Ever wanted to DIY a beautiful pair of polymer clay earrings? You’re in luck today, as that is what this tutorial post is all about. Polymer clay jewelry is really hot right now…I’ve been on Etsy, and I can tell you people love the heck out of these. No surprise if you’ve seen one of my earlier gift posts. And the possibilities for designs is endless!
Since oven bake clay comes in so many colors that can be easily blended, you can customize them and mix and match them for your wardrobe and make pairs for all your different fashions. But aside from that it’s a fun hobby, and if you really get into it, you might want to consider selling them, too!
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Even though it may take a little time and experimenting to get good with color blending, there are some simple designs that can be easier to do if you’re kind of “green” with your clay experience. So without further ado, let’s jump right into how to make those pretty earrings, using 2 pairs I made as examples.
Starting with choosing the right kinds of clay, which is very important, so don’t skip this part.
Which Clay is Best For Earrings?
Now don’t just grab any clay for this, as polymer clays are all different, some are soft, some more firm, it’;s very important to go with some that is more firm. Sculpey Premo! is an excellent choice as it is kind of in the middle – not as soft as Sculpey III (don’t use that kind) but still very workable, and it comes it lots of beautiful colors, not to mention pearlescent looking too.
Sculpey Souffle is also good – it’s soft (but not too soft) great to work with, only it doesn’t have the pearlescent veneer to it. You could probably add a little color to it or add-ins like glitter to improve its appearance.
Fimo is also a good jewelry clay with lots of colors. it comes in “Soft” and “Professional” and for earrings I would go with the Professional.
Jewelry making is fun and I used to do it a lot as a nice little side hobby. I’ve used beads , wire, and clay, so I do have some familiarity with the components you’ll need to craft your own earrings. The basics of it is that you’ll need French hooks (for the “dangle style” – I prefer those) or posts with clasps (I think they’re known as “leverbacks”…I have lots of earrings of my own with this attachment and they’re not only comfy, but secure too.
Next you will also need some eye pins (stick-like parts with a small loop on one end used to thread beads and connect to the French hooks)
Lastly, jump rings, which are little round metal rings that are used to connect all the different parts together. If you have all of these, you are golden. The next thing to have on hand is a pair of pliers. Ideally the “needle nose” kind works the best for this.
If you’re looking to make post-style earrings instead, you’ll need a few of those posts with clasps on the back . Depending on the style you’re going for – one popular approach is to have a past attachment with one shape and a second shape dangling below it, so you will still need access to components like the jump rings.
Shapes For Your Earrings
Now to the fun part…what should your earrings look like?
Keep it simple. Contemporary designs are the most popular. Think geometric shapes, like circles, triangles, oblong rectangles, trapezoids and semi-circles. You can easily get these shapes via the use of shape cutters (which would be more precise than just doing it freehand).
The rainbow shape seems to be very popular and I’ve found that I can replicate it easily with thin coils grouped together, but for the basic shapes, cutters would be encouraged. For anything circular I’ve found hacks like using the cap off a marker or those little tiny mini plastic party glass favors work very well, so give that a try!
A rainbow is easy if you want to try that one,I used a skinny rolled out coil at about 4″ in length as you can see here, then wrapped the second and third strands around and sliced off the end. I’d also try to make the colors slightly different. Or you can use the same color, it’s your call.
You could also cut a basic shape like a square, rectangle, or right triangle with an x-acto knife easily, but those would be exceptions. These are linear shapes which knives can tackle easily but more “round” ones, I’d encourage you to choose a few cutters to do so.
Choose colors that complement each other – for example, orange and teal blue look good together when paired. This post is not meant to get too deeply into color theory, as it’s a science and all that, so if you’re stuck for ideas, black or white goes with just about any color.
Also, don’t be afraid to experiment not just with color combos, but adding texture too, like in the form of adding mica, glitter, or terrazzo (a technique that goes back a long time – involves specks of colored stone that show up against a lighter background) That would look really impressive.
I kneaded orange, pink and white together to get this marbled color look below!
When you are satisfied with your designs, use a small object like a pushpin to pierce a hole for the jump ring to go through. it’s important to do this now before baking. I know you can drill through this clay afterward, but its best to create the opening early on. Just a teeny hole will do near the top.
If you have parts that you are planning to attach post backs to, you can skip this part.
Bake your finished clay earring parts – follow the formula for baking correctly…A good 20-30 minutes at 275 degrees F is well suited to small objects like these components. If you used a brand of clay requiring a lower temp adjust it correctly. Don’t forget to cover them, too, while they are in the oven, so they won’t get browned on top.
I bake mine in my toaster oven which is ideal for something this size. Then leave them alone to cool after the oven is turned off.
When they are thoroughly cool you can start to assemble the parts together!
Assembling Your Clay Jewelry
Now comes the fun of putting them together. There aren’t a lot of hard and fast rules here, but as a general guideline, jump rings are used to attach the French hook and the part together. Sometimes eye pins are best saved for lining up small beads, if you choose to use them. See how I’m doing that here with my pair in the making:
I took the two beads above and used my pliers to bend off the end. I also took the rainbow pieces, and since they’re a little more delicate, I ran through a length of actual wire, bent it around (gently) and used the pliers to curl the end part over, then I attached that part to the bead parts.
Also I would use 2 jump rings, when you attach the first one to one of the clay pieces, it may line up straight, but its movement may be hindered, so an extra jump ring can help with that.
Lastly is attaching the French hooks (or leverbacks) . The loops on the ends of both tend to be very tight – too much so to open up with pliers, so I open the end of the eyepin on the bead part just enough to attach the hook to the loop, then I re-tighten it.
Attaching Post Earrings
You can also choose to do a post type earring style instead. It all depends on your comfort level and preference. To do this, use good quality metal earring posts with the clasps on the back, and use a small dab of superglue or e6000 to attach the flat end of the post onto the back of the top shape of each earring.
Let them dry thoroughly; at least for 24 hours to be fully cured. I think I’d wait a few days before trying them on – When I made earrings that way I didn’t attempt to wear them for at least a week to be on the safe side, even though e6000 is very reliable glue. Regardless of whether you made post or hook wire earrings, you can take a 3 x 5 index card and pierce 2 tiny holes in it and insert them, for safekeeping.
You now have a solid blueprint to follow when diy-ing your own beautiful and stylish polymer clay earrings! So what’s next?
If you plan on gifting/selling them, I’d look into some jazzier pre-made cards…I just so happen to have some earring templates in my shop – you can download the template and customize them to your liking, and voila! (This will be accomplished faster if you have access to a Cricut.)
Gift them…this will be sure to be appreciated. Keep them to wear…Hopefully you will get some compliments!
And if you get good at it and people start to really like your designs….maybe think about selling them? Who knows? Either way, have fun!