DIY: Rustic Polymer Clay Earrings Tutorial
What’s better than making Rustic Polymer Clay Earrings to get you in the mood for warmer days? Spring is officially two months away! I love that this tutorial can be done with a lot of items you find around the house. I’m trying to be eco-friendly over here. Most of the time anyway. Keep reading for the tutorial. Check out my other DIY projects here.
- oven-bake clay – one 2 oz. pack (I used Sculpey III® Glitter in Turquoise)
- jewelry pliers
- earring hooks
- earring posts (loop ends)
- conventional oven or toaster oven
- sewing pin or paperclip
- nail file
- X-Acto knife
- rolling object (I used an small empty wine bottle)
- object for creating shape (I used a keychain)
- plastic spatula
- rolling surface (I used the inside of a Sterlite container lid)
Step 1: Prep the clay for your Rustic Polymer Clay Earrings
I used about one and a half wedges of the four wedges in the pack of clay. You will need to break off the polymer clay and work it in your hands until it softens a bit. Roll it into a ball. Then roll it out with the bottle.
Then into a ball again. You will need to do this for at least 30 minutes. I know that sounds like a lot, but this will make the earrings more durable once baked.
Keep rolling and rolling. You may need to use the spatula if it sticks to the surface.
Flatten the clay out to a thickness you are happy with.
Step 2: Shape the clay
I used a keychain to help me form the shape of my earrings. Use an object that will give you the shape you want.
I started by pressing the keychain onto the clay (bottom, left). Then I used an X-Acto knife to cut out the shape I made (bottom, right).
After that I cut off the excess clay.
The arch shape was achieved when I cut out the bottom of the clay until I got the desired result.
From there, I punched holes for the hardware into the clay (bottom, left and right). I used a sewing pin, but a paperclip also works. Make sure to push the pin through the back and front. The hole has to go all the way through.
Step 3: Baking your clay
Set your oven to 275 degrees F (130 degrees C).
I baked my earrings for a total of 2 hours, checking every 15 or 30 minutes. I baked them on a round metal baking pan covered in aluminum foil.
HOWEVER, I think I could have baked them for less time. I kept thinking they were still too soft, and added more time. Though 1 hour of baking should have been sufficient. They fully harden as they cool. So don’t worry if they are slightly soft when you take then out the oven.
Your baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your clay.
Step 4: Filing your clay
Use the nail file to file both the edges and the surfaces of the earrings. This will vary with the shape of your earrings. No matter the shape, make sure all sides and edges are smooth.
Wipe the earrings clean with a damp tissue. I called this tutorial “Rustic Polymer Clay Earrings” because they have an imperfect, almost rugged look. The clay almost looks like stone.
Step 5: Finishing your Rustic Polymer Clay Earrings
Take an earring post. Use your pliers to gently open the loop. Don’t open it too wide (bottom, left and right).
Slide on one of the earring hooks (bottom, left). Now use the pliers to close the loop of the earring post (bottom, right).
Slide the earring post through the hole on the front of the clay earring (bottom, left). Make sure the earring hook will be facing the right direction. So the your earrings won’t be backwards.
Bend the opposite end of the earring post with the pliers. You’re going to start bending it upwards into the direction of the front of the earrings.
Keep bending it,, until you reach the front. Bend it all the way until you close the earring, so that the clay doesn’t fall off.
Repeat this for the second earring. Now your earrings are finished! Where will you wear them?