Fun Tools for Poly Clay

The ideal stamps for decorating polymer clay

Peg Stamping on Poly Clay

Our peg stamps are little and highly detailed and lend themselves well to polymer clay and the mold making process. All stamps from our entire line of peg stamps and peg stamp sets can be used on polymer clay, precious metal clay (pmc), air dry clay, and art silver clay. So whether it’s ornaments, home decor, or jewelry you’re working on, you are sure to find Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamps a great addition for your project.

1. Choose Your Clay

1. Choose Your Clay

Polymer clay is soft until baked. Slight differences between brands can affect conditioning, malleability, durability, and longevity after baking, as well as impression permanence (when dry stamping into clay). Experiment to see which works best for you.

2. Choose Technique

2. Choose Your Technique

There are a myriad of stamping techniques from which to choose. We will look at three simple techniques and each will require different supplies.

  • Stamping on unbaked clay.
  • Dry stamping (without ink) on unbaked clay.
  • Stamping on baked clay.

3. Choose Your Ink

3. Choose Your Ink

If you use ink, we recommend using a solvent ink like Staz-On™. Solvent inks are formulated for nonporous surfaces and are sure to give good results. You can also use acrylic paint on polymer clay for stamping as well as coloring.

4. Condition the Clay

4. Condition the Clay

Polymer clay must be conditioned before use to make it malleable and thoroughly incorporate the plasticizers. You’ll want to condition the clay until it is workable. Depending on the brand, this may mean simply working it with your hands, using a pasta machine, or even a food processor. Sculpey™ takes less time to condition. Warm clay will be easier to condition and the best way to warm it is with body heat, anything hotter and the clay may begin to cure. Never heat clay in a microwave as it will cause the clay to harden.

5. Stamp

5. Stamp

Once your clay is workable, you can roll it into the thickness that you desire. The thickness will affect bake time as well as the durability of the piece after it’s baked. If your piece is too thick it will require a longer bake time and if it’s too thin it may be brittle and break after baking. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for more information.

  • Dry Stamping on Unbaked Clay – spritz clay with water, which will act as a release agent. Gently press the stamp into the clay with steady pressure, like stamping on paper. If you press too deeply, you’ll create a moon around the image.
  • Ink Stamping on Unbaked Clay – use a solvent ink like Staz-on™ to stamp directly onto unbaked clay.
  • Stamping on Baked Clay – stamp baked clay just like you would paper, but use either ink or acrylic paint. Follow the ink and/or clay manufacturer’s instructions regarding possible heat setting.

6. Clean the Stamps

6. Clean the Stamps

When dry stamping, remove any clay in the crevices of the stamp with a small ball of clay, dabbing the stamp lightly to adhere stuck clay. Then, thoroughly clean the stamp with a stamp cleaner. If using ink, you’ll want to clean between ink colors and after the final stamping. Solvent inks may color the rubber and cleaning early will minimize this.

The Rub-it Scrub-It by Ranger, upholstery fabric, denim, or any coarse fabric combined with the cleaning solution makes a great stamp cleaner. Use a toothbrush to clean recessed areas of the stamp. To protect your stamps, clean them before storing.

7. Bake

7. Bake

After stamping you will need to bake the polymer clay. Refer to the clay manufacturer’s instructions for bake times. A rule of thumb is for every ¼” (6 mm) of clay thickness, bake 30 minutes at 275F (135C). Instead of your home oven, we recommended a toaster oven designated only for the purpose of baking polymer clay. To prevent overbaking, you will need an internal thermometer if your toaster is not equipped with one.

8. Finishing and Fixing

8. Finishing and Fixing Goofs

After stamping you will need to bake the polymer clay. Refer to the clay manufacturer’s instructions for bake times. A rule of thumb is for every ¼” (6 mm) of clay thickness, bake 30 minutes at 275F (135C). Instead of your home oven, we recommended a toaster oven designated only for the purpose of baking polymer clay. To prevent overbaking, you will need an internal thermometer if your toaster is not equipped with one.