How To Make Beads | Choosing The Right Polymer Clay Brand

Polymer Clay Brands

Would You Like Some Sculpey With That Order of Fimo Classic?

Today’s post is a Fun Quiz / IQ Test that will reveal how much you actually know about choosing the right brand of polymer clay for your jewelry bead and cane making projects. Upon completion (without peaking of course – answers are posted at bottom of the page), you will be that much wiser when it comes to Premo Sculpey, Sculpey III, Fimo, Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft, Kato Polyclay and Cernit.

Polymer Clay Brand IQ Test:

1) Which brands of polymer clay are the most easily available in North American craft stores?

a) Premo Sculpey, Cernit, Kato Polyclay, Fimo Classic
b) Sculpey III, Premo Sculpey, Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft
c) Cernit, Kato Polyclay, Fimo Classic, Fimo Soft
d) Premo Sculpey, Cernit, Fimo Soft, Sculpey III

2) Which company was the original inventor of polymer clay?

a) Polyform – Sculpey and Premo
b) Van Aiken – Kato Polyclay
c) Eberhard Faber – Fimo
d) Cernit

3) Which Brand of polymer clay is the strongest when baked?

a) Fimo Classic
b) Sculpey III
c) Fimo Soft
d) Premo Sculpey

4) Which polymer clay brand is the weakest when baked?

a) Premo Sculpey
b) Sculpey III
c) Fimo Soft
d) Fimo Classic

5) Of the four following brands, which one basis their colors on traditional artist pigments?

a) Fimo Classic
b) Sculpey III
c) Fimo Soft
d) Premo Sculpey

6) Which of these four brands is the firmest and therefore is excellent for making polymer clay canes?

a) Premo Sculpey
b) Sculpey III
c) Fimo Classic
d) Fimo Soft

7) Which polymer clay is the best multipurpose clay, great for canework, bead making and sculpting?

a) Fimo Classic
b) Premo Sculpey
c) Sculpey III
d) Fimo Soft

8) Which popular polymer clay brand shines to the highest gloss?

a) Premo Sculpey
b) Sculpey III
c) Fimo Soft
d) Fimo Classic

9) Of all these clays, which one does not sand and buff to a high gloss and stays with more of a matte finish?

a) Fimo Classic
b) Premo Sculpey
c) Fimo Soft
d) Sculpey III

10) Is it OK to mix different brands of polymer clay together?

a) yes
b) no


BY THE WAY… all of the above information (and more) about the various brands of polymer clay, is covered in Video #1 of my 39 Part Polymer Clay Basics Course. If you would like to see a sneak preview clip for this Course Video, here is the link:
Common Polymer Clay Brands in North America

Or if you want to go straight to the the course order page, here is that link: Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals


***The Quiz Answers are listed further down on the page. But first, here’s how to read your score:

Score (9 – 10) = You Nailed It:
You know your brands! Either you have been making beads for awhile, or you have taken my Bead Making Basics Course. Way to go!

Score (5 – 8) = You Know A Thing Or Two:
You have bought some clay and learned a few things about it. Though you are probably still getting some unexpected results! You need some more knowledge to get where you want to go with your bead making projects. The Bead Making Basics Course would be very helpful for you!

Score (0 – 4) = You Are A Newbie or Beginner:
You are very new to this fascinating form of polymer clay art! You need all the help you can get so you don’t get frustrated and quit. You are thirsty for knowledge and want to learn more. You need to purchase the Bead Making Basics Course so you don’t waste a moment of your time or your valuable money, making mistakes! As you have probably seen in my tag line…. “I learned by making mistakes… now you don’t have to!”

***ANSWERS 1)-b; 2)-c; 3)-d; 4)-b; 5)-d; 6)-c; 7)-b; 8)-a; 9)-d; 10)-a


So how’s your Polymer Clay Brand IQ? Want to share your score? Let me know in the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Erickson, 19 November, 2008

    Well, I got 8 out of 10. I missed knowing who was the first to invent polymer clay, and I forgot that it is Premo, not Fimo who basis their colors on traditional artist pigments. Well, I know I will always remember this things from now on!!! I feel good knowing that I remembered everything about which clays work best for what:) Good test, Cindy. I think I’ll go back and watch your Bead Making Basics Course again! I haven’t watched it for a little while, and I obviously need a tune up!

    :) Cindy E.

  2. Diana B, 20 November, 2008

    I would love to see how Kato stacks up in this line up, especially after the new formulation. I was under the impression it was pretty strong and shined up very well. Also based on artist’s pigments, isn’t it?

  3. Amanda, 20 November, 2008

    I got a 7 out of 10 BUT the questions I got wrong were;

    1. – my excuse is that I’m an Aussie and therefore don’t know what is in the US shops.

    6. and 7. I was tossing up between premo sculpey and Fimo classic and got them around the wrong way.

    That was fun!

  4. Cindy Lietz, 20 November, 2008

    @Cindy E: That’s a great idea! The more you review something the more it becomes ingrained in your brain. You will always find there are new things to learn too, because your brain can’t absorb it all the first time! Thank you for your great comments, as always!

    @Diana: I would like to do some comparisons with Kato too. It’s on the to-do list! I didn’t include it in this video though, because it not readily available in stores. It is strong and shiny, you’re right. The colors are more based on spectral colors (colors that will mix predictably) rather than artists pigments. For example, Kato has Yellow clay. Period. Premo has Cadmium Yellow and Zinc Yellow, like artist paint colors.

    @Amanda: Yeah that was unfair to you! Tell me, what brands are most available in Australia?

  5. Amanda, 20 November, 2008

    Hmmm, Fimo classic and soft, premo and cheap Aussie versions!

  6. DARINDA BRADEN, 21 November, 2008

    Cindy, I got 6 out of 10 right. Guess I’ve got alot more to learn, but quizzes like that sure are enjoyable & you learn alot from them. Thankx for picking my brain–DE BRADEN

  7. Cindy Lietz, 21 November, 2008

    @Amanda: Fimo and Premo Sculpey seem to be the standards everywhere. That is mostly why I tend to focus on them. Thanks for coming back and letting us know!

    @Darinda: You’re welcome! I’ll make sure to give you lots of Pop Quizzes then!! And aren’t polymer clay quizzes so much more fun than the ones in school?! :-)

  8. Marsha, 21 November, 2008

    I got six out of ten right, too! I know I’ll be watching the video course again soon! :-) In my defense though, I’ve been concentrating on my flower petal beads and experimenting with Premo, Fimo and Kato translucent clays. Each one is unique and they each seem to react differently with different flowers. This was a great quiz though, Cindy! Thank you! P.S. I bought my Kato polyclay at Michael’s.

  9. Kam, 21 November, 2008

    6 out of 10 for me too!….I learned somethings through this little quiz…so that is a good thing!!

  10. Anna Sabina, 22 November, 2008

    That quiz was fun and didn’t hurt my tiny little brain.
    What do people use Fimo Soft and Fimo Effects for? I have seen them in the stores but never purchased any.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 22 November, 2008

    @Marsha: Those flower beads sound wonderful! You bought Kato at Michaels? When did they start carrying it? It would be great if the Michaels here in Canada will carry it. Make it more accessible to more people!

    @Kam: Learning is always good! Thanks for the comment!

    @Anna: Fimo Soft is just a softer version of Fimo Classic, so it can be used for everything. It can be a little too soft for caning though and isn’t as strong as the Classic. Fimo Effects is the glitters, translucents, glow in the dark clays, etc. Anything that is a little more ‘fun’ than the regular clay. It can be used like any of the regular clays.

  12. Loretta Rollins, 11 January, 2011

    Hi Cindy, where can I find cernit, sculpey III?

  13. Cindy Lietz, 14 January, 2011

    @Loretta Rollins: Hi Loretta thank you for your comment! You know, since it is getting so busy around here I think you will find if you do a search using the search box at the top of the page, you will find the answer to your question quite quickly. There are hundreds of posts with valuable information here at this blog now. In most cases you will find the answers quicker and more thorough if you find them for yourself rather than waiting for an answer. If you still have problems, after doing a thorough search, then do ask again. Hope that helps!

  14. Phaedrakat, 15 January, 2011

    @Loretta Rollins: Hi Loretta…it depends on where you live, too. Give us an idea of where you’re from…perhaps a member from your area will tell you where they get their clay. Or are you looking for online sources?
    ~Kat (Riverside, CA)

  15. Rachel Verdi, 31 March, 2013

    Wow…. SERIOUSLY useful post! I’m BRAND spanking new to idea of using clay for jewelry.. literally all I knew was old fimo for sculpting, and its been 15yrs or so since i dabbled with that. Interested in using clay in silicone molds to create charms and pendants, and was waffling between Premo Sculpey and Cernit for strength. Planning to use Rub n Buff on them, so thats’ a factor as well. Definitely helped me out with this post… thanks so much! Oh, and grabbing that course of yours as soon as I have 2 pennies to rub together. Thank you SO much. Been doing research for about 4 hours now and your posts are without a doubt the most useful and on topic, esp for a beginner.


    Oh, and if anyone has a suggestion as to which would be the end all best for my uses (with molds, heavy duty for jewelry, and looks most like true metal once treated w rub n buff..)… Premo Sculpey or Cernit, or mix of both, I’d love to know. Also looking ideally for a color that approximates verdigris. Thanks again!

  16. Cindy Lietz, 01 April, 2013

    Hi Rachel, thanks so much for saying such kind words about our blog! That is great to hear that you are finding it useful. Don’t forget to use the search box at the top of the page to search on any polymer clay topic you need help on. There are tons of articles, tutorials and comments from other readers that will help greatly in anything you need to know about polymer clay.

    As far as using Premo or Cernit, I will leave that to the other members here, since I have not yet tried Cernit. I do however LOVE Premo and can assure you that it will do what you want to do with it and more! It is a beautiful clay to work with.

    As far as the color Verdigris, that would be an easy one to learn to mix. I have all kinds of color recipes. One of them might work for you. Do sign up for the Guest List (aka Newsletter) and you can start collecting free color recipe cards to get you started.

    Have fun!

  17. Rachel Verdi, 01 April, 2013

    Perfect! Thanks so much for your help, again! Will be back frequently I’m sure, as soon as supplies arrive and I get myself into the inevitable craft related pickle. ;)


  18. Diana B, 02 April, 2013

    You mentioned metal and verdigri and I thought of Swellegant. Have you run across that yet? I haven’t tried them yet, but would love to someday.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 02 April, 2013

    Yes I have seen the product Swellegant before, though I haven’t tried it yet. I am guessing it is either the same or similar to a product I bought years ago called Chemtec, which had real metal particles in the paint that reacted to the different chemical patinas that you sprayed onto them. I should dig that stuff out and test it. As well I should get some Swelegant to test tool. It would be an interesting material to use with polymer clay.

  20. Fatima A, 26 May, 2013

    I have just found this quiz and got 5/10 i have to do more research but that was fun

  21. Jo Anne St James, 19 November, 2019

    I have been using polymer clay almost daily for over 20 years. About 1 year ago my fingers started splitting, drying and pealing. It was at that time I also added resin when I made clay cabs. I tried everything to clear up the fingers – used prescription screams, gloves, finger cots, etc. Nothing worked. I am now seeing 2 specialists for my fingers and I am taking weekly shots. I was suspicious that I was allergic to either the resin or the clay and went for an allergy test. Long story short after being tested for 80 different elements /compounds the results came back confirming that the ONLY thing I am allergic to is polymer clay. This really sucks. I use the clay daily to make and sell cabochons and that is how I supplement my retirement income.

    So I decided to check out your blog to see if you had an insight on this. Also I was wondering how I might compare ingredients in Premo (which is what I primarily use) to Cernit or other brands. Perhaps others have different ingredients, different from the plasticizes that are resident in Premo.

    I am hoping you might have some information that could help me.

  22. Cindy Lietz, 21 November, 2019

    That is very strange Jo Anne, sorry to hear that! Did you ask Polyform about it? I don’t have any idea what is in the secret formulas of the different polymer clay brands. Weirdly enough I just saw a comment from Toni Street that something similar was happening to her hands and she thought it was from Premo. Maybe you should get in touch with her. It is a bit of an odd situation though. You would think after more than 12 years running this business and the thousands of students I have had primarily using Premo, that more than two cases would have popped up with people having reactions to the clay? But who knows… it could be the fact that both you and Toni spend a lot more time than the average person working directly with the clay, so it could be a chemical in the clay that you’re allergic to? You might need to start wearing gloves or start playing with some of the other brands to see what works best for you. Good luck! Let me know if you find anything out!

  23. Jo Anne St James, 22 November, 2019

    Thanks Cindy for your response. Yes I started wearing gloves a while back but now it is more than just touching the clay. It is also the dust it raises when I sand or buff out the work. I wear a mask but particles still get on my skin, etc… I too noticed this week that others were posting on Facebook similar reactions. I think there were at least 2 others. These ladies posted pictures of their hands and fingers which looked just like mine and they were experiencing the same issues. Since I do daily work with Premo primarily, and never had this happen to me until about 1 year ago, I still wonder if there was any recent changes to the ingredients. I will reach out to Polyform to see. Please keep this in mind should others also reach out to discuss any similar issues. I would very much like to stay in contact with those who are. Shared experiences may yield some answers!

  24. Cindy Lietz, 29 November, 2019

    Interesting… do keep me in the loop!

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