Other, Tutorials

Statement bead necklace: 10 tips for making polymer clay beads

fimo beads

I’ve recently started making chunky colourful beads from polymer clay (I use Fimo) and turning them into simple statement bead necklaces. The beads are easy to make and the best part is being able to make them in whatever colours have inspired you or to match your favourite outfit.

These are my tips for making your own polymer clay/ Fimo beads:

Colour me beautiful

  • Find some colour inspiration for your beads. Pinterest is full of colour palettes that people have created. Or create your own using the Adobe Capture app. The app lets you capture colours from objects and put them together in a palette.
  • Have fun mixing colours to create a unique look. I find the best way of mixing Fimo is to roll long tube shapes and twist them together, then squish and roll out again.

colour palette

Rolling in the deep

  • Keep your hands and workspace clean before you start on the next colour bead, especially when using white or other light colours.  Baby wipes are good to keep to hand.
  • Roll out your beads on a sheet of baking parchment, you can then transfer them easily to an oven tray (and use an oven tray with sides – I didn’t and my beads rolled off into the oven!)
  • To make the hole in the bead you can either drill when baked or use a cocktail stick or similar wooden skewer to make a hole before they are baked.  I’ve only tried the wooden skewer method, which works well – but you have to be careful not to end up with a flat spot.  Either way – make sure the hole is big enough for the thread you want to use!

Sparkle and shine

  • Add sparkle! To add a bit of sparkle to your beads, either roll them in glitter or use a brand which has sparkle added, like Fimo Effects.  Add varnish. 
  • Add metallic effects by rolling your bead in metallic foil flakes.  These beads are best sealed with varnish.  You can buy gloss or matt varnish. 
  • If your varnishing your beads, use a proper polymer clay varnish – other varnishes aren’t suitable and may crack or discolour.

Special effects

  • Marble effects look great and are easy to achieve by rolling two colours together. The more you roll and twist, the finer the marbling effect.
  • Add a bit of texture.  No fancy tools required – just make some patterns using the end of your wooden skewer.
My necklaces
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