Easy to make, lightweight, convenient, and unique in glamour. What’s there to not like about clay jewelry? This is why it has been growing as a widely popular hobby since the beginning of the last decade.
If you’re looking for surefire methods to make your own clay jewelry at home, you’ve set foot in the right place.
We decided to compile the easiest steps for those of you who don’t know how to make jewelry with clay.
All the methods and procedures have been explained elaborately for the ease of understanding. Stay with us till the end to know all about it.
What Clay Should You Use To Make Jewelry?
Although a lot of people assume clay jewelry as a modern practice, that’s actually not the case. Humans have been using clay to make jewelry since the beginning of civilization.
So naturally, there’s a wide variety of clay out there which can get the job done for you.
This brings us to our big question. What sort of clay should we use? For the sake of easy demonstration, we’re going to show you how to make jewelry with polymer clay such as Super Sculpey or Premo.
Other clay appropriate for making jewelry include Cernit, Fimo Professional, and Souffle.
What Jewelry Can You Make With Clay?
Working with clay opens you up to a hundred possibilities, as far as jewelry is concerned. Common ones include necklaces, bracelets, earrings, tiara, nose pin, pendants, etc.
Apart from clay formation, the techniques that we are about to show you are nearly the same for most jewelry.
Almost all frequently worn jewelry can be made out of clay. But remember that different jewelry requires different levels of expertise.
So if you’re new to jewelry making, start with bracelets or necklaces. In case you’ve got some experience up your sleeves, go for harder projects such as earrings or pendants.
How To Make Jewelry With Clay
In the following section, we are going to walk you through 5 simple yet essential steps for making clay jewelry. All the steps have been elaborated individually.
Therefore, just by going through all of them, you will have a self-explanatory idea of what goes into making these beautiful clay jewelry.
Step 1: Gather Required Equipment
Before we get started, here is a list of the 10 essential pieces of equipment that are a must-have for jewelry sculpting.
Make sure that you have each of these before you start unpacking your clay from the wrappers.
- Polymer clay
- Sharp blade
- Parchment paper
- Electric/convection oven
- Band holder
- Nail filer or sandpaper.
- Baking tray
- Rolling pin
Step 2: Condition And Treat Your Clay
Since we’re working with polymer clay, we must condition it before cutting or combining it.
Now, what does clay conditioning mean in the first place? Basically, the process of making it flexible by warming it through kneading is known as conditioning.
- Knead the clay thoroughly, right after taking it out of its wrapper.
- If you’re working with more clay than your palm can handle, then consider using a pasta roller.
- Pasta rollers allow you to dish out thin sheets of clay that you can fold and recombine. Repeat the entire process for efficient conditioning.
- Folding and kneading the clay repeatedly causes it to warm up and serve the purpose.
- For best results, you may also blow hot air on the clay using a hairdryer.
- Stop conditioning when you feel that the clay is flexible enough to mold according to your need.
Step 3: Experiment With Colors
Almost all local departmental stores sell clays in 7-8 basic colors. These basic colors are more than enough to get things going.
But just in case this doesn’t cater to your artistic thirst, you can always look up specific colors online. Note that online alternatives require a little more budget and arrival time.
One of the many reasons why polymer clay is so growingly popular for jewelry, making is a wide array of colors. These colors allow you to go for various sorts of color combinations and textures.
Here are two common techniques that you can use to blend your colors efficiently.
a. Plain Blending
Plain color blending refers to mixing more than one color to achieve a particular shade (different from the initial two).
This technique is for when you need that particular shade of cyan but the only things you have in hand are blue and white.
- The first step is to choose the color that is closest to your desired one. The closer they are in appearance, the better.
- Next, see if the color you picked is darker or lighter than your target color.
- If you need to darken your color at hand, simply add a little grey/black to your dough. Similarly, mix a little white/peach clay to achieve the lighter shades.
- Keep conditioning them together until you reach your desired shade.
b. Gradient or Marble Textures
If you want to go for a more professional look then try out gradients and marble textures. When making marble patterns for your clay, select colors that look cool together. Here’s how to do it easily.
- If you’re familiar with plain blending, then marble textures shouldn’t be hard for you.
- Make thin single strands of multiple colors and combine them in any random order.
- Knead them to get the marble look but make sure you don’t combine them too much.
- Remember that you have to be careful while kneading. You must stop right when you come across the marble texture or your desired mix of the gradient.
Step 4: Bring Your Clay To Shape
This is the step that determines what jewelry your clay is going to turn into.
If you’re aiming for beaded jewelry or necklaces, then form them by rolling the clay into small spheres. For pendants, simply mold your clays using your hand or silicon molds.
We suggest that you always think out of the box. Go for bold and unique shapes when you’re making pendants, necklaces, or even plain bangles.
This way you’ll stand out among the many mainstream pieces of jewelry out there.
Step 5: Bake, Inspect, And Detail
The instructions for baking and detailing are fairly straightforward and simple. Here are the key steps for you to follow:
- Make sure that all metals, strings, and additional pieces are inserted before the clay enters the oven.
- Place the conditioned and colored clays on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
- Bake the clays for 30 minutes at 260-280 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on the thickness of your piece).
- Once baked, carefully take out the tray from the oven and let it cool down before handling.
- After the cooling stage, carefully inspect your piece for any damage, dents, or extra bits.
- Use a nail file or 180 grit sanding paper to smoothen the rough edges carefully.
- Finally, do subtle detailing and brush your piece with acrylic clear coat paint to regain the shine.
Wear Your Creation With Confidence
If you’ve read through the entire post, then you already know how to make jewelry with clay.
Making your own jewelry might sound a bit boring at first but that’s really not the case.
By the time you are done with your first project, you will have found your perfect style. Not to mention the euphoric feeling of accomplishment!