Custom Clay Cutter Tutorial – Polygons

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October 26, 2012 by theknittersnewt

A few months ago I was experimenting with Shrinky Dinks when I came up with this design that I absolutely fell in love with:

I made a bunch, ruined a bunch (in my haphazard way of doing things), and when I went to buy some more Inkjet Shrinky Dinks, I was super disappointed to find out they changed their product from one-sided to two sided.  At first this sounded fantastic.  I was like, damn, this will be super cool because then I can print my design on the front and then print some random accent design on the back.  Well I did this but was super bummed to find out that this new and improved Shrinky Dink Inkjet paper no longer shrank with a nice smooth surface but was instead rough and gross looking… on both sides… So I was distraught, cried in a corner, then went about with regular life for a couple of months.

Until now.  Duh duh Duh.  Upon ordering a pack of transfer paper intended for another project, I remembered those treasured little earrings I made way back when.  Since that moment, 24 hours ago, I have not been able to get those earrings out of my mind!  Maybe I could transfer the design onto something with the same shape?!  I found a couple rogue sheets of the original beautifully smooth Shrinky Dink Inkjet paper, and decided to have another go at the doomed project.  Naturally, in my excitement, I forgot to lighten the first sheet of earrings so the ink got all messed up.  Less than a minute later, I was printing another sheet of properly lightened earrings.  I started cutting, started smearing, and started getting a tad frustrated.  I shrank the earrings, but they just weren’t coming out the exact shape the old ones were coming out.

About ready to cry, an idea came into mind.  I’ve recently been experimenting with making hexagon earrings out of polymer clay.  Upon examining some little tiny shape cutters I bought long ago, I noticed all it really was was a thin strip of metal folded into a shape.  You could even clearly see the where the metal overlapped.  I was like, hey, if those cutter manufacturers can make those cutters why can’t I?!?!

Maybe not with metal, because I don’t have any strips of thin, bendable metal on hand (although I am pretty sure your local hardware may have them), but, aha!, one other things that I have that is a) bendable, b) durable (somewhat) and c) won’t stick to clay is… drumroll please… that fugly “new” Shrinky Dink Inkjet paper!!! EEEEE!! Perfect!  I ain’t usin’ that stuff for my precious earrings again, that’s for sure (maybe something else, though, that can accommodate the gross surface).

Anyway, here for the directions

Custom Polymer Clay Cutters



– Shape that you want to make a cutter out of

– Shrinky Dink Inkjet Paper (if I discover another more economical material to use, I will report back)

– Paper Cutter (for straight lines, scissors are also acceptable)

– Scissors

– Glue, I used Aleene’s Jewelry and Metal Glue because it’s waterproof and dries strong and fast (it’s basically like superglue, so that would probably work as well)

– Ruler if you don’t have a shape on hand, but know its dimensions

– Permanent Marker

– Pliers

Directions: (images correspond to direction above)

1.  Cut a strip of the Shrinky Dink paper about a 1/4 of an inch wide


2.  Mark with a permanent marker where you would like to make your folds


3.  To make the folding easier and more precise, I placed the dull edge of my handy little cutter on the line where I wanted to fold and used my left hand to fold the paper



4.  Make all the necessary folds


5.  Trim the strip so it has one extra side to overlap


6. Dab a little glue on one of the sides that will overlap and press the sides together firmly with the pliers


Wait a couple seconds (this glue dries fast), or up to a minute just for safe measures.

Ta da!  You are finished!


Cut away!  After using your cutter, you can clean it by gently dabbing it with a wet cloth to get clay off.  The glue I used is waterproof, so the water won’t affect it.

These directions work for a polygon with any desired amount of sides, more installments will be included for other shapes!

Best of luck and enjoy!

– Krystine


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