Graduated Colors Tutorial for Polymer Clay

Make these ombre color blends without a pasta machine or cutters. Graduated Colors polymer clay tutorial available at www.TheBlueBottleTree.com
One of the most magical things we learn to make when getting started with polymer clay or fimo is the famous Skinner Blend. It’s a method of creating a sheet of clay that gradually changes from one color to another. With a lot of practice and careful planning you can even create blended sheets of clay that feature more than one color gradient, such as a rainbow. To make these magical Skinner Blends, and to get the colors to blend evenly, it’s pretty much required to have a pasta machine. But what if you don’t have a pasta machine? Well don’t worry, all is not lost. My Graduated Colors Tutorial teaches you how to make graduated colors that blend from one color to the next, even a rainbow, without using a pasta machine.

Even better, my method doesn’t end up producing great quantities of scrap clay. I don’t know about you, but when I make Skinner Blends, they’re always a bit squiffy or crooked. I have to cut a lot off of the ends. And that’s assuming that I don’t make a mistake and end up with a Skinner Blend that doesn’t really blend. When using rare or expensive clay like Translucent Pardo Art Clay, this becomes a real concern. I don’t want to ruin my hard-won package of Pardo by messing up my blend!

Rainbow gradient beaded necklace made from Kato polymer clay.
Using regular Kato Polyclay, this “Beads Both Ways” necklace is a featured project in my Graduated Colors Tutorial.
Polymer clay bracelets in rainbow disks of graduated color.
Two rainbow disk bracelets. The bottom bracelet is made with translucent Fimo and the top one with translucent Pardo polymer clay.

Have you seen my Disk Bracelets? They’re a great way to show off translucent polymer clay because thin disks of clay can transmit the light easily. But how do you make such thin wafers? What if you don’t have a pasta machine? Or what if your pasta machine eats clay at the thinnest settings? And what if you don’t have a variety of little circle cutters? My Graduated Colors Tutorial includes a separate guide which teaches you how to make identically sized thin circle wafers of clay in any size. All without making sheets or using circle cutters!

This polymer clay tutorial is suitable for artists of any skill level. Beginners will have great success and experienced artists will be glad to have more skills to add to their¬†repertoire. These techniques don’t require any expensive or specialized equipment. You will likely have everything you need around your house or office already.

Graduated Colors necklace featuring translucent Pardo art clay tinted with Alcohol Inks.
Made from Translucent Pardo Art Clay, this lozenge bead necklace is the first project in the Graduated Colors Tutorial. You could use any clay or any color for this technique.

You can use this tutorial with any brand of polymer clay. My examples are made using Kato Polyclay, Fimo Effect Translucent, and Pardo Translucent Art Clay. You can also use regular opaque polymer clay colors as well. The tutorial includes a guide showing how to tint translucent polymer clay with alcohol inks. Readers of this website will have already read that information but I included it in the tutorial for those who might not have seen it yet.

Three projects are featured in this polymer clay tutorial:

  1. Translucent Blue to Clear Lozenge Beads Necklace
  2. Beads Both Ways Necklace
  3. Rainbow Disk Bracelet

Once you learn the basic technique, there are many other ways you can create using these graduated, ombre colors. The sky is the limit!

Rainbow disk bracelet featuring Fimo polymer clay and graduated color blends.
I teach how to make this Rainbow Disk Bracelet in my Graduated Colors Polymer Clay Tutorial.
Graduated colors of cobalt blue to fuchsia transition in this wafer necklace made from polymer clay.
Created using the techniques you’ll learn in the Graduated Colors Tutorial, this necklace is made from Pardo translucent art clay tinted with alcohol inks.

What people are saying:

“You were so right! I am loving it! Your instructions are wonderful and thank you so much for the 2 additionals. I haven’t made anything yet but I have 2 graduated sets on my work bench. The possibilities are mind-boggling. Even if I didn’t use the translucent the gradual color changes would work for anything. You may have noticed that I jumped on the offer as soon as I saw it on FB. It is/was worth every cent. Thank you for offering it and for all the work you have done to make it so clear and informative.”
“Wonderful, friendly, swift and very clear info – again! Thank you so much! :D”
“Well presented tutorial. I’m looking forward to spending an afternoon ‘playing’. Thanks.”
“Wonderful tutorial, very clear, well worth the money paid. Thanks so much!!”
“Ginger, you are a rare talent – a scientist and an artist. GREAT tutorial!”
“A really well put-together tutorial with clear explanations, tips and lots of clear photos … and a fuss-free way to create gorgeous effects! I will certainly be looking at more of Ginger’s tutorials : )”
“This is very useful tutorial in so many ways easy to understand with great explanations. Thanks for sharing with us.”

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