Mixing Polymer Clay Colors – How To Instructions

Mixing Polymer Clay Colors

Vid #015: Guidance on How To Mix Polymer Clay Colors:

Make sure to work with the colors you love. There is an infinite number of color mixing possibilities, so there’s no reason to be playing around with ones that you’re not absolutely crazy about.

The recipes work by mixing equal sized parts of clay in the prescribed quantities.

Keep in mind the size of the cutter you use will determine the amount of clay you end up with. For example, if you are making lots of beads, you may want to use a larger cookie cutter to mix up a larger amount of that color. This also means of course that if you only need a small amount of a color, then use a smaller cutter.

In my recipes that suggest using a Trace amount, this means to just add a tiny, tiny amount of a color relative to the total amount mixed. It’s obviously better to start with minuscule portions and then keep adding until the desired color is achieved… rather than adding too much right at the beginning.

As with any color mixing, there will always be slight differences from batch to batch. So if it is extremely important that the color be exact for all of the beads in a project you are doing, then for good measure mix up a little more than you think you might need. Personally I like variation and never really care if the color is exact. But I know that not everyone likes to be as random as me.

Each recipe I provide has the brand of clay listed that was used to make that particular color. Each clay company uses different pigments and color combinations. So if you want to substitute a different brand, you will have to make your best guess and then experiment to come up with your own recipe.

Cross brand substitutions of some colors like black, white, silver, and gold are pretty straight forward. But other colors such as red, green, blue, yellow, etc., are a little more complex and will require more fiddling.

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The full version of the “Primer in Mixing Colors” preview video shown above, is included in my Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals Course [SEE Video #15 of 39]. Learn to mix custom color, polymer clay recipes using special measuring cutters. This technique will allow you to make a series of color sample chips or pills that you will reference over and over again as an invaluable color sample guide.

  1. Cindy Lietz, 08 March, 2008

    Here’s a few other of my Beads and Beading titles that will give you more information about color mixing techniques and instructions:

    Polymer Clay Colors – Which Ones to Start With?
    Gold Polymer Clay as a Base for Mixing Custom Colors
    Red Polymer Clay Color Mixing Tips… A Riveting Story About Saturation

    …and don’t forget to check out the polymer clay color recipes section too!

  2. Freda K, 08 August, 2008

    Mixing colors has always been difficult for me. You make it easy. Lots of prettier beads are going to come out of my workshop now.

  3. Katina, 24 August, 2008

    I love the idea of the color “pills”, especially since I’m in the medical profession!!

    I also think the little “pills” would make cool beads themselves and could be used in fun projects.

    Has anyone out there made anything with the “pills”?

  4. Janine Kloubert, 19 November, 2008

    Dear Cindy,

    I started with PC beginning of September and at the beginning I was not so vermiliar what I really need and what not. And now I know…. I need colors and of course a lot of colors, much more then Premo, Cernit and Fimo offers right from the pack. I will order the back issues within the next week.

    I love your side and your tipps.

    Greetings from Germany (and sorry for my horrible english)

  5. Valarie H. McLeod, 02 December, 2008

    How do I make clay to look like camouflage?

  6. Cindy Lietz, 02 December, 2008

    @Katina: Cool idea! I think they would make very fun beads! Cute as earrings too, for a doctor, nurse or other medical professional!

    @Valarie: What you could do is make thin sheets of each color you want to use in your camo. Then either tear or cut the sheets into random shapes. Put these pieces onto base beads or another sheet of clay to get a camouflage look. Alternatively, you could take odd shaped logs of your colors and gather them into one big log to make a camouflage cane. Whatever works best for you.

  7. Carole, 20 October, 2009

    Cindy,

    I’d like to share my thoughts about the Beginners Course. Bear in mind I haven’t actually done anything with the clay yet. Firstly, the videos got me really excited about polymer clay, in a way that the books I have, never did. Secondly, I wish I’d seen your videos before I purchased all of the Sculpey I have lying around from years past. I had some Premo but a lot more Sculpey. Also, I liked your tip about buying just a few colors and mixing my own, since space is at a premium in my studio. The video tips have allowed me to purchase just what I need to get started, without wasting a lot of time and money on trying various products for myself.

    I like your emphasis on a quality product. I think that’s what’s been missing from the experience I’ve had with polymer clay, whether in books or pieces I’ve seen. I have high standards for my jewelry and I think that the lengthy sanding is where most people don’t seem to go.

    I’ll have more feedback for you once I actually start playing. My glass cutting board arrived yesterday (btw, very hard to find. I had to order it online and even then, the surface isn’t smooth. I’m going to have to use the underside, and probably cut off the little feet).

    Carole Carlson

  8. Cindy Lietz, 21 October, 2009

    OK Carole… you get the “made-my-day-award” for today :-). Thank you so much for taking the time to write those very kind words. Sharing feedback like this really gives others great insight about what they can expect from the video tutorials. I truly appreciate your help.

    Very much looking forward to hearing more about how your beads and jewelry are coming along. Be sure to share your stories and/or ask questions here at the blog if you need assistance with anything.

    ~Cindy

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