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How to bake polymer clay: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Elena Segers on

1. Is it safe to bake polymer clay in my home oven? 

Yes. Polymer clay will not give any fumes unless you burn it.  

2. Can I microwave polymer clay?

No. The microwaves do not provide even heat, so setting the exact temperature is difficult. Microwaves create heat spots. If you place your clay in one of them, the clay may melt and emit fumes.  

3. Can I bake polymer clay in a toaster oven?

Yes. However, smaller ovens can overheat and can create random temperature spikes. Also, because of a smaller size, the clay project may be too close to the heating elements, which will lead to burning. The best practice is to use an oven thermometer to ensure the right temperature during baking and cover your clay pieces with foil or an upside-down baking pan.

4. How to select the best oven?

Read our tips for choosing the best oven here. 

5. What are the best surfaces for baking polymer clay?

Choose surfaces which can hold a consistent temperature, such as ceramic tile or glass. If you are baking on a metal pan, place your clay pieces on a baking paper. Use a ceramic or a glass tile, or a plate to ensure a smooth surface of a clay piece after baking. If your clay creations need support during baking, use corn starch or baking soda.

6. Can I bake polymer clay with aluminum foil?

Yes. Aluminum foil can leave shiny spots on the underside of your project. If this is not a problem for you, foil is acceptable to use. 

7. How to avoid burning polymer clay during baking?

If you burn polymer clay, your oven is too hot. Reduce the heat. You cannot burn or damage polymer clay by baking it for a very long time, even hours, if the temperature is correct. 

8. Can I bake polymer clay more than once?

Yes, you can bake polymer clay multiple times. In fact, it is a common practice for creating some complex designs. You can add raw clay to the baked clay and bake it together again. You cannot burn or damage polymer clay by baking it for a very long time, even hours, if the temperature is correct. 

9. How do I know when the polymer clay is done baking?

Cool down the clay after baking and check its flexibility by "the bend or snap method”. A piece of polymer clay is cured properly when you can bend it, without breaking.

10. Why is my polymer clay breaking after baking and how to avoid it?

Polymer clay will break after baking if it was not cured properly. Read our tips to avoid breaking polymer clay. 

11. How should I bake polymer clay pieces with varying thickness (e.g. thin at the edges, thick in the middle)?  

To ensure that thicker parts are cured properly, you will need to bake pieces several time. Bake bigger pieces first, add more details and bake everything again.