Using a Hammer to Condition Hard Polymer Clay – Tip #1

Conditioning Hard Clay Tip1Video #410: How to “wake up” and soften up the plasticizers in old, hard and crumbly Fimo clay.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • There are lots of different ways you can re-condition old, hard, crumbling polymer clay. Today I’ll show you one of the methods I use to condition hard clay. Future videos will include more tips for getting your clay to become workable again.
  • I found an old block of Fimo Soft (or I should say Fimo not so soft), that is too crumbly to condition by hand or with my pasta machine.
  • To easily recondition your old clay, place a small amount of clay under a sheet of plastic (something like a zipLoc bag works great), then pound the clay with a nylon hammer or rubber mallet.
  • Hammering the polymer clay, ‘wakes up’ the plasticizers and oils in the clay and makes it more pliable again.
  • Hammering polymer has it’s stress relieving benefits as well. ;)
  • Once the clay is holding together and is pliable enough, you can continue to condition your clay with your pasta machine just as you would any normal soft block of clay.I.

Question of the Day:

Do you have any neat little tricks for dealing with old polymer clay?

I look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, if you have a polymer clay question or challenge you’d like me to address in an upcoming video vlog, do post it in the comments below. I’d love to help you find 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… Conditioning Hard Polymer Clay. The Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Jocelyn C, 05 August, 2013

    Love that technique but cannot use it too much where I live, thin walls and neighbors, lol.

    When I do give in, I always put all the clay inside a Glad baggie first to keep it together, then pound.

    Not sure if just me, but, it seems the stuff I reconstitute shrinks more than if I just use say, Premo out of the package.

    Would be interested in further lab coat projects on shrinkage for clays. How much, how often, and how does it affect your projects, if at all.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 06 August, 2013

    I’ll add your PcT test lab request to the list Jocelyn. Could make for an interesting test.

  3. Debbie McEwan, 04 July, 2020

    Hi. Mm. I have a pound of transparent clay and so crumbly and hard to soften them. I was wondering if there anything I can make out of that without condition the clay like stone look alike. Or do I have to condition them. It was not that old it is ci think 2018 that it was made. Thank you

  4. Cindy Lietz, 06 July, 2020

    Try putting the crumbled clay in a ziploc bag and squirt some clay softener on it. Just let it sit for a few days to absorb the oil. You can add more oil if you need to. You should be able to gather little handfuls of softened crumbles and condition the clay much easier. If the clay is too hard to soften that way, then just chop it up and mix it into a fresher clay to make some faux stones. You can always use old polymer clay up somehow so don’t throw it out. Do a search at the top pf the page for crumbly clay or hard clay and you should be able to find some good ideas for conditioning it or using it up in another way. Good luck!

  5. Jocelyn C, 05 August, 2013

    Also, Cindy, please pardon me for off topic, here, but want to ask if anyone knows of or has made a bead roller for wicked large beads, lol?

    Know Desiree has developed her take on it for the regular sized beads, but, I want to make some beads 2 or 3 inches in diameter, and would sure love to be able to roll out some similarly sized ovals, etc.

    Can you make a sphere from a bead roller? Fortunately, I like the acrylic plate roll on glass technique for most everything, and with where I am going with this idea, Cindy’s great rocker beads will feature, and they are easy on the hands.

    Any ideas, links or assistance is surely appreciated.

  6. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    Hi Jocelyn!

    A few thoughts on making consistently-sized and -shaped huge beads…

    For starters, Christine Dumont has an absolutely brilliant online hollow bead course which covers much more than just the construction aspect. It’s very extensive and so it costs quite a bit more than Cindy’s tutorials, for example, but it’s worth every cent and then some in my opinion. I did the first of these courses that Christine ran, and you can see some of the beads I made during it in her student gallery. You can probably recognise my beads by the photo background.

    I like the hollow bead idea because it saves on clay (which also avoids problems ensuring the middle of huge solid pieces are fully cured) and the end results are light enough to wear comfortably. The largest beads I’ve made using Christine’s technique were a bit over 5cm/2in in diameter, although I normally make them smaller than that (but still big as far as beads go). I intend to make some “decorator balls” some day too, but haven’t got around to that.

    Alternatively, Claire Wallis posted photos and step by step instructions for an entirely different hollow bead technique. Basically, you mould dissolvable cores out of sugar, cover those cores in clay and bake them, then rinse the sugar out. I haven’t tried this particular technique but hopefully it’ll give you some ideas, and it should be easy to adapt it to pretty well any shape and size. I always see heaps of interestingly-shaped rubber ice cube trays, muffin pans, chocolate moulds, etc. when I’m out shopping, and they would all work.

    I hope that helps… I’d love to see what you come up with! :)


  7. Tante Sherry, 06 August, 2013

    Oh Sue, thank you for putting the link to where we can see some of your Beautiful Beads—just amazing

    if you could share how you were able to get such a light gold color on sue02 and what you finished it with w/o giving away any of Christine’s secrets that would be nice

    off to see how much she is charging;)

  8. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    Thanks, Sherry! :)

    I made that bead more than two years ago so I’m not 100% certain of the colour recipe, but from comparing the actual bead to my colour sample chips I’m pretty sure the gold in bead “sue02” was:

    8 parts Kato Gold
    1 part Kato Black

    It’s not so much a light gold as a de-oranged gold in real life, although the high shine, the fact that it’s the shiny side of much-rolled mica clay, and the adjacent lightly tinted translucent clay all make it look lighter than you’d expect from the colour recipe. It can be tricky judging colours on computer monitors, and that picture looks different on my various computers. It looks like the real bead on my main desktop computer, but lighter than the bead actually is on my main notebook.

    However, if you’re after some nice light gold colours, here are a couple to try:

    Warm Light Gold

    8 parts Kato Gold
    1 part Kato Green
    3 parts Kato Yellow Concentrate*
    14 parts Kato Pearl

    Cool Light Gold

    6 parts Kato Gold
    1 part Kato Green
    4 parts Kato Yellow Concentrate*
    12 parts Kato Pearl

    * Both those recipes use Kato Yellow Concentrate, not ordinary Kato Yellow. The concentrate is necessary to get a sufficiently saturated light colour. Kato Concentrates come multi-packs of four 1oz colours (blue, green, yellow and red). If you can’t get hold of them I do have some light gold recipes that don’t use them, but I don’t think the resulting colours are as nice.

    For finishing the beads, I sand with Micro-Mesh Sheets — NOT the Micro Mesh Sanding Pads, which I don’t like — going through all the grits, and changing the water after each. Then I buff with a homemade buffing attachment in my Dremel, with an initial all-over buffing pass at low to medium speed, followed by a final all-over buff at a higher speed. The Dremel I use for buffing has a speed range of 10,000rpm to 37,000rpm, and I use roughly a 60%-of-maximum setting for the final buff (I’m fairly sure this is a higher speed than Cindy normally describes for such devices; I’m using Kato clay which is harder than Premo which does make a difference, but I still need to be careful not to press too firmly! :D). That’s it. No polishes, waxes, or anything else. The homemade buffing attachment is simply a stack of about ten 3.5cm-diameter circles cut out of an incredibly ancient white T-shirt I had in my rag bag. I just put them onto a threaded-head mandrel (the kind where you unscrew the head, stick whatever you want over the spindle, then screw the head back on firmly to hold everything in place), and didn’t bother with stitching them or anything else that people often do.

  9. Tante Sherry, 08 August, 2013

    what a great reply – full of new information – it’s funny to me that after reading your reply I stepped away from the computer and what kept running through my head was the info that you use old t-shirt material as a buffing medium on your dremell
    I guess this is because a couple of days ago I was using my dremel with new felt circles on some soon to be barrettes and ‘crud’ all of a sudden the felt had ‘eaten’ into the side :/ (side note: I keep the power button toward the low side 2 (-highest is 5-))
    Today I think I’ll reclaim some of the rags I gave DH and have a go with your idea
    thank you Sue for sharing so much with us:)

  10. Tante Sherry, 08 August, 2013

    …later that day ;)
    the t-shirt material worked so well and the way DH goes through them I’ll never have to remember to pick up felt at the craft store again YAY thanks again!

  11. Sue F, 09 August, 2013


    That’s great to hear, Sherry… I’m glad it worked for you too!

    Your husband won’t have to donate too many T-shirts, however. The T-shirt material circles last a surprisingly long time (I’m only on my second set) and their effectiveness actually improves a bit as they start to fray. You only need to change them once they’re so frayed that the Dremel doesn’t spin them effectively any more.

  12. Jocelyn C, 06 August, 2013

    LOL! Thanks for all the help and ideas Sue and Cindy. I want some really big beads, and I plan to use them as wall art and display. I need to master sanding and finishing, so my best bet is to use all the fun faux techniques here in the tute file and make some whompers. The smaller stuff, the size you folks do stuff, is just too tiny for me to hold and sand at the same time.

    So excited!

    But a big bead roller would sure make the process faster, so off to pinterest and google, two of my fav places on earth to follow Cindy’s leads.

    Also have a lot of small Mom and Pop plastic and acrylic shops nearby in the local industrial areas, and want to visit a couple of them to see if they have any ideas or techniques that would cross over to help.

  13. Jocelyn C, 06 August, 2013

    Now Sue, you have to admit this is monster mad scientist, lol. Can you imagine how easy it would be to make big things? Probably cost and arm and a leg for the supplies just to make it this.

  14. Sue F, 06 August, 2013


    That’s pretty straightforward, actually. I usually expect my mad scientist stuff to have more of a crazy factor. ;D

    You can do the same thing with all sorts of materials, although I don’t go quite so overboard on the registration points, and with some materials you can add them towards the end (for instance, by drilling through both layers and inserting guide rods in an asymmetric pattern before separating the two mould halves and removing the item being moulded).

    Still cool though!

  15. Tante Sherry, 08 August, 2013

    dad-burn you tube got me again lol – this time I made myself turn it off after I saw I’d been there over half an hour
    — geez I’m such an addict ;)
    — or truth be told I’m too easily amused :D

  16. Cindy Lietz, 06 August, 2013

    I don’t know of any over sized bead rollers off hand Jocelyn but I have seen some handmade rollers made with things like cut apart 2 liter pop bottles as well as ones made with sections of PVC pipe cut lengthwise. Maybe if you Google it or take a good look around Pinterest you’ll find something that will work? If you do find something, let me know and maybe I can try making one. It might make some fun content for our YouTube Channel.

  17. Jocelyn C, 06 August, 2013

    Think you could just make the rollers sized up from existing, from polymer clay, but, I would have to do some homework on how to scale up a 3D image to the size I needed. It can be done. I have a complete set of acrylic bead rollers and also have a ton of the huge boxes of standard Sculptey white, which I can use to experiment. It would be a heavy bead roller, lol. But for me, that’s probably a good thing because it would help apply pressure to the push, and stabilize it.

    Sue, hollow would be ideal, though I probably couldn’t resist putting a few beads or such inside so they made noise too. Never know when you need those maracas…..

  18. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    From my experience in making long forms for bangle bases out of polymer clay, where it can be awkward to get them completely even in shape and perfectly smooth, I think you’d have the same issue if you made a large bead roller out of polymer clay. It might also be too large to bake conveniently as it will need to be fairly long (see below).

    If you really want a bead roller style solution and you only want rounds or ovals, here’s how I’d make one using the PVC pipe approach that Cindy mentioned.

    Buy a length of PVC pipe of suitable interior diameter (my local hardware store sells a wide range of sizes in as little as 1 metre lengths, and they’re really cheap until you get to large diameters and wall thicknesses).

    Then cut a section of PVC pipe the length you want your bead roller to be. Calculate the circumference of the beads you’ll be making in it, and make sure the length of the pipe you cut is quite a bit longer than this so that the bead will be able to make more than one complete revolution with each “pass” of the “bead roller”, and so that enough of the upper and lower pipe sections will be in contact at the “pass” extremities that the top won’t tilt.

    Then cut the PVC pipe section lengthwise. For round beads, you’ll want to cut it exactly in half lengthwise (i.e. two lengthwise cuts). For oval beads, you’ll want two equal sections that are smaller than half-circles (i.e. you’ll need to make three lengthwise cuts).

    Sand all the cut edges smooth, particularly the lengthwise cuts where the two sections will be sliding against each other.

    To assemble, attach supports of some kind at both ends of the base piece so that it sits securely. Then attach one or more handles to the top piece to help you slide it (if it’s large, I’d attach two handles and slide left-right in front of me). And finally, attach thin guides to the outside of the base piece so that the top piece always slides in line with the base.

    The trickiest part will be cutting the PVC pipe. You could use a hacksaw, or if you like power tools as much as I do (and/or if you’ve got as tired of hacksawing as I have recently!), you could use a reciprocating saw, angle grinder or even a jigsaw instead. The reciprocating saw works well for cutting sections of pipe (unless it’s really thick-wall pipe, in which case I’d use an angle grinder), but for the lengthwise cuts I’d use an angle grinder although I’ve seen people use jigsaws. Make sure the blade of whatever tool you use is suitable for cutting plastic otherwise it will get clogged very quickly. For the angle grinder option, the thin (fibreglass?) disks used for cutting metal work well.

    I’d make one just for giggles, except I don’t like the small bead rollers so can’t imagine liking a large one better (don’t forget about how accurate you need to be with the amount of clay to get a good result). I also think ensuring that such large solid beads are cured properly and without cracking will be an issue. But we won’t know until someone tries! :D

    You mentioned acrylic shops in your area… acrylic would work better than PVC, but it would be more expensive and is much less accessible for a DIY solution. But if you can get them to make one for you, go for it. ;)

    Another alternative for consideration… What about starting with plain unfinished wood balls, then covering completely them with polymer clay? For example.

    It’d save clay and would avoid problems with ensuring the centre was cured too.

    I do intend to make some polymer clay “decorator balls” some day, and they’ll probably be in the 9-12cm (3.5-4.75″) size range. I hadn’t figured out exactly what approach I’d take and what materials I’d use except for probably using something else for a core, so whatever you find out will be very interesting! :)

  19. Jocelyn C, 06 August, 2013

    Want to try to master all Cindy’s tutes here plus really get up to snuff on a professional finish. No prob using a lortone to do some of the finishing.

    Would love strands of big spheres, ovals, bicones, tubes, rocker beads, etc., with the emphasis being the surface technique and polish. To display (if I hide the holes) you could just cover soda bottle caps with a complementing polymer covering and set the eggs, and all types that fit for display.

    Can see some strung with copper finishings used to hold back curtains, or, I have sheers that sometimes need to be anchored, so having something pretty and heavy to hold them down or insert in the hem is good.

    Also, child is Islam and adopting her clothing and hair coverings to comply. Many times those silk scarfs are very slippery, and I saw a girl who used a top laying ring of large copal/amber to anchor her headpiece in the wind.

  20. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    Yes, there are definitely times when heavy is good! I have one set of hollow beads that I decided needed to be heavy after I’d made them, so I ended up filling them with two-part resin. (I personally like heavy jewellery because of the non-flap factor, but a lot of people don’t.)

    And I’ve had another thought. LOL

    I have a box of “instant papier mache” on order, and that kind of product could also be of use when making huge beads. When it arrives — if it ever does… the last time I ordered something weird they ended up cancelling it! — I’ll try it for that purpose.

  21. Barbara Como, 06 August, 2013

    In reading the post on the bead roller from PVC pipes. I remembered that I had seen a bead roller made by Carl Hornberger on Polymer Clay Central. Hope this link works.


  22. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 06 August, 2013

    Hi Barb… I saw your link in the comment and am happy to allow it… even though Polymer Clay Central has actually banned anyone from posting links to our site from their Forum… at least that is what people continue to tell us when they have tried to link from a PCC thread to related information over here on our site.

    If anyone can provide an update for Cindy and I, we’d sure appreciate knowing if the “ban” has been lifted. We (and several others) have tried communicating directly with PCC about their stance… but sadly no response ever makes its way back to us :-(

    We’re not losing sleep over it, but I figured it was time to bring this up again since its been almost 5 years now since they shut Cindy out. Really it is quite an unfortunate situation (IMO).

  23. Barbara Como, 07 August, 2013

    Doug I am sorry I should not have posted that link I was wroing. It shoud have been Polymer Claly Superstore. the other place is listed on the web site. I had not heard about the ban.Thanks for allowing the postl. but Carl Hornberger has a large bead roller that he constructed ON that site and give directions.


  24. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 07 August, 2013

    No need to apologize at all Barbara… that’s great information that you shared. It definitely adds value to this thread.

  25. Jocelyn C, 07 August, 2013

    Barbara, thank you so much for your assistance, I appreciate you looking for me. Unfortunately the link is blocked.

    Doug, it links back to your page and “not found.”

    Frankly this situation is unprofessional and just downright stinky not to allow commentary from all. Certainly Cindy’s work is as professional as anyone’s. Makes me sooooo mad. What is this lady’s problem?

    I will go to the main msg page and use the search to see if I can find the instructions.

  26. Jocelyn C, 07 August, 2013

    Found it! Excellent article. Thanks so much Barbara!!

    And a search on him pulled up this article and bead roller type. Wow.

  27. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 07 August, 2013

    Hi Jocelyn – the broken link in Barbara’s original comment was my bad… it’s fixed now.

  28. Claycass, 05 August, 2013

    Love your video. I worked with classic Fimo before Premo. So I had to develop a conditioning system, that hammer idea would have been great. When I run in to a dry brick of clay I pull out my (dedicated) mini food processor. I use to add mineral oil to help soften the clay, but I found that the cured clay was not as strong. So now I add liquid polymer clay and mix it in the processor. Then I hand work the crumbs – but that hammer would really speed up the job. Thanks, because I still have some old Fimo.

  29. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    Instead of hand working the clay crumbs after the food processor stage, you could put them into a heavy-duty plastic bag and then use the hammer/mallet technique to work everything back into a single lump of smooth consistency. I’ve done this in the past, just by crumbling the clay into the bag and squirting some liquid polymer clay in. It’s quite a quick and mess-free way to combine it all again. Thump everything into a layer, fold that layer over on itself several times inside the bag, thump again, and repeat as necessary. Use an oversize bag so that you can do all the manipulation without needing to open it, and so that you can thump the clay into any shape or size without tearing it.

  30. Sandra J, 05 August, 2013

    love the humour in your videos! i can certainly relate to the “cat puking on the bed” comment. Not much fun in the middle of the night, i can tell you!:) Back to topic, great idea! will have to get a rubber hammer though, i don’t think the glass would hold up if i used the other sort. Glass fragments anyone?! Really look forward to these tips marvelous!

  31. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    I’ve done something similar, but with whole blocks of clay.

    I leave the clay blocks in their packaging, and sometimes put them inside a heavy duty plastic bag too to be on the safe side although the amount of abuse the packaging can take is quite impressive. Then I place that on the cement floor of my garage, get a LARGE rubber mallet, and bash away.

    The heavy mallet lets me apply a serious amount of force without having to do it all with muscle strength. And the serious amount of force means I have to do this on the floor instead of on any piece of furniture I want to keep!

    It works pretty quickly, and as Cindy noted, it’s quite good for stress relief. ;)

    I’ve mostly done this with clay that’s not “supposed to be” super-firm, but is due to age or whatever. More recently, and for clay that is normally very firm and prone to crumbling like the first phthalate-free Kato formula, I just use a different approach to pasta-machine conditioning it which I’ve described several times elsewhere on this blog.

  32. Dixie Ann, 06 August, 2013

    Love the hammer idea. Could have used it the other day with old Fimo but will still be able to use it in the future. On the subject of hollow beads, I read somewhere that you can get biodegradable peanuts from the office supply store and build a bead around them. When your finished with the bead, simple immerse it in water and the peanut dissolves. These are suppose to work for cage beads and other such beads that have openings. Don’t know if it works with fully enclosed beads. Sue have you ever tried this technique?

  33. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    Hi Dixie Ann,

    Yes, I’ve also made hollow beads with biodegradable packing peanuts inside. The way I did it was to scrunch 2-3 of the packing peanuts into a ball (you can dampen them slightly to get them to stick together), then form the clay around it before decorating and final shaping.

    I found that this works well for “organic” style beads because there’s so much air in the packing peanuts that they try to expand during baking, so if your clay layer isn’t completely even all the way around, and/or if you didn’t compress the packing peanuts evenly, the baked bead will no longer be perfectly symmetrical and may even bulge noticeably in places.

    You also need to make the clay layer a lot thicker than with other hollow bead techniques to counter the packing peanut baking expansion. With Christine Dumont’s technique, in comparison, you can use quite a thin layer of clay as long as you’re using a strong brand and bake it properly. (I use Kato, of course!)

    I’ve used two different styles/shapes of biodegradable packing peanuts with this technique; there wasn’t any real difference in how they performed.

    Anyway, here are a couple of sets of hollow beads I made with biodegradable packing peanut interiors. I made them shortly after I got Ronna Sarvas Weltman’s book so they’re in her style.



    Last story on the packing peanuts… When I heard about this technique I hunted high and low for the right type, and ended up picking them out one by one from amongst polystyrene peanuts whenever I received anything packed that way. It took absolutely ages to get a decent quantity and I thought they were really rare, a consumable to be hoarded! But I’ve since placed several orders with a department store that uses biodegradable packing peanuts exclusively and extremely generously, and I now have many huge cartons of the stuff LOL. (So if you’re in Sydney and want some, let me know. Officeworks currently sells 100g packs for $6.99 [yikes!] and I have a ridiculous amount.)

  34. Claycass, 06 August, 2013

    Biodegradable peanuts are available at Staples office supply store.

  35. Dixie Ann, 06 August, 2013

    cool beads Sue. Now you have me really interested in trying this technique. i will probably start with a smaller bead though and see how it goes. Would you recommend just using one or two peanuts first?

  36. Sue F, 06 August, 2013

    It depends a bit on the size and density of your packing peanuts, as well as the bead size you want to end up with.

    With the two varieties of biodegradable packing peanut that I have*, I’d use just one peanut for beads 15-18mm in final diameter, which are sort-of “normal” largish beads.

    * One variety is rectangular, but wavy instead of flat. The other variety is a slightly curved cylinder; these are good for larger beads because they cup together nicely (the insides of the curves facing each other, with the two arranged in a perpendicular fashion, e.g. one vertical and one horizontal) and make better rounds. Luckily it’s the type that I have a huge amount of too!

  37. Cheyrl B, 09 August, 2013

    Hi Sue,
    Those beads are great! I am always looking for new ways to use my extruder. Does anyonyone watch ” Royal Pains ” Divia on the show always wears some of the biggest and most interesting necklaces and I have been wondering how to duplicate the large beads without using a years supply of clay on each piece. I will definatly look into the hollow core technique.

  38. Jocelyn C, 06 August, 2013

    Wonder how dried out clay would perform if you put it in a baggie and then clamped it hard several times in a vise. It seems like warmth and pressure, in the right amounts, are the two keys. Quieter, if rather that striking it, you could get the same effect by repetitively clamping it?

  39. Jocelyn C, 07 August, 2013

    Another call out for opinions on big beads…to start with I want them made of polymer clay all the way through. No way am I using my good stuff to make the centers to laminate the designed clay on, so now, what options. Hmmmm.

    I have huge amounts of the white Sculptey that comes in large sizes (you can get it in terra cotta color too). If I used that as the base, and prebaked it hard, then applied a polyclay glue and laminated the surface, that should work, right?

  40. Cindy Lietz, 09 August, 2013

    You can use White Sculpey inside your huge beads if you want Jocelyn. Just to make sure the beads are cured all the way through, you could start with a regular sized core bead… bake… add more clay…. bake… add more clay… bake and then add your veneer… bake. That should work if you don’t mind all the baking.

  41. Jocelyn C, 09 August, 2013

    Cindy, great tips, thanks. Sitting here always with the oven cooking something, so the layering approach is no problemo. Like the layered approach too, some of the darker finishes covered over the top with translucents or ghosting effects are planned because I can just fit them into the cycle of layer, bake, Lortone, final buff.

    Hoping with the larger sizes and shapes, finishing will improve and I will feel lots better, lol. Also tried this once before and got awful cracking.

  42. Jocelyn C, 10 August, 2013

    Exploring options and just received some lovely service and products from Sue and Dawn at She has the extra large sized bead rollers to get me started and they work very well on the white Sculpey, which is now baking as the base of the bead.

    So nice to meet new folks and be able to purchase great products on the internet.

  43. Freda K, 08 August, 2013

    I use Magic Noodles made from cornstarch. They are from the kids section. I made beads just wrapping thi-i-i-n logs around the shaped noodles (leaving lots of air space) then after baking put them in water and voila all the noodles disappeared.

  44. Shirley Rufener, 09 August, 2013

    Freda (or someone who knows), are you referring to the kids section of a craft store, Michaels perhaps…or toy store to find the Magic Noodles? And can you tell me the amount you get and the cost please? Thanks!

  45. Freda K, 09 August, 2013

    The Noodles came from the kids section in a craft store like Michaels. I’ve had a big bag of them for a few years and don’t remember the cost. Don’t even know if they still have them. They are multi-colored.

  46. Liliana R, 09 August, 2013

    very interesting. I have a block of traslucent fimo that drives me crazy and I’ll use your technique. I love your necklace. Is it an orchid?

  47. Cindy Lietz, 09 August, 2013

    Thanks Liliana! That pendant is from my Sculpted Iris Flower Bead Tutorial. Glad you like it!

  48. Jocelyn C, 25 August, 2013

    Giggle. K, I couldn’t resist:

    Trini Lopez – If I Had A Hammer
    (original 45 rpm)

  49. Jocelyn C, 06 September, 2013

    Cynthia Tinapple just posted a great link on her FB site and via email for hollow bead templates. Carol Simmons and Rebecca Watkins developed some paper hollow bead forms which look wonderful.

    Here is a link to Rebecca’s page where she displays some of her creations using the templates (very sweet of them to share this information).

  50. Jocelyn C, 06 September, 2013

    Also, a link to Carol’s page describing the process:

  51. Tante Sherry, 09 September, 2013

    Thank you Jocelyn- I went straight over and downloaded the templates
    So kind of them to share and you too for passing along the info

  52. Dixie Ann, 09 September, 2013

    Thanks Jocie for the link to the paper patterns. Your such a doll always willing to share. Just getting all kinds of ideas looking at these!
    Of course I don’t have enough to do right now! LOLOLOLOL.

  53. Sue F, 11 September, 2013

    Thanks for the info, Jocelyn! The paper templates are a super idea and they look like great fun… I particularly like the pillows and will make myself some tapered versions. (I wish I had more spare time! :D)

  54. Marianne O., 08 September, 2013

    Hi Cindy, I am new to PC, and you have probably gotten many questions from me by now. I am trying to find ways to do some things to make my life easier. I am somewhat physically challenged, and I wonder, could I make an old useless tool condition my clay for me instead of a hammer? My idea is to use my very useless slap chop machine to both, soften up hard clay, and also, chunk up my metallics to make the ‘faux burl pens’. What do you think? Will it work????

  55. Freda K, 09 September, 2013

    Marianne – what is a slap chop machine? I never heard of it.

  56. Marianne O., 09 September, 2013

    A ‘slap chop’ machine, is one of the most over-rated kitchen items I own! That being said, it is supposed to chop your veggies up nicely for you by putting the machine over top of (let’s say an onion), then you ‘slap’ the knob on top of the machine, and it should (should!) start to chop the onion. You keep slapping until your veggies are diced or chopped. I find that it mushes them, but that something harder, like clay, may be useful in this product. I saw it on TV once, and some guy named Vince advertises it. It looked like it would work. I am going to try it and see if it does. I will try to take a pic for you too

  57. Freda K, 09 September, 2013

    Gosh, Marianne, I have a slap, chop machine and didn’t know it was called that. I got it to chop nuts. It would probably work fine with polymer clay but you would have to use it only for the polymer after that.

  58. Geaux G, 10 September, 2013

    You’re hilarious. Love the part where you’re whacking the heck out of the clay and working through life’s frustrations we can all relate to. Your videos are terrific!

  59. Marianne O., 10 September, 2013

    To Cindy and other ‘Clay People’ out there:
    Although I am fairly new to polymer clay, I have watched most of the ‘how to’s’ and I have to say I am completely stumped! I bought some Premo Peacock Pearl, stamped 1303?? (made in March). I tried to condition it, but it never gets conditioned enough, by that, I mean that it still seems to crack along the edges and remains fairly ‘stiff’. I took a hammer to it, very tough for me, but I did it, and it is still giving me trouble! Problem is, I wanted it to go with some beaded jewelry I make as part of my focal, and I just don’t want to give up! Help someone, please :(

  60. Dixie Ann, 10 September, 2013

    Marianne, there are several things you can do with your peacock clay. Rather than go into all of them here, go up to the search engine here on the blog and type in how to recondition dryed clay. You should get many links to help you. Good luck, let us know how you made out.

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