Faux Fossil Shell Beads – Perfect For Polymer Clay Beaded Pendants

Faux Fossil Shell Beads

Looking for a Unique Bead Shape To Add To Your Handmade Jewelry Designs?

Today I am excited to show you my new bead design. Inspired by ancient fossilized architecture, I’m calling them Faux Fossil Shells.

The reason I am so excited about this bead shape is because it is quick and easy to make. Plus it is so versatile for using in many different jewelry making projects including pendants, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches.

Made of polymer clay and antiqued with acrylic paint, these beads have an timeless feel to them. They mesh beautifully with aged copper, aged brass, oxidized silver and gunmetal wire and findings.

This isn’t just your typical, snake of clay rolled into a shell bead. Yes it does start off with a snake-like piece of polymer clay. But then the clay is tapered, texturized, sliced and rolled to create two faux fossil shell beads identical in size to each other. This is a very handy bead making technique for creating perfectly matched earring sets.

I’m thinking of putting together a video course on how to make these faux fossil shells and am wondering if there is any interest. Please give me some feedback, by leaving a comment below.

For some other unique bead examples, check out these pictures and articles:

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


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  1. Cheryl, 05 November, 2008

    Hi Cindy, I would love to learn how to make them, they are so cute. Cheryl

  2. Cindy Lietz@Piercing Holes in Beads, 06 November, 2008

    Thanks Cheryl! If more people like you are interested I will make a video course on how to make them.

  3. christine, 06 November, 2008

    I like these very much. I’m guessing, but they look like you made the shells, baked them, filed them to texture them after baking, them painted them and rubbed some of the paint off while they were still wet.

    You have me curious– I’m going to pull out my polymer clay this weekend me thinks..

    ~grin
    Christine :)

  4. rachel warren, 07 November, 2008

    cool! it sounds very interesting, but as a newbie I can’t quite visualize what you mean. Please do the tutorial and keep up the good work. We really do appreciate it.
    Rach x

  5. Cindy Lietz@Pillow Beads, 07 November, 2008

    @Christine: You’ve got most of it right, but the texturing is done before baking! Thank you for your interest!

    @Rachel: Thanks for your nice comment! I will probably be making a video course on how to do this bead shape, so stay tuned for that!

  6. Mary Ellen, 09 November, 2008

    Cindy, I wold like to see a tutorial of them………I was up last nite making pendants and remembered I bought these roller thingamajigs at the thrift store for baking..thinking they must make pie crust strips or something. They roll like a mincer but have 4 blades. Anyway I pulled them out and tried using the smaller one where the blades are closer together. I got so excited! When you roll it across the clay it makes perfect strips to wrap around pendants! I see them all the time, I think people are getting rid of them because it’s another gadget in the drawer you just don’t need. But it works great for us! I hope if everybody looks they can find one two! Mary Ellen

  7. Carol Cooper, 09 November, 2008

    These look awesome Cindy! I would be very interested in seeing a video.

  8. DARINDA BRADEN, 09 November, 2008

    Absolutely beautlful Cindy–especially the lighter one!!! DE BRADEN

  9. Adrienne lindsey, 10 November, 2008

    Really love the shape and the texturizing on the beads. This technique will come in handy.
    Thanks, Adrienne

  10. Illlaya Brown, 10 November, 2008

    This would be a winner to have in our technique collection, please do one.
    Blessings, Illaya

  11. Lupe Meter, 10 November, 2008

    These look great! I would definitely like to learn how to make these. I come across the fossils at the GEM shows but they are so expensive to buy, so if I could learn to make little replicas that would be fantastic. There are also a nice focal bead to add to your earth tone style beads, I think.
    Thanks,
    Lupe

  12. Peggy Dieu, 10 November, 2008

    I would love to learn to make them. Can’t wait to see the video!!

  13. Cindy Lietz@Polymer Clay Beads, 12 November, 2008

    @Mary Ellen: Those rollers are made for making linguine pasta noodles and they are an excellent idea for making strips of clay! Thank you so much for telling us about that!

    @Carol: Thank you, I am thinking of it!

    @Darinda: Thanks.. the light one is actually a bluish purple that is really pretty. The cool thing is these beads look great in any color!

    @Adrienne: Thank you for your comment!

    @Illaya: Thank you too!!

    @Lupe: Thanks! I’ve seen the real fossil beads too and although they are gorgeous they are expensive. My version is a more stylized version. Cool looking and way less expensive!

    @Peggy: I am hoping to put together the course soon! Thanks for commenting!

  14. Diana Philpott, 11 January, 2009

    I would love to learn how to make these beads. I have all kinds of smaller shells that I could use with these beads but haven’t been motivated to use them until now.

  15. Rita Reedy, 12 January, 2009

    Cindy, I love the stylized version of the ammonite shell. I have a few pieces with the real fossils, but would love to make some like these. I think they would look great with all sorts of metals. Thanks for your terrific instructions on so many wonderful techniques.

  16. Suanough Zentell, 12 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    Those fossil beads are great!

    I would love to learn your method for making them…

    Suanough

  17. Cindy Lietz@Fossil Bead Polymer Clay Tutorial, 13 January, 2009

    Thank you girls!

    For all of you that are members in the video library, this fossil shell bead tutorial will be released later this week… so stay tuned. If you would like to see a sneak preview clip, the link by my name will let take you to the page where you can do that.

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