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Make Your Own or Repurpose Household Tools for Polymer Clay Work

You don't always need to buy polymer clay tools. Although you could if you have a bottomless wallet! Sometimes, certain tools just don't exist or you need a more custom one. Or you just want to make a task quicker. Whatever the reason, consider making your own tools. Here are some great ideas and instructions.

 First up is the multi-blade ribbon strip cutter tutorial by Cakes.KeyArtStudio. This tool was indeed created for cake decorations. But hey, fondant and polymer clay are similar enough to work with except one is edible and the other is not!

I like the idea of using PEX drinking pipe (the white tubing you see) as spacers. It is easy to cut into pieces which means you can customize the width of the strips.

The Pottery Blog has an easy tutorial for making a texture roller. One of the many creative uses of  hot glue guns!

Slicing polymer clay thinly is tricky.  I shared this tutorial before. And here it is again. Jane Cox's miter box tutorial as demonstrated by the Unruly Housewife.

Potato peelers will also work as you can see from this tutorial over on KreativFimotic. It is not in English but you really don't need to translate the blog post as pictures are worth a thousand words! The trick is to keep the blade level.

This style of potato peeler works best.

Consider this cabbage peeler if you want something wider.

Also check Ginger Davis Allman's post for more free polymer clay tools from around the house.

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. All great ideas. I tried polymer clay for a long time, but it never seemed to work in my hands. Oh well, you can't do everything. Darn, there goes my image. By the way, not sure if it is true, but I was taught that if you used something for polymer clay then you shouldn't use it for food products. Is that an urban myth?

    1. I am not that fond of clay work myself. I blame childhood issues with the hard to use (for a child) plasticine! No play dough then.

      It is best that you dedicate the tools for polymer clay. Although there is no real harm if you use something from the kitchen provided you are sure it is thoroughly cleaned. Something like the pasta machine can't be thoroughly cleaned so separate ones for the kitchen and workshop!

  2. Artists will find a way for creating won't they!

    There is a trick to the cabbage peeler. You could either pay $25 to The Cutting Edge for one - or! - The cabbage peeler has two nubs on the inside of both arms that you cut off then switch the blade around and you have the exact same peeler as Dan Cormier sells (without his little sticker on it) This was a hard lesson learned for me so I want to share it with anyone who is slicing mokume gane or canes.

  3. Thanks for pulling together these ideas! As a clay artist, I'm always looking for ways to save money on tools. I bought my cabbage peeler at my local Daiso store for less than $2. Terrific bargain!

  4. Wayne & Pearl - It makes me so sad when I hear someone discouraged from working with polymer clay because they find it difficult to condition. Did you know that the stiffness of polymer clay can very greatly with different brands? I found Premo the easiest to work with. And in rare instances when the Premo clay is slightly stiffer than ideal, follow clay artist, Marie Segal's advice - put a package of polymer clay in your bra while you spend time setting up your workspace. Your body warmth will make the clay more pliable. Wayne- you may need a slightly different solution : )


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