How to Make Polymer Clay Gauged Earrings

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Polymer clay can be used as an inexpensive material to form earrings of multiple sizes while stretching.
Polymer clay can be used as an inexpensive material to form earrings of multiple sizes while stretching. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Make a set of your own polymer clay gauge earrings by crafting and baking them yourself. The term "gauging" refers to when a person stretches out a piercing by slowly increasing the size of the jewelry over time. Although there are various types of earrings that can be worn in gauged ear piercing holes, the "plug" variety are the least problematic to craft with polymer clay. Plugs merely fill the hole with their cylindrical design. Polymer clay can be molded to fit the size of a gauged piercing, then cooked until it hardens. Craft your own set of gauge earrings out of polymer clay in about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the jewelry.

Things You'll Need

  • Gauge chart
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Tinfoil
  • Oven
  • Oven mitt

Determine the size of the earring plugs you are making. Refer to a gauge chart for the closest size of jewelry you are currently wearing. Keep in mind that the polymer clay will expand slightly during the baking process.

Pull two equal pieces of polymer clay from the brick and roll them with your hand on top of a table. Continue rolling each piece until the diameter width matches the gauge size you have decided upon for the jewelry.

Cut each rolled piece of polymer clay to a 1/2 inch in length by removing each end with a knife. Rapid cuts with a moderate amount of pressure tend to allow the rolled jewelry to retain its cylinder shape without squashing or flattening it during the process.

Set your oven to bake at 275 degrees. Allow the oven to pre-heat before continuing.

Cover your baking sheet with tin foil. Arrange the polymer clay earrings onto it with a few inches of distance between them and then insert the baking sheet into your oven.

Bake the earring plugs for 15-20 minutes for every 1/4 inch of jewelry thickness, and then remove with an oven mitt. Let the plug earrings cool completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not attempt to insert the plug earrings before proper cooling has occurred after baking.
  • Make sure that the polymer clay has baked for the recommended amount of time, otherwise it may not retain its intended shape or it may burn.

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