As a crafter passionate about working with polymer clay and making the most beautiful jewelry, ornaments, planters, magnets, and miniature figurines, the last thing you want is to see your precious clay going to waste.
We’ve got you covered. It’s incredibly easy to store this fun, moldable material, and it does not take more than a few seconds. So, we break down the top 5 methods to store polymer clay. As a bonus, we’ll answer the top FAQs about storing polymer clay—you don’t want to miss that!
Top 5 Methods to Store Polymer Clay
You’d be happy to learn that there are five ways to safely store your polymer clay, each of which has its pros and cons. So you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each method to choose the one that works best for you.
Here’s what you can do to keep your colorful polymer clay safe while you don’t use it:
1. Store It In a Reusable Plastic Bag
Resealable bags are fantastic since they keep out lint, dust, and dirt, which helps keep your clay clean while it’s stored. Additionally, the bags can easily be labeled, and you can know what type or color of clay is stored in each bag.
While reusable plastic bags are a great option to store your polymer clay, you want to avoid plastics like polystyrene (#6), PVC (#3), acrylics, or polycarbonates (#7).
2. Closable Plastic Containers Are Also Great!
Similar to reusable plastic bags, closable plastic containers are excellent in keeping your clay clean by keeping out lint, dust, and dirt. These can also be labeled, and you can know the type or color of clay in each container.
However, the only suitable type of plastic container to store polymer clay is one that’s made from plastic polypropylene (#5). If you want to use containers made from other plastics, you’ll need to wrap the polymer clay in a suitable material first, then store it in the plastic container.
3. You Can Never Go Wrong With Wax Paper
If you’re looking for a foolproof method to store your polymer clay, wax paper is the way. The clay won’t stick and bond with wax paper.
The great thing about wax paper is that it’s reusable. You can use the same piece of wax paper multiple times to store your clay!
4. See If Aluminum Foil Works for You
Aluminum foil can also be used to wrap polymer clay, although it’s not the best material for storing clay since it can stick to it if the aluminum foil is crinkled. To avoid this problem, it’s better to use flat aluminum foil. You also want to place the clay on the dull side of the aluminum foil while wrapping it – you want the foil’s shiny side to be on the outside.
5. Wrap It Up With Plastic Wrap
Wrapping your polymer clay with plastic wrap is a hassle-free method to keep it safe. But since the clay can stick to some materials, be careful when you wrap it after use. Also, to prevent the clay from sticking to other colors, it’s important to wrap each color separately.
While plastic wraps are a good option if you want to store polymer clay, it’s important to choose the type of plastic wrap wisely for the best results. Some types of plastic can melt when raw polymer clay bonds to it. The perfect plastic wrap for storing polymer clay is made from polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE) plastic.
If you want to determine which material the plastic wrap is made from, look on the box for a #5 (PP) or #1 (PE). Keep in mind that polymer clay should not be stored or wrapped in plastics like polystyrene (#6), PVC (#3), acrylics, or polycarbonate (#7).
How Long Does Polymer Clay Last?
One of the coolest things about polymer clay is that you can store them for years if you do it properly. While most crafters agree that polymer clay shouldn’t be stored for more than a year, you can get away with storing it for longer if it’s still usable.
What’s the Best Place to Store Polymer Clay?
Sunlight and extreme heat are polymer clay’s worst enemies. If polymer clay is exposed to direct sunlight for a long period, it may partially cure, making it unusable and difficult to mold.
Ideally, you want to store your clay in the fridge to keep it as cool as possible, but you can also store it in a cool cupboard. Some even go as far as freezing their clay to extend its lifespan, but it’s not necessary as long as you keep it cool enough. Finally, if you choose to keep your clay in the fridge, you want to keep food away from it.
Is It Possible to Store Uncured and Cured Clay Together?
Ideally, uncured and cured polymer clay should not be stored together. The cured clay could become weaker due to the plasticizers in the uncured clay, which can affect the quality of your work while working with clay.
Polymer clay comprises plastics, fibers, coloring agents, and stabilizers, which can be pretty greasy before baking. As a result, It’s not advisable to store baked and unbaked clay in the same place because the uncured elements of the unbaked clay may eventually damage the baked clay when coming into contact with the oily residue it has.