Halloween Pirate Cane Part-1 | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Pirate Cane - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #224: “For a future tutorial, I would love to see your famous pirate cane… arrrhh!” ~DJ

Ahoy Matey’s!!! Tis finally the hour, t’ be learnin’ me Pirate Cane!

So all ye scallywags who have be beggin’ fer ’tis tutorial can be grog-filled ‘n titulation that ye have finally got what ye asked fer!

OK, so I missed the deadline for getting this tutorial published in time for the official Talk Like A Pirate Day… but at least we made it in time for Halloween (though personally, pirate stuff works for me at anytime of the year).

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE CINDY when are we going to have a tute on your great PIRATE CANE? These would be just great for Halloween and you DID say you would teach us soon. ~Elaine-F

OOOOOooooo, I second the motion on a Pirate Bead Tutorial!! I’ve been dying to learn Cindy’s technique. I tried it myself and had sooooo much scrap clay by the time I finished. So, *begging nicely* Please, Please, Please Cindy, teach us the Pirate Bead Cane for Halloween. ~Lisa-W

With Halloween just around the corner I was wondering Cindy if you were going to teach us how to do the Pirate crossbones beads like you made for your lanyard? I loved it and would love to know how to do it. You talked about making a tut for it. Please, Please, Please?! Thanks. ~Kerri-C

This Pirate Cane is a signature cane for me. I never have been able to keep anything I’ve made with the pirate cane for very long. You may remember the story from a ways back, of my skull and crossbones beaded lanyard that I used for carrying my YMCA Membership Card… it sold right off my neck when I was taking a class there.

And if you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you may also remember this cool Pirate Beaded Bracelet and this Pirate Hemp Bracelet.

So… coming up tomorrow (Friday October 7th 2011) in the Vol-041-1 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I will be showing you how to make all the components of this quirky polymer clay Pirate Cane (Part 1). And in next week’s Part 2 (October 14th 2011), I’ll demonstrate how to put the whole thing together. Ye goin’ lust ’tis scurvy pirate cane!!!


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-041-1 Pirate Cane Part 1:

  • Polymer clay in the following colors:
    – 5001 White Premo Sculpey
    – 5042 Black Premo Sculpey
    – 5392 Raw Sienna Premo Sculpey
  • Pasta Machine
  • Acrylic Roller
  • Clay Blade
  • Ruler

Side Note: Not needed for the tutorial, but used in the bracelet that I show in the tute, is a gorgeous Handmade Textured and Patina Copper Clasp made by Melinda Orr of orrtec.etsy.com. If you’re looking for unique findings and metal supplies, do check her site out. Her stuff is gorgeous!

 The full version of the Vol-041-1 Pirate Cane Part 1 video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday October 7, 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.

Click Video Play Button

The full version of the “Pirate Cane” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-041 Back Issue Pckg.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I am always amazed at how you even simplify what on first glance seems to be a simple process. This is why you make the mistakes so I don’t have to… so worth the modest fee of your site. Thanks for so many great tutorials. It’s the high point of my weekend! ~Sue-W

I absolutely agree. I’m a teacher too and I can recognize good teaching. Cindy is the best teacher. I’ve watched a lot of other jewelry videos and read books but it makes a big difference watching Cindy. You can pause the video and actually go along with her. She makes things so simple and easy you simply get encouraged and motivated to try it out . And Doug’s photos are amazing – the clarity and angles. It’s certainly worth every cent and the cost is a real deal. I would encourage anyone to definitely sign on and buy the membership. I have bought the whole collection and I’m so glad I did. ~Cheryl-H

Hi all, I’m a bit of a newbie … so I just purchased some back issues … if there are any other newbies out there – seriously consider doing this – just when I think I know when the video is going Cindy does something completely different than I thought she would and it’s sooo much easier and it’s like – well duh. ~Desiree-J

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Halloween Pirate Cane Part 1 video tutorial:

  • See examples of canes, beads and jewelry projects using this super cool Pirate Cane Design.
  • Discussion of the tools, supplies and techniques needed to create this intermediate level cane.
  • Find out how simple it is to make this cool picture cane, if you just follow the step by step instructions.
  • Find out why this is such a forgiving cane, even if this is your first picture cane. With this cane, a little distortion only makes it better!
  • 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 “Pirate Cane” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-041 Back Issue Pckg.

*********************************** Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Pollyanna, 06 October, 2011

    At last!!! This will be a great one for the season.

  2. pattw35, 06 October, 2011

    How neat ! I think it would make good Beads of Courage. The boys never have as cute stuff as the girls. Our Guild makes LOTS of Beads of Courage, so……… If you are not familiar With this organization, they give beads to children with Cancer. The children choose a bead each time they have treatment, go into remission, have a procedure. It gives the kids something GOOD to look forward to. There are quite a few Hospitals in the States that honor Beads of Courage. So the pirates would have a good home and the boys would have stuff THEY like. Win win, huh !!!

  3. Linda K., 06 October, 2011

    I’ve honestly never been interested in pirate beads, but I could make them with pink and purple instead of raw sienna and black… hmm, that sounds like something I might need to do!

  4. Jeanne C., 06 October, 2011

    I’ve been making beads for the Beads of Courage program for over 2 years. Patt and I belong to the same PC guild, like she said our guild is very active in making beads for them. It’s such a wonderful and fun thing to do for them. It’s a great way to use up left over clay and canes!

    The pirate bead will be perfect!

  5. Tantesherry, 06 October, 2011

    Oh what spot on timing you have lately – my nephew Jason will be here in less than 2 weeks :)

    He’ll be 5 in Dec so maybe he is of an age to enjoy making something w/ tante (instead of just running scrap thru the machine :=) (big cheesey grin, stole it from a friend on facebook)

    Did I mention they all live in Germany (that’s want the tante stuff is all about) so we only get to see them about once a year–I’m not complaining-life and all, you guys understand

    I’m thinking pirate beads- with the cane already made—I’ll slice he’ll apply…fun times ahead

    Yay tomorrow

  6. Elaine Faulks, 06 October, 2011

    Well shiver me timbers. You’ve got to admire the Capt of this motley crew (who sail the good ship Polly Merr Clay. )

    This is better than a double helping of Grog.

    Have been confined to me hammock below decks for some time now but just had to haul meself on deck to say.

    Three cheers for Capt Cindy and Bosun Doug. Think I will have to send the youngsters clambling up to the crows nest to spot the first sight of Never Never Land.

    Yo ho ho, its straight on till morning. mates…….cheers xx

  7. Lisa Whitham, 06 October, 2011

    WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! Thank You Cindy!!!! I’ve been dying to learn this cane from you!!!

    Clay On!
    ~Lisa :) xo

  8. Kerri C., 06 October, 2011

    I have such a busy day tomorrow but I’m going to get up earlier to get everything done so I have time to watch. I am so excited!! Thank you for doing this tut for us. I am truly grateful.

    The 5th Friday video on organization has been so helpful. I bought my storage bins through Kmart.com and now all my stuff is getting better organized.

    Love everything you do!
    Kerri C.

  9. Emma A, 07 October, 2011

    Wow this Bead looks super cute! As someone who works with terminally ill children I would suggest considering if a skull and crossbones is a sensitive choice – but I love that you are using your art to cheer up kids in need. Perhaps a pattern cane in ‘masculine’ colirs? Keep up the good work

  10. Anna Sabina, 07 October, 2011

    You may have a mutiny because the Tute does not seem to be loading.

  11. Sarahwww, 07 October, 2011

    Of course as soon as I made an official “complaint” it came up. Thanks folks!!

  12. DJ, 07 October, 2011

    Yay, the pirate cane is here! Thanks Cindy for sharing this with us….really looking forward to the next part. Love the variations you’ve shown too, from gorgeous bracelet to funky lanyard. Another awesome tutorial once again!! We’re so spoiled =o)

  13. Phaedrakat, 08 October, 2011

    Yay! We’ve been admiring this cane forever! :D Thanks Cindy, and appreciation as well for the provided links (above.) I enjoyed looking back at some of those original pirate beads…the ones that made us BEG for this cane! Thanks everyone…I just love all the pirate talk…makes me smile. (I’m always a-grinning on “Talk Like a Pirate Day.”) I’d love to join in, but a sinus headache (please don’t let it be a sinus infection!) makes my head feel extra thick. Can’t really think with this pain. Anyway, I’m glad this cane tute’s here! It’s such a cute “Cindy-Original” design. This “Part 1” video is beyond-super simple; even beginners should have no problem. It’s basically preparation for the “real” magic — putting it together next week in part 2! At least, I assume that’s what’s coming next. (Uh-oh…you know what happens when you assume… –Well, at least, I do, LOL! Learned the hard way…) :D

  14. Dixie Ann Scott, 08 October, 2011

    Oh I just love this pirate cane. it is going to go so well with the embroidery designs I ordered from Urban Threads. Don’t know how soon I will get to any of it. I am so battered, bruised and crippled up from a woman running a red light last Sunday and totaled my car!
    Please, Please Please everyone! Don’t use a cell phone and drive.
    You want to be around to be able to create all these wonderful designs Cindy comes up with. I am just so thankful to be alive!

  15. Tantesherry, 09 October, 2011

    Oh my Dixie, so glad your some what ok after that. How scary–seems like my DH tells me every other day about someone texting and driving – last week it was a policeman of ALL people–anyway bless your heart and feel better soon, Sherry.

  16. Angela M., 09 October, 2011

    Oh Dixie, you poor thing! I’m so sorry to hear of your accident.

    I’ve had a few scares because of drivers using cell phones while driving. Personally, I think they out to be horse-whipped. I try to stay far away from them, if I see them. Trouble is, we don’t always see them, because they try to hide what they’re doing. They know they shouldn’t use and drive.

    I hope they had insurance so you can get another car. Also hoping you’ll be better soon. Sending healing thoughts your way :)

  17. Cindy Lietz, 09 October, 2011

    Dixie, that is awful! I am so glad that you’re OK. Heal quickly. We need you around here!

    They recently passed a law here in British Columbia, making it illegal to use any hand held devices while driving. The fine is $2000 I think, but I still see people doing it all the time. A lot less than I use to mind you, because most people switched to the Bluetooth thingies, but still quite a few.

    It is really too bad that more people don’t have their priorities straight. If the call was that important to make/take then surely it would be worth the 5 minutes to pull over and talk at the side of the road… it would be A LOT faster than dealing with an accident, working to pay for the costs of it, healing from the injuries or the lifetime loss if someone gets killed. Sometimes I just wish people would use their heads!

  18. Joyce Folsom, 09 October, 2011

    Oh my Dixie, so sorry to hear of your accident. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a swift recovery. As elsewhere, here in Florida we have so many drivers that just don’t reliaze the possible consequences of their trying to “save time” and are proud of their multitasking, never mind running lights. We also have an influx of “winter visitors” that we call “snowbirds” here and it is best to be an early riser for shopping and other road travels.

    Hopefully you will feel up to chimming in anytime. Looking forward to hearing that you are on the mend soon.

    Hugs and prayers,

  19. Pollyanna, 09 October, 2011

    Dixie, I’ll add my hopes for a speedy recovery also. What a terrible ordeal for you.

  20. Phaedrakat, 20 October, 2011

    Oh, Dixie! I am so sorry to hear about your accident. I sincerely hope you’re able to heal quickly, and that you have no long-term damage from your injuries. (From personal experience — make sure you do every bit of physical therapy you can to prevent problems later on!) It’s hard to believe there’s anyone out there who hasn’t “got the message” about the dangers of cell phone usage while driving. Which means people do it anyway…knowing they could hurt someone. I hope your message here reminds people, who in turn remind their friends & family, to stay off the phone while driving. My thoughts & prayers are with you for a speedy recovery. I also wish you the best outcome regarding your car — what a messy (& irritating?) situation!

  21. Natalie H, 09 October, 2011

    Hi Cindy
    I used your cookie mold tut using some mini clay cutters that I bought with 50% off coupon at Michaels. I used the christmas tree- done in green and my round cutter using pearl red. Cutting the outer cane to insert the tree worked great. I just have to work on my reducing technique. (Donna Kato reduces differently) I used your technique. I did not reduce it fully because I am not sure what I want to make with it. One end looks ok but the other side is a little distorted. I have not cut off the ends yet to check the inside… waiting until I decide what I want to make.
    Since there were no mini clay cutter for any Jewish Holidays.. can you do a tut in the near future for us of the Jewish faith. eg. Jewish Star , torahs, menorah. etc. If you need some ideas just let me know.
    I did some aurora canes… how do I send the pictures. I used a glitter blue as one of the colors and it came out great…I even used the discarded pieces for a really usual pendant.

  22. Natalie H, 09 October, 2011

    I’m glad that you are going to be ok.. Your right about the cell phone..even with hands free( it going through the car radio) can be a distraction. I try never to answer the phone while I am driving. If I need to make a call, I try to pull over some where safe and make the call.
    Get well soon

  23. Natalie H, 09 October, 2011

    Love the skull and cross bones…Maybe that same technique can be used to make a menorah for Hannakah.

  24. Angela M., 09 October, 2011

    Hi Cindy.

    I enjoyed this pirate tute. Looking forward to next Friday’s finale. I’ve got a special guy friend who is all about pirates and I think a macrame and pirate bead wristband would be perfect for him.

    I watched several of your other tutes today. Prior to that, I watched a number of tutes on Youtube, most from ‘professionals’. Once again, I am impressed with the quality of yours – direct and to the point instructions, great camera work, clear sound, good lighting, uber friendliness – I could go on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent and I wish I had found you way sooner. It would have made the learning process so much easier for me.

    Thank you for all you do and have a great day :)

  25. Dixie Ann Scott, 11 October, 2011

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I am in a big world of hurt right now and can’t do a whole lot so am watching Cindys tutes of past and present to keep my mind off the pain. The doctor is going to see if I can tolerate PT in a couple of weeks. I am so
    anxious to get back to my projects but know it is going to take time.
    I just love that pirate cane and what a great idea to use glow in the dark premo Natalie! I didn’t know there was such a product….That is definetly going on my list!

  26. Dixie Ann Scott, 11 October, 2011

    Thanks for the heads up on the glow in the dark Cindy…I hope I can find some in Sculpy III at Michaels. My son is coming home to stay with me for a week so I will send him over there to get some. ;=)

  27. Dixie Ann Scott, 12 October, 2011

    Joyce, that would be awesome! I am in Iowa. I will gladly reimburse you for postage. Such a sweet lady you are!

  28. Dixie Ann Scott, 12 October, 2011

    Thank you Cindy, I still don’t understand a lot of what goes on
    on the web but I sure am glad your looking out for me! No I don’t want any more spam! I have notified Joyce. What a great clay buddy.

  29. Natalie H, 17 October, 2011

    Hi Cindy
    Fimo makes a glow in the dark polymer clay. Can this be used with the Premo or would there be a problem with the baking?

  30. Peggy Barnes, 17 October, 2011

    Dixie sorry to hear about your misfortune. So many drive while doing other things, they are just not thinking. Drinking and driving being the worse. While I will never understand why anyone who has been picked up for drinking and driving gets to keep or later get their license back. Now the horrible deaths and injuries from texting and driving or talking and driving. Cell phones have there place just not while driving. Just know you are in my prayers for a speedy recovery.

    I also live in Iowa, Southeast Iowa. Born and lived here all my life. As I love to travel and have favorite places to visit, Iowa is my favorite place to be. Is there any chance you live anywhere close to Fort Madison, Iowa. My husband and I have a small acreage North of Fort Madison. I would love to have a clay friend near by.

  31. Dixie Ann Scott, 17 October, 2011

    Thank you Peggy for your best wishes. I’m sorry I don’t live closer to you, Cedar Rapids is my home. I don’t know of anyone close to me that works with Clay either but I have met so many nice folks here on Cindys blog I feel like part of a big clay family.

  32. Peggy Barnes, 17 October, 2011

    I just got a chance to watch the last 2 tutes and as always spectacular. The pirate cane is another chance to challenge our creativity. You always have us reaching for the stars Cindy and with your guidance you make it a possibility. Thanks to you and Doug once again you send my mind a twirling with ideas. Thanks for all you guys give to us.

  33. Dixie Ann Scott, 20 October, 2011

    Thanks Phaedrakat for your good wishes. Am doing better and start therapy next week. I must confess I am really enjoying this down time (not the pain) but watching the tutes and learning how to do the canes which has not been my strong point. I finally had a break through and got the first flower cane done and it looks good! Cindy does such a great job explaining things and I never get tired of watching her tutorials. Thanks to Joyce Folsom who sent me some glow in the dark premo, I can now attempt to make the pirate cane. They don’t carry it here at Michaels. My son did help me find another car…a Ford Fusion but am scared to drive anywhere right now. It sure is hard to get back behind the wheel but eventually will have to do it. Right now I am just enjoying the clay play!

  34. Pauline Duke, 29 January, 2012

    Hello Cindy and Doug first, I truly admire the entire setup that you both share with this Polymer Clay Community. I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have been receiving your Newsletter Cindy since November 2009, but I have finally gotten the courage to join the full membership this January of 2012. I have been on Disability since December of 1998, I have not worked at a job since. Staying at home has not been my forte, and that is when I discovered by accident, the wonderful world of Color and Polymer Clays. This material has given me a reason to get up and try to forget the many medical labels they have applied to “my conditions”. It gives me a reason to fade away in thoughts wondering how this would look like together? ….or I wonder how to make….? All of you here know the silent daydreams of the art world. I have been dabbling on and off since 2002, mostly self taught from reading on the internet. I did join a NH Polymer Clay Guild for a few years, learned a lot, but needed to stop driving at night (my eyes).
    I was reading your blog regarding the beads of courage, our Guild was involved in the Bottles of Hope program which I had the great experience to deliver several batches of decorated Bottles to the Cancer Treatment Section of my local Hospital. It was so humbling to me when I thought I was having a bad day, to go there and see patients dealing with so much more.
    Forgive me, I have a hard time staying on one topic, hard to concentrate.
    Reason for my note today, thank you Cindy and Doug for the work that you do for all of us. We at least I speak for myself – do appreciate it! I am looking forward to learning more with all of you……better known locally as MountainMaMaDuke.

  35. Elaine Faulks, 31 January, 2012

    Hi MountainMaMaDuke (Pauline) Welcome from us all.

    It takes a certain courage to take the plunge and become a member, especially if you don’t swim ha ha.

    No seriously, I know you are going to love Cindy’s style of teaching and Doug’s expert filming. My kids (grown-up) still call me MaMaBead.

    Ooops, just smelt the dinner burning so will just say TTFN and enjoy these very theraputic sessions………………….Cheersxx

  36. Mary S, 15 February, 2012

    Hi to Cindy and Doug. I am impressed with how this community is set up. I have belonged to a couple of others in the past, but, none as nice as this. I LOVE the tutorials! I just started out tonite with getting the skull and crossbone tute. After seeing how well it was made, I said the heck with it and joined as a member =D It is nice to belong to a polymer clay group again. There is a real sense of community here =D It will be nice to be a part of that again. I am looking forward to future tutorials. I briefly saw the one on the celtic heart. I can’t wait to try that one out! It will have to wait until I make the skull and crossbone one first =D I found polymer clay a long time ago. It’s been so long, I can’t really remember how long,,memory problems LOL Being disabled, it’s really helped me to keep grounded, and to take my mind off the things I have to deal with on a daily basis.

    I had to take some time off due to the illnesses I have, along with several elbow surgeries, but, I am now back at it, and can’t wait to make this skull and crossbone cane. I portray a pirate with a reenactment group in NH. I am going to make beads for each person in the group and attach them to a wine glass tag so they can attach them to their gun cases. I am also going to personalize each one. I had a question regarding color. If I wanted to make a black and white skull and crossbone. Would I just wrap the black around the white or, would I go ahead and make the skinner plug using the black and white? I am going to make a pink one as well for one of the pirates in our group that dresses in black and hot pink LOL

    Once again, thanks so much for all you do!

    Mary aka Black Dog Mary Steel

  37. Mary S, 17 February, 2012

    Hey Dixie Ann and Kat,
    Thanks for the welcome =D I found the page on FB =D I already liked it, so I can keep up with all the great pix! I am going to have to try the Glow in the Dark idea =D I have some left over, and didn’t know what to do with it. Now, I think I will have to add that into the multiple colors that I am going to use.

    @ Kat…I always look forward to talk like a pirate day!! It’s so much fun! I don’t have to wait a whole year, as we do a lot of different events while the Renaissance Faire season ends. I also do b-day parties for kids, and after sitting here, I think I am going to make a few extra charms up, and make something from them to pass out to the kids! I even dress up my poor Service Dog as a pirate. Not sure he likes it much, but, he is a good sport about it LOL

    I am really looking forward to getting my hands wet again. It will be a nice quiet weekend creating all kinds of things I think =D

    Mary & Service Dog Lord Corvus *woof*

  38. Stephanie M, 21 September, 2013

    Hi Cindy,

    I’d just like to say that I’m totally new to polymer clay & am finding your tutorials invaluable!

    Here is a pic of how my pirate cane turned out.

    06-Stephanie Mcinnes-skull And Crossbones

    It was the 2nd thing I attempted after the Owl Charm (which was my very fav!). It’s nowhere as good as your one of course & it went a bit wrong on the end of the bones…. but I’m very happy with it :-)

    Many Thanks

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials