a favorite cutting board or porous rolling pin (using the unfinished wood one I use for baking was a mistake, lol).
How do You Make Polymer Clay Ornaments:
The process for making polymer clay ornaments is easy!
- Condition the clay by rolling it out and kneading in your hands until pliable and flexible
- Chop the clay into small pieces
- Mix the pieces with gold leaf and liquid polymer clay
- Shape into a squared off tube shape
- Slice into pieces and lay out the pieces into a sheet
- Roll out the pieces to form one large piece, approx 1/4″ thick
- Use cooking cutters to cut out shapes
- Use a straw to create a hole for ribbon or hooks
- Bake at 275°F for 15 minutes (bake 15 minutes for each 1/4″ of thickness)
- Let cool and sand edges smooth
Click here to see a quick video tutorial – or click the video below:
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Here’s a more detail set of instructions for making Sculpey clay ornaments. After unwrapping my polymer clay, I conditioned it a bit to make it softer. To do that, I rolled it out with a rolling pin and then kneaded it with my hands until it was soft and pliable (it comes out of the package pretty stiff).
Once it was soft and pliable, I chopped it into little pieces:
I poured on liquid polymer clay because I heard it helps everything stick back together again:
I mixed in some metal leaf, worked it in my hands into a ball, and then rolled it out into a squared off tube shape.
I sliced that into thick slices:
The I laid them together and rolled them out to form one sheet:
I used cookie cutters to cut out my shapes – the sharper, the better!
I used a straw to make holes for the top, so I can hang them with ribbon or hooks.
I baked my polymer clay ornaments at 275℉ for 15 minutes. The time to bake polymer clay will vary with the thickness: bake for 15 minutes for each 1/4″ of thickness. I have also read to bake for 30 minutes per 1/4″ but for me, 15 minutes was sufficient. Polymer clay should have a little flex to it when it’s cooled – that’s how you know it’s baked correctly. Under baked polymer clay will be susceptible to breakage and could crumble. My DIY polymer clay ornaments are firm, but not brittle. Then I sanded the edges (outside, wearing PPE) using 120 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper, before rinsing clean.
After I cut out my first batch, I rolled the scraps into a ball and then rolled it out again, which is how I got the softer, marbled effect for some of the ornaments – a look I actually prefer to what I called the “stained glass” effect of the first batch, shown in the steps above.
Here they are on the tree:
The glitter from the clay and also the gold leaf I mixed in really catch the light – and some of these DIY clay ornaments positively glow! It’s the translucent clay, that’s the trick. See a video of how they look on the tree here, and check out the photos below.
P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!