11 Complimentary Sculpey III Polymer Clay Color Mixing Recipes

Sculpey III Colors by Carrie

A Big Thanks to Carrie for Sharing These Wonderful Custom Colors:

In my opinion, Sculpey III is actually not the best polymer clay for beginners to start out with. The soft and sticky nature of this product can make it more difficult to control, especially with anything sculptural. Plus it can get brittle in the oven during the baking process.

That being said, if you understand it’s strengths and weaknesses, Scupley III can be a great product for specific types of projects. For example, Lisa Clarke who is a well respected artist in the polymer clay community, says “…it’s the only thing I will cane with!”

Now as most of you probably know, I publish weekly color recipe cards. Most all of them to date have been based on the Premo Sculpey product. However, some requests for Sculpey III recipes have been coming in lately, like this one from Jaime…

I’m a jeweltones girl myself. That’s why I love the sculpey III and the Premo so much. I find that mixtures of the two provide a good strong clay if that’s needed. And I cant find the colors they have from any of the other clay brands. I don’t mind working a bit harder to condition my clays because the results I get are so good. Besides, my Black and Decker handy chopper and a little diluent takes care of any stubborn tough clays. Any chance of a couple Sculpey III recipes Cindy? Hee hee hee. XOXO ~Jamie

As luck would have it, just 2 days before Jaime posted her request, another valued member asked if she could share her Sculpey III recipes with everyone. How serendipitous!

Cindy, I recently sat down and played around with color mixing. I use Sculpey III most of the time (I know, this is a no no in your opinion) as I have cold hands for the most part and have a hard time working with anything else. After reading through some blog posts, I found that several visitors of the site use it as well. I came up with some really great color recipes and would like to know if you would be interested in posting some on your site. I would be more than happy to share them, sometimes I have more fun mixing colors than I do bead making! ~Carrie

So without further adieu, here is Carrie’s first batch of Sculpey III color recipes. They are listed in order as they appear (starting top row, left to right) in the above photo.

  • Spring Grass: 1 part Yellow, 1 part String Bean
  • Spring Green: 1 part Sunshine, 1 part Lime
  • Cancun Sea: 1 part Turquoise, 1 part Pale Pistachio ( I have been to Cancun twice and as I was naming this color, the ocean there immediately popped in to my head!)
  • Grape: 1 part Dusty Rose, 1 part Purple
  • Strawberry: 1 part Just Orange, 1 part Sunshine, 1 part red
  • Country Blue: 1 part Stonewash, 1 part Pale Pistachio
  • Lipstick: 1 part red, 1 part Ballerina
  • Flamingo Pink: 1 part white, 1 part Violet, 2 parts Hot Pink
  • Plum: 1 part Purple, 2 parts Sunset
  • Seafoam: 1 part White, 1 part Turquoise, 1 part Emerald, 1 part Sunshine
  • Sunkiss: 1 part Yellow, 1 part Sunshine

Blank Polymer Clay Tutor Recipe Card

Here is a blank recipe card you can use to write the recipes onto if you like. To download, right click on the blank card image and choose the “Save Image As…” or “Save Picture As…” option.

You can then layout multiple copies of the recipe card image (451 pixels x 305 pixels)  onto a sheet of thick stock paper for printing. Manually cut out the file card shapes with scissors. Hand write the recipes onto the cards and then mix up Carrie’s Sculpey III colors. Run some samples through the thinnest setting on your pasta machine. Cut a 5/8″ or 15mm circular chip for each color. Bake, and finally glue the circle color samples onto the cards.

The blank recipe card above is identical to the ones I use for the pre-printed Premo color recipes that get emailed out on Friday’s to everyone subscribed to my weekly polymer clay newsletter.

In the comments section below, please do let Carrie know if her recipes are appreciated. Perhaps we should call her the Sculpey III Chef or something like that. She said she has lots more recipes to share, if there is enough interest.

Carrie, I for one think you are one fantastic lady! Thanks so much for your generosity!

BTW: If anyone else would like to share other recipes (any brand, even the lesser known ones), just let me know. I’d be happy to post them here at the blog and figure out a fun title for you too :)

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


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Comments

  1. Help! I stored a lot of clay from a year or so ago that I bought on sale, not thinking it would go bad, based on what I had read. I stored it in a dark cabinet in baggies. When I pulled it out recently to use, everything I have tried to make is breaking after I bake it. It doesn’t get hard. What have I done wrong. I hate to throw it all away.

    ADDED: Pat also submitted the following info via email: “Before I throw out a bunch of clay, I wonder if you know what my problem could be. I enjoyed making clay pendants a year or so ago and bought tons of clay when it was on sale at Michael’s. Everything I read said it would not go bad. I stored in a dark cabinet in baggies. I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago to use. Everything I have tried to make still comes out on the soft side and will break. Has it all gone bad? Should I pitch it? I thought I would still be able to use it. Thanks.” [Pat >> I will answer your question below… scroll down a bit and look for my @Pat response].
    .

  2. Great! I love all color recipes! The more, the better. And these look beautiful. Thanks Carrie. I have a lot of Sculpey and now I know more of how to mix it. And thanks to you too Cindy, for allowing Carrie (and everyone) to share with us on your site!
    .

  3. Thank you Carrie.

    I spent last Saturday trying to re-create a purple that I had mixed with S3, I couldn’t find my card I had written out so I now have three interesting shades of purple, I was so sick of purple on Sunday you wouldn’t believe.

    Cindy, you won’t believe this but I was going to ask you if you would post a blank of your card, something we could put into word or some other word processor to type up our recipies on. Again you’re Psychic and reading our minds. Thank you both again.

  4. I am curious as to how you all actually go about creating ytour color recipes. Cindy especially from photographs. I have several gardening catalogs that have some of the most amazing colors, not to mention the flowers in my own gardens. I would love to try recreating some of those colors but am not entirely sure how to begin.

  5. @Deborah

    I had found a fantasic colour mixing chart that gave a matrix of light to dark variations of 16 colours across the spectrum, and spent an afternoon making up sets of sample chips from it.

    So now if I want to match a specific colour — in a photo, on a bead, from a piece of fabric, etc. — I compare it to those sample chips and combine the recipes that it’s closest to. For example, if it’s half way between two chip colours, I just add the two recipes together; or if it’s about a quarter of the way from one colour to the next, I use the equivalent of four of the closer recipe and one of the less-close. The chart also has a grey scale, and I mixed up extra grey samples, so that when it’s not a pure colour I can see how much white and how much black to add.

    I actually made two sets of colour chips, and they are useful for different scenarios.

    The first set consists of small rectangles that I lay out in a rectangular matrix like the original chart. If I’m trying to match a bead or something small, this works perfectly: I can put my bead/etc. on top of the matrix, and then move it around to see exactly where it fits.

    My second set has much larger chips (they’re big enough to write each chip’s recipe directly on its back), and I have them all strung in colour order on a ball chain, along with samples of all the other cool colours I’ve mixed. The ball chain makes it easy to add new samples wherever I want. One advantage with this set is that I don’t have to fit a certain number of rows and columns, so I can have many more samples of the colours I prefer, including the desaturated colours. Another advantage is that I can hold the chips up individually against photographs, fabric, etc., and see the colour chip directly against it, i.e. there’s nothing around either the colour chip or what I’m trying to match to distract me. The disadvantage is that it isn’t quite as easy to do the “where does it fit” thing, because it’s organised in a one-dimensional fashion rather than two-dimensional.

    By the way, an unexpected bonus from making up such a huge number of colour chips was that I now have a really good feel for how my clay mixes (which colours are strong and which are weak, etc.), so that I can usually get pretty well exactly the right colour on my first attempt.

    The colour chart I’m referring to is for Kato polyclay, and you can see it at:

    shadesofclay.com/more/Images/Colour%20Mixing%20Chart.jpg

    However, the same principle would work for any brand: you could take a systematic approach to mixing a large set of reference colours (i.e. rather than trying to match specific individual colours). It’ll take a whole afternoon, believe me! But then, whenever you want to make a specific colour, you can use your set of reference colours to work out a starting point that is pretty close if not spot on.
    .

  6. Sue, that link is fantastic…I think I have one printed out for Fimo somewhere. I will save this one and might have to look into finding or creating one for Premo. Thank you so much for sharing your information with us. I look forward to mixing and seeing what I come up with!

  7. @Pat: Don’t throw the clay out. I managed to get some 10 year old Fimo back into condition (after quite a bit of work mind you) but it is doable. Sounds like the plasticizer has either leached out of the clay or it has settled to the bottom. You will need to condition the clay really, really well to get those plasticizers thoroughly remixed. A old food processor will help with the mixing tremendously. If you find the clay is still ‘dry’ and crumbly after thorough conditioning, you may need to add some Diluent, clay softener or baby oil to soften it. Since you said you were having problems with it breaking after baking, I would rather see you add some Fimo Mix Quick (a softener in clay form) because it will be stronger. (I have linked to info on it by my name.) Also, make sure to bake your pieces for at least an hour instead of the half hour suggested on the package to make sure your pieces are properly cured. But be really careful to make sure your oven is at the right temp by using an oven thermometer. If by chance the clay is actually partially cured due to warm conditions in storage, then use the hard clay for making Jupiter Beads. You can also use “scrap clay” in the search box at the top of this page for other ideas. Hope this helps!

    @Maureen: I am sure Carrie appreciates your comment! I do!

    @Ken: Spooky Eh? It’s like you all are sending out mind waves and I’m picking them up. Talk about Synergy!

    @Deborah: I have a natural sense of color, coming through years of paint mixing and color experimentation. Sue gave an excellent answer, that should help if you like a more scientific approach. You will find as you continue to mix up recipes and see the results you get, that your color instinct will develop and eventually you will be able to mix whatever color you want easily too! I would love to have charts like the one Sue talked of for all the brands! If you find them or end up making them do send them this way!

    @Sue: Once again a fantastic answer! I have never mixed up a matrix like that myself. I’ve done some small two color ones but that is it. Partly because color mixing is instinctive for me, I haven’t set the time aside to do it and I have a hard time using up my clay for things like that. Though I am sure you would avoid making mistakes with a system like that. This kind of chart probably works best for the brands that use pure colors, like Kato and Premo. I am thinking that a Sculpey III, Studio by Sculpey, Fimo Soft and even a Fimo Classic chart would have a lot of muds on the chart. Though many muds are nice to work with and a chart would be nice for getting the right mud. If you come across anyone who has a similar chart done for the other brands, do let us know. It would be nice to have a collection of them here at the blog.

  8. OMG bless you both! Cindy and Sue these colors are great! And I love that you have used some of the new colors too. I have them but wasnt quite sure how they would or wouldnt work out in mixtures. This gives me a much better idea now.

    Also if you want more in depth information on colors and mixing specifically in polymer clay you should look up Maggie Maggio and Lindley Haunani(I hope I spelled her name right)Maggie has a website all about color and some cool worksheets on how to mix any clays to make color chips and work up color schemes. She also has some cool demos on YouTube. Just type her name and dot com. And she and Lindley have a new book coming soon just about this. Also look for the color lovers website. They have TONS of color and pattern mixtures to look at. It isnt hard to find a color scheme to fit any project there.

    Sue, keep the recipes coming, pretty please!!! I am sooo close to being able to use my clay again, I can almost smell it!! And what better way to start out but by making color chips. YAY!! XOXO Jamie

  9. Hi Jamie,

    The recipes weren’t from me. They’re from Carrie, another member.
    [ My recipes are all Kato anyway. ;) ]

    I just described what I do when I’m mixing colours, in response to Deborah’s question about how we all go about creating colour recipes.

    I’ve seen Maggie’s colour scales etc., and she does have lots of great info. I hope you’re able to clay again soon! (I would have exploded in frustration by now!)

    Sue

  10. I’m so glad you’re all enjoying my recipes! Jamie, I also use Sculpey for the brighter colors and the range of them that they have. When I mix colors there is no method. I just sit down with my smallest circle cutter (1/4″) and go nuts! I just keep adding until I see a color I like. I recently decided to see if I could match colors to paint samples I got at the hardware store. I don’t know how, but I can match any color on the first try! As Cindy said, if you are all interested I will be glad to pass more along!! Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

  11. Ooops I see Jamie and Sue added comments while I was working on the other ones. I didn’t mean to skip over you guys!

    I see Sue cleared things up with the mix up on who made the recipes. Thanks Sue… yes credit goes to Carrie!

    And Jamie in regards to Maggie Maggio, I did post her YouTube color mixing video on the blog a while back. You can get to it by clicking on the link by my name. It’s a great one!

    I find that both Maggie and Lindly’s approach to color mixing a little too ‘Art School Color Theory’ for me. Even though I know a fair amount about color theory, I find most of their stuff goes over my head. I guess I’m kind of a simple girl.

    They are both super talented women though, and many artists (like you Jamie and Sue) can get get a lot from their style of teaching. Maybe if I could just settle my brain down a bit, I could too!

  12. I don’t own a set of cutters – yet – I hope to rectify this over the weekend in a whirlwind crafting outting to Michaels,A.C. Moore,Wal-Mart etc., right now I use a drinking straw, a bit slow granted but it works. It’s how I’m making the chips for the cards Cindy develops for us all. I look forward to more fantastic color formulas for S3. Thanks again Carrie.

  13. P.S.
    Yes please send us more formulas. Between Cindy’s cards today, Carrie’s formulas today and discovering that chart on the Kato colors yesterday my head is spinning rapidly and I’m quickly falling behind on preparing the chips for the cards. Having a blast though.

  14. Thanks Cindy, Color Theory kinda flies over my head…I’m a mix it and smoosh it and see what turns out kind gal…so I guess I will have to just start being a bit more methodical about how I mix if I want to match and record or even better recreate a blend. Last Christmas I started a sets of blends using Studio by Sculpey. Being military I wanted to capture the colors of my husbands’ uniform. So I sat for hours with his uniform beside me…thank fully I kept records of what I was doing. I would love to share them. (need to take a decent pic to hopefully show off the colors to their best potential. They are still a little to dark, but I think I have figured out how to fix that, and will gladly share the ‘corrected’ recipes when I finish them as well. If you could let me know how I go about sharing my pic and recipes I will gladly do so!

  15. @ Carrie

    Cannot thank you enough for sharing these cool delicious colors, remind me of sherbet.

    Love sharing folks, believe it brings the best of karma!

    Same goes for Sue and Jamie. Love the detail and love the humor.

  16. @Cindy

    Polymer Clay Express has something similar, but not so comprehensive, for Fimo. It’s split into two pages, with the first showing colour numbers and illustrating how the recipes are presented, and the second devoted to colours (a decent spectrum):

    polymerclayexpress.com/images/fimo_mixchart01.pdf
    polymerclayexpress.com/images/fimo_mixchart02.pdf

    I haven’t seen anything like that for Premo or Sculpey, but if I run across any suitable I’ll post links here. Good point about the muds, but I’d *hope* they’d have enough reasonably pure colours to still cover a decent range. (Not that I’ve tried. I *have* used other brands a bit, but only a little because it didn’t take long to confirm that the characteristics of Kato suit me best.)

    And I’m a total geek, so I’ll always go for the scientific approach. I’m alright at instinctive colour mixing too (my mother is an artist; can’t get away from the stuff!), but I don’t like ending up with too much or too little of whatever colour I’m mixing, and with the chart it’s easy to end up with exactly the right quantity in exactly the right colour. Also, when I’m in instinctive mode I just grab colours and don’t keep track of how much I’ve used of what, so if I know I want to reproduce a colour later I take the chart approach.

    The other neat thing about the colour chips is that they’re fun to play with when choosing colour combinations. Instead of just imagining the colours and how they’d look in various proportions, I can try them out directly. And see how they look in different lighting conditions and all of that, because sometimes there’s quite a difference in how things look depending on whether it’s natural daylight, incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, etc. (Going all geek again, aren’t I? ;D)

  17. @Ken: I don’t know how you lived without cutter for so long! I use mine all the time. Yeah can you imagine if everyone started sending in their recipes! Man this site would become the place to hang should you ever need a little polymer clay color inspiration! So feel free everyone, email me your color recipes and I’d be happy to post them on the blog in your honor. Be sure to name them and include a photo like Carrie has done.

    @Sue: Colorlovers is a cool color tool! Wow! Thanks so much for the info on the Fimo chart! I love it that you are a Geek. (I’ve always said, Geeks rule the world!) I could probably search a little harder for my inner Geek. The idea you have for using your chips to make palettes, is similar to how I use my recipe cards. I lay the cards out and see which colors go well with each other. (As you know I also create palettes by taking four colors from a photo of a flower or something and mix a palette from that. But when I want a new palette from the existing recipes I have, I use the cards.)

    @Deborah: I can relate to the color theory going over your head. What a fantastic story about matching your colors to your husband’s Military uniform! I would love for you to email a photo of the colors and inspiration along with your story. This is exactly the kind of thing I think everyone would love to hear. BTW I emailed you with my email address so you can send it to me with your photo attached. I’d be happy to post it!

    And that goes for everyone else too. As you can see everyone is loving Carrie’s recipes (thanks again Carrie!), so if you have some you’d like to share with everyone. Email them to me and I’ll get them posted. Also, it’s not just recipes that people here would love for you to share. If you have a great polymer clay technique, series of tips or great bead story… We’d all love to hear from you!

    @Jocelyn: I couldn’t agree with you more! (I bet you have a few clay recipes and stories you could send me. You are a fountain of great information!)

  18. Gorgeous colours, Carrie!

    There are Fimo mixing charts at
    polymerclayexpress.com/images/fimo_mixchart01.pdf
    and polymerclayexpress.com/images/fimo_mixchart02.pdf

  19. Hi Caroline – It’s the little “@” sign in some Flicker URL’s that make that weird gobbledegook happen.

    For anyone interested in seeing Caroline’s gorgeous polymer clay photos here is her Flicker address: flickr.com/photos/29443904@N06/sets/72157619526366959/

  20. @Caroline

    What magnificent work! Would love to watch a tape of you making one of those chrysanthemum canes covered heart shaped boxes. Perfection!

    Love the way you balance your colors…the intensity can be very bright, but due to the combinations and distances between colors, it draws me in deeper and makes me explore all the subtle details.

    You also finish your work beautifully. And photograph your art well, especially like it when you include a reference object for size comparison.

  21. Thanks so much Cindy…I will work on it this weekend. I’ll get it to you as soon as I finish it. :-)

    BTW I LOVE being a part of your group, it’s a fantastic resource!!! And a wonderful place to spend the day getting lost in your articles.

  22. Hi Cindy,
    I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in such a short period of time. Your site is the greatest. :)

    Carrie, Thank you for sharing your recipes. The colors are so beautiful. :)

  23. @Sue
    Thanks so much for posting the Kato color chart addy!! I clay with Kato so this will come in very handy for me!!!
    ~Lisa

  24. @Sue – I duplicated your Fimo links – sorry – that will teach me to scim read! The Kato charts are interesting – I have only used it at the Polyclay Play days here in the UK, and thought the range was limited, but that chart certainly shows what you can do.

    @Jocelyn – thankyou! I shall always try to use a size reference item in future – a very good tip!

    @Pat – further to Cindy’s ideas for softening old clay, I chop it and add my few drops of softener then pop in a ziplock bag and squadge it (a technical term!) then leave it for – weeks, maybe – and when I go back to it it has usually softened up evenly.

  25. This comment thread ROCKS. My brain is spinning with all the information contained here. Just the links alone will take me days to explore and ingest.

    Thank you all!!!

    Cindy, you most of all for making this site possible.

  26. Carrie, thanks so very much for sharing your talent for mixing such gorgeous colors. Looking forward of more from you. As soon as I learn how to send pics ,I will send some of my work. Lynn

  27. Carrie added 6 more Sculpey III recipes on August 2, 2009 — in case you missed them. They are at this post, called Sculpey III Clay Color Recipes: Lavender, Cherry, Peach.

    I hope Carrie comes back with more recipes, as they are so beautiful! There are now 5 sets of guest recipes on the website, as shown in the aptly named “Guest Recipes Inex” shown after the article on this post: Kato Polyclay Color Recipes | Blue Hosta Palette

    The first two are the Sculpey III recipes, by Carrie. The other 3 are Kato conversions of Cindy’s color palettes, by Sue Fisher. Watch for the Index to be updated, since Sue sounds like she plans to continue (converting Cindy’s palettes–so you can easily make them with Kato!) If you’re a Kato user, make sure you check out the recipes. Don’t forget to give Sue a “Thank you!” We want her to keep doing this “cool thing.”

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