If you’re into crafts and you’ve been on Instagram over the past couple of months, you’ve probably seen an ad for Maker’s Magic (formerly called Magic Modge). It’s put out by a company called Scorch Marker, which makes faux wood-burning markers. They show their Maker’s Magic as a multi-purpose, all-in-one coating and craft glue. They draw comparisons to a blocked-out product that is very clearly Mod Podge. First, what IS this stuff? And secondly, is Maker’s Magic okay to use on polymer clay?
Maker’s Magic Claims
The marketing claims that Maker’s Magic is useful as a craft glue, waterproof sealer, decoupage medium, and a project finish that dries in 45 minutes, cures in 48 hours, and gives a crystal-clear finish. They also claim:
- Zero brush strokes
- No wrinkling, bubbling, or clumping
- No tackiness or stickiness
- Minimal Odor
- No peeling or cracking
- Works on vinyl
My experience did not support their claims, unfortunately.
My Experience with Maker’s Magic
I bought a bottle of Maker’s Magic from their website and paid $19.99 plus shipping. It was hard to find a single bottle on the website (I had to snoop around a bit), and they were pushing me to buy a three-pack. My order arrived promptly and was well packaged. The after-purchase email cascade was intense and frequent. I’ve since received dozens of emails from them. I’m still being bombarded with ads on Instagram, too.
The 8-ounce (436 ml) bottle is plastic with a wide mouth. The product is sort of cloudy and uncolored (very similar to Sculpey Glaze in appearance). You’re hit with a strong ammonia (amine) odor when you open the bottle. Contrary to their social media comments which state this only happens once, I find that this odor remains every time you open the bottle. The odor does not, however, persist after it dries.
When I applied it to a glass vase, there were brush strokes and bubbles, but the product self-leveled and dried perfectly clear on the glass. After 48 hours, I checked to see if I could wash it off, and I could not. It is clear and waterproof.
However, the finish feels rubbery and marks easily when you scratch it with a fingernail. It does not lift or peel from the glass. On wood, it leaves a slightly waxy-feeling finish similar to the way a candle feels waxy.
Maker’s Magic on Polymer Clay
I tested Maker’s Magic on seven brands of polymer clay. My test tiles used black and white in all brands. I applied two coats onto the test tiles, letting it dry two hours between coats, using a soft artist’s paint brush, brushing in a single direction to minimize brush strokes. I tested it on:
- Cernit Number One
- Fimo Professional
- Pardo Professional Art Clay
- Kato Polyclay
Maker’s Magic has a strong ammonia-like odor. As the product applied, there were many bubbles and brush strokes. Some of those settled as it dried, but it still had a fairly poor finish. As with varnishes, the coating was not thick enough to hide the surface imperfections in the clay.
The Maker’s Magic dried quickly on all the samples, and on the first day, they all felt great. But by day four, all the samples began to show an oily residue on the surface. After a week, the samples on all seven polymer clay brands were sticky. If you dig at the surface with your fingernail, the material peels from the surface, leaving a waxy or oily residue underneath.
Sadly, it looks like Maker’s Magic is not okay to use on polymer clay. It becomes sticky and oily on all seven brands of polymer clay that I tested.
Why Does Maker’s Magic Get Sticky?
I didn’t notice that Maker’s Magic becomes sticky on wood or glass. Maker’s Magic did become sticky and oily on polymer clay. This is a common problem for paints and varnishes when used on polymer clay, so it wasn’t unexpected.
Polymer clay is a plasticized vinyl and is made soft and flexible with the addition of a plasticizer. This plasticizer also softens the vinyl compounds in some sealers, varnishes, and paints. This is why the Scorch Marker social media had many people asking if their product would work on polymer clay. Unfortunately, their marketing team was unaware of this quality, and they repeatedly stated that it works for all clay. (It probably works fine on pottery clay.) But for polymer clay, Maker’s Magic has a chemical interaction and becomes sticky. Choose another varnish.
Is Maker’s Magic a Mod Podge Alternative?
I write about polymer clay, so I can’t really comment on how well Maker’s Magic works for other crafting purposes. I can say that Mod Podge is a terrible finish for polymer clay (read about that here) and there are much better alternatives such as Brite Tone, Varathane, or DuraClear Gloss. If you saw the ads and hoped that Maker’s Magic is a better coating for your polymer clay than Mod Podge, please know that it’s not. If you’re a clayer who has been using Mod Podge, go here to read up on the types of clearcoats you can use.
If You Need a Polymer Clay Sealer…
Polymer clay does not need to be sealed, of course, but if you are looking for a coating, sealer, varnish, or gloss coat for polymer clay (learn more here), there are many suitable products. If you are looking for alternative to resin, check out this article here. If you are looking for a perfectly smooth, shiny, glossy, and flawless finish for polymer clay, the best finish is sanding and buffing, which you can learn more about here.