Should I air dry or bake polymer clay?

When working with polymer clay, the method of curing—either air drying or baking—depends on the type of polymer clay you are using and the desired results for your project. Each method has its own advantages and considerations.

Air Drying

Air dry polymer clay, also known as non-baking polymer clay, hardens and cures over time as it is exposed to the air:

  • It does not require an oven or heat source for curing.
  • It may take longer to fully cure compared to baked polymer clay.
  • Air dry clay tends to have a more matte finish compared to baked clay.
  • It is more suitable for creating delicate and lightweight projects.


Baking polymer clay is a popular method for curing and achieving a durable, solid finish:

  • It requires an oven or dedicated polymer clay toaster oven.
  • Baking ensures a quicker and more reliable curing process.
  • It results in a harder and more durable finished product.
  • Baked polymer clay can be sanded, carved, and polished to achieve desired textures and finishes.

Choosing the Right Method

Consider the following factors when deciding whether to air dry or bake polymer clay:

  • The specific type of polymer clay you are using, as some are designed for baking while others are intended for air drying.
  • The size, thickness, and complexity of your project.
  • The desired finish and texture of your creation.
  • Your available resources, such as an oven or dedicated polymer clay toaster oven.

Ultimately, the choice between air drying and baking depends on your project’s requirements and your personal preferences as an artist or crafter.

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