How to Bake Polymer Clay without an Oven Exploring Alternative Baking Methods

How to Bake Polymer Clay without an Oven

Polymer clay is a super innovative medium made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). That is one of the top trending crafting mediums in the world. Polymer clay stays soft and viable until you convert it into hard polymer clay charms by baking. If you don’t bake your polymer clay piece correctly, you won’t be able to use it or keep it durable.

Using a domestic oven is the best way of baking polymer clay. What if you don’t have an oven to bake? Do you know it is possible to bake polymer clay even without an oven? In this article, we are going to explore alternative polymer clay baking methods when an oven is not available!

“You’ve got to experiment to figure out what works”

Andrew Weil

Baking with a Toaster Oven

Are you someone who doesn’t want to use the same oven for baking food and polymer clay? A toaster oven is an ideal alternative for you! You can have perfectly baked polymer clay charms using a toaster oven just following a few hacks!

Step-by-step guide

  1. Preheat the oven and the baking surface for about 20 minutes and set the temperature between 2650F and 2750F.
  2. Use non-shiny ceramic tiles on top of the oven to hold the temperature inside. Also, you can place a non-shiny ceramic underneath or can use white parchment paper or a ceramic dish as the baking surface.
  3. Keep an oven thermometer inside as you can read the temperature through the oven door. Wait till it reaches a stable temperature. 
  4. Then adjust the settings accordingly, setting the dial lower or higher to get the right temperature for your polymer clay.
  5. Finally bake some test clay in various thicknesses for different time durations, ensuring that your backing surface is as close to the center of your oven as possible, for even baking. Use an aluminum tray or a piece of white paper as a tent to cover your clay pieces.
  6. Once your test samples have completely cooled down, test the strength by flexing the clay without bending it. Strongly-baked polymer clay is flexible since it’s made of PVC and weakly-baked clay will snap in two.
  7. Once you confirm that your polymer clay has perfectly baked, you can start your actual baking!

Advantages and limitations

Because of its portability, low energy consumption, and budget-friendliness, a toaster oven can be suggested as a good option for baking polymer clay. You can set the dial once and leave it as is the next time that you bake.

However, you can’t use a toaster oven to make larger polymer clay projects. Make sure you are mindful enough and take action to control the temperature while baking. 

Baking with a Hot Air Gun/Heat Gun

Do you know that a hot air gun or heat gun can be used for baking smaller polymer clay projects?

The temperature it produces isn’t adequate to bake polymer clay. Also, there are practical issues of holding a hot gun for so long. Therefore, a heat gun can be used to bake partially cured parts of a sculpture or to partially cure a clay creation to add some other tiny parts.

How to use a Hot Air Gun/Heat Gun to bake Polymer clay?

First, let the hot gun heat. Place the piece of clay you need to bake on a heatproof surface. Then, hold the hot gun so close to it. Make sure you are moving the heat gun spreading the heat to each part of the clay piece. Put some cold water on your clay when you are done with heating. 

If you are trying out this particular method, remember to do this in a well-ventilated area. Be careful as your clay can be really hot when it is cured with a heat gun. 

Baking with a Portable Electric Skillet

You can bake your polymer clay even with a portable electric skillet!

Step by Step guide

Follow these steps to bake your polymer clay correctly using a portable electric skillet. 

  • First, take your electric skillet and place some metal stands inside so you can put your baking items on it. Then, make sure to preheat the skillet to the appropriate temperature.
  • Take a ceramic dish put it on parchment paper and place your polymer clay pieces. Close the lid and let the clay bake for the recommended amount of time. 
  • However, you can’t get any type of electric skillets for baking. Also, you need to monitor and adjust the temperature during the baking. 

Baking with a DIY Tin Foil Heat Box

Do you like to create a DIY tin heat foil box on a budget to bake your clay? We are here to guide you!

How to create a DIY Tin Foil heat Box to Bake Polymer Clay?

You just need a tin box, aluminum foil, a heat gun, an oven thermometer, and some pins. First, 

  1. remove the lid of the tin box. Make a place to insert the heating hole of the hot gun.  
  2. Then, cover the inside of the box with aluminum paper. Use glue and pins to secure the foil papers.
  3. Put a foil on the surface. Place the tin box upside down. Wrap some extra foils where you insert the hot gun. You can place an attachment to the hot gun to disperse the heat better.
  4. Place the thermometer as you can read the temperature inside. Switch on the hot gun and let it preheat before you put your clay inside.  

Safety Tips

Safety over anything! Whatever the baking method you try out, always stick to safety precautions to protect both your clay and good health.

  • Use an oven glove when you are handling hot clay. It will save your skin from the heat.
  • Always maintain the right temperature and timing recommended on the clay package as those depend on the brand you choose. 
  • Keep an oven thermometer to measure the heat and don’t let your clay overheat, as this can cause melting or burning your clay. Burning polymer clay emits toxic fumes. 
  • Make a little tent for the clay pieces you are supposed to bake with a piece of paper or a foil lid to cover. It will prevent your clay from burning and discoloring. 
  • Let the clay cool once you are done with baking. 
  • Do stick around while you are baking your clay! Don’t leave them.


Are you ready to try out alternative methods of baking polymer clay rather than a domestic oven? Whatever method you experiment with, safety must be your top priority as you are going to deal with heat! 

Try out these exciting baking techniques during your polymer clay journey and do share your experience with us! Always keep in your mind that creativity knows no boundaries, even if you don’t have so-called “tools for baking polymer clay”. Enjoy crafting! 


What are the alternatives to baking polymer clay?

There are many! You can use a toaster oven, heat gun, hair dryer, boiler method, electric skillet, or DIY heat box to bake your polymer clay. 

Is it possible to cure polymer clay without baking?

Small polymer clay pieces can be cured by air drying. 

Can you use a microwave oven to bake polymer clay?

Never microwave your polymer clay as it burns the clay. 

What is the right temperature to bake polymer clay in a toaster oven?

Usually, you have to maintain the temperature between 2650F and 2750F.

How many times can you put polymer clay inside the oven?

You can bake polymer clay multiple times.

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