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FIMO leather-effect – A guide to getting started with the leather-like modelling clay

FIMO leather-effect – A guide to getting started with the leather-like modelling clay

With  FIMO leather-effect, anyone can easily create unique pieces of jewellery or decorations with a leather look. The results not only look impressively authentic – items made with FIMO leather-effect also have a wonderful texture! This FIMO modelling clay can be worked on in all kinds of ways: cutting, sewing, punching and lots more. A particularly nice feature is that colours can be mixed, just like other modelling clays. To make the most of all the unique features of FIMO leather-effect, there are a few basic things you need to know. These are summarised in this handy guide.

5 steps for modelling and crafting with FIMO leather-effect

Before working with the modelling clay, there are a few basic things to keep in mind:

  • You will need a suitable work surface.
  • The work surface and your hands should be clean.
  • The FIMO leather-effect block should be unpacked correctly.
  • The modelling clay should be hardened properly.
  • The modelling clay should be stored correctly.

If you follow this guide when working with FIMO leather-effect, there will be nothing in the way of you bringing your creative ideas to life!

The right work surface

There are various surfaces that are ideal for modelling with FIMO leather-effect. For example:

Glass plate
Glass plate
Baking paper
Baking paper
Tile
Tile

These surfaces are suitable for a variety of reasons. For one, they have a smooth surface. This ensures that the texture of the work surface is not unintentionally transferred to the modelling clay. Secondly, the clay can be easily separated from smooth surfaces. This is important when rolling out FIMO leather-effect very thinly, e.g. into sheets that will be sewn together or worked on in other ways once hardened.

Cleaning your work surface and hands

Before you get creative, make sure your work surface and hands completely clean.
Our Tip: Baby wipes are ideal for this. They are very gentle on the skin and remove dust and dirt reliably, keeping your modelling clay nice and clean.

Properly unpacking the FIMO leather-effect block

Before you can work with FIMO leather-effect, you first need to unpack the block in the colour of your choice. To do this, there is an easy-to-open tab on the back of the package. We recommend carefully pulling apart the packaging film so that it doesn’t tear. This allows you to rewrap any leftover modelling clay for later use.

Properly unpacking the FIMO leather-effect block
Hardening FIMO leather-effect

Hardening FIMO leather-effect correctly

Some say that FIMO leather-effect modelling clay needs to be baked in the oven. Strictly speaking, FIMO leather-effect only hardens when baked, while the colour and shape remain unchanged. For this reason, FIMO modelling clay with a leather-effect is labelled as oven-hardening.

To harden FIMO leather-effect, the oven should be preheated to 130°C. This is one of the special features of FIMO leather-effect (most other FIMO clays harden at 110°C). Once the oven has been preheated to 130°C, place your items crafted from FIMO leather-effect in the oven for 30 minutes. Since different ovens maintain and regulate their temperature in varying ways, we recommend using an oven thermometer to ensure proper hardening. The hardening temperature and time should be precisely observed.

The essentials at a glance:

  • How do I harden FIMO leather-effect? – In the oven at 130°C
  • How long does FIMO leather-effect take to harden in the oven? – 30 minutes

If you want to refresh your memory on how to correctly harden FIMO leather-effect modelling clay, the instructions can be found on the back of every pack. 

Good to know: Unlike the oven-hardening modelling clay with leather-effect,  FIMOair hardens on its own. For FIMOair natural and basic clay, this takes place at room temperature. FIMOair light, on the other hand, can actually be hardened in the microwave.

Storing FIMO leather-effect correctly

If you have modelling clay left over at the end of your project, you can simply store it and use it again later. You just need to make sure that FIMO leather-effect is protected from dust, sunlight and heat. We recommend storing it in aluminium foil or PE bags in a cool and dry place. Avoid contact with polystyrene or PVC.

FIMO leather-effect

Modelling with FIMO leather-effect – A beginner’s guide

You can model FIMO leather-effect with your hands, however modelling tools can help make it an even more enjoyable experience by optimally supporting the modelling process. Examples of tools include:

FIMO leather-effect plates with acrylic roller

An  acrylic roller, which can be used to roll out FIMO leather-effect into sheets. Gently stretch the modelling clay after rolling for an even more convincing leather-effect!

FIMO leather-effect plate with Clay machine

FIMO sheets in different colours can be easily joined by pressing them together. The  Clay machine is perfect for this.

Flexible FIMO leather-effect plate

Sheets are the starting point for many projects using FIMO leather-effect. They remain flexible and bendable after hardening, making them suitable for all kinds of creative projects: whether book covers, bracelets or unique FIMO leather-effect jewellery in a terrazzo look.
Note: Although this modelling clay is very flexible after hardening, it is not completely tearproof.

To ensure that FIMO leather-effect keeps the intended shape, this should be taken into consideration before hardening. For example, for a book cover, you should roughly cut out the outline of the cover and then fold it at the spine before hardening. This way, FIMO leather-effect will keep its shape after hardening and not spring open. To prevent the front and back cover from fusing together while hardening, place baking parchment between the covers.

FIMO leather-effect book cover

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