How to make a realistic polymer clay rose

how to make a realistic polymer clay rose

I know, I know , you already know how to make a polymer clay rose. There are hundreds of tutorials over the internet related to rose making. However, do you know how to make a polymer clay rose that looks REAL? Today, I am going to reveal all the secrets behind making a realistic polymer clay rose. Hopefully after reading this post, you can bring your polymer clay rose to a whole new level.

First of all, let’s think about the characters of a real rose:

  • a rose usually has a tight center with multiple layers of petals.
  • rose petals are extremely delicate and thin.
  • the outside petals of a rose are usually large and curly.
  • the edge of rose petals are NOT completely smooth.

With those key points in mind, we can start making a “real” rose!

This post contains affiliated links. If you buy something through one of those links, it won’t cost you a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission. It will help me to create more free tutorials. Thank you for your support!

Step 1. cut out polymer clay circles (picture 1)

Using a pasta roller, or clay roller, roll polymer clay to a 1mm thick flat sheet. Using a Wilton Number 7 round piping tip to cut circles (4mm in diameter). Therefore, a circle is 4mm in diameter and 1mm in thickness.

Step 2. prepare the polymer clay rose petals (picture 2)

Rose center: 1 1/2 circles

First layer: 1/4 of a circle

Second layer: 1/2 of a circle *2

Third layer: 3/4 of a circle *3

Fourth layer: 1 circle *3

Fifth layer: 1 1/4 circles *5

Step 3. Shape the rose petals (picture 3–8)

This is the most crucial step for a realistic polymer clay rose. If you want to make a simple rose, all you need to do is to shape the petals into a teardrop (picture 3). However, a real rose petal is much more delicate and thinner than that. To achieve this effect, a foam pad and a ball tool are essential.

As shown in picture 4, using a ball tool, flatten and enlarge the petal on a foam pad multiple times until the petal becomes paper thin (picture 5).

To add more details to the petal, you can cut small indentations around the edge using a craft knife, or a cutter with sharp corner (picture 6). In addition, you can place the petal into a rose petal mold for more texture (picture 7 and 8).

Tools used in this project

Step 4. assemble the polymer clay rose (picture 9-23)

Now begins the fun part, let’s assemble a beautiful rose together!

Starting with a cone shaped center, layer the petals one by one as shown in picture 11–23. A few key points here:

  • Keep the rose center round and tight (picture 11-17).
  • Placed the outside petals lower than the rose center (picture 22-23).
  • Use your finger to give the outside petals a slight curl (picture 21 and 25).
  • Cut small indentations on the edge of the outside petals using a small scissor (picture 26).

Now your rose is ready! After baking (110C/230F for 30 minutes), you can use the rose in all kinds of projects.

To recap, I listed the most important four points of making a realistic polymer clay rose in the picture below.

Hope your next polymer clay rose can look exactly like the real one! If you have any questions, or want to share your own tips about polymer clay rose making, please leave a comment below!

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11 thoughts on “How to make a realistic polymer clay rose”

  • I love your realistic roses and all your work for that matter! I do have a question, How do you prevent breakage when the flowers are that thin and being used in jewelry ?


    • Hi Shirley, thank you for your kind words! I haven’t encountered the breakage issue yet. The main reason I think is the fully baked polymer clay is actually flexible. The under baked polymer clay, however, is very fragile and prone to break. One way to test if you clay is fully baked is gently bend your flower petal after baking. If it bounces back, the flower is fully baked.

  • Lovely! This is a brand new hobby for me, so I really appreciate a clearly explained project with good photos. Thanks! I have a question about the baking: if one plans to use the roses and a project that will be baked more, such as a fairy door or anything detailed, should I start with a 15 minute bake? Or is 30 ok if I will add 30 more?

    • I am happy you find the article helpful! To answer your question, if you keep your oven temperature strictly as required, 60 minutes baking won’t be a problem. If your oven gets hotter and hotter during baking, I would suggest to pre-bake the oven for 15 minutes and bake another 15 at the end.

  • I enjoyed your post and am just wondering how you get rid of the toothpick if you want to use the rose alone? It doesn’t look like you can pull the toothpick out after you’ve created your rose and before baking.

    • Before baking,you can pull the toothpick or wire out by cutting the end of the rose using a craft knife. Or you can keep the metal wire when baking and pull the wire out afterwards. If is fairly easy to remove wire after baking. However keep in mind the toothpick can’t go in the oven.

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