Can you bake modeling clay? (3 Steps)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you bake modeling clay? We will discuss the modeling clay which can be baked and which can not. We will also discuss the procedure used to bake modeling clay. 

Can you bake modeling clay?

You can bake polymer-based modeling clay to harden it and let it keep its shape. For projects like dishes, and jewelry, modeling clays can be hardened by either baking in an oven or letting it air dry. 

Among the clays that can not be hardened, inclusive are oil-based modeling clays. Oil-based modeling clays must not be put in the oven. The heat from the oven will cause the clay to melt and is a hazard because it can start a fire. 

Can you bake Crayola Modeling clay?

You can not bake Crayola Modeling clay. The packaging of Crayola Modeling clay states that it is made of non-hardening material and its intended purpose is to mold and reshape. 

If you bake Crayola Modeling clay, it will not dry out or keep its shape because it is made to be reused. 

Do you need to bake your clay?

Some clays are self-hardening and do not need to be baked. To dry the clay, let it sit in a cool and dry place where air reaches. 

Clay can take 24-48 hours to dry, depending on the thickness and the level of ventilation available. 

If you observe cracks or dents, fix them with wet fingers. Also, move and flip your mold to allow it to dry from all sides. After the clay has dried completely, proceed to paint it. Use acrylic or tempera paint and let dry for 24 hours. 

Check up on the clay to see if it shows cracks or chips. Your clay should not take more than 72 hours to dry. If the clay doesn’t show signs of drying, use a hair-dryer or bake it in the oven. 

How to bake polymer clay in the oven?

Get rid of air pockets

Start by taking a needle and making a hole to let the air out, the needle must go all the way to the inner air pockets. Getting rid of the air vent prevents cracks from forming as the clay dries. The vent hole causes cracking as the temperature changes. 

However, if there are no holes in the clay, there isn’t a risk of cracks forming. Intricate designs of clay such as jewelry are susceptible to air pockets. 


The baking temperature of clay can be between 212.5 and 300 Fahrenheit. The exact temperature at which the clay bakes can be determined from the package. In some cases, the baking temperature will vary depending on the thickness of the clay. 

If you use more than one brand of clay for your model, select the temperature given on the package that you used most of. 

Bake the clay immediately after you paint it. You do not need to let the paint dry. Increase the time by 3-5 minutes to let the paint dry thoroughly. 

To bake the clay, use a ceramic baking dish that is oven-safe. Ceramic is good at keeping the temperature stable. 

Usually, the clay needs to be baked for 10-30 minutes. The thicker the clay is, the longer you need to bake it. If you bake at a lower temperature, you need to increase the baking time. 

Transfer to an ice-bath

After baking the clay, prepare an ice bath to cook the clay model. Take a pot large enough to fit your clay model, and then fill it with water and ice cubes. Take the clay model out of the oven and submerge it in cold water.

Let the clay cool for 30 seconds in the water bath. Use a pair of tongs or your fingers to fish the clay model out of the water. 

Some tips on hardening modeling clay

When you make the modeling clay, make sure your workstation is neat and tidy to prevent debris from damaging your product. 

When you dry the clay, keep it in a cool and dry place away from sunlight. Sunlight can wear away the intricate design of your artwork and cause the colors to fade. 

There are other ways besides the oven to harden and dry your clay. Some of which are; a  humidifier or a portable heat source.

A humidifier controls the humidity levels and is helpful both during construction and drying.

A Portable heat source such as a heat gun is also a popular option to enable clay to dry.

Other FAQs about Baking that you may be interested in.

Can you put baking cups in the oven?

Can you freeze Christmas baking recipes?

Can I substitute chocolate chips for baking chocolates?


In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you bake modeling clay? We discussed modeling clay which can be baked and which can not. We also discussed the procedure used to bake modeling clay. 


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