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Detailed Clay Earring Kit Instructions

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Ages 14+ - This kit requires the use of sharp objects, oven usage, small parts and cleaning products. This kit is not appropriate for solo use by those under 14 years of age, or those who are unfamiliar with the safe usage of the products and instructions contained within.

Regular Clay Jewelry Kit

Preparation: Making jewelry is fun, and a great form of self-care. Running into supply issues mid project is no fun. So, I recommend taking inventory of your supplies, obtaining any extra supplies you may prefer prior to starting your project.

This kit includes the supplies you will need to create beautiful jewelry for you or your loved ones. Here is a list of additional items that you may need, or may make your jewelry making easier.

● A Clay Blade, or thin metal blade for cleanly removing clay from your workspace. You may be able to use a utility knife blade.

● A Scalpel style blade for cutting precise details.

● Krazy Glue for adhering posts (the stud process in these instructions does not require this)

● Jewelry pliers. You can use small home pliers as needed.

● A ceramic tile. Some people find it easier to leave their creations on a tile to bake.

● Bake & Bond - A Sculpey ® product that adheres clay to clay. This helps if you plan on adding little clay embellishments to your designs.

● Hand Drill - Manual or small hand drills can efficiently and easily create holes for jump rings.

● Clay Depth Gauges or a Clay Press – This can help you easily and consistently control the thickness of your clay.

● Cornstarch to prevent cutters from sticking to clay.

● Any additional embellishments you want to add to your project (gems, gold foil, glitter ect)

Please note that if you plan to expand the scope of your project, you may require additional materials.

Step #1 – Design

Plan your design out in a sketchbook or a piece of paper prior to starting your project.

This kit comes with the supplies to make the pictured jewelry on these instructions. However, with all crafts, you are only limited by your imagination and supplies. Please note, if you plan on changing these designs, you may require additional supplies.

Designing your earrings can be an adventure all on its own. Polymer clay artists find inspiration from nature to architecture and other art. When working with polymer clay, you want to get the most of each slab of clay you create. So, knowing how big you need to make a clay slab can help you both be efficient, create consistency within a collection, and reduce wasted clay.

Questions to Answer When Designing Your Jewelry:

  1. What color palette do I want?

    1. There are many free color recipes available online via pinterest, instagram, and some for purchase on Etsy. Visit our website for helpful links.

  2. How many of each style or shape do I need?

    1. This will determine how much clay you need, and how large your slab of clay should be.

  3. What will the back of this design look like?

    1. Dangle earrings can have their back shown if their wearer is wearing their hair up. So you will want to ensure when designing your earrings that the back looks polished and clean.

  4. Do I need to mirror my image?

    1. When designing your jewelry, you will want to take into consideration that your set will be divided between right and left. Some designs are symmetrical, others require the design to be flipped when designing from right to left.

  5. What type of cutters am I using?

    1. Each brand of cutters is different in the depth of clay it has been designed to be used on. The ideal depth can be found through trial and error, starting at 2.5mm and working upwards or downwards based on how the clay interacts with the cutter.

Step #2 - Clean

Always clean your workspace and tools with lukewarm soapy water, or a baby wipe prior to starting your project. Clay can be easily stained by other clays, paints or dyes. Similarly, lint or small particles can be pushed into your clay inadvertently from an unclean working space.

Take note that clay will not stick to your workspace if it is wet. So you will want to wash and dry your workspace and tools prior to beginning your project.

Step #3. Mixing and conditioning your clay

Conditioning Clay

For most clays, this is easy. Rolling your clay in balls or rope shapes will help “warm” your clay up. Some polymer clays or older clays can become quite firm and hard to condition. You can purchase a clay conditioner to help with this.

A note on clay stickiness. The more you handle your polymer clay, the softer and sticker it will become. This can be very useful when creating fine details. It can also pose problems with sticking to tools that are made of wood. If your clay sticks to your tools, let it stand for 10 minutes at a time. You may need to increase the standing times in hotter spaces, or where the clay has been handled a lot.

Mixing Colors

Sculpey® clay comes in beautiful colors. You may find the exact color you want in one of their pre-mixed blocks. If you are looking for a color more unique, seasonal, or are matching to another color, you may find that you need to mix different blocks of clay to achieve your desired color.

Color Mixing Rule: Always condition your white clay first. Wash your hands well before touching your white clay, and make sure it is in a clean place. Handle your colors from lightest to darkest. Ensure you clean your tools, hands and workspace between each color. Save black for your final color.

Step #3. Roll Out Your Clay & Design Your Slab

Using your wooden roller, roll out the clay as pictured. Your clay should be smooth. If there are bumps in your clay, you may have unwanted particles or air bubbles in your clay. For air bubbles, fold and roll out your clay until the air bubbles are gone. For particles, ensure a clean workspace and remove each particle, then re-roll out.

Note in the above pictures that the red clay is much thinner than the pink clay. Different pieces of jewelry require different thicknesses of clay. The base of a jewelry piece is normally the thickest part, while the details are often added using much thinner clay.

Once your clay is rolled out, you can add any extra designs you want. This could be using paint, liquid clay, sculpted details, foils, sparkles etc.. The options are endless. Always ensure that any additional detail you add is oven safe, and is properly secured to the clay. Non clay items may require a Bake and Bond product to adhere to the clay.

Step #4. Cut Your Shapes

When using cutters, ensure you push down evenly using both hands. Push down enough that the cutter just touches the workspace below the clay. Pushing down too hard may damage your cutters. Detailed cutters may require that they are dipped in corn starch prior to being inserted in the clay. This will prevent the clay from sticking to the cutter. Use a soft paint brush to lightly dust the cornstarch away after cutting.

To create your designs, you can use clay cutters, molds, and even a detail tool to draw out your design on clay. For safety, ensure any item you use to sculpt your clay is for polymer clay and crafting use only. Some plastics degrade when they come into contact with polymer clay. So, always read and follow the labels.

Pro Tip – Some earrings are symmetrical, and you can cut two of the exact same shape. Others are asymmetrical and require you to mirror the image if you want each earring to point towards your face.

Stud Backings

Posts can be applied to the back of your studs in 3 main ways:

1. Using Bake & Bond

2. Using Krazy Glue and Resin

3. Embedding the post in clay

For this project, we will embed the post in our clay project. To do this we will need to cut two additional, thin pieces of clay. This will need to mirror the piece they are being adhered to.

Start by cutting the additional pieces on a piece of clay that is 1-2mm thick. After you have released the clay from your working space, poke the stud through the clay. Ensure each side has the post inserted in the same general position on the stud so the earrings sit evenly from one side to the other.

Next, you will want to take the clay piece with the post, and match it to the back of the stud. The flat part of the post should be touching the back of the stud piece. Gently, ensure the area around the post is adhered between the two clay pieces and there are no air bubbles. Then, work outwards, gently ensuring the clay is adhered together. This must be done gently to ensure that the design you have created on the other side is not squished or deformed.

Finish by cleaning up the edges and trying to remove any noticeable gap between the two clay layers.

Step #5. Add Holes for Findings

You can add holes to your earring pieces before or after baking. When adding them prior to baking, ensure you use a tool that can penetrate through the clay piece, and is large enough to fit your jump ring after.

If adding the holes after baking, a manual or small electric handheld drill will be required. Special jewelry sized drill bits are often required.

Using your detail stick, poke holes straight down where you want your jump rings to connect your clay piece to your hooks or necklace. You want these holes to go completely through the clay and be wide enough to fit your jump ring. You also want these holes to be near the edge of your piece, but not so close as to weaken your design.

#6. Optional – Add Extra Details

At this stage, if you want to adhere any additional details with sculpted clay, you can. Sometimes, clay does not stick well, if this is the case, an oven baked clay will likely be needed to ensure the detail can adhere properly to the clay base. This is most common when adding 3d details that have small areas of adhesion – like with small clay flowers.

#7. Clean Up Edges

Spending time prior to baking, cleaning up and smoothing the edges of your clay piece will decrease any sand time and mess later.

This process must be done gently to not squish or wreck any of the clay details you have created.

#7. Bake Clay

The clay included in your kit is Sculpey Premo® Clay. This clay has instructions to back at 275°F for 15 minutes per ¼ inch. When in doubt, always read and follow the manufacturer's label and instructions.

Given the thickness of this project's design, I recommend baking your pieces at 275°F for 60 minutes. This will lead to the best results for your design in almost all jewelry cases. Baking your clay on an oven sheet will lead to your clay being shiny on the back. Using parchment paper will make your creation matte on the back. Using parchment paper is the easiest way to protect your piece from discoloration caused by your baking sheet.

White clay pieces will yellow if they are baked for too long or at too high of a temperature. Once your 60 minutes timer is up, it is a good idea to give your white, or light colored pieces an ice bath to keep them from continuing to bake when they are on the tray.

If your pieces continue to burn, or discolor, your oven may have uneven temperatures, or be off in temperature.

#8. Sand Your Pieces

Using the sandpaper, you will want to sand the edges of your finished pieces. You can keep the dust to a minimum by lightly wetting your pieces first. Once you are finished sanding, you will want to gently buff the edges to return the shine to the pieces.

#9. Attached Findings

Attach your jump rings, hooks, and studs as per the images below.

For attaching your studs, you will need to use a small amount of crazy glue. To ensure a long term adhesion it is best to use some resin or oven bake clay to cover the head of the stud and the back of the clay piece.

#10. Display or Gift Your Work

You can now wear your jewelry or attach them to the jewelry cards provided. Congrats!

Send us or tag us in a picture of your work. We want to see what you made!

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