Practice Making Miniatures From Polymer Clay

These techniques and tips will show a beginner the range of ways to blend, shape, texture, and finish polymer clay for dollhouse miniatures and food. Try any of these ​beginner projects to practice a technique and add it to your repertoire for making miniatures. Now you know how to make miniatures!

  • 01 of 09

    Blend Custom Colors

    Secondary color blends of polymer clay colors

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    Instead of keeping vast quantities of seldom used colors, learn to blend your own whenever you need them for a project. These blends are based on using black, white, transparent, red, blue, and yellow to blend any color and make basic shades, tints, and hues.

  • 02 of 09

    Make Custom Clay Cutters

    Polymer clay is cut using doll scale cookie cutter

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    You can easily make your shape cutters for polymer clay miniatures. These can be used to make decorations, clay blends, tiles, or small baked goods such as miniature cookies. The miniature cutters are all made from recycled heavy tin foil (aluminum foil) plates with waste polymer clay handles. Start with simple shapes first, and work your way up to more complicated bends.

  • 03 of 09

    Learn Basic Polymer Clay Caning Techniques

    Lemon slice made of polymer clay

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    Caning is a technique used to take a design smaller and smaller for miniatures. Canes are used for fruit and vegetable slices including oranges, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, onion, peppers, tomatoes, eggs, and mushrooms. You begin with design large enough to work in the details, then roll the polymer clay thinner and thinner with a regular motion to reduce the size of the design. Caning techniques work best with firm brands of polymer clay.

  • 04 of 09

    Make Simple Molds

    Dolls house scale muffins

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    Polymer clay can be pressed into and baked in simple molds made from two-part silicon mold putty to make a range of custom shapes. Many projects use simple molds as a base.

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  • 05 of 09

    Make Custom Texturing Tools

    Distinctively textured and shaped mini cookies

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    For some polymer clay projects, you can make tools from beads, stamps, or other items you have on hand. Miniature baked goods often use texturing tools you can purchase or make yourself from clay, beads, or found items.

  • 06 of 09

    Texturing Techniques for Realistic Finishes

    Different bread slices with toppings in doll size

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    The texture is added to bread, cakes, and other miniature food items before the clay is fully cured. You can make tools for texturing or use small items you have on hand like toothpicks or pins. Some tutorials introduce a beginner to creating realistically textured finishes on polymer clay.

  • 07 of 09

    Use Chalks or Artist's Pastels to Color Crusts and Add Flour

    Eye shadow used to color panettone made from polymer clay

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    Outer finishes on miniature baked goods aren't made using polymer clay but are most often achieved with artist's pastels or colored chalks. These details add a realistic finish to your miniatures.

  • 08 of 09

    Roll Very Thin Strands of Polymer Clay

    Raw pasta noodles and cooked spaghetti and meatballs made from clay

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    Sometimes particular techniques are needed to make items small enough to be realistic in miniature. Very thin layers or rolls of polymer clay are used to make doll food like pasta or even hot dogs. You can also make hamburgers, cold cuts, and more.

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  • 09 of 09

    Make Miniature Boxes and Containers

    Chocolate heart-shaped box made from polymer clay over a metal former

    The Spruce Crafts / Lesley Shepherd

    Simple box-making techniques can be used for a range of miniatures, from food to containers. These projects use similar techniques that can be adapted for all kinds of miniature projects.