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Tools of the trade...

Being part of the crafters community on Instagram, I often receive messages asking about what I have used for a certain design and thought I would do a wee "what I use" to help anyone thinking of wanting to have a go at using polymer clay to make jewellery!

You don't really need alot to start out, but if you want to make life a lot easier for yourself (and your arms!) then getting a few extra tools is worth it. When I started out, I only used a rolling pin and some basic cookie cutters and would use a normal baking tray to bake my clay. Now I have a collection of tools I use everytime to achieve whatever collection I am cooking up!

Before I get started on making my pieces I make sure I have all my things cleaned and ready to use...and here are my go to tools...

  • Acryllic rolling pin - helps conditioning if you are doing this by hand, for getting a smooth slab ready for cutting and great for not getting that precious clay sticking when you roll!

  • pliers - these are a must for when you are assembling jewellery when dealing with tiny fiddly jump rings!

  • Tissue blades - these thin, flexible blades are great for cutting, slicing and getting your cut piece off your worktop as clean as possible!

  • Craft knife - super sharp, great for not only using to cut your shapes using a template, I also use this for cleaning up the edges in those hard to reach places before the clay goes in the oven and I know it will be hard to get the sanding bit in there! At the moment I am using the Cricut TrueControl Knife which is really comfortable to use and also you don't need to touch the blades when you replace them!

  • Clay extruder - if like me, your long clay sausages never turn out the same thickness no matter how careful you are when you roll them out, this is for you! Most come with a variety of shapes so great for using if you want to create a slab with different patterns!

  • Marble Worktop - this has made such a difference in the quality of my clay before it goes in the oven. Minimal sticking, smooth and even and easy peasy to clean up which is so important if you don't want your nice slab picking up bits of random clay!

Pasta Machine!

After starting out conditioning and mixing colours by hand, getting the pasta machine was a dream!! I got this bad boy on Amazon and I haven't looked back. Great for different thicknesses but the biggest benefit is the time saved getting your clay to the perfect condition ready for cutting and baking!

Tony Tacklife

I used to put my holes in pre baking, using a thin wire or cocktail stick, but I wanted a more cleaner look and sometimes I would change my mind once I started looking at different charms to put with my clay shapes! I ordered my tacklife on Amazon as I didn't want to spend too much on something I didn't have any experience using. It came with drill attachments, sanding attachments and also buffing wheels which is what I tend to use rather than the sanding bits. I also purchased additional collets to use as I wanted to be able to have the option to use thinner drill bits for certain pieces.

So that is my go to list of tools I use to help make all my pieces, whether it is jewellery or trinket trays. There are so many varieties and different methods out there so it is just having a play about and finding out what works best for you!!

Next up...I will show you what I use for my designs! From the brands of clay I use to where I source my cutters and charms that help make my collections come together!

Dani X

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