Polymer Clay Tutorial | Make a Mod Cane Using a Clay Extruder Tool

Extruder Mod Cane

Vid #93: A Polymer Clay Cane Anyone Can Make… Even If You Have Never Made Any Canes Before:

Many of you have been asking me to do some step by step videos on how to make polymer clay canes. So the first in a series of many more to come, is going to be something simple… yet still very cool looking. The Extruder Mod Cane.

By choosing any color combination you like, and using the Makins Professional Clay Extruder, you can make a great looking polymer clay cane the very first time… even if you have never tried making polymer clay canes in your life!

The colors I chose for the Extruder Mod Cane in the picture above, are from the Petunia Flower Blossom Spring Palette. The recipes for those spring colors are being posted in the Membership Library this month (Volume-009 A-Series). But any color combination will do. Even something as simple as just using black and white.

If you want to learn how to make the Extruder Mod Cane, the full tutorial video will be available in the members library later this week (See Video 009-1). But you can watch a preview clip right now if you like, by scrolling down on this page a bit. Or just click here to go straight to the preview clip video player.

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Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Mod Cane” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-009 Back Issue Package.

In the Extruder Mod Canevideo I walk you step by step through the process of using a Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder to make a cool mod cane. Specific topics covered in the video include:

  • Using a round die vs a square die in your extruder tool.
  • Clay color selection for your mod cane project.
  • How the extruder tool doubles as a clay cookie cutter.
  • Tricks for loading the clay into the extruder tool.
  • How to control the wrapping color for your cane.
  • Transforming the extruded clay into an actual cane block.
  1. Cindy Lietz, 05 February, 2009

    For an introduction to the Makin’s Professional Ultimate Clay Extruder, you can click on the link ‘Polymer Clay Extruder’ link right beside my name above.

  2. Theresa, 06 February, 2009

    Love the mod cane tutorial….you make it look so easy. Great video!

  3. Rhonda Bell, 06 February, 2009

    I really appreciated that you showed today’s color along with the color recipe for Pansy (in the email.) I wish I could see what the finished color was every time.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 06 February, 2009

    @Theresa – Great to hear from you! My goal with all the video tutorials is to present them in a way that gives you the confidence to do them yourself. And if you do run into challenges, I’m here to help with any folow up questions you may have.

    @Rhonda – Thanks so much for mentioning about the color sample picture in the email newsletter. I figured that would be helpful. And so that you know, all future newsletter issues will include this new feature as well. Also, I’m currently building a quick reference page at the library that will showcase all of the color sample pictures in one place. So you can look forward to that coming soon.

    BTW, for everyone else’s benefit, you can see the clay color picture that Rhonda is referring to by clicking on the ‘Polymer Clay Color Recipes’ link by my name above.

  5. Ginger, 06 February, 2009

    That’s a cool technique…love the video and color pallete. Thanks so much.

  6. Tinuke C, 06 February, 2009

    Another great video. Great tips on filling the extruder with clay. I had made a cane before with my new extruder and based on the wonderful tips you shared in this video. I will be pulling it out again. As usual…great job!!!

  7. Shelly N, 06 February, 2009

    Perfect timing Cindy. I just ordered an extruder last night. Can’t wait to get it and follow your video.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 07 February, 2009

    Thanks for the compliments girls! I am glad you all liked it! There will be lots more cool canes I’ll show you using your extruder, so stay tuned!

  9. Cindy Erickson, 08 February, 2009

    Cool, Cindy!!! Thanks so much for sharing this technique with us :) It looks like it is so fun to do!!! I will definitely by trying this one!

    I went to my local craft store twice and both times the rack for the Makins Clay Extruder was empty. I told the manager the last time. Hopefully it will be there when I go back to get it! Also, how can I find one with the handy case??? I have looked all over online for one, and can only see the package without the case :(

    Thanks for the great video (as always!)!!!

    Hugs to you,

    Cindy E.

  10. Laura Griffin, 08 February, 2009

    This is one of my fav canes…so easy to make, but it always looks fabulous. :) You do a great job with the site & vids. Keep up the great work!

    Thought I’d also let you know that my North Texas polymer clay guild just announced a BOH challenge today that is open to anyone who wants to enter…and cash prizes are involved. So spread the word! The entry form & more info is available on our website here: www.ntpcg.org/boh.html


  11. Cindy Lietz, 09 February, 2009

    @Cindy E: Maybe they aren’t selling those cases anymore? I noticed they do have a case showing on the professional tool kit shown on the Makins site but it didn’t show a case for the extruder. If you had the professional tool kit (which looks cool btw) the extruder would probably fit in there too! Hope you can find one soon!

    @Laura: I’m glad you like the cane! Thanks for the info on the challenge too Laura. I’m sure some of the readers readers here would be interested!

  12. Paul Arthur, 10 February, 2009

    Me again. I bought a small extruder and it worked OK. Both my local Michael’s have them on back order for me. My hats off to you, thanks for you videos.

  13. Anna Sabina, 10 February, 2009

    I never would have figured out how to make this. Really neat technique, tried it and came out great. I got a Makins extruder a couple months ago and it did not come with a case; I keep the extra discs in a medicine bottle. These are hard to find at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, it is kind of hit or miss.

    I have a question about bead making. When you make a cane do bake up a bunch of beads of different shapes or do you save the cane and make beads as you need them or do make all the canes for a project at once?

  14. Cindy Lietz, 11 February, 2009

    @Paul: Which small extruder are you talking about? Also, is it the Makins Professional that you have on back order? Just curious…

    @Anna: Yeah I’ve heard a few people say they haven’t seen it in the case, too bad, it’s nice. Good idea for storing the disks though! Probably can get a ton of them in there. As far as how I make beads, I tend to make canes when I feel like it, and beads when I feel like it. Then when I go to make a project I dig through the beads I have completed and see what I can make. If I was going to go into production on a certain cane or bead I would be much more systematic than that! You could never make money at making beads if you were all haphazard like that. The haphazard thing works for me when I need to come up with new ideas though, so it really depends on what I’m trying to do as to how I approach it. Do what works best for you!

  15. Crystal, 16 March, 2009

    OH I just LOVE THIS CANE!! when I saw it I just had to make it, and it came out so cute that I’m going to make earrings to match, and I’m going to make some for my sister and mom..and everyone else!! I really love your work Cindy, and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon your website. I look forward to more videos!!

  16. Cindy Lietz, 17 March, 2009

    So pleased you enjoyed the video and you are making things with the cane already Crystal! That’s exactly the kind of thing I like to hear!

  17. Joyce, 24 March, 2009

    I love this and can’t wait to make some! You explained it so well and made it so easy! Thank you!

  18. Cindy Lietz, 24 March, 2009

    You’re very welcome Joyce! I’m glad you liked the video!

  19. Karen Buckland, 02 April, 2009

    Cindy I really love your videos. I live in a rural area where I don’t have access to workshops, so I really appreciate your workshop-like videos. Last weekend I made a mod cane following the instructions on your video and I was amazed at how easy it was! I have been wanting to work with polymer clay for quite some time, and had even bought some of the supplies. However, I couldn’t get over that hurdle of actually sitting down and making something until I watched your step-by-step videos. Thank you!

  20. Cindy Lietz, 04 April, 2009

    Karen that is very exciting for me to hear! I too have lived ‘out in the country’ and know it isn’t always easy to learn new things, isolated like that… until the Internet!! It’s like I’m sitting right there with you.

    The learning goes both ways too! I have learned so much from the interaction of people just like you. What a wonderful way to connect and learn!

    Thank you so much for your comments. It made my day!

  21. Carrie, 04 June, 2009

    I agree 100% about how easy you make the mod canes! They are by far my favorite to make now. I had been following the directions in a book; rolling logs, slicing, etc. It was so much quicker using the extruder to cut the circles. My favorite way to use them is to reduce them to between 1/4″ and 1/2″ square slice them into thick beads and make bracelets! These canes are sooo cute when reduced that small and people are astounded at the detail, they’d never believe that it takes 10 minutes to make! Keep up the good work!!

    **PHOTOS ADDED: The following link will take you to a Spotlight Article Featuring some of Carrie’s beautiful beads: Mod Cane Bracelet, Faux Raku, Jupiter Beads

  22. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2009

    I know, using an extruder is way easy than the bulls eye way, isn’t it! I love how each slice is a little different too! Glad you are having fun with this cane. Bet your bracelets are cute! Thanks for commenting!

  23. Carole, 20 September, 2009


    I live near a polymer clay store and visited to buy supplies. One of the items I wanted to get was the Makins clay extruder that you recommend. This store doesn’t carry it, because the proprietress thinks it isn’t really strong enough. She says the Makins product is intended for air-dry clays such as the one Makins produces. She has her own product which admittedly looked and felt pretty heavy-duty. She has a line of disks made from acrylic that work with her extruders.

    Before I invest in this thing (the choices range from $75-95), I wanted to ask if your projects are tailored to the Makins extruder, or are they pretty generic, so that if I bought this, I would still be able to follow along?

    Here is a link to the extruder if you want to look at it: polymerclayexpress.com/clay_extruder.html

    She carries 200 disks but with my limited experience, it appeared to me that there were a lot that I’d probably never be interested in.


  24. Cindy Lietz, 22 September, 2009

    Hi Carole, thanks for your comment! As far as the Makins Extruder goes, I think it is a very good little extruder and is strong enough for polymer clay as long as you don’t try to force a very hard clay through it.

    The Polymer Clay Express PCE extruder looks to be a great product, though I haven’t tried it myself yet. It is a very sturdy design and was made for use with polymer clay.

    It is expensive but may very well be worth the cost since it should last a lifetime. I would just buy a few disks and add to them as you go.

    As far as which extruder you will need for the techniques I teach, doesn’t really matter. So far all the techniques I’ve done with them use standard die shapes that should be found in most extruders.

    The one cool thing about the PCE disks is they have larger dies for making bracelet blanks that I would like to try some time.

    Either way an extruder is a handy thing to use!

  25. Cindy Lietz, 02 October, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Project pictures have been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Kriss Johnson, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Mod Cane Jewelry Beads” link by my name to have a look.

  26. Phaedrakat, 01 February, 2010

    I love this Extruder Mod Cane — the video is so great! I’ve seen written tutes before, but it sure makes a difference seeing Cindy demonstrate the technique. She makes it look so easy!

    I just got this back issue (Vol. 9,) and I really want to get started on this. But I haven’t been able to find the Makin’s Ult. Extruder at my local craft stores, either. I’m gonna have to order one. I purchased Sculpey’s cheap “squeeze trigger” type years ago when I first got into polymer clay (& then had to store it all for a few years for surgery.) Like Cindy says in her blog on 12/23/08 (Direct Link: Makins Ultimate Clay Extruder), you have to be a muscle-man/woman to use it. I’ve seen some instructions on how to adapt a caulking gun & other things to make the little cheap ones work, but I don’t feel like throwing any more time or money at it. Of course, after seeing this video, I am dying to get started on the wonderful extruder techniques! This mod cane looks so fast and easy. I know this cane will be incredibly useful for covering all sorts of things, not just beads. Yep, I guess I’ll have to order one. (Darn you, Michael’s & JoAnn’s–why aren’t you stockin’? My 40% coupon is just lookin’ for a worthy use…)

  27. Cindy Lietz, 01 February, 2010

    Just so you know Phaedrakat, the Makin’s tools aren’t in the same aisle in Michaels as the rest of the polymer clay. It is usually in a couple of rows back, closer to the spray paints and wood stuff. (Every store I’ve been into has the same layout, so I assuming yours will too, but I could be wrong. Just check all the aisle before you give up.)

  28. Phaedrakat, 02 February, 2010

    Thanks, Cindy – I checked that area, too! They only had a few Makin’s items, so I feared they were on their way out or something. But that was only at ONE Michael’s – there are lots of them in So. Calif. The older stores are drastically different in size, layout, and even content; the newer ones seem to be more consistant. One of my local “Mike’s” is pretty old and has been in a state of “upgrade” forever – you never know what you will find there.

    Thanks for your comment, though, it makes me realize I should try again at one of my other local stores. Since they were moving things around last time I was there (in Dec.,) they could’ve restocked or “fixed” their Makin’s section by now and I’ll get lucky! Thanks, I’ll give it another go!

  29. Trudy M, 22 April, 2011

    Okay, I’ve drooled all over myself, it’s a brilliant technique and since I grew up in the land of mod, this cane resonates like crazy. I ordered a makins ultimate extruder about a week ago or so and am waiting impatiently. It will be the first thing I do once the extruder gets here. So glad I joined this polymer club. Mmmm mmmm.

  30. Jocelyn, 22 April, 2011

    Which prefer: Makins reg or stainless steel? Or Walnut Creek’s version?

  31. Cindy Lietz, 26 April, 2011

    @Jocelyn: I was hoping someone would provide you with some first hand knowledge on this. My green Makin’s Extruder is still going strong after many years of use, so I haven’t yet tested the others. The Stainless one was designed for metal clay since it is non-reactive, unlike the aluminum one is with metal clay. It is a bit smaller and more expensive than the green one, but it is stronger. Haven’t tried the Walnut Hollow one either, but have heard good things about it. I know other members here, have tried it. The link by my name will take you to one thread where the Walnut hollow extruder was discussed.

  32. TrudyM, 22 April, 2011

    I understand that the stainless steel is better for pmc. Never saw Walnut Creek’s version. Hope the experts can answer. We reactivated an old post.

  33. Jocelyn, 23 April, 2011

    Called “back from the dead” posting. Ahahaha.

  34. TrudyM, 23 April, 2011

    Good polymer techniques never die muahahaha!!!

  35. Jocelyn, 27 April, 2011

    Cindy thanks for your reply. Haven’t broken mine yet either, but, due to all the use it gets, I am planning ahead.

  36. Natalie Herbin, 04 December, 2013

    Hi Cindy and a pcer’s
    Does anyone know is the makin core adapters fit on the wallnut hallow extruder…. I have this one because I Iove the handle…easier to use .. Especially since I bought their clap for the table… Also use it to hold my dremel…. Even better got it for 50% off at Micheals a while back..
    Also I like the idea of the Jool Tool but little to pricey for me right now…
    Also , I finally decided to create a website to sell my creations … Please keep an eye out for saftiscreations.com — suggestions on the design set would be great appreicated since pc items are very different from other craft creations. …. I’ve got so many different catogeries that I’m afraid people will get discouraged and leave my site….I’m using godaddy

  37. Cindy Lietz, 05 December, 2013

    Hi Nathalie, I actually don’t know for sure whether the Makins core adapter will fit into the Walnut Hollow Extruder or not. I am pretty sure that the dies and the threaded part are the same size but since I don’t have the Walnut Hollow one yet I can’t test it to be sure. Hopefully someone else here can help you on that one.

    Good luck with your new site when you get it up. Running your own business has it’s challenges and rewards. (Hope you have more rewards than challenges!)

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