Bead Cones, Multi-strand Jewelry | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Bead Cones - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #223: “I also hope you are going to give us a few hints on how to use the components that hold and hide all the many wire ends.” ~Tantesherry

Following the Faux Coral Heishi Bead Tute from several weeks ago, several of you requested that I show some tips on how to use Bead Cones in multi-strand jewelry projects.

So… that is exactly what I will do… coming up tomorrow (Friday September 30th 2011) in the Vol-040-4 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library.


Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-040-4 Using Bead Cones:

  • Bead cones. There are tons of varieties, styles, sizes, shapes and metal finishes… of Bead Cones available in the market today. Just go to your favorite bead store or bead supply sites and type in ‘cones’ or ‘bead cones’ and you will see what I mean. You will need to choose the cone appropriate for your particular project, since each design will require a different cone. I usually just buy the cones first and then make a jewelry design that works with the cones, but that is up to you.
  • 20 Gauge Wire. I used a 4″ length of half-hard 20 gauge Bronze wire. You can of course use almost any type of wire that you want for this, but I find that the 20ga weight and temper works best for me.
  • Wire Flush Cutters (jewelry grade).
  • Chain Nose Pliers (jewelry grade).
  • Round Nose Pliers (jewelry grade).
  • Bead Board (optional but very handy for designing multi strand jewelry pieces.
  • Bust (optional – this is handy when seeing how your multi-strand necklace will hang while wearing. Alternatively, you could use a large pickle/mayo jar, or of course your own neck.
  • Ruler (optional).
  • Chain, Strung Beads, Fibers, Leather Cording, etc for your strands.
  • Soft Flex Wire .019 inches and #2 Crimp Tubes for stringing (optional).
  • Crimping Tool (optional). My new favorite is the Magical Crimping Tool because it makes a nice round bead shape out of your crimp tube, that doesn’t require a crimp cover. Especially nice when you are working with space restrictions like you are in this particular project

The full version of the Vol-040-4 Using Jewelry Bead Cones video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday September 30, 2011. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.


Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

Click Video Play Button

The full version of the “Bead Cones” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-040 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I am continuously impressed every Friday when a new tutorial comes out! As a complete newbie to polymer clay, I started out by purchasing Cindy’s beginner course. The amount of information jam packed into that course is priceless! I looked around my area for polymer clay courses, and was unable to find one for under $70 for a 3 hour class. By purchasing Cindy’s course, I instantly had access to 2.5 hours of polymer clay instruction, and I could watch in the privacy of my own home! If you’re anything like me, you only retain about 75% of the information the first time around. With Cindy’s course I can re-watch as many times as necessary, and even bring my laptop into my craft area! I then purchased the membership, and continued to be impressed! I have since purchased almost all of the back issue packages! The creativity, quality and ease with which the lessons are presented make working with polymer clay so easy! I’m constantly amazed by what I am able to create! For only $9.95 every 3 months? Definitely well worth the money! Thanks Cindy! ~Melissa-G

I have to say that Cindy’s videos have been the best buy ever, and I have NO regrets about buying them. ~Koolbraider

I’ve only been making beads out of clay for a couple of months, but I feel the videos in your Polymer Clay Beginners Course where just great for someone breaking into the craft. Some of the topics I had already gleaned from the Internet from various sources but it REALLY helped to have a high quality video to SHOW you up close and personal about the topics you discussed. I definitely feel the series is a bargain and would recommend it. I subscribed to your weekly videos and have made beads from many of the tutorials. I look forward to the new video that comes out each week. I’m just beginning to experiment with mixing colors, so I believe the recipe cards will come in really handy in the future as well. – Keep up the fantastic work! ~June-W

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Using Bead Cones with Multi-strand Jewelry Projects video tutorial:

  • See examples of bead cones and how they are used to create stunning multi-strand jewelry designs.
  • Discussion of the tools, materials and techniques needed to use these useful components in a professionally finished manner.
  • Find out how simple it is to use these special findings to make a clean finish for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and tassels that combine many strands of a variety of stringing materials.
  • Learn cool tricks for wiring bead cones so that there are no stray ends and everything fits together perfectly and stays that way for many years to come!
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Bead Cones” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-040 Back Issue Package.

  1. pollyanna, 29 September, 2011

    This will be great for me because I do a lot of beading. Cindy always has a better way of doing things. I was also thinking…..dangerous here… Why couldn’t I make my own bead cones using our bead cap tute and just elongating them? Oh,dear….another project… Happy claying everyone.

  2. Catalina, 29 September, 2011

    Oh, boy! I wish I could get caught up. I know I could use this tute! But, as some of you already know, I’m a BIG baseball fan. And guess what? My Detroit Tigers are in the Playoffs and I anticipate them going all the way!!!! With work, teaching jewelry classes at Michaels and playing with my clay I need more hours in my days! Plus, finished refinishing the hardwood floors upstairs and living in my Studio till all the painting is done. I, know, that is hard to take :-) I will like this technique to help make a multi-strand bracelet with cupcake charms, muffin charms and purse charms!! I even thought about making my own cones out of clay! Maybe, Cindy has a good idea how to do that! :-) Should I go paint the dinning room? It is quite dreary out and not very good light to paint by or should I hibernate in my studio and make more purse charms? :-)

  3. Elizabeth S., 29 September, 2011

    I am so excited about learning how to use these things. I remain jewelry making challenged and have not been terribly successful at creating professional looking multi strand pieces.

  4. pattw35, 29 September, 2011

    Christmas is coming -AND- I haven’t finished (even started) much yet. This tute is perfect for that hard to gift person- a multi necklace. Yeeha! (that’s a Texas expression). Gathering all my pretties to get ready for Friday. Can’t wait, as usual. Another great Friday…………………….

  5. Peggy Barnes, 29 September, 2011

    This is a great tute for me and all the challenges I have with taking my beads and turning them into something great. With your tute Cindy this is going to make it so even I can accomplish a beautiful piece. Your technique of teaching and Doug’s filming I am waiting in awe. Due to chronic fatigue I always get on my laptop Friday around 2-3 am. So hopefuly in about 15 hrs I will be spending time with You and Doug and the always FANTASTC TUTE!!!!!!!
    Many Uuuggs

  6. Cherie, 29 September, 2011

    I’ve done a lot of multistrand projects with bead cone ends and they really create a beautiful finish to the piece. I’m looking forward to the tutorial though because cindy always has some special tips. would love totry making the cones out of clay.

  7. Phaedrakat, 29 September, 2011

    @Cherie — me, too!

    I’ve been doing a lot with bead cones for months now with great results. (Besides clay, I do beadweaving/stitching, and work with seed beads quite a bit.) When you combine chain, cord, ribbon — and fabulous polymer clay beads! — to the mix, bead cones are perfect for hiding the “join” (aka ugly ends!) I feel pretty “accomplished” with my bead cone skills, but I feel confident Cindy will show us something new. She is definitely clever & creative, so my wish will probably come true! I admit I’m a tiny bit bummed there’s not a clay video this week, but it sounds like lots of people need this info for their projects. No one knows how to simplify a complicated subject like our Cindy! Besides, I just love to hear & watch my favorite tutor! :D

    I’m so glad that making polymer clay bead cones was mentioned — I remember when Linda brought it up a year ago (on the Bead Cap Tutorial post.)

    She was searching for the right “base” to use for baking, and lots of people chimed in with ideas. I had planned to try it myself, but forgot all about it. Wonder if Linda ever made them? (Did ya, Linda? he, he)

    Anyway, looking forward to the video — happy Friday everyone! Only 7 hours to go… ;-)

  8. Elizabeth S., 29 September, 2011

    Just found bead cones at Michael’s—“Jewelry Essentials” brand. They come four to a package with two different designs per package.

  9. Angela M, 29 September, 2011

    I found the Magical Crimping Tool on-line, new, at $19.99. They said it only works for .19 wire and 2mm crimp beads. Does this sound like the right one? If so, I got an ad for Michael’s in the mail today and it has a 40% off coupon. Going to check my local store to see if they carry this so I can use the coupon.

    I have a regular crimping tool – does this work with bead cones as well as the Magical Tool does? If I use the regular tool, will I have to do something different to the crimps for a nice result?

    Can’t wait for the tute. My answers are probably going to be there, if I would just be a little bit patient :)

  10. Angela M, 29 September, 2011

    Hi Cindy. Me again – please forgive me for hogging up so much space/time today. I guess it’s just one of those days.

    I purchased 3 of the back issues, and try as I might, I haven’t been able to find the B-color recipes for these issues. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Thank you so much and I’ll try to leave you alone now :)

  11. Peggy Barnes, 30 September, 2011

    Will definitely be using this tute often in the future. Cindy you are always thinking of ways to help us bring our jewelry to a professional level. With all your easy to understand details and Doug’s talented filming we can’t help but sore with loads of confidence. I always look forward to each and every tutorial knowing the 2 of you give it your all and more every lesson. We are all so blessed to have the 2 of you share your artistic talents with us. I have so much to do the next couple of days but somehow I will find time to put this tute to good use.
    Thank you both for being you.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful weekend.
    Many many Uuuugggs

  12. Peggy Barnes, 30 September, 2011

    I need to change the subject for this comment so I am hoping Friday’s are still open discussion. My grandaughter has request a faux zebra purse for herself and her doll. I did a search on flexible clay. Unfortunately I still have some questions. I know Kato clay can be sewn and hold up. If I remember right and this is from way back on the Carol Duvall show, after the item is made you put a layer of liquid clay on it, bake again and this keeps the clay soft and somewhat flexible. Does anyone remember this at all. I also thought maybe I should add some Fimo quick mix or Bake and Bend to the Kato. Also does anyone have any suggestions on mixing with the Kato and what ratio, maybe 3/4 Kato to 1/4 quick mix. I have no idea this is not in my comfort zone at all. I really would like to try to make it for her out of clay and not material. I appreciate any and all help offered. Any ideas at all please send my way and I will be very grateful for your time.
    Many Uuuuugs

    Also Cindy to your long list of wanted tutes. I saw a beautiful I think they call them landscape canes. Is this something you could offer us someday. Please and Thank you

  13. Linda K., 30 September, 2011

    Cindy, this is an outstanding tutorial. I’ve already used bead cones with multiple strands of beads in the past, so I knew most of what you taught. It was nice to see that I’m doing it correctly, but you did teach me the benefit to doing a few things in a different order.

    The best thing about the video for me was the tip about the wire loop. Perfect!

  14. Tantesherry, 30 September, 2011

    Wow this tutorial is jam-packed with new and ingenious ideas and cool products.

    As of now I’m using the ‘tornado’ crimps because the other type usually brought me to tears (of frustration). They are kind of expensive being ss and all, but if I invested $20 of my bead selling money in this magic crimper tool it would probley work out better money wise, in the end.

    Ooops had to do a pre-edit, its hard to tell you what all I’m thankful for you showing on this tute w/o giving away the secrets— just know that you answered all my ?’s — and best of all you answered ones I didn’t know to ask :)

  15. pollyanna, 30 September, 2011

    Great tute as usual. Many good ideas and I liked how you explained the gravity question. Sometimes the simplest things give me the hardest times……lol.

  16. Elizabeth S., 30 September, 2011

    Awesome! Might just have to try to up my skill level and attempt some multi-strand necklaces. I’ve just never been successful at getting them to lay right but I now see some of what I’ve been doing wrong. Mostly, I haven’t been taking the time I need to hang and adjust the draping. Thanks for sharing the ratio you use, Diana. It will give me a better starting point.

  17. pattw35, 30 September, 2011

    AS an old time ( read 76 here) beader, this tute bought back the proper order to string things. That is a BIG plus, especially for new beaders. The tute is magical, right ? My mind is skipping all around, trying all sort of combos!!!! Isn’t it great to have a happy mind ? This always happens on Friday mornings LOL. We are so lucky to be members of such a inspiring site…………

    Jewelry and PC combine so well together. A Perfect match. The color choices are out there – you just have to grab what you like. Love it, love it, love it ……………………………………………………..

  18. Dixie Ann Scott, 30 September, 2011

    Cindy the bead cone tute was excellent. This is something I really had no idea how to do and one of the reason I didn’t want to deal with multi strand necklaces. I really like the bell caps you showed in the tute. Can you tell us where you got them? I loved the way you put the strands in order and how nice they lay.

    Just finished the butterfly pendant but didn’t have the Studio Ginko Cutter set. I printed out one of my embroidery designs of a Ginko leaf and layed it on the blended clay and uses a pin to poke holes all the way around the paper design and then cut it out with an exacto knife. I used the same tool to make all the lines on the wing and then rubbed very fine varigated glitter into the clay. I smoothed out all the edges and it turned out just gorgeous! I am going to post it on my blog later on if you have time to look. Since I have hundreds of printable embroidery designs I think I have found a veritable treasure trove of ideas that I can use in claying! Thanks again for another great tute! Dixie

  19. Angela M, 01 October, 2011

    Thank you to everyone who answered my questions, appreciate it.

    Thank you, Cindy, for this tute. It was very helpful to see it being done. Doug does a great job with the filming. I was able to see what you were doing so clearly that I felt like I was in the room with you and looking over your shoulder. And seeing how you worked that crimper – it was pure magic. I can tell you’ve done it many times before.

  20. Laurel Bielec, 02 October, 2011

    Hey Cindy: I actually make my own polymer clay bead cones. I do Viking Knit which pretty much always requires a bead cone/cap at the end of it. I got tired of always paying high prices for them and now that I make my own, I can also custom design them to go with the jewelry I make. Let me know if you want me to show you or anyone else how. They are a little trick, especially at first but well worth it. :) I could do a guest tutorial for you if you like.

  21. Tantesherry, 05 October, 2011

    Hi everyone, a quick note here– I posted a reply on the faux raku pt 2 page w/ word that I’d finished a necklace of red and black raku beads… (but I’m not seeing it on the most resent comments)

    I just wanted to say that I didn’t have that weird ‘can I — can’t I’ feeling when I decided to make the necklace a dbl stranded one by using bead cones. It is so wonderful to know how to do a technique and have the confidence to go about it. So once again Cindy :) Thank You !!

    ps-posted 2 pics at our FB page:
    1) Faux Raku Necklace
    2) Faux Raku Close Up

    ps2-got to use the edit button hehe :)

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