WEEKEND CRAFTING ADVENTURES

Cutting Polymer Clay Earrings With Cricut

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

Hi Crafties! I am in an earring rut! I tend to wear the same earrings every day and I am ready to make a change. I decided to make some new earrings using polymer clay cut by my Cricut machine. I thought this would be a straightforward crafting project, but I learned that there are a lot of different ways to try this crafting project. After looking at all of the information and options, I jumped in to create some new earrings. In this project, I choose very simple shapes for my earnings, nothing complicated at all. I am not a professional, I am just having some crafting fun and trying something new. I will continue to be impressed with the creativity and talent of all the artists that create beautiful handmade polymer clay earrings. In this crafting adventure, I am sharing what I learned while making some simple polymer clay earrings cut with my Cricut Maker.

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Cutting Polymer Clay Earrings With Cricut

 

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

In this crafting adventure, I have finished making some polymer clay earrings that I cut with my Cricut Maker. The inspiration behind this crafting project is a simple one. I am in an earring rut. I tend to wear the same old small silver hoop earrings day in and day out. Once in a while, I change it up with a couple of different, simple, little earrings. I thought about it more as I’m looking around at my coworkers and the different people that are out there. I noticed that I am in an earring rut, so I decided to shake that up a little bit and create some new earrings for myself using polymer clay.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

This was a fun crafting experience and I have learned a ton. I am not an expert with polymer clay. I want to shout out right here in the beginning. Those of you that do the polymer clay earrings and the artists that work with polymer clay, I have a lot of admiration for and respect for you after doing this project. The things that you are creating are amazing. I have begun to scratch the surface with some very simple shapes that I made my earrings out of and I enjoyed the process. The intricate designs that I see people creating are amazing.

The Resources

With that being said, let me talk a little bit about the resources. For this project, when I decided I wanted to make some earrings with polymer clay, I thought it was going to be a pretty straightforward and a pretty simple process. The more I started researching, there is a ton of information out there on the internet that has so many different ways to cut the polymer clay with the Cricut machine, which I was surprised about.

There are tons of different YouTube tutorials out there. I came across four specific resources that helped me get the materials that I needed and narrow down the process that I was going to give this a try. I want to highlight those. The first one is DomesticHeights.com. She has a great video tutorial and information on Cricut Polymer Clay Jewelry.

I did watch Makers Gonna Learn. They have everything you need to know to make polymer clay earrings with your Cricut from start to finish. I used that resource, and also Sarah Maker. This one is not about using the Cricut to cut your polymer clay. It’s about creating polymer clay earrings. The information that she provides is excellent in terms of what supplies you need and what kind of clay you want to use for different projects. She gives some great design ideas for some simple earrings for people like me that are starting out and wanted to give this a try on a weekend.

The last resource that I want to highlight is the Cricut Design Space artist whom I used all of her earring SVG cut files right from Cricut Design Space. She has a cool crafting website with tons of different crafting ideas, and that’s Amy Romeu. It’s Amy Romeu Crafts. She not only did all of the designs for the earrings that I cut out with my Cricut but also has a ton of different resources on her website.

The Materials

Let me shout out a few important materials that I used for this project. First of all, the polymer clay. I had no idea how many different kinds of polymer clay were out there and available. The first thing I did was took the advice of Sarah Maker and went with the Premo Sculpey Polymer Clay. From everything that I read about that clay and the information she provided, I thought it would be the best, most forgiving material for me to start with. In finding that polymer clay, it’s available online, in lots of craft stores, and things like that. It’s easily available.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

I also needed a rolling pin that was acrylic or something that was not wood. Since the polymer clay does leave a residue behind, it was suggested not to use a wooden rolling pin. Sarah Maker also does suggest that if you don’t have an acrylic rolling pin or alternative to wood, using a glass to help roll out the clay is a great option. I did try that a little bit, but I did end up getting an acrylic fondant rolling pin because I knew I was going to be doing more of these once I got started. I wanted to have that tool readily available in my crafting corner.

I did need to purchase some jewelry kits because I wanted to create some earrings. I needed to get that hardware. I ended up getting a $10 jewelry kit from Amazon. One thing I do want to mention is the jump rings or the little round metal rings that you use to attach the part that hangs from your earring to the earring that I created. The ones that came in my jewelry kit were not large enough. Thankfully, I had some from my sewing and other projects that I’ve done in the past. I needed a little bit of a bigger jump.

If you are purchasing or decide to buy one of those jewelry kits, be aware that sometimes, those jump rings are pretty small. That is probably fine for a lot of different earrings, but for the ones that I was creating and the look I wanted, I needed a little bit of a bigger size. I did use Cricut Transfer Tape and parchment paper. Those were important in this project as well.

 

 

The Experience

I want to get into the experience of this polymer clay earring project. The first thing that I learned during my research was that I had to condition the polymer clay before I was able to do anything with it. This surprisingly was the longest part of this crafting project. It took a long time for me to condition, knead, and roll out the clay to get it to the place where it was ready to be rolled out and cut by my Cricut. My hands are sore. I had no idea that the clay would start out so stiff and that you have to work it down to a different consistency before it is ready to be cut.

Polymer clay takes a long time to condition, knead, and roll out before it can be ready to be cut by a Cricut. Share on X

The other thing I did want to mention is I did choose to use clay that has to be cured in the oven. I needed to have access to an oven in order for this crafting project to work. I believe I read in some of the courses that you also could possibly use a toaster oven. I did not do that. I used my oven. That was a big part of this project, too.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

Back to the conditioning of the clay, this took a long time. Everybody that I read suggested that you use these. It’s a pasta maker where you put the clay through and you roll it. I do not have one of those. I did not want to purchase one. I chose to condition the clay with my hands and my little acrylic roller, which, for the most part, worked well. I did have a few air bubbles that I had to learn about and work through the project. When I was conditioning the clay, it was pretty easy, if you are doing it the way I did it, to catch a couple of air bubbles in that clay, which you don’t want for the look at the end or when you are curing it in the oven. That was one thing I wanted to mention.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

After I conditioned the clay, I had to figure out how I was going to use my Cricut to cut the shapes that I wanted. I decided to go with five different pairs of earrings in four pretty simple shapes. The designs that I originally found for the earrings on Cricut Design Space were all layered. They all had three tiers to them. I got rid of all of those tiers and decided to go with one layer for four sets of earrings. In the fifth set, I decided to do what looked like a feather or a leaf. I wanted to do it in a moss green and then a bright green layer on top of it. It’s very out of my norm in terms of earrings that I wear, but I thought that they would look beautiful, so I did make those. I had one pair that were two layers.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

What I kept running into as I was doing my research were the different ways that you could use your Cricut to cut these shapes. I read about using transfer paper and butcher paper. I read about using freezer paper. I read about a fine-point blade. I read about a knife cut blade. On top of that, there were also suggestions for cutting the clay before it was baked in the oven and after. With all of that different information, I decided that I was going to have Cricut cut my clay before I put it in the oven.

Since I do have both the knife blade and the fine point blade, I decided I would try the fine point blade first. If that didn’t work, I was going to go ahead and use my knife blade. Once I got my clay all rolled out, I had the patterns of colors that I wanted to use. I had one set that was that mossy green and light green that I talked about, and then another set of turquoise-y blue and white. I had two different color palettes that I was working with.

The first cut did not work. I did go with my fine point blade. I learned during this project that you can do a custom setting for cutting in Cricut Design Space. I went into the custom cut setting area where you can create your own cut setting. I named it polymer clay, and then it was suggested to set it at 350 with the fine point blade in the hopes that the blade would stick all the way out and go for a little bit of a deeper cut.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

When I tried that, it was very cool to set my own cutting setting, but what happened was I don’t think I had my clay rolled out thin enough because the Cricut didn’t get a clean cut. I believe it was the top or the bottom where the blade comes out of the little fine point blade housing that rubbed on top of the clay. It left it looking rough, and the cut was not that great. That was my first experience. I learned a new skill. That was setting my own cutting setting, but it did not work for me.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

I decided I was going to go ahead and try the knife blade. That is what I ended up using for the rest of my cuts. I’m happy with how the knife blade cuts the polymer clay before it gets baked in the oven. That process was fast. The only thing about this is that I had to choose a setting that was a knife blade setting. What that means and what I’m learning is that anytime you use that knife blade setting, it’s going to do more than one pass with the cutting. When I did my basswood project with the knife blade, it didn’t pass. That was the regular for using that setting. The setting that I used is a leather setting. It is called the Thin Garment Leather Setting. That was the only setting that I knew about or that I could find that did the least amount of passes with the knife blade.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

Here’s another tip that I did learn during this process when I loaded my polymer clay into the Cricut machine, which I put on top of transfer tape on the cutting mat. The reason I did that was so that 1) I didn’t ruin my cutting mat, and 2) I was trying to figure out how I was going to get that clay to stick. By putting the transfer tape down on my standard grip mat with the sticky side up and then putting the clay on top of the sticky part of the transfer tape, I had no problem getting the polymer clay to stick down. It also kept my mat from getting all of that polymer clay residue all over it. I then loaded it into the machine.

Here’s the tip that I was getting to originally. After the Cricut does one pass with the knife blade, I would pause my machine and hit the cancel arrow button. My machine is a little bit older, my maker, but I would cancel the cut. The reason I did that was that I only needed one pass with the knife blade. There is something that I’m going to be investigating, which I don’t know at this time but I will try and figure it out. If you know the answer to this, please email me, a shout-out on social media, and let me know. Is there a knife blade setting with one pass on Cricut? That is something I am interested to know. I haven’t been able to figure it out yet, but that would be the cut setting I would choose to do the polymer clay cutting with the Cricut.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

After I got my clay cut out by my Cricut Maker, I was impressed with the knife blade cut. It came out when I did one pass. It was very smooth and easy to remove. When I let it go to 2 or 3 passes, that clay started to get a little bit disrupted in places that I didn’t want it to be. I got the clay out. An important part was that I used a toothpick to put that hole into the earring for the hardware. The easiest way that I figured to do that was to line up those earrings while it was still on the cutting mat on top of that Cricut transfer paper. I lined them up next to each other so that I got those earring hardware holes exactly even. That worked well.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

The baking process is simple. It’s baked on parchment paper in the oven with a foil tent over it to avoid any discoloration for 30 minutes. It’s cured, but it is not brittle to break. There were still little places on my earrings that I needed to sand a little bit off the rough edges. A couple of them did come out with some little air bubbles, but this was my first attempt. I’m pleased with the outcome of my polymer clay earrings. It was super fun.

 

 

My Crafting Keepers

Let me get to my crafting keepers for this episode. My first crafting keeper is going to be the acrylic rolling pin. I only spent about $4 on it. It made a huge difference for me in rolling out the clay and getting it to the right thickness that I wanted it to be so it would slide into my Cricut machine with no problem. I started with a glass, but that was hard for me to get the right thickness and it rolled out the way that I wanted it to look. That acrylic rolling pin for clay projects is a keeper.

My second crafting keeper is going to be my knife blade. I did not have such a great experience with this knife blade when I was doing my home sign that I made with the basswood. It wasn’t the knife’s fault. It was a frustrating project in the amount of time and how I kept getting the basswood to break. This was a super positive experience with my knife blade. I am excited to try cutting maybe some leather earrings or faux leather and different things with that knife blade. That is my second crafting keeper.

My satisCRAFTion

My satisCRAFTion rating for this project is going to be a four. I’m happy with the outcome, but polymer clay is tricky. It takes a lot of practice. I admire all of the artists that are creating beautiful intricate designs with it because, after my first experience with it, I understand that takes a lot of time and talent. There was so much different information out there about how to cut it, what to use, and different strategies and things. There was a lot of information. Since I was doing this on the weekend, I needed to narrow all of that information down and try it one way to see how it worked.

WCA 27 | Polymer Clay Earrings

 

I’m happy with the outcome. These earrings are going to break me out of my earring rut, which I’m super excited about. I’m looking forward to trying different ways of using the Cricut to cut the clay. Next time, I might try it after it has baked in the oven and see if that makes a big difference. I hope this project inspires you to get your Cricut off the shelf. Get crafty. Until our next adventure, take care.

 

SatisCRAFTion Rating: 4

 

Important Links

Materials List

Crafting Keepers

  • Acrylic Rolling Pin
  • Knife Point Blade

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