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Round Polymer Clay Beads

Sometimes You Just Need To Be Pointed In The Right Direction:

In my October 18 post I asked all of you to share your biggest challenges when it comes to working with polymer clay, making beads and designing beaded jewelry. I wanted to know what you need the most help with. There were almost 150 responses which tells me I’ve got some educating to do.

A few topics came up that I have already addressed several times here at the blog. So today I’m simply going to point you in the right direction by providing some helpful links to other articles.

Challenge #1: Which Brands of Clay to Use for What:

Challenge #2: Rolling Round Beads:

Challenge #3: What To Do If You Don’t Have A Bead Rack:

And finally, if you want to learn how to quickly find quick answers to many other topics and questions, then read this post:

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Cindy Lietz, 03 November, 2008

    I hope these links were helpful. If you have any suggestions on things I could do for you to make the articles more effective, just let me know in the comment section below.

  2. Debbie McLelland, 25 February, 2009

    Does every finished piece of Polymer clay have to be varnished, to hold color or texture, etc.? Basically, when do you varnish, when do you not?

    I have read where some people use either Varathane or Future floor wax to seal Polymer clay. What do you suggest?

    I will eventually want to put some type of sealant on projects where Polymer clay has been adhered to ceramic or metal. Which sealant would you suggest for that?

    Thanks Cindy,
    DMc

  3. Cindy Lietz, 26 February, 2009

    Good questions Debbie!

    I don’t always put a finish on the beads. You don’t have to unless there is a finish that could get rubbed off like alcohol ink, mica powder, glitter, metal foils or gold leaf that you need to protect with a sealant.

    On any smooth bead, I always carefully sand and then buff the pieces. If you do it right you can get a gorgeous high sheen with a buffing machine such as a Dremel and you don’t need a finish.

    If you just do a proper sanding without buffing very long, you can get a nice matte finish.

    If you want an even higher shine you can add Future Floor Finish or Varathane. These are nice and thin finishes, not thick and gloppy looking like some of the finishes made for polymer clay.

    If you want more info on those finishes, click the link by my name.

  4. Debbie McLelland, 26 February, 2009

    Cindy, what great answers to my sealant question, it helps a lot. Now let me take my question one step further:

    I would like to use finished Polymer pieces that might have exposure to outside elements, such as wind, water, and sunrays. Wouldn’t I need some type of sealant in this case? If so, would you still suggest Future floor finish? Or do you simply advise me to highly buff these pieces, which you have said would make them even more water resistant?

    Now, the other factor is that some of the pieces will be 3-dimensional. So, is it possible to buff dimentional work well enough to have the protection I am seeking?

    It is so nice for us to be able to come to you with all our questions! As you can tell, I am still a bit confused. I hope I am not confusing you.

    Debbie McLelland
    Fire Gems Studio

  5. Cindy Lietz, 28 February, 2009

    Hi Debbie, these are great questions!

    I’m not sure where I said that, but buffing doesn’t really improve the water resistance. Polymer clay is plastic so it is naturally waterproof.

    Buffing can be done to a point where no finish is required for the high shine. Maybe that’s where the confusion came in?

    Future Floor Finish is just used to create high shine or to protect a surface from wearing off, like an image transfer, some alcohol ink or some mica powder on the surface of the clay.

    Other than protecting a surface treatment from getting rubbed off, there really is no need for a sealant at all.

    As far as using something outside, you should test the light-fastness of the clay without a sealant by leaving it exposed outside for awhile. Make sure to have a duplicate you keep inside to see if there is any difference. I’m not sure how Future would work outside, but you could test that as well.

    As far as UV protection, I’m sorry but I don’t know of any unless there is a Varathane that has a UV protector but it would have to be water based to be compatible with the clay.

    If I come across more info on this I will be sure to pass it on.

    Hope that helped.

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