How to Make Clay Earrings
Clay earrings make an easy gift and a fun statement piece. To gather your supplies, start in the clay aisle of a local craft store to get the best sense of your materials. You'll need oven-bake clay, a pack of clay sculpting tools, earring posts, jewelry pliers, super glue, and earring jump rings.
For jump rings, err on the side of larger. Jump rings that are too small won't be able to connect earring pieces without breaking the clay. You'll also need a clay roller and parchment and wax paper. You may also want to purchase clay shape cutters or cookie cutters in the shapes you'd like to form.
A note on clay: Mixing clay brands can cause cracks and bubbles in your final product. We recommend using regular Sculpey Oven Bake Clay, not the soufflé version of Sculpey.
Step 1 - Preheat Oven and Roll Clay
Preheat your oven to 225 Fahrenheit and let the preheating process go for at least 30 minutes. This will help your oven bake more evenly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
While your oven warms up, take your clay out of the package and begin to roll it out on the wax paper. You can mix clay colors together to create unique designs, or twist clay colors together to create a marbled look. If you want to go for a pattern, roll out a base color and cut shapes out of contrasting colors. Place the contrasting shapes on top of the base and lightly roll them into the base color. Roll until the contrasting pieces are securely joined with the base. The ideal thickness is 1/8 to 1/4 inch.
Step 2 - Cut Shapes
Take your rolled out clay and begin to cut the shape of your earring. Popular clay earring shapes include circles, squares, rectangles, half-circles, rainbows, and freehand shapes. People also often roll bead shapes and flatten one side to create small, pear-shaped earrings. As you roll and cut your earrings, make sure to poke holes for the jump ring to go through if you wish to make stacked earrings. Make the jump ring hole larger than you think it needs to be because it will close up a little while baking. It’s also a good idea to look at the size and shape of your jump rings to determine where to place the holes.
Once your earrings are cut out, step away and let them air dry for 15-20 minutes. Air drying is not necessary but will make transferring your earrings to the parchment paper-lined pan significantly easier. You will need a clay scraper to remover your earrings from the wax paper. This scraper should come in your clay sculpting starter kit.
Step 3 - Bake Clay
Bake your earrings for twelve minutes. When you pull them out of the oven, they may still be soft, so don’t touch them. Let them rest on the counter for at least an hour if not overnight. After your earrings are cooled off and hardened, use your jump rings and pliers to connect your earring pieces. Then, use super glue to glue the earring post to the back of the earring. Don't use hot glue—it won't hold. One the glue dries, your earrings are ready to wear!
The best way to get great earrings is to practice, practice, practice. You can craft hundreds of earrings out of just a few packs of clay, so don’t stress. You'll have plenty of clay to play around with. If you want to gift your earrings, check Amazon or a local craft store for earring holders to place your fun new creations on. You can also create your own fun wrapping paper to complete your present.
Oven-bake clay can be fragile, so handle your creations with care. If an earring snaps, chips or breaks, you can use a very small amount of hot glue to repair it.