April 9, 2013

Homemade Polymer Clay*: Further Questions and Answers

A few questions remain about my homemade polymer clay recipe that I'm going to answer in today's post. They have mainly to do with ingredients, specifically substitutions; and secondarily, with usage.

Regarding ingredients, there are no suitable substitutions for cornstarch. Flour will not work.

In contrast, there are substitutions for Elmer's Glue All in terms of brand, but not in terms of type. The recipe calls for PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue, of which there are numerous kinds and brands available. I can't say how one particular version will perform over another in comparison to Elmer's because I've only ever used Elmer's --- except that, from what I've read, wood glue will offer slightly greater moisture resistance than general purpose glue.

Yes, you can bake this clay to speed drying. One commenter indicated doing so in a 400 F oven but I think that's way too hot. I occasionally bake at 200 F for short periods but usually keep it at 150 F. If your pieces are flat, keep a close eye on them --- they will curl. To minimize curling, flip them over and back throughout the drying period. .

Yes, you can use this clay to make beads. To add a hole without the clay cracking, wait until it's dry and use a drill.

A final question concerns how long the clay will keep in the refrigerator. The answer to that depends on the container you use to store it in, with greater airtightness resulting in longer shelf-life. Stored within two resealable plastic bags (which is what I do), it should keep for a good 4 weeks.

Keep your questions coming and I'll do my best to answer them!

Until next time --

Happy crafting!

Linda/ Purty Bird


Not homemade Sculpey or Fimo. The polymer base of those products is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), while for this one it is polyvinyl acetate (PVA). Both PVC and PVA are polymers, and both this clay and commercial polymer clay “plasticize” during a curing process. This clay therefore has many of the characteristic properties of commercial polymer clay (elasticity, pliability, flexibility, durability), but it doesn’t have all of them (particularly insolubility).

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