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Rough And Tough Polymer Clay Beads Part 1

polymer clay beads

Rough polymer clay beads that needs no sanding or varnishing are fun to make. By using only a few colors and making some basic canes, you can make several different looking beads in the same batch. Make sure you have lots of time, so that you really can let your creativity loose. The time consuming part in this is the making of the canes, but once they are ready, the fun begins.

When I have some scrap clay left that have great colors or marbling, I sometimes use it to make these fun and rough polymer clay beads, without having a particular project in mind. I then store them in plastic bags and use them in different projects later.

Rough polymer clay ring

The beads may not look like much one by one, but when you add them to a design, they look like a million dollar..(OK, maybe not THAT good, but they do give an aura of hand designed jewelry, just take a look at this ring).

The polymer clay beads I make in this tutorial is only to show you some of the things you can do. Of course there are hundreds of more ways, so let yourself go wild. Use your clay gun, your texture tools and stamps, foil, metal leaf and paint. There is no limit to what you can do.

OK! Let's begin, shall we?

What you need to make this beads:

  • Polymer clay in white, black, Lavender, sunflower and Christmas red
  • Pasta Machine
  • Tissue cutter
  • Texture tools
  • Knitting needles and bamboo rods
  • Scrap clay
  • Baby wipes

The Skinner blend cane:
Skinner blend can be used for so much.

If you don't know how to make one, you can read about it here

carrot skinner blend

Condition white, sunflower, lavender and Christmas red clay. Mix 1 part Sunflower with 3 parts Christmas red to make the red clay. Roll white, lavender and the red clay into “carrots” and run them through the pasta machine to make a skinner blend.
skinner blend roll

polymer clay plug

Roll the skinner blend into a log. Squeeze the log into a plug, by pressing the ends towards the middle, making a fat little plug.

Flatten it and run it through the pasta machine on the thickest setting, starting with the white end. Keep running it through on thinner and thinner settings until you have one long sheet.

skinner blend cane

skinner blend cane

Roll a thin white snake and roll the sheet around it until you have a cane. If the cane is very thick, reduce it until it is about the size of your little finger in diameter. Cut it into 4 equal pieces.

Making a Polymer clay petal cane

The first petal cane:
Petals are fun to decorate polymer clay beads with. By using different sizes on the petals, you can create lovely beads, both rough like these, but also beautiful ones with a smooth surface.

Cut one of the Skinner blend cane pieces in two by splitting it in two halves length wise. Condition some black clay and put a medium thick black sheet between the two halves and put them back together. Trim of the excess of the black clay.

polymer clay leaf cane

Pinch the cane into a leaf shape along black line on one of the sides, so that the black clay runs through it like a vein. Put the cane aside.

making a striped polymer clay cane

The striped cane:
Condition some black and white clay and run them through on the thickest setting. Stack black and white until you have a striped block.

Reduce the black and white stack to the same height as one of the skinner blend cane parts.

making a striped cane

Cut slices of the stack and place them around the cane. Reduce the cane so you have a longer, thinner cane. Put the rest of the stack aside. You will use it again later.

making a petal cane

The second petal cane:
Condition some black clay and roll it into a sheet on the thickest setting on the pasta machine. Wrap one of the remaining Skinner blend cane pieces in the black sheet.

making a polymer clay petal cane

Reduce the cane and press it so that it becomes oval in shape. Cut it in three and put the three pieces together in a stack. Reduce the stack and shape it until you have a long square cane. Put it aside.

Polymer clay petal cane

Now you have made all the canes you need to make the rough polymer clay beads. Let's contiune in Part 2.

Rough And Tough Polymer Clay Beads Part 2

Return from Rough And Though Polymer Clay Beads to Polymer Clay Tutorials

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