Fixing Bubbles in Your Flat Baked Polymer Pieces

Polymer Clay Fixing BubblesVideo #372: Even when flaws show up after baking, there is still something you can do.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Sometimes, when baking your polymer clay pieces, a bubble or two will show up when you take it out of the oven. In a previous video (Avoiding Bubbles in Your Polymer Clay), I demonstrated how to avoid trapping air in your clay before the piece is baked. But in cases where some bubbles are missed, or if you have some old pieces with bubbles showing, today’s video will teach you a quick trick to help fix, or at least minimize the look of those pesky flaws.
  • You can either work with the bubbled piece while it is still warm from the initial bake… or you may also re-heat to get the polymer temperature back up.
  • Sandwich hot bubbled clay between two smooth heat proof surfaces and apply pressure until the piece is cool. I used to smooth glass tiles in the video.
  • This process should flatten the bubbles and make them disappear or appear less noticeable. If it hasn’t worked to your liking, repeat process by re-heating, and try again.

Question of the Day:

Do you ever get bubbles in your polymer clay? If you do, have you ever tried to fix them? Share your secrets below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, if you have a polymer clay question or challenge you’d like me to address in an upcoming video vlog, do post it in the comments below. I’d love to help you find quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… How To Fix Bubbles That Show Up in Flat Polymer (Baked) Pieces. The Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Kaza D, 15 April, 2013

    You’re most helpful, thank you :)

    oh and what I do, I take that razor-sharp box opening knife and slice very very thin layer of a bead, sure it leaves either a very thin layer of clay on top of air-source, or cuts it right open, but then you can fill in the cap with same color(s) clay and heat just that one spot, but this had to be done before it cools down totally, because it? kinda doesn’t fuse together after it’s fully cold. The result is actually quite fine, but as you can’t double-cool the piece, you have to find a way to sort of apply hard heat only onto that one spot, so what I do is I take that lighter, the one “wind resistant” and just cook? the crumple of clay I set in there like that. Gotta be very careful, for it can absolutely burn the clay or cause more bubbles to appear from the “boiling point” effect if it’s too hot for too long.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 16 April, 2013

    I like your ideas Kazak. Thank you so much for sharing them! Like you said, I would caution against using a lighter to heat the clay though. It can be extremely difficult not to burn or bubble the surface. A heat gun, or an oven as I suggested in the video, is a much safer way to reheat your clay.

  3. Jocelyn C, 19 April, 2013

    If you can reheat clay anyway, why can’t you just re-cure in the oven? Love the slice and fill idea.

  4. Sue F, 16 April, 2013

    To check that I’m understanding this correctly, you’re carefully slicing the top of the air bubble off, then back-filling it with the same clay, right?

    If so (good idea, by the way!), can’t you just re-cure the piece after back-filling? If you add a thin smear of liquid polymer clay inside the hole to be filled first, and then back-fill it with clay of the appropriate colour, there shouldn’t be problems with the new raw clay failing to adhere to the old cured clay (although there would be if you didn’t use the liquid polymer clay first). That would avoid the possibility of burning the clay by trying to use a lighter to cure only one small spot.

    (While I haven’t done this to fill air bubble pockets, I *have* done this for other repairs, and for re-filling holes drilled into cured clay for the insertion of headpins etc., and it works well in those cases even though you’re only adding a small amount of raw clay. And of course multi-step construction techniques where you add raw clay to cured clay and then re-cure the combined piece are pretty common.)

  5. Gica O, 15 April, 2013

    Thanks dear, very useful tip. Like always.

  6. Paola A, 15 April, 2013

    Oh my God!! This happened to me today!

  7. Michelle Adams, 15 April, 2013

    Wow, that was a great tip Cindy thank you. I don’t usually wind up with too many bubbles in my pieces, but I’m thinking of a piece I did a while ago that had one in the front. I sanded and finished it, but I may pop it back in the oven and give this a try.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 15 April, 2013

    That’s a great idea Michelle! Let us know if you are able to fix it.

  9. Michelle Adams, 15 April, 2013

    btw, I love all the pc pics you find and share on Pinterest. They’re so inspirational and I’ve re-pinned a bunch of them. Trouble is – it’s ADDICTING! Bet ya can’t pin just one, lol.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 15 April, 2013

    Boy is it ever addicting! Sometimes I put a timer on just so I don’t get lost in there

    Sure is quiet around here today… The sad and scary news of the bombs at the Boston Marathon are on people’s minds today. My heart goes out to everyone who has been touched by this tragedy. It breaks my heart that this kind of thing can even happen. If we just had more love and understanding for one another, we would have peace in this world.

    My Love to each and every one of you.

  11. Dixie Ann, 17 April, 2013

    I’m sitting here with a sore throat and a pounding headache but I just watched your studio tip on flattening out bubbles and I must agree that is one of the best tips you have done Cindy my dear. As hard as one tries to prevent bubbles it always seems to be a problem 9 times out of 10.
    The Boston Tragedy was especially scary for us. My son had
    stayed at the hotel 2 blocks from the bomb site earlier and to see all that happen was especially difficult for him.
    (((hugs))) to everyone.

  12. Cheyrl B., 19 April, 2013

    Best wishes to one and all for a peaceful and happy future, if everyone were crafters there would really be peace in the world, No where else do you find a group of people who love to share and are so giving of their time and knowledge.
    Having said that I made the mother of all bubbles last week. I am not one to see things go to waste so as I was putting the final strip of packing tape on a package for my daughter the tape ran out and instead of throwing it away I clearly saw a large bangle bracelet in my hand. I covered it with liquid clay and baket to give me a sealed surface to work on then wrapped it in a sheet of clat inside and out it was beautiful then I baked it and what I got was very nice except that there was two huge bubbles on either side of the outside.
    Is there any way to get the results I want without the bubbles.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 19 April, 2013

    That sounds like a neat idea Cheryl. Sometimes really thin sheets can be more of a problem trapping air then thin ones are. You could try a little thick sheets if they will work in your design. Plus you can try using Bake and Bond between the layers and really paying attention that you smooth it out well before baking. Or you could try the technique in this video should it end up creating bubbles any way. Hope that helps a little. Good luck! Let us know if you figure it out.

  14. Tantesherry, 20 April, 2013

    Hi Cheyrl
    maybe you could use a needle tool and make a small hole in the raw clay for the air to escape
    maybe on both sides
    if this isn’t the ‘look’ you’d like you could back fill the cured piece w/ raw matching clay and re cure
    just a thought :)

  15. Cheyrl B., 21 April, 2013

    sounds like a stroke of genius to me, I’ll try it and let you know, Thanks

  16. Andrea Paradiso, 22 April, 2013

    Hi, All!

    I used to get more bubbles while sheeting than after baking, but the other free video helped me with that, Cindy. And I always check and re-check myself before I bake for bubbles. As I find them, I poke the with the finest needle I have and then smooth down gently.

    But I never saw this trick before—it would never have occurred to me in a million years! Will try it next time…except I hope there IS no next time!

  17. tricia parker, 05 May, 2013

    Hello Cindy.
    I am very new to polymer clay and have just found your tutorials on you tube.
    They are so very helpful and you explain everything very clearly. I’m subscribed to your channel and am going through all of your tutorials.
    I hope you don’t mind me asking this question here? But!
    Can you tell me please, what is the best way to store polymer clay.
    I put some in a plastic container but it went very sticky and seemed to melt and break down the actual side of the plastic box, why did that happen? I thought it would be ok as I have seen people on you tube wrap their clay in plastic bags, do they also melt?
    what about wrapping it in baking paper? would that be ok or would it dry out the clay?
    How do you store your clay?

    Thank You.

  18. Dixie Ann, 05 May, 2013

    Hi Trica, welcome to the blog. At the top of every page is a Search Bar. If you type in “how to store Polymer Clay” You will have several results to look through that will answer your question. Cindy has one of the most comprehensive search features and it covers just about any question you may have on polymer clay and it’s properties. Hope this helps.

  19. tricia parker, 06 May, 2013

    Thank you Dixie Ann.

    I’ll have a look now. :)

  20. Cindy Lietz, 07 May, 2013

    Dixie Ann is right Tricia. The search box is the perfect way to find tons of info here. You should be able to find the answers to all your questions about storing polymer clay.Thanks for helping Tricia, Dixie Ann!

    If you haven’t found it already, here is a link to a video where I show how I store my polymer clay in bins.

    Hope that helps!

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