Creating gorgeous polymer clay veneers using Silk Screens and paint have been around for many years.  I’m going to show you something I like to call a “ghost” design which a really nice variation on the basic silk screen/paint process.

I’m going to show you the process in it’s simplest form which you can then vary numerous ways. I’m using a medium bodied acrylic paint for this process.

Choosing Your MOIKO Silk Screen For A “Ghost” Design

This process can be a little hit and miss so to get good results, I feel it’s really important to choose the right screen.  When I create a polymer clay veneer with this process I always look for a silk screen which has a “open” (or large) design area – meaning lots of product will pass through the screen.

MOIKO Silk Screens have some really great designs that fall into this category. I also love the coarse mesh screens for this process as they allow more paint to pass through onto the clay which makes the outcome quite easy to achieve.

Creating The Base Colour

  • Condition some white clay and run through the pasta machine on a medium thin setting.  Place on a piece of scrap paper.
  • Choose a few pan pastel colours which will work well together.
  • Pick up a small amount on a sponge and add colour to your polymer clay sheet a little at a time. Build up the colour and blend well.
  • Position your silkscreen on top of your pan pastel sheet and burnish the best you can.  Remember this sheet of clay has a resist on it so you may see some movement during the painting process.  It’s important to hold the screen down as you paint.
  • You can apply the acrylic paint using any process you’re comfortable with. I find a brush with medium bristles works well for me but I’ve also been known to use a squeegee, my fingers or a scraper of some sort.
  • Remove the screen carefully and place into a dish of warm, soapy water and make sure to submerge completely.  Remember to wash your screen out completely as soon as possible.

Creating The “Ghost” Design

  • The next step is crucial to getting a good result here.  Wait about a minute and a half then place the polymer clay sheet into a tub of water (just room temp is fine).  If you’re working with FIMO clay please don’t do this as your clay will go sticky.
  • Gently “move” the clay around in the water and you’ll notice some of the paint start to come away from your clay.  Because we waited a minute and a half the paint on the edges of the design started to dry.  When our clay is popped into water the dried paint stays in place but the rest of the paint washes away with the water.
  • Dry your sheet very carefully on paper towel or similar and it’s ready to use.

This is a simple variation using the “ghost” silk screen process with mica powder silk screen on top. There are numerous other variations to this one.

Important Things to Remember, Tips and Variations

  • Choose the right type of paint and perhaps do some samples first so you know how long to wait for the type of paint/consistency of paint you’re using.
  • Make sure to wash your screen thoroughly in warm, soapy water to clean.
  • The right type of silk screen is also important to get good results.  Experiment with screens that are “lined” designs and screens that are “open area” designs.
  • Try a “ghost” silk screen over the top of a “ghost” silk screen.
  • My sample shows dark paint on a fairly light background.  Try varying that for a different result.
  • Mica powder, pan pastel or chalk pastel silk screen design over your “ghost” silk screen offers another beautiful variation.

I hope you like this little variation on creating a silk screen design with paint.  It’s something a little different and offers another option when using our silk screens.


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Joyce Parkes
Joyce Parkes
3 years ago

Debbie thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.. I love these ideas and will be playing with them soon 😻

Flavia de Miranda
Flavia de Miranda
3 years ago

Great to know about NOT using Fimo for this!

4 years ago

I really need to buy some Premo to try that effect ! Pretty sure Cernit won’t stand the step in the water :/

Gillian Copsey
Gillian Copsey
4 years ago

love this effect you have with the pan pastels and the paint as well, its so effective!