Don’t Have a Bead Rack Yet? Or… Are Your Beads Too Big To Fit in a Standard Baking Rack? Then Head to the Kitchen for Some Cornstarch:
Although using a bead rack is my favorite way to bake polymer clay beads, sometimes it just won’t work! What do you do if your beads are too large and touch the bottom of the bead rack? Or they are sculptural and need more support while baking? What if you want to make a few beads first before investing in a commercial bead rack for your oven?
You go to your kitchen, grab an oven-proof dish and a box of cornstarch to bake your beads!
Make your beads as you normally would. Pierce them with a bead wire or skewer and lay them in a bed of cornstarch to bake. If your beads are sculptural, push the cornstarch up and around the bead to support it while baking, even completely burying it if you wish.
In fact, a covering of cornstarch over light colored beads can be a great protection for light colored clays to prevent scorching or discoloration!
Add extra time to the baking process if burying your beads. I often bake my beads for 1 hour at the recommended temperature for the clay to ensure strength and durability.
Once the beads are fully baked, wash off the cornstarch from them and sand, buff and polish as usual. If you are not going to sand your beads you may have to scrub them a bit with a toothbrush before applying a finish, to remove any residual residue from the cornstarch.
But of course you will be sanding unless your beads have some special finish that can’t be sanded (i.e.. gold leaf or mica powder). You wouldn’t want to be a lazy beader, would you? :-)
You can use this dish of cornstarch to bake your polymer clay beads over and over again for as long as your heart desires!