Hello Everyone! Fall is finally upon here in Arkansas. The leaves are changing and it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. Giving handmade gifts is always a great idea for friends and family, especially ones that are hard to buy for. In this blog we will discover some fun ideas using texture stamps for polymer clay. These may be traditonal stamps but will also use other items to create interesting patterns and designs.
How to Add Texture to Polymer Clay!
Let’s start with Texture Sheets and Rubber Stamps
Stamping polymer clay is pretty easy. There are just a couple of things to know. First, you will need to use something as a release agent so the polymer clay does not stick to the stamp or sheet. I like to use water. I have water in a fine mist spray bottle. Just a couple of sprays will keep the stamp moist so it does not stick to the clay. If the clay sticks in the tiny crevices of the stamp, you will not get a good impression.You can also use cornstarch but it is more difficult to get it into all of the details of the stamp. A paintbrush is the best way to apply cornstarch.
Next, it takes practice to stamp a good impression. You will find as you stamp more images, you will get a feel for how much pressure is needed for a good stamped image.
Texture Stamps for Polymer Clay
Adding dimension to your polymer clay designs is fun and easy with texture. Texture is just another way to create fabulous pieces that are unique and beautiful. I will show you examples of these in this post and the next post will focus on some surface treatments to enhance your stamped images.
Many things can be used to add texture to polymer clay. There are texture sheets made for polymer clay. Rubber stamps and embossing folders that are usually use for scrapbooking or card making are good for textures. Items from around the house can also be used. We will look at these and and we will also look at how to properly use the textures to create beautiful designs.
Texture sheets are designed especially for polymer clay. They have intricate designs and are deeply cut for maximum effect. Some are flexible so you can do special techniques like the Sutton Slice (which we will learn in another lesson). There are many available online and at some craft stores. They usually have a kind of random pattern and some have more than one design on a sheet.
Rubber stamps have been around forever and are easy to find. I use the term “rubber stamp” regardless of what they are actually made of. There are the traditional ones that are attached to wood blocks. Rubber stamps can also come not attached to wood. There are clear acrylic stamps that you attach to clear blocks when you use them. This allows you to see through the stamp to know exactly where you are stamping. They are not as deeply cut as texture sheets but they are effective for making designs on clay. If your stamps are not mounted to wood, that’s ok. Unlike paper, clay is easy to stamp without a block.
Embossing folders are found in the scrapbooking aisle of the craft store. These are typically used for embossing paper through a roller machine to leave a three dimensional design on paper. They are inexpensive and are nice beacause they have two options for creating texture. You can use one side to create an indented impression or the other side for a design that protrudes out instead of into the clay. They leave a more subtle impression but can be used as a nice background texture or overall focal point.
Household and Found Texture Stamps
Items found around the house make for great texture stamps on polymer clay. Anything with an interesting pattern can be used. Just be aware that if these items are used for clay, do not use them later to prepare or hold food items. I have done a blog post on some ideas for free texture tools found in your home. Check it out here.
How to use Rubber Stamps
First condition your clay well. Lay it out on your work surface and lightly pat it down so it sticks to the surface.
Use a release agent on the stamp.
Place your stamp on top of the clay and push it into the clay nice and steady using both hands. You don’t want to rock the stamp as you will get an uneven impression. I find that standing up and stamping helps to get an even stamped design. If your stamp is not mounted to a block, carefully press all over the stamp with your fingers.
If you don’t like how the stamped image looks, just wad it up and try again. I find practicing stamping will help you figure how much pressure you need to get a good image.
How to use Texture Sheets
I’m showing you two ways to use texture sheets on polymer clay. Try them both and see what works best for you.
Condition your polymer clay. Lay the texture sheet on the work surface and use a release agent.
Lay the clay down starting from one end and gently smooth it onto the texture sheet. This will prevent air from getting trapped in between.
After laying the clay sheet down, use a piece of parchment paper to cover the clay. This will stop the acrylic roller from sticking to your clay.
Gently slide, not roll, the roller over the top to press the clay evenly onto the texture sheet.
Remove the parchment paper and carefully peel the clay sheet away from the texture sheet.
Check the impression. Is it even? Do you like the depth of the design? If not, give it another go!. It took me three times to get the impression I liked!
Another way to do this is to use your fingers. You may find that you can control the impression more by pressing the clay into the texture sheet. Lay the clay on the sheet and starting in one corner, gently press the clay down and work your away across the sheet.
Success! Like I said, it takes some practice! This particular texture sheet has four different designs on it.
Let’s Look at Embossing Folders
Embossing folders are used in scrapbooking and card making. They are a way of making a dimensional design in paper but they work on clay as well. There are pretty inexpensive and have can create two different effects. The way they work on paper is the paper is placed in to the folder and ran through an embossing machine the squeezes the paper. The paper then has a raised impression on one side and an indented impression on the other. We can use them to make the same kind of design on clay depending on which side of the folder you use.
Roll out a sheet of conditioned clay on your work surface.
Choose the side of the folder you want to use. One will leave an indented design. The other will make a raised design.
Use a release agent on the folder and place it down on the clay sheet. Use your acrylic roller or press with your fingers over the folder to leave the impression.
Try both sides of the folder to see how they look.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to use texture stamps for polymer clay. I hope you will experiment with these and others to see what cool designs you can come up with. Use these images to make jewelry or other accessories.
Stay tuned as the next installment will be adding surface effects to stamped and textured images. Please subscribe above to stay in the loop! Have a great weekend!