Polymer Clay – Commonly asked questions

An image depicting polymer clay showing a question mark to show this is a page for commonly asked questions.


I have posted some of the most commonly asked questions about polymer clay. Some of these I have linked to other pages if they require some more in-depth discussion.

Whether it’s heavy or light, what are the differences, can it be recycled and can you eat it! These are some of the topics and pointers which I hope will help some of you budding creators out there.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you I will earn a commission if purchases are made.

Polymer Clay Questions:

Is Polymer clay jewellery heavy?
Alternate questions: Are polymer clay earrings heavy? Are polymer clay necklaces heavy? Is polymer clay heavy?

This depends on the size and the materials used with the product – Inherently polymer clay is quite light, I wouldn’t suggest just baking an entire block with a finding in though, That would be heavy. I go into more details here.

Is Polymer clay Jewellery popular?
Sub questions: Are polymer clay earrings popular? Are polymer clay necklaces popular?

Yes. Probably not as popular as the metallic counter parts, but due to the various styles and types which are available out there along with the vast amount of creators. Just check Etsy to see how popular this is in the creator community.

However always remember don’t let this dishearten you if you want to make earrings to sell. You can make unique and amazing designs with polymer clay, everyone has their own style and you could be the next creator to make something no one else does.

Where else would you be able to create a anatomically correct heart jewellery?

Is Polymer clay flexible?
Sub questions: Can you bend polymer clay? Will polymer clay break if I bend it?

To a degree, yes. As long as it’s cured/baked correctly. It’s quite flexible, not to say that this won’t break under a lot of stress but it holds a certain level of flexibility.

Is Polymer clay durable?
Sub questions: How tough is polymer clay?

Once again, this depends on the use of the clay once it’s been baked. If you would like to wear the item, it will stand up to the task. Do you want to put the clay under constant stress and strain? I would look at other options available.

For example, I would use polymer clay as earrings, not as a door handle. But if you wanted to decorate the door handle then you can use polymer clay providing it’s attached to the object securely.

Is polymer clay toxic?
Sub questions: Can I eat polymer clay? What happens if I eat polymer clay? Help, I accidentally ate 3kg of polymer clay!

The clay itself is none toxic though there are discussions regarding the fumes it lets off when baking. Providing you follow all manufacture instructions correctly it should be safe. I wouldn’t sit there eating a block of it though, that could cause problems and probably doesn’t taste that nice… No matter how tasty your creation looks, it’s not food!

In addition to this some people do not put polymer clay in their own oven. I’ve never had an issue with this but air on the side of caution. If you don’t feel comfortable with doing this there are other options available

Are polymer clay Gauges safe?
Sub questions: Can I use polymer clay as a gauge?

I would take a gauge and use the clay around it rather than making a gauge directly out of the clay. Whilst it’s none toxic, durable and could be used due to it’s nature it could cause issues. I don’t think it would be as hygienic as a regular gauge.

Is polymer clay and modelling clay the same?
Sub questions: Is Polymer Clay and Clay the same? What is the difference with the clay?

Saying you can use polymer clay for models and sculptures it depends on which clay you have an eye on.

Is it the same as pottery clay? No, far from it. Can you make a mug from it? I wouldn’t try it (It’s not as strong as ceramic). However you can make sculptures from it!

Does Polymer clay air dry?
Sub questions: Can polymer clay dry out?

No it requires baking in the oven or else it will still be squidgy many years from now.

Does it dry out in the air? Yes, It can make it brittle if it’s not been baked/cured for a long period of time when it’s not stored correctly.

Can Polymer clay get wet?
Sub questions: Can you wash polymer clay? Can you submerge polymer clay? Can you use polymer clay in an aquatic environment?

Yes. Though it’s more water resistant rather than waterproof. You can increase the water resistance with various sealants, varnishes, glosses, epoxy resin etc…

It can be washed. I’d be carful though, you may find fine details break off if you’re too rough with it.

It can be submerged but the colour may change. Are you using it around animals? Personally I wouldn’t, but other people would be fine with it.

Can polymer clay be painted?
Sub questions: What can I use to paint polymer clay?

Yes. I would stick with Acrylic Paint but other people have used Oils, Water colours etc… I would suggest using a primer first and then sealing with a varnish to ensure that the paint doesn’t become tacky to the touch.

Can Polymer clay go outside?
Sub questions: What happens if polymer clay goes outside?

Yes. Though it will endure weathering, and like anything which endures weathering the colour will change.

Can Polymer clay be recycled?

No. It will have to go in the general waste bin.

Can Polymer clay be used for candles?
Sub questions: Can you make a candle holder out of polymer clay?

No, not as a candle. It’s not Wax

For a candle holder, I’d suggest buying a basic glass surround and decorating it. However the heat shouldn’t be a problem but I wouldn’t put it in direct contact with a flame.

Can Polymer clay be baked twice?
Sub question: Is it okay to bake polymer clay multiple times? How long do I bake polymer clay for?

Yes. It can be baked multiple times but bare in mind the more you bake it it may start to darken and potentially become brittle.

Therefore use the recommended times and temperatures and you shouldn’t have an issue. Details here

What polymer clay is good for Jewellery?
Sub question: What polymer clay is the best? What polymer clay to use?

It’s a bit of a minefield with all the types, I have provided a guide to which polymer clay to use here

When to paint Polymer clay?
Sub questions: Can I paint unbaked polymer clay?

I do after baking but it can be painted before providing the paint doesn’t react with the clay. If you find there is a reaction you may want to apply a gloss or varnish.

However I would suggest priming the clay before painting.

When does the clay expire?
Sub Question: When does Polymer clay expire? Does it expire? Does polymer clay go bad?

It doesn’t providing it’s stored correctly. If it dried out you will need to condition it, There is a guide here on how to do this.

When should I bake polymer clay?
Sub questions: How do I bake polymer clay?

I usually bake multiple times with sculptures. This is useful for baking piece by piece and then incorporating into a bigger structure; Teeth or eyeballs for instance. There are no rules. Times for baking polymer clay can be found here

Where can I buy polymer clay?

Hobby shops will usually have a good range. Alternately online, Amazon has a good range of clay available