27 Mar 2018Mont Marte

How to Make Polymer Clay Beads

Make your own polymer clay beads with this easy DIY jewellery tutorial! In this video we show you how to create 6 different bead designs from this incredibly versatile medium.

How to make a Necklace with Polymer Clay

When it comes to baking your beads, to avoid cracking, turn off the oven, open the door and let the beads cool down slowly. To give the beads a gloss finish you might like to varnish them.

Step 1. Basic bead.

To create a bead, first cut an amount from a chosen block of clay, in this case Beige. Knead the clay until it softens. This is called conditioning. Roll the clay between the palms until it forms into a ball. The beads we made were slightly elliptical so if you want to make a similar shape as we did, place the round ball on a flat surface and squash it slightly with the palm of your hand. Create a hole in the bead with a pottery spike and then open the hole up to the desired size with the handle of a paint brush. Ensure the hole is large enough to take the type of cord you have chosen. Put the bead aside until you're ready to bake it.

Step 2. Blended Bead.

There are currently 54 colours in the Make ‘N’ Bake polymer Clay range, but as polymer clay blends well new colours can easily be created . To create new colours the clay can be mixed and kneaded together until the colour is consistent. The proportions used will obviously have a bearing on the resulting colour. We created a light blue by mixing Titanium and Sky Blue in equal proportions. And Pink by blending Cadmium Red and Titanium White. We then followed the above steps to create each bead.

Step 3. Striped bead.

To create a striped bead cut two differing blocks of colours into slivers. A butter knife is fine for this purpose. You can then lay the slivers one on top of one another. Lay the layered block onto the table and apply pressure to it with the palm of your hand to press all the layers together. Then fashion the bead using the method outlined in Option 1. In this lesson we have used Sky Blue and White for one bead and Beige and White for the another.

Step 4. Faceted Bead.

To create this bead you must first cut a block of clay into a square. Mark the centre point of each edge then mark a diagonal line from each point. Using a knife remove all of the corners from the diagonal line. Then smooth off all of the edges. The clay we used is Beige. Tip: Place the cube in the fridge for 10 minutes and it will be easier to get a clean cut.

Step 5. Baking. Pre heat a household oven to 130 degrees Celsius ( 266 F). Lay all of the beads out onto a baking tray or aluminium foil. And place the tray central in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Step 6. Sizing the beads.

If you wish to apply leafing or glitter to your bead you will need to first apply size. Size is an adhesive that you paint onto the surface of the bead, it is then allowed to tack off. Tacking off takes about 20 minutes. The bead is now ready to accept leafing or glitter.

Step 7. Glitter bead.

Use the handle of a paint brush to hold the bead and pour glitter out over the bead.

Step 8. Applying leaf to the bead.

Remove the Leaf booklet from its packaging. Fold back the sheet of tissue interleaving to expose the leaf and place the bead in the centre of the sheet of leaf. Fold the corners up around the bead until the bead is fully covered. Using a soft clean brush remove the excess leaf.

Step 9. Placing the beads on a cord. If you wish to wear your beads on a necklace you will need to purchase some cord to pass through the hole of each bead. We have used some faux suède. Once the beads have been threaded onto the cord you can tie the necklace off at the desired length.

Material List

  • Artist Brush Premium Taklon Round 2
  • Leafing Size 60ml
  • Make n Bake Polymer Clay Signature 100g (3.5oz) 10pc
  • Laser Glitter Shaker Signature 50g (1.8oz)

Shop Materials List

Find a Stockist
How to Guide Print project