How to make summer inspired colorful polymer clay beads

Polymer clay tutorial on how to make summer-inspired tubular polymer clay beads decorated with decoupage and molds

Hello dear friends!

I managed to finish (finally) these colorful tubular polymer clay beads and I have to tell you that it took me some time to put everything together, edit the video and the photos and get everything ready to hit the publish button.

But here it is. And I’m so happy to see this project finished because I really liked the way these beads turned out.

Furthermore I love using napkins (decoupage) in my work. Because they’re such an easy way to embellish things (including polymer clay).

After decorating the beads with decoupage, I wanted to add more interest to these pieces and a great way to add more texture to polymer clay beads is by using molds (and polymer clay, of course).

Here are the materials and tools that I used to make these little beauties:

– white polymer clay

– a roller or a pasta machine

– napkins

– liquid Fimo

– rigid blade

– a round cutter

– acrylic paint

– silicone molds

– Diamond glaze

– an oven and

an oven thermometer (recommended)

– beads

– jewelry findings

– jump rings

– a piece of fabric

– ribbon

Here are the steps of the process:

  1. I conditioned the white polymer clay and I passed it through the largest setting of my pasta machine.
  2. I used a round roller to trace guiding lines into my clay and then I cut a rectangle piece of clay. You can just eye-ball it and cut a rectangular piece of clay, join the ends into a tubular bead and decide if it’s the right size and then play with the length and width of the rectangle piece to make the perfect tubular bead (meaning perfect for your design).
  3. I joined together the ends of the rectangle piece and I took the time to make sure that they were well joined and that my bead wouldn’t open up.
  4. I applied liquid clay on top of the joining line and then I spread some liquid clay all over the tubular bead.
  5. I used scissors and I cut out a rectangle piece from the napkin and put it on top of the liquid clay. Don’t forget to remove any air bubbles, if necessary.
  6. Then I used a silicone mold to make the embossed details to further decorate the beads.
  7. I baked my pieces for 40 minutes at the temperature recommended by the polymer clay manufacturer (in the preheated oven and I also tented them – meaning I put an aluminum pan to protect them from direct heat).

For some of the beads, I’ve made a beautiful border (using a silicone mold), while for the focal bead I’ve used a rose mold and rose petal molds to decorate the central and the side beads.

For the beads with an embossed border I applied some acrylic paint (and wiped it off partially) to add even more color to those beads. I think I liked them white as well, so you don’t have to color your molded elements.

You’ll have to think about protecting your decoupage decorated pieces. I used Diamond Glaze (after baking the pieces) to give them a glossy look.

You could spread liquid clay on top of the napkin (before baking the beads) and then bake the beads and you’ll have a matte finish for your beads.

Then I finished this design, by using a piece of fabric and some ribbon and I put the beads on fabric and I’ve made a neck piece that you would just tie around round neck. I decorated the spaces beaded the tubular beads with round acrylic beads in colors that would go well with the colors of the tubular beads, of course.

I hope you’ll like this tutorial. I hope you’ll give this idea a try and more than anything I hope that you are inspired to create more using polymer clay.

Happy claying!

Mihaela

Polymer clay tutorial on how to make decorated tubular beads
How to make decorated polymer clay beads using decoupage and molds - polymer clay video tutorial

6 Comments

    1. Thank you very much, Anita! I also loved the result of your inspiration board – both your work and your sister’s pen holder. I think it’s such a great idea to challenge yourself to start from a piece of inspiration and then find creative ways to express it through your art. Have a beautiful and creative day!

    1. Thank you my dear friend for your appreciation and for sharing my tutorial! I’m really grateful for everything! I’m also sorry for replying so late. It’s the summer holidays and my son is now at home most of the time and I don’t manage my time very well. I”m just doing my best just as we all do! 🤗 Thank you so much for your support! Have a beautiful and blissful day!

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