This is Part 2 of 3 for the March 2020 Craft in Style Subscription Box. Get this box, or find out more about Craft in Style here. Find Part 1: How to Make a Cactus Ring Holder here. Find Part 3: 21 Stylish Oven Bake Clay Projects here.
If there is a quintessential oven bake clay tutorial, then this is it! These clay beads are gorgeous and they can made into infinite amounts of shapes like spheres, cubes, and tube beads.
You can also turn these clay beads into all kinds of different finished pieces! You can make a keychain (like I did here) or you can make necklaces, earrings and lots of other goods!
So let’s get started!
Supplies to Make DIY Clay Beads:
March 2020 Craft in Style Subscription Box
Tiny Amounts of Oven Bake Clay, Any Colors
You Will Also Need:
Toaster Oven or Regular Oven
Jewelry Accessories or Supplies to Use Your Clay Beads
(Such as leather cord, pinbacks, earring blanks, and keychain rings)
Before you get started, consider your color palette! I chose pink, white, and green. But you could choose any colors you like. And you can even marble your beads by following this tutorial here.
First, let’s make a simple shaped bead – a sphere! To make this bead, all you need to do is roll a tiny amount of clay in your hands and form a ball. I used less than 1/2 tablespoon. Continue to roll the clay until the surface is smooth and perfect. Remember, any imperfections in the wet clay will also appear in the dry finished clay. So be sure to smooth your bead as much as you can. Remove fingerprints and imperfections by running your finger over the surface of the clay.
Once your shape is perfect, it’s time to turn your ball into a bead by poking a hole through the center! All you need is a simple wooden skewer.
Go slowly and twist the skewer as you push it through. After you push the skewer through, make sure to test your string, leather, or cord that you will be stringing the beads on. Make sure the opening is big enough for your string.
If it isn’t just twist the skewer around in a circle pushing the skewer against the interior sides.
Last, once you remove the skewer, you may have some uneven flakes of clay. Carefully remove those and smooth you edges one last time.
A sphere shaped bead is really easy, but you can make all kinds of shapes. For example, you can make a cube shaped bead like this or a tube shaped bead that we’ll show you below!
To make a tube shaped bead, use again 1/2 tablespoon of clay or less and roll the clay between the table and one hand. It’s just like making a snake when you are a kid! Squeeze the ends to make them flat and continue to alternate rolling the clay and squeezing the ends until you get the shape you want.
With tube shaped beads you have to be super careful when you create the hole. Be sure that your skewer is perfectly centered through the entire bead. When the bead is long and narrow it’s easier to end up poking the hole through the side.
The good news is that if you mess up any of these steps, it’s easy to start over! Just roll your clay back into a ball and start fresh.
Once your beads are finished and they all have their holes, it’s time to fire them in the oven. Firing them removes any remaining water and gives them a permanent shape and hold.
Most instructions will call for you to fire your clay at 300°F. And to that I say NO! Heck no! I have seen clay burn and turn brown at that temperature. Instead, bake it at 275°F for 15 – 18 minutes or until the following happens:
1st: Make sure your clay transitions from shiny to matte. That means the water is gone and it’s ready. 2nd: Make sure your clay transitions from tacky and sticky to the touch to smooth and dry. This also means the water is gone and that it’s done baking!
And viola! You can turn your clay beads into all kinds of cool things. I used just a small section of leather and a keychain ring to make my clay beads into a cool keychain!
You could add beads to a leather lariat necklace like this. That would be so fun to wear!
So what are you going to make with your clay beads? Tell us in the comments! And if you love this diy don’t miss the March 2020 Craft in Style Subscription Box! It’s full of unique supplies each month so that you can make an array of cool projects.
Projects vary from body care products, candle making kits, kitchen crafts and more! There’s something new every month.
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