Polymer tool holders

My Kemper polymer clay cutters were always running away from me. When I saw someone at a conference with theirs neatly corralled, I decided to do the same.

I never thought of showing this efficient helper off. I’ve seen other artists’ beautifully crafted tools (see this early shot of Celie Fago’s) and this one is no beauty. Recent visitors to my studio thought readers might find beauty in its efficiency.

I’ve since devised similar helpers for other tools (pictured here) that try to elude me. Roll up some scrap clay, press your must-have-handy tool into it, remove the tool and bake. Voila! A studio assistant!

Name that sculpture and win!

ToyCyte interviewed polymer clay illustrator Jessica Fortner this week. They’re offering one of her newest furry sculptures to the person who can name the new series. Catch a good read and a chance to win.

  • reply Bettina ,

    I have such a scrap clay holder for my kemper cutters as well for years now – not a single one went missing since then

    • reply Doreen ,

      I like it! I often use these cutters. When I’m through cutting, I’ll stick it somewhere on my work table. Then when I need it again, I can’t find it because it’s lost in the stuff all over my table. I am going to make one of these helpers!

      • reply Christy Dickerson ,

        I was inspired to make a similar holder after I had to buy a second set! Mine fits perfectly in a “snack” size zip lock bag – great for traveling!

        • reply DiAnne Evans ,

          What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing it today.

          • reply Beth Schwartz ,

            Re: Toycyte – I’m a pathologist and I’ve been dealing with blood and guts for at least 25 years. However, my first response to those bloody, furry toys is yeeech. I could barely look at them.

            • reply Barbara Forbes-Lyons ,

              Here’s the question, tho’ – what’s a good way to keep the cutters organized when you take them to a class? Do you just load these into your gear box or what?

              Nice to see you promoting yourself, Cynthia!

              • reply Dora ,

                What a great idea ! Simple, but so effective, and I certainly don’t lack scrap clay !

                • reply Hollie Mion ,

                  I have found it helpful to leave the tools in the clay (unless, of course, they can’t withstand the heat) while baking. But maybe that was because I didn’t wiggle the tools in very much, and the very slight amount of shrinkage affected the fit.

                  • reply Hollie Mion ,

                    • reply Cathy Johnston ,

                      I posted a picture of my Kemper Cutter Keeper on my website today.
                      Quite a few years ago I added a drill bit holder to it.

                      • reply Barb Fajardo ,

                        I just marked my ovals, pears and square cutters with a sharpie yesterday…P1 for the largest pear, P2 for the next size down, O1 for the largest oval, S1 for the largest square…etc, and so on.

                        This way I just stand them up facing me and I always know what size I’m looking for without actually picking them up and examining each one.


                        • reply Pörrö ,

                          I’ve lately fallen in love with kemper cutters and now that I have more sets than it is healthy for one person (grin) I have done some stands this way. How ever I always seem to have way too much stuff on the table and have been thinking about more efficient way to make the stand. I just found a yarn cone made out of stiff cardboard that I am planning to use as centre support to make me a “tree of kempers”. That will not travel very well, but at least it could be more space- friendly way to store cutters in the table.

                          • reply Juli ,

                            That is so weird – I JUST made holders like this for my Kemper cutters last week!

                            • reply Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor ,

                              That is very clever of you! Function over beauty wins every time in the studio!

                              • reply Mary Vanderwood ,

                                I have all the Kemper cutters and to make them easy to locate I had cut out each shape (star, flower, square, triangle, oval, etc.) in different colors. All the largest ones are green, second largest red, 3rd largest purple, etc., and then glued the colored shapes on top of the corresponding plunger.

                                I bought a zippered pouch with see-thru zippered areas, and all circles are in one, all ovals in another, etc. When they’re out on my work station the colored shapes on top of the plungers makes it easy to grab exactly what I want.

                                • reply Mags Bonham ,

                                  I have those multiple clear drawer units from the hardware store used to store all types of bits & pieces. I measured the largest drawer and made the kemper cutter scrap clay bases to fit in. When I’m using them I just pull out the drawer I need and when I travel, I just remove the drawers from the unit and carry them in my rolling drawers or tool box. Great minds always think alike!

                                  • reply Cristalline ,

                                    Awesome! A simple idea but so good! Thank you, that’s exactly what I needed for my tools!

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