Polymer Clay

How about adding a little 3D model to your cards? There are some good polymer clay products out there that are easy to use and can give your cards that extra uniqueness.
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What is Polymer Clay?
Products such as Fimo and Sculpey, they come in small blocks, but a little goes along way. They are available in a wide range of colours that can be mixed together, and it stays pliable until it is baked in the oven

What can I make?
I find the easiest way to start is by having the real thing in front of you or if not a picture. I started making food and vegetables for 1/12th scale dolls houses, and then realised that a variety of things can be made to go onto cards.

I make the following items: hammer; spanner; fork & trowel; baby bottle/dummy/rattle; snooker balls, cricket bat and ball and golf balls. I have also produced a picnic scene with cakes, bread and cheese, also teddies and pigs nose on, I am sure the list is endless.

How do I use the clay?
Knead the clay to a soft consistency some products are easier than others. Then you may need to mix your colours. Depending on the subject for your model mixing the colours can sometimes be more effective if they are not quite mixed in. A woodgrain effect can be achieved with a dark and light brown, make two sausage shapes and roll into one sausage without mixing too much. Divide in half and put side by side and keep doing this until you have a very fine stripy effect.

If you are going to work with several colours try and do the lightest first and make sure your hands are clean.

There are specialist tools available in art and craft shops but there are plenty of items around your house that will help with modelling and marking your clay:

  • Cocktail sticks
  • Straws - by using the ends they make little 'O's and cut them and they make a smile
  • Paintbrush handles - one use is for a mini rolling pin
  • Nailbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Craft knife
  • Biro cases

It really is a case of making balls, squashing balls, sausage shapes etc and giving them markings with your 'tools'. You can just press bits together and this will be enough for them to stick together once cooked.

Put them onto a baking tray, it doesn't matter if they are stuck - once they are cooked they will just 'pop off'. Foil is not a good idea it will stick to your model. When you have finished your masterpiece put it in a really low oven and cook for around 10 minutes. If left for too long it will burn and bubble.

What else can I use it for?
If you don't fancy modelling freeehand here are a few other ideas:

Push Moulds
Sculpey manufacturer a wide range of these and they do what they say on the box! - you just push the clay in and them pop it out and bake. Check out their site below for some ideas.

You can use rubber stamps on a rolled out piece of clay to make a type of medallion. Try to choose a simple design for the most effect. By stamping on a brown clay and bronzing afterwards, gives the effect of bronze.

Check out this site for some amazing creations:
And these two sites for some ideas, the Sculpey one has quite a few projects:

Finally can I say - don't be too ambitious try simple shapes and avoid symmetrical items. And don't forget you are only making something to go on a card that is representative, not a complete work of art!

Happy Modelling