How to Make Faux Ivory With Polymer Clay

Ivory is used for a variety of ornamental objects such as beads, buttons, jewelry, pottery, figurines, and handles for knives and letter openers. Authentic ivory is rarely used today because of significant population declines of elephants and other mammals that resulted from widespread hunting for ivory. Readily available polymer clays make it easy and fun to create a wide variety of faux ivory items. This article explains how to make faux ivory with polymer clay.


  1. Image titled Make Faux Ivory With Polymer Clay Step 1.png
    Mix white and translucent polymer clays by pressing and squeezing them together. Add small amounts of tan and yellow polymer clay to create an authentic ivory appearance. Add more tan and/or yellow polymer clay to make the faux ivory look older.
  2. Image titled Make Faux Ivory With Polymer Clay Step 2.png
    Knead, press, and squeeze the clay as needed to shape the clay as desired. Add small amounts of tan and/or yellow clay as you shape it, if needed, to achieve the desired color.
  3. Image titled Make Faux Ivory With Polymer Clay Step 3.png
    Place the polymer clay item(s) on a baking dish and bake it in the oven according to the manufacturer's instructions on the packaging. Be sure to use the recommended oven temperature and bake for the recommended amount of time.
  4. Image titled Make Faux Ivory With Polymer Clay Step 4.png
    Wet sand the faux ivory item(s) for a smooth finish using silicon carbide wet/dry sandpaper. Add a drop of dish detergent to the water and soak the sandpaper thoroughly before sanding. Start with 320 or 400-grit sandpaper, progressing to higher grit sandpapers as needed to get the desired amount of polish for your faux ivory.
  5. Image titled Make Faux Ivory With Polymer Clay Intro.png


  • Carve designs on the polymer clay using a knitting needle.
  • A polymer clay item that has been baked at the proper temperature for at least an hour is easier to sand and can be sanded smoother than one that has been under baked.
  • To make a faux ivory polymer clay bead, roll the clay into a ball or small tube and shape as desired. Pierce the bead through the middle with a wooden skewer to make a hole.
  • Use a good quality sandpaper because cheap sandpaper will fall apart quickly once it gets wet. Sandpaper suitable for wet sanding polymer clay can often be found at auto supply stores. These sandpapers are usually available in packs that include a variety of grits. Change the sandpaper frequently whenever the surface of the paper becomes smooth.
  • Apply varnish to polymer clay that has been wet sanded for an even glossier finish.


  • When baked, polymer clay emits a slight odor. When burned, polymer clay released hydrochloride gas, which can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, turn the oven off, open the windows, and leave the room until the gas is dispersed.
  • Most polymer clays are not intended to be used to make pottery or dishes that will hold food or beverages. Be sure to read the labels carefully if you want to use your polymer clay items for non-decorative purposes.

Things You'll Need

  • Translucent polymer clay
  • Tan polymer clay
  • White polymer clay
  • Yellow polymer clay
  • Oven
  • Knitting needle
  • Baking dish
  • Bowl
  • Dish detergent
  • Silicone carbide wet/dry sandpaper in multiple grits
  • Knife, if needed to slice polymer clay

Article Info

Categories: Clay Projects