How To Make Your First Tiles

December 06, 2019

How to make your first polymer clay tile

Polymer clay tiles are really easy to make and allow for a huge amount of creative freedom that commercially made tiles simply don't have. With these tiles you have:

✅ An almost unlimited colour choice

✅ The ability to add your own textures and finishes so that you can theme your mosaic

✅ The ability to add letters, words and quotes of your choice to your work

✅ Freedom to create tiles to the size and thickness that you desire

✅ And most importantly, the enjoyment of creating your own tiles

These ideas can be used for projects of all sizes and are simply enough for a beginner!

Tools & Supplies

Can you start making polymer clay tiles quite simply and inexpensively with the following items:
  • An acrylic roller (or you can use a glass rolling pin, wine bottle or smooth wooden roller)
  • A wooden skewer for piercing holes (kebab skewers are ideal)
  • A ceramic tile or non-stick craft mat to work and bake on. You can also bake the tiles in a baking tray.
  • Premo Sculpey polymer clay - 2 or 3 colours will get your started
  • Guides to roll your clay to the desired width
  • A blade or knife to cut the clay
  • Found items to create texture on your tiles
While many items used with polymer clay may be found in our home kitchens, once used for polymer clay, they should not be used for food purposes.

Step 1 - Conditioning

Conditioning polymer clay can be a fairly quick and easy process. Condition only one package of clay at a time (and be sure to wash your hands in between to avoid accidental mixing of colors). Begin by warming the clay between your hands, and then kneading and stretching it until is becomes soft and pliable

Conditioning with an acrylic roller

  1. Cut a slice of clay from the block of clay.
  2. Roll it until it is 2-3 mm thick using an acrylic roller.
  3. Slice the rolled clay in half with a blade. We recommend slicing the clay instead for folding it as air can get trapped if the clay is folded.
  4. Stack the pieces and roll the clay again to 2-3mm thick.
  5. Do this 6 or more times until you can bend the clay without it cracking on the fold line.
  6. On your final roll, roll it to the desired thickness. Use two guides positioned on either side of the clay to roll your clay to the desired thickness. I use two pieces of board that are 4mm thick so that my tiles are the same thickness as most commercially manufactured glass tiles.

If you are planning to make a lot of tiles you can also use a clay rolling machine to condition the clay.

Step 2 - Adding Texture

Texture should be added to your tile before it is cut, as you can distort the shape of your tile if you do it after the tile is cut.

Here are some ways you can add texture to your tile, but this is only limited by your imagination.

Stamps or Textured Sheets

Rubber stamps or textured sheets can be used to create a deep textured impression in the clay. You can get stamps for depicting pictures, individual letters, words, quotes or patterns. When selecting stamps get deeply etched ones as finer details can get lost.

Moisten or mist the sheet of clay lightly before stamping to prevent the prevent the stamp or textured sheet from sticking.

Stamped polymer clay tiles

Wooden Embellishments

Using Tools

Using Items From Around The House

Items from around your house can include lids of pens, chain, bottle lids, jeweller or anything that makes an interesting impression.

adding detail to your tiles with items from around your house
adding detail to your tiles with items from around your house

Mixing Colours

Colours can be mixed easily to give you a virtually unlimited range of colours, these tiles have been created just by adding white to the cobalt blue colour.

Different shades of blue polymer clay tiles

Step 3 - Cutting The Tiles

The clay can be cut easily with a sharp knife or metal cutters. If you are wanting to create square or rectangular tiles using a paper guid is a great idea to get a consistent shape.

squares and rectangles cut with polymer clay
using a guide to cut the polymer clay tiles

Step 4 - Baking The Tiles

Bake your clay pieces on an oven-proof glass or metal surface at the baking temperature and time listed on the package. DO NOT USE MICROWAVE OVEN. DO NOT exceed the recommended baking temperature or baking time. Carefully remove from oven and allow to cool. Baking should be completed by an adult.

Baking Time:

275 °F (130 °C)
30 minutes per 1/4 inch (6 mm) thickness

While many items used with polymer clay may be found in our home kitchens, once used for polymer clay, they should not be used for food purposes.

Step 5 - Sealing The Tiles

You can seal your tiles with Sculpey Glaze Gloss or Satin which provide a smooth seal to set your clay, cover imperfections, increase durability.

If you decide to grout your mosaic make sure you cover your tiles with masking tape first to prevent the tiles absorbing the colour from the grout.

As polymer clay is waterproof your tiles can be used inside and out, do not place in direct sunlight as there colour may fade.