Picture of How To Renew Dried Out Sculpey Cheaply
Ever had sculpey that was dried out,  crumbly, or to be able to work with it would take an act of god?

You are not alone.  I have worked with sculpey this hard and it made my hands so sore I wanted to cry.  I found out about some great stuff sculpey makes to renew it back to "health" but a small bottle wasn't cheap.  If you have an 8 lb size container of sculpey that's gone bad, you would need a truck load.

Then I went to an art confrence and picked up a great tip!  I tried it and low and behold, it was like the clouds opened and sun shinned down on me!  I couldn't keep it to myself and felt I needed to share with the instructables community.

Let's get started!

Step 1:


Hi, Tried working my very hard and unrelenting fimo clay yesterday, today I have very sore hands, going to try your tips, will let you know the results. :)

Hey, thanks for this, great tip. I just thought I would add something I did to make it a little easier, I grated the hardened clay using a cheese grater (with the bigger hole size) mixed with some olive oil as don't have the baby/mineral oil. I then squeezed it and massaged it and it became very maleable very quickly. I am unsure as to how well it will bake as I'm still experimenting as I type. Will update later :)

Turned out really well and baked just fine! :)

crazyg7 months ago

fantastic, thanks, im going to use this old plasticine to fill the handel holes of a drain inspection cover, its indoors and fills up with crap and water..

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Thanks so much for this! I love my sculpey but that clay is ridiculous sometimes. Great tip! Also, btw, i have found that the 'bake shop' version i get at walmart is always pretty soft, i don't know if thats because its for kids, the packaging is a little different from what i get at the craft stores, but im sure it sells faster there too. Also cheap! 99 cents for the 2oz block. Thanks again, awesome advice! What did we do before google?

Can you use olive oil? That's the only kind of oil we have in the house :/ and if I'm going to spend money on something I might as well just get a new bar of clay.

poofrabbit (author)  AngelLover891 year ago

I have never attempted olive oil, but you could get it a try. Baby oil isn't very expensive and it doesnt take a whole heap. Mineral oil is a little priciery. I say, give the olive oil a try, if it works, yay. If not, well you said you would go ahead and get a new bar, so you aren't out anything. :) If you try olive let me know how it works. Since you are doing a low temp for baking, It might be just fine, I am just not 100% sure.

I just tried olive oil and it works! :D

poofrabbit (author)  nannards10 months ago

SWEET!! Good to know! :)

Are you sure that is sculpey because I have some and won't dry out until you bake it
poofrabbit (author)  Robotron Cx31 year ago

100% sure! Old Sculpey and other over bake clays dry out over time, sometimes you get bad batches from stores who don't rotate stock. Tempurature changes can also dry out the sculpey. However, this handy dandy trick saves the day!

viliaket1 year ago

i seriously signed up for this site just because of this. you saved me! literally! I have a convention in less than a week and i'm finishing last minute props to find out my clay was HORRIBLY unusable. it's now perfect and i'm finally finishing up what i have to! you're the greatest- and saved me money. thanks so much~

poofrabbit (author)  viliaket1 year ago

You made my day! I'm so glad it helped!

mona21 year ago

I followed your steps but it didn't work for me. (I used mineral oil.) Since I couldn't even begin to massage the clay, I tried cutting it into smaller pieces, that didn't work either. So I put it into my Ninja and ground it into small cornmeal size pieces. Now I could massage it, but it still didn't look anything like my sculpey clay is suppose to and it wouldn't cling together. It felt course and crumbly. Now maybe the explanation is because mine was really REALLY old, like 12 years old??? I was so disappointed because this didn't work for mine, but I'm glad it helped others.

poofrabbit (author)  mona21 year ago

Oh what a bummer! I would say put it in a ziploc with the oil and leave it for several days to a month. You have to be careful with using a ninja or any type of food processor because it actually will create heat and the clay will cook. (WEIRD I know but true) Was the clay every anywhere with a lot of heat?

OMG thank you so much, I have about 15 large packages that got stored in the garage in Phoenix!!! Bit dry...crumbles to dust...hoping this will save my bacon!!
poofrabbit (author)  heidisatwork1 year ago
Oh good! I'm so glad it's going to save your clay (and your $$)!
cjraabe1 year ago
Thanks for sharing! The person on this site (http://www.garieinternational.com.sg/clay/shop/softening_pc.htm) has compared the results (strength, color, brittleness) after baking when clay was softened with cooking oil, baby oil, and purchased softeners.
poofrabbit (author)  cjraabe1 year ago
I will check it out. I have found no change in results using the baby oil in my clay and I use it often. Perhaps because it's baby oil and not an oil with any type of color involved in the actual oil. What I have found, I no longer have finger prints, I can hook smaller pieces together with out needing to press and I can even make an oven bake clay slip. :)
Dear Author,
I have about 20 2oz packs that are unusable. You just saved me.

You rock!!!
poofrabbit (author)  ladyzimcool1 year ago
OH I am so glad! If it's really crumbly put it in a glass, mug or jar and let it soak in oil for a while. HUGE help!
Matt Ficner2 years ago
GREAT TIP! Thanks for posting.
poofrabbit (author)  Matt Ficner2 years ago
You are most welcome!
sabu.dawdy2 years ago
loved your idea :)
poofrabbit (author)  sabu.dawdy2 years ago
Thank you!
ringai2 years ago
Thanks for the great tip!
poofrabbit (author)  ringai2 years ago
You are most welcome
NetWt4Lbs2 years ago
Does it bake ok with the oil in it?
poofrabbit (author)  NetWt4Lbs2 years ago
Yep, bakes just fine. I use the oil as well now to get rid of finger prints.
Wow, life changing is the phrase! Thanks so very much!
poofrabbit (author)  craftknowitall2 years ago
Anytime! I'm thrilled to help out so many sore hands! :)
drwebster2 years ago
that is realy a terrific insructable,thanks,Dorothy
poofrabbit (author)  drwebster2 years ago
Thank you! You know I had to prep over 30 lbs of sculpey this weekend to use with kindergarteners. BOY was I glad I knew this trick because I had some hard sculpey and little fingers need help working with scupley anyway. I'm telling you it's life changing knowing this works! :)
HMice2 years ago
Great! Putting it through a pasta machine helps too, but don't mix food and sculpey.
poofrabbit (author)  HMice2 years ago
Yep, that can help condition the clay, but when it's super dry even that darn machine won't soften it up. :) So true! Food and sculpey do not mix. ;)
Unless you are making a hamburger charm! I made a set of a burger, fries and a coke. Great ible BTW.
poofrabbit (author)  HMice2 years ago
How cute that has to be!!! Thanks a million for the kind words!
ChrysN2 years ago
Great tip! I've had sore hands from trying to knead old clay, I will keep this in mind for next time.
poofrabbit (author)  ChrysN2 years ago
You will kick yourself you didn't know about this sooner, I sure did! LOL