Polymer Clay Baking Instructions

Polymer Clay Baking Instructions

Vid #38: Baking Polymer Clay – Keep Your Oven Clean and Your Beads Tented:

Dirty ovens can often yellow your polymer clay, especially with the lighter colors.

To help prevent this from happening, you can tent the beads or bead rack with parchment paper during the oven baking process. Tinfoil works for tenting your beads and pendants as well.

Just don’t let the parchment paper or tin foil touch the polymer clay pieces in the oven because the beads will blemish.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


 

 

 

Click Video Play Button

3 Free Polymer Clay Videos
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Baking Your Beads” preview video shown above, is included in my Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals Course[SEE Video #35 of 39]. How to bake polymer clay? There are all kinds of techniques some of which include using:

  • A professional bead rack.
  • Home made bead rack.
  • Cardboard folded into an accordion shape.
  • A bed of cornstarch.
  • Clay ceramic tile.
  • Quilt batting.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Keep the temperature of your oven below 350F (between 265F and 275F is best). Use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature to avoid over heating or burning your clay. Tenting your beads with a sheet of parchment paper will keep your light colors from darkening. This is especially important for white clay. Brownish-blackish snowman beads are really not that attractive. Super dirty ovens can make your beads look smoky as well.

  2. I understand that you should use a toaster oven for clay baking that will no longer be used for food, but, I read that if you place your beads in a metal pan and then clip another metal pan of the same size over it you can bake the clay in a regular oven and there is no problem.

    Does that really work and if so, how, and who’s doing it?

  3. It does work Katina, Though you should still bake on a bead rack or a ceramic tile since it is not good to bake on metal. Metal can cause scorching on your beads, which is not good.

  4. Hi again Cindy :-)!

    I have 2 small problems and I hope you can help me with some advice.

    1. I live in Israel and I haven’t found Finish floor polish here. Do you have any idea what can I replace it with (other kind of polishing wax or something)?

    2. I made a thin disk on the weekend (about 2 m”m thick) and after baking, it still remained flexible. Did I do something wrong? (I baked other stuff also together with the disk, but just this disk didn’t harden entirely)

    Thank you in advance for your answer

    Corinne

  5. Corinne, I will answer your question in two different comments so you can click on the links by my name for more help.

    For your first question. I don’t know what the equivalent floor polish to Future Floor Finish would be in Israel. I do have several readers from Israel that come here, maybe they could point you in the right direction.

    You can order Future Floor Finish online if you like. The link by my name has more info on the product and where you can order it, if you are interested. There is also info there about another Varathane-based finish you can use on your beads instead, so have a look at that too.

  6. For your second question Corinne… As long as you baked the disk for an hour it will be baked hard enough. Some clays remain a little more flexible than others when baked. Since this is a thin piece, you will be able to notice the flexibility more than in a thicker piece.

    To make sure you are baking your beads properly, click on the link by my name and go read that article. I think you will find it very helpful!

  7. Cindy – I dragged my old toaster oven from the cellar and attempted to bake some beads (w/o an oven thermometer). This was my first attempt at baking. The clay was a marbled black and white and after baking came out a dark brown. Also the beads had what look like “warts” on them and one was twice the size as before I baked it. Would you say this was the cause of a faulty toaster oven?

  8. Hi Susan,

    The toaster oven may be fine but it sounds like it is running way too hot. The warts are air bubbles and the brown is from being burnt. I’ve never seen a bead get twice as big, but it may have expanded by burning. Make sure to get an oven thermometer. They are cheap if you buy them at a grocery store or at a Walmart. The ones at the craft store are too expensive. Most ovens are a little off, so I would test it first before getting rid of it.

    For more a comprehensive list of articles about tips for baking polymer clay, click on the the link by my name above.

  9. Hi Cindy,

    Your web site is great! I am relatively new to polymer clay but have made a few items. I was just about to mix 2 colors of FIMO SOFT together to make another color when I noticed that each package has a different baking temperature. One (translucent) says 265 degrees and the other says 230. I had thought all polymer clay had to be baked around 265-275. Can I mix these 2 clays together, and if so, at what temperature would I bake them? The one that says 230 says do not heat above 350 so I guess it would be safe to bake it at 265 but I’m wondering if there will be problems. Thank you for being there.

    Carol

  10. Hi Carol,

    You’ll be fine baking your Fimo clay mix at 265.

    But since you are relatively new to polymer clay, be sure to spend some time reading through the articles here at the blog about baking polymer clay properly.

    The topic has been discussed many times. If you use keywords like ‘baking’, ‘bake’, ‘burn’, ‘burnt’ temperature, oven, etc. in the search box at the top of the page, you’ll get a long list of helpful articles. Be sure to read the comments following the articles too.

    The “Burnt Polymer Clay Color Blends” link by my name above will take you to one comment thread in particular, that is helpful for dealing with problems that often come up with oven temperature fluctuations.

    Also, the topic of how to bake polymer clay properly, is covered at length in my 39-part polymer clay basics video course, if you want to check that out.

    Hope this helps.

  11. I’m trying to bake my clay and I am completely confused. I have a pasta machine that puts my clay down to 2.269 millimeters and it is 15 minutes per every quarter of an inch to bake. And before I blow my house up I was hoping to get some help with figuring this out. Thank you.

  12. @Dawn: Hi Dawn, the package directions that tell you “30 min. per 1/4 inch” are very general. The really important thing when baking polymer clay is the oven temperature, not time. Use an oven thermometer (buy one cheap at a dollar store or grocery) to monitor the temperature, and keep it at or slightly below what it says on the pkg. directions (usually between 265F & 275F for most clays.) Thermostats can be way off. Ovens fluctuate, have hot-spots, and temperature spikes; so monitoring the temp is crucial. As for the length of time, you can bake most things for an entire hour, as long as the oven doesn’t get over-heated. As one member put it, “it’s not like baking cookies” — the clay won’t burn if left in too long. What burns the clay is a too-hot oven!

    So, don’t worry about how thick your pasta machine is or your finished piece. If you make something paper-thin, bake it a minimum of 30 minutes. Otherwise, just bake most things (pendants, beads, smaller sculptures, etc.) for an hour. If you make something really thick, like a larger sculpture, bake it even longer. Just make sure you monitor that oven temp, and you should be fine. [Quick tips: you obviously want to keep your clay away from the sides of the oven as well as the filament. These are extra-hot. Metal gets hot very quickly - baking on a ceramic tile or keeping one in your oven can help keep the temperature more even. If your clay is light-colored or translucent, you might want to cover (tent) your piece with foil or paper, or even corn starch, to avoid darkening. Information about all these tips can be found here at the blog. Just use the search box at the top left, and put in one or two keywords like "light clay" or "baking" etc.]

    Read the post by Cindy right above your comment. She has great baking advice as well as sharing ways to find even more info. There is a link by her name that leads to another great article on baking. And last, but not even close to least, there’s a link to Cindy’s Polymer Clay Fundamentals Course, which is absolutely amazing. It will teach you everything you need to know about getting started in polymer clay and how to really make your pieces the best they can be.

    There are hundreds of articles with information here at this great site. Don’t forget to read the member comments as well, because there’s even more tips and tricks there. This post, “Most-Asked Beginner Question…:” has links to most of the baking-related posts, so check that out. Use that search box, like Cindy said in her comment, or use the “Topic Categories” list below the search box. You can also click on one of the tags at the end of each article, under Cindy’s signature. As you can see, there are so many ways to find what you need. If you still need help after taking a look around, just ask. Someone is usually around and happy to help!

    Best of luck with your clay, & have fun!

  13. Three cheers for Phaedrakat!!! Hip, Hip Hurray!! Hip, Hip Hurray!! Hip, Hip Hurray!! You are amazing and so kind to help Dawn like this. THANK YOU.

    Ditto for your answer to Jo Smedstd in the other “Baking Polymer Clay” comment you just posted as well. You are a star Phaedrakat.

  14. You’re welcome, Cindy, I love to help. As you might be able to tell, I haven’t been able to clay much lately. I’ve been stuck in bed with too much back pain, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading (and posting.) If I can’t clay, I love to read about it! Thank you for creating such a great site. It’s a wonderful clay community here, and it feels good to be a part of it.

  15. When using foils on clay and covering with a doming resin, do you bake the piece after the resin is cured or after the foil is on and before the resin?

      • @Sue F: Sorry, Sue — I did it again! Sometimes I’ll start typing a response and get interrupted. When I come back and finish/send my comment, I find that Cindy or someone else has answered the question while I was busy typing. I try to check for this by refreshing the page, but I forgot this time. Ooops! Sorry, and hope you have a great weekend… :D

    • @Lorrie: Hi Lorrie, I’m trying to make sure I understand your question. Are you using regular foils, like Jones Tones, or those made my Lisa Pavelka? Most foil techniques require you to burnish them onto clay, then you bake your piece. Once the clay is cured, you apply your doming resin.

      There are different types of resin—UV resins are applied to the clay, and then cured in sunlight, or under a UV lamp. Other doming resins, like ICE Resin, just need to be mixed thoroughly and left to cure for the appropriate amount of time. I know that some resins can be baked, but for most applications I’ve come across, there’s no need. You just bake your polymer clay piece first, then apply the resin. Then you cure the resin using the appropriate method.

      Cindy might know of other techniques that require the resin to be baked, but I haven’t come across anything like that (at least not yet!) Is there a particular effect you’re trying out that requires baking the resin? What type of resin are you using? If you need additional help, give a few more details about the technique you’re attempting, and the type of resin you’re using, and someone can try to help. Best of luck! ~Kat

      UV Epoxy Resin, Ultradome Brand

  16. Hi, Phaedrakat,Thanks for the response. I am trying to duplicate a faux dichroic look on clay and/or paper and apply to glass. I have seen amazing pieces by Brian Miller, from Sarasota that look like fused glass. He is able to achieve brilliant colors, textured and covered in a glass like, doming material. Also, Createapendant.com has some similar looking pieces. I am just beginning to investigate clay. I have lots of questions…. I want to apply clay pieces to glass vases without baking the vase. It is necessary to bake the clay or can I apply to glass, unbaked and cover with a doming resin? Also, I am looking for other suppliers of foils and doming resins. I currently am trying Lisa Pavelka’s line of foil and Magic Glos. I find that adding irridescent ink or pigments to the Magis Glos make it difficult to cure under UV light. Also, I would need larger quantities of doming resin and Magic Glos is pretty pricey. I also work with sheets a golf leafing but am looking for more brilliant colors than what they offer. Any help is deeply appreciated. I have been trying to find anyone here that works in clay and have not had any success……. Thank you so much :)

    • @Lorrie: Wow, lot’s of questions here! You said you don’t have anyone that works in clay—where’s “here” for you? Since it’s late, I’m going to tackle parts of your question, then I’ll have to finish tomorrow. First off, you can find a lot of the info yourself by using the search box at the top of each page. Type in “doming resin” “gold leaf” “foils” “baking on glass” etc. You’ll get a list of articles with all kinds of great information. Don’t forget to read the comments section under the articles, too, since there’s great tips & tricks from members, as well as their answered questions. Sometimes members will even list their entire processes.

      You said you’re just beginning to investigate clay — are you a complete beginner? If so, Cindy has a Polymer Clay Basics Course that’s just wonderful. It has 39 videos that teach you the fundamentals and much more, enough to get you started making beads, pendants, etc. You can sign up for the newsletter if you haven’t already, you get 3 free videos and weekly color recipes. It’s a good way to see what the videos are like — short, concise, easy to understand, and excellent quality! The links for both are at the top of this page.

      Before I get into Faux Dichroic Glass, I wanted to mention some articles about foils & metal leaf, which are normally used for Faux Dichroic. The first article explains the differences between the two products, and has some shopping information in the comments section. There are a couple more articles with shopping info, too; a search will help find them. This one’s called, “Jones Tones Foils and Mona Lisa Metal Leaf.”

      Those aren’t the only foil or leaf brands, of course. There’s some more recent shopping info in the last comment on the page, and in other articles. This next post is a spotlight article, which I wanted to show you so you could see a cool Crackled Gold Leaf, Alcohol Ink and; Liquid Polymer Clay Technique.

      It looks a bit like Faux Dichroic, right? If you use foils and resin, you can mimic it even better, since the resin looks like glass. There’s a lot of info in the comments section about glazes, finishes, & resins. Be sure to read!

      I’m heading to sleep now, but I’ll address more of your questions tomorrow. Really quickly, a good, less expensive doming UV resin is Ultradome (or Jewelry Glaze – same product.) There are a few articles on it here that you can find by doing a search (actually, I linked to one in a comment to you a couple days ago.) Cindy’s done a tutorial on it, as well. As for your question about covering raw clay on glass with a doming resin, that will not work (as far as I know, anyway.) If you cannot bake the glass for some reason, you can bake your clay pieces separately & then glue them onto the glass after. Then use your resin or other finish. Regarding the difficulty of curing UV resin with inks or pigments, that’s common unless you use inks made for the resin you’re using. They need to be very transparent so the UV light can get through. UV light is what cures the resin, so if you use an opaque ink or too much glitter, the UV can’t get through & the resin will not cure.

      Well, it’s time to sleep for me. Depending where you are in the world, it might be noon or something. I’d love to know where you’re located. Do some looking around, check out some of the articles, and let me know if you have questions about anything you read. I hope you take advantage of the free newsletter and the Basics Course, too. Have fun with your new journey!
      ~Kat Riverside, CA USA

      • @Phaedrakat:
        Wow, Kat, thank you sooooo much for the help!!! Yes, I hate to admit it, I am a clay virgin. I work in carved, etched glass and do all kinds of applications with cold glass. I am trying to duplicate something I have seen to incorporate it into my pieces. It not only looks like dichroic glass, but he also has glitter suspended in a transparent material and he is achieving brilliant pinks and blues, but it is all very lightweight.

        I live near Orlando FL. What part of CA are you from? My sister lives in Sac. and I have had pieces on consignment in Palm Desert.

        I have ordered some foils from Jones… never had seen those before. I usually use gold leaf sheets. I just tried Lisa’s foils and was able to make them work….some nice effects. I am also trying to achieve these effects on paper. I have just “fired” my first flat pieces of clay and used Magic Glos. I also have tried the dicroflex sheets from creatapendant.com and Diamond glaze. Next, going to try transparent clay with irridescent ink, glitter and dye.

        I will write more later. Watching grandkids, one 7 year old and twin 5 year olds!!!! :)
        Lorrie, Oviedo, FL

        • @Lorrie: Lorrie, I would be interested to see your glass items. I engrave glass also and that’s how I got started in clay thinking I could incorporate the two of them and then I started going more clay and less glass.

          Can’t wait to see your wares.

          • @Bonnie Kreger:

            Hi, Bonnie, are you sandblasting your glass or using an engraving tool? I had a walk-in sandblasting room so I was able to do large pieces; doors, windows, table tops etc. I then changed to working on vases, carving and etching various patterns. I will try to figure out how to link you to some photos.

            I gave up blasting after having breast cancer, the work was just too heavy. So now I work with various applications on glass vases. I miss the beautiful carved glass and wish now that I had kept more instead of selling it all!

            Let me know how you are working with the glass. Send photos if you can. How would I link photos to this site or somewhere you can see them?

          • @Lorrie: Lorrie, I do hand engraving. Click on my name next to my picture and that will take you to my blog. Click on the sentence that says “View my complete profile”. It will take you to a page where you can send an email. Once you do that I’ll have your email also and you can send me pictures.

          • @Bonnie Kreger: Oooh, I wanna see, too! Bonnie, if Lorrie agrees to it, could you post a favorite pic on your blog so we can see her pretty glass work, too? I know, it’s a lot to ask! Alternatively, you could send photos to me, too??? With Lorrie’s permission, of course. I need to update my profile at your blog, anyway. I’ve just changed everything in preparation for starting my own…

          • @Phaedrakat: Hey Kat, if Lorrie sends me some pictures I’ll be glad to put them up.

            Let me know when you get your blog so I can add it to the ones I’m following.

          • @Bonnie Kreger: It works! I also stopped following you with my old profile & started with the new. I’ll let you know as soon as I have a new blog set up, as well. Thanks!

          • @Bonnie Kreger

            Bonnie, the link to your page doesn’t seem to work. I was able to get on it earlier but not at this time. I really loved some of your bead work. I will try to send some pics in a few days.

          • @Lorrie: Lorrie, I fixed the link but I’m not sure how we got back so far in the blog.

            I just posted some new pictures of some beads and pendants that I’m doing.

            Will be waiting to hear from you and see your pictures.

        • @Lorrie: How exciting to work with glass! Sounds really cool; I’d love to see some pictures. If you end up sending some to Bonnie, would it be okay to send them to me, too? I understand if you don’t feel comfortable with that, though.

          Regarding the faux dichroic you’re trying to duplicate: with the added colors & glitters necessary for the project, I think you might be better off using a 2-part air-cured product like ICE Resin. See the discussion here: “UltraDome and other resin brands“.

          There are quite a few comments there w/input about ICE Resin, Colors, and a few others. From reviews I’ve read, ICE resin is the best 2-part out there. I mentioned this just recently in a comment to Jocelyn here: Ice Resin

          Check it out if you want more info, or try iceresin.com.

          That’s incredible you’ve got pieces on consignment in Palm Desert. That’s about an hour from where I live here in S. CA. With my bad back, I don’t get out there very much—even though I have relatives living there! I don’t make it up North much, either. My ex-FIL lived in Sacramento. We used to visit often (and go to San Francisco, too.) It’s beautiful up there, but it’s been years since I’ve had the pleasure…

          Thanks for mentioning the Dicrofex sheets, that’s the first I’ve heard of them. They look quite interesting; I might have to get some to try out. Are they a lot thinner than the Lisa P. foils? I’m happy to hear you’re going to give translucent clay a try (along with all the fun “bling!”) FYI: Premo Sculpey “Frost” is considered the “clearest” of the translucent clays. You usually have to order it, as most of the chain craft stores do not carry it (they have the “regular” Premo translucent.)

          Well, I hope you have a great time with your grandkids! Enjoy your new medium—I think you’re going to love polymer clay & all it can do!

          • @Phaedrakat:

            Hey, I was kind of disappointed when I got the Dicrofex sheets. There are 2 kinds and they remind me of the material I have seen some children’s angel wings made of. They are sort of clear but have an iridescence to them. I haven’t done much with them yet except adhere to aluminum foil with Diamond Glaze. I think I will get a cool look with them but it won’t vary much. Creatapendant.com has some gorgeous stuff. He is very talented. I am sure dicroflex will look better on black with iridescent inks.
            I have only been investigating clay and some of these products for a week. I should have more time after the 4th. I will send some photos of my work, it just may take a few days.

            My pieces are no longer in a retail shop in Palm Desert. They were in Sans Soucie which was on El Paseo but they have since moved to an industrial area. You can see the type of work I did at their site: sanssoucie.com

            I sold art glass vases out of their shop which did not compete with their work and it also brought people in from the street.

            Granted they work on a much grander scale and are into larger architectural glass. I also had my work in a studio in Sedona AZ, 2 doors down from the Cowboy Club. I have not been producing much over the last 4 years, so I only have new work in a gallery in Winter Park, FL.

            I am excited to be experimenting with all these new products. This blog has been a lifesaver and just what I am looking for. I will probably join just to keep from making a lot of beginner mistakes. I have 2 books but the tuts are really great and very informative.

  17. Cindy,
    I haven’t been able to keep up with your tutorials since I started packing for my move to Denver, Colorado. I have 7 unopened emails with tutorials that are anxiously calling my name. I arrived exactly 3 weeks ago to this beautiful place. I finally got everything unpacked! Some of my friends(thank God they are friends) have placed a few orders, so I decided to get back to my claying. I made my first mask in this mile high city and to my surprised after it cooled off, it cracked!. I was wondering… Are there different, high altitude baking instructions for Polymer Clay? I use Premo and in Florida I never had a mask crack after baking. I need advise, please help… Thanks!!!!

    Dulce Tesoros

  18. Hi Blanca, I haven’t had any experience with high altitude baking, so I posted your problem at today’s post…in hopes that someone has some experience with this. I directed them to you here (that should get Cindy’s attention, too.) Someone should be here to help you shortly…LOL ;D

    Besides the change in altitude, did you do anything else different when you baked your mask? Did you use regular plastic wrap when your clays were packed up? Glad wrap is good, but some wraps will react with your clay, causing leaching (which could cause cracks!) Something to think about… Good luck!

  19. Thanks Phaedrakat,

    Most of the clay was still in it’s original package and my scraps on glad wrap and then stored in a plastic ziplock bag.

    I wrote to Polyform and they gave me this link.. glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm Per this link I baked at 300 degrees for longer time. It worked! my mask came out the way they did during my bakings on the East Coast.

    Thank you so much for your time

    Happy claying!
    Blanca

  20. Thanks, Blanca, for letting us know what you found out. Since Polyform agrees, and you got the right result…it’s all good! :D I’m so glad that your masks are baking properly now. Are you going to post some pictures of them on Facebook, or somewhere else online? I hope so…love to see them! ~Kat

    Here’s a quick summary of the directions, in case someone else has a question about baking clay at high altitudes. They seem to have come from a variety of sources. To summarize: when curing at high altitudes (3500 – 5000′) bake at least 5 deg. hotter & leave in longer…that’s for all clays. At altitudes over 5000′, bake Premo at 300F (recommended by a Polyform chemist,) 30 min for ea. 1/4″ thickness. Always use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature — especially at these high temp’s! For translucent clays, turn the temperature down…under 300F (they can darken easily.)

  21. Kat,

    My facebook account is dulcetesoros, I have pictures there of my masks. Anyone is more than welcomed to add me as a friend.

    I must say, this change in altitude is not easy to adjust to but I love it and I will get a handle on baking my creations. It’s just a matter of lots of practice.

    Thank you again Kat, for taking the time to answer me…
    Happy Claying!
    Blanca

  22. Hi Cindy or Doug,

    Doug, thank you so much for all your help on Saturday. I have been collecting Polymer Clay Jewelry supplies for years, so I have much of what I need already. I spent Sunday picking up some odds and ends. But I am having trouble finding a basic item. Where do I get the ceramic baking piece. Is that made special for Polymer clay or can I go to my local flooring store and buy a piece of ceramic?

    • @Lisa P: Hi Lisa! I heard all about you from Doug. I hope you had an inspiring Mother’s Day watching all the videos you had purchased over the weekend!

      As far as a great baking surface, you can usually pick up glazed ceramic tiles at flooring places or even Big Box stores like Home Depot. Just make sure that they are smooth with no textures on them and that they will fit nicely into your oven. The 6″ x 8″ tiles fit perfectly in my toaster oven.

      Having a couple extra tiles will come in handy. I put one on the floor of my oven under the element, which helps stabilize the heat so there is less spiking of temperature. Not every oven has room for that though.

      You can use the tiles to work on as well as bake on, if you like. Plus you can use two tiles (smooth sides in) to ‘sandwich’ flat polymer clay pendants and things to keep them flat while baking. Click the link by my name for more info on that.

      Sometimes if you ask sweetly, the guys in the tile department will even give you a couple tile for free. Doesn’t always work as well, if a woman is running the department though. *wink*

      Have fun and enjoy your polymer clay journey!

  23. Thanks Cindy. I found 6×6 tiles at Menards and the Pledge with the future shine. Luckily I found that in the blog. I was looking everywhere for Future and could not find it. I looked at the bead rack in one of the videos and was wondering if a disposable aluminum meat loaf/banana bread pan would work if I just made slots to hold the bead rods? Didn’t know if the pan would cause a problem with cooking. They are about the size of the bead rack, just no slicer….. Thanks. Working with working and getting ready to vacation in Jamaica this next week, but gather supplies and setting up my work area so I can begin projecting. Looking forward to getting started. Thanks. By the way, your husband was so nice the day I got set up. He went over and beyond to help me get started. Great customer service! Lisa

    • @Lisa P: That’s great you found the tiles alright, Lisa! Sure you can use a foil bread pan instead of the bead rack. Just make sure to tent it using a piece of cardstock or a manilla folder. (Type ‘tenting’ into the search box at the top of the page, if you don’t know what that means.)

      The reason I like the commercial bead rack is it fits nicely in my toaster oven and comes with a bunch of bead piercing pins. It also comes with a piece of acrylic that works wonderfully for rolling logs of clay or lentil beads. I find it quite handy, if you don’t want to hunt down other bead baking alternatives.

      As far as using the slicer feature, I find that to be pretty useless and just prefer to slice my canes without it.

      Have a great vacation! Take lots of inspiring pictures!

Leave a Reply