by Craftbits (Shellie Wilson)
What you need
Beads - any colors you like (glass, plastic, etc)
Jewelry wire & findings/clasp of your choice
Polymer clay - any brand - red and green.
Liquid polymer clay
Clay knife, or plastic knife
Small cookie, clay or fondant cutters - star shaped. (optional)
Toothpick or bamboo skewer
Acrylic roller or dowel
Work surface - ceramic tile, file folder or wax paper
Oven for baking - it is recommended to use a clay - only oven (toaster oven).
You can also enclose your project inside two baking pans; clamp closed, & bake in regular oven. Remove once cooled.
Condition each color of clay until soft and pliable by rolling and squeezing in your hands. Test to see if it cracks when you bend it – that means it needs more conditioning!
Roll the red clay into a ball & then a log by applying even pressure.
Cut the log in half and then continue cutting each section in half until you reach the desired size for your beads. **This is a quick way to “eyeball” the beads to a similar size. Of course you can also use a ruler, if you like.
Roll a piece of clay into a ball and pinch the end to form a “cone shape”. I like to make indentations at the top with my toothpick or carving tool to help flatten it into a strawberry type shape.
Roll out your green clay into a thin sheet & using your star cutters, cut out several star shapes – experiment with different sizes to fit your bead. You can do this step by hand with a craft knife, but it takes longer!
Lay the green star shape on top of the strawberry and press into place.
Using your bamboo skewer, poke a hole (use a twisting motion for best results) in the center of the star. Don’t go all the way through! Apply a drop of liquid clay into the hole.
Roll a small piece of green clay into a ball and make a cone shape by gently pressing one side as you roll. Trim off the top if desired to look more like a stem and insert it into the hole.
Press down the points of the star & add details with your toothpick or bead piercing tool. You can now add small “dots” to the red clay to mimic the seeds of the strawberry with your tool, as well.
Poke holes in your beads & bake according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Glaze if desired. I use Varathane – found in most hardware stores. For small projects, use the clay manufacturer’s glaze. The bottles are smaller & more affordable!
String your clay beads with the other beads on your jewelry wire & attach the findings & clasp.
Enjoy your new piece of jewelry for yourself or give as a fun & whimsical gift!
*** SAVE those pieces you trimmed off and roll them together to make swirly accent beads!
*** Dark colored clay, like red, green, etc. can leave some pigment on your hands. To help keep lighter colors from turning pink, etc. handle most of the light clay first. You can also use baby wipes to clean your hands and tools (alcohol is a solvent for the clay) or wear latex gloves & switch in between colors.
*** Once you use cookie cutters, pasta machine, etc for clay, it is recommended to no longer use it for food. Shop around for inexpensive cutters at your local craft store.
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