Getting your polymer clay miniature food (yummm… chocolate)to smell as good as it looks:
Scented polymer clay miniature food charms, beads and jewelry are all the rage now. But figuring out how to scent the polymer clay seems to be a well guarded secret. I have been getting inquiries about this for a while now. Here’s a recent one:
Hello Cindy! I recently found your site and I love it! I was wondering though, I have a website where I sell my polymer clay jewelry. I make a lot of sweets, cakes, cookies, etc.. I’ve seen people who make their cakes and candies scented! I’ve looked all over for scents, or a tutorial on what to use, and how to use it. Can you help me? Thanks! Ryssa, DogEatDog Productions.
I have been testing out a few different ways of adding scent to polymer clay and my results are OK, but still not that great (yet). When I get some better results I will post them here at my blog. But for now…
These are my findings so far:
- Essential Oils – It scents the raw clay really well but fades quickly after baking. I rubbed some on the baked clay and that seemed to work better but eventually faded as well.
- Ground Spices and Herbs – Cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, rosemary and curry mixed into the clay as an inclusion, works well for scenting polymer clay, but also fades unless warmed up or rubbed. This seem to work the best of what I have tried. But in order to be really satisfied, I need to try some other techniques.
Things on my to do list:
- Candle or Soap Scents – Since candles and soap are also oil based, the scents should be compatible. There are definitely some wonderful candles that seem to hold their scent for a long time, so this seems very promising!
- Incense – Incense is so strong that if you were to crush some incense cones into your clay they would probably hold their scent.
- Vanilla Bean – Although expensive, I’ve heard of people mixing in Vanilla Bean Seeds and chopped pods into their clay. It would look pretty too.
Things to avoid:
- Perfume – Alcohol based perfumes are not only weak, but alcohol doesn’t bond like oil does with the clay. I’ve learned this through the experiments I’ve done using alcohol inks to color polymer clay. You actually have to ‘gas off’ the alcohol from the ink before you can mix the ink with polymer clay.
- Food flavoring and Extracts – These are also alcohol based and not worth the expense of experimenting with.
I know I’ll discover something that will work well to scent polymer clay. Our kids have a little plastic bear holding a cookie that smells like chocolate chips. It has kept its scent for many years. And lots of people are selling scented polymer clay charms and things. They’re just not giving up their secrets though. So my search continues…