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Topic: I bought plastic earring findings...now what?  (Read 1139 times)
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« on: May 11, 2007 08:01:06 AM »

Thanks so much for the information on plastic earring findings (I can't wear metal at all, but I love earrings!) So I bought them and realized...now what? I bought the stud type earring findings and they are all plastic, the poky part and the closing part. (Yeah, I'm new to all this!) I was reading how to attach polymer clay to the earrings by pushing the stud part through the clay and baking it, but that isn't going to work for this project as they will melt. So I'm wondering if anyone can share how to glue and what glue to use for the following:

1. polymer clay -- just thin slices of a sushi polymer clay (unbaked at the moment);
2. wooden game pieces -- I am Queen of the Meeples and must show this off (from Carcassonne!);
3. shrinky dinks -- my obsession with sushi, Vikings, and Meeples continues; and/or
4. beads -- small ones, glass or plastic.

In short, how to I get the things I want to use as the decorative part of the earring onto the earring??? I have some silicone, but I am willing to buy other things like E-6000 and 2 part epoxy. Has anyone had some experiences with using these items they'd like to share. If I can figure this out, I'm going to share it with my youth craft group!

Thanks in advance!

"It's not an obsession. It's a quest for excellence!"
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2007 02:49:12 AM »

Heres an idea...but it will only work for the shepard hook type earrings....stick an eyepin in your clay item before baking, it should harden around the pin and make it secure and then you can attatch with a jump ring. The metal should be far enough away so it wont irritate you.

*I cannot think of any ideas for the post type earrings*

hope this helps!

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2007 03:21:35 AM »

I would think a glue gun would be fine? Or any sort of craft glue? That's what I use and it does the job.


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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007 07:15:58 AM »

I love Araldite (2-part epoxy glue). I haven't seen it do anything nasty to PC yet.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007 08:04:36 AM »

Thanks for the information and advice about polymer clay. I bought some glue -- Elmer's High Tech Adhesive, Fix-All -- and it sucks for the shrinky dinks so far. I glued a whack of them, and they seemed fine. When I tried to take the earrings off, the shrinky came off, leaving the stud part of the earring in my ear. So I guess I'm back to the drawing board with shrinky dinks. (I haven't tried the polymer clay yet). I'm wondering if I shouldn't sand the backs of the shrinky dinks as they are kind of shiny and flat on the back?

I can't do the sticking the earring through the polymer clay before baking as the earrings themselves are plastic and I worry they will melt when I bake the clay. I don't have a glue gun -- for shame! and I call myself a crafter -- but I might invest in one as I understand they aren't expensive. And epoxy -- I will check that out and see if that works with shrinky dinks and polymer clay.

I did try to get some E6000 but it seems you can't get it in my part of the world (BC, Canada). No one has even heard of the stuff at the craft, jewellery, or hardware stores!

"It's not an obsession. It's a quest for excellence!"
Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2007 10:06:38 AM »

Some plastics actually won't melt (or slump) at polymer clay curing temps, but many will.  You might just try baking one in a 275 F oven (265 if you're using one of the Fimos), but I'm not sure exactly how you were doing that anyway.  Generally, to attach a stud finding to a decorative piece of polymer clay, one would poke a small pad/sheet of coordinating clay all the way down over the pointy rod part only so that it could attach to the decorative part on the front side of the finding, thus entrapping the flat part of the stud  with clay and creating a mechanical hold. 
If that's what you meant, then enclosing the plastic pad inside the clay like that would further protect it from the heat, and baking might not be a problem... you could also always cover the uncovered rod part of the finding with aluminum foil (or poke it into a pile of cornstarch or baking soda) to help protect it from excess heat too.

Many glues would hold a lightweight bit like this of clay to a plastic pad, and there are special glues for plastic that you might want to check out, but 2-part epoxy glues are pretty darned strong for most materials.  (E-6000/Goop or similar strong silicone based glues would work, and probably even a strong "white glue" --GemTac or Jewel-It are supposed to hold to metal, etc., too).
Polyurethane glues (Gorilla Glue, etc.) are even stronger than 2-pt epoxies, but they do swell a bit while curing (and are yellowish) and need to be clamped or weighted (...can just remove excess glue as it squeezes out though).
For gluing smooth surfaces, it can always help to rough them up a bit (unless using an instant "superglue" which requires exactly matching surfaces).  Many glues don't fully "cure" when they first dry too, so be sure and not apply excess pressure for about a week for some of the glues.

You could always use a plastic-coated wire to make your own findings too (the plastic on them is usually fine at clay baking temps, and will actually bond with the clay since its a related material). 
Or you could hang your clay bits (preferably with a hole in them) from a thread for "thread earrings"... just use something besides metal chain for the "thread" that you're not allergic to. (You said you can't wear metal at all, right, not just nickel containing metals... many with those problems just buy real silver findings, then switch off the dangle parts if they're the hook type.)
Guess you could always "wrap" the polymer parts onto a stud too, if you did it decoratively, perhaps with decorative thread/string perhaps soaked with glue or only glued at junctures.

There's more about attaching polymer clay to various kinds of findings on this page at my site, if you want to check them out:
(... click on Earrings especially...)

Diane B.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007 10:10:39 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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