How to Create & Mix your own Polymer Clay Colors

Polymer clay comes in a selection of colors that can be used for just about any clay DIY project. But if you want to create your own unique color, match to a color you love, or you just can’t find the color you are looking for, mixing your own clay colors is an enjoyable and easy project!

This post is actually quite unique in that it is really an art project that will create an art project!

Coloring your own polymer clay is fun and easy to do. Once you start doing this you will very quickly get hooked on color mixing polymer clay!

You will be creating new amazing colors and looks for your clay.  It really is a lot of fun and a very creative exercise!

Woman rolling purple clay out with acrylic rolling pin.

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Why do you Need to Create your own Polymer Clay Colors?

Polymer clay comes in so many amazing colors. But sometimes you need a different color that isn’t available to buy. Sometimes you need a custom color that matches something you like. Sometimes you just need something unique and not what everyone else is using.

Mixing your own polymer clay colors is especially great for jewelry making and other similar crafts, so you are creating much more unique products.

Can you Add Color to Polymer Clay?

First of all, in case you have this question, you can definitely add color to existing polymer clay that you have, but you need to use alcohol-based colors when doing this.  You can also use powdered color pigments and crayon shavings to add needed colors to your clay.

But the very best way, and the easiest way, to create your own clay colors is by mixing pieces of colored clay yourself, until you create the color that you desire.

This is the method this article is covering – how to mix colors using polymer clay colors mixed and blended together.

Color Theory and Mixing Colors

Color theory is the basis of all art, and it comes into play with mixing clay colors too! 

Color theory wheel.

Basic color theory is that if you mix colors such as yellow and blue you get green.  Or if you mix red with white you get pink.  Most of us learn the basics of color theory in school art classes and it comes pretty naturally to the majority of us.

You can also very easily find color theory charts online. You can also purchase a special chart for this, such as this one here. This makes it really easy for you to mix colors together and  select the colors that you really want.

Try out color mixing with small pieces of colored polymer clay.  Cut off small pieces of clay and mix those colors together. See what color combinations you can come up with!

woman rolling orange clay ball between her hands.

Use the Right Polymer Clay

There are many different brands and types of polymer clay.  Brands include Sculpey, which has the Sculpey souffle clay as well as Sculpey Premo, and also Sculpey III .  There is also Staedtler Fimo clay and many other brands available. My own personal choice is either Sculpey Souffle or Sculpy Premo (Souffle is my first choice because it is very soft and easy to work with). I don’t like to use Sculpey III for color mixing.

Sculpey Souffle Clay is the softest clay to work with, and the easiest clay to blend colors with. Sculpey Souffle comes in about 24 different colors, which includes some great colors, but you will of course want to create your own!

How to Mix Custom Colors with Polymer Clay

Using a clay cutter, cut out pieces out of the clay colors that you have. You should always use the same size cutter for this, so you are getting equal pieces of all colors.

You can also use the clay bar method, whereby you cut the clay bar into sections, and use as many sections as you need for your color mix. Most clay bars come in pre-cut lined sections.

Make sure that the clay in all the colors is rolled to the exact same thickness too. These two steps are essential for having the right amount of colors and parts for the combinations you will be creating.

Place the colored pieces together that you are using, and then roll them out with a rolling pin or special clay acrylic rolling pin.  Keep rolling until you don’t see individual colors in your clay – you only see one ‘new’ color.

Woman rolling purple clay with acrylic rolling pin.

You can also put the clay through a pasta machine also for this – just keep running it through until the colors are all mixed well and you have a new color creation. There is also a Polymer Clay Press especially for polymer clay.

Once you have your first flat roll of clay, fold it in half and roll it again.  Start rolling at the fold and roll in an away direction so that you eliminate air bubbles.

Make sure that you are noting down the colors you are mixing together, and the parts you are using.  That way you can recreate the colors easily. You could also keep a color mixed clay library – by keeping a chunk of the new color you mixed, that is large enough to write the colors and parts used on it.

Coloring Tips for Mixing Clay

Once you try out different mixes you will very quickly learn the types of colors that go well together and look good.

There are some basic mixes of different colors you can do to create completely new colors, such as:

1 part yellow + 1 part white + 2 parts orange + 2 parts gold = Golden Yellow
1 part white + 4 parts yellow = Pastel Yellow
4 parts purple + 2 parts white = Lavender
2 parts red + 1 part white = Coral

Try your own color combinations and experiment!

Buy Polymer Clay Color Mixing Recipes

Thankfully some people have done the work for us and created beautiful color combinations out of mixing polymer clay!

Etsy is full of color mixing recipe sheets to purchase, which show you which colors to mix together (including how many parts) and how to do it all. Here are some of my favorite ones here:

Warm Neutrals from DreamyJewelsCo

Sunset Picnic from ClayColorDesigns

Moody Pinks from Dashing & Dainty

So have fun with a craft project that begets another craft project and mix beautiful shades, colors and hues of polymer clay!

Polymer clay comes in a selection of colors that can be used for just about any clay DIY project. But if you want to create your own unique color, match to a color you love, or you just can’t find the color you are looking for, mixing your own clay colors is an enjoyable and easy project!

 

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