Make Polymer Clay Bathroom Knobs | Glass Beads | Clay Color Mixing

Your Questions Answered

1) Clay covered decorative knobs and handles to use on bathroom closet and cupboard doors.

2) Embedding glass bead pieces into Fimo polymer clay.

3) Organizing your polyclay color mixing samples.

All three of the following questions were sent in by Susie Edwards of Olympia, WA.

Q-1: I am wanting to cover a wood door knob for a bi-fold door in my bathroom. Is this doable? ~Susie Edwards

A-1: As far as covering wood with polymer clay, it is do-able but there are a few problems you can run into. The first is that since wood is porous, it absorbs moisture. This means it will expand and contract with the moisture changes in the air.

Polymer clay is non-porous and does not expand and contract. So if there is a hard non-expanding layer of poly clay over a constantly expanding layer of wood, the hard clay layer will crack and pop off.

To avoid this you can seal the wood first with a waterproof white glue like Weld-Bond. If you’re careful to get everywhere it will work.

But an even better solution is to cover a knob that is non-porous, such as glass, ceramic or metal.

Q-2: As it is a fairly girly bathroom I would like to use some Rhinestones on it. Would I add them after I bake it and before I seal it (thinking that the sealing would hold them on a bit better). Or would they live through the toaster oven? How about Bugle Beads am I out of luck on that one? I would appreciate any suggestions you might have in this.  ~Susie Edwards

        A-2: As far as the glass beads, crystals and bugle beads go, they can be added no problem. Push them into the clay and bake. Then pop them out so that you can more easily sand, polish and seal the clay. Finally, glue the beads back into their original dents or impressions in the baked clay.

The best glue to use is Krazy glue or another brand of super glue. Don’t use too much though because any surplus that splashes out will leave a foggy stain on the beads and clay!

Finishes and sealers never work to hold pieces in, except in the case of something super thick like resin or embossing powders. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

Q-3: I loved your idea of making the sample pills, but you didn’t explain what you stored your sample pills in and how you kept them separate, and how you knew what the manufacture and color was do you have a system that works or is it just what works best for each person? Thanks ever so much I really appreciate it.  ~Susie Edwards

A-3: For the little color sample ‘pills’ I discuss in the one of my free polymer clay color mixing video tutorials, you can glue them in a book or a recipe card with the names of the clay if you like.

If you make them larger you can write the names of the clay you used right on the sample with a fine tip permanent pen.

Or you can just throw them in a bowl like I do. With experience you get a feel for colors and don’t necessarily have to write everything down. But definitely do what works best for you.

To Susie and everyone else reading this: If you have any more questions on how to make polymer clay bathroom knobs; embedding glass beads into Fimo;  Or Keeping track of your clay color mixing samples; Then feel free to leave a comment below and I promise to respond.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Cindy Lietz, 11 August, 2008

    If you have a question you would like answered in an upcoming Q+A article like the one above, contact me here: Ask The Polymer Clay Tutor

  2. Susie, 12 August, 2008


    Thanks ever so much … your answers helped SOOOO VERY MUCH! It can all be a bit confusing for novice … I really appreciate your site … keep up the GREAT WORK!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 13 August, 2008

    You are very welcome Susie! Anything else I can help you with?

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Scallop Shell Pendant Jewelry by Polymer Clay Artist Tina Holden

  4. YOLANDA, 19 August, 2008

    I’m a newbee,

    I have been wanting to fashion candy and have really gotton so frustrated that I can’t find a site, book, anything to teach me how to do it. What little I have found is not very good as far as enough information for someone as talented as myself! I know the information is out there somewhere. Miniature candies is what I would love to learn how to make. Can you direct me to some information on how to make clay minature candy?

    Thank you

  5. Cindy Lietz, 19 August, 2008

    Hi Yolanda – Are you talking tiny miniature candies for doll houses or miniature candy like these Chocolate Jewelry Earrings? Let’s continue this conversation over at the Chocolate Earrings article.

  6. YOLANDA, 19 August, 2008

    thank you so much for getting back so quickly. I’m sorry, I was referring to the dollhouse miniature size candy.I’ve been able to find many books on working with fimo but not anything on miniature dollhouse size candy.

    I’ve looked for classes in my area but this one horse town lacks many things.

    agian thank you for your respons.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 20 August, 2008

    Yolanda… I currently do not have any info on making tiny dollhouse miniatures but there is a lady out of the UK named Angie Scarr that does. She makes tiny fruits and vegetables and even some tiny Allsorts licorice candies that may interest you. I wrote about her in a previous post on Fimo Nail Art and if you read that post you will see the link to her site there.

    If you want to learn how to work with polymer clay, make sure to spend some time on this blog looking around. There’s plenty of tips, techniques and tutorials. There is also lots of Polymer Clay Q+A where I answer questions that readers send into me. Hope that helps!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Another Bird Necklace Pendant | Etsy Tips For Your Jewelry Business

  8. Donnie, 04 November, 2008

    I made a pendant of seedbeads using fireline. I going to put a polished rock in the center and I want to make a backing of polymer clay to attach it to so it won’t be floppy. I plan on using TLS to attach the pendant to the clay.

    Question is: Can I bake the whole thing, clay, seedbeads and all?

  9. Cindy Lietz, 04 November, 2008

    I wouldn’t bake your seed beads and pendant together. The fireline is plastic based and may melt. I’m not positive on that, but it would make a heck of a mess if it did.

    You can glue everything together after it’s baked instead if you want. I would use a Krazy Glue for that.

    Let me know how it turns out!

  10. Nikki, 10 March, 2009

    Hi Cindy. Could you tell me which polymer would give the finest of details. I’m helping a lady try to make some foxgloves leaves and thought you could help. I’m Nikki of Witch and Wizard miniatures and you could let me know which is best through my blog if you like. You will also see the ladies blog though one of my recent posts.
    With thanks… Nikki

  11. Cindy Lietz, 12 March, 2009

    Hi Nikki! The firmer clays like Fimo Classic and Kato Polyclay give the best details. Sculpey II would be the the worst since it is too soft. Premo is OK if you have a firm block but some of the new stuff is too soft so watch out that. You can always leach out some of the plasticizers to make it firmer though. Click the link by my name for more info on that.

  12. Helen Estaphan, 20 September, 2009

    Can PC be used to make a decorative border in a bathroom, glued with thin set and used with regular grout? I want to make a seaside border with stone, glass and some PC animal shapes.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 22 September, 2009

    To tell you the truth Helen, I’m not sure. I used to do a lot of Mosaic work with thinset but haven’t tried it with polymer clay, so I am not sure about the compatibility. Laurie Mika does a lot of mosaic with polymer clay, and she might know. I wrote about her once awhile back. If you click the link by my name you can read that article and find her link.

  14. Helen Estaphan, 23 September, 2009

    Thank you for the reply. I am still doing research and I think I will give a small project a try.

  15. Cheryl V., 06 April, 2010

    HELP! I am trying to condition some white Premo so I can finally start my opal making. I bought this Premo about a week ago but I’m fearing it may be old. When I ran it through my pasta machine for the first time I ended up with a pile of crumbles. I picked them all up and squished them together, ran those through again only to end up with a new pile of crumbles. I tried putting it into a plastic ziplock bag and submerging it in hot water. That worked for a few passes in the pasta machine but then it just kept breaking up. I spent literally 30 minutes rolling it into a snake and folding to condition it by hand but as soon as I thought it was conditioned and ready to use it started falling apart again. I have been working on this one piece of clay for over an hour trying to condition it. Is there anything I can do to make it hold together or should I just throw it away and go buy more? Thank you

  16. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2010

    FYI: The link by my name will take you to another thread where Cheryl V’s question was answered by Carolyn-F and Phaedrakat.

  17. ChristineK, 06 April, 2010

    I have about 2 months to complete my current PC project: transform an unfinished wood box into a pretty jewelry box for the necklace I made for my best friend, in honor of her (a certain age) birthday.

    I don’t understand what to do to cover the box successfully. I have done Google searches, read the Glass Attic (its spare, contradictory directions are very confusing)and read various polymer clay, beading, and craft magazines. It seems as though no one has a consistently successful way to make this work.

    1) The main problem seems to be covering a porous material (unfinished wood) with a nonporous material (polymer clay).

    I’m fortunate to live in Boulder, CO, known for beautiful dry mountain air, so I will probably work with wood boxes that are very dry anyway.

    I plan to oven-dry the box just in case–What temperature? How long: up to 20 min?

    Is there some way to tell if the box is dry enough? For example, will the wood feel brittle?

    Would it be a valid test if I first covered the bottom of the box with plain clay and cured it, then checked it after a week or two for flaking or splitting after “normal” use (dropping the box from a table, tapping it lightly with a hammer (she has a curious 6-year-old son)?

    2) I understand that glue is another important piece of this process.

    What type of glue is best and when should it be applied? I’ve read the glue can be a common white glue like Elmo’s or that a wood glue like Sobo is best.

    Is the glue applied to “seal” the dried wood box? Does this mean that I would apply raw clay to the box after the glue is completely dry?

    Or is the glue attaching the clay to the box? In this case, is uncured clay applied with wet glue to the box, then cured? Or are cured clay pieces applied with wet glue to the box, then “cured” again to dry the glue?

    Whew! I want to paint the inside of the box to make it look nice; should I wait to paint only after the box+clay are completely cured and dry? Or does acrylic paint do OK during baking the clay on the box?

    Thanks for any help with this!

  18. Linda K., 08 April, 2010

    @ChristineK: Carol Duvall used to have lots of segment on polymer clay on her show. I remember that Lisa Pavelka and the Mitchell sisters, Karen and Ann, used to cover lots of items with clay. To the best of my memory, most of the time they baked the clay seperately and then glued the pieces of clay to the box after baking.

    If you go to you can get to many of the projects that the Mitchells did on the Carol Duvall Show.

    You can also Google “HGTV polymer clay” to get to many of the old Carol Duvall projects.

  19. Phaedrakat, 08 April, 2010

    @ChristineK: You’re right, the information out there is confusing. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of info here, since Cindy covers more of the jewelry side of polymer clay. As Cindy mentions in the article above, the problem with covering wood is that it expands and contracts with moisture. When you cover it with clay, the cured clay cannot expand — so it cracks. Clay also will not adhere to bare wood. The way to fix these problems is to seal the wood. Covering it with a heat-resistant PVA glue (polyvinyl acetate/all-purpose white glue) like SoBo (heat resistant, made of PVA) and letting it dry, seals the wood so that the clay has something to cling to. I’ve read you can also use TLS for this, too. I’ve even read that acrylic paint will do the trick!

    The usual “rules” though, are to dry out your wood (remove moisture, sap) by baking in the oven for a long time at a temp between 250 to 300F. I’ve read you should bake for a half hour to several hours or so, leaving the piece in the oven as it cools to get maximum dry-out. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across any tips that tell when something is “dry enough”. I’ve read lots of books with these kinds of projects, but they all just say bake the wood, then seal with SoBo (or other oven-safe PVA glue,) TLS, acrylic paint, or even wood finish (like varathane.) Since you are planning to paint the inside of the box anyway, perhaps you should bake your box, then paint it with acrylic. If not, then you should bake the box, then cover in the white glue. Let it dry. Then add clay on one side. This could be your test run, to see if it will meet the 6-year old son test.

    To answer your questions about the glue, it is meant to seal the wood and give the polymer something to “grab on” to, since it won’t grab on to bare wood. The glue shouldn’t be wet; it’s the dry, sunken-into-the-wood glue that helps the polymer be able to adhere to the box.

    Well, it’s late. I’ll leave you this info to ponder over. (I know, more confusion!) I have been gathering these facts, wanting to do a project of my own. I just haven’t tried it yet. I hope I helped a little (with the glue, maybe?) My hope is that someone with experience covering jewelry boxes will pipe up with their strategy. In the meantime, though, it can’t hurt to bake the box at a low temp for 30 – 60 minutes. Then seal a side with Sobo or another heat-resistant PVA glue and let it dry. Then, apply clay & bake. Do your test this way, and see how it goes. Good luck!

  20. Phaedrakat, 08 April, 2010

    That’s a great way to do it! You can paint the inside of the box without worrying about messing-up the clay. Just make sure you use a good glue. One of the projects in my books suggests using a 2-part epoxy (made for wood) for gluing baked clay to unfinished wood. If you finish the wood first, other glues could be used.

  21. Michelle L, 17 October, 2011


    I had a question and you are the only person who came to mind who might have an answer to it! I have a big dream to sell my clay one day. I want to make pictures… A link to an example of one I have done in the past is:

    They are a bit time consuming and I wonder if people would even pay good money for them, but I thought I would give it a shot. I feel they are unique as I haven’t seen anyone else do anything quite like it, and the pictures with clay I’ve seen people do look nothing like mine. I have a slight problem, though. As you can see in the photo, I use a wooden base. I really like it and would continue using it. I don’t know how familiar you are with wood and baking it in conjunction with polymer clay, but the wood tends to shrink a little, which can hurt your work as I’m sure you can imagine.

    What I do is take the wood and I cover it with a thin layer of Super Sculpey. I do this so the clay I’m putting on it will stick better. Then I do my picture and bake it. In the Ohio State picture, to my knowledge, I am not having the issue of it coming apart, but in some other things I’ve done the base begins to come apart from the picture. This is a problem that I’m not entirely sure how to fix. I have read in some places that you need to cure the wood in the oven before using it with clay, but I have been unable to find anyone to tell me HOW to cure the wood.

    I want to be able to give people a nice item to put on their shelves/mantles/walls and know that it is a sturdy product. I’m open to other ideas to use as a base, but I really would like to make the wood work.

    Thanks for your help!



  22. Cindy Lietz, 29 October, 2011

    Hi Michelle, sorry to take so long to get back to you. That is an excellent dream you have, to sell your clay items one day. It takes some time and some experimenting to figure out what will sell and for what price, but you can do it. It is a great goal!

    As far as curing the wood, the thing to do is bake the wood once, before adding any clay to it. That way all the shrinkage will happen before your clay is added. Then when you do bake it again with the clay on it, the clay won’t separate or crack.

    Many people also like to seal the wood before adding clay so that any glues or saps that may be in the wood, won’t interfere with the clay and the clay will adhere better. You can do that before or after the initial cure baking with either white glue or Mod Podge.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes for you!

  23. Joni campbell, 29 November, 2016

    I have been requested to cover the outside of a glass sink bowl. Suggestions? My biggest concern is making sure it stays stuck. Should I use TSL around the rim edge to help with bonding and prevent water getting in between clay and glass.

  24. Cindy Lietz, 06 December, 2016

    Hi Joni, although this is a very cool idea, I would be concerned about doing a project like that without having done extensive testing first. A sink gets a lot of use, with exposure to water at both hot and cold temps, soap, cleaning detergents and because it would be in a semi-permanent situation, it may cause a lot of headaches, should the glue and or finish fail. This would especially be a problem if you were planning on selling this.

    I would recommend that you do some testing on a glass bowl that you use yourself for at least 6 months to a year in the the conditions I mentioned above. Maybe test a variety of adhesives to see which works the best. I’m thinking resin or something similar may be a good overall coating to seal the pieces in.

    It is a tricky project and would need time and experimenting to come up with the best solution but could be wonderful if you figure it out.

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