Ideas and Instructions – Polymer Clay Projects Using Scrap Clay

Scrap Polymer Clay

Left over Premo, Sculpey, Fimo & Kato Polyclay can be used for making beads, color mixes & polymer clay molds:

If you ‘play’ with polymer clay, you are definitely going to end up with lots of scraps. They come from cane designs that didn’t turn out so nice; Left over color mixes; The distorted ends of polymer clay canes; And those ‘ugly’ bead experiments that never actually made it to the baking stage… we all have a few of those, right?

Whatever the reason, polymer clay is far too valuable to throw away. So here are a few creative ideas for making use of your scraps in future polymer clay projects:

Make New Colors: Gather together all your scraps that are from the same color group, for example all your blue scraps. Chop them using a blade or a food processor and create a new larger batch of blue.

Marbling: Gather bits of used fimo and roll them into a log. Twist this log into a striped ‘candy cane’. Fold the log in half and twist again. Repeat this process until the clay is marbled to your liking. However, if you go too far, you will end up with a solid color.

Make Mud: When you mix more than two primary colors you get muddy browns and neutrals. They can be some of the most pleasing and calming colors. Grab up a clump of old canes, and scrap clay in a variety of red, yellow and blue based colors and blend.

Use Scraps as Background Color for Canes: Chop up similar colored clays and pack the bits around an already built cane for a interesting background.

Roll Lentil Beads: Take a ball of scrap clay and roll into a lentil bead. The colors will twist and turn to create a wonderful look. A surprise every time. More on this technique can be found here: Rolling Lentil Beads from Scrap Polymer Clay

Make Custom Molds: Scrap clay makes really great shape molds. Gather together a ball of mixed matched clays. Spray a dimensional object such as a carved button with water and press into the ball of clay. Remove the object and bake. To use this mold, dust with cornstarch or spray with water and press new clay into mold. Then carefully remove the molded clay, trim off excess, and bake.

Make Base Beads: When completely covering polymer clay beads with cane slices that are opaque, it doesn’t matter what the inside of the bead looks like. This is an excellent time to use up some left over clay. Here’s an article on: How to Add Cane Slices to Round Beads. You will see that the bead in that article has space left between the cane slices. But you could just as easily completely cover your scrap clay bead by simply butting the slices right up next to each other… or over lap them.

I hope these ideas and instructions for polymer clay projects using scrap clay were helpful. If you have any tips of your own that you would like to add, please do write them in the comment section below!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Keri Lee Sereika, 14 September, 2008

    These are all great tips Cindy! Thanks for sharing them!


  2. Cindy Lietz, 14 September, 2008

    You’re welcome Keri Lee! :-)

  3. Pam, 23 March, 2009

    Hi Cindy, love your site! I have learned SO much from you!! How do you like Kato clay? Does it shine like Premo when sanded? Guess I should’ve asked if you have used it!! Thanks, Pam

  4. Cindy Lietz, 24 March, 2009

    Hi Pam! I haven’t actually worked with Kato yet but I hear great things about it. Apparently it does shine up as nice as Premo does when sanded.

  5. Bonnie Ferrin, 26 August, 2009

    I have a question. When “cooking” or “baking” an item, I heard you can rest in on some sort of batting. My question is what type of batting do you use?

    Thank you,


  6. Cindy Lietz, 05 September, 2009

    You can rest your pieces on polyester quilt batting or the batting you would find lining a jewelry box. They can leave small markings from the fibers on your beads though. I prefer cornstarch.

  7. Cara, 01 March, 2010

    Been clearing out my box of baked polymer clay bits and I have some things that I have to accept really are no good (the little dog whose lost a leg and an eye, a bangle that would fit a giant…).

    Has anybody got any suggestions of some way I could use this baked scrap? I hate to throw things away but I can’t just keep them in this box forever.

  8. Phaedrakat, 01 March, 2010

    @Cara: You’re not talking about your Tonja’s Treasures Bangle, are you? It looks so pretty in the picture. Are you sure you don’t know someone with a larger wrist who would want it? My sister has a large wrist, and can never find jewelry to buy that fits her. (Luckily she has me to make it for her.) But since these people have a hard time finding jewelry, there’s a chance your bangle just needs the right home… Post its dimensions & maybe someone will want to buy it~

  9. Cara, 02 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: I was talking about that bangle. It is pretty but is quite lumpy so would need a fair bit of sanding, that combined with it’s size made me think it would be easier just to make another one.

    I hadn’t really though about finding someone to fit it, I will measure it and see if I can rehome it rather than scrap it. Thanks

  10. Sue F, 01 March, 2010

    @Cara: You could grate it and use it the result as inclusions in faux gemstones, polymer clay pebbles, etc.

  11. Cara, 02 March, 2010

    @Sue F: I’ll try that, thanks.

    I love this Polymer Clay Tutor site it is so great to share ideas with so many wonderful people!

  12. Cindy Lietz, 02 March, 2010

    @Cara: I am thrilled to hear you are enjoying the site Cara. I want everyone to see this as your own community… a place to bounce ideas off each other and get inspiration.

    Whenever you see an opportunity to respond to someone with a tip or suggestion on where to find more information, please do make the effort… like SueF and Phaedrakat did in this thread. I love it!

    By the way Cara, if you type “scrap” or “baked scrap” as the keyword in the search box at the top of this page, you will get a list of archived articles with tons of helpful information from me and many others.

  13. Kat E, 04 June, 2012

    Is there anything kids can make?

  14. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2012

    Hi Kat, polymer clay is great to do with kids! Just type ‘kids’, ‘grandkids’, ‘children’, ‘grandchildren’, ‘teacher’ and words like that into the search box at the top of the page. You will definitely find some good ideas. Basically anything beginner that an adult can do, a child can do with a little help. I do have a Polymer Clay Beginner’s Course if you are interested in learning together. Have fun!

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