Does polymer clay jewelry break easily?

Polymer clay has become a popular choice for crafting intricate and unique jewelry pieces. Its versatility and ability to mimic various materials make it an appealing medium for jewelry makers. However, concerns about the durability of polymer clay jewelry often arise. In this article, we’ll delve into the factors that influence the strength and longevity of polymer clay jewelry and provide insights into how to create resilient and long-lasting pieces.

1. Curing and Strength

Polymer clay achieves its final hardness and strength through proper curing:

When polymer clay is baked at the recommended temperature and duration, the chemical reactions that occur result in a solid and durable material. Undercured clay may be more prone to breakage, so it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for baking to ensure optimal strength.

2. Thickness and Shape

The thickness and shape of polymer clay components play a role in their durability:

Thicker and more substantial pieces tend to be stronger and less likely to break than delicate and thin elements. Certain shapes, such as thin, extended points, may be more vulnerable to snapping under pressure. When designing polymer clay jewelry, consider the overall structure and reinforce delicate areas if needed.

3. Handling and Care

Proper handling and care are essential for preserving the longevity of polymer clay jewelry:

  • Avoid Dropping: Polymer clay jewelry, like any other jewelry, should be handled with care. Dropping or subjecting it to forceful impacts can lead to breakage.
  • Store Safely: Store your polymer clay jewelry in a safe place, ideally in individual compartments or pouches, to prevent pieces from rubbing against each other or tangling.
  • Protect from Moisture: Excessive moisture can weaken polymer clay over time. Avoid wearing polymer clay jewelry while swimming, bathing, or engaging in activities where the jewelry may be exposed to water.
  • Remove Before Sleeping: To prevent accidental stress or breakage, consider removing polymer clay jewelry before sleeping.

4. Sealing and Finishing

Applying a sealant or finish can enhance the durability of polymer clay jewelry:

A clear sealant or varnish can provide a protective layer that guards against wear and tear, minimizes surface scratches, and adds a polished look. Be sure to choose a sealant that is compatible with polymer clay and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application.

5. Design Considerations

Strategic design choices can contribute to the durability of polymer clay jewelry:

  • Reinforcements: Incorporate wire, metal findings, or other materials to reinforce delicate parts of your design, such as earring hooks or pendant loops.
  • Proper Attachments: Ensure that components are securely attached to findings and findings are well-embedded or securely anchored in the clay.


Polymer clay jewelry can be durable and long-lasting when proper techniques and precautions are taken. By focusing on curing, design, handling, care, and finishing, you can create polymer clay jewelry that withstands everyday wear and remains a cherished accessory. With attention to detail and a commitment to quality craftsmanship, your polymer clay jewelry pieces can become beautiful, resilient works of wearable art.

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