Polymer Clay Canes for Beginners

27 videos, step by step, beginner cane workshop beginner Cane Tutorial What people are saying about this tutorial. jennifer rose Just finished this first workshop on how to make canes, and I must say I learned so much. This is exactly what I have been looking for, someone who could explain cane making in a step by step that process that I could replicate. I watched the videos, went into my studio and began to create all of the canes Alice showed. I finally have results I can be proud of, and I say thank you so much for doing this workshop. My only question now is when do we get more workshops. If you are only going to take one online class let it be this workshop. Thank you Alice for your hard work, and your dedication to helping others learn the joys of polymer clay.

Online Workshops with Alice Stroppel


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How to Store Polymer Clay Canes – Video

I tried everything, from plastic bags to shoe boxes, but nothing ever worked as well as what I’m using now to store my canes.  I still am guilty of not cleaning up my work space as often as I should, but I’m soooo much neater than I used to be because of my storage system. I hope you can use what I’ve learned.

36 comments to How to Store Polymer Clay Canes – Video

  • Pssst! You’ve been gossiped about!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  • Alice

    Thank You! Julie, for suggesting my video on your site, polymerclay.craftgossip.com.

  • Nem

    Thanks for sharing. I try to recycle so I cut up the plastic that magazines are mailed in and use those to wrap my canes. No need for a tape – the plastic sticks to the clay.

  • Alice

    You’re welcome Nem, Great idea about saving the plastic from magazines. Never thought of that. Thank YOU for taking the time to share.

  • Mary Lynne

    I did see your new video on cane storage and found it very interesting.
    > I have been doing some caning and I was wondering how to organize them all. Your video gave me new ideas. Currently, when I make a skinner blend and if I am not going to use it right away, I make a plug. Before then I kept them flat and tried putting them in a folder. Those seemed to dry up a bit and crack easily. So learning about the plug concept has been a big help. Your idea for organizing canes is going to be even more helpful. Along with your other video on skinner blends, I can continue making a variety of canes and store them like your latest video.
    >New question, to make a case cover do you need about 4-5 different canes so you can decorate the lid?? When Im thinking of starting a project, I never seem to have the right color combinations or variety of canes to complete the project. That discourages me because I think I have to spend a lot of time making canes before I can start the project. Any thoughts?

  • Alice

    Dear Mary Lynne,

    Sometimes I can’t believe that I don’t have enough canes, but when I  start a project I usually have to make a new cane or two. Call me  crazy.

    My suggestion is to make small canes! It’s one of the most important things that I have learned. You can make a wider variety with less clay and you don’t get tired of them before they are all used up. Plus..the biggest bonus, you don’t have to reduce them.

    Don’t make this giant green skinner blend leaf cane that is so big you will never ever use it all no matter how hard you try. Chances are you’ll get  better at making canes and look at this humongo leaf cane and wish  you could mush it up without feeling guilty. We have enough guilt already, claying should be all about fun.

    You don’t have to have 5 different colored canes to cover a case..you can make one fabulous flower cane and just use it. Or use all canes from the same skinner blend so that your cover is monochromatic. See the video “Leave No Skinner Blend Behind”.

    I know just what you mean about not wanting to make a bunch of new canes for a project. But, if you spend one day making skinner blends and mixing colors then storing them for later, you’ll be half way there when it comes time to make that perfect little cane to add to a project. I find it is the only thing that saves me. Otherwise I might never get a project finished.
    I’m going to make another video to show another storage trick that I use for storing color mixes and flat skinner blends. Coming soon.
    Thanks Mary Lynn,

  • Thanks for the great video! i always struggle in storing all my polymer stuff.

  • Alice

    You’re welcome Cathy, glad it helped. Thanks, Alice

  • Jeanie

    Great idea for storage. I have been using pastic bags, all different sizes to store my canes and opened clay. Its been working for me but a big pile of I have no idea. I need to organize and will try those drawers. I have long haired cats and might have to put a piece of press n seal on the top of the drawer.

  • Alice

    I tried plastic bags at first and got very frustrated. I live in FL and my canes all stick together no matter what. I had to keep them all separated.
    I took a class with Kathleen Dustin one winter in Vermont. She had all her canes together in a box with nothing separating them. I couldn’t believe it. She was amazed that I had to wrap each cane separately.
    That brings me to another tip I should have included in the video. If it is too cold where you live, you may want to cover the bottom of each drawer with a thin sheet of scrap clay. That will give the clay something to stick to if the plastic is too cold.
    But I don’t live up north, so if you do, or if someone else reading this does, let me know how this system works for you.
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and for the compliment. I hope you sign up for my newsletter and watch the video on how to cover business card holders. There are some other good tips in that video too.

  • This looks like a fantastic idea. I have been trying out new systems for storing my polymer clay and just can’t find one that works. I just have a question about the clay drying out when storing it this way. Is that just not a problem? I live in HOT, DRY Phoenix, so I would worry this would dry out all my clay.


  • Alice

    The clay doesn’t “dry ” out actually, so this method really works quite well. I have canes that are at least 10 years old and they are still usable. I just bought another small draw storage unit yesterday and it was less that $10.00. Much better than having to replace paper or plastic every time you use a cane. Let me know if it works for you.

  • Nem

    For Rebecca — I live in Gold Canyon, not too far from Phoenix, and have my canes in plastic drawers similar to the ones shown on the video. I keep them in my AZ room where it can get as high as 85 degrees. I have some canes that are 5 years old and they are still good. I have even left some pieces on my work table where the sun hits it, and they are still workable. As long as we keep the canes covered (so they won’t leech out) and the temperature doesn’t go above 100 deg. – I think they we’ll be okay. I’ll let you all know if I encounter some dry canes.

  • Alice

    Thanks for that sharing that information Nem. I have no experience with dry heat, it is probably 90 % humidity today. Actually those of you who live in a drier climate don’t have as much trouble as we do in the south. At least your canes don’t stick together as easily as mine do.

  • Hi Alice,
    Thank you for this amazing and generous video. I am in a “big drawer stage”. :-) I loved the smaller ones. Good idea!

  • Alice

    You’re welcome, Sarah! Glad I had something to share. I’m on my third set of drawers. I keep adding canes. They aren’t that expensive and I love having my canes ready to use.

  • Hi Alice am I finding new things at your site.
    Wonderful info.
    I have been storing my polyclay flat like you say in a plastic office supplies folder.
    Thought that out all by my little self some time ago and have passed it on to all my students. All very grateful for that hint.
    I like that idea as I dont have the clay left in lumps after a clay day.
    Lately I have found that as well as storing it between the pages I wrap it in wax paper first and then find it so much easier to take out again to use.
    About the heat etc, well Mackay Qld Aust where I live has `100% humidity in the Summer so I keep all my good clay in my Fridge when not using. Love the winter better for claying ,but as I cant seem to stop need to have it handy and usable all the time.
    Your canes stored in boxes has given me ideas and as I do have some of those type of containers , everything in them ie cottons buttons etc, will get turfed out for much more important things!!!.
    Elizabeth From Aus XXXX

  • Alice

    Elizabeth, I don’t remember where I read it, but I think it was Lisa Pavelka that said she cuts up one side of the protectors closest to the hole, making a flap you can open, insert the clay and then close it again. Great idea. Saves one more step. I’m glad my video gave you some ideas. thanks for commenting and sharing what you do. Alice

  • Hi Alice, what a superb idea ! That will be my clay trolley sorted. After that I need to find a solution for my findings and for my metalworking tools and bits and bobs. LOL.
    This will however help me a long way !

  • Alice

    Cat, you’re welcome. Glad I could help with the clay part anyway. Pass on the link if you will……….good luck and email me a picture of your storage once you get it together. Or up load it on your facebook page.

  • Hi Alice, I love this method for storing clay canes. Right now I have been storing the flat wrapped canes in a plastic box. I like the drawer idea. I have to think on that and change my work space around a bit.
    Thanks Alice for another wonderful video
    Stephanie Bargelski

  • Alice

    Stephanie, it really works for me. I even need more room now. I’m glad to be able to share.

  • Kruela

    HI Alice,
    Again, just my first day on your site and already I have so many ideas from watching this, my second video. I don’t want to make the unnescessary blunders others have made and by sharing, you are helping me stick to the preferred course.
    Thank you so much.

  • Alice

    Yea….mission accomplish. I’ve helped someone and that makes me happy. Look forward to seeing what your projects are. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  • Isabel

    Hi Alice
    Thanks for the storage tips. I wrap my canes in glad wrap but they’re all just piled in a box right now, and that’s basically cos I’m not sure which plastic ‘leaches’ the clay. Is there a way to identify the type of plastic a storage box is made of that would be safe for the pc?

  • Alice

    You’re so welcome Isabel, so glad to help. I”m not sure exactly how to tell you which plastic to stay away from except it is the hard plastic, the plastic that shoe boxes used to be made of. Most of the shoe boxes and storage draws are now made for the softer more flexible plastic and don’t seem to effect the clay at all.
    Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments. Alice

  • SharonBee

    The plastic to avoid is #6 (polystyrene)! Not only the hard clear containers, but also avoid EPS (expanded polystyrene foam; styrofoam). Your clay will “become one” with this type of plastic.

    BTW, I store my canes in the plastic bags in which my neighborhood newspaper is delivered. This plastic is #2, IIRC, and it works extremely well. I haven’t tried the bags that are available for produce. They’re stretchy, where the #2 bags are not.

  • Alice

    Thanks for sharing that, Sharon. I also us plastic deli papers. Bought a whole box for about $7. Newpaper plastic bags are free and that makes them better, but I don’t get the paper so I’m okay with the box of 1,000 sheets lol.

  • Carol

    Thank you, Alice, for yet another great suggestion. I have a messy work area, but isn’t it supposed to be that way? LOL I have devised a storage system similiar to yours, but I think I will change again to the one you have. Looks simple and handy.

  • Alice

    Carol, I have continued to grow my boxes, making more and more canes. Still find this system is working for me very well. Thanks again for stopping by.

  • Thank you, Alice, for your good idea how to store polymer clay canes.

  • Alice

    You’re welcome, it is still working for me.

  • Leslie

    Hi Alice,
    I’m new to your site and relatively new to pc. I have been struggling to find a way to store my clay that is easy to get to without having to move too many things to get to what I’m looking for. You have solved my problem! I’ve been storing mine in the individual craft boxes with the square compartments built in or ones that I can add to the box. This was frustrating because my canes always seemed squished and I had to lift box after box to get to the one I wanted-it never failed I always needed what was on the bottom! I had also stored skinner blends and packages of the stiffer clays I had pre-flattened in storage bags I found at the big craft stores. I would throw these in the plastic storage boxes and have to sift through them to find what I wanted and they always stuck to the sides of the bags until I used a bit of baby powder on them before putting them in the bags. The storage sheets cut on the edges sounds like heaven! The notebook tip with the recipe and chips is marvelous!!

    Your way is so practical for my home studio and I will take your advice. I’m picturing the boxes with drawers stacked to the ceiling! But I’m keeping my individual compartment boxes around too. I recently visited my mom for a couple of months and found them handy for packing up canes to take with me. It was a 14 hour drive down to hot south Texas so I made sure to leave them in the passenger part of my vehicle instead of the hot trunk! At one point, the temperature outside was 107!

    Thanks again for your terrific videos and great website!
    Stratton, CO

  • Alice

    You made my day today Leslie. I’m always so happy when Someone finds one of my tips useful…thanks for taking the times to let me know.

  • Storage of canes

    I enjoyed your flick on storing canes and I found it rather interresting because I use the store bought wax paper and I tape them shut and I put them in this pink plastic container that is about 3 inches tall and 12 X 12 square.
    I have been doing clay for about a year but sense I got your book, Creative Canes, I really love doing clay, I work on my canes from around 1:00 or so till some times 11:00 at night. I can hardly drag myself away to take a break now and then. I love my Polymer Clay! I love my creations and some day I will have my own website.

  • Alice

    Glad you enjoyed it Judy. Creative Canes is not my book, it’s Barbara McGuire’s. I’m honored that you thought it was mine, but all credit belongs to Barbara. Good luck with your website.

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