Can you mix polymer clay brands?

can you mix polymer clay brands

Due to recent events, the demand for polymer clay has gone up just as supply chains are strained. As the “Claydemic” continues, it’s becoming harder to find your chosen colors and brands of polymer clay. If you shop in several online shops (I have a list here), you might find what you need, but it will be in a variety of brands. Can you mix polymer clay brands together to extend your supplies? Which brands of polymer clay can be mixed together? Here is what you need to know.

It’s All Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is an oven-bake modeling clay made from vinyl. And even though the marketing of some brands might lead you to believe that their brand is something different by including beeswax or “rubber”, it’s still the same stuff. (Here’s more about what polymer clay actually is.) All brands can be mixed. All of them. Yes, I said all of them. So whether you are working with Fimo, Souffle, Premo, Pardo, PVClay, Kato, CosClay, Papa’s Clay, or Cernit, they can all be mixed together to make a blended clay for your projects. (Want to know more about the various polymer clay brands? Read here.)

Every brand of polymer clay has its own characteristics that make it unique. And so mixing brands will generally give you a result that’s a combination of the properties of the component brands. Mix a soft clay with a hard clay brand and you’ll get a medium clay — that kind of thing. Even a very soft or gummy no-name polymer clay that you buy from an online marketplace can still be a valuable component in a blended mixture.

So yes, mix CosClay and Premo. Mix Super Sculpey and Kato. Mix Fimo Leather and Cernit. Mix all your scraps, combine to make new colors, and explore the possibilities. You might not like the result, so make small mixes at first. But then again, you might discover that you love a new blend even more than what you used previously. This is a pretty amazing material, after all.

Baking Mixed Polymer Clay Brands

Different brands of polymer clay generally have different recommended baking temperatures listed on the labels. At the extreme ends are Fimo, which recommends 230°F/110°C, and Kato Polyclay, which recommends 300°F/148°C. What temperature should you bake clay that’s been mixed together from different brands?

First, let me assure you that polymer clay doesn’t actually burn (combust) until it reaches about 350°F/177°C. But it WILL change color. Light colors of Fimo will absolutely turn dark when the clay is baked too hot. So, what is the solution?

To an extent, there are no hard and fast rules. It depends on how much of each color is added, the color of the clay, the brands involved, how hot your oven gets between heating cycles, how well the project is insulated, if you cover your items when you bake, and many more conditions.

Generally, however, you can nearly always bake mixed-together clay at 275°F/135°C with no ill effects, assuming that your oven is properly set up and actually baking at the proper temperature. Baking clay at higher temps absolutely requires careful attention to your baking setup. If you’re new to baking or struggling to get strong results without color shifting, make sure to pick up my guide to Baking and Curing Polymer Clay.

Protect your polymer clay during baking. Learn more newbie tips at The Blue Bottle Tree.

End the confusion about baking

Need baking help?

Baking and Curing Polymer Clay

Learn about the right temperature, times, ovens, and baking setups to ensure optimal results. No more broken or scorched projects!

Protect your polymer clay during baking. Learn more newbie tips at The Blue Bottle Tree.

End the confusion 

Need baking help?

Baking and Curing Polymer Clay

Learn about the right temperature, times, ovens, and baking setups to ensure optimal results. No more broken or scorched projects!

 

Recipe for Souffle Polymer Clay Dupe

Sculpey Souffle is a huge favorite of polymer clay earring makers because of its softness, strength, and its unique suede surface. Is there any way that you can mix other brands of polymer clay to make a recipe for Souffle Polymer Clay? Can it be duplicated? A Souffle dupe, if you will. Yes, as a matter of fact, it is! Not exactly the same, but close.

Sculpey Souffle
Sculpey Souffle

Sculpey UltraLight is a variety of polymer clay that feels a bit like it’s made of marshmallow fluff, but without the stickiness. It’s very lightweight, strong, and durable. It’s often used to make lightweight cores for complex pieces, such as large pendants. The lightness is created by the inclusion of tiny microscopic hollow beads (microbeads) that take up space, but decrease the weight. Oddly enough, the suede-like surface of Sculpey Souffle is created by the same feature. Yes, UltraLight and Souffle both contain microbeads.

So, therefore, you can create a fairly close duplicate of Sculpey Souffle by mixing Sculpey UltraLight with Sculpey III or Sculpey Premo. Since Sculpey III is pretty weak on its own, try mixing it 1:2 with UltraLight. But for Premo, try a 1:1 ratio. Feel free to explore and see what works best for your projects, varying the percentages according to the consistency of what you are working with. (Fresh clay is nearly always softer.)

UltraLight only comes in the color white, so your mixes will always be pastels. But at least now you have something to extend your precious supplies of polymer clay.

Is Fimo Leather and Premo a Souffle Substitute?

As you can read in my review of Fimo Leather, it contains something similar to cellulose fibers to give it its characteristic leathery feel. If you mix Fimo Leather with Sculpey Premo, you’ll get something that feels similar to Souffle when unbaked. But according to Karolina Söderberg from Hobbyrian (who supplies all of these clays, btw), they don’t bake very much like Souffle. I found the same thing to be true when I mixed them for my Fimo Leather review. Adding Fimo Leather to Premo will give you a textured surface, but it doesn’t feel like Souffle.

Fimo Leather
Fimo Leather

Bottom line, experiment, try various mixes, and explore new brands. The clay shortage will be over soon, and this is a great opportunity to learn more about this wonderful medium.

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5 thoughts on “Can you mix polymer clay brands?”

  1. I’m pretty late with this comment, but still wanted to mention it – if you need to use Ultralight in color mixes, but too much white is a problem (or all the supplier have run out of it), you can use Pluffy instead.

    Pluffy isn’t marketed towards serious clay artists (or any adults, for that matter), but it still can be very useful. It’s essentially colored Ultralight (if there’s any fundamental differences between the two, I couldn’t find it). There’s still plenty of white in the colors, but it gives you much more leeway in mixing.

    I didn’t come up with the idea myself – got it from the color mixing cheatsheet that Sculpey posted some (long) time ago after they discontinued Studio by Sculpey (may it rest in peace). The 1:1 Ultralight(Pluffy)/Premo mix isn’t quite like Souffle – it’s more aggressively soft – but it’s strong enough, and the suede feel is there, too!

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