Here are the basics I think you’ll need when you start with Polymer clay. All these items can be found in your craft store (if you’re in America). I purchased most of these items from a website based in NZ, and some from a hardware and art store.
1. This is Fimo Deco gel. This is more translucent that Liquid sculpey and gives a glossier finish. I usually use this when I’m making a sauce that’s transparent (like fruit pie or something along those lines.)
2. This is Liquid Sculpey (TLS). This is used for making whipped cream, and after baking, it has a matte finish. If you do not colour it with pastels it will finish transparent (although, not as transparent as Fimo deco gel). When coloured with pastels, it will be a solid colour.
These liquid clays are also used as extra to hold clay pieces in place when they bake. Depending on what kind of effect you want for your creation, you can decide what brand of liquid clay you want. I just have both.
3. These are just two brands of polymer clay. The white block is Sculpey III and I use this because it is the cheapest out of the Sculpey range in NZ. I find it very easy to condition, however, it does get quite soft when you handle it a lot. The grey block is Fimo and I find it harder to condition compared to Sculpey III. The good thing I find about Fimo is that even when you handle it a lot, it doesn’t go as soft as Sculpey III. (I also use Cernit and Dukit clay)
4. These are Sculpting tools. The silver one is just a tool I use to add texture to my clay. This can be easily be replaced by something pointed like toothpicks or needles (however, needles seem too dangerous as a tool). The black tool is something I picked up from a hardware store. It has interchangeable heads.
5. The most important tool, the Razor blade. Pretty self explanatory.
6. Small box of Pastels. Pastels are great for adding shading to your creations and it definitely makes them more realistic. Pastels are also used to add colour to liquid sculpey or the deco gel.
Now here are some extras that I think will save you a lot of time:
7. Silicon. Okay, this product is REALLY pricey especially for me in New Zealand. It is basically a two part putty that moulds to whatever you want. I use these for muffin bases, textures and stuff like that. This if definitely optional, but a giant time saver for the lazy or those who want to make more realistic food (e.g. the pattern on the oreo cookie)
8. Cookie cutters. These are a BIG time saver. You don’t really need all these shapes, they just happen to come in a set for me. I think the most basic one you should have are circles. Preferably in different sizes because, circles make the bases for cakes. Of course you can always use circular caps to make your bases OR just shape out the base with your hands.
9. Fimo Glaze. This is just glaze that is used to finish off a creation. It really seals in colours from pastels and overall gives a glossy finish. (For those who are cheap, I guess clear nail polish would work. It would be a bit thick though)
Aaaand there we go ! ;D
These products are just what I think you’ll need to get started. When I first started, all I had was white polyer clay, pastels, glaze and a razor blade. I was cheap and actually used the pastels to colour the clay….as you can imagine, it took WAYYYYY too long and was really messy.
If you think I should add anything else to this post, questions or requests, just leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer them.