With all of the different brands of polymer clay on the market, you may be wondering, “What is the best type of polymer clay for jewelry and earrings?”
If so, you’re not alone! Keep reading for a complete review of my favorite brands for clay earrings and other types of polymer clay jewelry.
Polymer Clay Jewelry Making
Polymer clay is a type of plastic modeling clay made from vinyl and plasticizers. Artists love working with polymer clay because it’s flexible, versatile, and can be baked in a regular home oven.
Polymer clay is an excellent material for making all kinds of jewelry, including modern earrings, beads, charms, and pendants necklaces.
If you are interested in learning how to make polymer clay earrings, check out my step-by-step tutorial: How to Make Polymer Clay Earrings.
For even more polymer clay ideas, be sure to read this list of 21 Polymer Clay Ideas and Projects.
What’s the best brand of polymer clay?
I wouldn’t say there is one “best” brand of polymer clay. Rather, the best polymer clay is the one that has qualities well-suited to your specific project.
There are many brands and types of polymer clay, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some are stronger, some are more flexible, some are softer and easier to manipulate.
When you consider these qualities, you can see how types of clay are well-suited for jewelry making, while other types are better for sculpting or kid’s crafts.
Strength and Flexibility
For jewelry making, choose a brand of polymer clay with the following qualities:
Easy to Work: Look for clay that is soft enough to mold with your hands, but not so mushy that it smears or gets sticky. It’s better to choose a firmer brand of clay, so it holds the details of your designs.
Strength when Cured: You’ll want a brand that is strong when baked, so your finished jewelry is durable enough to wear.
Flexibility: The best types of clay are flexible in thin areas, rather than brittle. You don’t want your delicate jewelry pieces to break when stressed.
The best brands of polymer clay for making earrings and jewelry are Sculpey Premo, Fimo Professional, and Kato Polyclay. Or, if you want a softer clay with a matte finish, consider Sculpey Souffle. Additionally, if you want translucent and specialty colors, try Cernit.
- For beginners: Sculpey Premo or Sculpey Souffle
- For more detail and control: Fimo Professional or Kato Polyclay
- For translucent and specialty colors: Cernit
If you have to choose just one brand, start with Premo. It has a nice medium firmness that works well for jewelry, and it’s widely available in stores and online.
To help you choose, let’s talk about the pros and cons of each of these three brands in the rest of this article.
Bake Well for the Best Results
Before we carry on, it’s important to note that the strength of your finished jewelry pieces also depends on how well you’ve baked the clay. Underbaked polymer clay is brittle, while fully baked polymer clay is stronger and more durable.
So be sure to bake your designs thoroughly to cure the polymer clay.
Most brands of clay bake at 275 F for a minimum of 25-30 minutes per 1/4″ of thickness. And in general, the longer any polymer clay cures, the stronger it’ll get.
It’s important to bake at the right temperature, too. If you have trouble with your clay burning, bubbling, or darkening, your oven might be running too hot! I recommend using an inexpensive oven thermometer to measure the accuracy of your oven.
Best Polymer Clay for Earrings and Jewlery
For polymer clay earrings and jewelry, I recommend three widely available brands: Sculpey Premo, Kato Polyclay, and Fimo Professional.
For beginners, I’d choose Sculpey Premo because it’s a medium-firmness polymer clay that still gives great results.
For those who want firmer, artist-quality polymer clay, I’d choose either Kato Polyclay or Fimo Professional.
Premo is one of the best polymer clays for new artists because it preforms well in a variety of projects. It’s a medium firmness clay that easy to work, but will still retain fine detail.
Premo is well-loved for its strength and flexibility. It’s a medium firmness clay, which means that’s it’s soft enough to work by hand, but firm enough to hold fine detail.
It comes in a wide range of colors including metallics, pearls, translucent, and speckled varieties. It’s easy to mix colors, and very popular among clay earring makers. Premo is widely available at craft stores and online. I recommend starting with this sampler pack, which has everything you need to get started..
Note: Take care not to confuse Sculpey Premo with the other lines of Sculpey clay — the packaging can look very similar.
Kato Polyclay is a professional level polymer clay developed by artists.
It’s firmer than Premo, though a little less firm than Fimo Professional. It can take a little longer to condition this clay, but it’s firmness is ideal for holding detail and sharp lines.
If you have warm hands that tend to leave fingerprints, you may like the firm texture of Kato. It doesn’t smear, so it’s great for creating millefiori canes and other intricate polymer clay jewelry making techniques.
When baked, Kato is very strong. It’s a little less flexible than Premo or Souffle.
Kato clay does come in fewer colors than the other brands, but the palette was designed for intuitive color mixing. It also retains color the best, meaning it darkens the least when baked.
Fimo Professional is one of the few brands that comes in true primary colors, so mixing your own custom colors is easy and fun. I recommend starting out with the Fimo Professional True Colors pack.
Fimo Professional is considered one of the stiffer polymer clays, so it will hold detail well. It can be hard and crumbly when you first take it out of the packaging, but don’t give up. After a little conditioning, you’ll love working with it.
After baking, Fimo is strong and durable. There is very little color change when baked.
Note: The Fimo Professional line is different than the normal Fimo or the “Fimo Soft” line, which I don’t recommend for jewelry making.
Other Brands to Consider
Here are a few more options that you may like, depending on the finished look you want to achieve.
This brand of polymer clay seems to be a little controversial. Some jewelry makers love it, some don’t.
Sculpey Souffle is rather soft and easy to handle. (Some artists say it’s too soft, and compare it to bubblegum.) It’s quite opaque, and bakes to a matte “suede” finish. It’s durable and flexible when well-cured.
Souffle comes in a nice color range, but doesn’t have true primary colors for custom color-mixing.
Cernit polymer clay is extremely strong and quite flexible after baking. It can be a little soft, and is sensitive to warmer temperatures. Also, it can be hard to find.
Cernit comes in many colors, including a line of metallics, translucent, pearlescent, and speckled clays.
Brands to Avoid
Let me preface this section by saying that the following brands of clay aren’t bad, they just aren’t suited to making modern polymer clay earrings.
You’ll want to avoid the following brands of polymer clay for jewelry making.
Sculpey III: This clay is very soft, so it can be sticky and hold fingerprints. It tends to be brittle after baking, especially when thin.
You’ll want to avoid using Original Sculpey, original Super Sculpey, Sculpey Bake Shop, Craftsmart brand, Fimo Soft, Fimo Kids, and large multipacks of unbranded clay.
Explore More Polymer Clay Ideas
To learn how to make polymer clay earrings, check out my step-by-step tutorial: How to Make Polymer Clay Earrings.
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Sarah Stearns is an artist, maker, and blogger at sarahmaker.com
Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and more.
Sarah lives and works in North Carolina with her husband and young kids.