Using Crystals With Polymer Clay

using crystals with polymer clay

Polymer clay is a beloved medium for crafters because it's easy to work with, can hold intricate designs and has exceptional durability that ensures your creations last. Anyone can use polymer clay to create any objects of their imagination, whether a child, a beginner crafter or a professional artist. 

Polymer clay is often used to create jewelry, like pendants and earrings, charms or decorative pieces like figurines and picture frames. You can incorporate crafting crystals into your polymer clay to add some elegance or a personal touch to your creations. They can help you transform an ordinary piece into something sparkling and unique with just a few extra steps.

Baking polymer clay with crystals may seem pretty straightforward — just create a cavity or indentation and place the crystals. However, there are numerous things to consider when choosing the right crystals and the best ways to fuse the materials to ensure longevity.

Tips for Baking Polymer Clay With Crystals

Keep these tips in mind when creating beautiful creations with polymer clay and crystals:

  • Choose the right crystals: The best crystals to bake with polymer clay are glass, such as Swarovski crystals or similar. These can withstand the baking temperatures used for polymer clay without losing color or luster. Avoid plastic crystals, as they may melt or discolor. To determine whether your crystals are glass or plastic, use a craft knife to scrape the back. Glass crystals scratch, while plastic crystals will scrape off. Alternatively, bake the crystal alone in the oven before incorporating it into your polymer clay design and see if it melts during a full bake cycle. Avoid baking pearls, opals and soft metals. Some natural gemstones have moisture trapped inside and could expand and explode in the oven. 
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to determine the right baking temperatures and time for polymer clay. Authentic glass crystals typically bake at the same temperatures without damage. Be sure to consult the crystal's packing, too, as it may have its own set of guidelines for heat exposure.
  • Secure crystals carefully: Attach your crystal securely to the polymer clay by extending or wrapping small parts of the clay over the crystal. You may also use liquid clay or oven-baked clay adhesive to hold the crystal securely to the baked or unbaked clay. Consider sealing your polymer clay and crystal creations with a varnish or sealant to protect them from wear and tear.

Polymer clay should always be baked in a preheated home or toaster oven. You do not need a kiln, and you shouldn't attempt baking your polymer clay products in a microwave. The right time and temperature to bake your project are indicated on the product's packaging. Use an oven thermometer to ensure you bake your crafts at the right temperature. 

It's generally safe to rebake your polymer clay crafts to dry the adhesive or liquid clay or if it's still soft after baking. However, wait for it to cool in the freezer for a few minutes before handling it and returning it to the oven. Be sure to follow the instructions on the clay and adhesive packaging to prevent overbaking. 

How to Bake Crystals in Polymer Clay 

There's so much you can create by combining polymer clay with crystals, from strategically embedding them into jewelry pieces like earrings and pendants to tiny crystal pieces to create mosaic patterns of larger creations like picture frames, planters or decorative trays. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.

Use the following points to bake point-backed crystals into polymer clay:

work surface

  1. Start with a clean work surface covered with wax paper, a metal baking sheet or the Sculpey® Oven-Safe Work Mat to prevent damaging furniture or unfinished surfaces.
  2. Ensure your hands are clean before using them to knead your clay until it's soft and easy to work with. Condition it by running it through a Sculpey Tools™ Clay Conditioning Machine or a pasta machine to ensure it has the same consistency throughout.
  3. Shape the polymer clay by molding, layering, ruffling or weaving into your desired designs. 
  4. Take your crystal and push it into the desired positions on your design. You can choose to bake it at this point, especially if it's a creation that you won't use and move around often, like a picture frame. For creations that see a lot of wear, like jewelry, continue with the other steps.
  5. For jewelry pieces, consider securing the clay with tiny pieces of clay wrapped around the crystal to keep it in place once before popping them into the oven. You can also add a touch of creativity by anchoring it with creations like tiny leaves, tendrils or vines.
  6. In case the crystals are not secure after baking, use a craft knife to pop them out. Dab some Sculpey Oven-Bake Clay Adhesive or Liquid Sculpey® on the cavity, return the crystal and bake the craft piece in the oven for 30 minutes or following the manufacturer's instructions.

The difference between baking flat-backed and point-backed crystals into polymer clay is that you must use an adhesive with the former. Point-backed crystals embed effectively into clay without glue because their sharp-pointed edge anchors them into the clay. Crystals without a sharp edge aren't as secure and may be more easily dislodged.





Most crystals get a mirrored surface through a metallic or non-metallic foil coating to help reflect the light, giving them the perfect sparkle. These look bright and shiny when embedded into polymer clay. Sometimes, you may need to work with an unmirrored crystal. You'll need to line the cavity in which you'll be placing the crystal with aluminum foil, a tiny silver leaf or reflective silver to prevent a dull finish. You can then attach the crystal back to the cavity securely using liquid clay and bake your creation.

Sculpey Supplies You With the Right Tools to Inspire Your Creativity

Sculpey supplies

Sculpey is the premium-quality polymer clay brand that's trusted by everyone from kids and hobbyist crafters to professional artists. We manufacture and supply the best polymer clay that remains soft as you craft and embed crystals and dries to form durable creations. Our inventory includes various clay formulas, including Sculpey IIISculpey Premo and Sculpey Souffle.

We also stock tools for all clay projects, including cutters, jewelry-making molds, bead makers and design templates. Explore our online store to find the best Sculpey® premium polymer clay for your unique project today.

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