Monday, February 13, 2012

Polymer Clay

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about some reviews of polymer clay. I just started crafting with polymer clay not too long ago. There are 2 main brands I usually get from the craft stores like Michael's and Joann Fabrics. They are Fimo and Sculpey III. I find it is more bargain to get them when these two craft stores have the coupons with it. The cheapest I could get was like 99 cents per one. Hobby Lobby has them as well, but it usually has 30% off on polymer clays. This is why I like to stock it up when Joann and Michael's has the 20% off for the entire purchase, because it is also included sales products so you can get a really good price on it!

The first one I would like to talk about is Fimo polymer clay.

The types I usually get are the Soft, Classic and Effect. I find this brand is a little bit easier to work with, comparing to the Sculpey III ones. They are not as soft, especially the Classic. It might be a little bit difficult to mix it to make a certain colors. However, this is better when I work on shaping. If you find it is a little too hard, you can get a clay softener to help~ Classic and Soft collections provide solid colors to choose from. The Effect collection has Nightglow, Glitter, Translucent colors, Stone colors, Pastel colors, Gemstones colors and Metallic colors. The Glitter ones they have has bigger glitters in it comparing to the Sculpey III.
Fimo clay usually cost a little bit more than the Sculpey III. They are both 2oz a pack (The size that I get most of the time) Sometimes the Michael's I have nearby they would have all the different brands clay on sale for only 99 cents each. Normally it cost around $2-$3 for a 2oz pack.
I would say the colors stay pretty much the same like before you bake them. It cools down quite fast and it gets harden very nicely once it is cool off. Overall, I do satisfy with the performance of this Fimo clay :)

The second one I usually get is Sculpey III.

The Sculpey brand usually has a wider color range selection from the craft stores close to me. It also has translucent and glow in the dark finished in their collections. Another one is pearl finished, which has much finer glitters in it comparing to the Fimo Effect. To me I think the Sculpey III is softer and stickier than the Fimo clay. It is easier to mix colors with. However, it is a little bit difficult when it comes to shaping. Especially when I need to sculpt on my projects. For example, if I need to draw some lines on a sphere, it is very difficult to keep the shape while I was drawing on it. Also, the lines are so easy to mess up as I need to touch on it and turn. Therefore I would recommend to use it on making bigger simple objects which are not as "well-defined". If this is the only type of clay you have, you may want to let it sits when you finished shaping the form. When it calms (because when you rub the clay, the softer it will get to work with) it will get a little harden like when you just opened it from the package. Usually I let it sits about 45 minutes to an hour. Then you will find it is easier to sculpt with.
Sculpey III costs around $2.30 from the craft stores near me. It is a 2oz single color pack as well, so it is cheaper to get as much products comparing to Fimo. However, you might need a little bit more time to work with it. It depends on what kind of project you would work on. If you have more patience, then Sculpey III is a more bargain choice~
I found that the colors fade out a little bit after I baked the Sculpey III clay. The color comes out a little lighter. To me it is not a too big of a deal. It gets harden quite fast after I baked it just like Fimo. I would say I am satisfied with the performance of these 2 brands.

There is a certain instruction to follow when you bake these clays. It says very clearly on both of the packages. (As you can see from the pictures above) They are quite similar. Usually I put them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. So far I have not seen any crack or broken piece on my projects yet. Sometimes when I need to have a certain color, I would mix the 2 different brands together to work with. I have not found any problem with it as well. They are both nice to craft with :)

Sculpey also has another line of polymer clay called Premo.

Premo is the collection provides solid colors and Premo Accents is the collections has special effects in it. I have not tried these yet so I cannot say anything about it for now.
Price-wise, it costs a little more than the other 2 brands above. It usually costs $2.79 in the craft stores. It is a 2oz single color pack as well. The colors it has are very similar to Sculpey III. Texture-wise,  I have to try it out first and see how it will go~ Hopefully the color payoff will be a little better than the Sculpey III.

Here are some finished products I have made~

I hope this is helpful to some of you would like to craft with polymer clay as well :) Coming up I will post some tutorials of how I make some of my projects step by step.

See you later~!


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