I sometimes see the question: ‘what is Fimo clay ?’ in my Facebook group or other groups, so today I decided I will be diving into this product a little deeper.
Although I have written about clay before (and even how to make your own clay), I really do think that Fimo clay in itself is worth a separate blog post, as people tend to use this brand of clay a lot for their (mini) pieces of art!
What Is Fimo Clay?
Fimo clay is a plastic modeling (polymer) clay that is used mainly by hobbyists and professionals, and of course our miniaturists. I have seen so many small things like miniature food made from this product, that it amazes me every time.
Technically speaking, this clay is called ‘Polymer Polyvinyl Chloride’, also known as PVC, mixed with a liquid plasticizer. Due to the presence of plasticizers in the clay, it is very malleable and remains soft, until it gets baked.
It is sold in hobby stores and online stores, which are visited by all kinds of artists, that use it for 1001 things. (see below)
This clay is available in 85 different colors (according to my latest research), in small packages and it is perfectly mixable.
Different Types Of Fimo Clay:
Basically, there are 5 types of Fimo clay:
- Fimo Professional (formerly known as Classic). This is very flexible clay and very stable. It has a recommended quality for experts and professional artists. It can be made softer with Fimo Quick Mix.
- Fimo Soft. Is easier to knead and is softer.
- Fimo Effect ( glitters, marble-effect, translucent, night-glow, rhinestone colors, etc..). I just found out that there is even a thing as “leather-effect“, pretty cool!
- Fimo Kids. Extra soft for the hands of kids or people with neuromotor hand issues. Crafting clay models stimulates creativity and develops motor skills.
- Fimo Air. This is an air-drying modeling clay that can be left to dry naturally in the air at room temperature, so it doesn’t need an oven. It is instantly ready for use, keeps its shape, and is flexible.
This clay is produced by a German company called Staedtler GmbH, which is honestly one of the best out there.
What Is Fimo Clay Used For?
You can clearly see on Etsy that a lot of (miniature)art and so many other things are made from Fimo clay. A small list of what is Fimo Clay used for is:
- fake flowers
- miniature food
- (miniature) sculptures
- all kinds of figurines
- (miniature) pottery
- any kind of charms
- soap holders
As the Fimo clay packages aren’t in large quantities, it is mostly used for smaller things ( I would presume ). Please correct me if I’m seeing this wrong, but I don’t think I have ever seen Fimo clay in large packages, not in a hobby store, and neither online?
A little Fimo Clay Manual and walkthrough.
Unless you use Fimo Air, this clay doesn’t harden at room temperature. But it bakes in a standard kitchen oven in about half an hour at 110°C.
It can basically be baked on any surface, like wood, glass, stone, metal, aluminum, or even solid cardboard, because the heat to bake the clay isn’t very high. Just do not bake it on rubber or plexiglass!
Be aware that:
- you could bake the Fimo clay a longer time at the right temperature (even 20 minutes longer or twice)
- but you can’t bake it even 5 minutes longer at a temperature that is too high! (I made that mistake, and it made my piece turn black and burn!)
The Fimo clay only hardens when it has cooled down, so do not move it before it’s cold. After that, you can use the Fimo varnish for an even better result.
A little tip on how to mix colors, you can find in this Youtube tutorial (it works the same for Fimo clay):
- not to bake Fimo clay in a microwave
- to wash your hands after using this clay
- when you work with sharp objects like a crafting knife, be careful not to cut yourself!
- to always check the maximum temperature to bake the clay, don’t put it up to high or too long, your piece will turn black
Fingerprints Or Dirt On Your Little Pieces Of Art.
While working with Fimo clay, you might notice that your hands can get dirty because of the colored materials. It can be a little annoying and it takes some getting used to.
You could have a set of baby wipes at hand so that while you are crafting a piece, you can easily wipe your hands and fingers when needed.
The baby wipes are handy as well when there is some dirt on your crafting piece, you can easily rub it off using one (carefully).
In summer there could be a little problem with fingerprints on the clay, because of the heat it can get softer. Putting the little pieces in the fridge for a while, so it hardens, can solve the problem.
But using Fimo clay, the latter should be a problem from the past!
What Other Kind Of Equipment Do You Need?
To start working with Fimo Clay, you will definitely need a few more basic tools as well:
- Fimo basic modeling tools. A perfect tool to start modeling and finish your pieces of art.
- Silicone molds. These can be very handy to make for example dolls’ faces, miniature food, mini flowers, and so much more…
- Fimo liquid gel. Decorating gel for mixing and creating models with polymer clay.
- Fimo gloss or semi-gloss varnish. For a glossy finish and to protect the surface.
- Texture sheets. These can give your model the impression of ‘wood’ having a structure, for example. Or any other pieces that require structure or a print.
Or, you could start out with a small kit and see if Fimo clay is a product that you fancy working with! Or not 🙂
How To Soften Fimo Clay Again And How To Store It.
I didn’t know if this would be possible myself, so I did some research.
If you have old packages of Fimo clay lying around that have gotten old and hard, it seems that you can make them soft again, by just adding water and knead it.
If that doesn’t work, try to fill a hot-water bag with hot water. Cover it with aluminum foil and put the clay on top. Cover again with more aluminum foil and wait a few minutes. It should be soft enough again to start kneading.
To store any kind of polymer clay, there seems to be no need to use an airtight container.
If not using the clay for a longer period of time, it is better to be stored in a plastic box. Because storing it in a resealable bag, could make it more brittle.
As Fimo clay will not react with glass, storing it in a glass container would be also fine, and remember to always store it away from heat or direct sunlight. (so not in an overheated garage for example, but try to store it at room temperature).
I store mine in a tackle box, as you can see in this video of my working place that I made myself and where I am showing you all my work and crafting materials that I use:
My final conclusion.
I hope that I have informed you enough with this article on ‘what is Fimo clay’.
If you have any more questions on this blog post or would you like to just share something with me, then please leave a comment below or join me on my Facebook group.
I wish you happy crafting!