Jewellery Making · Polymer Clay · Polymer Clay Tutorial

How To Use A Polymer Clay Cane To Make Beads And Pendants

Please note – this blog post contains affiliate links. All links to products used at the end of this post.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads and pendants

So, you have some polymer clay and you’ve had a go at making a cane but how on earth do you use it for making beads and pendants?

When I began making jewellery with polymer clay making canes was one of the first techniques I was desperate to learn. I loved the thought of all the endless possibilities but however much I searched online and trawled though YouTube I couldn’t find a single video just showing how to use my amazing creation.

It was frustrating. Over time I pieced together information from here and there and put it together to make my first clay pendants – I can’t tell you the level of smug satisfaction I felt πŸ˜€

Today I thought I would put together a, hopefully, easy guide to using polymer clay canes to make beads and pendants.

I have also recorded this as a YouTube video which is linked at the bottom of this post as I feel it can be useful to see how people handle the clay (sounds weird I know but I have learned so much from watching others with their clay)

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads….

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

1. Condition some clay which is the same colour as the clay surrounding your cane. In this case I have used Fimo Professional in Bordeaux.

Roll this out on a number 1 on your clay machine (this is my thickest setting). Use a small circle punch to cut a circle. My cutter is 1/2″ round.

Top tip – for bigger beads you could cut several small circles and put them together or use a bigger shape cutter. Don’t forget that the thickness the clay is rolled to will also determine the overall size of the bead.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

2. Roll the clay into a ball.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

3. Check the size of your cane against the size of your bead. In this case the cane looks too big and needs to be reduced a little further (see video for more information on this).

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

4. Cut thin slices of your cane.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

5. Start by putting a cane slice at the top and bottom of your base bead.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

6. Fill in the section around the middle of the bead. Don’t press these down until you are happy with the placement.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

7. Gently begin to roll it against your work surface so that the clay slices start to merge. Continue rolling until the bead is all smooth.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

8. Using a pointy tool (a cocktail stick works well) poke a hole straight through the middle. Stop when your piercing tool just breaks through on the other side.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

9. Pull the piercing tool out and push in back in but from the opposite side – this will neaten the hole from the other side.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads

10. Your finished bead can be gently rolled if it has become a little distorted. Harden in the oven for the time recommended on the packed and varnish.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make beads / rose jewellery

11. String your beads to make jewellery.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pendants

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pendants jewellery

1) Condition and roll out the clay as in step 1 for making the beads except this time I rolled on a number 2 on my clay machine. Cut this pieces of your polymer clay cane and lay them on the clay sheet.

The pieces of cane can overlap here and any pieces that didn’t cut well can be used at the edges.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pendant jewellery

You can see here how bumpy the surface of the clay is.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pedants jewellery

2. Take your acrylic roller and roll over the surface. Rotate the clay to ensure an even finish. See the video if further information on this is needed.

Top tip – Check your acrylic roller is clean. There is nothing worse than to go to so much effort only for a mystery colour to be rolled across your clay!

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pendants jewellery

3. After all that rolling the clay can become a little too this to be used for pendants. Roll another sheet of clay on a number 4 and place your clay veneer on top. Gently roll to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped between the layers.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pendant jewellery

4. There are two ways to cut your shapes. They are shown in detail in the video.

The first is to simply cut and pierce a hole in the top.

How to use a polymer clay cane to make pendants jewellery

5. The second option is to place a little sheet of plastic on the top (I used a sandwich bag) and then to press the cutter down. This gives a lovely bevelled edge.

How to get a bevelled rounded edge in polymer clay jewellery

This photo shows the difference between the two styles of cutting. The rounded edge used the piece of plastic.

How to add a bale to polymer clay jewellery

6. Using a sharp craft knife cut a small opening at the top of your piece.

How to add a bail jump ring to polymer clay pendants

7. Using round nose pliers if needed place a jump ring in the opening. Press the clay around the jump ring to secure. Again the video goes into greater detail with this.

How ot make polymer clay jewellery using a polymer clay cane / Rose jewellery

8. Harden in the oven according to the instructions on the packet. Finish with two coats of varnish and enjoy your new jewellery.

If you would like to have a go at this but need some canes to use then there are two easy polymer clay tutorial here – beginner flower cane and polymer clay extruder cane .

If you are a beginner you can see here my ‘must have’ polymer clay tools.

These are affiliate links for Amazon UK and Amazon.com (US). This means that, at no extra cost to you, I receive a small percentage if you use my link to buy something. I only link to products that I have used and love.

UK Links

Fimo professional clay in Bordeaux

Small circle cutter, Heart cutter and teardrop cutter

Cutting blades

Fimo Varnish

Acrylic roller

Amazon.com (US Links)

Fimo professional clay in Bordeaux

Small circle cutter and teardrop cutter

Cutting blades

Fimo varnish

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss any hints, tips and tutorials.

Hannah x

3 thoughts on “How To Use A Polymer Clay Cane To Make Beads And Pendants

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