Learn how to make polymer clay beads with this easy to follow tutorial. The beads I made in this tutorial are quite large and would look great as a pendant or key ring.
You can make the beads smaller if you would like to use several as part of a bracelet or necklace.
You can use any unbaked polymer clay cane for this project.
If you would like to make the cane shown in this tutorial go to my polymer clay projects page for step by step instructions.
Try putting the slices around the center of the bead first then fill in the top and bottom, like the bead in the photo.
This gives the bead a natural top and bottom which makes it easier to know where to put the hole.
Take a polymer cane and cut off a length about 5cm (2.5") long.
This does depend on how thick your cane is and how large you want your bead.
If you are only covering one bead or just trying this polymer clay project as an experiment you will only need a small length of cane.
Carefully roll the cane out until it has a diameter of about 0.5cm (1/4").
Slice the cane thinly like in the photo.
Condition and shape your other piece of clay into a bead shape.
Make it slightly smaller than the desired size of your finished bead.
Start adding your thin slices of cane to the bead.
Press them firmly into the base bead but be careful not to distort the pattern on the cane.
Continue adding slices until the whole bead is covered.
Gently roll the bead in your hands, carefully smoothing the edges of the slices together.
Any gaps can be filled in with a little extra clay.
Use your needle or cocktail stick to make a hole in the bead.
The easiest way to do this is to gently twist the needle as you push it into the bead.
Take care not to distort your bead as you are making the hole.
Once the hole is the required size remove the needle and tidy up the ends of the hole.
Bake in the oven following the manufacturers instructions.
Experiment making different shaped polymer clay beads.
You can try using a different shaped base bead like the tear drop shape in the photo.
Another way is to make a round bead then shape it after you have added the cane slices.
In this bead I put the hole at the thinner end so it could be used as a pendant, you can see the finished necklace in the photo above.
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