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If you don't have school-aged kids or follow the deals sites, you may not realize that back-to-school sales are already in full swing. But not only are the next few weeks a great time to get school supplies, they're also a great time to buy claying supplies. You can stock up on a lot of the things you'll need for holiday craft shows, Christmas gifts, or even supplies for your own clay classes. Here are a few supplies you might want to look for at this year's back-to-school sales:

  • Pens:
    • What to do with 'em: Buy oven-safe pens to cover with polymer clay. Check out this list of a few oven-safe brands, which includes photos of the packaging to help as you're browsing the sales fliers or store aisles.
    • Deals: I found Bic Round Stics on sale at Staples last week (an 8-pack for a penny!), and it looks like Dollar General has 10-packs for fifty cents this week.
  • Notebooks:
    • What to do with 'em: Notebooks, memo pads, and composition books can be decorated many ways to use for journals and gifts. My Polymer Clay 101 co-author Kim Otterbein created this beautiful stamped journal cover. Or here's a tutorial for a mostly-papercraft composition book cover.
    • Deals: There are a wide variety of different shapes and sizes available, so keep an eye out for a sale on the type that works best for your project. Staples has their 5×3" spiral top memo notepads 5/$2 this week.
  • Index Cards:
    • What to do with 'em: Index cards are handy for baking clay creations. If you teach, your students can write their names on their cards before baking so there's no confusion about which piece is whose. I also use index cards to make notes about color samples or other experiments, leaving the samples on their cards to avoid mix-ups during baking.
    • Deals: These are a penny for a 100-pack at Staples through today — great time to stock up if you teach!
  • Pencils, Markers, Crayons & Other Mixed Media:
    • What to do with 'em: Colored pencils and some markers can be used on baked clay. Shredded crayon bits make great inclusions in unbaked clay. Even if you're not sure a specific product will work with clay ('cuz some won't), you can pick it up for very cheap and try it out!

We're fortunate to have a medium that is fairly inexpensive anyway, but deals like this make it even better. Do you have another favorite item to stockpile this time of year? Let me know in the comments!


I try to buy magnets or any stuff in the dollar stores that can be used in clay classes with children.
I just found something to string a necklace easily.
Ordinary pencils can be decorated with clay to differenciate them.I tried the sculpey earaser clay and it did not work so I use ordinary clay. Utensils to be covered with clay for a lunch box.I found molds: farm animals, sea animals and jungle animals.Cookie cutters to be used when the feast is there( Easter, Autumn, Halloween, Christmas).Stamps!
Old metal or glass containers to use to put cisors or other stuff on their home desk.Sparkles!We know kids love them everywhere!Pins backs to make pins.

Thanks for the great list, Hermine. Makes me eager to visit my local dollar store! I especially like the lunch box utensil idea... what a neat way to personalize a lunch!

I've been hitting up the Michaels back-to-school sales! They have some great stuff that's inexpensive and they give out great coupons. It's also useful that Michaels (and A.C. Moore for that matter) accept competetor's coupons and I just learned recently that Michaels matches prices!

I bought your ebook polymer clay 101 from bol.com
I can open it with adobe digital editions but can't print the book.
Can you advise me please?

Isabel, Thanks for buying the book -- hope you enjoy it!

The publisher hasn't actually provided me with a copy of the ebook — I didn't even know they planned a digital edition — so I can't offer much in the way of technical support. I just did a Google search on how to print from Adobe Digital Editions, and found this on eHow:

"Publishers can choose whether or not to allow the book to be printable on Adobe Digital Editions. If the printer icon is missing or you are unable to print, it means the publisher has chosen not to allow the book to be printed."

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions or need any additional help with the digital edition, you might try getting in touch with the publisher.

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CraftyGoat's Notes is all about sharing polymer clay tips & tricks that have worked for me. (And even a few that haven't!)

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