Polymer Clay Jewelry

Make your own polymer clay jewelry for your italian style charm bracelet. Beads are quick and easy to make, when using the metal bead cores.

Age: 12+

Difficulty Rating: Medium

Time Scale: 3 out of 5

polymer-clay-jewelry-Italian-beads

Supplies:

  • Sculpey® clay in your choice of colors
  • Perfect Pearls™ powder
  • metal bead cores
  • jewelry glaze
  • clay machine
  • 1 inch metal circle cutter
  • skewer stick
  • small paint brush
  • toaster oven
  • baking sheet covered in tinfoil
  • fine grit wet/dry sandpaper




Polymer Clay Jewelry Instructions

I use Premo Sculpey® and sometimes Sculpey III® to make my polymer clay jewelry. Work the clay by pinching, squeezing and rolling until properly conditioned.

To make a bead that is swirls of color, make a small snake in two colors and twist the colors together. Squeeze these together. Run through a clay machine. Don't over mix, or the colors will look muddy.

There are two ways to do your piece, to get the proper size bead. If you have a pasta/clay machine you can run the sculpey through, starting with a #7 setting and then slowly decreasing down to a #2 thickness.

Use a 1 inch circle cutter to cut out circles from this piece. This should be the size you need to make the bead. Doing it this way will give you consistant sized pieces every time.

Use-circle-cutter-to-get-beads-all-same-size

If you do not have a clay machine, roll a piece of Sculpey into a snake, a bit smaller than the diameter of a pencil. Cut about half an inch off from this. Roll this into a ball.

Do one complete bead, to check to see if it is the size you want. If it seems a little too big or small, adjust this, until you have the size you like. Cut all the pieces to the same length, if you would like your beads all the same size.

Poke a hole into the center of the ball, with the pointed end of a skewer stick. Push through and come out, in the center on the other side.

Poke-hole-with-skewer-stick

Put a metal bead core over the skewer stick and push on to the clay.

Remove from the stick. Put a bead core on the other side.

Add-metal-bead-core

Use the skewer stick and push out the remaining sculpey from the center of the bead.

Smooth and even rough edges.

Get-rest-of-clay-from-center

Set the bead down flat on the work surface and push on the center to even it up.

Use Perfect Pearls™ in a complimentary color. (For my blue/green beads I added Perfect Pearls in copper.) Dust this on before baking if you would like to add shimmer to your polymer clay jewelry.

To make a bead with flowers on it, start with a smaller bead and add thin slices from a small millefiori cane.

Put your polymer clay jewelry on a skewer stick and sit across a baking sheet that has a small raised up edge. They should be raised up enough that they aren't actually touching the surface of the baking sheet.

Bake-italian-style-beads

As an alternative, you can use a tin foil baking pan and poke holes through the sides, to support the skewer sticks.

Preheat oven and bake according to the directions for the brand of clay you are using. For Premo, bake at 275 degrees F. for 30 minutes per 1/4 inch thickness. Sculpey III requires much shorter baking time, at only 15 minutes per 1/4 inch.

If there are fingerprints or rough spots on these when they have finished baking, sand in water with fine grit wet/dry sandpaper. Wipe off with a damp cloth.

When dry, coat with 3 layers of jewelry glaze. To apply the glaze, insert the end of a pair of snap ring pliers into the bead core. While holding the pliers, apply the glaze to the bead. When finished, slip the bead back on the skewer stick and set it across the baking pan, so the beads aren't touching the bottom. No more sticky fingers!

After drying, they are all done, and can now be put on your italian charm bracelet.

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