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Hey, my crafty friends! This week on the blog, I thought I’d share with you my results in dabbling with some DIY Clay Earrings.
Polymer clay is a beautiful medium for earrings and other jewelry pieces. I’m sure you’ll also love how easy and budget-friendly this craft is to pull off. You can get started for around $50 or less! Your cost will depend on what you already got on hand for supplies.
Clay earrings are fantastic pieces of jewelry to add to your wardrobe. The tutorial that I am going to do today is straightforward and plain. If you like a bit more “sparkle,” you can dress up your clay with some pretty pigment powder and a sealer (Full tutorial is available at Intimate Weddings!)
Otherwise, experiment with the vibrant colors that polymer clay can come in as I did in this craft. Allow me to show you what I’ve done, but first, let’s talk about materials.
What You Will Need:
- Polymer clay (either air dry or oven-cured)
- Clay tools
- A rolling pin (I recommend acrylic or silicon varieties as the clay may stain a wooden one!)
- Cutting board (or another smooth surface for the clay)
- Cookie cutters (optional)
- Earring hooks
- Eye pins
I got the clay supplies at Michaels. However, if you are presently unable to get to a craft store due to covid-19 (or any other reason for that matter!), you can find all of this on Create For Less (Affiliate Link), or another favorite online retailer.
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Start With a Sketch
I always like to start with a sketch when doing a jewelry making project. It allows me to keep on track (You will likely recall my drawing from last week’s blog post!). Another great option is to have a picture of your design to stay on track.
Crafting always seems to work best with a bit of prior planning, it doesn’t need to be fancy, but a guideline will keep you on track to creating something gorgeous.
Working With The Clay
The clay is relatively pliable, but it may take a little back and forth with the rolling pin to loosen it up a little bit. Then you can cut out the shapes you want for your DIY clay earrings. You can use a cookie cutter, a stencil, or just freehand it.
I did not have a decent cookie cutter for use, but I wanted triangle shapes, so I used the thickest clay tool to cut a diamond out of the clay and then used it again to split the diamond in half. It worked out for me. For my particular design, I needed two purple diamonds and one yellow one.
You can use your tool to punch out holes where you want to connect the clay piece to a jewelry finding to form your earrings if you would rather use split rings after curing your clay. Otherwise, you can attach your findings using the method below.
Eye Pin Attachments
I cut off about half of the stem of each eye pin and inserted it into the clay before baking it. It’s essential to keep in mind that you’ll want each attachment point to be at a 90-degree angle from the other to have your triangles hang flatly.
Because the earring hook will be attached after the clay has cured – either by baking in my case or by air if you choose an air-dry clay – you’ll have to keep in mind what angle you want each eye pin in.
With my earring hooks, the loop at the bottom is in line with the hook, in other words, when you look at the loop as it would hang in your ear, the “loophole” would face to the side. That meant that the first eye pin on my top triangle needed to go into the clay so the loophole was facing forward.
With the remaining eye pins, you just need to make sure that they connect at a 90-degree angle from the one on the connecting triangle. Before curing your clay, take a look at each triangle’s pins to make sure they’ll line up like that. If they don’t quite work, you can twist them into place before sticking them into the oven or letting them air dry.
Baking Your Clay
Follow your package instructions to bake the clay to “cure” it. One thing to note and my package totally didn’t indicate it is that your clay will still be slightly pliable when it comes out the oven. Let it cool for a few hours before connecting your triangles.
Also note, at least with my package of clay, it never finished rock hard it still had a bit of “give,” but it was definitely not as pliable as it was in its unbaked state.
Once your clay is cool or air-cured, you can connect all your pieces according to your design. Use a pair of pliers to gently pry open each eye pin loop and combine them in the order you want your triangles to appear in your dangly earrings.
Finally, attach your earring hook and these babies are ready to wear!
I did notice a few things with my first attempt at DIY clay earrings. Mainly the clay does “transfer” a bit between colors. To resolve this next time, I will work with the lightest shade first. The eye pins also loosened a little bit after curing the clay for some of my connections, I used a small drop of jewelry glue to slide it back into position, and that seems to be holding up well!
Minor issues aside, this is a quick and easy craft that you can complete in around an hour (the longest part is going to be waiting for that clay to cure!). This craft won’t break your bank account either as you can get going for around $50 or less.
So that is all for this week, my crafty friends, join me next week for a post about summer decor where I cover a few cool decor themes you may wish to try out for yourself. Until then, stay crafty and don’t forget to share this post to social media or pin to Pinterest!