Reducing Square Polymer Clay Canes (Mini Tutorial)

Reducing Square Polymer Clay CanesVideo #476: You can make them as small as you need… right down to teeny tiny.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Square polymer clay canes or Skinner Blend Plugs can be reduced to fit whatever size project you are working on.
  • Polymer clay canes that have been sitting for a few days may be stiff and need to be warmed up and loosened a bit to avoid cracking when reducing.
  • Wiggle, compress and warm cane in hands to help clay move better.
  • An acrylic sheet and rollers will help with cane reduction.
  • Press cane on sides with acrylic sheet, to square up cane sides.
  • Gently and evenly roll each side, flipping on quarter turn after each roll.
  • Cut sections of cane at various sizes.

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… How To Reduce A Square Polymer Clay Cane. The Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Dixie Ann, 23 January, 2014

    Cindy, thank you so much for this video on reducing a square cane. It really helped me see how I can be successful doing this. My last attempt ended in really bad results and a lot of scrap clay. Now I have the tools thanks to you to be successful doing my next one. I have watched other videos but they require you to purchase all these expensive square rods and follow time consuming instructions. Your video was so simple and straight forward and didn’t require any extra expense. I feel confident that after watching your video I can become successful in just about any technique you care to teach and share! There going to start calling you the “One Video Wonder” LOL

  2. Cindy Lietz, 23 January, 2014

    LOL! Thanks Dixie Ann! This is video #476 from the ‘One Video Wonder’!

  3. Melodie Fairburn, 23 January, 2014

    Hi Cindy

    Good tutorial.
    Love your new hair cut.

    I would like to learn how to make round beads with texture. Maybe from a rubber stamp. I have tried different ways, but they look very unprofessional.

    Thanks, Melodie

  4. Dixie Ann, 23 January, 2014

    Hi Melodie, if you go to the search bar at the top of the blog here and type in textured beads or words pertaining to what you are looking for, I’m sure you will find links to help you. Cindy has some great videos on making textured beads. Good luck,

  5. Cindy Lietz, 24 January, 2014

    Thanks Dixie Ann for helping Melodie! And thanks Melodie for the compliment on the haircut! :)

  6. Melodie Fairburn, 23 January, 2014

    Thank you Dixie Ann

    I always forget to do that first before I ask.

    I appreciate your help.


  7. Nicola Gray, 24 January, 2014

    I love your videos. I am fairly new to polymer clay. I love the skinner blends and will give the narrow skinner blend a go.

  8. Dixie Ann, 24 January, 2014

    Hi Nicola, welcome to the blog. (love your name by the way)
    Cindy has so much to offer and if your just starting Polymer Clay you should seriously consider her beginning tutorials. They are so worth the small investment and will put you on the right path of “learning the clay” For questions, please try using the search bar at the top of the blog. There are hundreds of helpful tips to help you with your venture. Good luck!

  9. Jocelyn C, 24 January, 2014

    Cindy this video is amazing. It is always thrilling to watch how poly clay can morph from one shape to another just by using a few simple steps. But you have to know what steps and how to apply them, so this demo is perfect.

    I agree with Dixie, the square rod technique is much harder than the method you’ve shown. At least for me.

    I so appreciate the fact that you used clay that had rested for a day, so we could see how to make older canes move into the shapes needed. It’s always easier when the clay is fresh, it’s the warm up that’s tricky.

    I also love the new hairstyle, it reminds me of the Dorothy Hamill bob.

    I wore that style for years in the seventies and eighties. Looking at how well it complements you, I may change it up this spring. Then I can put the cloth scrunchies into storage, lol.

  10. Dixie Ann, 24 January, 2014

    So now of course Doll you are going to post a picture of your before and after hair bob right? We need everyone to go to sign up and upload their photo. It is so much nicer when you can “see” who your having a conversation with. So whether your a Library Member or just like visiting our blog, please take a moment and upload a photo. You know what they say……”a pictures worth a thousand words” So fluff that hair, put on that lipstick and have someone shoot a photo of you. Save it on your computer and then go to and sign up. Once you do click on the upload avatar button, find your photo in your computer and click on the photo. Bam! Now see how lovely you look! Gravatar also has lots of help for you also. Ok Jocelyn, I’m waiting…..LOL

  11. Jocelyn C, 25 January, 2014

    Don’t hold your breath on that gravatar pic, Dixie, rofl. Though I did send you an email with a pic of me so you know how I looked, at least a couple of years ago. Add a little more gray and wrinkles and there you go.

    I so wish I could go back to that style but MS (balance issues) prevents me from being able to keep my hands up to blow dry and style it properly when it’s in that style. And the “bed head” I suffer from would make you die laughing. It would be a last resort measure, but I adore the style.

    For those interested in the cut, here is a good link that shows you how it’s done:

    For me right now, the weight of the longer hair, banged, and held back with headbands, scrunchies and barrettes, is going to persevere. And I am lucky because Cindy’s tutes have focused on this topic, so I can display beautiful PCT member made poly clay holders.

  12. Dixie Ann, 25 January, 2014

    Hey Doll, you have gorgeous hair. I would hate to see you get it cut off. I would think it is easier to care for. I was so happy you sent a pic, thanks for doing that. (((hugs)))

  13. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 25 January, 2014

    Jocelyn… just so you know… the Gravatar picture does not have to be a face photo. It can be an image of anything… like the blue mountains graphic that you use on Facebook, for example. Having a unique picture helps everyone to visually “see” that it is you talking… and not just another Sideways G.

    BTW… I did a quick look-up on comment counts to date… Jocelyn you have shared nuggets of wisdom a total of 1441 times here at the blog. And Dixie Ann, you are going strong at 654. Jocelyn (circa 2008) got a 3 year jump on you Dixie Ann (circa 2011).

  14. Dixie Ann, 25 January, 2014

    Thanks Doug, wow good to know, I’m just a yaking fool! LOL Got a ways to go to catch up to Jocelyn!

  15. Jocelyn C, 26 January, 2014

    I’m OK with the sideways G, but thanks Doug. “Nuggets of wisdom” made me laugh, which was very needed, so thanks for that too.

  16. Betty B, 24 January, 2014

    I didn’t know how you all were doing the avatars, but I hadn’t slowed down long enough to find out! Thanks, Dixie Ann! I had to post to see how it looks. LOL Only thing is, it would never do the one I really wanted. I’m not sure what was up with that.

    Cindy, your tutes are always so clear! Now, I need to make a square cane so I can reduce it!

  17. Betty B, 24 January, 2014

    Whoa!!! How ’bout that? There I am! :-D

  18. Dixie Ann, 25 January, 2014

    Yes you are and just as cute as ever!

  19. Susie W, 25 January, 2014

    Hi, Cindy.

    Thanks for the video lesson. Question: what material are you using on top of your marble that you are rolling your polymer on? Why not just use the marble?

  20. Jocelyn C, 25 January, 2014

    Hi Susie!

    Think I can help you out. I went to the search box in the upper right corner and typed in “teflon mats” and found a number of helpful links here on this product, which Cindy profiled in an earlier blog.

    Here is the link to the blog post:

    Studio Work Surface Mats – 3 Brands Compared
    Jan 14, 2013 … Video #335: Each of the different mat surface products has plus’s and … Walmart sells a mat for use in the oven, it’s called a teflon baking mat.

    There are also more links to various surfaces throughout the blogs and comments which you can access by using the search facility using terms like “teflon mats” or “working surfaces” or like terms.

    The site is loaded with helpful info, both from Cindy and others.

    Hope this helps, have a great weekend.

  21. Susie W, 25 January, 2014

    Thanks for the info, Jocelyn! :-)

  22. Cindy Lietz, 28 January, 2014

    Jocelyn was right Susie about the mats! Also there are a couple of reasons why I don’t just use the marble directly…

    First, the marble is porous and has veins on it that leave marks on the back of the clay and absorb any inks, paints, etc that I use on the clay. The mats make it easy to clean up.

    Second, the marble has a very busy pattern that would make it difficult for you to see what I am doing in the videos. The mat makes a nice neutral and even backdrop so that you can focus on the clay.

    Hope that helps!

  23. Jocelyn C, 03 February, 2014

    Cindy, isn’t that beautiful stone surface in your work area puddingstone? We have some naturally nearby in Massachusetts. You have an awesome sample.

  24. Cindy Lietz, 05 February, 2014

    I don’t know if the stone is puddingstone or not Jocelyn. They are a couple of the extra tiles from when the previous owners of our house, put in a new fireplace surround. I always thought they were marble, but maybe they are puddingstone?

    That’s funny that you should mention that stone on the very day I took it out of my studio. I ended up moving my new Convection oven off my desk and onto a metal cabinet across the room.

    The fan was blowing stinky clay air in my face and the power cord was kicking off all the time. Then I read on the cord that it needed to be plugged directly into a wall socket and not into a power cord, which was why it kept kicking off. So I moved it to the only place close enough to a wall socket. Although it is not as close at hand as it used to be, I do like having it out of the way.

    Then with all that extra room on my table, I just felt the tiles were in my way too and kind of made the space look busy. So I took them out.

    (Bet you weren’t expecting such a long answer to such a short question! LOL)

  25. Catherine Warner, 25 January, 2014

    I continue to enjoy your tips. Besides, you also teach us patience. Thank you.

  26. Diane B, 01 February, 2014

    Your videos are really clear and helpful. There’s nothing like seeing the process in action!

  27. Lisa D, 07 April, 2014

    I sliced some cane about a month or two ago but didn’t bake it or put holes in it at that point as I didn’t know what they wanted to be when they grew up. Now I want some buttons and some earrings but they crack when I try to put holes in them. what can I do, anything?

    Thank you! Love your vids!


  28. Cindy Lietz, 07 April, 2014

    Hi Lisa, you can drill holes for buttons after they are baked, which I prefer anyway since it leaves a cleaner hole. Try that and see if your problem is solved.

  29. Lisa D, 08 April, 2014

    I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you! I will try it!

  30. Eileen Coltun, 25 June, 2021

    Hi Cindy,

    I absolutely love your Christmas Sweater Cane Tutorial and have since been creating square canes using crochet patterns. I am having difficulty keeping them square and symmetrical while reducing. I have watched your tutorial here, about how to reduce square canes and have found that using the tools you demonstrate still don’t work in keeping them evenly square. Do you have any other suggestions?

    Thank you.

  31. Cindy Lietz, 28 June, 2021

    Hi Eileen, there is a set of tools out there by Teresa Salgado of Tiny Pandora called Square Pairs. They are square acrylic rods that you use on each side of the cane that will help you roll out each side a little straighter and more square. They are very handy but they aren’t necessary.

    The biggest thing about keep square canes square, is not the tools you use, but how straight you lay your strips down when constructing the cane and how evenly you roll/press each of the sides when reducing the cane. It is one of those techniques that you just have to practice to master.

    I would suggest practicing on a simple striped cane. That way you aren’t making mistakes on a more time consuming cane. Plus the stripes down the sides will help you to see whether you’re reducing the cane straight and evenly.

    Hope that helps!

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