How to make polymer clay slab earrings
Today I want to share with you a very popular topic in jewelry DIY world recently — polymer clay slab. If you haven’t heard about it, this is a technique that resembles drawing. Using a slab of clay as canvas, artists attach small pieces of colorful polymer clay on it to form a beautiful pattern. You can create trees, flowers or simply abstract shapes etc.
After the slab is done, you can divide it into multiple pieces and use them in your jewelry designs.
I think this is a very clever use of the polymer clay. First, with digital prints all over the internet, you have endless inspirations for polymer clay slab designs. Second, unlike other complicated polymer clay projects, polymer clay slab is very easy to make. Third, making polymer clay slab is a very efficient way to create jewelry. One slab can generate multiple pieces of jewelry.
For today’s project, I created a lemon pattern polymer clay slab and used it in three pairs of earrings. This is a great project for polymer clay beginners. I strongly recommend you give it a try.
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- Polymer clay
- Fimo Soft White
- Fimo Soft Black
- Fimo Soft Lemon Yellow
- Fimo Professional Leaf Green
- Sculpey Souffle Jade
- Fimo Effect Transparent white
- Metal frames of your choice
- Jump rings
- Ear wires (read my ear wire tutorial here)
- Earring posts
Step 1. Prepare the white background
Roll a piece of Fimo soft white polymer clay into about 1.5mm thickness. Then cut it using a square cutter (2 inch*2 inch).
Step 2. Make the polymer clay lemons
Roll a piece of light yellow polymer clay (2 parts Fimo Soft Lemon Yellow + 1 part Fimo Soft White) into 1mm thickness. Then using a Wilton No.7 piping tip, cut small circles from the clay.
Form two circles into a spindle shape. Then flatten the piece using your two fingers. Squeeze the two ends a little bit so the shape resembles a lemon.
Step 3. Make the polymer clay leaves
For the lemon leaves, I used two shades of green. Color recipes are as follows:
Darker Green: 3g Fimo Professional Leaf Green + 1g Sculpey Suffle Jade + 0.5g Fimo Soft Black + 3g Fimo Effect Transparent white
Lighter Green: 1 part Darker Green + 1 part Fimo Soft White
Like the lemon we discussed in the previous step, roll the green circles into a spindle shape and flatten them into a leaf. Then cut the leaf in the middle and combine two colors together.
You can also make other sizes of leaves to create more visual interests.
Polymer clay used in this project
Step 4. Decorate the polymer clay slab
Now you can add lemons and leaves to the white polymer clay. To create a pattern, instead of “chaos”, you should mentally divide the background into 3 or 4 rows. Each row should have similar numbers of lemons and leaves. When you move from the first row to the second row, simply change the order of the lemons.
As you can see in picture 5 and 6, I also added black branches and dots on the slab for more details. Those branches can be made by rolling small pieces of Fimo Soft black polymer clay into very thin tubes. As for the dots, you can cut the tube into thin slices and roll them into tiny balls.
Polymer Clay Tools used in this project
Step 5. Cut the polymer clay slab
After the polymer clay slab is completed, trim the four edges using a long blade as in picture 1.
Then cut the lager square into 9 small squares. (Of course, you can cut it into other shapes based on your jewelry design.)
Fit the polymer clay pieces into metal frames as shown in picture 3. Then drill a hole into each piece using a Wilton No.1 piping tip.
Frames and earring posts used in this project
Step 6. Bake the polymer clay
Step 7. Assemble the earrings
After baking, remove the hardened clay from the frame and apply super glue on the four sides of the frame. Put the clay piece back and wait till the glue dries completely.
Now you can start designing your jewelry. Picture 3 and 4 above are two earring examples. You can also use those pieces for bracelets, necklaces, even hair ties. And the best news is: you can make all of those using only one slab!
For your reference, here is the step-by-step picture summary for the projects.
If you like this tutorial, check out my more advanced polymer clay tutorials here.