Using Polymer Clay Faux Wood To Fix a Broken Kids Pocket Knife

Polymer Clay Faux Wood Pocket Knife

When the Decorative Skin On Your Old Pocket Knife Cracks And Falls Off…

Like a lot of boys, my son Fisher was given a Swiss Army Knife for carving sticks when we go camping. Of course he is not allowed to just play with it whenever he wants. It is for supervised situations around the campfire where we all get a chance to be outdoorsy together.

Fisher’s knife was actually mine from when I was a little. My husband Doug also had a pocket knife when he was a kid… which our daughter Willow now has. No gender roles in this family.

So to make a short story long, the decorative plastic side on Fisher’s knife ended up breaking off, leaving him with a workable but dilapidated looking knife. And the fact that Willow’s knife was still in great shape, certainly didn’t help matters.

Well the other day I came across the ‘sideless’ knife and decided to use my polymer clay faux wood recipes to give it some new life. You can see the result in the photo above. The initials were added using a rubber stamp.

One more Christmas stocking stuffer done! Of course now his sister is going to be complaining about her knife not being as cool as his! And so the battle goes!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. MJ, 20 December, 2008

    Hi Cindy.

    The knife is exceptionally beautiful. Fisher is very fortunate to receive such a treasure. I bet you ARE going to be making another right after Christmas. Want to make that two? I’ll send mine up; it needs a wonderful facelift like that too.


  2. CraftyLinda, 20 December, 2008

    Cindy last year my husband found a small double edged knife but the hande was missing. So for a Christmas present for him I made a handle. I put an eagles head on top. He just loved it. I’ll have to find another one that needs a handle and do the faux wood. Your is really nice and the intials set it off nicely.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 21 December, 2008

    @MJ: I bet you could make a lovely one yourself! You don’t need me to do it for you. :-)

    @CraftyLinda: Great idea! Love the eagles head idea… makes me think of adding the clay to things like walking canes and umbrellas too! I think there isn’t a thing that polymer clay won’t fix!

  4. Lupe Meter, 29 December, 2008

    I like the idea of the initials as well. What a nice keepsake and of course made with momma’s love! I’ll have to try the Faux wood as well for my pocket knives. I also like the wood look and yours is just beautiful.

  5. CraftyLinda, 02 January, 2009

    Cindy I have been thinking the same thing about covering a handle of a walking stick.. I have one that I am going to do I just have to decide what I want to put on it.

    ALSO, I didn’t know where else to post this,

    Thank you very much for this chance to catch up on getting the free color recipes. I thought I was only one week behind but I must have been two weeks. There are not to many people who would go the extra mile to make sure we all had a chance to get something free. You are truly a great person. Thanks again. PS I did put a comment on Polymer Clay Central forum.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 03 January, 2009

    Thank you CraftyLinda for your comments!

    I am very curious about how you are planning to bake the walking stick because of the size? Will your clay piece be removable? Baked separately? Glued on? Sounds like a fun project.

    You’re very welcome about the “catch up links” for the bonus recipes! The holidays are always busy and I knew that more than a few subscribers would appreciate receiving those handy links.

    And thanks for posting about me over at the Polymer Clay Central Forum. But with all of the supportive feedback that happened over there, the moderators unfortunately jumped to conclusions about the legitimacy of the comments.

    Not only was the thread shut down, but I was also accused of setting up multiple ID’s and “shilling” the thread with fake testimonials. Needless to say I was shocked by how the matter was handled. I sent an email to the fellow that shut down the thread, telling him so. He has not responded yet.

    I’ve also been informed that several others took it upon themselves to email the fellow… letting him know that nothing inappropriate was happening at that thread. Setting the record straight. It would be nice to see a retraction posted for the allegations that were made. Having all this distrust flying around does not look good on anyone!

    Finally, for everyone else who commented so sweetly at that PCC forum thread, thank you so much!! I am very proud and honored that you feel I am bringing genuine value to the polymer clay community.

  7. CraftyLinda, 04 January, 2009

    Cindy, I haven’t decided yet how I am going to do the walking stick. But I am thinking about having it be something I can take off. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about baking.
    I also have a small stick that I got while in AL. It has a spiral grove around it where a vine had grown. I am thinking about making a dragons head and have the body wrap around in that grove. This one is short enough that with a little work I think I sould get it in my regular oven. I haven’t tried that yet.
    I know what they did to you over at the Polymer Clay Central Form and I thought the stunk. We just didn’t know you well enough I guess. But the thing is he ask for comments so he should have expected a lot.
    Don’t let it get you down. Those of us who know you didn’t think anything of it. We all still think you have a good site. It is his loss if he doesn’t check it out for himself.
    You have a great day, Hon. Linda

  8. Cindy Lietz, 05 January, 2009

    CraftyLinda, your cane projects sound cool. Make sure to take pictures when they’re finished!

    Thank you for your support! It means a lot to me!

  9. Sandra Henry, 14 February, 2010

    Cindy I would like to make my polymer clay look like different kinds of wood. Do you have any tutorials for oak, walnut, cherry, maple? by the way, I love your site, I am on it all the time.

  10. phaedrakat, 14 February, 2010

    Hi Sandra, I don’t think Cindy has done a tut on Faux Wood; but she might have it on her list. In the meantime, you could manipulate the Faux Bone/Ivory technique from Vol. 019 and adjust the colors used to make a pretty decent faux wood. Check out the color recipes or create your own wood color mixes with raw sienna, burnt umber, black, ecru, etc.

  11. phaedrakat, 14 February, 2010

    Ooops, sorry for the live link in there, Cindy. I think I’ll stop trying to browse through here with so many kids around. Very hectic! I just wanted to tell you how cool this faux wood looks on your son’s knife!

    I didn’t know about that posting at Polymer clay Central. I went over and took a look — ooh, that makes me mad! That’s not very nice; did you ever hear get an answer to your email, or hear anything back? A lot of time has passed. Is it too late for me to email him with my own feelings on the subject?

  12. Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2010

    @phaedrakat: cute kitties in your gravatar :-) I fixed the links for you. Thanks for addressing Sandra Henry’s question. And regarding PCC, no he never did respond :-(

    @Sandra: There are some wood color recipes in Vol-007 at the members library. See link by my name.

  13. Phaedrakat, 15 February, 2010

    Oh, nice colors! Those are perfect for faux wood!

    Cindy, I am going to email the PCC guy. That is wrong, closing the post like that and leaving it for all to see. No way to “stand up” for yourself, and no way for us to stand up for you! I’ll let you know if I get a reply…

  14. Chuck Baldock, 26 August, 2010

    After firing, using a laser machine, can the polymer have a raster or vector picture drawn on it? Could this also be done before firing.

    I want to make faux ivory pistol grips, using the laser to give the appearance of schrimshaw art work

    Thank you.

  15. Phaedrakat, 29 August, 2010

    @Chuck Baldock: Hi Chuck, I don’t know anything about laser machines, but I thought I’d try to see if I could help by providing some general clay info. It might be enough, at least for now, so you’ll know if your idea is possible or if you need to ask further questions.

    Polymer Clay is a hard plastic when cured, although it can be carved without much difficulty using a sharp tool. You wouldn’t need a machine to create schrimshaw art work, but if you’ve got one…?

    If the laser machine can be used on plastics, then it shouldn’t be a problem to use it on cured clay. Although if the laser produces heat, that could cause burning, or fumes that shouldn’t be inhaled. As for using it on uncured clay, that would also depend on whether heat is created. If the laser makes the clay hot, it would start curing the clay in the lasered spot. Then you would have difficulty forming the clay into the shapes you want.

    I hope that helps you some…please ask more questions if you like, and Cindy or someone who actually knows what a laser machine is can help! LOL :~) Good luck, Kat

  16. Patrick Weibel, 27 April, 2019

    Hi Cindy. First off, I’d like to thank you for the advice you gave me years ago regarding making fishing lures with polymer clay. You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you telling me about your father and his fishing.

    I have another odd request. I am making walking sticks, and incorporating polymer clay into the staffs and heads of the canes/walking sticks. My problem is, the canes are way too big for baking in my toaster ovens. I’ve tried using my standard kitchen oven but it’s not working very well. Do you have any advice as to how to bake oversized polymer clay objects? The average walking stick is at least 4 and a half to 5 feet long. Got any advice?

    I just took my first walking stick/cane out of the oven and the wood was distorted by the heat. It expanded and the clay I’d embedded into the cracks and carving either shrank or the cracks widened. I’m not giving up, but I figure you might have some advice.

    Thank you.

  17. Cindy Lietz, 29 April, 2019

    Hi Pat, nice to talk with you again! There is a Polymer Clay Artist by the name of Cynthia Tinapple who makes Polymer Clay Inlays on Wood Turned Bowls. She uses a heatgun to do the curing of the polymer clay. Here is a video of a class that she taught awhile back.

    The thing about using heatgun is that it can be tricky to make sure that the clay is fully cured at the correct temp and not to under cure the clay, but it is possible. You can see in the video that there are some polymer clay covered walking canes as well. This isn’t a detailed video, and I don’t think Cynthia has a tutorial that you can buy on the technique, but at least you have a place to start, for figuring out a way to do it. Also, I have done a video on using heat guns to cure clay that may give you more insight. Good luck!

    PS: If you did not already see, there is a bit of discussion about walking sticks in the previous comments of this post (scroll up).

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