What Glue To Use for Polymer Clay Earrings
In this polymer clay earrings tutorial, I’m going to answer the most frequent question every polymer clay maker ever receives: what glue should I use for polymer clay earrings?
Spoiler alert: there isn’t a glue you should use for polymer clay earrings! Keep reading to find out how you should adhere posts to polymer clay in order to create earrings that will last.
When I first got started on my polymer clay journey making earrings back in 2019 the talk of the town was to use a glue called E6000 to adhere posts to the back of my earrings. It’s what I saw other well known and successful makers use and when they answered the question that’s what they said they used.
It’s a myth. Now, I bet there are still well known makers who choose to use E600 as the way to adhere their posts. That’s their prerogative. But if you’re wanting to create earrings that last and don’t have posts pop off the back, E6000 is not the way to go.
USING E6000 TO ADHERE POSTS TO POLYMER CLAY
The problem with using E6000 to adhere metal posts to polymer clay is that polymer clay is flexible and metal is not. E6000 also reacts to heat (meaning it softens if left out in the sun or even exposed to body heat). So the slightest drop, mishandle or bend of the earring top could result in the post popping right off.
This can happen in a matter of days after curing, weeks, months or even a year.
The amount of earrings I’ve remade because a customer reached out to me because their earring post fell off is embarrassing. But I didn’t know. But now you do ;)
So if not E6000 then what?
HOW TO ATTACH EARRING POSTS TO POLYMER CLAY
Because polymer clay is flexible you need something to adhere the post to that’s also flexible. Enter Bake and Bond. I love me some Sculpey Bake and Bond. Bake and Bond is a flexible adhesive that forms two pieces of polymer clay. Some makers have success using the BNB method on raw clay and some have success using it on previously baked clay.
I have only ever used the BNB method on raw clay, because I don’t like doing jobs twice.
In my experience, the BNB method is the only method that provides a secure attachment of a metal post to raw clay. It’s clean, it’s easy to do and it creates earrings that will last for ages.
USING BAKE AND BOND WITH POLYMER CLAY
So what’s the BNB method actually? I’ve broken it down into easy to follow steps for you here. I’d love for you to try the BNB method next time you make a pair of earrings and let me know how it works for you!
First, cut out all the tops of your earrings. Circles are my go-to shapes for tops. I prefer working with 8mm, 10mm and 12mm circles for my tops. After your tops are cut out, smooth the edges with your fingers and lay them face down on a fresh sheet of card stock.
Second, add a tiny dollop of Bake and Bond to the backs of all your tops. Then, you’ll want to take your posts and slightly smoosh them down on top of the dollop. I prefer to work with 8mm surgical steel posts.
Third, add more Bake and Bond to the backs of your pieces. You’re going to want to find the balance of making sure to cover the entire post, while not overfilling and doming your pieces too much. You’ll find that if you make your tops slightly thinner than the rest of your components the doming won’t make the top piece too big.
Once you’ve added more Bake and Bond you’ll want to smooth out the dollop and bring the BNB to the edges. I use a rubber tipped brush for this because it’s super easy to wipe down and keep clean.
Lastly, we pop these babies in the oven at the same temperature you bake your other pieces at. I like to bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes.
That’s it! If you did a good job smoothing your pieces beforehand you tops are done (after you drill your hole if needed). Whoo hoo!
I absolutely love the opaque finish of Bake and Bond on the backs of my pieces. It’s smooth, not too thick and super secure. I like to let my pieces fully cure for at least 1 hour before I test the adherence of the BNB. Some makers have noticed that if they tug on the post right out of the oven that the piece will pop off, but letting it cool off helps it cure.
If this tip was helpful for you and you’d like to learn more about polymer clay I’d love to have you join my Makers Insiders Club! By joining you’ll unlock tutorials like:
- Watercolor Technique
- How I Make Terrazzo
- Understanding Color Theory
- Making Ombre, Adhering Posts and Cutting Pattern Canes
- How to Make Polymer Clay Earrings
- How to Adhere Posts Using Bake and Bond
- Sanding and Buffing
- Leopard Cane
- Sheer Pattern Technique
- What to do With Pattern Canes
- How to Use Texture Sheets and Rollers
- How to Use Jump Rings and Assemble
Along with live Q & A’s, a community of other makers and more! You can try it free for 3 days by heading here. If you have a clay business and want to learn all of that, plus business marketing to grow you can try the business plan for free for 3 days by heading here.