How to Make Polymer Clay Beads

How to Make Polymer Clay Beads

When beginners want to learn how to make pottery, they often envision earthenware clay used in terra cotta planters or Mexican clay pottery. Because earthenware designs have been used for over 9,000 years, they set a standard in our minds about pottery and how it looks. Advanced potters know earthenware is just the beginning. Different clay bodies, glazing and firing processes are used to create stoneware, ceramics, artwork and clay beads for jewelry.

Often beginning potters learn with earthenware clay because it is a forgiving, flexible medium usually finished with low fire glazes. When beginners start crafting, pliable clay bodies and low fire glazes make it easier to learn pottery crafting. Another simple medium to experiment with as a beginner is polymer clay.

Learning how to make polymer clay beads is fun and easy. Polymer clay is a unique material available in many colors. Beads are small and do not take a lot of time to create so they are a terrific project for beginners. You can make your own jewelry to match a particular outfit, to wear on a certain holiday or occasion or to give as gifts.

You can make polymer clay beads by hand or in a bead rolling machine. People often experiment by hand at first then get a bead rolling machine to make multiple creations more quickly. Try different techniques to design colorful, eclectic beads for jewelry.

Marbling mixes different colors in swirls or by twisting moist polymer clay into patterns. Texturing creates unusual surfaces by stamping, rolling the clay on textured surfaces and by making impressions in the unbaked clay with objects such as needles, which are also used to create holes for stringing beads. Powdering uses a mica powder with pigment for metallic effects. Glittering steps up the metallic effects to the next level and is easy to used on polymer clay that was not yet baked. Painting is done before or after baking with colorful acrylic paints.

After creating and decorating beads, they are baked and varnished for a durable shine that will last for a long time. Use the beads to create necklaces, earrings, bracelets and pendants. If you decide to make more creations, you may want to try a bead roller easily create consistent beads. You just slide the base and top of the bead roller back and forth to make uniform beads in a variety of shapes and sizes for all kinds of jewelry creations. Create modified hexagon, round, tube, oval, bicone and tri-oval beads using a bead roller. Bead rollers are so safe and simple, children have fun using them with safe materials such as soft polymer clay and Mexican pottery clay.