Polymer clay is a handy material that can be used to make all kinds of things from household objects to jewelry. You probably already know that you can’t use polymer to make food vessels such as bowls or plates (read all about safety with polymer clay here). But can you use it to make a vase or flowerpot? Will polymer clay hold water?
The short answer is: Yes. Baked polymer clay is waterproof and will definitely hold water.
The longer answer is: It depends.
Is Polymer Clay Waterproof?
Polymer clay is vinyl, which is the same material we use to carry water to our homes and deliver IV drugs to a sick person. The material, itself, is perfectly capable of holding water without leaking. But will polymer clay withstand extended contact with water? Well. (You know I’m gonna say this.) It depends.
Fimo contains a material that absorbs water, so it will ever so slightly (perhaps 1-2%) swell a bit and turn slightly white. Other brands may change color and become either brighter or more faded. Be aware of those factors if your item will be permanently submerged in water, such as when making snow globes. But I’ve seen no evidence of deterioration or breakdown of the material when it’s been exposed to water for long periods.
Lined, cracked, distressed
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It Depends on How You Make It
But polymer clay is just a material and any leaks will be determined by how you make the vase or pot. If you don’t blend your seams well or if your vase or pot cracks during baking (not uncommon), then it will not hold water.
As an aside, this happens with glazed ceramic, too. I have a lovely mug where the glaze missed a spot and this mug doesn’t hold water. (I discovered this by leaving my tea overnight on my desk. The next morning all my papers were wet and stained.)
Does Polymer Clay Make Good Flower Pots?
Once again, it depends! Yes, you can use polymer clay to make adorable pots for your tiny plants. Contact with the moist soil will not harm the polymer clay pot. But for your plant’s health, do make sure to leave drainage holes in the bottom. The problem with polymer clay as a flower pot material is that it’s pretty flexible and larger pots need to be quite thick to be strong and sturdy. As pots get bigger and thicker, the cost of materials goes up and you might find that other materials work better for larger pots.
Do You Have to Seal Polymer Clay Pots?
Since polymer clay is already waterproof, you don’t need to seal it to protect it against exposure to water. In fact, varnish and polymer clay sealers tend to turn white and/or peel off when left in extended contact with water. So skip the varnish. This vase below has varnish on the outside (protecting the crackle), but the inside has no coating. It holds water nicely and my husband uses it as a vase on his desk.
Oh, one more thing…if you DO find your vase has a small leak, run some liquid clay inside and bake again. That should seal it right up, and liquid clay won’t peel off.
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