Do you want to learn how to to color polymer clay with chalk and get some really cool results? As ordinary paint is not the best way to go, we need to look into a dry medium for good results. Yes we know that polymer clay like Sculpey comes in an array of beautiful colors – even some with pearly sheens and metallic looks – but…
Let’s say hypothetically you wanted to experiment with different color combos, create unique textural, swirl or marbled effects, perhaps for jewelry or decorative pieces, and just up the awesome factor a little? Well then you are going to love this approach I’m about to show you.
Pin to Your Clay Board ❤️️
Get a brick of white clay (I am using white Sculpey Souffle which has a great texture) and a set of chalk pastels, in addition a sheet of wax paper to protect your surface, and a few sculpting tools of your choosing. you will also need a utility knife.
Emphasis on chalk pastels. They may be square, like these here. I got a basic set of 12 sticks for a little less than $10 at Hobby Lobby.
Tools I recommend for this project from Blick Art Materials – I am an affiliate of Blick so any purchase you make through the links below I may earn a commission at no cost to you.
Chalk Pastel Set MulticolorSquare Chalk Pastel SetFimo Soft-White
Coloring Polymer Clay with Oil Pastels – Good Idea?
No, you need to stick with CHALK pastels. You’ll be extracting the powder residue from these sticks by scraping it off, and that’s not workable with oil pastels – because they are oil-based, the sticks are caked together and compact.
I do have a set of oil pastels of my own and while they’re great to have, they’re too compact to grind into powder. I did test one of them out to see – my knife just left scuff marks.
Choose your color, grab your knife, this is a regular utility knife and the same one I use for sharpening my pencils. Use it to scrape one side of your pastel – the color particles will drop off easily. You don’t need to apply much pressure.
It will look a lot like mica powder; which you may be familiar with as an excellent dye used for many craft projects – especially things like homemade bath bombs and kids’ fun slime. One exception is that chalk dust is more “matte” looking. Repeat with any other pastel sticks you want to use. Try to separate the colors as you add more to the collection, so you don’t have any mixed-up colors resulting.
Start kneading your clay if you haven’t already and when you’ve gotten it worked out you can dip it into the shaved pastel stick powder remains, or use a brush to pick it up and blend into the clay. The colors will work their way in.
Dip it into any other colors and keep kneading the clay until you get the effects you’re looking for.
See how these are not all one color? That’s how you get some nice effects, like marbled or streaked. Keep adding more powder, some will stick and some will drop off but it will make the effect more interesting.
Depending on the size of the piece of clay you’re working with you may need to knead it and repeat the addition of chalk powder – some of the original white color is bound to show.
Repeat as many times as you like, with different color combinations, experiment and see what you can come up with! From a small 2 oz brick I was able to get a total of 18 beads.
I’ve made a whole set of clay beads here…some round, a few triangle and a few square.I always had a thing for triangle and pyramid shaped anything, so I sculpted a few.
Of course, don’t go overboard with colors – too many colors, or too much re-applying of the chalk powder, could make the result muddy looking.
When you have gotten your parts like you want to them bake them for the usual length of time, I’m using my toaster oven since they are small beads; I have them on a bamboo skewer for safekeeping.
Now enjoy your newly colored pastel clay art! Your finished pieces will be great for making jewelry, garlands, mobiles, whatever you’re planning.
And if you want to try some other techniques with color…
Related: Ways to Color your Clay
Keep experimenting with different color combos and creating new blends. Have fun!
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