I've found a new appreciation for polymer clay bead making these last few months, and I'm lucky that the lovely folks over at Polyform Products have agreed to supply me with a steady stream of free polymer clay bead making projects! This free bead making project was designed by Suzanne Anderson of Yikes Studio for Polyform Products, and I'm pretty smitten with it.
Large hole beads are a hot trend right now, showing up on things like sari silk, leather cord, and even industrial-looking ball chains. String a few of these handmade beads on a piece of colorful dyed silk ribbon for a unique gift, or use them on pens, letter openers, and keychains for fun beaded accessories!
- Polymer clay: 2 blocks of pearl, 5 assorted colors
- Polyform large hole bead inserts
- Pasta machine
- Acrylic roller
- Tissue blade
- Nonstick surface
- Dedicated toaster oven and bead rack for baking
Making Your Base Beads
Find a nice harmony of colors that you enjoy. The colors that are used in this example are turquoise, fuchsia, pearl, wasabi, Spanish olive, and silver. A little bit of pearl and translucent clay has been added into each during conditioning to give a subtle glow and sparkle.
Condition your polymer clay both before and during mixing by running it through the pasta machine.
Roll up balls of clay in your desired sizes and colors. Create a few polymer clay balls using the pearl clay so that you can create metallic beads, too.
3 Ideas for Decorating Your Polymer Clay Beads
Decorating Idea #1: Spiral canes.
Decorating Idea #2: Skinner blend appliques.
Decorating Idea #3: Blended stripes.
Using the Large Hole Bead Inserts
Now that you've made and decorated your polymer clay beads, it's time to use the large hole bead inserts and bake them!
Fun stuff! Now that you've made an army of these beautiful large-hole polymer clay beads, you need some new beading projects to use them all up — and lucky you, all beading projects are on sale right now in the Beading Daily shop! Choose from thousands of bead making and jewelry making projects, all at 30% off through October 11, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. MST. (Another great reason to stock up on beading projects: the holidays are just around the corner, and you know you need to start working on those holiday gifts for teachers and co-workers, right?)
For more surface embellishment ideas for your large hole polymer clay bead making projects and instructions on how to do a basic Skinner blend, head on over to the Beading Instructions blog! A special thanks to Iris Weiss of Polyform Products for sharing this free tutorial with us!