Slicing Fimo Nail Art Canes | Sculpey Polymer Clay Cake Toppers

Your Questions Answered

1) How to cut super thin fimo cane slices for fingernail art designs, from polymer clay canes that are already baked.

2) Need some advice on making a cute cake topper decoration out of sculpey clay (also know as sculpy and sculpty)?

The first of today’s two questions comes from Lani King. And the second one was sent in by Ingard Mendoza.

Q-1: Fimo nail art. I don’t understand how you slice baked canes. Wouldn’t they just crack and break to pieces? ~Lani King

        A-1: If you try and slice a baked cane when it is cold it will crack and break! But if you warm it up by placing in a cup of boiling water or back in the oven for 5 minutes, it will slice quite nicely with a sharp razor or polymer clay tissue blade! Don’t forget to keep the partial slices too… they look wonderful incorporated into your nail art designs!

Q-2: Hi Cindy, I just wanted to know if it would be possible to make a giraffe out of sculpey? I have made Christmas ornaments before but now I need a giraffe for a baby shower cake top. It won’t be huge but I’m afraid it will explode in my oven. Any ideas? Thanks. ~Ingard Mendoza

        A-2: You can definitely make a polymer clay cake topper out of Sculpey and it won’t explode in the oven! Of course you need to bake it at the right temp for the clay brand you use.

If you are going to use Sculpey use the Original Sculpey (the white kind), or Pro-Sculpt Sculpey (flesh colored)… not Sculpey III since it is too weak for these types of things and will break.

However, I would recommend you use Premo Sculpey instead so you can use colored clay and you don’t have to paint it. Premo is strong, smooth and will look great as a cute little giraffe cake topper for the baby shower.

If you don’t want the whole thing made with clay, you can fill the inside with tin foil. You can read more about this technique here: Making Large Polymer Clay Beads (and Sculptures) without Using a Lot of Clay

To bake your cake topper, you can lay it on a thick bed of cornstarch in a pan to support it. Make sure to ‘tent’ your piece properly so it does not get scorched. See these articles for more info:

Baking in steps is something to consider as well. For example you could bake the body; Sand it; Add the head; Bake it again; Sand and add ears etc. This post about baking and re-baking polymer clay should help!

So to Lani and Ingard and anyone else that cares to join into the conversation: If you need more clarification about Slicing Fimo Nail Art Canes and/or making Sculpey Polymer Cake Toppers, please use the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Cindy Lietz, 28 July, 2008

    If you have a question you would like answered in an upcoming Q+A article like the one above, contact me here: Ask The Polymer Clay Tutor

  2. deirdre, 31 July, 2008

    Hey, I didn’t know I could slice cured canes so easily! Thanks for that tip.

    Re: the giraffe cake topper, I don’t think polymer clay + food is such a great idea. How would she get the giraffe to stay on top of the cake? I wouldn’t push its legs into the cake.

    Unless the new formula clays are food safe now? I don’t know!

    Thanks, Cindy!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 31 July, 2008

    You’re right Deirdre, it’s not a good idea to put polymer clay figurines directly on the cake! I forgot to mention when you make cake toppers out of polymer clay you can glue them to one of the plastic cake disk thingys and set that on the top.

    Even classier, the wedding cake companies often use a wooden base to attach their polymer clay cake toppers to, which also makes it nice to display afterwords.

    Alternatively you could insert popsicle sticks in the legs to push into the cake. Though I think it would be nice to save the giraffe for decorating the baby’s room and the sticks would be a problem there.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Rainbow Jewelry Pillow Beads Made From Extruded Polymer Clay Canes

  4. Charlene ("Cat") Therien, 03 August, 2008

    Cindy, I’ve been experimenting with an easy way to keep the canes warm for slicing. Cat

  5. Cindy Lietz, 03 August, 2008

    Thanks Cat for the great tip!

    For those of you that want to know, Cat has come up with a way to keep Fimo Nail Art Canes warm without burning them.

    She takes a coffee cup warmer and places a Terracotta flower pot saucer on it. Then lines the saucer with paper towels, four layers deep.

    This keeps the canes warm without getting too hot and scorching. She also suggests keeping a pile of the slices on this warmer so they mold to the nails easier.

    How helpful… Thanks Cat!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Tube Beads for Jewelry Making using Gold Leaf and Fimo Polymer Clay

  6. Sonja, 25 August, 2008

    Cindy, if the canes are baked well (around 290 degrees for 20 minutes, you can slice them very good with a razorblade. Store the unsliced canes in a plasicbag. So you can slice them without any problems even after month.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 26 August, 2008

    Thank you for the information Sonja! It is great to have a nail art professional like you here! Do you make canes yourself or do you have them made for your store?

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Premo Clay Flower Pendant Necklace Project with Vintage Glass Beads

  8. Hilda Rodriguez, 14 February, 2009

    cindy i want learn make fimo to nail art the fruits

  9. Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2009

    Hi Hilda – I will be releasing some video tutorials on making nail art fruit canes soon. The best way to get an automated notification is to subscribe to my weekly email newsletter. The link by my name above will take you to the Polymer Clay Guest List, newsletter sign up form.

  10. Cindy Graveline, 14 March, 2009

    Last summer I made a Fimo cake topper for my boyfriend’s niece, and for the base I used a plastic action figure stand. The topper was removable from the base because of the peg in the action figure stand, like a real action figure :)

  11. Cindy Lietz, 14 March, 2009

    That is a very cool way of displaying your cake topper Cindy G! Thanks for sharing your idea, maybe I’ll do that for my children’s next birthday cakes!

  12. Wilmarie, 02 April, 2009

    Hello, I just purshased unbaked polymer to use for nail art. Do I have to bake it before cutting it or cut it and then bake it? Also its a pretty thick piece can I keep rolling it to make it thiner and to get more pieces out of it?

    Thank You.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 03 April, 2009

    Hi Wilmarie!

    There are nail artists using both raw and baked canes for their nail art. One of the upsides to using them raw is that the cane can be reduced to any size you like by squeezing it and rolling smaller. I would suggest keeping sections of the cane at various sizes so that you have more design choices.

    The raw slices when added to the nail need to be completely encased in acrylic to protect it. (They can’t be added directly to a natural nail.) The nice thing about them being raw when you add them is that they smooth out easier and there is no need for sanding.

    You can put a thin slice of the raw cane onto a cured bed of acrylic and roll it smooth with the handle of your brush. Leave a tiny strip at the edges and tip so that when you add the top layer of acrylic, the nail art cane is completely encased.

    If you would like to learn how to reduce the canes, I have a leaf cane video that shows you how to make the cane as well as how to reduce it, which may be very helpful for you. Click the link by my name for more info.

  14. Wilmarie, 03 April, 2009

    Thank You so much for your respose, it has been very helpful!

  15. Cindy Lietz, 04 April, 2009

    You’re welcome Wilmarie!

    I hope to have several videos on how to make Fimo Nail Art Canes available asap. Then you will also have the option of making them yourself!

    You should know that both the Basic Leaf Cane and the Veined Leaf Cane that I have linked to, will reduce to Fimo Nail Art size quite nicely. If you are interested in learning how to make them for your Nail Art projects, make sure to get the videos by clicking the link by my name.

    If there is anything else I can help you with or if you have any special requests for Fimo Nail Art Cane Designs, make sure to let me know!

  16. Wilmarie, 05 April, 2009

    I sure will Thanks so much again, that was going to be my next question, I would like to learn how to make the designs my self, I will be contacting you for some fimo cane request!

    Thank You!

  17. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2009

    You’re welcome!

  18. vicki wilson, 17 January, 2010

    my fututre daughter in law asked me to make the toppers for their wedding.i am artistic but have never really done anything like this. SHouldi buy the premo sculpey and start practicing? doinstructions come with it?
    Do you have any videos that depicte the procedure?
    thank you for your time.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 19 January, 2010

    Hi Vicki! I think you should be able to make a great topper for your daughter in law. Premo is the right clay to start with. I would also recommend purchasing the beginners course for working with polymer clay. (I linked to it by my name.)

    In the video course I will teach you how to choose the right clay, how to condition it properly and how to mix colors. I will also teach you how to bake and finish it so that it looks professional and not too amateurish. It is geared toward making beads but all the info is important to know and I don’t think you will find this level of help anywhere else.

    Since it is such a special event, the more you know about working with polymer clay, the less stressful it will be for you to take on the project. It is definitely do-able though. It will be such a fun keepsake for you all!

  20. Windy M, 01 March, 2011

    Hi Cindy! I just found your website and am overwhelmed with the information here. First I must say that I know NOTHING about clay but have gotten myself into a bit of a “sticky” situation so now I need to learn quickly. A dear friend made a cake topper using Fimo for my wedding coming up next month. Unfortunately one of the figures is sticky and has started to crack. I believe the finish she put on them caused the sticky. Unfortunately her “fix” was to put a coat of clear finger nail polish on them. After reading on your site I now know the finger nail polish was a bad idea.

    She doesn’t know how to fix the sticky and I don’t want sticky cake toppers, nor do I want to offend her by not using the cake toppers she made for us. So how in the world do I salvage this topper so I can use it on my wedding day?

    Thank you so much for your advice, it is beyond appreciated!!!


  21. Cindy Lietz, 02 March, 2011

    @Windy M: Oh dear that is a dilemma! No worries, you can probably fix this. It does sound like a finish incompatibility. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there, and people can put finishes on their polymer clay projects that seem OK at first, but over time, can react to the clay and cause it to become sticky.

    You can usually remove finishes though, so hopefully not all is lost. For the nail polish, remove that with nail polish remover. If it looks like the whole sculpture was covered with nail polish, just continue removing it with the polish remover. You may need an old toothbrush to get into the crevices.

    If it the finish seems to be something else, like a varnish, remove that with rubbing alcohol. Try to get the 90% stuff or stronger. You may even have to soak the piece and scrub it to get it off.

    Once you are certain you’ve removed the finish, you can wash it with soap and water and let it dry. Depending on how it looks after cleaning it up, you may not need to add a finish at all.

    However if it does need further finishing, there is tons of information at this blog that will help, from sanding and buffing, to clear polymer safe finishes such as Sculpey Glaze, Future Floor finish, PYMII and Varathane.

    Use the category links at the side of the page and the search box at the top to find the answers you need. If you need more help, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes and congratulations on your Wedding! Hopefully that cute topper will be there with you!

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