Polymer clay has always been sort of the unloved stepchild of the art world and artists have had to make-do by borrowing tools, supplies, and implements from other arts and crafts. We learned to use varnish from the hardware store, a pasta machine, knitting needles, automotive sandpaper, and scrapbooking supplies to create our art. In the past 10 years or so, several polymer clay manufacturers such as Sculpey, Cernit, and Staedtler (who makes Fimo) caught on that was a market for polymer-dedicated tools. But these things weren’t always available in regular craft stores and if so they brought a premium price. But things have changed. Hobby Lobby now has an entire line of polymer clay supplies labeled with their Crafter’s Collection name.
In my local store, I found the following polymer clay supplies:
Crafter’s Collection Polymer Clay Tools
- Glass work surface
- Clay conditioning machine (aka pasta machine)
- Acrylic rod roller
- Bead rack
- Sculpting tools
- Oven thermometer
- Two varieties of polymer clay
- Craft knife set
- Metal cutters
- Plastic plunger cutters
- Pottery tools (sooooo misleading)
Skip the Pottery Tools
I’m always dismayed that hobby and crafting stores seem to lump pottery and polymer clay together. Sure, there is an overlap, especially in hand-building. But those big wooden tools and clay corers (which are very useful in ceramics/pottery) are a complete waste of money for the polymer clay crafter. We do not need a sponge, cutting wire, metal rib, and wooden knives. That’s for throwing earthenware pots on a wheel!
The Price is Right
Yes, these polymer clay supplies from Hobby Lobby are cheap. Dirt cheap. The clay is $1.49 and $1.59 per package. The pasta machine is $20 and the work surface is only $15. These are not premium high-end tools. But they are perfect to get you started. Plus, they’re readily available in nearly 1000 stores in 47 states in the US. If you’re outside the US (or you just want to support small companies you’re happier with), then I recommend that you find great suppliers in my list here.
What About the Clay?
Oh, you caught that, eh? Yes, in early March of 2022, Hobby Lobby released two lines of polymer clay. There is Crafter’s Collection Craft Polymer Clay and also Crafter’s Collection Advanced Polymer Clay. You can read about them and decide if these new brands of polymer clay are for you.