How Difficult is it to Make Memorial Jewelry Using Polymer Clay?

Polymer Clay Dried Flower Inclusion Technique “I have heard you can use polymer clay with dried flowers to preserve a memory… would appreciate any advise.” ~Jan-R

Although I’ve written about this memorial beads topic quite a few times over the last couple of years, questions continue to come in regularly with requests for more information. I’m happy to answer them. The following are the two most recent emails which I’ll respond to in today’s article.

Hey Cindy, just got a bracelet from the roses from my mom’s funeral and it was beautiful. My niece had to send them to another state to get them done. I would love to start my own business but I don’t have a clue how to do that kind of work. Is it possible that I could do it or is it very hard to do? Thanks, ~Martha-B

Cindy, I have heard you can use polymer clay with dried flowers to preserve a memory. I would like to preserve the rose petals from my mothers funeral but I don’t know where to start. I would like to make some type of bead that I could make into jewelry. I do have experience making beaded jewelry. I would appreciate any advise or web page to go to. Thank you so much. ~Jan-R

Martha – I’m so happy to hear that you saved the roses from your mom’s funeral, and that you were able to get a bracelet made from them. Making memorial jewelry using dried flower petals is a wonderful way to remember loved ones. Actually quite a few of the members here have created small businesses in their local areas, based on this unique idea. So you are definitely on the right track if it something that you would like to do as well.

Jan – With your experience in making beaded jewelry, you already have a head start, which is great! By the way, my sincere condolences go out to both you and Martha. May the memories of your mom’s last forever in spirit, and in your hearts.

The techniques you’ll need to learn for making polymer clay flower petal beads are not difficult at all, especially with the way I teach :-)  … The following link will take you to a recent article which includes some feedback about my easy-to-follow teaching methods: Making Polymer Clay Beads

If you have never worked with polymer clay before, then the place to start is with the beginners course. It will get you up to speed quickly, with everything you need to know, no matter which direction you end up going with polymer clay. Comments from students who have already taken this course, are posted here: Polymer Clay Beginners Course Feedback

Then, once you have gone through the beginners course, or if you already know all about polymer clay basics, the next step would be to head over to the members library. There is a back issue video that will show you exactly how to do dried flower polymer clay inclusions [Video 003-2: Flower Petal Inclusion Technique For Making Keepsake Jewelry Beads].

In regards to drying the actual flower petals prior to making the polymer clay beads, I like to use the microwave. You lay the petals in a single layer on a a couple layers of paper towel, topped with a few more sheets of paper towel. This will help draw the moisture away from the petals.

Bake on high in your microwave for 1 minute. Then check them. The paper towels will get damp and the petals will start to get dry and crispy. Keep micro waving in 1 minute intervals until all the petals are dry. Check for hot spots and don’t burn them.

This microwave method works faster and there is less fading than if you air dry them. But if you have a lot of petals, like you would if you did it as a business, then you may want to use another method.

Finally, here is a list of other resources that may be helpful for you:

Since this site is quite large, I’ve probably missed a few references. So to find even more information, be sure to also use the search box at the top of the page with keywords like memorial, keepsake, dried flowers, etc.

Hope this info was helpful. If you have any follow up questions, simply post them in the comment section below and I will be happy to respond.

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Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


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Comments

  1. Thanks for the refresher, Cindy. I tried the inclusion beads a long time ago but my beads ended up dark and ugly so I haven’t tried since. I’m excited to attempt them again using the microwave drying method which I didn’t before.
    .

  2. Elizabeth,

    I use the microwave method and it does work,I put in a paper towel, then scatter rose petals over it and cover with another paper towel.. put on 1 min I check them put on another min. I then leave the door open so the moisture can get out about 30 min or so.. check your petals, they should be cool and starting to be brittle. Just repeat.

    Why its done this way so you can watch them as they dry.
    If you just put them at like 4 min depending on the petal and how much moisture is in them they will start to burn.

    • @michelle: Thanks! I appreciate the detailed instructions and can’t wait to try this again. I was so disappointed when I tried them the last time and they looked nothing like Cindy’s. Now I have step-by-step instructions to follow next time I dry petals.

  3. A friend of mine makes handmade soap, and she got some dried rose and calendula petals free last time she ordered supplies, big bags of them.

    So of course since I love inclusions so much I got her to give me a little of each to use in beads.

    The beads came out nice, very natural-looking and pretty. The red rose petals made the bead pinker than I expected – I’ve seen some pics of rose beads and they often seem to look brown (which is also nice). The calendula beads came out very pale, next time I’ll use more petals I think.

    I also tried adding essential oils to the clay so the beads would have a scent, but although the raw clay smelled wonderful, once it was baked and sanded the smell almost completely vanished.

  4. Cindy, I’ve been watching your tutorial videos I had ordered just last night, and I had to stop midway to say THANK YOU! I’ve been beading for a few years now, but started with polymer clay only a few days ago. As you can imagine, I’ve been feeling like a babe lost in the woods! But your very detailed explanations and clear, close-up video instructions have taken away my fear of getting started. It’s like I’ve hit a gold mine!!! Thank you so much!!!

    Your eternal fan.

  5. Thanks everyone for adding your tips and ideas to this thread. Hopefully this information was helpful for Martha-B and Jan-R. It would be great to hear from the two of you as to how things work out with your memorial bead projects.

    And Melek… you are a sweetheart! Thank you so much for posting those very kind words. Sharing information publicly like this is really helpful for others when they are deciding if my video tutorials might be right for them too. I’m really looking forward to hearing more about how your polymer clay projects are coming along.

    Happy Holidays everyone!!!!

  6. Hi Cindy, Merry Xmas

    thank you so much for your comments I love blogging as it brings everyone all over the world so close.

    Yes I had thought of that and give a typed card with the meaning of the book bead and so far my friends have loved that .

    Thanks for the thought about it.

    See you in the New Year

    Bye and Loads of Love

    XXXX

    Elizabeth

  7. Hellooooo Cindy! I’ve been meaning to write to you to let you know how much I’ve enjoy your videos. I’m a beginner with clay, and am having so much fun!!! I have purchased Volume 1 and look forward to your future videos and to learning more! Thanks for making them available. Julie Wooding

  8. @Elizabeth – Well it’s the new year as I write this so it looks like we made it :-) … loads of love right back atcha.

    @Julie – You are very welcome. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it. Please keep us all updated with your progress.

  9. I have cooked my rose petals down a couple of times. I cannot find non bake clay. Can I mix rose petal dough with premo sculpey oven bake clay. Theses are flowers from a special love ones funeral. Wanting to make beads for a necklace. I did purchase your kindle book I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    • Hi Kim. I have never tried adding cooked rose petals to polymer clay before only dried ones. You could try and dry your mixture out somehow and add a little to a test batch to see if it works. I can’t guarantee it will work but it would be worth trying. Let me know how it goes!

      • I wanted to let everyone know that I added my rose petal dough with the premo sculpey oven bake clay and it worked perfectly. I cooked my rose petals down trying to get as much of the water out of them as possible. The I added about 50/50 premo clay and rose petal dough. I used white and clear sparkle premo and the rose petal dough and I ended up with lavender speckled beads. I baked as instructed and they are beautiful memorial beads

        • That is really cool Kim! I had no idea whether the cooked petals and the polymer clay would ‘play nicely’ or not. Thank you so much for coming back here and telling us about your experiments. There is so much we can all learn from each other… and today you taught me something new!

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