Saturday, October 24

How to make polymer clay flower cane beads

Clay jewellery's popularity has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. And so has experimenting with not just clay, but polymer clay too.

For the uninitiated, it could be intimidating - the intricate patterning and craftsmanship involved. What you need is an Oven Toaster Grill, or the OTG oven as it is known. Sankgetha Sripathy who loves to experiment with clay and polymer clay, gives us this easy to follow tutorial to make polymer clay beads. She has used the flower cane in a beautiful combination.

Grab your tools and get set to learn.

You need:

-- an OTG oven
-- pasta making machine
-- polymer clay in a few colours
-- round cutters for the clay, or cookie cutters of different sizes
-- little silver colour balls in jewellery finings
-- a polymer clay knife
-- roller
-- head pins and fish hooks in jewellery findings
-- jewellery pliers
-- jewellery wire


Flatten the lumps of of clay with the roller.

2. Feed the clay into the pasta machine at Setting 8, which Sankgetha says, is the thickest setting on her machine. 

3. One colour should be rolled into a tube, while the other colours need to be used, to cover this.

4. In this picture, she has kept the lavender colour tube of polymer clay ready to be rolled over with white clay. 
Add the gold layer to top it.
5. Once done with the adding of layers, roll the tube between your palms to make it a long one, and use the knife to cut it, into five or six pieces. This, will give you smaller tubes. Here, she has used a contrast of colours for her flower beads.
Sankgetha decided to make flowers using the little tubes that she got out of the long tube. She then organized these tubes into a floral pattern.

Notice the piled up tubes she set aside here. The contrasting colour she chose to make the floral design, was a white, that made up her Step 8 of the process.

Step 9: She rolled the white clay into a little tube.

 She kept this aside and used the cookie cutters to make separate balls, with the gold coloured clay. 

To set them into the pattern, she used another sheet of the gold coloured clay to roll around the arranged tubes.

This large tube, she cut into two tubes for further slicing. But before anything further, she cut discs with the gold coloured clay.

These need to be kept aside. Using the cookie cutter, she then cut the desired discs from gold coloured clay and rolled them into balls. She sliced the flower tube into little discs that she fixed into these balls. Naturally, your gold ball size needs to be larger than these floral discs to accommodate them.

After fixing the floral diskettes into a ball, you will need to roll it between your palms to give it the perfect round shape. This will ease the cane flower discs settle well into the ball.

Make a whole bunch of such balls. Once they are ready, use tooth-picks or needles to insert holes into them and turn them into beads.

The same method can be used to make white coloured beads too.

These beads, need to be baked in the OTG Oven. Usually, baking instructions are given on the cartons of polymer clay that you buy. You will then need to cool the beads. And they are ready for use in your projects.

She used the jewellery making wire to make a necklace. You can use it or try elastic chords to make bracelets. Use the small silver colour beads as fillers. The headpins and fish hooks shall be used to make earrings.


Once you begin your little polymer clay projects, there is no end to your willingness to try more. If you do not have an OTG oven and pasta maker, it would make sense to tie up with those into polymer jewellery already, or get a group of friends to pool in money for one. Do so if you are serious about long term use.

The best feeling you can take away from each of these projects, is that you made your own jewellery. You may use this for gifting too.

Pictures Courtesy: Sankgetha Sripathy

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