How To Make Polymer Clay Beads

To craft polymer clay jewelry, you'll want to start out by learning how to make polymer clay beads to string onto necklaces, pins or bracelets. Beads can take many shapes and sizes and beginners may want to explore the art of making chunky, simple beads first.

Supplies You Will Need:
Polymer clay
Needle or pin (could use a wooden skewer)
String
Oven
Work surface
Acrylic paint and spray sealer (paint optional)
Pasta machine
Blade (to cut)
Paper towels, napkins for cleanup

Creating Basic Beads
Start with durable string that can handle the weight of the polymer clay beads. Nylon or silk string can be used, but make sure it will hold the beads. If you choose to make your beads larger, a leather or satin cord can do the trick in lieu of a string. Remember to condition the clay first with a pasta machine and keep an eye out for bubbles.

You'll want to mold your beads into a desirable shape and pierce them with a hole before firing or putting into the oven. It might be easiest to take your polymer clay and roll the clay into a snake-like shape. You can then fold the tube shape to create the bead thickness you desire.

Take a needle and poke a hole halfway through the bead. Then switch sides and poke the hole on the other side to make a deeper hole. After baking the beads in an oven, let them cool. You can paint the beads or color them with colored pencils. Acrylic paints might work best as they dry quickly.

Tips For Making Polymer Clay Beads
Remember that polymer clay should not be ingested. Be sure to keep kitchenware and your polymer clay tools separate from one another. If you can afford one, use the pasta machine as it helps avoid issues that can cause arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

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