A great way to start with polymer clay is to use polymer clay cutters or cookie cutters. These are available in the clay department in your craft store or on the baking aisle. There are also thousands of different designs online. They are simple to use and there are a couple of tricks to make working with them easier. Cutters for polymer clay tend to be smaller and some come in graduated shapes (the same shape in different sizes). I am starting off this lesson with circle cutters. You may find that these are one of your favorite polymer clay tools.
You first want to condition your clay. If you don’t know how to do this, click here for the conditioning tutorial.
Roll It Out!
Using your acrylic roller or pasta machine on its thickest setting, roll out your clay nice and smooth. Make sure there are no air bubbles. Practice folding your clay without trapping air in the fold, when you run it through your pasta machine.
Using a pasta machine will make your clay uniform in thickness but for this lesson an acrylic roller if fine. We are just practicing with the cutters.
Using a large circle cutter, place it on your clay and press firmly. You can also twist it a little to cut all the way through.
Choose a smaller cutter and place it near the top of the large circle. Press into the clay and remove the small circle of clay. You have your first pendant!
With this basic shape, you can do all kinds of wonderful things. We will learn techniques to decorate pendants as we move forward. Keep in mind when you learn these polymer clay techniques, you actually do the technique first, before cutting the shape. This prevents the pendant from losing its shape.
I want you to play with your clay and create some different shapes. Below are some examples.
Here I have cut a large circle, then with a smaller circle, I created crescent shapes.
These shapes can be moon pendants or can be used as parts for other designs.
Above are smaller circles in two sizes. I have used a needle tool (a toothpick will work as well) to make small holes. I will use these holes to add a jumpring to make earrings. I will show you basic jewelry findings in another tutorial.
Here I have used a large cutter and overlapped them. This creates two crescents and one pointed oval shape.
These pieces can be used together or separately.
Play with the different sizes and get a feel for creating new shapes! This is about having fun! If you create an interesting shape, take a photo so you can remember it later.
A Couple of Tips for Using Polymer Clay Cutters.
If your clay is sticky, you can use a little water to slightly wet your cutter before cutting. This will prevent sticking and you will be able to pick up your cutter without pulling up the clay with it. You can also use a little cornstarch on your cutter.
To create a dome shape on your cutout, use some plastic wrap over your clay sheet as shown.
Smooth it over the sheet and cut. This will press down the sides for a rounded edge. Below is a cutout using the wrap and one without.
You can see the one on the left has a round edge, where the one on the right as square edge. Give it a try!
I hope you enjoyed this basic tutorial. Please leave a comment or question below! Have a wonderful day and Peace, Love & Polymer Clay!