Sculpey Ultra Light Oven Bake Clay | Lightweight Polymer Clay Beads

Sculpey Ultralight Polymer Clay

It Even Floats!

Well I finally got around to trying the Sculpey UltraLight clay that arrived with my Studio by Sculpey stuff last month. Wow, what a weird and wonderful polymer clay! So different from the Premo Sculpey I am so used to.

Here’s some notes for you about this unique product. First of all, Sculpey Ultra Light comes in a great big package 292 g (10.3 oz). But since it is incredibly light compared to regular clay, the package is quite large. It’s actually about the size of 8 (2 oz) packages put together. And at around $10 or so, it is good pretty good value.

This Ultra Light clay only comes in white and feels like a super soft marshmallow, though it is not at all sticky. When you pull it apart it looks quite grainy… almost powdery. Yet the texture is smooth and papery to the touch.

In terms of ranking Polymer Sculpey clays for softness and smooth texture, I would place them in this order: UltraLight >> Studio by Sculpey >> Premo.

Mixing Premo and Ultra Light together produced a blend that felt much like Studio by Sculpey. Who knows, maybe that’s how Polyform came up with the Studio Sculpey formula.

It was fun to discover that the Ultra Light clay actually floats on water. That means it can be used for floating candle holders and other such projects.

Mixing Ultralight with Polyform’s other clays is how you can add color. You can also use Ultra Light to form the core of your larger beads, as a way to make them lighter (and cheaper). Covering this super light weight core or base bead with a layer of Premo, Studio or Sculpey III clay, works just fine.

In the past I’ve suggested using a ball of tinfoil as a way to not have to use as much clay when making large polymer clay beads. But using Ultralight is a better way to go if you can get a hold of some.

A chemist from Polyform (makers of Sculpey products), recently suggested you pre-bake your Ultra Light pieces before covering with other raw clays. The clays will chemically bond together during the baking process and make them strong and crack resistant.

This information was obtained by Anna Sabina at the International Polymer Clay Association (IPCA) retreat, just held in Chicago. You can read Anna’s conference notes at these 2 links: Polymer Clay Bead Ideas and Bead Making Projects

Now I tried it raw to raw and had no problems. But since the ultra light is so soft and squishy, it was a lot easier to pre-bake the core, and then add the cane slices afterwards.

UltraLight clay can be drilled, sanded, carved and painted just like most any other polymer clay. It bakes up to a very hard and flexible product. Even large pieces won’t easily break or crack.

It is a strange clay to work with though, if you’re used to Premo. I wouldn’t think of using it to make polymer canes. And detailed sculpting with it would be tricky. But I am definitely going to use it now as a core or foundation for larger projects, since it is lighter and cheaper than normal polymer clay.

Using it with Christmas ornaments and floating candle holders is what comes to my mind. What kind of ideas do you have for using a lightweight and floatable polymer clay like Sculpey Ultra Light?

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Anna Sabina, 16 July, 2009

    Just want clarify what I learned from other clayers and the chemist from Polyform.
    You MUST bake Ultralite before covering it with raw clay. Ultralite expands more than PC and your piece will break during the curing process.
    Ultralite is great for larger pieces because and is frequently used in sculpting and then covering the final form with PC. I have never heard of using Ultralite in caning.
    .

  2. Zuleykha, 16 July, 2009

    I also received a lot of Ultra light sculpey just yesterday! :))) Thanks for this post and links! I’ll go and take a good look at the info :))

  3. Carrie, 16 July, 2009

    I have tried the ultra light and I didn’t care for it. When I used it, it stayed very crumbly. One good thing about it though, if you like it, is that Wal-Mart has it. So it is easy to get!

  4. Mari F, 07 August, 2015

    I’m wondering if you have ultralight confused with something else, as I’ve never seen it at Walmart either and I would hardly describe it as CRUMBLY. It is just way too soft.

  5. Kelsey Q, 30 December, 2015

    Carrie, the UltraLight you used may have been partially cooked from being stored in a hot place; that would make it crumbly. Unbaked UltraLight is like a marshmallow, crumbling it would be impossible.

  6. Anna Sabina, 16 July, 2009

    Wow, I will have to check Walmart. Have never seen it there.
    If you are interested in making hollow beads you can use Blue Tack, avaibale at hardware stores. Be sure to score the bead all the way around as the Blue Tack expands, this allows a natural breaking point. After baking remove the Blue Tack and glue the bead back together. Just another handy tidbit form the IPCA retreat.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 16 July, 2009

    @Anna: Thanks for the info! That is very interesting about the pre-baking. I covered my raw Ultra Light with raw Studio by Sculpey, so maybe they were close enough to the same product there wasn’t an issue. Very important to know that it expands like that though. That would be a disappointing mistake to make!! Also, I must go get some of that Blue Tack… sounds like a very handy material to have around the studio! Thanks so much for coming back and sharing this all with us! A thousand hugs your way Anna! :-)

    @Zuleykha: Perfect timing! Let us know what you think of it!

    @Carrie: Was it the old Ultra Light? I heard bad stuff about it being brittle. The stuff I have is the new formula in the purple package like the one above. I didn’t find it crumbly at all. You found it at Walmart? Excellent!

  8. Larissa Joonas, 16 July, 2009

    Hi Cindy! It could be used for keepsakes.

  9. Anna Sabina, 16 July, 2009

    I found Ultra Lite and a few Sculpy III kids kits in the craft section of at Walmart!!!!! These are definately new additions. Wonder if they will be carrying PC in the future? That would be great for people who do not live by a Michael’s or Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s.

  10. Carrie, 16 July, 2009

    I hope so Anna! I am 30 minutes from my nearest clay retailer! And the closest Hobby Lobby to me is terrible at restocking! I bought them out of Sculpey III Vanilla Creme 1 month ago and was there 2 days ago, they still haven’t restocked!!

    @Cindy: Yes it was the new stuff, same package. Maybe I got a bad batch!

    Also at Wal-Mart, if you ever need a little more of one color in a pinch, they have the Sculpey III Variety Pack. 1 ounce each of 30 colors.

  11. Louise, 16 July, 2009

    I used it to make a tiny boat for kids and it floats very well.

    I also used it as the body for a character I do often and I had to redo it because the permo split during curing.
    When I used it cured the premo stayed put.

    I love the litghness of it.

    Contrary to you I think it is expensive as core for beads though.

  12. Cindy Lietz, 16 July, 2009

    @Carrie: Are you baking it for an hour?

    @Louise: Did you see the update from Anna? She said the chemist from Sculpey said that you must bake the Ultra Light before covering it with Premo because the Ultra Light expands and cracks the Premo. That is probably what happened to you. As far as it being expensive, it is more expensive than tin foil for sure, but definitely cheaper than using Premo as your core bead.

  13. Jocelyn, 16 July, 2009

    Cheese louise, I added up my “must haves” out of my next check and I am in the hole. LOL!

    Must add this to the list.

    I see floating rubber duckies in my future…..only made out of polymer clay. Think you have to weight them to get them to sit properly in the tub water?

    Ahem, any body try this already?

    Thanks Cindy. Another great reason to substantiate the small amount of money sent to you!!!!

  14. Rita G, 17 July, 2009

    Yes they are quite a bit alike and I love the strength and flexibility of the studio clay..that may be what allowed the raw to raw application….

  15. Louise, 17 July, 2009

    I don’t know if you are like me Cindy but I don’t allways read the info on the packaging.
    Since I did that when the clay got out is it last year I leaned from my mistake.

    For Jocelyn :
    As for the floating I did a very tiny boat to float in a cup.Can’t brig a lot of water in a classroom.
    I would try one to see what gives with your ducky but it would be a great idea.

  16. Jocelyn, 17 July, 2009

    @Louise

    Thanks for the encouragement. These are going in the birdbath right outside the window…..and I cannot lie, in my bathtub, LOL!

  17. Jocelyn, 20 July, 2009

    @Zuleykha

    You are a very talented lady! Love your site, and have learned some great new tips and techniques. The tulips are beautiful!

  18. Heather Reilly Hiemstra, 21 July, 2009

    Cindy,

    Thanks for checking out my LifeChain video series (we just posted the next ‘episode’ this morning)– I came over to see what you’re doing here and am blown away by the amount of info you’ve assembled on your blog – way to go!

    Now if I only had time between my work and kids to explore working in clay– like a lot of jewelers I know, I actually started out with beads and beading back at the beginning!

    Keep up the great work,
    Heather

  19. Cindy Lietz, 03 May, 2010

    NEW PHOTOS JUST ADDED:

    Polymer Clay Projects

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Sculpey UltraLight Oven Bake Clay), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Cheryl-V. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up about some issues Cheryl was having with cracks forming in her heart shaped Chrysanthemum beads.

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment in this thread. Your feedback, support and fun conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address everyone individually, please know that I do read everything. ~Cindy

  20. Kristy Sleep, 08 June, 2010

    Hi Cindy!

    I was thinking of using the sculpey ultra light clay for doing footprints of my baby. Do you think it would be the best one to use for this purpose?

    Best regards,
    Kirsty

  21. Phaedrakat, 03 July, 2010

    @Kristy Sleep: Hi Kristy, any strong clay would work for doing baby footprints. They’re only babies once, so you might want to make a second set, just in case. I haven’t tried this Ultralight clay yet, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work. Premo Sculpey would also do the trick, as would Fimo, Kato, Cernit, or Studio by Sculpey—the all-around good, strong clays.

    If you plan to use Ultralight with decorations made with other clays, be sure to follow the directions regarding baking. Cure the Ultralight base first, and let cool. Then add your other “colorful” clays on top. As described above, the Ultralight expands a bit when it’s baked. The expansion can crack the other clay bits that “get in the way”.

    Besides adding clay to your baby’s foot impressions, you could also paint, stamp, add glitter, etc. I hope you’ll let us know how your project goes. I’d love to see how your baby’s footprints turn out!
    ~Kat, Riverside, CA, USA (Where are you from?)

  22. Neel, 02 July, 2010

    Hi Kristy & Cindy,

    I had the same idea to do footprints of my little one whos coming this september and i wanted to try some before actually getting there. Is this good for keepsake purpose?

  23. Phaedrakat, 04 July, 2010

    @Neel: Hi Neel! See my comment above. This clay will probably work fine, but any strong clay will do. If you want color, it might be easier to go with Premo Sculpey. Congratulations and best wishes to you & your little baby on the way!

  24. Jocelyn, 04 July, 2010

    Neel, have a very talented cousin who gave up trying to get imbedded feet in clay, and instead, went with stamped on feet as Kat suggested. Her little girl is now in college, and my Aunt who raised her while her mother worked full time, cherishes her “baby feet” pendant. Polymer clay, properly baked and finished, has a long long lifetime.

  25. Darla Blase, 07 April, 2011

    Hi! I’m new to working with polymer clay. I wanted to know if I can bake a polished stone into the Sculpey Ultra Light clay safely – and if so – how? Thanks for your help.

  26. Cindy Lietz, 08 April, 2011

    @Darla Blase: Yes Darla, you can bake a polished stone inside Ultra Light Clay. Just push it into the clay where you want it and bake. After baking, pop it out and finish your piece nicely (ie sand and buff, glaze, etc.) then glue it back in with a polymer clay safe adhesive like Weldbond.

  27. Joyce B, 14 May, 2011

    I make polymer clay figures and dolls. I used to use foil as a base but I wasn’t happy with it. I’ve tried Jack Johnston’s skull forms but at $5+ per form it gets pricey. I thought about using the ultra light Sculpey as a base ( I can probably make about10 skulls from one package.
    I’ve heard horror stories about cracking in the finished products. I put a lot of work into my sculpted faces and I would not be happy if they cracked. I plan on baking the ultra-light before I sculpt over it and I know enough to be careful about air pockets. Do you know if the ultra-light can still expand after the 1st cure? I use either Super-Sculpey or Jack Johnston’s Prosculpt. I’m not sure how much give either of the clays have while they are baking

  28. Louise, 14 May, 2011

    It shouldn’t . Mine was o.k. after the first bake.I did bake it before with the others I did.
    The ultralight seems to be the same base as the studio clay.

  29. Joyce B, 14 May, 2011

    @Louise: Thanks for getting back to me. I am going to try using it as a base to sculpt over and see what happens. I have a show to do in September and I want to have about 15 Santas , a Nativity scene and a few Angels so I really have to get sculpting.

  30. Deb Ryan, 01 March, 2012

    I am using the Sculpy Ultra Light as a core for beads. I roll the round core, put a hole through it with one of the skewers that comes with the bead rack and bake it. Covering it with cane slices works fine until I round the bead in my hands to make sure the cane slices are well attached and smooth. The problem is that I can’t find the hole in the baked core bead because it is now covered with clay. I have tried putting string through the hole so I can find it. I have also tried putting a small nail through the hole. There must be some easy solution that I am missing. HELP!

  31. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2012

    Hi Deb, That is a tricky problem. One way around it is to make larger holes in your core bead. The little dent where the hole should be will be easier to find that way. Since larger beads like this are generally hung on thicker cord, this may be a workable solution for you. Another option would be to leave better clues to where the hole is supposed to be. For example you could use a certain cane centered perfectly on the ends where the holes are. The chances of then finding the holes would then be better, if you know where to start looking. Hope that helps!

  32. Ethel C, 16 February, 2013

    Dear Cindy,

    I am making a hot air balloon cake topper for my sister’s wedding. Since it’s going to go on a cake, I’ve been trying to get the lightest clay materials. I learned a lot from this blog post.

    I do have a question though, I have been using Sculpey Ultra Light (the pink wrapping version), for the figurines. Unfortunately I just realized they need to be baked (not sure why I forgot) and the girl figurine has a lollipop stick and a paper cone (for drinking water from the water cooler) supporting the skirt and torso from the inside.

    If need be, I can take the paper cone out, but I really can’t remove the stick. If I followed the package instructions and baked it, will something catch on fire/melt/explode? : 0
    Also..if the Ultra Light is too limp, and I wanted one of the arms to stretch out away from the body, should I just use Air Dry clay instead? It’s stronger but heavier…or should I use Ultra Light with a toothpick inside?

  33. Cindy Lietz, 18 February, 2013

    I agree with Anna’s comment below. Just bake your piece with the paper and sticks inside it. The temp won’t harm (or explode lol) your piece. If you feel you will need support inside the arms you can use tooth picks or even wire if you want, and you can support it in the oven with a dish or a rolled up pieces of parchment paper while it is baking as well.

    Good luck with your Wedding Topper! If you need more help on baking or anything else polymer related, use the search box at the top of the page and you will find there are tons of articles and tutorials on this site. Don’t forget to read the comments as well. There are an enormous amount of tips and ideas shared by others hidden within the comments themselves.

  34. Anna Sabina, 16 February, 2013

    The paper will not burn at the temp you will be baking. Be sure it is not touching the heating element.
    You can keep the arms in place by putting something under them during the baking process. Maybe use a glass or mug.

  35. Ethel C, 20 February, 2013

    Thank you both so much! Those are very helpful tips, I am thinking of using my silicon baking sheet as a liner and if I am brave enough to make more dynamic poses, I will try to support the arms with some heat resistant stuff, parchment paper or tin foil!

    Also you were right! I just re-read the baking instructions and the temp was around 200 ish, unlike usual baking temps which are like 350 to 450. Goody!

    So relieved! Thanks!

  36. Oliver B, 19 July, 2015

    Hello!
    I am willing to buy this ultralight clay and I have few questions about it.
    First of all,I regulary make cartoon characters of FIMO but they’re pretty heavy when they’re large.I make it for my sister to play with and so it’s a problem when they’re so heavy.We want to make really big ones,but it’s difficult to bake and after they’re baked successfully,they’re so heavy.So my question is: Can I blend this ultralight clay with FIMO or Premo or whatever else polymer clay to get the desired colour and then bake it? Or as previously mentioned,do I have to bake this ultralight clay first and then cover it with Premo of the desired colours and then bake it again?
    Thanks a lot for your answer!

  37. Cindy Lietz, 20 July, 2015

    Hi Oliver I don’t do large sculptures my self but I do understand the issues you are having with the size and the weight. Ultralight can be used as a base for your sculpture but you must bake it first before adding a layer of the other types of clay to the top, because it expands during baking and will crack the other types of clay. There is a YouTuber who does larger sculptures using armatures and sometimes air dry clay if the sculpture is too large to bake. Here is a link to his YouTube Channel… The Brooding Tom

  38. Margo Jernigan, 25 June, 2019

    my name is Margo I am somewhat new at jewelry making but I learn a lot from your YouTube videos Thank you so much for inspiring me. I purchased the ultralight clay and didn’t know what to do with it at first but a light went off in my head and I experimented with making one bead and it was perfect as suggested by you, I wrapped it with premo and wow……..

  39. Cindy Lietz, 26 June, 2019

    Thank you Margo for saying that! Each clay has its different properties that are more suited to different types of projects. The more you play with the different clays, the more ways you can come up for using them. Happy to hear you found a perfect use for your Ultralight!

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