Looking to add some fun to your sewing space? I’ll teach you how to make these donut sewing pattern weights using polymer clay in this quick and easy step-by-step tutorial!
As I mentioned in this post, I finally have my sewjo back after a months-long slump, and I have a few sewing projects that I can’t wait to dive right into! I thought I’d bang out a few at a time by batching tasks, so I set up a cutting day in order to prep for a sewing marathon over the weekend. However, my usual go-to pattern weights (soup cans, random boxes…basically anything somewhat heavy within arms reach) was getting a bit too cumbersome to maneuver around I’d had enough. It also didn’t help things that cutting out pattern pieces is my absolute least favorite step of the sewing process.
I’ve seen a few sewists on IG use adorable little donut sewing pattern weights, but I’ve never been able to find a batch to buy. I finally decided to just have a go at trying to make them myself. I wish I would have tried it sooner, because it was incredibly simple, super fun, and look how stupid cute they are!! Follow this easy step-by-step tutorial to make your own donut pattern weights using polymer clay!
- Polymer Clay
- Silicone Mat or other clean working surface (I just put down wax paper on my kitchen table)
- Baking Sheet
- Mod Podge + Paint Brush (optional)
- You can use whatever colors you like for your donuts and there are TONS of different brands and color options out there. I found that this pack of Sculpey clay had everything I wanted and was easy to work with. Plus, it’s a very sturdy, solid clay after baking. I’d definitely recommend this pack!
- The Sculpey clay will start out very hard but will soften and become easier to work with from the heat of your hands as you work with it more. DO NOT place it in the microwave to soften it up! Certain colors may come off on your hands as well, so be warned.
- The colors will end up a bit darker after baking, but not by much. I originally mixed the pink clay with a small bit of brown for more of a tan color, but it did end up a bit darker than what I had wanted. I found that just plain pink was enough for the donut base, but feel free to have fun and experiment a bit.
- Your clay will also still be a bit soft and flexible (and HOT!) after you remove it from the oven, so be sure not to touch any additional sprinkles or swirls you add to the “donuts” at this point since there’s a greater chance of your embellishments coming off (ask me how I know).
- You can use a bit of mod-podge or watered-down glue to “paint” your donuts once they’re done baking for a glossy “frosted” effect. I love how it turned out on mine, but this step is completely optional.
Step 1: Start by stacking 5 washers together. You can do more or less depending on how heavy you want the weights to be, but after testing a few different amounts, 5 is the amount I found that best held down the fabric without being too bulky.
Break off 1 brick of pink clay, working it in your hands to soften. Tear off a small piece and flatten it out. Carefully hold your washer stack in one hand and insert the flattened piece of clay into the center, smoothing it out along the sides. This will cover your “donut hole”.
Step 2: Work the rest of the pink clay piece into a ball, then roll it out with your fingers on your work surface to form a “snake” long enough to cover the face of the top washer. Pinch off any excess clay.
Step 3: Use your fingers to smooth out the clay, running the excess over the sides of all the washers. Continue to smooth any bumps or edges with your fingers. Do not cover the other side yet. You don’t need your clay to be pristine, donuts are naturally fluffy and a little bumpy, so imperfections make it look more realistic! Your washer stack should look like the bottom right picture above.
Step 4: Pinch off a piece of different colored clay to be your “frosting”. For this one, I’m using white for a “vanilla donut”. Repeat the same process as steps 3 & 4, except instead of smoothing out the clay around the sides, you’re going to mush the clay from the top to the sides using your fingerprint all the way around. You’ll get a wavy effect resembling dripping frosting along the sides. It should look like the pictures above.
Step 5: You can leave your donut as-is, or you can decorate it! To do this, grab a small piece of different colored clay and use your fingers to roll it into a very thin strip on your work surface. Leave the strip long and snake it around your donut for a “drizzle” effect, or break it off into smaller pieces and place it randomly on top for “sprinkles”.
Step 6: Next, place your donuts on a metal baking sheet and bake according to the instructions on your clay box. For mine, I baked them at 275 for 20 minutes.
*Optional* Step 8: Once cooled, use a paintbrush to coat the donuts in Mod Podge. A little goes a long way here, so no need to drench them. Once the Mod Podge has dried, your donuts will have a shiny “glazed” look!
These donut pattern weights are probably the most fun tool I have in my sewing arsenal right now, and seeing them all together on my patterns makes me so ridiculously happy! They’re just silly and cute, and what else do you want from your sewing supplies?! I think these would make such a fun gift for a fellow sewist, and I know I’m going to make another batch in a different color story in the near future because I just cannot resist them.
Bonus: cutting out my fabric is a little less boring now, so maybe I’ll finally be able to cut out more than one pattern at a time. A girl can dream, can’t she?
If you make these cuties for yourself, please please please tag me on Instagram because I would LOVE to see them! Until I see you again,
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