Step 9: Sanding

To bring out the mica shift effect, you will need to sand the polymer clay. Some colors don't even show the mica shift until you sand them, so don't skip this step. I know that sanding polymer clay can be tedious, but it's worth it. If you have a dremel, use it.

I use wet/dry sandpaper, start from the coarser grit to get rid of all the remaining raised parts of the impression. Make sure the clay is perfectly flat before you proceed. Then build your way up to remove all the scratches and make the clay smooth. Don't sand the clay dry, you risk breathing the dust and I'm quite sure it's not healthy.

This is the list of grits I use:

320 - Coarser. After sanding the polymer clay will look opaque and the mica shift effect will be less noticeable. Don't despair, that's normal.
1000 - You can stop here if you want, and the clay will look fine.
2000 - Softer. Going all the way to 2000 makes the clay really smooth and shiny. I love touching clay that is sanded with a 2000 grit, it's very smooth and soft.
<p>Thanks for sharing this! I think I've seen some other people do this, but I was never sure how. Thanks! :) (If you even read this, as most of these comments seem pretty old.)</p>
Thank you for your tutorial, it was great. I tried to vote, but I guess I was too late. You talked about the mica in the clay, can you add your own mica in clay? I have several colors or mica powder, and clay. I might just give it a try. Again you did a wonderful job with this. Thanks
Thanks! Yes the voting ended some months ago, still thank you so much for trying to vote for me, I appreciate it!<br><br>Yes you can add mica, I've tried it before and it works! If you do, use translucent clay so the mica shows better. The only downside is that you have to use quite a bit of mica, and mica is already expensive :(
I think you can use old eye shadows. Most have mica in them, but the shiniest/glitteryest is best, not the matte kind. Everyone (well, mainly females) has old eye shadows they don't use anymore or one or two in a pallette that is just not for them. Crumble it to powder, add it until your clay is the color you want, and condition over and over until it's fully blended. Much cheaper than buying mica powders. This is a great tutorial on how to do the mica shift.
That would probably work, good idea! But you'll need a really good quality eyeshadow, because cheap eyeshadows have little to no mica to cut costs :( Still, good tip, thanks for sharing!
By tissue blade you mean a microtome blade?
Yes, and no. Tissue blades is the name of the product made for polymer clay, and they are based on microtome blades used in biological sciences, I'm not sure how different they are because I've never tried using a microtome blade. For most crafters access to microtome blades is impossible, while tissue blades are readily available, so I prefer to refer to them when I'm talking about clay.
have been wanting to try this---your instructions were great--thanks for sharing
You're welcome, thanks for your nice words :)
good luck.. looks great
Thank you and thank you!!!
Very pretty! Thanks for posting this. I think I am going to try making some clay stuff. It looks like fun.
Thank you! It's a lot of fun, I hope you'll have fun trying it :D please let me know if you need help with something!
Thank you! I'm sure it will help me a lot!
I will! I probably won't do it until this winter. I have a lot of things coming up but in the winter I get a little bored. We have a lot of outdoor stuff going on. Anyway I will take you up on that offer! Thanks so much!
It's actually a good idea to start until winter, when it's hot the clay can get too soft to handle. It's easier to work when it's cold, and you also get a bit less distracted xD <br><br>You are welcome!
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it :D

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Bio: I'm a chemistry student, and a hopeless science lover. I love so many things that I barely have time to make them all and ... More »
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