Polymer Clay Jelly Roll Cane – With Stripes!

                                                     Striped Jelly Roll Polymer Clay Cane

polymer clay cane
Jelly Roll Polymer Clay Cane with Stripes

 

Let’s learn to make a very basic polymer clay cane called a jelly roll cane. It’s a very simple one and a great one to learn to start your caning skills. Here’s what you need:

  • Two contrasting colors of polymer clay. A 2 oz. package of each color should be plenty.
  • Tissue Blade
  • Pasta machine or acrylic roller.

First, you want to condition your polymer clay well. If you need to learn about conditioning, you can go here.

  • Using half a package of clay, roll out your two sheets of contrasting clay on your pasta machine on its thickest setting or use your acrylic roller. A pasta machine will make them a consistent thickness.

jelly roll cane

 

  • You will now want to make two matching rectangles of clay.  If they don’t match perfectly, that’s ok. You can lay one on top of the other and trim them.

 

  • Place the one sheet on top of the other being careful not to trap air in between. Start at one end and lightly press the sheet as you lay it down to avoid air bubbles. You can then take your acrylic roller and gently roll just the very end to flatten the sheet to a point. This will be our starting point for the roll.

 

  • Begin your roll by rolling up the flattened end carefully and tightly. Take your time and keep it even as you go. You don’t want any air trapped as you roll so go slowly.

jelly roll cane

 

  • Keep rolling until you get almost to the end. Before ending the roll I like to trim the sheet at an angle, making the inside color slightly shorter than the outside color. This makes for a better finish.

 

jelly roll cane

 

  • Using your finger, smooth out the edge. You now have a basic jelly roll cane! You can stop here or…

jelly roll cane

Let’s Add Stripes!

  • Using the other half of each package of clay, I have rolled out two more sheets on the pasta machine at its thickest setting and trimmed them. I decided to make them each a double thickness for thicker stripes. You can do this or just use a single thickness. Place one color on top of the other and trim if needed.

jelly roll cane

 

  • Cut this piece into three even pieces and stack them carefully.

jelly roll cane

jelly roll cane

  • My stack was a little uneven so I popped it into the freezer for a few minutes. I like to do this before trimming a stack if my clay is soft. If you try to slice off small amounts when the clay is soft, the blade will drag down the clay. I then cut thin slices lengthwise to get striped sections.

jelly roll cane

 

  • Cut your stack into slices. We will use these to wrap around our jelly roll cane. Place them along the outside of the jelly roll cane lengthwise.

jelly roll cane

 

  • If your striped pieces aren’t as long as your jelly roll, that’s ok. Just trim the jelly roll. Save the trimmed piece for later.

jelly roll cane

 

  • If you get near the end and see that a full slice won’t fit, trim a slice and add what you need to fill the space.

jelly roll cane

 

  • In the photo above, I decided I needed just two more stripes to fill the gap. So I took a full slice and trimmed off two stripes.

jelly roll cane

 

  • You will need to add an even number of stripes to keep the colors alternating on the cane. Gently roll your cane to attach the stripes.  Then let the cane rest before reducing.

jelly roll cane

 

It is very important to let your cane “rest” before working with it further. This means to let it cool off. Your hands will make the clay soft as you work with it. If you try to slice it or reduce it’s size, it will become distorted. I learned this the hard way. I worked for hours on a butterfly cane and reduced it (which means making it smaller in diameter). I was anxious to cut into it. The image came out very distorted. The jelly roll is simple in design and won’t change much but if you slice it while it is warm, the tissue blade will drag the clay down.

That’s It – A Striped Jelly Roll Cane!

polymer clay cane
Striped Jelly Roll Polymer Clay Cane

A cool variation of this is to use a Skinner Blend as your inside color. You can learn this awesome technique here.

 

6 thoughts on “Polymer Clay Jelly Roll Cane – With Stripes!

  1. Mindful Mantra

    Hi,
    What a great, easy to understand instruction list of how to make a jelly roll cane!
    I used to be really into arts and crafts, and polymer clay in particular. Unfortunately with adult life I haven’t had much time, but your post has inspired me to get back into it!
    Thank you,
    Sophie

    1. Leslie Shimasaki

      Hi Sophie! I’m glad I have inspired you to maybe revisit polymer clay and all it can do. Let me know if you have any questions or need some more information. Have a great day! Leslie

  2. James

    I love the clay! My minor is art at college. I can see the list of a jelly roll cane. That’s a lot explain to me and very helpful. So, I would love to learn how to do it. Fantastic!

    I like your content, because It is good organize there. As far I am so curious how make a color clay? Is that “Modeling Clay?” or different? I never have used them since high school. The clay color was only tan/gray. I never hear the word “Millefiori” before, either. It is new to me.

    To be honest, I like the organize of your content and pics. Nicely Done.

    1. Leslie Shimasaki

      Thanks for the comments James! Yes, clay has changed a lot! Polymer clay comes in many colors and is mixable so you can make just about any color you can think of. It is actually made of a type of PVC (poly vinyl chloride) and you bake it in the oven to harden it. I’m glad you liked the tutorial.

  3. Carol

    This is a very interesting activity and I would like to try it. My first experience working with clay was with my grade 5 students. I took a class in pottery with them and I remember rolling the clay was like therapy to me. Since then, whenever I do an activity with clay, I consider it as therapeutic. I am in for this Striped Jelly Roll Polyner Clay Cane.

    1. Leslie Shimasaki

      Thanks Carol! Yes, it is very therapeutic. The great thing about polymer clay is that it is easy to work with. The ability to mix colors is fabulous! Learning to make canes is something that can compliment any polymer clay artist’s repertoire! Thanks for the comment!

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