A Fun Paper Punch Technique | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Paper Punched Polymer Technique - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #231: “Cindy, I am excited that you incorporate mixed media with your polymer clay tutorials. I’m a big admirer of mixed media art jewelry.” ~JoAnna-G

One of the coolest things about polymer clay (sorry about starting to sound like a broken record with that opening, but I really do mean it each time), is that many of the tools and supplies designed for other craft mediums, can also be used with polymer clay.

For example, today I’m going to talk about paper punches for creating cool polymer shapes from thin sheets of clay. Not only are these paper punched polymer pieces (say that three times fast), more durable than card stock for using in your scrap booking projects, but they also will work great in many beading and jewelry projects.

This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for polymer clay!

My impetus to learn how to effectively use polymer clay came from my interest in multi-media collage. It’s wonderful that polymer clay is so versatile. My hope in learning different methods of using polymer clay is to be able to create handmade, unique embellishments. ~Karen-B

I seem to be going more down the mixed media route recently. ~Silverleaf

I can’t wait to see how you incorporate these supplies into polymer clay. I also have lots of mixed media items that I need new ways to use. This could be another whole world for us. Thanks again for always sharing your ideas with us. You rock! ~Susan-K

It opens the door to so much creativity… using so many media’s… especially all that ‘stuff’ I bought from the scrapbooking section! “Mixed media” jewelry is pretty popular these days… but polymer clay has been ‘rolling like that’ for quite some time! Our friendly medium has always ‘played nice’ with other craft and jewelry supplies, and this tutorial is a reminder of that. ~Phaedrakat

So… coming up tomorrow (Friday, November 25th2011) in the Vol-042-4 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I’m going to teach you how to make awesome little stamped out beads and embellishments out of thin sheets of polymer clay that you can use to make jewelry and all kinds of other cool projects.

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Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-042-4 Paper Punched Polymer:

  • Strong and flexible polymer clay. I used: 5003 Denim Premo Sculpey.
  • Large Paper Punches. I used the Perfect Petals Lever Punch. Other options for punches are decorative or plain scissors, hole punches and various kinds of hand held punches.
  • Pasta Machine.
  • Texture Sheets (optional).
  • Water mister bottle (optional).
  • Cardstock for baking.

The full version of the Vol-042-4 Paper Punched Polymer video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday November 25, 2011.

Here’s a sneak peak…

The full version of the “Paper Punched Polymer” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-042 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

This is such a fantastic place to be. Anyone still sitting on the fence should jump in and join us. You will never regret it. ~Carol-H

This video illustrates perfectly what I love so much about your tutorials Cindy. And that is how much you really give us each week for our tiny membership fee. Not only did you show how to use rubber stamps for a great look. But you also showed how to make several types of beads AND how to antique them to highlight the effect even more. That’s three great techniques in just one video. There isn’t a better value for your money to be found anywhere else on the web. And believe me I have looked. ~Jamie-H

Someone is complaining about the cost of the videos??????????? You’ve got to be kidding me. Nothing on this computer compares to Cindy and Doug’s tireless, professional, helpful, sweet acts that they perform on this web site. Not only that, I could listen to Cindy all day, with that cute little voice and that accent… I just love it. Plus where could you find all of that for such a small amount of money? It’s perfect for me because I have no money and it makes me feel like I’m great because I’m a member. Yep, just look at me… I AM A MEMBER… and very proud to be one… Luv you Guys… Cindy and Doug, be proud at what you accomplished. ~Helen-S

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Paper Punched Polymer video tutorial:

  • See examples of beads, earrings, a hair clip and other ideas using paper punched polymer pieces.
  • Find out how simple it is to create these designer focal pieces for your handmade jewelry projects.
  • Learn cool tricks for making these unique polymer cutouts in a variety of textures and patterns.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Paper Punched Polymer” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-042 Back Issue Package.

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Comments

  1. I’ve seen these paper punches and wondered if somehow, they could be used with polymer clay. Wonder of wonders, Cindy will show us how. This is great. Polymer clay does “play nicely” with other things!!! What a neat idea. Can’t wait………………..

  2. Today is Thanksgiving in the US. A time for reflection and to give Thanks. I am thankful for finding Cindy’s site a few years ago when she just began doing Tutorials. This weeks tutorial will be number 231. Yes, Cindy and Doug have has produced a high quality educational video Two Hundred and Thirty One weeks!!!. AMAZING !!. Also thankful for the PC community I have found.

    Anna-Des Moines, Iowa

    • Thank you Anna! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating it today! I am very grateful to have had you here with me all these years. You are one of my dear friends and am so happy to be part of your creative experience!

      I have a thought… since you’ve seen them all, which of the 231 tutorials was you favorite? Just curious.

      Have a wonderful, relaxing holiday with your family!

    • I am very touched by your comments. Hope one day we will meet.

      231 tues and you want to know which ONE was my favorite? LOL How can I possibly pick one.

      Actually, my most favorites was not actually a Tutorial. It was when showed us the Harry Potter/Wizard Book you made for your nephew. I wish you were my Aunt.

      Oh, and along with the 231 Tutes, you created 693 custom clay recipes. Please don’t ask for my favorite. Is this woman amazing or what????

      Anna

  3. Wow 231 tutorials and still going!!! yes, i am so thankful to have found Cindy’s site too. I must say, i did try punching polymer clay. since it is so versatile i thought why not try punching and folding too? Just tried a piece or two and haven’t done anything with it so I am curious to see this video.

  4. This looks like a really cute technique, Cindy! I just LOVE the lightweight, dancing flower earrings…I’ll bet they really WERE fun to wear! I’ll be at my sister’s for the next 3 days, so I’ll be able to watch this exciting tute, thank goodness!!! I can also catch up on the last few videos. (I’m one of the “odd-WOmen-out” who can’t get their Vista machines to work w/this new player!)

    I, too, have played around a bit with punching clay, with only minor success. There are definitely some potential problems (much in need of Cindy’s solutions!) Getting the right thickness, baking properly, etc. Some of my “cheapie” punches wanted to eat the clay. I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with — I know you’ll have solved the issues I had, as well as added some cool tips I never thought of! Thank you so much! ~Kat

    PS: Happy Thanksgiving! (To all my fellow Americans…)

  5. Thank you so much for all your tips and ideas Cindy. It’s not just what you create each week, it’s all the little ‘know-hows’ you pass on. I’ve often wondered if it were possible to use a punch with polymer clay but never quite knew how to go about it. And the secret of how to cure a sheet of clay as thin as this is now out! Thanks again for all the time, trial and effort you put into everything.

  6. Well I was too ill to make Thanksgiving with my family but I am still very thankful for many many things. One of them is everything I have received from Cindy and Doug. WOW 231 I didn’t realize I had watched that many tutorials. 231 tutorials – Can you imagine what these would of cost us anywhere else. Not only is Cindy very gifted with this artistic blessing but the generosity that comes from the Lietz family is without a doubt something beyond spectacular. This entire family has been blessed in so many ways. No greedy people in this family. Cindy has priced her tutes so anyone can afford them. If you want to learn this is the place to come. There is a clay family here to join and everyone in it is willing to help whenever they can. I think some of Cindy has rubbed off onto all of us. Now I call that a blessing and a half.

    Love this tute so many possibilities once again. I am going to try to make some Christmas tags with this technique. I’m also going to make some jewelry. Need to save the sheets you punch your designs out of for card making or journal covers. Can’t wait till I can see a little better and finaly get rid of this shingle pain. It’s going on the 4th week so I am hoping that means the end is near.

    Hope all those that celebrate Thanksgiving had a very safe and happy one. Also those of you who do the Black Friday stay safe. Not my cup of tea even when I am well but those that enjoy have a great day.

  7. Creative! I have a set of decorative scissors gathering dust I can now use with this craft. These paper punch cuties would be outstanding in quilted garments (“wearable art”) or art quilts (wall hangings), especially with one of your many beautiful decorative techniques in the clay before baking. You could punch holes around the edges on larger pieces (not too close) for threading. Embroidery floss would be pretty. Actually many of your dimensional beads, not only buttons, could be used in these applications, which are usually hand laundered anyway. Has anyone done this? Any tips on care? I think Cindy mentioned in the button video- one of my faves- not to coat the buttons with any finish… As always, I am impressed with Cindy’s imagination, since I am less an “artsy” type and rather more of a knowledge junkie! As a new member, I am savouring my collection of back issues and anticipating fresh videos every Friday. Thank you, Cindy and Doug!

  8. I tried using a paper punch some time back with disastrous results (think maybe because I used unbaked clay? lol). I will now try it again per Cindy’s instructions knowing I won’t have to spend the day cleaning the clay from the punches. As always thank you Cindy and Doug. Add me to those who included you both in Thanksgiving blessings.

  9. Knowledge is a great thing !!! Now we know how to use those cute punches……amazing isn’t it ? Polymer clay crosses many boundries . These cross-overs are so much fun. What a product we use!!!! It really does anything you want it to………..

  10. 231 Tutorials?!?!? And we’re supposed to pick our favorite?!?! Impossible! (But give me some time and I can try to compile the Top Ten, if that can be done)
    Every Friday I look forward to a new one – we’re so spoiled by you Cindy and Doug. Thank you!

  11. Well another CF (Cindy Friday) has come and gone, and only 24 days to get all those things crossed off the “TO DO LIST”

    My big sister just phoned from New York telling me about the fab Thanks Giving they enjoyed.
    ( We miss out here in the UK so decided, hopefully, I will be joining them next year.)

    Haven’t had much time since I joined the Crafting community to reply or comment on this blog so I must say sorry to everyone I have neglected.
    To Marion, for the explanation of what “blog” means. Thanks Marion! Also thanks to Phaedrakat, it’s good to know I can make you smile :} and glad you enjoyed my tour of Leigh-on-Sea.

    I have been busy demonstrating pyrography at the Craft Fairs I attended as well as making and selling Cindy’s snowmen and copper bookmarks. (Thanks Cindy) I also made a heap of shabby-chic signs in wood, and my own version of cherabic choirboys with devilish faces from polymer clay. These seem to be the most popular so have a week to replenish my stock for the last Fair of the year. After that it’s the BIG CLEANUP.

    I Promised DH I would put everything PC related away till the New Year. So this is an early Christmas greeting to all and especially to you Cindy and Doug and kids. Keep safe, and everyone, hope you all have a happy holiday…………..Cheers xx

    • Elaine
      I got an order for a dozen snowmen ornaments without even showing them..the person last year bought a dozen bookmarks from me. I am not sure what to charge her..I told her $8 is that too much or to little. I figure the ornaments would be about 2 inches..am I right on the size. Let me know what suggestions you have for me.

  12. What a great tute Cindy! while I was watching it I had a piece of lace laying next to the computer and BINGO! Why not use the lace technique on the clay sheets! I’m thinking of snowflake earrings and possibly one of those collars with different cut outs and pearls. Ah Cindy you have a way of getting the creative juices flowing! I love the road your taking into mixed media with polymer clay! Will you ever try doing a tute using metal clay where you use a torch? I would love to see something like this. Forget black Friday, I’m staying at home playing with claying. ;=)

  13. Hi Cindy, question on the Faux opals from Vol. 22 Video #3
    I can’t find the large flakes you used in the Video. Can I substitute
    Grummers Iridescent Flakes instead? Can you tell me where you got your flakes? Thanks Cindy

    • I got mine at JoAnn’s. The flakes you want come in a smaller bag( like a gallon size zip lock bag) than some of the Buffalo Snow products. I have recently seen the Buffalo Snow brand at Big Lots.

      • Thank you Anna, we don’t have a big lots here and I did a search at Joann’s but no luck there either. Oh, Boo Hoo.

        • Hi
          Michaels and A C Moore carry the Buffalo flakes for about $5 a bag. I posted a request for anyone that might have some extra of it on my local bulletin board..so far no hits.
          Good luck

        • I am not sure where in the world you are Dixie…but I hope this helps. I bought mine from eBay last time too….

          ebay.co.uk/itm/Snow-flakes-Buffalo-Iridescent-sprinkles-3oz-bag-Holiday-villages-ornaments-deco-/120800994420?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c204ce474

          • Thanks Michelle, I finally found the flakes at Michaels but no where near the Christmas stuff. Would you believe they were clear in the back by Bridal! None of the sales people knew of them! I am in Iowa and the store in my city does not carry a lot of stuff. They don’t even carry the Premo Metallic clay! bummer huh!

    • Dixie… Check with your Hallmark card shops. Usually any place that sells Department 56 houses also sells the snow. Michaels Arts and Crafts usually has it during this time of the year also.

  14. This will be a fun tute! I have a lot of paper punches from scrapbooking including the mini ones! Thanks Cindy and Doug for all the great tutorials. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

  15. Cindy… Like many other responses that I have read here, I, too, am very thankful for your tutorials that you and Doug so faithfully bring us every week. Also I’ve noticed how quickly you respond to any questions we email you with. It’s like having our direct link to a movie star who actually responds personally to her fan club! LOL.
    I also want to thank you for bringing such joy into the lives of so many of us. I had to retire early due to a disability that keeps me close to home and fairly physically inactive. I’ve been play/claying for several years and have never seen any site that teaches so much sooo economically as yours does. Anyone who is living off of disability benefits will tell you that funds are tight but the INVESTMENT I make with you each month is considered almost a necessity for sanity for me.
    That long bead finding is gorgeous! If you are allowed to say I would love to know where you found it.
    Keep up the outstanding work you and your husband produce each week! I find myself now being slightly disappointed that 5th Fridays don’t come more often! I loved seeing your craft room and can’t wait to see more!
    Sincerely,
    Maria

    • Absolutely agree. Polymer Clay is great diversion for many people. the first thing I do on Friday is get up early and watch the new tutorial before going to my “day job.” The greatest thing about Polymer Clay is that is a very affordable hobby where you can get great results.

      I also love how polymer clay can imitate ANYTHING. Even Metal Clay.
      Last summer I went to the International Polymer Clay Retreat in Illinois. The Metal World Clay International retreat was there too. Metal clay is a very expensive hobby, a tiny 5th of a gram of silver clay package was about $125.00. Cindy has shown us many stunning techniques using the Premo Metallic clays. I am sure she has several more ideas in the works.

      • Thank you so much Maria and Anna for your ‘over the top’ kind words! You have no idea how much that means to me to hear how much this experience means to both of you. Makes all the hard work completely worth it! Thanks for being part of our clay family!

  16. Cindy
    I have loads of the smaller hole punch designs..I am going to try the less detailed ones and see what happens..it a shame to have 40 or more hole punches that the kids don’t use any more go to waste..Oh ! what do you do with the left over clay sheets that have been baked.. maybe you can think of something for a future tut.
    I also am grateful to all you an Doug for all the work you put into making the tuts so easy to follow..my grandkids had a lot of fun making the Arizona beads.

  17. Thank you so much, Cindy. Oh boy, was this a great tute! I don’t have any paper punches but I’ve been eyeing them in the stores for the longest time, wondering what I could do with all those fun shapes since I don’t scrapbook. Now I know what I can do with them, yay! I can just see flowers made with punched pieces, floral wire and bead cones like the ones you used, tucked here and there among the real flowers in a bridal bouquet. In my minds eye it’s lovely.

    Cindy, I’m amazed that you’ve done 693 color recipes. I’ve been doing my best not to nag you about buying the recipes I missed out on and can no longer get (B series) but, girl, it’s been tough, lol. Please don’t make us wait too much longer, pretty please with sugar on top :)

    Peggy – I liked the suggestions you made for the leftover punched-out sheets, using them for cards and such – very clever!

    Now that we’re in the countdown to Christmas I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season, whichever holiday you celebrate. And be extra mindful when driving, what with so many people needing to get here and there ‘right now’. I want everyone to be here to greet the New Year :)

    Angela

  18. hey guys, spent the weekend on baking clay sheets and used the thin setting (9) on my machine and also tryed (8). Both came out great and was able to punch out both with the medium size punchers. I did try the big punch that Cindy used in the tute but it just would not punch through either sheet. I even put it on the floor and stomped on it with my foot. Alas, it would not penetrate the thinnest sheet. It was a fairly new cutter too. I just don’t understand it. Does anyone have any ideas on this cutter? Cindy how did you get yours to work? Another technique I used was snowflake acrylic stamps. I used some pigment ink on the stamps and put it on the clay sheet on (8) thickness and baked it. After it cooled I cut out around the snowflakes and they made a really pretty set of earrings. So if you don’t have punchers, try some stamps or you can even trace out designs with a pencil and cut them out with a scissors. I used a 1200 grit pc. of sandpaper to smooth the edges. Try rolling out a clay sheet and stamping it with a Christmas design. Bake it and cut it out and punch a hole and hang it as a tree ornament. So many ideas and so much fun!

    • Sorry DIxie Ann to take so long to respond to your question. But here I am, better late than never!

      Maybe if you warmed up your clay sheet in the oven or even with a blow dryer, you would find it easier to punch? Also I find slow even pressure will eventually push the piece through, even if it seems like it won’t go.

      I love your stamping and cutting out with scissors idea! Very clever. Would love to see what you made with this. Bet it looks awesome!

      Merry Christmas, if I don’t get to say it to you personally. Thank you so much for being such an active and supportive part of our clay family. We love having you here!

      • Hi Cindy, Merry Christmas to you and Doug and the kids too. I warmed up the clay sheet with a heat gun but had no luck punching through with a multi-design puncher. What I have discovered is that Fiskers, Marvy, Martha Stewart and Reflections all will work with a single design in a medium size puncher. The only exception being the Seahorses puncher from Martha Stewart. It punched out the 2 designs at once. I ended up taking the large multi-design puncher back to Michaels. Their stock is pretty depleted right now so I hope to try more after the holidays. Scissors work very well but it is hard to get into all of the intricate little places at times. However, if you cut the designs you have stamped in strategic places you can have some nice “3D” type clay designs. Experimentation is the key to having fun! You never know what you might create by mistake!

  19. Cindy
    I love the video…..what size hole punch did you use to make the center hole. I have a regular hole punch and I think that would be way to big. Thanks again for all you help. Your videos are so creative…We are lucky to have you and Doug to help us get our creative juices flowing.

  20. Cindy
    I was able to get the McGill hole puncher that you used for a great deal with a 50% coupons but I still need to know what size hole punch you used..it looks smaller that one we use to punch holes in regular paper to put in a binder.

  21. Happy 2014 to all!

    I just received an email from Archivers Scrapbooking Store that after 14 years they are closing all of their stores by the end of February. They are going to be having sales on their supplies (not sure how much as yet). I just thought I should pass this on so clayers in the US might be able to get some discounts on journals, powders, inks, stencils, stamps, etc.. They will probably lower the discounts as time goes on. Keep your eyes open and keep checking back with them.

    Happy claying!

    Mari

    • Thanks Mari for the update! I signed up for their newsletter so I wouldn’t miss any of their close out specials. I found it interesting that they had a section with a lot on new products in it that just came out in the Fall, especially since they are closing soon. Do you know why they are shutting their stores? It’s too bad to see any business close down. Any way, it might be a good way to get some of those sought after supplies! We can all use a few more supplies can’t we?!

      Happy New Year to you too! May it be a happy, successful and creative 2014!

      • Hi!

        The Archivers email said that the scrapbooking industry was at their peak around five years ago and has been declining since. I was surprised because Michaels, Joanns and Hobby Lobby still have several aisles of scrapbooking products–it seems they are always adding new products.

        I haven’t scrapbooked for several years but still have quite a few punches and scissors and supplies stored away in the basement that I will have to go through and raid for claying!!! lol Also will have to go though my ceramics supplies. I already found the chalks and will go through some of the paints and glazes and tools!

        I love the spiral template that you used for the faux enamel technique–but haven’t been able locate it in the stores or online. I’m still looking for it but will try making some handmade stencils with my punches. I’m thinking about using some of the frozen dinner containers–cutting out the flat part and punching through it. Will let you know how it goes–project for this weekend. We got over a foot of snow and now will go down to -0 to -17 farenheit actual temperatures. Don’t think I’m going anywhere soon!

        Mari

  22. Hi All! My genre is mixed media and saw the info above about using punches for polymer clay. I also saw it was from some time ago so this info may be old by now, but some (not all) die cutting machines can be used for polymer clay also. Some of them cut thin metals and acrylic so they can certainly punch through polymer if it isn’t too thick. Always check though for your particular machine before trying it. Thanks, Cindy, for the best art value on the web!
    Happy Creating!
    Shauna

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