Polymer Clay Coasters with Caned Tiles, a Tutorial

Polymer Clay Coasters with Caned Tiles, a Tutorial



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I just love making polymer clay canes. Here is a simple one, made from just 2 elements and converted into a square cane. Add it onto more clay, and you have a coaster. I sand, polish and grout my coasters so they are great to use, but of course do not use these for anything straight from the oven or hob, that would damage the polymer clay surface.

So, go on, have some fun and make some coasters.

Here is the link to my Victorian Tile Tutorial, go to 38.22 minutes for details of how to backfill with Polymer Clay –

Here is the link to Conditioning Polymer Clay –

Here is the link to creating Skinner Blends –

The CaneCaps, CaneBenders and SquareBenders are from Tiny Pandora, and can be found here:

and if you are in the UK, then the Cane Savers and Cane Shapers, from PCUK Tools (and for any worried HOP people, Teresa knows all about this and is happy for both links to be given) can be found here: They now have a new Etsy shop too –

If you like my work, then please do have a look at my website, and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

I also have a number of Polymer Clay Tutorials to buy, both in my Etsy shop, PolyOriginals – where I have more tutorials in a PDF format, and as a video tutorial here –

The music from the video is English Country Garden by Aaron Kenny and is available from the YouTube Free Audio Library.

Thank you so much for watching.

hi and welcome to poly originals with Fiona a Will Smith so today we're going to do a fun little coaster in polymer clay and we're going to do this cane which we're going to make into a tile effect onto the coaster so obviously we're doing his coasters and we got to make tiles but you can just use this as an ordinary cane and make all sorts of wonderful things with it by kaleidoscope in it as soon as a coaster is a result of a comment that Cindy Lee 29 posted underneath my Victorian tile tutorial talking about doing the tiles on coasters so I'll take you through the whole process from beginning to end on how to make a coaster and this is the one we're going to do but I'll show you these two at the end with the different color variations so let's get started and see what equipment we need for today's project so the equipment we need for today's session is very straightforward I put on a clay blade I sometimes refer to this as a tissue blade because that's what is sometimes known as in the UK a craft knife some form of roller polymer clay roll a small one perfectly fine I'm going to use some liquid clay I've just decanted some into a bottle here just make it easier for me to use I've just cut myself out a sheet of paper this one's four inches or 10 centimeters square cuz that's going to be the size of the coaster and that's just handy to do so to whatever size you want your coaster to be we need a couple of tiles to bake on preferably both the same size we are going to be using a measuring sheet and this one is a 1 inch one it's the four squares to 1 inch and it's freely downloadable from www dot print of all paper knit if to finish your piece off you'd like to sand and polish then you also need some wet/dry sandpaper I use 240 grit 600 1000 1500 and 2000 and you want something to protect your hands so something like rubber gloves if you're able to wear them and then to finish off to go in between the gaps in our tiles and again you don't have to do this but if you do want to then Marie tile grout works absolutely fine and looks really good so I've just decanter to small amount and you need tiny tiny amounts there's just a little bit in here that will last me for loads and loads of time we're just going to mix it with water so just like to mix it in sighs how's the water in and a little sort of spatula thing just to smooth it into the tiles if you didn't want to use grout you could just backfill once your coaster has baked with ordinary polymer clay and I'll put a link to how I did this in the Victorian tile tutorial so you can follow that link to see that if you want to do it that way instead so other than that say there's not very much we need in a way of equipment you will of course need a pasta machine dedicated to the use of polymer clay and I will be using wet wipes to clean my hands and clean my tiles on work surfaces as I go along and I'm also working on a nice tile surface to make the cane so that's it so let's move on to the clay we need for today's session today I'm using fimo soft but all known brands of polymer clay it'll be perfect for doing this technique with we're going to use scrap clay to make the base of our coasters today about 40 grams one and a half ounces of clay and I'm just going to marwis together and then use my template to cut out the bottom of our coaster for the main parts of clay we actually need a whole pack so that's 2 ounces or 56 grams of I like to color or white that's going to be your background color so obviously choose whatever you want but one whole pack of that I've got a half pack so one ounce or 28 grams of a dark color I'm using black today and then we've got small amounts of four colours so these are your seven grams or quarter ounce and I've gone for the raspberry the peppermint the lilac and the plum which to me is more of a purple color but they call it plum sometimes it shows a bit strange on the YouTube videos but it's it's a nice deep perfectly color so the first thing to do is to condition oli for clay I'm going to put it all through it setting three on my pasta machine which is the medium setting on my machine naught is thick and nine is thin and I was going to put it in two sheets if you're unsure how to condition polymer clay I do have a video to give you some hints and tips on doing this put a link below the video details right let's get started so the first thing I need to do is to make myself a base for my coaster so I'm going to take my scrap clay just Marble it they cut it in slices put it through the pasta machine and I'm going to put it through quite a thick ish setting it's a setting number 2 on my machine so what I'm going to do is just chop it into slices and put it through the best machine so when I've got it back and if I've sort of got it to a marble to say that I quite like the pattern I can take one of my tiles I put it down and make sure it's nice and firmly on that with no air stuck underneath give it a roll if necessary or as flat as I can make it and then I'm going to take my template and simply use that and my blade to cut around the outside once it's done I will W make sure there's no air trapped inside and it's nicely adhered down and then I will get my second tile and place it shiny side down on top of that one and that'll keep that piece nice and flat in the oven and then simply bake call use the manufacturer's instructions for the brand of clay you are using and whilst that's baking we'll get on with making the cane so to make the pattern now cane I'm going to do two skinner blends I'm going to do the peppermint white in between into the plum and the raspberry with white in between into the lilac so I'll just do this one to start with anyone who doesn't know how to do a skinner blend I do have a video showing you some tips and techniques for doing that so go and have a look at that one but all we have to do is just do a simple three way color split where I've chopped those two down diagonally this one down the center that piece goes round like that that piece goes around like that these two pieces go on top and I'm not overly worried about the fact that those don't quite fit I can pull off stretch them there versus slightly but effectively they're going to go together like that I'm going to turn bottom top bottom to top each time putting through fold first and collecting and then folding it until I get a nice blend so I'll do blender this color and then a blend of the other one as well and I'll bring you back when I've done both of those so there are two blends done so what I'm going to do now is I'm going to fold each one in half and one at a time I'm going to put them first back down through the same setting of the pasta machine I've done these on which is actually setting number two to give myself a longer thinner piece and then I'm going to put them back down through it my sinister usable setting to get myself a really nice long a thin piece which I am then going to concertina so I will speed up the process for both of those and bring you back when I've got them both concert enid you'll see I'm going to do it probably about just over half an inch really about one and a half centimeters in width when I do the concertina so I'll speed up the next bit and you'll see how it so first of all put this one through on the same setting number two so there you go two plugs of clay where you've got one color at one end and going through to the other at the other end so what I'm going to do now is I need to change the shape of these because I want to do a outline in white all the way around each one but it all just make sure that the outline is consistent I need to change the shape before I put the outline around so the first one I'm going to do is this one and I want to change the shape of this into more of a teardrop shape so I'm just going to push in at the sides so creating that sort of shape with my fingers until I've got it back almost to a square shape but changed the orientation and I'm going to make it slightly shorter and I'm going to have a play around with it until I get it into a nice pear shape and what I'm looking at is I'm trying to make sure it's the same width all the way down so that what's here is what's there so the moment that's smaller so I need to have a mess around until I've got it the same shape and I'm going to have it coming to a point at the deep purple end and going to more of her round where the bluest got it pretty even put it one side now this one is going to be slightly strange I'm going to do the line look into a point and the pink is going to become rounded so to start with a bit like this one however I'm then going to pinch in really tight all the way down to make an odd sort of shape where I've got a rounded top don't worry that this looks messy on this end but all be fine when it's come out the odd sort of shape but one that looks quite fun when we collide escape it so what I've done really is just with my fingers pushed in to give me rounds either side if you'd rather of course you could use your roller to go in and what we're looking at is if possible to get these the same height so this one is now taller than this one so I'm just going to push in slightly shorter and now we have our two shapes we can get our white and our dark to go around the outside so we're going to start with a layer of dark just separate the two colors so what I'm going to do it says on the settings three still on the pasta machine that was the black that I conditioned the same time as that conditioned to all the other clay but I want a nice thin layer so I've cut that sets the right width but now I'm going to put it through the pasta machine that way on quite a thin setting so setting number six on my machine sort of sort of very thin layer to wrap around the outside of this just a good bit of the excess off neaten off the end and then just put one layer of this all the way round and if you've got your nuts than I might just have of course in theory this should be the same height so I'm gonna push it around but I'm gonna make sure it sits nicely into that round area we'd pushed out roll it into one on that side she rolled it too much just patch it and get it down to the bottom okay so there's our two parts of our cane nicely wrapped in the black now I'm going to clean my hands because the black does come off quite a lot with them the female and when I conditioned my white clay earlier again I'd put it through on setting number three and that's exactly the right thickness for what we want so I'm just going to take my blade use it down the side give me the right thickness and then the same as we just did with the black go all the way around the outside with the white with another piece of the white I had if it's not quite the right size and that isn't going to fit then I will fold it to a height that is going to fit around the outside of this and put this back through the pasta machine on that same setting number three but I should hopefully just about be enough to go through I always start at the bottom end the end that's going to be the point of our cane so there's no joins around the main part of the pattern as before go in press into the rounds press in there again and we should just about make it to the end if you've got a bit where it's not quite fitting if you can of course always just go back and patch a tiny bit and then just as we did before with our black clay we wanted to another thin layer all the way around so exactly the same again same thickness as before so sitting number six go through that way because I've got it the right width for the piece I'm using start off down the bottom but it neatly all the way around and we've all you won't have enough to go all the way around that one but we might just have enough with this piece again setting number six so those are our two elements for arcane and now it's just a case of how we put them together so first thing we're going to do is this nice petal shape we are going to cut straight down at the middle of this one so you want it as even as you can so pay attention to where it's going through down here if necessary rock it backwards or forwards look both sides as you're going you want it as even as you can possibly get when you've got it like that those two pieces are going to sit that side of your main piece and it's probably going to move then just fractionally up like that now as you can see here we've more or less formed a right angle but we want to form an even better right angle so what I'm going to do I'm going to turn it on its side and then this bit with my fingers I'm actually going to push up you see I've pulled up then I had to reverse do that one and pull this side up and what that does it creates less of a gap in here brings these up to being a nice height and what we're looking for is that there are roughly the same height either side so you can always check that by putting it onto your measuring sheet seeing where your corner is and seeing right this one actually is going right up to the two inches so this one wants to be slightly further up so I'm just pulling it out as I'm going till that one is also up around the two inch point so all we got to do now is we're going to take all of our leftover bits white push them into a ball Royer leftover bits into a nice even sausage shape chop them neatly into and we are going to force the triangular piece triangular shape into the gaps in here so with your round all I'm going to do is with my fingers I'm just pressing down on the top to create a triangular shape now this is quite a long narrow triangle so I can either pull one bit really up quite tight so does it fits in nicely cut off the excess and repeat on the other side or if you like happy doing that you could have done a small triangle and then added a big one on the outside but I'm going to try and repeat the same sort of shape on this one so quite a thin sort of triangle shape going in if you can try and make sure it's the same at either end and I think that's probably all we need to do have a look at see whether it's how square it is it's not particularly square at the moment so I'd say this side is quite a lot narrower than the other side well it seems to be but I will just force that into a proper square as we go I think I've noticed that I've unfairly even down here so that's pretty good so we'll just leave that as it is so all I'm going to do now is I'm going to work on the basis that that's one point that's the point that's point and this is a point and I am going to force that into a square and the more you go down the more square your shape will become and just keep reducing that down so all I'm doing is I'm moving my fingers down the length turning it moving turning it I'm always looking at these lines trying to make sure I can keep these as even and as straight as possible don't worry about the fact that the white gets mucky we can clear that up afterwards what I'm aiming to get is a nice square shape so where this one is right on a corner I want to make sure it stays on a corner same with this one here so I will carry on reducing occasionally I will turn it over the other way to make sure that I'm getting even pleasure pressure as I go down if you do have any of the cane caps the cane savers then use those they will work perfectly and just make sure you've got yourself a nice even slice off the top before we put them on and I'll put the links to those in the details of the video below so I will carry on reducing this once I've got it about four inches in length I'm going to change the shape of it and what I'm going to do is I'm going to keep this piece is a nice right angle but this piece I'm going to make into a flat so I'm going create a triangular shape now I'm going to do this by very gently to start with just rolling along the bottom just to slightly even off the side once I've got it rolled I can now turn it on its side and leaving it nicely supported just press long with my thumb just creating more of a flat edge turn it over do the same along this side what I'm trying to create is a nice triangle or I've still got the right angle on this side so again just press gently down take your time don't rush this so by this stage you've probably gone well over four inches so I've got one two three four five and a half effectively so I know what to cut off for even pieces so the easiest way to do it really one two three four five six is to actually chop straight down the middle I'm going to give you see start as to what the pattern is we're going to get although it's going to go together that way I am then going to chop because we will have distortion on either end so I am going to give myself one inch and one square so therefore I need to see if that's going to work with or not that will also be distorted so the way to look is to put it next to another piece and actually that's not too bad so I can risk doing both pieces on that size side and let's see if we can do the same on this side so we've got one and two square or one and a square so that would be about there and again yes that's fine so now I know I can cut one inch in one square and I can cut one inch and one square and that will then give us our cane so what I've done is I've made sure I've matched together those two parts nicely and then we will do the same with this one so it's easier to match the two halves together first making sure you're matching both the top and the bottom if like this one there's a bit rates distorted just pull that until it starts to meet and then press your triangle flat because then you know when you put your two flat sides together they should marry up nicely and that's going to be arcane so put those two bits together and what you then have is a nice square cane and all I'm going to do now is reduce this square cane down until it is just about one inch in width across each of these sides [Applause] once I reduced it let's fractionally under an inch in width then I will stop I will use my roller to go over the edges to make sure they're nice and flat and get rid of any fingerprint marks I'll have a look at the corners make sure the corners are nice and sharp make sure my lines are pretty pristine and going down the corners and then re-roll and what I'm looking to get is a square a cane as I possibly can now remember I said about the black and the white what we could really do at this stage is leaving this cane to rest so to give you an incentive to leave it to rest take a wet wipe and take all the black off your white lines this means that when we kaleidoscope it you won't get that awful black line where you can see where the white joins however as you can see here this will have made your clay very wet and very sticky so remove the residue there you definitely need to leave this now to dry off and to rest before we start cutting the slices so wait until the coaster base is finished and cooled from the oven by the time that's called this should be ready to go so when your bottom piece has come out of the oven and it's all nicely cooled take some liquid to polymer clay not too much but just a bit and smear it all over the side you're going to add your patterned squares on – you don't need a lot but enough to sort of make it tacky rather than slippy because you don't want the squares to go sliding all over the place what you want enough they'll stick to it and you can give them a slight maneuver so your cane if you had at this stage giving this to wipe with a wet wipe should hopefully by now be nice and dry and what you need to do is you need to take slices now I'm going to work out then oh I've got distortion all the way up to there so I'm going to chop off up to there and then I'm going to take 16 slices now I could cut turn it on its side cut turn on size cut on each side because every time you slice down you're going to reduce the height of this cane however I'm going to manipulate slices once I've cut them so therefore I'm not going to do that I'm going to make sure that all facing the same way up all I'm going to do is I'm going to take some slices you can go as thin as you can do reasonably but you want to make sure that you're cutting at a thickness where you can do all the 16 slices the same and I'll bring you back when I finish them all once you get your slices done you can start putting them apart and one by one I'm going to set them onto a square of my sheet so this is this piece I've got is four of those squares wide now I want to put these on as tiles I want these to be just fractionally smaller than an inch so at the moment that's not too bad this size but it's a little bit too short because it has shrunk down as I've taken the slices so I with my roller I was going to very gently make that slightly taller and then with the blade I'm going to press around the outside it's neat enough all these edges and to make it fractionally smaller than the 1 inch size so that when I put all these pieces together we'll be able to put them together and have little gaps in between and then I'm going to take my piece and this first one is going to sit right on the top edge and once it's on again I can with my blade just neaten up the edge then I'm going to repeat that with every single slice and the next thing I need to do is to look for the TEL because I want to make sure that when I place them together they're going to be exactly making a classic oak pattern as that doesn't match however that side round will match so what I'm going to do every time I put a piece of plate on there before I actually get it to the right size I'm going to make sure it's orientated the right way around the same is good for slight roll use the tissue blade and now I know I can put that on my piece make sure it's nice and even same with the next piece that way up all that way up so that's the way it's going to go so then I'm going to put that on and repeat doing that all the way until you've got to the end and you fitted all 16 tiles on [Applause] sapphic finally it takes a while at times to and figure out to finally found my tell that I can tell which way the pain is going to be oriented orientated this one here where the purple goes into the white into the blue is the only one of those four where it's pretty perfect so I now know that that's the piece I need to look at to see which way my cane is orientated so on this piece it's like that as well so I know know if I lay that one like that it's going to have to flip that way around and that's how it will match on the next piece down so I don't know that's the right way up so I can start doing my next row and that's the piece I will use all the way through to flip to make sure I've got things the right way around [Applause] right so there are pieces put on to the tile but I've actually got a little bit of tile excess here it's a bit of a gap here so what I'm now going to do is very very gently making sure I've got a very clean roller just go over the whole tiles I was going to pull them slightly wider so I'm not actually trying to close up the gaps but I'm trying to completely but I am trying to close them enough so that you can't so you don't have too much of a gap in between now obviously if I didn't want the gaps if I didn't want to make it look like a tile I could just close the whole thing up and create a beautiful pattern just along the top but we'll keep the tile idea going so what I'm doing is I'm just making sure that they're pretty smooth and then along each side using the side of the blade I'm just going to check and if it's not quite up to the edge I'm going to roll because I can always push it back it's much easier to push back in of course you can't push back this area where it hasn't quite gone over the corner and then when I'm happy and it's nice and flat at even using the blunt side of the blade and keeping my fingers or run away from the sharp bit you can just go back in go along the line and create a little groove now this is hardly any amount of groove but it's going to be enough to create the illusion that they are all tiles as you do one way then go back do the other way and then you have your piece ready for its second baking so I'm going to make it exactly the same as before flapped on the tile with the other tile facedown and again bake according to the manufacturer's instructions for the brand of clay you are using and when it's baked I'll bring you back and we'll finish off our coaster once you're ready to grout you want to put a tiny amount of water in now you don't need very much at all we just want to make a smooth paste I need it be a little bit thicker than that thun add a tiny bit more the powder so like that something that's just slightly more runny than you would normally grout your tiles with that it fits into the small areas between our pattern to play and making sure you've got at least one couple of wet wipes or wet cloths to hand take your piece and just smear the grout into those grooves once it's all in just pull off all the excess now I had sanded and polished this so because of that it pulls off as you will see really really easily I'll just take an excess cloth just to make sure I've got no bits left on go around the edges so it's just added tiny tiny bits of grout just in between all the vast squares there I want such as drying or just leave it's dry naturally our piece is ready to go so there we are there's our piece finished and I've since sanded and Porcia so it was nice shine on it and it's got this little grouting in between just to give the effect of tiles on a coaster so it was a fun one to do just to show you some other alternates I've done similar and this time I've used the apple green and lemon yellow the peppermint and Calypso blue and again with the white and the black giving that effect and in this one I've used the raspberry and the plum the apple green and the emerald green and again give you that effect and just vital exactly the same color choices as this one but done in a slightly different way so I did the lilac do the plum than the peppermint – the raspberry but as you can see you can get really quite different looks or from the same pattern and the reason you get different looks is the amount of white you put in between so this is the one that we did during the thing and you can see the whites just in between those two pieces now if you add a fraction more white so you can see it's a little more white in this one then you get this sort of look if you add more white again so you can see here I've actually done the white right round and over the top so in the triangular piece when it was like this I added more white on both of these sites rather than just being on here I did quite a lot but still just left little being so you can see here you've got the black on the edges there so with the extra white so you can see here there's more white in the outside bits here so this gives you that look and then on this particular one I actually put white all the way around the outside so can you see there's virtually no black lines at all just a hidden inside by a layer of the white and that gives them much more open look like this one and you can tell when you look by going down the sides seeing how much black or white do you have on the sides of them so that was it as usual experiment have fun enjoy and come up with your own designs I hope you enjoyed that video thank you so much for watching and thank you to all of those of you who subscribe I really do appreciate it I think that's it for now see you next time bye

26 thoughts on “Polymer Clay Coasters with Caned Tiles, a Tutorial

  1. Extremely effective & pretty, Fiona.  I've always been attracted to making things in miniature so looking forward to giving this a go.  Seeing circles and all sorts of trellises in the finished coasters; one can study them for ages & keep seeing different patterns 🙂  Thank you yet again for a super tutorial.

  2. Love, Love, Love your tutorials. You are so great at telling all the details and making it so understandable. Thank you so much for sharing all of your talent and knowledge with us. These are beautiful 💗💗💗👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  3. Thanks Fiona, for making caning so accessible and so intriguing with your clear cut instructions, encouragement and the multitude of tips that ensure success. Can't wait to try this! BTW, that peppermint/plum Skinner blend is magical.

  4. Oh these coasters are amazing, Fiona!!🥰🥰 Thank you so very much for mention me…you really didn‘t have to! 💜 I feel very honored!☺️ ❤️ THANK YOU!!💜
    One question…i am going to visit my family next month in the US. My aunts favorite color is turquoise or green. What combination would you use? As i said before you use colors i would never think of, but everything turns out so beautiful!💜 I would like to make your coasters as a gift for her. Could you give me a advice? I will of course tell my family that you made the whole design!💜 But as she said green, i was completly lost!😂

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