So the other day I was checking out Pinterest and saw that clay rings were a top trend. It’s no surprise because polymer clay can be transformed into so many gorgeous designs! After further investigation I learned that polymer clay rings in general are a top seller on Etsy. So today I decided to do a tutorial on how to make lovely clay rings to sell online! Let’s hop right in!
* As an Amazon Associate this post contains affiliate links. This means I may be compensated a small amount if you should click and purchase something through them. This is at no extra cost to you.
What is polymer clay?
Polymer clay is a highly durable and easy to use synthetic art material. The key components of polymer clay are polyvinyl chloride also known as (PVC), as well as fillers, plasticizers, and colorants.
All of these components together make up the wonderful, bendable, and versatile clay used for making so many things.
To get started you should definitely get a high quality art brand of polymer clay. These may come in many different color assortments as well as plain.
Also keep in mind you will want a brand of polymer clay that does not shrink very much. I will list brands known to not shrink as well as some tools to get started.
What you’ll need
- Polymer Clay
- Tissue Blade
- Xacto Knife
- Clay Conditioner
- Pasta Machine/Acrylic Roller (Yes. I said a pasta machine.)
- Glaze (For Glossy Rings)
- Dremel Tool (For precise adjustments, sanding, and buffing)
Size Your Rings
The easiest way that I’ve found to size rings is to use a basic sizing chart measured in millimeters. Conveniently I’ve made a chart for you to use as reference.
Select the circumference size you want and measure the clay out accordingly. Then simply wrap the clay into a circular formation and go from there.
Purchase a ring size chart with cutouts. Use the cutout to trace the perfect circle based on measurement onto a piece of cardstock paper.
Wrap the rolled clay around the outer edge of the circle you made and connect it. Fasten your ring and you’re good to go!
Factors to consider when sizing
While both of these methods are effective to coming up with good ring measurements you have to also consider the possibility for your clay to shrink.
However, it really does depend on the clay you use.
Polymer Clay Known To Shrink Slightly
Polymer Clay That Isn’t As Prone To Shrinking
All of these brands are still great choices for jewelry making. Just because shrinking can occur doesn’t mean that you should be scared to use different kinds of polymer clay.
I highly suggest doing a test run with the polymer clay you purchase to see exactly how much shrinkage occurs before going crazy with your ring making.
Follow the instructions for each individual clay when it comes to heating them in the oven.
My personal choice for jewelry making is currently Cernit and I’ve enjoyed working with this brand quite a bit.
Tools & Their Uses
Let’s discuss the basic tools needed to work with polymer clay and specifically for designing clay rings and jewelry in general.
Knives – (PSA: These knives are extremely sharp. Be careful in handling them.) The knives needed for clay sculpting come in a wide variety.
However, the knives you will likely use the most are the Xacto knife and tissue blade. The Xacto knife is for free form cutting and controlled cuts.
The tissue blade would be used for precise and even slicing of your polymer clay. This really comes in handy for ring making.
I highly recommend the Sculpey brand super slicer which comes with safety handles for more careful cuts.
Sometimes you just can’t control if your polymer clay will be a bit dry and brittle. It honestly depends on the brand and also how long it has been sitting on a shelf.
If you purchase from a craft store you really can’t be sure how long the clay has been there. In cases like that you can simply add a bit of clay conditioner.
You can buy this specifically for clay, but some people prefer to use baby oil or baby lotion.
Of course many clays will come out of the pack just fine.
Pasta Machine/Acrylic Roller
Many professional clay artists swear by pasta machines as a great way to roll out their clay. They have adjustable thickness settings and are much more affordable.
Also an acrylic roller is something you’d be also using regularly to roll your clay flat or make a quick design.
A dremel tool is a perfect compliment to clay ring sculpting and jewelry making in general. You can add different attachments for whatever your specific need is.
You can drill holes, make intricate engravings, sand, and even buff with a dremel.
Finally, if you are wanting a glossy looking finished product you can opt to add a coating or two of glaze to your clay rings.
This is of course very optional as polymer clay is quite stable without a glaze coating and still looks amazing without it.
Designing the perfect polymer clay ring
So you have the basics down. You know what tools you need to begin and you know what clay to use.
How do you design a clay ring to sell online?
The beauty of polymer clay is that it can be sculpted any way you like. You can go with a basic colored clay ring.
You can sculpt them into shapes like animals, flowers, paint them, and so much more!
Steps To Making A Ring – Start To Finish
First select the clay you will be using. Roll it out flat with your acrylic roller or as many professionals love to use a pasta machine.
I know that still sounds crazy, but it really can be used for clay and for setting the thickness you want for your clay to be rolled out into.
Size your ring using one of the two methods I showed you above for the perfect fit.
Connect your ring and sculpt it as you wish. Design something unique using your xacto knife as well as other colors or even liquid gilding. There are so many clay ring designs to get inspiration from online.
Bake your ring in the oven according to its directions. Then you can decide if you want to add a glossy glaze coating, paint, or both!
Hacks For Working With Polymer Clay
Here are a few awesome hacks for polymer clay that may also be helpful in your clay ring creation endeavors.
Clay too soft and squishy?
Place it between two sheets of paper for about 30 minutes. The excess oil will usually absorb into the paper and leave the clay easier to work with.
Want to reduce burning on the bottom or the top of your clay?
Place wax paper under your clay to reduce the bottom side burns. Throw a sheet of foil lightly over the top of your clay to protect the top.
Need to remove fuzz, lint, or debris from your clay?
Simply use a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol to wipe off the unsightly particles. You can also use acetone/fingernail polish remover.
Check Out Popular Tutorials For Design Inspiration
There are tons of fabulous tutorials out there to check out for specific ring types. Do you want to make something super simple or something more intricate?
One of my favorite tutorials is this clay Bluebell ring.
If you want to start with a basic approach here is a much more beginner friendly clay ring tutorial video. I like this video because it gives you a good idea of how thick to make your most basic rings.
Also it is helpful to show you how to cut using your clay knives.
Selling The Finished Product
So you’ve made your clay rings, but aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to selling them online.
I highly recommend selling your rings using a platform like Etsy or Shopify.
Clay jewelry is already quite popular on Etsy so if you were able to market your crafts well you could stand a chance to do well there.
Clay rings can sell from anywhere around 10 USD to 20+ depending on how intricate you make them or how popular your shop becomes.
Naturally you will want to price your rings so that you earn a profit while considering your material and shipping costs.
Set Up An Etsy Account
Choose a catchy but simple store name. You want something that people will remember so they can visit again and again.
Design a logo and cover photo. You can create these for free on Canva.com
Fill out all of your profile information. A complete profile comes across as a professional one.
List your items using keywords, awesome images from multiple angles, and also write great descriptions.
The more your customer knows what they are getting, the better.
Promote Your Lovely Clay Rings
In my experience, promoting your products is the most important step next to shipping on time.
Luckily I’ve written a post on the subject! 10 Ways To Market Your Craft Products To Sell.
Setting up a business Pinterest account and pinning listings of your creations is a great way to get clicks, visits, and hopefully purchases!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful when it comes to making lovely clay rings to sell online.
If you do decide to start making clay rings feel free to comment about your experience below or even email your story in.
Send pictures of your creations if you like as well for a chance to be featured on the website! Good luck and happy crafting!