How to Renew Dried Out Sculpey Cheaply

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About: I adore instructables and use it when I'm playing with ideas for my students (I'm a certified art teacher and the Art Director for a children's summer camp). I have found that it fuels my creative process a...

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:

Step 2: Materials Needed

Materials Needed:

Old Sculpey
Mineral Oil (or Baby Oil)

Optional:

Gloves
Ziploc Bag
Mason Jar

Step 3: Crumbles

Nothing is more irritating then working with scupley and it is crumbling apart or hard as a rock.

Here is how to fix that, get your crumbling sculpey and lay out out on a surface you don't mind getting oil on. 

Step 4: Oh BABY Oil!

Add oil to the clay, start with a little then add more.

Mineral oil is the best, however you can use baby oil.  

Mix the oil in with your fingers.  If you aren't wearing gloves, your hands will get the color of the clay you are working on, all over them.  Don't fret it will wash off.

Note:

You can put oil in a mason jar with the clay or a zip lock and let it soak a while first before working in the oil.

Step 5: Voila!

Voila! Your sculpey is like new!  Now, if you get to much oil in the clay and it's too tacky, you can work the clay on cardboard and the cardboard will soak up the excess oil for you.

Step 6: PoofRabbit's Tips and Tricks

Mason jars can be your friends, you can store your sculpey in them and add oil if needed to keep it pliable

If you add to much oil you can work it out by pressing your clay onto cardboard

Adding a little oil to moisten clay can make it much easier to mix two colors together.

If you take a small amount of clay and saturate it with oil you can use a paint brush to brush on color to bake onto the clay.

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    52 Discussions

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    muhamadq

    Question 8 months ago

    Thanks for the Great tip. is it going to Dry again like first use, when exposed to the air?

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    JackANDJude

    1 year ago

    Your solution worked great for us. Thanks! :)

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    Turlingo Art

    1 year ago

    will the Sculpey, once baked be able to receive the two part epoxy? As I wrote earlier I have trouble with it separating even now????

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    Turlingo Art

    1 year ago

    Ok, now that I'm verified here goes with my third attempt at a comment on rehydrating my dried out Sculpey. It worked and your idea saved my hands!

    Hope to add images of what we've been op to when we figure out how to upload and drag...hope to post more and to learn from this online community.

    Btw...does anyone protect their Sculpey art with epoxy? If so, why does it separate upon drying? Is it because of the oils on my hands?

    Turlingo Art?

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    Turlingo Art

    1 year ago

    it worked, thanks so much. Turning Art, 2017

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    ChrysN

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great tip! I've had sore hands from trying to knead old clay, I will keep this in mind for next time.

    2 replies
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    SuzetteK

    1 year ago

    I don't have mason jars. but I can get ahold of glass jars that held apple butter in them. Will let you guys know if that works to hold the clay in.

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    CherylH82

    2 years ago

    I have read quite few sites now on using polymer clay, this is the ONLY one I have come across that states very not using the same tools for food and polymer clay and not to use food on polymer surfaces. I was planning on using cutters from my cake decorating kit now I need to rethink! Lucky I found your post.

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    snapplejax

    2 years ago

    Works! I used avon body oil. I cooked it and it turned out just fine

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    LizardQ

    3 years ago

    Just tried this with petroleum jelly as it's made out of mineral oil, and it worked great!

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    JadeH8

    3 years ago

    So anyone wondering of they can use veggie oil instead or Canola oil, I would not suggest it. I don't know 100% if the canola oil was the cause of it, but at first it worked GREAT! I made what I wanted but now after a few hours of hard work my dragon is starting to dry out again and crack! :( So I would suggest sticking to what the tutorial reccomends using.

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    zappenfusen

    3 years ago

    Olive oil will go rancid given favorable conditions.

    zapp

    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 :)

    1 reply
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    crazyg

    3 years ago on Introduction

    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..

    2015-01-19 00.02.17.jpg

    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?

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    AngelLover89

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.