Introduction: How to Cut Polymer Clay With a Digital Die-Cutting Machine

Picture of How to Cut Polymer Clay With a Digital Die-Cutting Machine


A while ago my pal Lisa Pavelka was showing off her fabulous Pardo Jewellry Clay by Viva Decor at CHA Winter 2011- it’s so flexible after baking, you can actually use a paper punch to cut it! So I got to thinking- why not cut it with a Cricut? I played around a bit, and actually got it to work. Here’s how you do it.



Step 1: Condition Your Clay

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Condition your clay well- I actually used scrap clay from various projects, so it’s a mish-mash of Pardo, Sculpey and Premo. (PS- I tried this later with straight-up Premo & it did not work as well as the mixed clay.) Roll it through a pasta machine (yes, you kinda need one for this) until it’s at it’s thinnest setting. Then place the clay on a sheet of deli-wrap and roll it through again. Do this carefully-make sure there are no bubbles or huge wrinkles- because you’ll bake the clay on this sheet.

Step 2: Cure Your Clay

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Bake your clay. Watch it carefully- it’s so thin it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so! Remove the deli paper as quickly as you can. It likes to stick if it cools fully. (That’s not a problem, though- you can just use a scrubbie to remove the excess paper that has stuck on.)

Step 3: Prepare Your Mat

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Get ready to cut. Using blue painter’s tape, secure your sheet of clay to the mat. Set your cutting guide to “heavy paper” if you have an E2, or use {speed:5 pressure:5 depth:2} if you don’t. And for both, I recommend the multi-cut feature and have it cut TWICE.

Step 4: Cut!

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You may need to troubleshoot a bit if it doens't work perfectly the first time-like uou may need to go back over it a bit with a craft blade or replace your blade, but I’m still pretty impressed with the results!

Step 5: Ta-DA!

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I have also written a follow-up article on what brands of polymer clays are best formaking polymer clay sheets, or "veneers" , for using with punches and both manual and electric die-cutting machines. That may help you out, too.

For more fun projects, reviews, and tutorials visit www.CraftTestDummies.com

Comments

apress (author)2014-02-03

Auto die cutting machines can cut sheets with different
designs. But how can it possible with polymer clay? Will it affect machine's
process? http://www.printingpressmachineries.com/autoprint-repetto.html

CherylDunham (author)2012-02-12

You stated that the clay was flexible after baking. Once you get them cut out, what do you do with them? I make jewelry and thought this would be fun to try, seeing that I also have a Cricut machine. But if the clay stays flexible it probably wouldn't work. I do like what you came up with though.

mstyle183 (author)2011-09-26

good luck.. very interesting..

foobear (author)2011-08-24

very cool technique. I hadn't heard of this new clay, it sounds very interesting. thank you!

CraftTestDummies (author)foobear2011-08-24

If you'd like to read my review of Pardo clay, visit this link:
http://www.crafttestdummies.com/craft-product-reviews/craft-product-review-lisa-pavelka-signature-art-clay-by-viva-decor/

There are also some links in that post to other clay reviews. Thanks for commenting!

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