How do you bake clay in the oven?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question `how do you bake clay in the oven?’ with an in-depth analysis of how you bake clay in the oven. Moreover, we will also discuss different methods of baking clay.

How do you bake clay in the oven?

To bake clay, preheat your oven to the manufacturer’s advised temperature (usually 230°F – 275°F). Baking times are typically 15 – 30 minutes for each ¼ inch thickness. Thinner clay needs 15 minutes to bake. When cool, properly baked clay can be marked with a fingernail, but it won’t sink in.

How do you bake clay in a conventional oven?

  1. Preheat your oven according to the clay’s instructions. 

The type of clay will determine what the oven should be heated to, so refer to the package instructions. 

Usually, Cernit, Fimo, Premo, Sculpey, and Souffle clay should be baked at 275 °F (135 °C). 

Kato clay should be baked at 300 °F (149 °C).

Pardo clay should be baked at 325 °F (163 °C).

  1. Place a piece of paper on top of a ceramic tile inside an aluminum pan. 

Pick up a few rectangular aluminum pans from your local grocery store or supermarket. They should be deep enough that your clay creation can fit inside one, with the other one inverted as the lid. Place one of the pans on a flat surface and center a piece of ceramic tile in the bottom of it. Then, place a piece of copy paper or parchment paper on top of the tile.

  • The purpose of the tile and covering paper:
  1. The ceramic tile helps to stabilize the temperature inside the pans and the paper protects the clay from the glaze on the tile.
  2. Keeping the project covered protects it from the heat, avoids scorching, and contains fumes.
  1. Set your project on top of the paper and cover it with the other pan. 
  • Carefully center your project on top of the paper and tile. Then, flip the other pan over and use it as a lid to cover the project. Place 2 binder clips on opposite sides of the pans to secure them together.
  • You can cover a roasting pan with aluminum foil if you can’t find a large enough aluminum pan.
  1. Bake the clay for 30-45 minutes per 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) of thickness. 
  • Place the pans inside the oven, making sure they’re centered and equidistant from the walls of the oven and the heating elements. The type of clay and the thickness of the sculpture dictates the baking time, so refer to the package instructions. Generally, you should aim for 45 minutes per 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) of thickness.
  • For instance, if the piece is 1.75 inches (4.4 cm) thick, bake it for 3.5 to 5.25 hours.
  • Polymer clay won’t burn when baked at a low temperature, so don’t be afraid to leave it in the oven too long.
  1. Let the clay cool completely for 30-60 minutes. 
  • Remove the pans from the oven using oven mitts and carefully transfer the project to a heat-safe surface. Allow the clay to cool completely, which can take from 30-60 minutes. Unfortunately, the only way to tell if the clay is done is to break it, crumbly clay means it’s underdone, but if it flexes before it breaks, it’s cured.
  • You may want to make some test projects to find the perfect temperature and time for pieces of varying thicknesses.
  • If you think your creation is under-baked, you can cure it again in the oven using the same method as before.

What happens when you oven-bake clay?

Longer baking will not burn your clay. Longer baking will also lead to stronger clay projects. If your clay is burning, the temperature of your oven is too high. That being said, longer bake times can cause some colors of polymer clay to darken.

What kind of clay can you bake in the oven?

Oven bake clay, commonly known as polymer clay or Sculpey can be baked in an oven. It is made from synthetic materials that include PVC powder, plasticizers, binders, fillers, lubricants, and pigments.

How do you know when the clay is done baking?

Bake for 15 minutes per quarter inch of thickness. For example, a piece of 1/2″ thickness should be cured for 30 minutes. To test the curing, try pressing the tip of your fingernail into the bottom of your piece after it has cooled; it will leave a mark but will not enter the clay.

Can you put polymer clay back in the oven?

You cannot burn or damage polymer clay by baking it for a very long time, even hours, as long as the temperature is correct. Unlike food, which will burn if left too long in the oven, polymer clay will not burn if baked at the correct temperature.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question ‘how do you bake clay in the oven?’ with an in-depth analysis of how you bake clay in the oven. Moreover, we have also discussed different methods of baking clay.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.