How to Bake Sculpey, Premo and Fimo Polymer Clay in a Toaster Oven

Baking Sculpey Using a Parchment Paper Tent

The only time to use a full size kitchen oven for baking polymer clay, would be if you make enormous dinosaur beads :-)

There are so many reasons why a toaster oven is the preferred polymer clay tool for baking Sculpey, Fimo and Premo beads over your regular size, home baking oven. These are the main ones:

  • Small – less cost to operate than a large oven.
  • Less power consumption is better for the environment.
  • Cheap – I got mine free from a friend who was throwing it out. But you can also buy them second hand and even new at clearance places for next to nothing.
  • Portable – Can bring it to your craft room or studio.
  • Separate from cooking oven – Some people are concerned that the fumes from baking polymer clay could contaminate food.
  • Quick to heat up and cool down.

But there are also a few problems you should be aware of when using a toaster oven to bake Sculpey and the other polymer clay brands (Premo, Fimo, etc):

  • Because the oven is small, it tends to cool off quickly and therefore has to reheat to get back up to temperature. This can cause ‘spikes’ in temperatures where the oven gets hotter than it should for short periods of time causing scorching. To avoid this it is important to tent your beads to protect them from the heat hitting them directly.
  • When tenting your beads with folded parchment or office paper, it is important to check and make sure the paper does not touch the element. Although the baking temperature is very low and the paper will not burn if tented properly, it still can catch fire if you let it touch the element. Be sensible! Be careful!
  • The polymers in the clay need to be baked at their given temperatures for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch of thickness in order to fuse together and cure. Because of that, the fluctuating temperature can be a problem. To compensate, you will need to bake your beads for a longer period of time to ensure proper curing. I am also finding this to be true for the bigger ovens, so this isn’t really a downside for using a toaster oven. The ovens that hold their temperature most consistently are the convection ovens. But they are expensive and many polymer clay artists can’t justify the added cost.
  • Partly because the oven dials are so small and that they are never that accurate, the temperature you think you are setting your oven at may not be the actual temp. inside. As with any oven it is important to use an oven thermometer to make sure you are getting the temperature just right. Always check the baking instructions on the polymer clay packaging. Sculpey III, Premo and Fimo all bake at different degrees. Sometimes even different colors within the same brand can even bake differently, so make sure to read the package instructions.
  • There can be ‘hot spots’ in the oven. Test your oven to see if there are any spots that are hotter than others by moving your thermometer around and checking the readings.
  • Work in a room that is well ventilated. Just because a toaster oven is small and you can put it anywhere, don’t set it directly in front of you while you are baking beads. Although the clay is non-toxic to work with, the fumes from burnt clay can be harmful so you won’t want to be breathing them in.
  • The cheaper the better. The expensive toaster ovens with all the bells and whistles aren’t worth the added cost. In fact many have self-cleaning features that tend to ‘spike’ the temperature even more than the cheaper models.

So when you are learning how to bake Sculpey polymer clay in your toaster oven (click the link for even more bead baking tips), make sure to work in a well ventilated room, watch the oven temperature carefully using an oven thermometer, and carefully tent the beads to protect them from scorching. Your beads will turn out beautiful and strong every time.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Cindy Lietz, 24 June, 2008

    It is important to always properly cure your polymer clay beads. If a bead is still raw on the inside, the plasticizers can leach into the cured clay and eventually break it down causing it to crumble at a later date.

    After putting all the time and energy into making beautiful beads, it would be a shame to have them fall apart, due to improper baking techniques!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Summer Sunflower Fun – Polymer Clay Color Mixing Recipes

  2. Jill Siegel, 09 January, 2013

    Cindy, is there a way to tell if the object being cured is done? Or, is it just bake for 1/2 hour at the required temperature and it is done?

  3. Cindy Lietz, 11 January, 2013

    Hi Jill, I actually recommend you bake at the required temp for a full hour for Sculpey, Fimo and Premo. With Kato it looks like the ideal time is more like 40 minutes, but I still need to do some testing myself on that one.

    As far as knowing whether it is done, that is kind of hard to do, unless you attempt to break it. Just bake it long enough at the right temp and you will have a high degree of assurance that it is cured properly. If it is a really thick piece that you are afraid that it might not be enough time, just add more time. It can’t hurt… at least for Premo clay it doesn’t.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, watch this video… it will help clarify the baking thing…
    How Long To bake Polymer Clay

  4. Rachel B, 20 May, 2013

    Hi Cindy =) Hi everyone =) I am new here, so welcome me.

    Atlas, I couldn’t find where that comment was where I saw you mention about using clay bakers. I got a quick response from the distributor and was told that clay bakers are designed for cooking and it is not recommended that they be used for the firing/baking of polymer clay dolls, since the lids are soaked in water, they seal the clay bakers to withhold the steam. So, they do not believe this would be an adequate seal to prevent the polymer fumes from escaping. Oh well. Scratched that one =( I would think I’d need a more commercial firing oven or apparatus for clay dolls. Also being in contact with hobbyists for other potential suggestions such as you Cindy would be helpful.

    Speaking of ovens. After 5 years of creating Faery folk and Mermaid folk environments/bases, I wanted to take a huge leap and sculpt dolls from 4″ to 12″. I know this website is for polymer clay jewelery artists, but this ‘oven’ issue can be something of great concern to me and some of you as well. Since I am not traveling till August again, I am going to focus on this and create my own custom made sculpting tools as well as the eye ball mold, drying/baking stand, sculpting stand and core tool using my home oven AND I was thinking of investing in the Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven with Convection and Rotisserie which would probably be great for sitting dolls. I’d really like to hear your feedback or experiences using a convection oven. Does anyone sculpt dolls here as well?

  5. Jocelyn C, 20 May, 2013

    Just googled images on “convection ovens” and there is breadth and scope to that topic, lol. Every conceivable type of convection possible, sized to fit any need.

    At a certain point, think you have to look at your business needs. A digitally correct oven is vital to our pleasure and trade. Cindy has her toaster oven set to perfection, as finally, do I, but it was a journey.

    The cheaper ones need to ramp up heat through out the hour long baking process to properly harden the clay. Convection ovens may need less time, I am not sure. To find out, you can use the site’s search box, “convection ovens” and get numerous blog and commentary.

    If your sales relate to volume, can see why you need to make amortized investments. Wish you the best, and please come back and let us know what worked best for you.

  6. Sue F, 21 May, 2013

    Hi Rachel!

    I know nothing about dolls, I’m afraid, but I do have $0.02 to put in about convection ovens and polymer clay ovens in general.

    I definitely prefer convection ovens for baking polymer clay compared to alternatives with exposed elements like the more common toaster ovens. Convection ovens heat more evenly, and I think you’d have to make a real effort to encounter problems such as scorching which are often reported with toaster ovens where the element can either be too close to, or insufficiently shielded from, the items being baked.

    I also like to use an oven that is larger than toaster ovens get, so that I can bake large or strangely shaped pieces, or a whole bunch of pieces at once, if I want to. Such ovens usually have more insulation than toaster ovens too, which helps keep the heat even and ensures the clay cures properly. (If the temperature fluctuates too much you might get scorching, or your clay might not spend sufficient time in the proper temperature range to cure properly. There are a bunch of workarounds described on this site and elsewhere to minimise such problems, but I’d personally just prefer to get a decent oven to start with. I’m lazy! ;D)

    I bake all of my polymer clay pieces in one convection oven or another. Most of the time I use a convection microwave oven in convection oven mode. It was bought for the kitchen where I used to live, but it didn’t match my current kitchen so I put it in my studio and am very glad I did! It’s a bit larger than the benchtop convection oven model you mentioned, judging by the description, and I think it’s a good size for most things (good capacity while still heating quickly and holding temperatures accurately). I also use one of my main kitchen ovens in convection mode on the rare occasions I want to bake something that my studio convection microwave oven can’t handle.

    I also have what I personally know as a turbo broiler, but which most people also call a convection oven, which consists of a large heatproof footed glass base with the heating element, fan, thermostat, etc. in a lid that fits on top. I bought this as an experiment for a polymer clay curing option I could easily take around with me (my studio convection microwave oven weighs about 25kg which is a bit too heavy to lug around conveniently, and I saw this other gadget cheap at my local Aldi). I haven’t actually used it yet, and I suspect I’ll have to adjust my normal method of baking things on or in a bed of baking soda or I’ll get an instant oven blizzard the moment I turn it on, but I’ve seen other people such as Donna Kato curing polymer clay in them.

    I haven’t seen the particular convection oven you mentioned in person, but from a quick look at a few web pages I googled up it sounds like a suitable option for polymer clay.

    Good luck with it all, and we’d love to see what you make! :)


  7. Rachel B, 21 May, 2013

    Hello Sue *waves*

    THANK YOU oh so much for taking the time to reply on this thread. I have gathered sufficient information to quench my curiosity, and nothing beats hearing/reading the experiences from others. I see many polymer clayer artists, whether they create wonderful jewelries, figurines or fantasy or ooak sculptures rely on their home ovens. Some swears they love using both home ovens and a very good and reliable convection oven. So, I will give both a go. I’ve decided to use both for different needs/sizes.

    Thank you so much, I’ll have to retire this question now since Sue had quenched my questions. My unsureness somehow dissipated. Thank you.

    I am currently in contact with some sculptors/artists who are willing to guide me through. It’s been such an honor having to communicate with my fellow artists! Thank you once again Sue. You’re such a breath of fresh air =)

    P.S. Aww you’re sweet Sue! I wish I could share photos of my past work here. I paint, I am an avid wood carver. I love working with woods (e.g. grape wood, manzanita etc.) to create my base/environment pieces for my ooak fantasy sculptures. Maybe I’ll try polymer clay jewelry making in the future!

  8. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 21 May, 2013

    @Sue and Jocelyn – Thanks for helping out Rachel with your valuable input.

    @Rachel – Welcome to the community. There is a way to share pics of your creations here at the site, if you are still interested in doing that. Here’s how… first upload the images to your favorite photo sharing service… whether it’s Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket or even Dropbox. Then just post another comment with the links (minus the http://www so that your comment does not go to the spam folder), and I will turn them into clickable links for you. Sue-F does this all the time. Here is an example of her her last shared feature: Faux Burl Wood

    Btw… for anyone reading here that wants to set up a new Dropbox account for sharing your photos, our PcT referral link will give you an extra 500MB of storage to your free account, and it gives us an extra 500MB as well. Cindy and I use Drop box when we are passing big video files back and forth, so when you set up your free Dropbox account through our referral link, it actually does help us out quite a bit. We need all the extra storage capacity that we can get :-) I don’t think that referral link will expire… gut if it does, just let me know and I’ll post a new one.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 24 May, 2013

    Hi Rachel, Welcome! So glad that the others came in here to help you. I can get too busy to be able to handle all the questions and comments that come in, but as you can see the community here is very helpful and friendly. Since you have some experience in sculpting where others may not, we welcome any information you are able to share with others as well. SO do make sure to pipe up, if you know an answer to someone’s question as well.

    Hope you’re having fun and that you are finding everything you need. Remember the search box at the top of the page is your friend. There is hardly a topic that hasn’t already been discussed, so you should be able to find lots of answers there as well.

    Happy claying!

  10. Kimberlee, 20 July, 2008

    AHA!! THIS is the article I have been searching for–something to tell me whether the toaster oven is really worth all the fuss. I have posted comments to some of your other blog entries with questions that you have answered here! Although I still worry about my new craft toaster oven going up in flames like my first one did! (See other comments! Index cards were involved.) Take care and thanks!

  11. Cindy Lietz, 20 July, 2008

    Yeah I read them all Kimberlee! Thank you so much for posting these questions. It is very important that people take their ovens seriously so accidents don’t happen like what happened to you!

    The big thing is (and I said it in the other comments) that the temp in your oven must be carefully monitered with an oven thermometer. I keep mine at a steady 265F degrees which seems to work well with the Premo and Fimo I am working with. Make sure to check the package because the temp for each brand is different. Temps can even be different for each color of clay so make sure to double check.

    Also, never, ever let the paper or the clay touch the sides of your oven or the elements. Check while sliding in the rack because a lot of ovens have their elements hanging down. Mine does.

    Always use caution and ventilation and you will have many successful baked polymer clay beads!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Techniques for Slicing Polymer Clay Canes

  12. Marsha, 22 July, 2008

    I took a couple of classes at a local art studio, got really excited about polymer clay and then had to put my newly learned skills on hold for a while. I was recently given a new convection toaster oven and was disappointed that some of the beads scorched. I can’t wait to try using a tent to protect them! I’ll also use an oven thermometer to check the actual oven temperature. Thanks so much!

  13. Cindy Lietz, 23 July, 2008

    It should help remarkably! Also if you let your oven pre-heat it shouldn’t spike quite as much. Let me know if that fixes your problem!

    Cindy Lietz’s last post..Bead Making Conspiracy – Polymer Clay Tutor’s Evil Plan Exposed

  14. Andrea Dimmick, 28 August, 2008

    I just found some info on using a microwave to bake beads

    Put beads in micowaveable plastic container,cover with water,cook on high 10 min. Beads were cut in half to reveal a soild bake. REFERENCE:

  15. Cindy Lietz, 28 August, 2008

    Hi Andrea, I am familiar with Garie. His site is out of Singapore and he has lots of interesting info. I know he does some baking in the microwave… I would caution on doing that however.

    If the water were to boil dry and the beads were to get exposed bad things could happen like fire and exploding beads. All the manufacturers say not to microwave polymer clay at all…. so I would listen to them.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Bead Mosaic Jewelry Brooch Design by Polymer Clay Artist Naama Zamir

  16. Diane, 23 January, 2009

    I started watching the polymer clay basics course and find it extremely interesting. In Section #6, you mention that burning clay can cause toxic fumes and that is not good. Can you please tell me how damaging that can be?

  17. Cindy Lietz, 23 January, 2009

    That is an excellent question Diane! I was reading something just today about this topic. Julie Leir-VanSickle, one of the editors at Craft Gossip, recently posted the following quote from Doc Sarah of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild:

    “The fumes of burning clay are an airway irritant. (The burning generates a low level of hydrochloric acid in gaseous form.) Basically that’s a fancy way to say the fumes stink and cause irritation. It is short lived. Of course children have smaller airways and may be more sensitive so it’s a good idea to keep up the ventilation to dilute the air. (if there is a risk of burning.) But don’t worry, there is no hidden toxic effect or delayed issue. If you don’t have any problems now, you won’t have any. Furthermore, if there is any irritation, when it’s gone it’s gone. You can’t take a product certified non-toxic and do anything to it to make it toxic. Burning will make it an irritant, but NOT a toxin per se (using medical definitions.)”

  18. Cindy Lietz, 24 January, 2009

    POLYMER CLAY SAFETY INFORMATION UPDATE: I wanted to point out a couple of things based on an email conversation that Diane and I just had about polymer clay safety issues.

    1) In my Beginners Course Video on Polymer Clay Safety, I mentioned that burnt polymer clay can give off “toxic” fumes. But based on Doc Sarah’s quote posted in the comment immediately above this one, these fumes are actually not toxic. What I should have said in the course video is that the fumes can be irritable for some people or perhaps cause nausea… which obviously is safer than my “toxic” reference. Just wanted to set the record straight.

    2) If you do end up with a reaction to the fumes from polymer clay that has been burned in your oven, then go see your doctor about it. When it comes to medical stuff, the Internet is a great starting point to look for information and advice… but it is so important to always consult with a trusted physician before drawing any conclusions.

  19. edie, 18 June, 2009

    If you’re baking pieces that are thinner than 1/4 inch, do you bake for a shorter period? I would say my color chips are about 1/8 inch thick and I have burned all the samples of translucent and frost I’ve tried, although the blends I’ve made with them are ok.

    I’m baking between two ceramic tiles for flat things. I have played around with my Amaco oven and found the sweet spot on the dial where the temp stays between 265 and 275, and I’m baking the non-flat things in cornstarch. I’m having a blast, but I tend toward a bit of ARness and I’d really like to have good chips of the translucent and frost to work with…

    and I wish my sleep meds would work! LOL! I’m obsessing about this and even dreaming in clay….


  20. Cindy Lietz, 28 June, 2009

    I think you aren’t the only one Edie that dreams in clay! :-)

    You are doing everything right, so I suspect your thermometer could be off. Translucent usually can handle a little higher temp, so I don’t understand why this is happening.

    The other possibility, I guess, could be a dirty oven. It wouldn’t hurt to clean it to see if that works.

    Hope that helps. If it doesn’t let me know and will try some more problem solving. :-)

  21. whitie, 24 October, 2009

    Q1)urm,my snack oven,another words toaster oven,doesn’t has a knob turning the temperature,so can i still bake the Polymer Clay in the snack oven?
    Q2)would there be any smell left in oven after i bake the clay?can i still bake food inside?how can i remove the smell if there’s unpleasant smell left?

  22. Cindy Lietz, 24 October, 2009

    @Whitie: Unless you can control the temperature it won’t be good to bake in your oven. You need to bake clay at the right temp or it will burn. As far as your second question there can be a residual smell from baking polymer clay in your oven. To completely rid the smell you make have to clean the oven. Read the above article carefully for tips on baking polymer clay as well as type the word ‘baking’ in the search box at the top of the page for more info.

  23. elie, 18 November, 2009

    Hi, may I know on what minute usually premo polymer clays become done when I used oven toaster, my toaster oven have 0 to 15 minutes, on what minute should I start? No temperature button. Is that ok?

  24. Dolores, 18 November, 2009

    I purchased a toaster oven from a garage sale for 3$ and burnt several pieces of clay. I bought an oven thermometer and some ceramic tiles from suggestions on the sit and tried to get the temp to range between 265-275. It seemed to be impossible with any combination of tiles or temps. the closest I could come was to set the temp to 175 degrees without any tiles and it would reach and hold at 250, but if I set it any higher it would climb to over 350. I figured because this was because the toaster oven was used and most likely broken. I read several reviews online and purchased a brand new GE 6 slice toaster oven. So far I have the exact same issues. I have only tried so far setting it to 275 degrees and with or without ceramic tiles the temp climbs to 350. Please any suggestions would be really appreciated.

  25. Siri A, 21 November, 2017

    Hey! My microwave/convection oven is set to 180°C and that’s the minimum temperature. You can only increase it from there. I don’t have another oven, and this is my first time TRYING a polymer clay creation.
    I’ve read that baking clay at that temperature will cause it to melt. I didn’t get branded clay like fimo or sculpey. The one I bought said Jewelo polymer clay. And I’m really concerned it will burn in my very first attempt if I put it in for a lesser time at that temperature. Is there any way I could bake it? Please help me out. Thankyou.

  26. Cindy Lietz, 27 November, 2017

    Hi Siri, that is a pretty tricky problem. If you try and bake your pieces normally, they will most likely burn. What I would do is test some samples, by burying them in cornstarch while baking. that should help to protect them. Use the search box at the top of the page on baking in cornstarch. There is a video there that should help. Good luck!

  27. Cindy Lietz, 25 November, 2009

    Sorry guys for taking so long to get back to you. It is getting so busy around here I’m having trouble keeping up with some of the comments here at the blog!

    @elie: I like to bake my beads for 1 hour or more. This makes the beads very hard and durable, plus makes them easier to sand! With a 15 min timer, you’re going to have to keep resetting it, in order to get a full hour of baking in.

    @Dolores: The problem with toaster ovens is that they are small and their heating elements aren’t that great, so problems like what you describe, happen. Have you tried baking your pieces for an hour at that lower temp and testing the strength of your beads. It might be good enough. Try making some thin sheets for samples and bend and twist them after baking to see if they will break. If your beads won’t cure in the smaller oven, you may need to switch to a larger one.

  28. elie, 25 November, 2009

    but what if i used microwave oven? what is the difference of oven toaster & microwave? Is this more comfortable to use, cause I’m afraid that I might burned my clay & might produce bad smell that can effect health just what others says. Pls help. Thanks

  29. Cindy Lietz, 25 November, 2009

    Elie, It says right on the package to NOT microwave your polymer clay. It could be dangerous and will possibly start a fire, not to mention all the horrible smoke that will come off it. Please do not even test it!

  30. elie, 26 November, 2009

    ah.. ok, I don’t have microwave, & not start baking yet. Thanks for the advice.

  31. Dolores, 30 November, 2009

    Thank you so much :D I ended up purchasing a cheaper (hurrah!) Hamilton Beach toaster that had great reviews on Glass Attic. I haven’t had a problem with it at all. With the ceramic tiles on the bottom centered under the element the temp only varies +/- 5-8 degrees.

  32. Cindy Lietz, 30 November, 2009

    Elie and Dolores – Glad I was able to be of assistance to you gals.

  33. Erica, 09 February, 2010

    Hey, When you say to make sure the parchment paper doesn’t touch the “elements” do you mean the clay piece you are cooking or the sides/top of the oven. Thanks

  34. Phaedrakat, 09 February, 2010

    @Erica: Hi! Cindy was talking about not letting the parchment touch the heating “elements” in the oven — the parts that get red-hot and spread heat throughout the oven.

  35. christine le grice, 03 April, 2010

    I have searched for and not found the answer to this question. Fimo is now baked at 110 and Fimo gel at 130, when using together which temp. do i use? I would be most grateful if you could settle this as I am nervous about burning clay! Thank you for your attention.

  36. Cindy Lietz, 03 April, 2010

    Hi Christine,

    Please follow the link by my name to where Phaedrakat answered your question in another post.

    All the best,

  37. vivian, 26 June, 2010

    hi , about the fumes thing i know that you’ve already told us that it’s not toxic and stuff, but i have another question. so if i bake the clay in my toaster oven will i be able to use it again for baking food ? and also is all the sculpey brand clay non-toxic?
    sry and one more question , at this craft store i saw diffrenet kinds of scupley clay, there’s the one called “sculpey..bakeshop” and then sculpey 3 so wat’s the difference , because many ppl on youtube i saw they use sculpey 3 but never seen them use this sculpe bake shop , on the packing it says it’s for 8 and up :/

  38. Cindy Lietz, 29 June, 2010

    @vivian: Hi Vivian that is a pretty common question. You can use your toaster oven again for food, but I would recommend cleaning it first on the inside with an oven cleaner. That way your toast won’t taste like clay. Even though it is non-toxic, toast that tastes like clay, can’t be good.

    As far as using Bakeshop clay it is a clay that is more like Sculpey Ultralight. It’s consistency is quite a bit softer and therefore not very good for things like cane making and other polymer clay techniques. Though with some creativity you certainly could use it for jewelry making, and therefore, it is not restricted to kids use.

    I prefer and recommend using Premo Sculpey for most of your jewelry and bead making needs. It is strong, beautiful and the colors are easily mixed to create your own palettes. It sands and buffs to a high shine and is considered an artist quality polymer clay.

    I don’t like Sculpey III at all, though other artists do. I find it too soft and sticky, plus very weak and brittle after baking. I find the colors are pretty in the package but give unpredictable results when used in color mixing. I also do not like the dull finish you get with it, even when it is sanded.

    Some time ago, I wrote a post comparing the different brands of polymer clay, that you should read (Click the link by my name). In fact there are several brand comparison articles you can read on this blog. You will find them by using “brands” as the keyword in the search box at the top of this page. Make sure to read the comments as well, in any of the articles on this blog, because often there are more tips and ideas there, than in the post.

    Hope that helps!

  39. emily, 03 August, 2010

    Hi! You have lovely information here!
    I just bought some Fimo and I’ve made a lot…and burned or underbaked most of it. I have two questions. I have been using a small electric oven and cooked the clay at about 210 F but i only cook small pieces (like 1/8 inch) for 2 mins and they burn. Then i tried a piece about 2/8 thick at 5.5 mntes and i think its still underbaked..because it smells like it did when it was baking. my small pieces dont smell much but the bigger one does. I’ve already rebaked it several times but it still smells. I really like the bigger piece but if its really underbaked id rather throw it away than risk the leaching of phalates because baking more than 6 mintes made a similar piece burn :(
    Thank you for your help!!

  40. Phaedrakat, 04 August, 2010

    @emily: Hi Emily, welcome to the site! I’m sorry you’re having trouble with your pieces. They are (most likely) getting scorched and under baked because your oven temperature is too hot, so you can’t leave them in long enough to cure. To remedy this, the first thing you need to do is get an oven thermometer so you can see exactly how hot your oven is. If your Fimo package directions tell you to bake at 210 F for 30 minutes per 1/4″ thickness, it means that you need to bake your piece for a minimum of 30 minutes at the perfect temperature for 30 minutes. If the piece is thicker than 1/4″, then additional baking time is needed for the clay to completely cure (you do not reduce the amount of time if the piece is thinner than 1/4″.) Cindy recommends baking most beads for at least an hour at the proper temperature, so they’re nice and strong—and fully cured.

    It does sound like your oven is too hot—and that’s why your pieces are burning. They can also burn if you’re baking them on metal pans, or if they are touching the heating elements of the oven (metal conducts heat quickly and makes the clay too hot, as does coming in direct contact w/the heating elements!) It’s best to cure your clay on a ceramic tile, a beading rack set on a ceramic tile, something like an accordion-folded piece of paper, or even in a bowl of cornstarch. There are several of these wonderful baking tips in this article, “Baking Beads on a Bed of Cornstarch“.

    I left a comment for someone under this same post, towards the bottom of the page, that explains how to use the tips to “Keep your Beads from Scorching“.

    This comment also tells how to get free videos, and how to search for additional info using the search box at the top of each page. Just about every topic has been covered at the blog at least once, so once you learn how to find the info, you’re in great shape!

    So as you can see, you can bake your pieces multiple times, since it’s the temperature that burns clay, not the length of time in the oven. I left this comment for another member about “Breaking the Baking Rules.”

    It links to a post that lists 8 of the best baking articles, and explains why 30 minutes isn’t usually long enough to cure a bead.The article at the top—above the comments—goes into more detail about this important tip.

    Just an FYI, don’t toss those pieces you were thinking of throwing away. They are salvageable; you just need to put them in the oven for an hour at the proper temperature to fully cure them. Be sure to use an oven thermometer (get one at a dollar store, or anywhere they sell kitchen supplies) to monitor the temperature. Watch out for temperature spikes and hot spots, and never go by what “the oven dial” says (they are usually WAY OFF the mark.) If all else fails and your piece get’s burnt, you can still use the grated-up clay for inclusion beads, or for some other project.

    There are lots of ways to use your scraps and cured/burnt beads, so never toss them. This article called “Baking Clay without Burning” even has a link that shows one artist who has a collection devoted to burnt beads! (The link is to a comment underneath the article—it’s part of a thread with really good baking info.) After you read the comments in the thread, as well as the article at the top of the page, follow the link to the “Awkward shapes” article (linked to in my comment) to read some great explanations by Cindy as well as another experienced clay artist.

    It seems like a lot, but all of this baking info can really help you create beautifully strong, fully-cured beads! The only thing that works better is to get the Polymer Clay Basics Course (link at top of this page!) ;D

    Best of luck!
    ~ Kat   Riverside, CA, USA   —Where are you from?

  41. emily, 04 August, 2010

    WOW! Thanks for the quick and detailed reply! Okay, I see, the problem is in my oven. And my metal pan. Oh haha, and I did read about corn starch but by that time I was so discouraged I gave up. Thanks for the awesome advice, and I think I’ll try it in my friends big oven (she had luck with her pieces)! Inclusion beads sound beautiful, too.
    THANK YOU again..:)

  42. Phaedrakat, 05 August, 2010

    @emily: You’re so welcome! Don’t be discouraged—it’s a lot of info at first, but once you’re into it you’ll love it! For the easiest path, try Cindy’s beginner’s course (Polymer Clay Basics, top of this page.) It will quickly and easily show you how to do it all! Sign up for the Newsletter to get 3 free videos—it will show you how great the quality is on the videos. Have fun! ~Kat

  43. amy, 07 September, 2010

    I searched using the search box for info on this but didn’t find anything, so sorry if this has been covered before! I’m fairly new to polymer clay. I’ve got both Premo and Sculpey III I need to use for a project ( because of color) but the packages call for different temps. What temp and how long should I bake the project for? Thanks! Love this site BTW.

  44. Sue F, 09 September, 2010

    Hi Amy,

    When using several different types of polymer clay together, a good general rule is to use the lowest baking temperature listed, and to extend the baking time to compensate. The Premo and Sculpey III packages that I have on hand all list 130C/275F, so that would certainly be safe to use!

    Note that you can safely bake your polymer clay pieces for longer than the time stated on the package without adverse results. In fact, extended baking time generally makes your polymer clay pieces stronger and harder! It’s better to bake for a longer time than the minimum to ensure the clay is properly cured, than to have the piece deteriorate or break over time because it wasn’t cured properly. Baking time depends on the thickness of the piece, but as an example Cindy recommends baking beads made with Premo for 1 hour. (I mostly use a different brand of clay which takes rather higher temperatures, but I too at least double the baking time listed on the packet.) You won’t burn the piece with extended baking time: it’s only having your oven get too hot that will do that.

    Really large beads or sculptures might require different baking times or techniques — for instance, you can bake part of a piece, add more unbaked clay, and bake again; or you can use aluminium foil or cork clay or something else as interior filler so you don’t need to worry about the middle of a really thick piece curing; or you might sink or submerge your piece in bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) or cornflour (cornstarch) to provide support to 3D shapes during baking or to give slower temperature transitions to avoid cracking — so if you’re doing something like this let us know and we can be more specific!

    You don’t need to stick to the pre-packaged clay colours either, if you don’t want to. Polymer clay is a bit like paint in that you can mix up your own custom colours by combining various proportions of other colours. This can be really fun! Cindy publishes two coordinated palettes of polymer clay colour recipes each month (one free palette; one palette only available to paid subscribers) so they can be a fun way to start getting the hang of mixing custom colours. Most of Cindy’s colour recipes use Premo clay, which is much stronger than Sculpey III and which will also buff to a glassy shine (Sculpey III won’t).

    I hope that helps! :)

    Sue F

  45. Jocelyn, 09 September, 2010

    Just read a suggestion on another clayers blog to even out oven temp. She adds tiles and stones to the bottom of the oven under the racks, so that their heat helps moderate the spiking. Sounds like a good idea, will try and let you know.

  46. amy, 11 September, 2010

    Thanks for the suggestions! I’m making a Hallowewn figure. As I get going on it ill be sure to be specific if I run into issues! Thanks again!

  47. Cynthia, 01 October, 2010


    I bought Sculpey Bake Shop today for the purpose of making crochet hooks. Seeing that I might have wasted money, could I use this clay for designing when using Premo? Also, what does this clay do to Premo when sanding and buffing? I would like to have that high gloss shine without spending more money buying more clay. $.99 for Bake Shop wasn’t a bad deal though.


  48. Cindy Lietz, 04 October, 2010

    @Cynthia: Hi, great question! If you want to use Bakeshop clay to cover a metal or wooden crochet hook, then it probably will work, since the strength will be in the handle. However, if you were thinking of using it (or any of the other clays for that matter) for the hook itself, it probably won’t be strong enough. As far as Premo goes, it is perfect for covering hooks and shines to a beautiful finish when sanded and buffed.

    There are lots of articles on baking and sanding on this blog if you need more help. There are links on the side as well as a search box at the top of the page that should help you to find what you need. Have fun with your project!

  49. Julie Rodgers, 08 October, 2010

    Hi there! I have used Sculpey clay many times for many different projects and baked the clay in my home oven. I was told today that my oven now is toxic and will need to be cleaned and possibly replaced due to the toxic fumes. Now I do regularly clean my oven and only bake the clay on a very occasional basis following all directions. I am not regularly making beads and baking them.

    Is there documentation out there that I can use to prove that baking the clay is safe?

    Any help/assistance/guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

  50. Phaedrakat, 09 October, 2010

    @Julie Rodgers: Hi Julie, if you read Cindy’s comments above (Jan 23 & 24, 2009,) you’ll see that the thinking on this has changed a little bit since the beginning. The biggest scare is the burning clay FUMES, though. At a minimum, I would clean my oven. Although I believe that the clay fumes are mostly an “irritant”, it still doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution. I never reuse tools or appliances once they touch clay…just want to be on the safe side!

    The best way to get documentation on this would be to write to Polyform. The manufacturer will have the most accurate information, and members always seem to get really speedy answers when they email questions. Getting your answer directly from the manufacturer seems like the best way to go when dealing with an important concern, such as safety! Also, would you please post their response, or email it to Cindy to share? This would be a great piece of information to pass along to the other members. :D
    Hope you get a quick response! ~Kat

  51. Tish Martel, 30 October, 2010

    Hi Cindy — I was searching about using an oven or a toaster to bake my clay products — I am interested in making clay buttons with Fimo clay — and I’m nervous now on starting on this project — I have a toaster oven and will probably use that — is there any specific way of after shaping my buttons — what would I put my clay buttons on in the oven — use a baking pan or parchment paper and will I end up burning my pieces? I’ve read quite a few of your comments on this baking procedure — do you have any positive ideas that you would recommend since I feel that you are the expert — don’t like to waste and I know it’s all about trial and error — thank you for any feedback and have a wonderful day — am excited and nervous to begin this project — Tish PS. What temp do you recommend for making buttons — they’ll be about 1/4 inch in thickness.

  52. Phaedrakat, 03 November, 2010

    @Tish Martel: Hi Tish! A smooth, glazed tile from a home improvement store is a wonderful thing to bake your buttons on. You can use it as your work surface, then put a piece of cardstock or parchment paper down, lay the buttons on top, and pop it directly in the oven. The tiles cost less than a buck, and they hold heat evenly, which is better for your pieces (metal heats quickly in spots and can burn your items.) The paper between the tile & clay is to prevent “shiny” spots…then happen when the clay is baked on the smooth tile…

    Cindy has a video about Making Custom Polymer Clay Buttons.

    It’s really cool (Cindy’s videos are always good!) She gives some excellent tips in this one.

    As far as baking, Cindy recommends baking most beads and buttons for an hour at the recommended temperature on the package (bake longer if the item is super-thick.) For your buttons, an hour should be fine. You’ll need to use a separate oven thermometer to monitor the temperature (you can get one at the dollar store or in the kitchen dept of the grocery, kitchen, discount store.) Remember, it’s the temperature that’s critical…as long as the clay doesn’t get too hot, you can bake as long as you want. If your buttons are light colored, you may want to cover them (tent) with paper to keep them from darkening/discoloring. So, use the temperature listed on your clay package — should be about 230F/110C for Fimo (although I have some Fimo colors that say 265F?) Watch your oven, and monitor the separate oven thermometer. If you’re worried about ruining your buttons, you could try baking just a couple of them the first time, to see how they turn out. Then bake the rest once you’re satisfied with how they come out.

    If you want to build your confidence and polymer skills, Cindy has an amazing Polymer Clay Basics Course, that covers the fundamentals of working with clay. It’s wonderful…39 videos, short-and-to-the-point, on each of the various subjects…really gets you confident about working with your clay. Helps you avoid the mistakes beginners usually make. The link to the course is at the top of the page. There’s also a link to her Newsletter…if you sign up, you get 3 free videos, and free color recipes each week. This is a good way to see what her videos are (they have great quality — it’s like you’re right next to her, talking clay!) Good luck, and have fun! Please leave another comment if you need help, Kat

  53. Tish Martel, 04 November, 2010

    Thank you for responding Phaedrakat — I have tried making a couple of buttons last sat. because I was excited to get going on this new project — and I was a little disorganized at first and figured out what to do and made the buttons and they came out pretty good for a first timer — I even sold one to one of my friend — so as I’m writing this I am making a few more — I ordered some supplies and still waiting for that to arrive — (pasta maker and an clay oven–) then I think I will be all set — I only baked the buttons for 20 min. Only that what I had read on some blogs ect — I was surprised that Cindy recommended them to bake for one hour — so that will be a test for me — I would be afraid to burn them — I’ll keep a good watch on them — Is there a secret to know they are done? Thank you so much for all the tips and I have gone to look at the tutorials and they were very informative — have a wonderful day and keep up the good work on all the info — Tish

  54. Cathy Fason, 26 January, 2011

    Hi, I just bought some “Studio” polymer clay that’s by Sculpey. I loved the colors; is it a good clay to use, I mean strength wise?
    Thanks so much!

  55. Cindy Lietz, 27 January, 2011

    @Cathy Fason: Studio by Sculpey is a great clay to use. It is strong, flexible and has a nice suede-like finish. But unfortunately it has now been discontinued from the Sculpey Product Line. However, they do have recipes on their site that you can mix to recreate a clay that is similar to the Studio clay in properties if you end up falling in love with the clay.

  56. Cathy Fason, 27 January, 2011

    What a bummer! Thanks for your info Cindy! This is a great site.

  57. Chiyo M, 19 April, 2011

    Hi there! I started making polymer clay crafts this week, but I’m still doubting about our toaster oven since it doesn’t have a temperature setting. Just some time setting from 1-15 minutes. I’m scared that it might burn the pieces and give me some nasty irritations.

    Maybe it might help you know how long I should bake it with some recommended baking time written on the oven:

    3-4 minutes for sandwiches
    4-6 minutes for cake, toast and hotdogs
    5-6 minutes for bread
    9-11 minutes for gratin (I have no idea what is this)

    Thank you so much!

  58. Cindy Lietz, 20 April, 2011

    @Chiyo M: Yeah it sounds like your particular toaster oven may not work for polymer clay. since you won’t be able to control the temperature. The only thing you can do is get an oven thermometer and read what the temperature actually is. If it holds the temp between 265F or 275F, it could work. You may be better off using your regular oven or getting a different toaster oven with temp controls.

    Jocelyn is right, there is tons of information on baking at this site that will help. One place to start is to click the link by my name. It will take you to a bunch of baking information articles.

  59. Silverleaf, 20 April, 2011

    @Chiyo M: I can’t help with your oven, but I can tell you that “gratin” is a technique where an ingredient is topped with a browned crust such as breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg, butter, etc. Something like scalloped potatoes, dauphinois potatoes, aubergine bake, etc, would all count.

  60. Jocelyn, 19 April, 2011

    Best would be to get a digital or electronic temp device that would alert you to spikes over 300 degrees.

    The second, would be an oven built specifically for our needs.

    The third, imo, is to read this site, and use the search field. The amount of information that is accessible under the keyword “bake” is astounding and extremely helpful.

  61. Jocelyn, 21 April, 2011

    Update, just received an online coupon from those wonderful folks in DC, Polymer Clay Express, for discount on their “Polymer Clay Oven.” It’s inexpensive and smaller than most toaster ovens we cannabalize.

    Called customer service and found that the oven does not guarantee temps spiking aove that critical 300 degree F marking which is kind of ridiculous. Seems to me this would be easy to accomplish and worthy of the investment, especially since my last batch, the first in a long time, burned to a crisp (though soaking in 100% bleach brought some of them back).

    Anyone interested in clay could spend days on their site, fully equipped selling every level of tools for anything you’d ever conceive of doing, lol. Definitely get a fresh tea or coffee, grab a sec, and go oogle.

  62. Marion K, 15 May, 2011

    Now…..i bought an oven that has 2 settings. Heat under and heat from above.
    I put it on underheat and setting 130C for 10 minutes it was ok. Than for 20 minutes it was a bit higher and 30 minutes it went ro 180C.

    My first beads were all burnt and funny looking.
    Should i preheat the oven on say 120C for 20 minutes first or use the heat from the uppersetting? I hope you understand what i mean, hahaha, it doesnt sound very clear to me, but i dont know how to explain in another way.

  63. Desiree P, 17 May, 2011

    What should Sculpey items be placed on before putting them in the oven? Thanks!!

  64. Cindy Lietz, 18 May, 2011

    @Marion K: You can try and preheat your oven for 20 to 30 minutes first to see if it will hold the temperature more stable. Putting a tile inside will also help stabilize the heat from going up and down but your toaster oven sounds a little bit limited Marion. You may want to look for one that you have better control over the settings. Definitely use a thermometer to monitor things. You can find more tips and tricks on ovens and baking, if you use the search box at the top of the page. Hopefully you will be able to find a solution that will work better for you.

    @Desiree P: I like to bake on a piece of paper, on top a ceramic tile. Another option is to use the new Work and Bake Clay Mat from Sculpey. For other baking ideas, type ‘baking’ into the search box at the top of the page and you will find tons of articles already published on this blog that will help you.

  65. Marion K, 18 May, 2011

    Thanks Cindy. Now ive ordered a 3rd oven, hopefully that will work better.Its not the cheapest one so maybe that helps. But i cant ofcourse keep on buying ovens and oventhermometers….i would be very disappointed if i had to give up polymerclay before even starting, all the time and money i spent on it.I thought this to be just the hobby i would like.

  66. Reyna Castano, 15 July, 2011


    Is it true that the fumes are harmful to birds? I was planning on putting my toaster oven in my porch. My porch is the only place where I can have total silence and privacy. I don’t want to kill them.

  67. Jocelyn, 16 July, 2011

    @Reyna Castano: Hi Reyna, the search on “fumes harm birds” came up empty but I have heard that some birds are super sensitive to any types of fumes. Might want to be on the safe side and run the oven on a table outside or a floor up or down from where they are caged.

    Or you can bake the item sealed in an aluminum foil bag, then open the bag outside.

    Google the question “are polymer clay fumes dangerous to birds?” I got a whole page of cautions you might want to read, noting budgies, and a few other species.

  68. Marion K, 16 July, 2011

    I have had lots of birds in the past,parrots,mcaws,love birds ,tropical birds and canaries. And i know for sure birdlungs are indeed very sensitive for all sorts of fumes and even cigaret smoke. Think of the fact they took a canary down in the mines. That was for something else -i think, but when the bird died they knew something was very wrong.

    I wouldnt risk it now if i still had birds.!

  69. Reyna Castano, 16 July, 2011

    I don’t have birds, but there’s a big tree a few feet away from my porch and lots of birds live there. I’m going to do some more research. Thanks!

  70. Linda K., 16 July, 2011

    @Reyna Castano: I have birds and know that they are very sensitive to many kinds of fumes, as Marion said. I know someone who put water in a teflon pan to boil, but she fell asleep. When she woke, the pan had boiled dry and her two parakeets had died from the fumes given off as the teflon became overheated.

    I would never bake clay in the same enclosed room as my birds. However, if you are baking clay on your porch and the birds are outside, I’d be surprised if the fumes could be concentrated enough to hurt the birds.

    Also, if you are baking your clay at the correct temperture, there shouldn’t be any fumes. Make sure you use a thermometer and you should be OK.

  71. Reyna Castano, 21 July, 2011

    Thanks Linda!

  72. Reyna Castano, 24 July, 2011

    I’m about to start creating polymer clay charms but the baking instructions are a little confusing. For example, Premo baking instructions are the following: 275 F, 30 min per 1/4 in (6mm).

    So, does this mean that if my charm is 12mm, I need to bake it for an hour?
    If it’s 3mm, for only 15 minutes? Also, for any size, does the temperature need
    to be exactly 275 degrees?


  73. Jocelyn, 24 July, 2011

    @Reyna Castano: Wooohoo, Reyan, here we go, LOL!!

    Cindy (check “baking” in the search, upper left corner here) suggests one hour of temps between the package stated minimum and the maximum of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you get the 265 – 300 range down on your oven use tiles and tent the product then, pop those lil darlings in and set your time.

    After that time, dumping those that contact frost, transparent or white beads into a bowl full of water and ice cubes to sit until cool. By doing so, you create even more translucency. Up to you whether you cold start the oven with your stuff already in, or wait til temp is right before adding your product.

    Then I would sand using the micro-pad series and scrub them clean with toothbrushes and Dawn. Once drained and dried, decide on plain buffed, semi gloss and high gloss application processes and have a ball thrilling with your beautiful beads. Once your choice of surface treatement is dry, then up to you whether you wish the bead to be baked again (30-1 hr). Everytime you bake it strengthens the bead.

  74. Reyna Castano, 21 August, 2011

    Hello Everyone,

    I found a beautiful brass setting on Etsy that I want to encircle with polymer clay, in the shape of a snake. So my question is, can I bake them together in the oven? Or is this a bad idea.

  75. Cindy Lietz, 01 September, 2011

    @Reyna Castano: Anything that can go into the oven on it’s own without melting is OK to bake on. It is a very low temp we bake polymer at so there are even some plastics that can you can bake clay right onto. (Test first!) So your metal piece, will be perfectly fine to bake on as long as there are no other components on the metal piece that can’t handle the heat, like soft plastics or some glues. After baking your clay on the metal you will most likely need to glue the piece on, since the clay will not bond with the metal. Weldbond is a good glue to use for that.

  76. Annie R, 12 October, 2011

    Is it really ok to tent your beads with paper? i have never tried this before. its been years since i have made any beads or jewelry but now that im working at an art gallery i have nothing to do while im there but wait for people to come in and browse so i have decided to start making beads and jewelery again while im working there. im glad to find out its ok to use a toaster oven because that will be perfect for me to use while working at hte art gallery. ive always used a regular kitchen oven in the past and baked my beads in there but never thought to use a toaster oven till now. does it matter what kind of paper i use to tent them or can it be any kind? and what will happen if i dont tent them in the toaster oven? will the beads get burned? ive never burnt any before but i have always used my kitchen oven in the past. im just kind of nervous about tenting them in the toaster oven and that i will burn the building down lol.

    like i said before, its been a long time since i have made beads. i was probably still a teenager when i did it, so atleast 7-8 years ago. after i would bake my beads i would use clear nail polish to coat them and give them a glossy look, and im sure theres something else to use besides nail polish for that but im not sure what it would be, so any suggestions would be appreciated! thanks!! :-)

  77. Cindy Lietz, 20 October, 2011

    Hi Annie, Thank you for your comment! I am sorry that I didn’t get back to you sooner. As you may appreciate, it can get pretty busy around here behind the scenes. So I don’t get to answering questions as fast as I would like.

    You have a lot of good questions. Some of the info you have though is actually incorrect (like using nail polish on clay, which is a big no-no). Things have changed quite a bit since you were last working with clay and I think what you would benefit most from is a good solid foundation in polymer clay fundamentals.

    I have put together a comprehensive Beginner’s Course that covers all the important basics such as tenting, baking in a toaster oven, proper baking times, sanding and finishing, avoiding air bubbles, making beginner canes, etc., etc., etc.

    If you have time, take a look at some of the course feedback comments posted at this link: What Others Are Saying…

    My beginner course video series (39 lessons in all) will definitely help you to avoid the hassles of making too many mistakes as you get back into working with your clay.

    Who knows, you may even be selling your own work in that gallery you are working in someday? I would love to see that happen!

  78. Annie R, 20 October, 2011

    Yeah i bought a glaze for my beads because i figured nail polish was not the right thing haha but i was so young when i first started working with polymer clay that i was only making the beads for myself and own pleasure. But yes, i actually am going to be selling them in my art gallery! The gallery is one part of my families business, the have an art gallery and also a leather store where my dad and i both handmake leather goods and i will be selling beads and finished jewelery at both places!. i have actually learned a lot in the past week that i didnt know before but i will definitly be checking out your courses because its been so long it feels like i am a beginner again! the only problem is that when i clicked on the link for the beginners course it said it didnt work! could you repost the link for me? thanks!

  79. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 20 October, 2011

    Hi Annie R – I went in to Cindy’s comment above and fixed the link to the Beginners Course Info Page. It’ll work for you now :-)

  80. Annie R, 20 October, 2011

    awesome, thank you!!

  81. Jennifer M, 20 October, 2011

    Is a glass pan ok to use in the toaster oven? I bought one and it said not for use in a toaster oven. I thought it was safe to use glass in a toaster oven since it is safe to use it in a kitchen oven. If I cannot use a glass pan, then what is safe to use in the toaster oven?


  82. Annie R, 20 October, 2011

    i found a baking rack for baking my beads, its AMAZING and works great because your beads are on needles and they bake evenly and dont get flat spots on them from sitting on a tray. i was so excited when i found it in my hobby lobby and it was only 20 bucks! it comes with needles for baking your beads on!

    but if you don’t want to spend the money on that then just use a metal tray. glass is fine for baking in the oven, but i would assume the reason it says not to use in a toaster oven is because most glass pans are rather thick, therefore it may not bake properly.

  83. Jennifer M, 20 October, 2011


    Thank you for the response! I forgot to mention that currently I make charms and there is only a hole on one end. I thought I read that a metal pan is not good to bake with because it can get too hot and scorch the clay creations?

  84. Cindy Lietz, 20 October, 2011

    Hi Jennifer and Annie, I have a couple of little hints for baking surfaces to pass on to you both.

    First of all, Annie is right, the bead baking rack is awesome! I use it all the time and there is actually a few posts here at the blog about it. If you type ‘bead rack’ into the search box at the top of the page, some links will pop up for you.

    In regards to baking items that can’t be baked on a bead rack, I prefer to use a smooth ceramic tile to bake on, not metal. Metal can cause hot spots and lead to scorching, plus will leave a shiny spot where the metal touches the clay.

    A ceramic tile also has the added benefit of stabilizing the heat in the oven, minimizing the cooling off and heating up temperature fluctuations that can happen, especially in a small oven such as a toaster oven. Of course an oven thermometer is also very important, to make sure that your oven is at the correct temp in the first place.

    Make sure to read through all the information we have on this blog. There is tons and tons of articles that will help you guys with this info.

    Love to see you asking questions and interacting! It is such a fun material to work with and there is so much that we can learn from each other. Glad to have you as part of our clay family!

  85. Jennifer M, 20 October, 2011

    Hi Cindy!

    Thanks for the quick response!

    If I used corn starch, say for example to bake a round piece that is not a bead, does it matter if I use a metal pan? Or should I use something else?


  86. Cindy Lietz, 29 October, 2011

    If you are baking your beads in cornstarch Jennifer, it won’t matter if the pan that holds the cornstarch is metal or not. The starch will act as an insulator from the metal, so there won’t be the same hot spot issues that can happen when you bake directly on a metal pan.

  87. Jill Siegel, 04 January, 2013

    Hi Cindy!

    I have been following your messages for a couple years and look forward to learning more and more!

    I have a question about curing polymer clay. I’ve read and listened to what you have said about the length to cure it. Most packages do say to bake at 275 for 15 minutes/quarter inch thickness. I made a box for my daughter-in-law using Kato clay, baking each sheet for the sides for 1/2 hour as you suggested. Several of the sides broke! That was a first. I usually bake the thin items for 15 minutes.

    Anyway, how do you tell when they are cured?

    Thank you!

  88. Annie R, 05 January, 2013

    ive figured out how long to bake most of my items but when i am unsure, i usually gently poke my fingernail into whatever i am baking(but not in an obvious visible spot incase of leaving a mark). If your nail is able to dig into the clay and leave a nail mark, its not done, but when the clay “bounces back” and the nail mark disappears after a moment is a good way to know it is done. when i first started with polymer clay i just kept baking and baking bc i would touch it and it still felt slightly soft, then cracked due to baking for to long because i didnt know that the clay actually wont fully harden until it is taken out of the oven and cooled off.

  89. Cindy Lietz, 06 January, 2013

    Hi Annie, your method of testing to see if the clay is baked properly, by pushing your fingernail into the clay is interesting, but I am concerned that it only shows whether the outer layer is cured or not. Deep down inside the piece, may still have uncured clay that can cause the piece to become brittle over time.

    Baking too long does not cause the cracking. Other issues cause cracking, like air bubbles, moisture in the clay, improper conditioning, low quality brands of polymer, etc.

    I really appreciate your comment. It is great to see that you have continued working with polymer clay, even when you have run into challenges. You are very right about the clay seeming too soft when it is warm but then hardening considerably once cooled down.

    Happy claying!

  90. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2013

    Hi Jill, I wrote a comment for you the other day but I see it is not here. We have been having a few issues with commenting lately, so maybe that is what happened.

    Kato Polyclay needs to be baked at 300F not 275F like Premo clay, and is most likely the reason for the breakage. As well, I usually suggest baking for 1 hour with Premo and not 1/2 hour.

    I just did a free video on baking for 10 minutes vs 60 minutes that would be very helpful for you to watch.

    Hope that helps!

  91. Melanie K, 16 February, 2013

    Cindy, could you answer a quick question for me? When you bake flat (disc-shaped) beads, should they have any flex at all when they are done? I am using Primo.

  92. Cindy Lietz, 18 February, 2013

    Yes Melanie, you will find that thin flat pieces made with Premo polymer clay will still have some flexibility to them, even after baking. Kato Polyclay if firmer if you need that, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Thicker pieces have less flex to them, so just make your Premo pieces thicker or use Kato if it is important that your pieces not flex.

  93. Lim B, 21 March, 2013

    Thank you for this big help!!!

    Sorry if I’m not on topic.

    I have a question. Sorry for my ignorance, but, after you bake polymer clay with the cornstarch, will it remain shiny? Will the cornstarch stick on the clay??

    Also, how do you shine it?

    Thank you!!!

  94. Cindy Lietz, 21 March, 2013

    You’re not ignorant at all Lim. The cornstarch can give the clay a frosted look if rubbed into the surface, but it usually doesn’t change it much just by sitting in it to bake. After baking you just wash it off. For giving the clay a a nice finish, there are several things you can do. Just type ‘finishing’ into the search box at the top of the page and several articles and tutorials will be listed for you. Hope that helps!

  95. Lim B, 21 March, 2013

    Hello! Sorry for always nagging you with questions.

    Can I bake the clay twice? Because I’m planning to make a little fairy from The Legend of Zelda (Navi). It’s just a blue ball with 4 thin wings. I don’t know how to attach the wings on the blue ball without letting the wings sag and fall.

    Can I bake first the wings, then I stick it in the ball then bake it again?

    Thank you very much in advance!!!!

  96. Cindy Lietz, 21 March, 2013

    Hi Lim, Yes you can bake your pieces as many times as you like. Just make sure they have been baked for at least 1 hour at the correct temp for your brand of clay. Just type ‘baking’ into the search box at the top of the page and several articles and tutorials will be listed for you.

  97. karonkay, 21 May, 2013

    Oh my! I send an urgent message to Cindy thinking that I would wait for a reply.Came here and this is the first thing I see. Amazing. My questions have been answered here.

    But thought I would share something that works for me. I use a convection oven. Love it. But I have been using alot more transluscent clay and goodness! have been burning the flowers like crazy. Growling the whole while that I WOULD find out who dared to touch the controls on my oven. Thank goodness no one heard my rantings and ravings. Come to find out no one had touched anything. I just needed to change my approach.
    1. I switched from cornstarch to baking soda. For some reason it works better and is easier to rinse off the cracks and crevices in the flowers.
    2. Tried tenting the flowers, nope still scorched them . So now I have two glass dishes one to hold the soda and place the flowers in and the other to invert over the top. Could not use a tile cause the flowers sit above the rim of the dish… nothing like squished and flattened flowers to make you hunt for another solution. Now my flowers have protection and room to pop their heads up and they stay the color they went in as. So I will be going to a few thrift shops to see if I can find some baking dishes that are larger around, maybe deep dish pie plates. need two.

    Thanks Cindy and Doug. I guess if I took the time to hunt through here you would get fewer messages from me. End result is the big oven will work for my next project Just need to get some of the large square tiles from Habitat and then figure out a cover procedure for the parts to prevent burning . I’m thinking tiles on top supported by thicker tiles for the sides. I will never bake again using paper tents or uncovered.

  98. Jocelyn C, 29 August, 2013

    Exactly the way I feel, Karonkay. All it took was one bad day with the toaster oven, lol.

    Baking soda is amazing, you can bake for hours if you need too, provided your work is buried in it at least an inch deep. Folks always said time in oven darkened translucents, not just heat, but placing them deep in soda provides amazing results.

    Much of my earlier work is being rebaked as we speak, I just keep running it through when I can set fans and do not need air conditioning. Kept a few aside so I can compare.

    The one difference I see is that the harder the clay, the better the buff job on the surface. To enhance that I always try to add at least one quarter translucent to the color mix.

  99. Karonkay C, 29 August, 2013

    You are so right about the bad day… yesterday was another one of those. I worked for a week straight on a project Finally got it all just right, colors mixed perfectly, all the different elements ready to be put together in a final bake, changed what I knew I should do and tried to leave it in place so I would not damage the perfection of all the parts together. Some elements on their third round of baking.. Decided to leave it in place , popped it in the oven with it’s little tent, Oh that looks a little high in the oven…. oh it will be okay (it is now 2:45 in the morning) I will just make sure to stay up for the hour bake and babysit my gorgeous creation. I have now peeked several times to “make sure”. All is well. My confidence is up and I begin a new project. What is that smell???? Oh my goodness Poly clay does not smell good when it is burning.
    The tent is smoking and my lovely piece has turned bubbly and black. Bad day and Night. So today I will begin again as I am on a deadline for this one.The only good thing now Is I still have the canes , the flowers are easy ones, and I know exactly how to put it together no more changes necessary. I know what it will be when it is done.

  100. Jocelyn C, 29 August, 2013

    HUGS! Man, that must have been really bad. So glad you can regroup for a deadline, but, I feel your pain.

    Lost a whole bunch of natasha beads and mirror images here. So want to try and save some, so going back to my old shell crafting days and hauling out some muric acid to try to see if some will bleach up more.

    Wish me luck, lol….

  101. Karonkay C, 29 August, 2013

    I do wish you luck. I am off to buy a new thermometer for the oven as I am certain it is no longer working properly. Which would explain my fatal attempts in the last few weeks. I thought it was the oven.
    Hope all goes well with attempts with revival. I am now a tosser. If I don’t
    like it out it goes..

  102. Shannon G, 26 January, 2014

    Hi Cindy,
    Newbe here. I have watched quite a few of your videos but I still have a few questions before I start. I hope that you can either answer them for me or at least let me know which videos I should watch. The clay that I bought is Fimo soft, I assume that the types that Michael’s sells are all comparable. I hope anyway since I bought so many of the Fimo. LOL Anyway my two main questions (so far) are a) can I bake the pendant with the findings already in the piece instead of adding it after it is done. and b) if I want to add colour do I paint (and glaze) it first or after it is baked? thanks so much for your help and fantastic videos.

  103. Cindy Lietz, 28 January, 2014

    Welcome Shannon… Cute Avatar BTW! Fimo Soft is fine to use, though my favorite is Premo which Michaels also sells, so try some of that the next time it goes on sale and see what you think.

    Since you are a Newbie, my recommendation is for you to buy the Beginners Course… it will save you a lot of grief (and money) in the long run by not having to make so many mistakes that all new people make. Also this blog has tons of free answers to your questions, by just typing your keywords into the search box at the top of the page. So make sure to spend some time swimming through the archives… there is so much to learn there.

    Not to be a pain but the quick answers to your questions are:
    a) yes & yes and b) yes & yes.

    (There are many options for findings and paints which the search box and the course will help you to answer. There really are too many to list here.)

    Good luck! Thank you for your comment!

  104. Linda Jo, 19 June, 2014

    Hours and hours of work… 10 canes… and the most unique designed necklace…looked gorgeous.. ready to bake and then assemble… The clay got crumbly in baking and the piece fell apart…. What did I do wrong?

  105. Cindy Lietz, 21 June, 2014

    I am so sorry to hear that happened to you Linda! It sounds like your pieces are under cured or you are using a brand of clay that just isn’t strong. Use a strong brand like Premo, Kato, Pardo or Fimo. Bake at the proper temp (Use an oven thermometer). And bake your pieces for 60 mins (Premo, or Fimo) or 45 mins with Kato. There is tons more baking info if you use the search box at the top of the page. Good luck!

  106. Frederic Chen, 08 March, 2015

    Hi Cindy/ Doug! I just have a small question on baking polymer clay sculpts in a toaster oven. The brand I use is Sculpey Original, and it says for every 1/4 inch in thickness, bake for 15 minutes. What does it mean by thickness? How far it is from center to edge, or how thick it is length/ width wise?

  107. Cindy Lietz, 03 April, 2015

    Oh Frederick, I just found this question and see it is several weeks old. I sorry about that… just can’t get to everything anymore. I don’t work with Sculpey original very often. I find it too soft, not strong enough when baked and it discolors badly when baked long enough to make it reasonably strong. When they are talking about thickness they mean diameter basically. So if you have made a sculpt with a big round solid body, it thickness would be the distance across the thickest part if you were to cut it width wise. With baking what they are worried about is whether the heat can penetrate deep enough into the clay to cure it. Thicker pieces may need to be baked for more than an hour to be properly cured.

  108. Ana Mendez, 20 February, 2017

    How many time I need to wait,to put in the oven? Thanks.

  109. Cindy Lietz, 20 February, 2017

    Hi Ana, I am not totally sure what you mean. If you mean, how long to bake? The answer is 1 hour at the correct temperature for your brand. If you mean, how long can you wait before you have to bake the piece? The answer is, you can wait as long as you want or you can bake right away. It doesn’t matter with oven bake clay. It is ready when you are. Hopefully that answers your question! :)

  110. Susy Q, 09 September, 2017

    Hi, I mix fimo and premo polymer clay on my creations but not sure what temperature is safe to use since the recommended baking temperature is different on both clays. What temperature should I use and time? Thanks

  111. Cindy Lietz, 19 September, 2017

    Just use the temperature that the bulk of the clay is mixed with. For example if 80% of the mix is Fimo which bakes at 230F and 20% Premo that bakes at 275F, Then bake at 230F. If it is the other way around, then bake at the higher temp.

  112. Ashley Serito, 22 April, 2018

    I use toaster oven without the temperature control and its small toaster oven and its with just 15 minutes time.I baked my clay and its easily to cracked and I can’t follow the instructions for baking.My toaster oven easily heated that why some of my clay burned.I don’t know what to do can you help me?Thanks

  113. Cindy Lietz, 26 April, 2018

    Hi Ashley, it sounds like you would have better luck using your regular home oven to bake your polymer clay. Type the word baking into the search box and you will find many videos on how to bake polymer clay successfully. Good luck!

  114. Ashley Serito, 27 April, 2018

    Thank you!

    Can I asked another question? I baked a thin piece of clay and when it’s done some part popped it is because of the brand of clay that I use or I just bake it so long? I use sculpey 3 and some charms that I baked using that brand are easily to cracked. I don’t know why please help me again.Thanks.Sorry for lot of question.And I’m also just a beginner.

  115. Cindy Lietz, 27 April, 2018

    Hi Ashley, Sculpey III is a very brittle clay, even when baked properly. Baking longer will help but not near as much as just changing brands. Switch to Premo, Souffle, Fimo or Kato Polyclay if you want to get better results. I would also suggest that you watch as many of my videos as you can. There are tons on brands, baking, tools and all kinds of tips that will help you tremendously. Good luck!

  116. Ashley Serito, 28 April, 2018

    Thank you so much for your suggestions and I would follow them!Thanks again

  117. Cindy Lietz, 04 May, 2018

    You are so welcome Ashley! <3

  118. Christine T, 04 September, 2018

    Hi Good day!

    May I ask can I rest my sculpted polymer clay for a day before baking? Does it have any effect in durability and flexibility of my work?

    Thank you in advance and God bless!


  119. Cindy Lietz, 10 September, 2018

    Hi Christine, yes you can let your sculpted piece rest for many days before baking it. Just make sure that it is not sitting on an absorbent surface though, or the plasticizers will leach out of the clay ad make it more brittle.

  120. Kass L, 24 April, 2019

    Hi Cindy

    I have some problems baking in my home built in convection oven. Hope that you can advise me. I bake to a full 1 hour for premo but realize it feels soft. When I try to break the item I can see layers of clay instead of a nice clean break. Does it mean that I did not bake thoroughly? I did place a piece of foil on top of the tray but I choose the top bottom heating without fan option. If I do not cover with foil, is it fine ? I m suspecting the foil causes it to be under baked but I’m not sure exactly. Or I baked many items at one go and it’s affecting the outcome.

    Hope you can give me some tips. Thank u.

  121. Cindy Lietz, 29 April, 2019

    Since you are using a good quality brand, and you are baking for long enough and your piece is still breaking, it is because the piece did not get hot enough during the baking process. With a convection it works best to have the fan on, because the heat will be more even. Try using an upside down foil pan as a lid instead of the foil and turn the fan on. you can also punch holes in the sides of the pan,so the hot air is getting inside. If that doesn’t fix things, try bumping the heat up a little bit and see if that makes a difference. Good luck!

  122. Annelies Frans, 15 March, 2020

    Hey Cindy,

    I have a question for you, if I want to make a combination of fimo clay and the lucy clay glassymer…which oven temperature should I keep, as the fimo is reccomended to bake at 110° C and the Lucy clay at 140°…
    I know it is not okay to bake fimo at a higher temp, so is it even possible to combine?

    Thank you very much in advance,
    Take care,

  123. Cindy Lietz, 16 March, 2020

    Hi Annelies, I haven’t tried to pair those two yet, so I don’t have the perfect answer for you yet, but this is how I would do it…

    You’re going to want to make up few test strips to figure out what the perfect temp and curing combination works best.

    I would first try baking a test strip at the Fimo temp with the Glassymer on top. That should cure the clay properly and at least partially cure the Glassymer. Then I would use a heat gun (I use a 1500W Heat Gun rather than a lower temp Embossing gun) to heat just the Glassymer until it is nice and clear. Here is the type of heat gun (Amazon affiliate link) I am talking about.

    If you don’t have a heat gun, then you can experiment with the temp, by slowly bumping the temp up until you can cure both materials without burning the Fimo.

    Another option of course is to use a clay brand that has a closer curing temp to the Glassymer.

    And lastly, you can cure the Glassymer first on a sheet of glass and then add that sheet onto the Fimo piece as it bakes. I haven’t tried this, but I have played with Glassymer a bit and I believe it may “melt” or “slump” over the piece underneath as it gets hot… since you can take all your baked scraps and remelt them, this logically could work.

    Let me know what your results are. I am learning more about the medium myself!

  124. Daniela Cho, 04 May, 2020


    I am new to working with polymer clay and am a little worried about baking something based off of plastic. In your time working with polymer clay have you ever encountered any health risks?

    I am a new mom to a young baby boy and so am trying to be extra cautious.

    Thank you!

  125. Cindy Lietz, 07 May, 2020

    Hi Daniela, I can understand your concerns. As far as safety is concerned, the polymer clay manufacturers selling to the North American market have strict safety guidelines that they must follow in order to sell their products. Most (if not all) polymer clay brands that I have ever worked with are certified non-toxic and safe to be baked in your regular home oven. If you have any concerns you can check the companies safety data sheets to be sure. I have been working with polymer clay for 12 years professionally and use a separate countertop oven in my studio. I have not had any health issues that I could contribute to working with polymer clay. (I have a couple of health issues but they are stress and metabolism related. :) ) All that being said, it is important for you to do your own research in regards to your own health and safety using any materials in your home. I cannot legally give you advice in either direction. Take care!

  126. Chris Fitzhugh, 10 February, 2021

    Hello, just saw your video on baking polymer clay. I am doing a bust sculpture for my church and I am using Super Sculpey clay. Like you said the company says 275 degrees for 15 minutes for every 1/4 of an inch. My problem is that this bust has different thicknesses over the entire thing. Some areas are thinner than 1/4 and some, such as nose, cheeks, eyebrows, etc… are thicker than 1/4 of an inch. So you think it will be ok to put this in the oven for an hour and nothing will burn or crack or anything bad? Any help would be so appreciated, trust me. Thank you for your time.

  127. Cindy Lietz, 12 February, 2021

    Hi Chris, You should be ok as long as the pieces aren’t too much over 1/2 inch thick. The thin piece will be fine for an hour. (As long as your piece is baked at the correct temp, is protected underneath with a stack of paper or a tile and is protected on the top with a flipped over foil pan, then you can bake a piece for many hours without harming it. Use an oven thermometer and bake a few test strips to be sure you have the right set up and you should be fine. Good luck!

  128. Lori Bordelon, 23 April, 2022

    I’ve heard all your tips about baking clay in the oven. However, the 1 thing I haven’t heard from you or anyone else is the position in the oven.
    Should it be placed on the middle rack or even closer to the bottom?
    Thank you

  129. Cindy Lietz, 25 April, 2022

    Hi Lori, where you put your rack depends on the size of piece that you’re baking and the protection you have from the elements. For example, if you are baking relatively small pieces, the best place in your oven is on the middle rack. It is the safest place because it isn’t too close to either the top or the bottom, element and the temp is more even there. You still want to protect your piece from the elements by baking on a pizza stone (my favorite), a ceramic tile (2nd favorite) or a metal pan lined with several pieces of cardstock (3rd favorite). And protected from the top element by covering with a flipped over foil pan as a lid.

    If you are baking larger pieces, than the middle rack might be too risky because your piece will get too close to the top element. So you will need to lower the rack… but then be extra careful to use a thicker more insulating baking surface like a pizza stone or ceramic tiles on the lower rack and a heavier baking sheet on the top rack instead of the tinfoil pan.

    Basically put your piece where it gets the most even heat but the least risk of burning. And of course, always use an oven thermometer! Also make sure you do some test bakes before baking your masterpiece in a new oven set up. Good luck!

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