Clay Hollow Bead Bracelet
By following the simple step-out photos to create the layered geometric patterns in these polymer clay beads, this eye-catching bracelet is easy and fun to make. Tailor the colors to reflect your favorite color palette, too.
- Polyform Premo! Sculpey Oven Bake Clay: Fuchsia, Purple, Wasabi; Accents Pearl, 18K Gold
- Seed beads, 102
- Beading wire
ruler, pencil, fiberfill or batting, spray bottle of water
- Polyform Sculpey: Clay Conditioning Machine, Premo! Circle Metal Cutters, Hollow Bead Maker, Technique Design Blocks, Super Slicer, Acrylic Roller, Wet/Dry Sandpaper Variety Pack, Bake & Bond Adhesive
- Small v-shaped carving tool or cuticle trimmer
- Wire cutters
- Craft mat, parchment-lined baking sheet, oven
- 1. Condition and work clay on craft mat with clean hands and surface. For best results, wash hands between handling different-color clay.
- 1. Condition clay in hands until soft and pliable. Run clay through conditioning machine for several passes on widest setting. Fold clay in half after each pass; insert folded side into rollers first.
- 2. Condition (2:1) mixture of 18K Gold + Pearl through conditioning machine creating light gold clay.
- 3. Condition clays separately on #2 thickness in conditioning machine, creating Wasabi, Purple, light gold, and Fuchsia sheets.
- 4. Cut 2-1/2"x1-1/2" rectangles of each color using slicer. Stack rectangles in desired order. (Note: Stack should be as thick as or slightly thicker than design block. If clay layers are thin, consider cutting strips 5" long, cutting in half, and then stacking halves.)
- 5. Lightly mist design block with water. Press block firmly into clay stack; remove block. See Photo 1 and Photo 2. Gently press clay stack onto work surface to prevent stack from shifting. Holding slicer parallel to clay stack, slice off small pieces until desired pattern emerges. See Photo 3. Roll surface smooth with roller, applying gentle pressure in all four directions so pattern does not distort. (Note: Clay thickness should be approximately as thick as #1 machine setting.) (see photos)
- 6. Cut out as many circles as possible from rolled clay using 3/4" cutter. See Photos 4 and 5. (see photos)
- 7. Repeat Steps 3-6 using stacks compiled of various thicknesses and color orders for variety in beads.
- 8. Pick up two circles and place on corresponding bead maker dome. With fingers and palm, gently press clay down over dome, ensuring entire dome is covered with clay especially around edges. Bake on parchment-lined backing sheet following manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat until all circles have been baked.
- 9. Position 400-grit sandpaper with rough side up on level surface. Pour small amount of water on sandpaper. Sand open edge of domed clay flat so two beads will fit together nicely. Using gentle, even pressure, press and rub edges of dome in circular motion against sandpaper. Rinse sandpaper frequently to remove clay. Continue with remaining domed circles.
- 10. Match up domed circles in pairs. Lay ruler across open side of one dome. Mark lines to show position of side holes. Carve groove approximately half of desired size in dome using slicer. Shift and rotate other dome in pair against carved dome to achieve best fit. When satisfied, mark hole positions on uncarved dome. Notch dome with slicer. Repeat for all dome pairs.
- 11. Add thin line of adhesive around outer edge of dome, avoiding carved grooves. Position two halves together; gently squeeze to make even contact. Remove excess adhesive with finger. Pass wire through holes to make sure they remain open. Repeat for all dome pairs. Bake beads on batting on parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool completely.
- 12. Cut wire to desired length. String seven seed beads between each clay bead. Attach clasp halves to each end.
by Gretchen Amberg for Polyform Products