Polymer Clay Tutorial: Mixed Media Art Sheets Technique

Cookie Cutter Cane, Polymer ClayVideo #170: “Your ink, paint, textures, mica-powder and gold leaf technique looks fascinating. Very beautiful Cindy.” ~Susan-B

Sometimes you just need to do your own thing… especially if you’re an artist. This cool polymer clay technique allows you to express yourself in so many different ways. And… you will get amazing results every time!

Similar to a graffiti painted wall, a collage canvas or a hand painted art cloth, this technique combines all your favorite mediums, tools and design ideas together, into one unique concept. Because of it’s versatility, you will be able to use the resulting Polymer Clay Art Sheet in so many of your bead making projects.

In previous posts, I’ve already showcased a couple of different jewelry pieces made using this mixed media technique. Here are the links if you want to check them out: (1) Hopeless Romantic Earrings; and (2) Animal Instincts Bracelet

This is such a lovely piece Cindy… the round beads in your Animal Instincts Bracelet have texture and are luminous at the same time! I was very interested before with the Hopeless Romantic Earrings, but now even more curious about this fabulous technique. Fingers crossed for a lesson soon! ~DJ

Cindy, I LOVE the earrings you made from the art sheet of the original mixed media technique. I would LOVE a tutorial as well. ~Stephanie-B

I absolutely love your polymer clay art sheet earrings. I would really appreciate a tutorial on how to make them. You constantly amaze me with your creativity, Cindy. Thanks so much for all your hard work and your willingness to share. ~Beverly-L

Cindy – I’d love to learn this mixed media technique. How very clever of you to make the sheets thin like this so you could dangle three pieces and still have them light enough for the ears! ~Carolyn-F

These are beautiful, just gorgeous. I would love to have a tutorial on this mixed media clay art sheets. ~Cheryl-H

PLEASE -another request for a tute on the Polymer Clay Art Sheets -it looks as if it has so many possibilities -fun -fun-fun. Soon huh? ~Patt-W

I’d love a tute Cindy, I can see it being a very versatile and customisable technique to have in my arsenal. ~Silverleaf

Oh Cindy your bracelet is a truly gorgeous one of a kind. I am in love with those beads, and that surface technique is shear artistic talent. Can we have a tute on this very soon? Pretty Please with a Cherry on top PLEASE CINDY AND DOUG!!!
~Peggy-B

This is another wonderful technique, Cindy. A tute here would be just super. My list of “To DO’s” is getting longer, and longer. ~Joyce-M

Wow, stunning earrings! The polymer clay art sheets are beautiful, and a technique that I’d be thrilled to learn! Any time you want to throw that tute at me, Cindy, I’ll be ready to catch it! Thanks so much for your creativity, and for your willingness to share these awesome techniques without attaching a huge pricetag! ~Phaedrakat

I forgot to add my plea for a tut on the Art Sheets – I was still focusing on the fact that it almost looks like whole pieces of flower petals, along with gold leaf, in the focal beads. And don’t they look like they’re multi-layered? They’re just so beautiful and ethereal. Of course, we’ll never know how Cindy does it until we get the tut, and we’ll have it so complicated in our minds until we see how easy she makes it! So I’m asking too, please can we have a tut for the Art Clay Sheets SOON?!! ~Tanya-L

Well… I’m happy to announce that on Friday, September 3rd at the Polymer Clay Library (Vol-028-1), the members video tutorial will teach you all about making these highly creative, mixed media Polymer Clay Art Sheets.

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-028-1 Polymer Clay Art Sheets:

  • A light colored polymer clay to use as a base. I used a mixture of 50:50 Pearl and Ecru Premo Sculpey… about a 1/2 section (1/4 oz) of each color. But you can use any light color of your choice.
  • Translucent Clay. I used about 1/4 section of Premo Frost. However any translucent clay will do.
  • Pasta machine.
  • Clay blade.
  • A selection of your favorite art mediums and tools including: alcohol inks, metal leafs, glitters, mica powders, chalks, rubber stamps, permanent inks, acrylic paints, texture sheets, cane slices, etc., etc. Once you see the video and how the materials are used, I’m sure you will come up with even more ideas.

The full version of the Vid-028-1 Polymer Clay Art Sheet video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday September 3rd, 2010. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

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Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

 

 

 

Click Video Play Button

 

 

Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Polymer Clay Art Sheets” preview video shown above, is now avail for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-028 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

With Cindy’s tutorials you can go along with her every step. She is so talented and very professional and she knows what are good tutorials for us – what items would sell well etc. And her tutorials are so inexpensive! ~Cheryl-H

We all know you deserve more than what we are paying you each month. I for one am happy you are hooked on PC and even happier you share your love for it with all of us.
~Peggy-B

Cindy I want to thank you for 2 tips that have helped me more than you can imagine! They were not even the focus of the tutes nor given more attention than a passing comment, but man have they changed my work!! #1-[Video-020-2], square the cane and bead to cover in cane slices and then roll it round (tried this with extruder flower canes and made an unbelievably cute bracelet). And #2 [Video-022-1], hold your fingers at the edges of the clay when rolling a skinner blend so the clay does not become too wide. ~Carrie-W

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

  • See examples of several different beads created using a few different versions of the Polymer Clay Art Sheet Technique.
  • Discussion of the type of clay needed to have success making this creative polymer clay surface technique.
  • Learn tricks and tips for assembling the sheet, to protect the materials and inclusions used in the process.
  • And finally, find out how to use every last bit of the sheet you created (even the scraps) to create gorgeous one-of-a-kind polymer clay art beads for your jewelry making projects.

The full version of the “Polymer Clay Art Sheets” preview video shown above, is now avail for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-028 Back Issue Package.

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Comments

  1. I’m always excited about Fridays, but the pieces you showed us using this technique really resonated with me. So soft and beautiful-can’t wait!

    BTW, just for your info just a tiny part of the photo at the top was visible. Since that is not the norm, just wanted you to know in case it’s a glitch. Everything else, including the video preview was fine.

  2. Looking forward to this technique… :)

    @Elizabeth S: The photo at the top was fine for me, so either it’s been fixed or it’s not a general problem.

  3. This looks like a really fun process, as always looking forward to Friday.

    Elizabeth, I noticed the same thing with just a part of the picture showing.

    ***************************************************************************************
    ADDED NOTE: Thanks Elizabeth-S, Sue-F and Jeanne-C for commenting about the partial image. I did some checking and there was a small code issue that glitched in the Internet Explorer browser but appeared to be fine in Firefox. I’ve made a change. If you could refresh your browsers and let me know if you can see the full image now, that would be helpful information for me. ~Doug
    ***************************************************************************************

  4. Got the clay ready! I am yours for Friday LOL. This should be a wide ranging technique – you will have lots of folks posting their goodies. Can’t wait -again.

  5. Just woke and found this is “Teaser Tuesday”!! Which is almost as good as Friday. I’m really looking forward to this technique. It looks like you can have lots of fun with this.

  6. @Doug: Regarding the partial image glitch, I was using Firefox 3.6 when I initially posted that the image was fine for me, but I also checked in IE8 only minutes afterwards, as soon as I saw that Jeanne C had the problem too, I had the full image in IE8 as well.

    ***************************************************************************************
    ADDED NOTE: Thanks for the update, Sue. I too was able to reproduce the error in one browser running IE8, but everything was fine in another. That means there likely was a connection speed variable that came into play. At any rate, the offending code has been nixed, and balance has been restored to Polymer Clay Tutorville. Well… maybe that’s a bit of an over exaggeration :-)~Doug
    ***************************************************************************************

  7. I look forward to this as well…..like a mad scientist using my powders and inks with a little eye of newt thown in….. hee hee
    Andrea

  8. Can’t wait for this tute! I loved the hopelessly romantic earrings and all the other beads. I’m sure gonna have fun doing this one. Jus went and got some more mica powders – different colors – from Michaels with my coupon.

  9. Looking forward to this tute as well. I have lots of scrapbooking supplies left over, stamps etc., that I can put to more good uses.
    My friend Ruth was here this PM for clay play and she loved the tear drop method, so will probably be joining us on here soon as well as the video library.

  10. Oh this will be fun, I’ve been waiting for this one. It looks as though anything can happen, just love that approach…can’t wait!!

  11. How fabulous. I’ve been working around with different combinations of alcohol inks, stampings, foils and leafings, and mica powders. This will fit in great with my experiments!!!

  12. Wow! Am I ever glad I brought all this stuff with me! I’ll be able to clay play right along with everyone else. This is going to be a real fun tutorial. Don’t know where I’ll be on Friday, but I’ll make sure it is somewhere that I can make an internet connection so I can watch this one.

  13. Cindy, you just get better and better! You & Doug keep us happy week after week…gorgeous new polymer clay techniques and creations, photographed and filmed brilliantly. We can’t help but be inspired! Thanks you guys…can’t wait for this one!

  14. WOOHOO!! I can’t wait til Friday!! PLEASE let my computer work just long enough to watch the video!!!

    @Cindy: THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I’m so excited I can hardly wait! Now I’m glad I had computer problems again yesterday and didn’t see this until this morning, so I don’t have to wait as long! :)

  15. Just saw what is up for Friday and Cindy and Doug have out done themselves once again. I am so excited about this tute and yes all the tutes. Sept 3rd 33 yrs with the man of my dreams and a great tute to boot. Hurry up Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks, Peggy

  16. Wow, I’m so excited about this tute! The beads Cindy has made with it, including those wonderful ‘Hopelessly Romantic’ earrings, are stunning. This is gonna be fun, and it’s just a couple hours away… ;D

    Peggy, I wish you and your husband a very Happy Anniversary. My thoughts are with you two, and I’m hoping you feel better…enough to enjoy your 33rd with your dream guy!

  17. wonderful tutorial Cindy- i can’t wait to try it. Does the glitter pierce through the translucent clay when you roll it?
    Thanks again
    cara

  18. WOW.. I’m in awe of the possibilities with this one! Cindy, you’ve really outdone yourself! So many different variations we can apply, I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with! Thank you so very much for an excellent tut and an amazing new technique, and thanks to Doug for his awesome video skills again this week. Have a great weekend!

  19. Lovely effect, Cindy… this will be particularly fun to experiment with! :D
    I got some new stamps today too, so now I know what I’ll be trying them out on. In about 10 minutes! LOL

    I do have one question, however, regarding the first application (only) of the various media: what is the reason for not working directly on the backing clay at that stage?

  20. Cindy, the beads you made with this technique are beautiful. Reminds me of your Torn Clay Technique but with a different color and finish. Thanks again for a great tutorial.

    Yesterday I watched the Micro Mesh Tutorial again because one of my friends gave me a set for my birthday. I wrote the grit on each one with a permanent marker to make it easier for me in case they get out of sequence and I can’t find the little card. It’s working very well.
    I have to go out and get some lettered stamps now so I can do this tut.
    Thanks again.

  21. I actually did this tute right along with you! The only thing is I need to get the right ink pad. I have a waterbased ink but it is not very opaque. Plus it has three colors on one pad. It is not what I want for this technique. But, ia was able to get aound it. I did add some Martha Stewart glitter that are thin little rectangular shaped. (Her glitters are expensive but I got this set on clearance.) Now, I have to hope they will do fine in the oven! We’ll see and if there is a problem I’ll post here to let ya all know. This was very easy and you just can’t mess it up!

  22. Cindy, thank you for today’s tutorial- I enjoy the projects that leave lots to creativity like this one!!!

    I wonder how long this thin sheet can stay unused- hours, days. weeks? Would it be best to use it all on the same day? Thanks!!!!

  23. I have to say I think this is now my favorite tute. The mind can take you to a whole new world of creations with this one. You are teaching us a technique that is doable and quite mind blowing at the same time. Like I always say the Lietz team just smacked another one out of the ball park.
    Love you and Doug and Thank you for ever creative moment you have given me and more. Clayfully Yours, Peggy

  24. I can’t believe how lovely this is. I’ve been watching your tutorials for more than a year now and this is quite possibly the most gorgeous technique you’ve shared. I can’t WAIT to get down to my studio and try this!

  25. Thank you so much for your kind comments everyone! I am so pleased you enjoyed this tute. I love the technique and just made a bunch of pendants and beads using the art sheet I made in the video. They turned out gorgeous! My favorite yet. Will post pictures when we get time to photograph them.

    @Cara: If the glitter is small it won’t poke though when you roll it. If it is big, it might. You can always put another thin piece of translucent over it if it tears though, so no worries.

    @Sue F: That first layer of trans is there to give a more watery look to the inks. You can of course, skip it if you want. It is an art sheet after all. :-)

    @Kati: The sheet will last a long time, weeks months even. You will just need to run it through the pasta machine again before using it to get it warmed up and conditioned again.

  26. Well, I did bake my art sheet with the Martha Stewart glitter and it did just fine! So, if you have any of her glitters they will be ok.
    Also, Michaels has a 50% coupon out good for this weekend only till Labor Day! I guess I’m going to buy some ink!

  27. Happy Anniversary Peggy!

    I just posted the start of my Art Sheet project at the Facebook Gallery page. They are just out of the oven, so no finishing on them yet. I will try the UV resin today. It’s going to be 111 degrees here, so should be a good day to finish those out in the sun. I will put a Future finish on the beads and the resin on the pendant, earrings and clasp. I’ll post the finished projects when I am done.

  28. Wow Thank you all for your anniversary wishes. We spent a nice quiet very Happy Anniversary at home and I pray we are blessed with many more happy ones. I am so glad all of you are in my life, Cindy and Doug have brought us up well.
    Keep Claying, Peggy

  29. Such an amazing tutorial — I already have 3 distinct Art Sheets created…in my mind, LOL! (Now to get my hands involved.) I saw Loretta’s Art Sheet set in the gallery…gorgeous! This tute opens the door to so much creativity…using so many medias…especially all that ‘stuff’ I bought from the scrapbooking section! :D

    “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 — X 10! ;D

  30. I’m trying to make an art sheet right now. But I have a question… Because you don’t put a very thin layer of translucent on top before passing the sheet in the pasta machine, you can’t sand whatever you’re gonna make with the sheet afterward?

  31. @Cindy G: Thanks for catching the spelling mistake (all fixed now). About your question… I think you better watch the video again. There is a layer of trans on top and you can sand it. You must have been getting too excited about the technique and missed that! :-)

  32. You’re right. There is no third layer. I was thinking of the layer that protects all the vulnerable stuff. With the last stamped ink images I’m not worried if a little comes off during sanding, though it seems to really sink in and not be a problem. You could stamp before you put the last layer of trans on if you prefer. I just found sometimes the Stazon ink would lift a little of the silver leaf if I put it in that layer. You could put a third layer of trans on instead if you wanted to protect that ink. That is the beauty of this technique… you can pretty much do what you like with it! I’m sorry if there was any confusion.

  33. Hmmm! I would recommend that you NOT use Buffalo Snow with this techniquie … unless you want some really strange results. The Buffalo Snow may work well for the faux opals but I haven’t tried that yet. I intend to so I brought the snow with me. Well, I used it on the art sheets and when baked it pops out. I don’t think it likes to baked except in faux opals. This is just a word to the wise. If anyone else has had different results, I’d like to know about it. I will eventually be posting some of these art sheet pieces, but they are not quite finished yet.

  34. @Cindy G – For one thing, you can’t cut through it with your cookie cutters so it makes a mess that way. Then, it seems to pop out during baking. I’m really bummed ’cause I did quite a large batch. Now I’m just trying to salvage what I can. Let me know if it behaves any better for you.

  35. Cindy, thank you for all of your info about art sheets. I have a similar question as Cindy G. I watched the video and started on the sheets before reading the rest of the comments, so I didn’t put another translucent layer on top. Now that the beads are baked, how should I go about sanding it? Can I use higher rating of micro mesh to give it at least a little shine? Since the layer was thin, I’m scared to do anything with the beads now. :(

    • @Rada: Hi Rada, don’t be scared! If you made your top layer like Cindy’s, it should be able to withstand a very light sanding…just take it slow and see how it goes. Remember that the inks (stamped and/or alcohol) really DO sink in well. Or…did you add something else to the very top that you’re worried might be removed? Like powders, glitter, leaf, etc….they could be sanded off if they aren’t “protected.”

      If you were careful creating your beads, you probably do not have fingerprints or anything that needs a heavy sanding anyway. Your idea of starting with a higher Micromesh grit seems perfect…as long as your “toppings” aren’t coming off (or “too much” of them, anyway) while sanding.

      You mentioned how thin the layer is…what kind of beads did you make? If they’re very thin, you could add resin for extra strength & shine. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about sanding so much — unless you have fingerprints/other marks that need to be removed. If you don’t plan to use resin, there are a number of other finishes you could use to add shine or gloss to your beads…as well as protect any powders/paints, etc. you think might eventually rub or fall off…
      Good luck with your project! ~Kat

    • @Rada: I don’t know if it is possible could you add a thin layer of translucent now and bake again in some cornstarch then as before drop your beads in ice water after you take them out of the oven. You should be able to sand them then. Ask Cindy first I’m not sure if this is OK or not. Just sounds like it might work.
      Keep claying, Peggy

  36. Thank you Peggy and Phaedrakat for helping out Rada. Your advice was good. If the outside layer is stamped or inked, the ink will have soaked in and is not as vulnerable to a light sanding as the gold leaf, mica powders and paints would be. A light sanding with a higher grade micro-mesh or another layer of translucent clay will work. Whichever seems best for you.

  37. JUST POSTED… Member project photos that relate to the theme of this page… Mixed Media, Polymer Clay Art Sheets Technique.

    Polymer Clay Art Sheets Jewelry

    You can view the larger images by clicking on the link by my name.

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment in this thread. Your feedback, support and engaging conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address everyone individually, please know that I do read and give consideration to everything that is said here. ~Cindy

  38. Hi all,
    I have a question about the ink. I used Stampabilities pigment ink on the top of the art sheet. I could not get it to dry. I tried leaving it a few days and also used a heat gun. It still came off on my fingers when I tried to manipulate the sheet. I ended up stamping after the bracelet was made, but it did not look as nice. Any comments? Thanks,
    Bette

    • @Bette L: Hi Bette. You need to usea Solvent ink and not pigment ink for that technique. In the video I used Staz-on Solvent Based Ink. It is also the same ink used in the Inked Surface Butterfly Earrings so you can use it for many techniques. A pigment ink will just bead up and never set on raw clay, it actually needs to be baked before it will stop smearing. Hope that helps!

  39. Thanks Cindy,
    Maybe the pigment ink was used with the lace impressions technique. I am probably way off base on the ink pads. They are so confusing. I checked my other ink pads and they are “clean with water”, so I guess they won’t work either. Guess I’ll be using my Hobby Lobby coupon soon!

  40. Hi I’ve just made a lovely art sheet, and I am going to do a mica shift for the back of this. My question is, how do you keep this sheet from drying out if you don;t use it all at once? I know with premo it has a tendancy (if left for a bit) to dry out an go crackly, i don’t want this to happen. any one have any ideas?
    Thanks

    • @Peggy Barnes: Thanks Peggy for helping Sandra with her question. Things are getting very busy around here and I really appreciate your help! Uuuugggs

      @Sandra: To add to Peggy’s answer, oven baked polymer clay doesn’t actually dry out with time though it can harden, especially if the plasticizers have leached out. One thing that can help when using an older sheet of rolled out clay, ii to warm it up slightly and to lightly roll it with an acrylic roller to make it more pliable again. You can warm it by putting it in a zip loc bag and then setting it in a bowl of warm water. Or you can put the wrapped sheet of clay next to your skin to warm it. You don’t want to over heat or begin the curing process, but just to warm it enough to make it softer and more pliable. Another option is Peggy’s idea to rub a liquid clay or baby oil on the sheet to help soften it, but I would put it on the back of the sheet rather than the top. This way you won’t mess up any designs you may have made creating the art sheet technique. Hope that helps you.

  41. @Sandra: Will your art sheet fit in a zip lock bag, this will help keep the air from getting to it. I never leave my stuff out because I don’t want dust to settle on it. I either put it in a zip lock or at least cover it with plastic wrap. Glad wrap works or just make sure on the box that the plastic wrap does not contain plasticisers. Give this a try this should help. If it still feels a little dry you might be able to take and put a light coat of liquid Kato or Liquid Sculpey whatever you prefer on top of it this might help. Others I am sure will pop up and let you know if they think this will work or not. I would give it a try if it was me. I really would keep your clay covered though if you don’t already. Good luck !!
    Uuuuggggs, Peggy

  42. thanks guys for your help, will certainly try those ideas.
    Cindy, my family and I went to Vancouver a few years back, and absolutely had a wonderful time. We hired an RV and travelled up the Icefields pathway. Would love to come back and spend a bit more time over there. WE loved it. My hubby and kids spent four days in Vancouver, I could only manage a day, (couldn’t get time off work) and what I saw, thought was beautiful. We came in your summer our winter, though it was still zero when we got to Lake Louise!!

    • @Sandra: Thanks so nice you were able to visit Canada. I am not too surprised it was so cold in the Summer up in Lake Louise. It is quite a bit North of here and up in the mountains of Alberta. It is a gorgeous place, any time of the year you visit there. Haven’t been there for quite a few years. Would like to take the family there to camp sometime, even if it does get a little chilly!

  43. Recently at Michael’s & JoAnn, I noticed some cool Staz-on metallic colored ink pads. I’d never seen them before, and they’re pricey (even more than reg. Staz-on ink pads.) Before I buy, I was hoping someone already tried these with their clay…and wants to share about ink/polymer compatibility. We know that regular Staz-on works perfectly with polymer clay (as in this tute, and several of Cindy’s others,) but I’d love to know that these new metallics are clay-safe before I buy. Anyone tried ‘em yet?
    Thanks, Kat :-)

    • Hi Kat,
      I have used the gold metallic Staz-On ink with polymer clay. It works great, just like the other Staz-On colors. You have to put the gold ink on the stamp pad before using. I have re-inked once and it has been good for over a year. Good luck and use your coupon to buy!

  44. The plastic bag clay fabric extender is a great idea. I used those plastic sheet dividers that open with access to the entire sheet, then laid the excess clay in and closed it. Even though the ends were slightly exposed, the clay fabric remained workable for years….just took it out, warmed it up on a heating pad, then lamininated away.

    Using these clear folders allows you to store it by color or design in binders, though I am really careful to keep the binder level and not swing it around. I store the binders, flat, stacked in the bookshelf. You can use a separate binder, with paper, to leach out the plastics if necessary.

    Using the smaller partitioned clear sheets, it makes a great way to store all your color recipes…though I think you should always keep one necklace of all your colors out and exposed to the sun, etc., so you can track how well your palettes age.

  45. Cindy, I’m having a lot of issues while trying to do the art sheet project. The only layer that’s really showing up after baking is the top layer. I have my translucent super thin–around a 2 on my pasta machine. If I try a 1, it usually rips. I’m using Kato translucent and a fimo base. I used yellow fimo, but you couldn’t even see that through the translucent. Do you think a different brand of translucent might give better results?

    • Hi Toni, Sorry to hear you are having trouble. The translucent clay that I like to use for the art sheets technique is Premo White Translucent (aka Frost). It is the clearest brand I’ve worked with and is stretchy enough to get very thin. If you’re having trouble rolling it super thin on your pasta machine, just roll as thin as possible in your machine and then roll it thinner with your acrylic roller. That should get it thin enough to show your layers well. Try this and let me know how it goes for you. Good luck!

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