Polymer Clay earrings are taking the jewellery world by storm, and many crafty people want to get involved making them; but which is the best polymer clay for making earrings and other jewellery?
⦁ 1. Fimo – best all rounder
⦁ 2. Sculpey III – good for simple designs and beginners
⦁ 3. Pardo Jewellery Clay/Art Clay – great for more advanced crafters
But it’s not as simple as ranking the brands according to my creative preferences. You crafty folks may have a variety of earring projects you want to work on, and different factors to consider when choosing your clay.
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So, as a further breakdown, I’ve included a table below with a ranking system, so you can clearly see where my top three brands place for each factor.
Best Polymer Clays for jewellery, ranked by colour range, suitability for beginners, price, strength:
|Brand Ranking/Factors||Colour Range||Suitability for Beginners||Price (of white, Dec 2020)||Strength after baking|
|1.||Sculpey III||Fimo||Sculpey III||Fimo|
|2.||Fimo||Sculpey III||Fimo||Pardo Jewellery Clay|
|3.||Pardo Jewellery Clay||Pardo Jewellery Clay||Pardo Jewellery Clay||Sculpey III|
Why I chose those factors:
The colour range is important when starting off with polymer clay earring making, as you want to get going with your chosen palette as quickly and easily as possible – are you doing bold primary colours or pastels? What about glitters and metallics? I took those questions into consideration when ranking the brands against the largest colour range.
Next the most important factor for me is suitability for beginners. How easy is the clay to use, and can I start moulding my designs quickly?
Then price plays a key part for me. I decided to rank by white, an easy base colour every crafter needs in their kit. I chose to rank the most common block size, 57g and took the prices from Amazon.
Then the next factor is strength after baking – this is crucial for earring making. Strong finished products are the ultimate goal when crafting, and definitely for selling.
So, with the factors in consideration, let’s get discussing the brands…
Here’s a breakdown of the key features on Fimo:
⦁ The Fimo colour range is great, including true primary colours, which is perfect for beginners and those who want to mix their clay for custom colours – like their own range of pastels. Also a lovely range of pastels and metallics.
⦁ When baked correctly at: (Maximum of 30 minutes at 110°C (230°F)), there is almost no change in the colour between the baked and unbaked clay, which makes it an excellent brand for retaining it’s colour match.
⦁ Great for any polymer clay style or technique as it’s wonderfully versatile and hardens really well.
⦁ Easy to condition; to soften – with body temp and firm up in the fridge or squashing with the paper towel and book method, with no problems.
⦁ It’s non-sticky and has no unpleasant odours.
⦁ Great for crafters in hot and cold climates!
Price on Amazon for a 57g/2oz block of white (as of Dec 2020): £2.49
- Perfect for jewellery making as it hardens really well
- True primary colours available in the range
- Easy to use for beginners and a favourite amongst pros
- Great for almost every clay technique – including caning
- Less colour range available than Sculpey for example
- Can leave some residue on hands and rolling mat
- You have to spend a few minutes hand rolling the clay to soften it, as it can be quite firm and flaky straight out of the packet – may be difficult for those with arthritis or small children
My thoughts: Fimo is my personal favourite brand for earring/jewellery making, as it’s easy to use and hardens to a non-brittle finish when baked correctly. Best all rounder!
Top tip: Use your body heat to soften up the clay, or press your clay between kitchen towel and place a heavy item on top for an hour to firm it up!
2. Pardo Jewellery Clay/Art Clay
⦁ Stunning translucent clay that looks gorgeous in jewellery, particularly earrings as the light can pass through the design when dangling from your earlobes. I’ve seen some very talented earring crafters make all sorts of whimsical pieces using this clay, including stained glass window effects – breath-taking!
⦁ It does come in a full range of colours, but it’s particularly famous for the translucents, as they are the clearest on the market. Amazing for making clay jewels or sweets!
⦁ It’s crisp and clear and the clay doesn’t get too soft, so it’s brilliant for making canes.
⦁ The jewellery clay colours do have a slight shimmer to them, which is lovely when creating gemstone designs.
Price on Amazon for a 57g/2oz block of white (as of Dec 2020): £2.59
- Very clear, pretty translucent clay ideal for jewellery
- Great for caning your clay
- Unbaked it can be quite crumbly and break off when not conditioned properly.
- Can be a little tricky to get your hands on if you’re in the UK, but there’s great options on eBay and from some online craft stores
My thoughts: beautiful clay for translucent jewellery making, adds a pop of uniqueness to your designs!
Top tip: Varnish your clay after it’s cooled from baking, to add an extra hardened layer to your design!
⦁ Range of colours – almost every colour imaginable, including glitters, pearls, glow-in the dark and neon
⦁ When baked correctly at: (15 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)), like with FIMO there is almost no change in the colour between the baked and unbaked clay, which makes it an excellent brand for retaining it’s colour match.
⦁ Best to use it in colder climates or rooms, it doesn’t do too well in the heat and can become a bit too soft.
⦁ Can be painted on with acrylic paint – check out my guide on painting polymer clay here
⦁ Very soft and easy to work with for pros and beginners
⦁ Comes in a range of weights, so you have shopping options
⦁ Fantastic pottery substitute, feels like pottery clay but is easier to use, if you want to make pottery-style earrings or jewellery
⦁ Sculpey III is better than the other Sculpey products as it’s slightly harder after curing
Price on Amazon for a 57g/2oz block of white (as of Dec 2020): £2.35
Buy it here
- Wonderful beginners clay for all age ranges, with amazing colour ranges available
- Very easy to mould to your designs
- Ideal for very basic earring/jewellery designs
- Quick to use if you have little time
- Not as strong as other brands when used for jewellery
- Can be a little too mushy when working with it
- Not ideal for overly complex projects or designs
My thoughts: Perfect for beginners who are looking to take on VERY BASIC earring designs – beads, balls, small items.
Top tip: Stock up on white clay for your designs, and paint with acrylic paint after!
Check out my beginners how to guide: How to Make Polymer Clay Earrings: the Basics
BONUS – Starter Kits with generic clay
Starter kits are a great way to break into the world of Polymer Clay earring/jewellery making, as they come with a range of clay, some tools and accessories.
Below is my top choice of starter kit, at a great price with everything you need to make a batch of 25+ pairs of earrings, and learn the basics.
ESANDA 46 Colors Polymer Clay Starter Kit
Price (please note this may fluctuate): £19.99
Clay: 46 blocks of bright colorful polymer clay, each block Size ：3.5″x1.2″x0.3″, Weight: 1 oz (28g)
Tools: 5 piece set including clay cutting tool
Accessories: Earring hooks, earrings studs
Reviews: 4.6 stars out of 5, 683 reviews total
Oven bake: Yes
⦁ Good double plastic storage box, large and sturdy.
⦁ Excellent range of colours, a lot of potential for crafting.
⦁ Multiple baking methods including oven baking, my preferred choice for jewellery making.
⦁ Could benefit from more earring hooks, but those can be bought for around £1.50- £3.00 online for 50 pieces, so not too much of a problem.
⦁ The reviews state the tools are of a good quality, and sturdy which is great to hear.
⦁ Perfect for beginner crafters.
My thoughts: Fantastic value for money, good all round kit with a lot of clay available for practice. Medium price range, and medium offerings in the kit, which works out great for beginners – my top pick!
Check out my review on: The Best Polymer Clay Jewellery Starter Kits
Which is the best Polymer Clay for beginners?
Fimo is the best polymer clay for beginners, because it is available in a range of colours, is easy to use, and bakes to a non-brittle finish.
How do you bake Polymer Clay?
Now, there is no standard baking temperature and time across the board for all polymer clay; this definitely depends on the brand, and each clay should be baked to it’s proper instructions.
I have compiled an A-Z list of popular brands and their baking times for you below, so you can’t go wrong!
Baking instructions by brand:
Cernit: 30 minutes between 110 and 130°C (230-266°F)
Fimo: Maximum of 30 minutes at 110°C (230°F)
Kato Polyclay: 10-30 minutes at 150°C (300°F)
Original Sculpey: 15 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)
Pardo Art Clay: Min 30 minutes at 120 decrees (248 F)
Pardo Translucent Jewellery clay: Min 30 minutes at 120°C (248°F)
Premo: 30 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness. If thicker, initially bake for 15 minutes and then add another 5 minutes, another 5, and so on until done.
PVClay: 15-20 minutes at 130°C (275°F)
Sculpey III: 15 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)
Sculpey Souffle: 30 minutes per quarter inch (6mm) of thickness at 130°C (275°F)
For more baking tips, check out: How Long to Bake Polymer Clay Earrings – Quick Guide
Can Polymer Clay be painted?
You can paint polymer clay easily with acrylic paint, for best results.
It’s cheap, simple and fun to do so, and painting your polymer clay earrings can save you loads of time with tricky little details or more intricate patterns.
Why it’s a great idea:
⦁ Adding paint to your polymer clay earrings can totally change your designs for the better, with more unique and interesting patterns!
⦁ Not only will your amazing earrings be handmade but hand painted too! Double the wow-factor for your Etsy listing by one-upping your competition with this method, and watch the interest in your products increase.
⦁ Plus, with hand painting it’s hard to replicate the EXACT same pattern each time, which only adds to the magic; each design will be slightly different which provides yet another compelling creative touch to your pieces from a sales perspective.
For painting tips check out: Can You Paint Polymer Clay Earrings? A How-to Guide
I hope my ‘The Best Polymer Clay for Earrings and Other Jewellery’ article was helpful for you and you now feel confident to head to your craft table with your chosen brand of clay!
Polymer clay is so easy to use for beginners because it’s versatile when moulding, comes in loads of great colours, can be firmed up or softened depending on the project, doesn’t dry out, is water proof and can be stored for a long time unbaked because it doesn’t air dry! Wow!
This is why it’s so great for jewellery making around the home, as you can set up a small business (How to Sell Polymer Clay Earrings on Etsy) from a nook in your space, without the need for a professional set up, overly complicated storage solutions and a premium-grade industrial kiln or oven.
Make your jewellery from the comfort of your kitchen, and make some serious money selling it online – wonderful!
Good luck with your creations, with your new knowledge of which brand is best for your project.
My goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to understand the world of polymer clay earring making, so you can go into your new hobby or small business venture with estimates, tips and facts under your belt for a smooth and rewarding start in this craft.
I also provide articles on: a How-to Guide for beginners, a Sales Guide for selling polymer clay earrings on Etsy, a comprehensive Cost Guide, and a bumper list of earring Design Ideas, so you’re never stumped by clay-makers block!
For more information on getting started with polymer clay earrings, check out: