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Make Polymer Clay Beads With An Illusion Of Water Colored Confetti

These polymer clay beads give the illusion of being painted with water colors, floating into each other like in a miniature painting. If you use stronger colors than in this tutorial, it will give the illusion of confetti gaily spread onto the polymer clay beads.

The technique is simple, but the value of the colors is important in order to get the edges of each of them to show. It looks like water colors with black and/or white inked lines surrounding them. If the colors are too light, the white edges will not show, and if they are too dark the dark edges will disappear. But enough talk, let’s begin.

What you need to make these polymer clay beads:

  • Fimo soft polymer clay, peppermint, plum, lime green, sunflower, brilliant blue, raspberry, black and white
  • Pasta machine
  • Shape cutters, square
  • Thin mandrels
  • Acrylic roller

Step 1:
Condition the clay well, and mix the following colors:

  • A: 1 part plum + 1 part brilliant blue
  • B: 2 parts peppermint + 3 parts white
  • C: 1 part lime green + 3 parts white + ¼ part sunflower
  • D: 3 parts white + ¼ part raspberry

You can read more about mixing polymer clay colors in this tutorial:
Mixing Colors With Polymer Clay

Step 2:
Run the color mixes through on the thinnest setting on the pasta machine. Run a white sheet through on the thickest setting. Apply each of the four colors onto a sheet of white, and run them through the pasta machine on the thinnest setting and put them aside.

Run a black sheet through on the thickest setting, and do as you did with the white sheet.

Step 3:
Run another white sheet through on the thinnest setting. Tear small bits of each of the six sheets you prepared in step 2.
Step 4:
Continue to apply small bits. Let them overlap until the whole sheet is covered.
Step 5:
Put a piece of paper on top of the sheet and smooth it with your acrylic roller. You will now see the lines of white and black surrounding the colors bits. Run some scrap clay through on a medium setting and apply the patterned sheet on top. Make sure you remove trapped air.
Step 6:
Use a shape cutter to cut out small square shapes from the patterned sheet. If you like, cut out one big one to make a focal bead, if you like.
Step 7:
Put one square on a piece of paper with the patterned side down. Put one of the mandrels on top of it from one corner to another. Put another square on top of it with the patterned side up. Repeat with all the squares. Cure the beads for 30 minutes and let them cool down. Sand the sides so that they are smooth.
Step 8:
Run some black clay through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Apply the extra piece that came with the pasta machine to make band spaghetti. Run the black sheet through it. This will shred the sheet to strips of equal thickness and wideness. If you don’t have this piece, simply cut strips from the black sheet with your tissue blade.

Add some liquid polymer clay along the edge of the polymer clay beads. This will bond the raw clay to the cured clay. Apply one black strip. Start on the middle of one of the sides.

Wrap until you come to the second hole in the bead. Insert the mandrel and push it carefully through so that it exits the hole you have covered with the black strip. Pull it back out and insert it in the hole you just made, but do not push it all the way through. Wrap the black sheet around the rest of the bead. Cut it so that it fits snugly to the beginning of the strip. Push the mandrel all the way through to make the second hole.

Repeat with all the polymer clay beads. Tread them all onto a mandrel and cure them for another 30 minutes. Sand the edges so that they are smooth. Sand the top and the back of the beads, but be very careful, only smooth the surface lightly. If you sand too much, you will sand away the thin colors on top of the white and black sheets. Sanded lightly the colors will wear thinner and look like transparent water colors.

You can now varnish or buff them as you please, and your polymer clay beads are done.

Here you see a close up of the pattern
Here you see another color combination. Instead of using a black sheet, I applied gold paint on the second half of the colored sheets.

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