Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay eBook

Learn how to get a flawless finish with the Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay eBook from The Blue Bottle Tree.*Cue the trumpets, hear the announcer’s voice*

Intro-ducing the all new Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay eBook!!!! You can buy it here:

Buy the Sanding and Buffing Book

Weighing in at over 120 pages and containing 173 photos, this beautifully formatted eBook includes new navigation features, a Table of Contents, a Resources section, and three tutorials to help you learn to sand and buff with unsurpassed beauty. 

That was the stuff you needed to know about the new book. And now, instead of the usual promo article of “Hey, I wrote a book and it’s for sale”, I thought I’d give you a bit of a different perspective. Here’s the background on what this book is and how it came to be.

A Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay Tutorial

I am frequently asked to write a sanding and buffing tutorial. Last summer I decided to do it. I thought it would be easy and take a couple of weeks. Easy, right? Yeah. That’s what I thought. That was seven months ago. It turns out there’s a lot to sanding and buffing. There’s sandpaper, sanding blocks, and polishing papers. There’s tumbling and tumbling grits. There’s buffing. (But what kind of buffing wheel?) There’s abrasives, polish, sealers and tapes. It just goes on and on, deeper and deeper – a bit like Alice going down the rabbit hole.

I bought grits, samples, products, and machines. I tried them out on Premo, Kato, Fimo Professional, and Sculpey III. My family got awfully tired of wet piles of sandpaper and trays of drying grit. And let’s not mention the noise of my little tumbler running day and night!

My initial idea of a simple little sanding and buffing tutorial took on a life of its own and morphed into a full-fledged book with 130 pages. I did write that sanding and buffing tutorial, by the way. Two of them, which are included on pages 85 and 93 of the book. There’s also a neat mica shift tutorial that will show you how I make designs with deep magical shimmering illusions. But there’s a lot more, too. Really, I tried to explore everything I could think of in connection with sanding and buffing polymer clay. In fact, here are the main topics covered:

  • Introduction to Sanding and Buffing
  • Preparing Your Work
  • Sanding
  • Tumbling
  • Buffing
  • Sealing and Varnishing
  • A Good Finish Without Sanding
  • Troubleshooting
  • Basic Sanding Tutorial
  • Luxurious Sanding Tutorial
  • Mica Shift Tutorial
  • Resources

The Aftermath

My studio is a wreck. Every surface is piled high. I have to clean all the mess and find a place to put all the samples, products, sanding machines, buffing wheels, and grit. Anyone want two large bags of animal bedding?  (That’s covered on page 56.) The worst part was all the dust I created by testing the buffing. Although I wore a mask, my entire studio needs a deep cleaning.

Huge mess on my workbench after writing the sanding and buffing polymer clay ebook.

There’s really no neat way to deal with sandpaper and other abrasive sheets. I learned from experience that leaving them in a wet, dirty pile just makes them stick together or curl up. I should rinse them, lay them out to dry, and then stack them neatly in binders. Right? (Ahem. Right.)

Here's only a small pile of the sandpapers I used when writing this ebook.

How many buffing wheels does a person need? Not this many for sure! But now I know which kind to tell you to buy. And if buying is better than making your own. Let’s just say I bought quite a few before I found the magic solution.

How many buffing wheels does a person need? A lot. Only a few worked well.

And samples. Because how do you test sanding and buffing polymer clay? You have to make samples to test. So I made a lot of beads, tablets, lentils, spirals, and tiles. There were pretty things and there were ugly, awful disasters. This is just a small part of what I made. There’s a whole bunch more I couldn’t find. I think they’re under sandpaper somewhere.

I made a lot of samples to test how sandpapers and tumbling machines worked for sanding and buffing polymer clay.

And then everything needed a photo. Lots and lots of and lots of photos. I took thousands of them. (And deleted a lot.) There are 173 photos in the eBook. And each one needed to be processed with software and cleaned up. I must have had to charge that battery a dozen times. I still can’t find all my SD cards, either. (And with four curious cats, I assure you, keeping fur out of all those photos was….interesting.)

I took a lot of pictures for this sanding and buffing polymer clay ebook.

But I finally got it done. Yay me! Now I’m going to go find my neglected family and try to remember what a day off is like. Cleaning the studio can be left for another day.

Buy the Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay

Even if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool sanding hater (and many of us are), I think you’ll find value in this book. You may even find that sanding can be effective, beautiful, and yes, even enjoyable. Ready to learn new sanding and buffing strategies? Then click here to learn even more and buy the Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay eBook:

Buy the Sanding and Buffing Book

Thank You!

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25 thoughts on “Sanding and Buffing Polymer Clay eBook”

  1. Hi Ginger!

    I want to thank you for this great tutorial!!

    I have always worked as an artisan with different materials. I discovered polymer clay in 2014, when a children’s Christmas gift, a Fimo kit, was left in a closet and after a few months ended up in my hands. That new material fascinated me. Some YouTube videos to learn the basics and immediately became part of my work materials.

    I liked this new material so much that I decided to make a YouTube channel to share the knowledge that I was acquiring with the experience, I even published a very basic video on sanding and polishing polymer clay.

    But when you make a living from crafts it is very difficult to have time to investigate, learn, read…. You practically only have time to learn from your own mistakes.

    A couple of years ago I changed jobs and recently I have seen myself again with polymer clay in my hands. But now for pleasure!! A couple of weeks ago I decided to buy sandpaper online. What madness!! How many different types of sandpaper!! But then I discovered your tutorial and didn’t think twice. How many things have you taught me!!

    Your tutorial has led me to your magnificent website. I am sure that I will learn much more.

    Thank you very much and sorry for my English, I know it’s not very good (my daughter always scolds me!!)

  2. Pingback: Sanding a Polymer Clay Pen - Asalari Design

  3. Hi Ginger,
    My computer crashed again (dead and buried) and my sanding ebook was on it. Could you can find my record of purchasing it and resend the link thing? I’d really appreciate it. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Diane, you can go to your account (on the menu bar) to access all your purchased tutorials. Once you’re logged in to your dashboard, you’ll see the selection for your downloads over on the left.

  4. I went back to your tutorial after asking my question and then remembered you already mentioned it in there. I am still looking for a place where I can get this. I have a tumbler. But the rocks though I bought 2 large bags, got a very few rounded ones from there.. 🙁

  5. Just a suggestion… I think maybe you should have named this book, “All the Things You Needed To Know About Smoothing, Sanding, And Polishing (and What the Difference Is Between the Three and Why All Three Are Important) Your Polymer Clay But Didn’t Know You Needed To Know”. Okay…maybe that’s just a tiny bit too long for a title, but still, it would be very accurate! This book was a revelation. I’m so glad I bought it.

  6. Marcia Hostetler

    I bought and read your book when it first came out and have been slowly buying sanding and polishing supplies. But it has taken me until today to get up the courage to actually try it. I was wowed. I have some detailed comments below:

    Sandpaper grits table was priceless. I bought 2 packs of assorted grits from 3m from auto shop. Neither package had P on the sizes on the outside packaging, so I planned to stop using any of my P sandpaper and just use the new graduated grits. I was very annoyed to open the packages and discover the lower number pack had P grits and the higher number pack did not have P grits. That left me with a hole between 500 and 1000 grits! I ended up labeling my P grits with their equivalent grit. I will need to get a couple of the middle grits to fill in!

    I also loved the idea of using the deodorant cover as a sanding handle. Unfortunately, my cover had a concave handle which was hard to grasp. I ended up baking a clay handle and gluing it onto the cover. I added the tacky stuff and it worked like a champ holding my clay piece for both sanding and polishing.

    I watched a couple tutorials and found one other idea that worked great for me. It suggests to cover whole piece with laundry marker. Then when it is all sanded off, you know you did a good job sanding. This was very helpful until I develop the feel I need.

    I read in the book about using super glue to protect your fingers. I was wondering if New skin would work better. Here is a link for it:

    I use it for all cuts on my hands and it creates a nice protective coating without the stickiness.

    Thanks for the ebook. I would have never been brave enough to try this without it! Now I’m going to create a piece from scratch and see if I can eliminate enough blemishes to make the sanding go easier.

  7. I was using last sheet of 600 grit, my starting grit sandpaper. Not sure if I wanted to buy more of sandpaper or micro mesh, people say its good but is it really worth it? This is when I got email that the book is available to purchase. I am sanding and buffing my stuff from last more than 1.5 years, aren’t I? Yes and I get pretty consistent results too.. Yes I was looking for some answers but I was so sure I am not going to be wowed on this topic.

    Oh boy.. How wrong I was and what a blow this book is to me.. In a very positive way.. So happy I decided to grab the copy. It answered what I was looking in particular.. How to better sand round beads.. But I did a double take on All about sandpaper section.. There is so much I never knew.. For a very fast reader which I am it took 3 days to read it.. Reread it.. Understand few things and order what I want from resources section.

    This book is a must for me now and I will be re-reading it many more times before I can understand and grasp everything covered in there.

    Thank you for writing such an awesome book and doing all the research. For me now it’s time to sand right.

  8. Hi Ginger
    I know that a lot of things are available overseas that we cannot get here in Australia, so I was just wondering if what things you say to use would be available outside of where you reside.
    Thank you for your help, as I am highly considering buying your book.
    Thanks Jane

    1. Hi Jane, I only recommend a couple of products that are unusual to the clayer, and they’re definitely available in Australia. I just did a quick search, and you can get them on

  9. Well you’ve done it again! Just when I thought I had all your tutorials, there’s another Blue Bottle Tree product (a whole book, no less!) on my wish list! 😉 Congrats on finishing the book, I’ll be buying it soon and look forward to learning about your experimentations!

  10. I have the book – and have read most of it already – the advice is so very valuable (and varied) and is written in such a friendly style. I recommend it to anyone who takes their polymer clay work seriously! Well done you, Ginger!

  11. I bought the book! How could I not with such a persuasive lead-in! LOL.
    In all seriousness yesterday I sanded a cabochon made in a faux technique that uses chopped up translucent clay coated in metallic ink (the no-longer manufactured Inkabilities), then sliced and polished. I wet sanded all the way through 12000 grit and STILL had fine scratches. I finally coated the thing in Liquid Fusion and called it a day. It looks so pretty, but I wanted to get there without using a gloss coat. I NEED your book! Perfect timing.

  12. Hi Ginger. Have you considered putting your book on Kindle, Nook wrong etc.? I buy craft books on Kindle and would love to buy your book and tutorials in that medium. Lots of crafters and artists are selling their work in that medium which I love. You may possibly get a lot more fans of your work that way. Let me know if you decide to. Thanks Brenda

    1. Sorry my autocorrect feature somehow decided to add it’s own word. Not sure where the word wrong came from.

    2. Hi Brenda, the eBook can already be viewed on your ebook reader. Just import it and view. Kindle and Nook can read pdf files just fine. I have not produced as specially formatted Nook or Kindle version, and that may come in the future. But a quick check on my Kindle reader show that it can be read beautifully on that device. 🙂

  13. Heidi McCullough

    Congratulations on finishing your book! I still don’t know what my tumbling medium is capable of, and I haven’t put a buffing wheel on my grinder yet. Way to go, exploring all the options!!

    (But…those balls in the lower right corner, and in the dish, with the extruded snake around them? I really wanna take some drywall screen to those! 🙂 Or, rather, take those to some drywall screen…)

    1. There are lots of options. I could have written twice as much and had to tell myself to stop several times. I very well may scruff up those extruder beads. They need it. They’re “test results”, though. That’s what they looked like coming out of the tumbler. I wanted to see how much abrasion the tumbler would do, and I figured those beads would be a good test. Turns out they need drywall screen. 😉

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