What To Do With Your Scraps of Polymer Clay – Helpful Resource Links

Scrap Polymer Clay

“I already have enough scrap clay to pave my driveway.”

When Anna made that playful remark about being able to pave her driveway with scrap polymer clay pieces, she was pretty new to the community here. But now that she’s been around awhile, I’m guessing her story has changed a bit.

That’s because I use every chance I can get to show you guys how to use up ALL of your polymer clay in creative ways. Nothing ever gets wasted in my studio.

For those of you who have not been around for very long, or that just want a review, today’s article will provide with with some helpful resource links to previously posted “scrap clay” articles:

  • Polymer Clay Tutorial | Making Lentil Beads Using Your Scrap Clay: Wondering What To Do With Your Ever Expanding Pile Of Left Over Sculpey or Fimo Clay?
  • Ideas and Instructions | Polymer Clay Projects Using Scrap Clay: Scrap Polymer Clay Left over Premo, Sculpey, Fimo & Kato Polyclay can be used for making beads, color mixes & polymer clay molds.
  • Scrap Clay and Junk Beads Get No Respect: Video #25 – Polymer Clay Scraps – Don’t Throw Them Away.
  • Polymer Clay Tutorial | Jupiter Planet Beads | Clay Extruder Gun: Video #113 – What on Earth To Do With Scrap Clay – Make Some Outer Space Beads.
  • Jupiter Beads Made With a Clay Extruder, Scrap Clay and Old Canes: Spotlight – “This is my first lesson… OMG!!! In my 2 days off I made a ton of fabulous beads.” ~Melinda
  • Lentil Beads From Scrap Polymer Clay – A Surprise Every time: Video #56 – About Using Scrap Polymer Clay To Make Unique Lentil Bead Designs.
  • Here’s a “Never Throw That Clay Away” Polymer Clay Projects List: What To Do When Your Pile of Scrap Polymer Clay Goes From Mounds To Mountains.

So enjoy… and never feel guilty about all those distorted cane ends, muddy colors and designs that went wrong, ever again!

Turning a disappointing cane into fabulous beads is a satisfying accomplishment I’m sure. That is the beauty of this fabulous material, nothing is ever wasted. The ugly duckling turns into a beautiful swan. ~Alice

What do you do with your scrap clay? Post your comments below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Melinda, 12 September, 2009

    One of the very first tutorials on the internet I ever found was one that used scrap clay. I was browsing looking for a dragon design that I could easily make for my boys. Not only is it fairly easy but it’s very cute. I really didn’t have scrap clay or mica powders at that time so I used regular clay and then I started using cane “fabrics” to make unique little creatures…. however the main idea about it is to create the piece with scrap clay and then cover it with mica powder…. I think it works better if the scrap clay is fairly well mixed together so there is no dramatic color shifts that will show through the mica but it’s very fun and I love watching the magic of the powders on different tones of clay! They may not cover everything perfectly but they can sure make a muddy ugly scrap clay pile into something shiny and gorgeous!

    Here’s the link to the dragon site:

    I’ve also done this to make leaves….. using real leaves. If you press a leaf into a sheet of clay you get a close to perfect impression that you can then cut out… if you use scrap clay and cover it with mica powder it is very pretty and can make lovely fall ornaments.

    Limitless possibilities with mica powders. Love it!

  2. Elizabeth, 12 September, 2009


    I think it would be so inspirational to hang out with you in your craft room! So many lovely,lovely pieces and great ideas to boot! I’m off to try the mica powder on my mountain of scrap. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Edie, 12 September, 2009

    The idea of having an abundance of scrap clay just amazes me – I have gone through about 30 pounds of clay in the past 4 months since I started claying and I have *maybe* 6 oz of scrap clay. I actually *bought* 5 pounds of scrap clay from karen at clayalley.com so that I could make handles for my tools and make some molds for casting the good stuff! I hate using fresh clay to do that kind of thing, but when I have littel bits and bobs I find that I keep rolling and snaking or caning or making beads until there’s nothing left to call scrap. Perhaps as my learning curve slows I won’t be playing with the bits to see how the clay behaves when I do *this* or *that* but for now, I have serious scrap clay envy!

  4. Tina, 12 September, 2009

    Great question, Cindy! Use for scrap always changes. Right now I use my scraps to make beach pebbles, lol. Well, there are a lot of uses and I find I never have enough scrap. I use it as a base or filler bead, or as a base for a vessel that gets prebaked and then covered with the ‘nice’ stuff like mokume or texture. I can’t get myself to truly call scrap ‘scrap’ as sometimes colours and left over bits when mooshed together and put through the pasta machine makes the nicest vessel base! True scrap to me is really dried out clay that is so brittle and dry that not even a few drops of softener will rejuvenate it, but hey even those dried out bits have a use in my claying, lol. Got a new blender too…going to have to break it, err…get it going tomorrow.

  5. Silverleaf, 15 September, 2009

    Scrap? What’s that, lol!

    Any leftover “clean” clay bits (by which I mean that the colour is still fairly pure) are stored in one of those boxes divided into sections, separated by colour so if I need a bit of say red, I can just grab a few pieces of red scrap and mix them. I really don’t have much like this because I’m always using it up.

    Usually things like cane ends and trimmings and such get rolled into swirly oval beads in my bead roller, or sometimes lentil beads, which match with the original project.

    Anything which doesn’t look good as a swirly or turns into mud is collected up in a lump. This ends up as the base for beads and pendants where it won’t show – I often make mokume gane pendants in a very similar way to Cindy’s graffiti beads, where the patterned sheet itself isn’t thick enough to cut pendants out of. I just lay it on top of a sheet of scrap, that way my precious patterned sheet goes a lot further.

    Really don’t have a scrap clay problem. ;)

    I’ll have to check out the mica powders on scrap clay. I also like the dragon, pretty cool! Thanks for the link Melinda!

  6. Laurel, 17 September, 2009

    Melinda: I LOVE the dragon and the leaves idea. I really don’t have much scrap clay either because I use it to make base beads alot but I am going to “make” some scrap clay for this project. :)

  7. Sherry, 19 September, 2009

    I’m with the people who said they don’t have much scrap clay because they use leftover bits and pieces to make other stuff. One time, I used some leftovers from one project to make a curved sort of raw clay “holder” for a round cane so that I could slice the cane and keep the slices round. I got that tip from a Judy Belcher DVD I borrowed from the library. When I sliced the cane, I was also slicing through the holder. One of the thin slices from the holder clay was so beautiful and such an interesting shape that I baked it and turned it into one of my favorite pendants. At this rate, I may have to buy some scrap clay like Edie did.

  8. Polyanya, 20 September, 2009

    Cindy have you seen the mini-natasha trade beads that some clever person did recently, can’t remember her name but she was featured on Polymer clay daily. Any chance you could find out how she did them LOL! They were amazing.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 20 September, 2009

    @Melinda: Love the mica idea! Thanks for passing that along!

    @Elizabeth: It would be fun to have you hanging around here too!

    @Edie: I can relate! Rarely have any scrap myself. Always end up making beads and new canes with the stuff. Good idea to buy scrap. Done it too. Less guilt that way! :-)

    @Tina: I know. Never really can call any polymer clay scrap. Even the baked stuff that went horribly wrong ends up grated and added to faux pebbles. Never understand people that sell their scrap. All the better for us!

    @Silverleaf: Exactly! What scrap. Actually have to sacrifice old cane ends or tiny trimmings and such when I want to show you guys something that can be made with scrap.

    @Sherry: That is a very good idea! I have started using that Bluetak stuff instead of scrap clay. First cause I rarely have scrap and second because the Bluetak doesn’t stick to the clay and is easier to pull off.

    @Polyanya: I saw that too. Kathy Dummer makes those beads. Don’t think that I should teach someone’s technique when it is so current like that. Would be kind of mean. If I come up with something similar on my own, then I’ll teach it. Will leave it to Kathy for now.

  10. Polyanya, 21 September, 2009

    I was just kidding LOL! But they are nice though!

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