Introduction: Purple Color-Changing Pajama Squid Figurine

About: Polymer clay enthusiast. I like making things that are tiny and cute!

I've been making these baby squids for years and recently wanted to make them temperature-reactive. When I found out their colors could range to a purple-brown, I just had to use some purple pigment in them! If I were to remake these, I would use a colorless-to-purple pigment instead of purple-to-pink. I made a more fantastical version of them with colorless-to-blue pigment to test how it might look. These work great just as figurines, or can be attached to jewelry findings to make pins or pendants.


For this project, you will need:

  • Translucent polymer clay
  • White polymer clay
  • Temperature-reactive pigment. This can be substituted with UV-reactive pigment.
  • Liquid clay or Bake-and-Bond
  • Black micomarbles (these can be found with glitter or nail art supplies)
  • Xacto knife
  • Needle tool
  • Dotting tool
  • Blending tool

TIP: To keep your white clay looking cleaner from dust and lint, mix equal parts of white and translucent together. I find that the brightest white clay is Premo frost white glitter, which is used here.

Step 1: Making Color-Changing Clay

    Flatten a disk of translucent clay

    Mix a bit of liquid clay and color-changing pigment in the center of the translucent, and fold within the clay

    Keep mixing until the pigment is uniformly distributed

    Set aside a bit of the purple clay for the eyes

    Shape the colored clay and white clay into equally-sized rectangles

    Stack the two colors

    Step 2: Creating a Stripe Clay 'cane'

      Flatten the clay, keeping it in a rectangle shape

      Cut the clay in half, and stack the halves, creating 4 layers

      Flatten and repeat

      Step 3: Creating a Stripe Cane

        Keep cutting and stacking the stripes until you have enough layers. Be cautious of creating too many layers or the colors will blend together and loose the stripe pattern.

        Remember to keep shaping the clay into a rectangular cube to create a cane.

        Step 4: Creating the Body

        Slice your cane into sheets and select the best looking slices.

        Reserve a lesser-perfect looking slice for the arms.

        Step 5: Creating the Body

          Take one of the imperfect slices and form it into a dome. This will fill out the body shape

          Place a stripe sheet over the body, and shape it around the dome. Round out the top corners.

          Use a dotting and blending tool to create small ruffles around the top of the pajama squid.

          Step 6: Adding the Arms

            Take the sheet of clay reserved for the arms and slice it in half.

            Slice this half and split it into 10 parts: 8 arms and 2 tentacles (here I only made eight)

            Roll out these parts to a taper on one end

            Step 7: Shaping the Appendages

              Blend each arm to the body.

              Curl up the ends of each arm.

              If the there is difficulty sticking the clay together, add a bit of liquid clay to help blend the arms to the body.

              Step 8: Adding Eyes

                Use the dotting tool to create eye sockets.

                Fill the sockets with liquid clay.

                Take the bit of purple clay reserved from earlier and roll it into two equal sized balls. Place the balls into the sockets.

                Step 9: Eye Details

                  Use a needle tool to create a place for the micromarbles - this helps with keeping it from sliding in the liquid clay.

                  Coat the eyes with liquid clay.

                  Add one micromarble to each eye.

                  Set your pajama squid aside to bake. I use an index card over a small silicone loaf pan.

                  Step 10: Baking and Finishing

                  Bake according to your clay packaging directions. Typically it tends to be around 275°F or 130°C, but be sure to read the directions on your clay specifically. Sometimes I use a clay that bakes at 120°-130°C, slightly lower than the regular temperature.

                  hint: Be careful to bake your clay thoroughly. Under-baking causes crumbly clay! Also watch your oven and beware of burning!

                  Once your piece is completely cured, add a few layers of gloss glaze, and you are done!

                  [once it is edited, I will embed a video of the squid changing colors in ice and warm water]

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