How to Make Clay Earrings at Home (+ Tips For Beginners)
Clay earrings are beautiful, trendy, and one of the easiest to make. Learn how to make clay earrings with this easy step-by-step tutorial. In this article, you’ll find some important tips for beginners and answers to a few FAQs. Enjoy!!
This week we’re here with another air-dry clay craft project. For today’s project, we chose clay earrings, and with the help of our easy step-by-step tutorial, you can learn how to make clay earrings, even if you’re a beginner. The clay earrings we crafted are beautiful, trendy, and one of the easiest to make.
Air-dry clay is perfect for beginners and as it doesn’t require an oven, it makes the crafting process much easier and hassle-free. You can shape the clay as you want to without any difficulty and since we’re crafting basic round shapes for our craft, you don’t need to worry much about shaping them neatly.
If you want to use air hardening clay or air dry clay as we did, you can purchase a 2.2 LB (around 1000 grams) air hardening clay for $10; and craft a minimum of 20 pairs of clay earrings that we crafted for this tutorial. The cost would be somewhat the same for polymer clay as well. In case you decide to use clay craft tools, you can purchase a starter kit for $25. But if you’re not planning to make clay crafts regularly, we would suggest you purchase the clay only and use alternative tools from around your house. For our air dry clay earrings, we also used alternative clay tools from around the house, check out the list of supplies to know more. As for the jewelry supplies, you will need materials that would cost less than $1 for a pair of earrings.
Things You’ll Need
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- Acrylic paint
- Earring hooks
- Jump rings
- Jewelry charms
- Clay rolling board
- Clay rolling pin
- Clay cutter
- Craft pliers
- Round shape cutter
Alternative materials and tools
You can use polymer clay or air hardening clay, whichever is available or easy to get from your end. You may wondering how to make polymer clay earrings, but the process of making is almost the same.
As for the tools, I didn’t have the basic clay/pottery tools so I used things from around my house. I used a plain drinking glass as a rolling pin, used cake icing nozzle as a clay cutter, and the backside of my cutting mat as a rolling board. We also used an x-acto knife instead of a clay cutter.
How to Make Clay Earrings
Step 1: Shaping the Clay Ball
Carefully open the clay package from an end without ripping off the entire package. Use a sharp knife or x-acto knife to cut a 1.5 cm slice of clay from the clay bar. Knead the clay slice with both hands by pressing it against your palm. Try to form a round ball shape with the clay. Use a flat, nonsticky surface for this craft. We’re using the backside of a paper cutting mat.
Step 2: Rolling the Clay Ball
Press the clay ball against the mat with the palm of your hand to flatten it. As we did not have a clay rolling pin, we used a plain drinking glass as an alternative rolling pin and it worked pretty well. Roll the clay until it’s nicely and evenly flat and around .25 cm thin.
Step 3: Cut Round Shapes from Clay
We are crafting the earrings with small round shaped clay pieces and the cake icing nozzle’s round end was of the perfect size for the shapes. Simply use the round end of the nozzle to cut round shapes from the flattened clay as if you’re cutting cookies from the dough.
Step 4: Remove the Extra Clay
You can also use a patterned object to stamp the pattern on the clay but for this project, we’re using the plain round shapes. Once you are done cutting enough round shapes on the clay, carefully remove the flattened clay and this will leave the round clay shapes on the flat surface.
Step 5: Shape the Edges
Air-dry clay is not a fine paste so they will be rough edges. Use the tip of your finger to smoothen out the edges of the round shapes.
Step 6: Make Holes on the Clay Shapes
Use a tapestry needle to make holes near the edge of the round clay shapes. The needle or any other object you’re using should be thick enough to make a hole so that you can insert a 20 gauge jump ring through it later.
Step 7: Allow the Clay Shapes to Dry
For 1 earring we’re using 2 round shapes, both round clay pieces having holes on 2 opposite sides of them. You can make holes as per your choice and the design of the earrings you wish to craft. The holes are to attach jump rings, earring hooks, and jewelry charms. It is better to sketch the design beforehand so that you can decide how many holes each shape would require for a pair of clay earrings.
Step 8: Paint the Clay Charms
Allow the shapes to dry overnight or for at least 24 hours. Once the clay shapes are completely dry, paint them using acrylic paint. We’re using golden acrylic paint. Or, you can keep the clay as it is if you prefer simple and plain clay earrings.
Step 9: Gather Jewelry Findings
Take any 2 round shapes and attach them together with the help of a jump ring. Also, select 2 jump rings, earring hook, and some jewelry charms to complete the earring.
Step 10: Complete Earrings
Attach the jewelry charms through the bottom hole of the bottom clay and attach the earring hook through the other jump ring on the top side. Similarly, craft the other pair of clay earrings.
Air Dry Clay Earrings: Tips for Beginners
Here are some tips if you’re having difficulty crafting the air-dry clay jewelry dish.
- If this is your first attempt at clay crafting, then air-dry clay would be a good choice. Make sure to check if the clay is air-dry before purchasing.
- If you’re skeptical about purchasing clay tools, you can use alternative tools from around the house just like we did.
- To roll the clay you will need a flat, even, and non-sticky surface, we used the backside of a paper cutting mat. You can also use a tiled floor surface.
- Instead of a clay rolling pin, we used a plain and straight drinking glass.
- You can use the cake icing nozzle as the round shape cutter.
- You can use an x-acto knife instead of the clay cutter.
- Keep the crafted clay pieces in a dry and cool place for the next couple of hours or overnight so that it dries entirely.
- Apply paint after the clay earrings dry entirely.
FAQs on Making Air-Dry Clay Earrings
How do you make clay earrings shiny?
To make clay earrings shiny or to give them a shiny/glossy look you need to apply glaze or varnish or acrylic sealing after the craft is complete. In case you don’t have these supplies, you can simply apply a coat or 2 of clear nail polish.
How do you make clay earrings smooth?
To make air-clay earrings smooth, whether it’s polymer clay or air-dry clay, you will need to knead the clay into a fine, even, and smooth ball shape before rolling it. After cutting or preparing the final shapes, use your fingertips to make the edge of the shape smooth. For polymer clay, you can use sandpaper to smooth the shapes after baking; and then use a cotton swab to remove the sand/dust.
What Air-Dry Clays are best for Making Earrings?
We absolutely love the following air-dry clay for jewelry making,
DAS Air-Hardening Modeling Clay,
Crayola Air Dry Clay,
ACTIVA Supreme Artist’s Air-Dry Modelling,
Jovi Air-Dry Modeling Clay.
What size jump rings are best for clay earrings?
For air-dry clay jewelry making, we would recommend 18 gauge to 20 gauge, 6mm to 10mm jump rings.
Here are some of our DIY Air-Dry Clay projects you may like.
Crafting your own jewelry is always fun and this air-dry clay dish is a win-win project for anyone who gives it a try. Happy Crafting!