Making Your Own Beads!!

Create polymer beads from canes or ropes and shape into beads, and more! Seeing how this clay takes to shaping, you can create various objects for beads- sheep, pie, watermelon, dogs, limits there!!

Polymer Clay comes from a variety of companies, different brands have different qualities. Experiement with them and find which works well for you.

Using polymer clay there are a few simple safety guidelines:
1) small animals, birds especially should be removed from the area where the fumes from baking the polymer clay could affect them.
2) do not use polymer clay on any item intended for human consumption. Go to the dollar store for supplies such as rolling pins, claytools ( check out the playdough section too!), baking sheets, skewers and more.
3) Color can migrate onto hands and items, it does wash off.
4) Do not walk away from baking clay, I have had a few students do so and set their toaster oven on fire....use toaster oven, oven but not a microwave. If you burn the clay, be sure to open the windows- get air circulating.

Basic Polymer Beads I

Polymer Clay in 2 -3 colors
Xacto Blade knife or straight edge
Basic PC Supplies & Tools:
Cutting board or work surface
Baking Sheet
Skewers or Size 00-0 (US) Metal Needles for holes

Clay will not harden in air, though I keep mine on disposable food trays in plastic to keep it clean.

Knead by hand the three clays. Break up into small sections to knead, the warmth of your hands will get the clay pliable.

Roll into strands.
Twist the strands together.
This is a basic round cane.

1) You could roll out a thin piece of clay and wrap that cane with the thin piece creating a bead.
2) Cut the basic cane and shape the discs into beads.
3) Cut slightly twisted canes into beads for a shaped bead.

4) Roll the cane beads into balls or flatten and cut into shapes with a small aspic cutter- fondant cutter - check the Wilton Cake Decorating or Polymer Clay section in your craft stores for cutters.

5) Make hole and string onto wire or metal needles for baking.
6) Use a disposable pan to raise the strung beads off baking surface while baking.

7) Follow baking directions.
8) Finish with sanding rough areas if need be- you can use a nai shaper for that.
9) Finish if desired with polymer clay surface finisher

Then you can make your markers!!

Knitting Angel Stitch Markers

Right Side Top to Bottom:
Head pins in Brass or Silver, shown in Brass
Split Rings to fit you needles in Brass or Silver
Note: make sure they slide easily on your needles.
Spacer Bead in Brass or Silver
Note: I use "heishi" brass spacer beads
Left Side Top to Bottom:
Wire cutters
Needle Nose Pliers or Round Tip Pliers

Heart or Tulip bead for skirt
Pearls for head size 4mm-6mm
Angel Wings size medium

Local Craft Stores carry most of these supplies in their
jewelry making section.
Specialized beads such as angel wings can be found at:

Click on Pictures to Enlarge for Details

Step 1: Bead the head pin in this order:
Skirt Bead- Wings- Head Bead then Halo

Step 2: With needle nose pliers create a loop :
Using the tips of the pliers to create a round loop- using your wrist to twist the wire.
Step 3: Slide ring onto loop.
Cut wire of loop where it meets the straight wire from the beads.
Close the loop.

Three easy steps to create your own Knitting Angel Stitch Markers.

Here is the listing of exchanges for the Summer Months. We will keep you informed as to when the Exchanges are available for sign ups.

Pictured: Fimo Beaded Marker Exchange and Woodn't You love These Stitch Markers Exchange Samples
Click on the pictures to enlarge for details.

Knitting Angel Marker Only Exchange- Sign Up: May 15 In
Partners Hands June 15
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers.
More Details to come.
Angels in charms, beads or assembled with parts from Rings & Things or abeadstore.
Check the Rings & Things catalogue for their tutorial and the sites below:
For angel wings, drops, tulip sand hearts for skirts
Tutorial above.

Charmed I'm Sure Marker & Extra Exchange- Sign Up: May 15 In
Partners Hands June 25
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers & something to your
partner $$ limit. Find out from partner what type of charms she wants,
from animals, flowers, objects, charms are unlimited. Along with
charms find out her favorite color to accent the charms, size needles
she uses and extra could be a needle holder or edible
to her about it all.

Favorite Bead Marker Only Exchange- Sign Up: May 25 In
Partners Hands June 25
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers.
Is your favorite bead cloisonne? lampwork? Millefiori? Ceramic? Let
your partner know colors & beads, size needle you use. This is a
marker only exchange, no extras.

WOODn't You Love These Markers Exchange- Sign Up: ****In
Partners Hands****
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers.
Wood is the key element. There are many gorgeous wood beads out there
to use for markers. Choose tribal styles, lathed ribbed beads, animal
wood beads, painted wood imagination is the limit.This is
a marker only exchange, no extras.

Lemonade & Watermelon Time Exchange- Sign Up: **** In
Partners Hands ***
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers + .
Think Lemonade in Pink or Yellow.. . Limeade.... Ice Cold Watermelons...
This is a : STITCH MARKER PLUS exchange.
Accessorize this exchange with a Summer Color Cloth or Mug Rug- give
pattern to partner too ! some tea? or summer treat? Talk to your
partner and see what each other is thinking about this exchange. Sit
back and enjoy lemonade while knitting with some fun summer inspired
markers. Check out Oriental Trading Bead Catalogue for some good ideas.

Fimo Bead Stitch Marker & Needle Holder Exchange- Sign Up: **** In
Partners Hands ***
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers & needle holder .
Purchase or make fimo beads to use in stitch markers and needle
holder. Several types of needle holders can be made. See tutorials on:
Check with your partner on her colors, likes, needle sizes she
uses...This is a stitch marker& needle holder exchange. Talk to
partner about extras and $ limit.

Craft stores that carry Blue Moon beads, may have their line of fimo
cane sliced beads.

Craft stores also have tutorial tear sheets for the Fimo aisle in the
store. Check out what they have. Fimo is fun and easy to use. I
caution those with Birds in the House to not have them near the
kitchen fumes when baking Fimo, have had a friends bird get sick from
the fumes.

A tutorial on Fimo Beads and FInishing will be added to the site
soon: Angel Marker
Only Exchange- Sign Up: May 15 In
Partners Hands June 15
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers.
More Details to come.

Large Needle Markers Only Exchange- Sign Up: *** In
Partners Hands ***
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers to fit your partners large
needles, discuss with her what size, type of marker, bead colors, etc.

Wrapped Bead Markers Only Exchange- Sign Up: ** In Partners Hands
Learn how to make wrapped beads, tutorial coming.
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers.

Pretty in Pink Stitch Marker Plus Exchange- Sign Up: *** In Partners
Hands ***
Requirements: 1 set of stitch markers +.
Is your favorite color Pink? This exchange is for you. Let your
partner know the needle size or do you want to use shepherd hook
markers? This is an exchange + talk to your partner on exchange extra
$$ limit.

Large Needle Holders
Elastic Cord
Crimp Bead with loop
Crimp Pliers

Elastic cord can be ponytail holders, elastic cording, rubber cording found in craft stores. Needs to be stretchy.
Cut cord to 3" length.
Crimp Bead- foldover style
Add charm.

Great for double point needles- larger needles.
Whats in Your Tool Box?? At your workstation??

Now you know I use ice cube trays for small beads and findings...

My last trip to the hospital i got some new specimen cups- with screw on lids-- these work for big bags of check out medical supply stores for storage areas...don't check into a hospital to get them!!

Plastic Divided Trays
Our 99c shop got some tv trays in bright plastic that I use to put my findings on while working on large projects. One tray for brass one for silver, etc. Its easy to grab the stuff you need in this manner.

Toe Nail Scissors
You will want a pair of small scissors to cut thread on your beadwork projects. While you can purchase specialty scissors for the job, a more economical way is to use a pair of toe nail scissors. You can find these almost anywhere, including dollar stores or discount stores. The curve works well for cutting close to the beadwork and findings, and you won't break your bank on an expensive pair of scissors.

Your beading tools will vary depending on the type of work that you do. However, standard tools for most tool boxes include smooth needle nose pliers and round pliers. Below is a list of essential tools for a variety of beading techniques.

Needle nose pliers and wire cutters. Most of these items can be picked up at a dollar store, and do not need to be specialty beading tools.

You can purchase specality tools such as a jump ring opener/closer. This tool saves time and my nails. Inexpensive and easy to use.

Wrap wire jewelry: You will need smooth needle nosed pliers, a wire jig, coiling jig, fine diamond file and nylon jaw pliers.

Crochet Open End Stitch Markers

Wire gauge 20-22 gold or silver
Crimp beads
Assorted Beads
Round Nose Pliers
Needle Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters
Size 11 needle
Wire Jig ( could be used)

With round nose pliers, create a small loop.
Hold Loop end on size 11 needle.
Wrap wire around the size 11 needle, creating a "shepard's hook"
Put needle nose pliers in small loop, crimp loop- see picture
Cut to desired length ( 1 1/2" from top of loop to last crimp bead is what I did).
Place crimp bead-decorative beads/charms crimp bead.
Crimp beads
Cut wire end.
File edges.

Hint: to make the same length marker each time: Line up the first one made to the new one not yet crimped. Place needle nose pliers at the top of the bead section before the top crimp. This ill keep your crimp bead where you want it, crimp.