Polymer Clay Tools | 5 Creative Tips for Using Shaped Cutters

Polymer Clay Shaped Cutters

Edge Bevels, Cane Cores, Mokume Gane, Pillow Beads and Inlay Techniques:

There are many cool ways to use craft shape cutters with polymer clay. The obvious one is for cutting out shapes. But here are a few a few other creative ideas you may have not yet considered:

1) Bevel Pendant Edges: To learn how to do this unique technique with a metal cookie cutter and piece of plastic or saran wrap, follow this link: Making Polymer Clay Pendants

Cindy, You have no idea how useful this tip is to me! I have been using my dremel with a coarse sanding tip to bevel each and every one of my pendants! What a waste of my time, when all I had to do was break out the Saran Wrap! Thank you so much for being there! ~Donna

2) Make Simple Polymer Clay Canes: By stacking several layers of clay that have been cut out using a shape cutter (a star shape for example), you can build the core for a simple cane. There are also some neat tricks for cutting out the background pieces for this type of cane. I’m planning to post a project video about this in the polymer clay members library. So stay tuned for that.

3) Texture Mokume Gane Sheets: All kinds of shape cutters can be pushed into stacked mokume gane layers to create unique  patterns and effects. Originally everyone just used circle cutters, but now the sky is pretty much the limit as far as shapes you can use.

4) Make A Pillow Bead: Cutters such as the ones in the photo above are excellent for making pillow beads. They can be used to cut the clay ‘fabric’ as well as for cutting the ‘stuffing’ to fill your clay pillows.

5) Inlay Techniques: Shapes can be cut from one color of clay with a cutter, and replaced with the same shape cut from another color of clay. This is how perfect polymer clay polka dots are created.

Imagine placing a round ‘dot’ of clay on top of a sheet of polymer clay, and then trying to meld it into the surface. The circle will become very distorted as the clay stretches and flattens.

If on the other hand, you remove circles of clay from your sheet with something like a straw or small circle cutter, and then replace the holes with circles cut from another color, they will fit perfectly with no distortion.

So as you can see there are lots of uses for shaped cutters. But don’t just look for them in the clay aisle at your favorite craft store. There are also cookie cutters, aspic cutters, fondant cutters, canape cutters, garnish cutters and even paper cutters and punches that you can add to your cool polymer clay tool collection.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Carolyn Saxby, 26 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy

    Thanks so much for visiting me and leaving a comment. I’m glad I inspired you and hope you make some lovely beads with your threads!!

    Kind regards, Carolyn

  2. Cindy Lietz, 26 April, 2009

    You are very welcome Carolyn! I really liked your tyvek beads with the wrapped thread. They were really cool! I was thinking that wrapping some thread around some polymer clay beads before baking would be a cool idea. I will try it sometime and post about it!

    Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Joyce, 26 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    While purchasing my tools to get started in this wonderful hobby I found so many wonderful cutters in the bridal section at Michael’s. It is really worth the “walk down this aisle”.
    There are never enough “Thank yous” for all you share with us Cindy. Thanks.


  4. Cindy Lietz, 27 April, 2009

    Thanks for passing that tip along Joyce! I had no idea there were cutters in the bridal section!

  5. Jocelyn, 08 May, 2009

    Not my idea, but, read that you can use pliers of various types to readjust tin cutters to customize your designs. Think it was a tip shared on the CT Polymer Guild site, at a workshop someone was amazed to see the designs someone else brought…come to find out she had just “adjusted” a purchased tin cookie cutter. Neat trick if you have some time on your hands, lol!

  6. Cindy Lietz, 09 May, 2009

    That’s a great idea Jocelyn! I’ve ‘tweaked’ a cookie cutter or two before. (Made a heart shape more funky by pinching the point and twisting it to the side.) But I never really thought to alter it completely! I guess the only thing to be careful with would be not racking the seam, so it stays together after being bent. Thanks for passing along this tip!

  7. Denise, 23 May, 2009

    i found some fun cutters in different areas of craft stores as well. The cutters for the gum paste used on decorative cakes are cheaper than some of the clay cutters offered up. There is the cutters offered by “MakinClay” company (an interesting air dry clay that my nine year old loves)and then there is the outlet stores that have baking sections. Every cutter known to man and beast is in there. I have also read some where that you can use metal tape from hard ware stores to make your own. haven’t tried this yet, when i do i will let you know how that works out.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 26 May, 2009

    I have found great cutters in the cake decorating sections too Denise!

    I like your idea for metal tape cutters! I’ve heard of people making cutters out of the metal cutting strip off of tinfoil boxes, which sounds like a similar idea. I guess a strong double sided tape is how they stick the ends together.

    So many cool ideas and so little time! Need one of those Time Turners from Harry Potter to try them all!

  9. Denise, 27 May, 2009

    Agreed. To bad we can’t make it out of clay. LOL. I never heard of the recycle idea for the tinfoil boxes. I love to find recycle ideas in the neatest of places. Thank you so much Cindy.

  10. Doug Kelly, 07 October, 2009

    You mention melding dots onto the surface to make a polka dot sheet. What methods works best for you to “meld?”

    I get one of 3 results;

    1) the impressed clay goes in to far and when bakes leaves an impression on the outline making it look like a sticker/transfer,

    2) the impressed clay doesn’t go in far enough and presents a raised surface wfter baking,

    and of course
    3) it worked exactly like it should have.

    Thanks in Advance,


  11. Doug Kelly, 07 October, 2009

    Oh yea, as far as cutters – yard sales and flea markets. You can pick up some neat ones at yard sales for pennies.


  12. Cindy Lietz, 16 October, 2009

    Sorry Doug for taking so long to respond to your comment. It’s getting pretty busy round here!

    Just keep the layers you add thin and you’ll have less problems ‘melding’ them into the surface.

    Cindy Lietz
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Where Are You From?

  13. Dyan Bruneau, 23 June, 2010

    I have looked all over for triangle and diamond cutters, polymer clay, candy everything I can think of that might use those shapes and can’t find them? Do you know of any? Thanks, Dyan

  14. Sue F, 23 June, 2010

    @Dyan Bruneau: Have a look here:


    There are several sets of triangle cutters: I have the Kemper set of smaller triangles (fairly close to the top of the page, or search the page for “KTPCSTR”). There’s a Makins set listed near the middle of the page (search the page for “MC36003”). And there’s also a larger triangle set towards the bottom of the page (search the page for “AC5256”).

    There’s a diamond cutter set near the bottom of the page too (search the page for “AC5259”), and a tall diamond cutter a bit lower down (search the page for “AC2006”).

    I’ve had great service from Shades of Clay and am happy to recommend them.

  15. DJ, 25 June, 2010

    When my folks were visiting a few months ago, we were shopping in a speciality kitchenware shop…they had everything from cookware, gadgets to ceramics. I came across a flat round tin of cookie cutters and thought they seemed awfully small for cookies – then the light bulb switched on! I checked the price and for under $10, brought home 11 (nice pendant sized) butterfly and flower shaped cutters.
    Here’s a slight variation of my set listed on Amazon, same company though.

  16. Jocelyn, 25 June, 2010

    Now, I try all my cutters, especially the little or big ones made for cookies and such, immediately in a scrap of polymer clay. The reason is the joint or seam in the cutter.

    Found that some cutter joints leave marks in the clay, and I have trouble fixing stuff like that. So I check them quickly and return those that do not work with clay immediately for a refund.

  17. Phaedrakat, 26 June, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Marsha had a tip for that, which she mentioned when she had her spotlight article. She uses electrical tape over the join so that it holds it closer together and doesn’t make as big a notch in the clay. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds plausible and works for her! The comment where she describes it is here:


    I’m glad you brought this up, since I’ve been meaning to try it! That notch can be really bad in some cutters, so I can certainly see testing them first! I hope this helps you if you end up with some “bad” cutters!

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