25 January 2012

New favorite craft material: polymer clay

Amazon: Fimo Soft Clay 10 Color Assortment 25 g blocks assorted colors box of 10Polymer clay (such as Sculpey and Fimo) has everything going for it: it's inexpensive, widely-available, versatile, long-lasting, easy to use, easy to clean up, and open to endless interpretation.

Best of all, it's one of those magic materials (like Legos, unlike Play-Doh) that provides double-fun: fun in the crafting, and fun in playing with the finished product. (Once you've made something out of polymer clay, you bake it for 15 minutes. After your creation cools it's pretty much unbreakable.)

My daughter spent hours one rainy weekend fashioning tiny polymer clay treasures. She created foods and plates on which to serve them. She also made little animals with custom-fitted baby bottles (she has to feed them, after all).

More ideas:

  • Homemade action figures, Pokemon characters, etc.
  • A tiny village or neighborhood (think: Christmas mantel decorations!)
  • A homemade tea set
  • Props for a dollhouse
  • Beads and buttons
  • A set of fridge magnets
  • Claymation video projects
  • Play money
  • A model train set (a friend made an entire track winding through a forest)
  • School projects: dioramas, models and science fair displays

If you have a kid that loves miniatures, is a Wallace & Gromit fan, or could use a little fine-motor skills practice, you've found your material.

You can buy polymer clay at just about any craft store; you may even find it in the craft supply section of big box stores. Check out Polyform for more project ideas.

Note: Polymer clay is made of PVC and colored with non-toxic dyes, and contains no phthalates.

Who else is a fan of polymer clay? I'd love to hear your project ideas.

More: Fun projects and activities

Your comments

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I've only tried polymer clay once, and maybe it was the clay, but it wasn't nearly as easy as I thought, so I haven't introduced my kids to it yet. But they did play with Paper Clay over Christmas and loved that. Plus it's air dry - easy!

I used to make little dolls and beads and things in the early 90's, waaaaay before kids. My mother had given me her old dental cleaning tools and they were the best with sculpting tiny wrinkles and eyes and things. Now that I have kids, I can see all the possibilities. May need to get some...

Wow, i forgot how much I love(d) Sculpey. My friend and I made Christmas Ornaments for our friends and families. (braid green, make wreath, flatten Red and make bow, etc). Thanks for the memory!

We did a gnome environment, diorama style, in a shoebox. HOURS and hours they have spent creating scenes including moss and sticks and rocks. We now have a gnome that travels around the house. Whoever finds him hides him again for someone else to find. Great reminder Parent Hacks!

Love sculpy! Our 5 year old must have made 15 Christmas ornaments to give to family and friends, even picking out the corresponding ribbon and deciding what length would be right was fun! Our 13 year old neighbor joined in and the 4 of us had a lovely afternoon imagining, drawing out designs and then executing. Think my favorites may have been the hedgehog, a star for the top of the tree and bicycle ornaments crafted for our favorite cyclists.

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