Mont Marte has done it again with another fantastic beginner-friendly tutorial showing you how to create 6 different bead designs with polymer clay.
You will need:
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. 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 Mont Marte 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 paintbrush. 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.
As polymer clay blends well new colours and swirling, marble-like colours can easily be created. To create new colours the clay can be mixed and kneaded together until you achieve your desired design or colour. The proportions used will obviously have a bearing on the resulting colour. For example, Mont Marte created a light blue by mixing Titanium and Sky Blue in equal proportions. And Pink by blending Cadmium Red and Titanium White. They then followed the above steps to create each bead.
Step 3. Striped bead.
To create a striped bead, cut two different blocks of colours into slivers. A butter knife is fine for this purpose. You can then lay the slivers of colour 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.
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.
TIP: For a cleaner cut, place the cube in the fridge for 10 minutes before cutting.
Baking your beads
Preheat 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, then remove and allow to cool.
Applying Gold Leaf or Glitter to your polymer clay beads
You can apply gold leaf to your clay during the conditioning process, alternatively, you can also apply gold leaf once your beads have been baked by:
Step 1. Sizing the beads.
If you wish to apply leafing or glitter to your baked and cooled 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. Tacking takes about 20 minutes. The bead is now ready to accept leafing or glitter.
Step 7. Glitter bead.
Use the handle of a paintbrush 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.
Other handy bead making tools:
The Sculpey Bead Maker allows you to create beautiful perfectly round polymer clay beads for your designs in minutes.
- Choose from 3 different size beads: 13 mm, 16 mm and 18 mm - with 3 precise snap-in moulds for rolling.
- Measuring cups guarantee a perfectly sized, perfectly round bead every time!
- Easy to use and makes beads in seconds.
Sculpey Bead Baking Rack
This bead baking rack allows you to bake a lot of beads at one time - simply make your beads, skewer them and bake! Beads bake evenly and perfectly shaped - no risk of flat bottom beads!
And Viola!! You are finished!
Time to style and show off your polymer clay beads.
A big thankyou to Mont Marte for creating this wonderful tutorial
What polymer clay colours would you choose? How would you style your beads?
Don't forget to show us your beads by tagging us on Instagram @artshedonline for your chance to be featured!
Got questions? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our friendly team of artists will do their best to assist you.