Miniature Cupcake Beads | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Polymer Clay Cupcake BeadsVid #211: “Making miniature food jewelry is great fun! I have many people that look forward to my latest recipes.” ~Betty-B

Sometimes, good ideas come totally by accident!

In this case, it was my son 12 year old son Fisher who sheepishly came to me with a small piece of the living room lamp in his hands. I guess when he went to turn it on, the had knob broke clean off.

Knowing it was an old lamp, and that I could easily get a new knob for it, I was only slightly annoyed. Then, as I looked at it more carefully, the annoyance disappeared and I got excited. The broken part looked exactly like a cupcake bottom!

In the past I have made little cupcakes. But trying to get a consistent shape without a lot of fiddling, was a pain. So as a result I never did make many of them, even though they are totally cute and delicious looking.

I had seen little silicone cupcake molds online for around $6 each, which I figured would make the technique a lot easier to do. But it wasn’t until Fisher brought me that broken lamp knob that I figured out how to create my own cupcake molds. Flash! My creative light bulb went off!

What I love about this group is that inspiration jumps right out at you! I had absolutely no interest in making miniature food. But as a 6th birthday present for my great niece, she is spending a few days with me. She loves to paint with me and I thought I’d teach her about polymer clay too. It just hit me… making some simple miniatures with her could be a lot of fun. ~Linda-K

Anyway… To make a long story even longer, I made a bunch of mini cupcakes beads, and also came up with some really cool ways to have them looking scrumptiously delicious with various dreamy toppings.

I’m baking cupcake bottoms as I type. My polymer clay charms are turning out really cute and I love giving them as gifts. But I don’t like the flattened frosting. How do I make real looking whipped frosting? ~Radeane-F

What is the trick in doing realistic icing on miniature cupcakes? ~Wyne-E

I would like to ask you if you know any techniques on making realistic polymer clay icing/frosting for cupcakes? ~Yara-A

I really need your help. I want to make a frosting for a cupcake only I really don’t know how to make it. ~Samia-S

I got into making miniatures about 6 months ago. I had seen picture after picture of the fabulous mini cakes and thought I would give it a try. I have really enjoyed the challenge of making tiny things. Cindy, I really enjoy seeing what you do with clay regardless of what it is! Keep up the great work! ~Deborah-S

So for those of you who enjoy making miniature polymer clay treats… well, let’s just say you’re in for a treat with tomorrow’s Vol-038-2 video at the Polymer Clay Library (Friday July 8th, 2011).

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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-038-2 Cupcake Beads:

  • Screw on knob for lamps. After watching the video, check the lamps in your house for something comparable. If you don’t already have one, replacement knobs are easily found in the electrical department of your local hardware store for a couple of bucks. I was surprised to find they have not changed one bit in at least 30 years (our lamp is a vintage lamp). Even the color was identical!
  • Mold making material:

> Scrap Clay = OK (use water or cornstarch as mold release).
> Sculpey Mold Maker = BETTER

> 2 Part Silicone Putty = BEST

  • Polymer clay in cupcake color of your choice. For this tutorial I used the following colors:

> 5093 Ecru Premo Sculpey
> 5001 White Premo Sculpey
> 5527 White Translucent Premo Sculpey
> 5562 Ultramarine Blue Hue  Premo Sculpey
> 5513 Purple Premo Sculpey
> 5053 Burnt Umber Premo Sculpey

  • Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) or Sculpey Bake & Bond (optional).
  • No hole micro beads (optional).
  • Chalk pastels (optional).
  • Soft paintbrush and old stiff paintbrush (optional).
  • Aleene’s True Snow (optional).
  • Clay blade (optional).
  • Bead piercing pins and baking rack.
  • Tiny Phillips screwdriver – Star shaped head (optional).
  • Small Ziploc bag (optional).
  • Scissors (optional).
  • Sculpey Glossy Glaze or Future Floor Finish (optional).

The full version of the Vol-038-2 Cupcake Beads video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday July 8, 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.

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Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

Click Video Play Button

The full version of the “Cupcake Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-038 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Hi Cindy, I would hate to miss even one of the Friday videos. I am so grateful to have found your site and to have become a member. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the quality of the instruction you provide which is so packed with tips, information and encouragement. I wonder how you do it! And the videos are so professionally done! Although I did sign up for your beginners course (which was very helpful), I think anyone could pick up any lesson and be successful with it. And it continues to improve all the time. I was so flattered that you took my suggestion to list the supplies we need for the upcoming video, thank you so much! All that and personal attention to the blog, to our account problems, encouraging the growth of a new community… well I could gush on. Your site membership would be a bargain at twice the price (or more)! Most sincerely. ~Sue-W

Someone thinks $9.95 for three months is a rip off? My goodness. For what I have learned from these videos, I would pay that every month. ~Kathy-B

Cindy, thank you so much for the beginners courses. I wasn’t going to purchase it as I thought I was probably past that, but there is so much value in your videos that I couldn’t take a chance on missing something great. I’m so happy to find the answers to questions I hadn’t even thought of yet. The library videos and the blog are a gold mine of information. Thanks again. ~Rose-M

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Cupcake Beads video tutorial:

  • See several examples of miniature cupcake and muffin beads in a variety of styles and uses.
  • Discussion of the tools and techniques needed to create these adorable focal sculpted polymer clay beads.
  • Learn the tricks for getting that realistic, fresh baked and decorated look to cupcakes and muffins in all the yummy flavors of the real thing.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with your own unique jewelry designs using this stunning polymer clay bead design.

The full version of the “Cupcake Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-038 Back Issue Package.

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Comments

  1. Oh,yummy! these look so cute and I bet my gd would love a pair of earrings that look like cuppy cakes. Especially if there is some pink involved. :)

  2. Aren’t these cup cakes the cutest things ? I’ll be unscrewing a knob for this -teehee. I have a 14 yr gd who would love a necklace and earrings of cup cakes. They are all the rage, you know……….

    Again, I am not a cutsie person but, the birdhouses and now the cup cakes are on my list for sure. Thanks, Lietz team…………….

  3. Very cute Cindy – I’m not into food-related jewellery (unless it’s using spices as inclusions in trans clay!) but I know lots of other people will love this video so we’re all good. ;) I know I’ll learn something too, as I almost always do even with the videos that are about projects that aren’t to my own personal taste.

  4. Second week in a row I can’t watch the preview on my iPad. Guess I’ll have to wait till tomorrow. Looks cute!

  5. Well, wouldn’t these be darling as charms on the bookmarks from last week for girls and teens, especially? I could see those selling well…..maybe I will try my hand at that. Thanks, Cindy!

  6. Such a simple idea, but like all simple ideas, they turn out to be the best! I can just picture these on a charm bracelet, can’t wait! Thanks again Cindy!

  7. Mmmm these are making my mouth water. Been making mini cake slices and ice-cream cornets but really Cindy you must have been reading my mind as was trying to decide how to make the cup-cake bottoms. So really looking forward to tomorrows solution. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou :-)

  8. Anyone else missing the tute this morning? I eagerly opened my mailbox for my Friday morning fix and it wasn’t there. Could someone let me know if they received theirs? That way I will know if the problem is on my end. Thanks.
    Elizabeth

    • @Elizabeth S.: I have been getting my in the afternoon. But, this morning I got it! I was looking for the Thursday teaser to se if I could get the preview to work. So, I was surprised to get the full verion so soon. BTW, these are really cute! These will be so much fun to make!

      • @Catalina:Thanks Cat,
        Maybe mine is still coming-I’m not real good with this patience thing. I can get to it by going directly to the vid library-I just don’t want to miss any colors. thanks again for letting me know.
        E

    • @Elizabeth S.: I didn’t get mine in the email either. I went to the video library to watch it. I was a little disappointed that 3 minutes was spent telling us how to make a mold of something only Cindy had. :-(

      • So glad to hear the general consensus has been positive for this cupcake and muffin tute…. even for those of you who are not particularly into miniatures. As I hope you can see, I always try to provide some general polymer clay tips and tricks that still can be applied with other projects you may be working on.

        @Freda K: Sorry to hear that you are disappointed with this weeks lesson. If you read up above in the supplies list, you will see that the knobs are easily found in the electrical department of your hardware or big box store. And also, sarahwww kindly provided everyone with a link to where you can buy the lamp knobs at Grainger for $1.87 (pack of 2). I got mine at Canadian Tire (similar to Walmart or Target) for around $1. I bet if you look around your house you may even be able to a suitable alternative as well.

        Whenever possible, I always try to show you guys how to be resourceful by using cheap or free household items instead of always having to pay for expensive (in comparison) craft supplies? Now don’t get me wrong… you all should know that I’m definitely one of those people that LOVES to buy, get, be given any and all kinds of craft supplies. But… I’m also into saving money whenever possible ;-)

        Now in regards to receiving the Friday emails… I can’t stress this enough… Please make sure you “Whitelist” my contact information in your email program (see reference article link by my name above, for more info). With all the spammers on the internet these days, email deliverability is becoming more and more of an issue. When you absolutely want to be receiving email messages from someone (i.e. my Guest List newsletter with the complimentary B-series color recipes… or regular communications from anyone else for that matter), you MUST be proactive in following the “Approved Senders” or “Whitelisting” instructions posted by your specific email service provider.

        • @Cindy Lietz from Email Deliverability – Unfortunate Misunderstandings: Hi Cindy,

          Just want to say that in the long time I have been a member here I have never failed to receive a communication. May be today is just a fluke. Regarding your direction to be proactive in controlling approved senders, I do this fastidiously and there are no changes in this regard. Also checked the spam file to be sure that it had not been sent there. It had not. As I said, maybe today was just a fluke-I hope so as I so love receiving the guest letter each week.

  9. Just in case you don’t have a “Fisher” :) grainger.com/Grainger/Hardware-4TGX3?cm_sp=IO-_-IDP-_-RR_VTV70300505&cm_vc=IDPRRZ1

  10. What a fun piece……I think I could just make a circle mold and add the indents before baking. Yummy!!!

  11. Hi Cindy, thanks for the cupcake video. It’s amazing to me how many different skills you teach within 1 project.

    I don’t know if I will be making cupcakes anytime soon. I’m working on my sculptures. But I will use some of the new techniques that you taught in this lesson.

    You are a brilliant teacher. My work has improved by leaps and bounds since I “met” you. I think that one of the most important things that I am learning is that working in poly clay is really an art form. I knew that of course, but I’ve always been a little embarrassed about it.

    I’m almost done with my latest sculpture. I will send a picture. Your techniques are all over it!

    Thanks again, Cassie

  12. Would you believe it – I used the last of my silicone on making some other molds. Darn, I wish I had saved just a little bit. That would have been enough. Oh well, have to get more silicon, huh………….

    These will be great sellers during the holidaze….. Can’t wait to make some

  13. How did you get to be SO SMART?!!!

    Your muffins/cupcakes are delightful!

    Would a regular hardware store still carry that type of ON/OFF switch? None of the lights in my house have that type that I can cannibalize!

  14. Sarah..Thanks!!! They have all different sizes of those twist switches too. Also a quick look around led me to some tube medication twist offs….hmmm, might work. Just added depressions to the sides of the cupcate straight up and down, for me a tongue depressor fits the bill. Think though, I’d reverse and do the base first, then use the teardrop to finish.

    Still wish I could eat them, lol!

  15. Also, be careful for those out there who’s need to sample outweights smell (unless you added some)….you don’t need to pay for a chipped tooth. Needless to say, keep out of hands of drooling todlers.

  16. Those are sooo cute!! They look good enough to eat!! I’ve already checked my lamps and have the knob so I’m ready to cook up a batch. I’m going to make a set for my granddaughters. :)

  17. Hi Elizabeth S, et. all.
    I peroodically do not get the email. I re-enroll in the newsletter and it usually works. But, what to do about the one you missed? I also have a gmail account so I just sign up for the newsletter with the other account. If I don’t get it in one of the mail accounts, I get it in the other!

    Cindy, Those little bits of yummy stuff are so cute. I often wondered how to make icing. Although I am not a PC foodie, these would be so cute for a charm bracelet for my granddaughter.

  18. Ok. I originally put this future tute request on FB maybe no body saw it there and I also hate get off subject by putting it here but here goes. What does everyone think of a tute about using TLS as a paint type substance to make stained glass votives or glass. Also using TLS to make beads that look like blown glass beads; those beads with dots and lines. Does this make sense? I also have suggestions for color recipes but that can wait.

    • @Teresa D:Teresa, I replied to your post on facebook….you should check out Cindy’s tutorial on making polymer clay art sheets …if the clay was rolled thin enough you could easily cover votives and other items. I love this tutorial, it is one of my favorites. A lot of depth can be added to this technique ;). The art sheets turn out gorgeous…I would love a tutorial on making the faux lamp work beads. They are so pretty!

  19. Hunted in the bathroom cabinet and found an “essential oil bottle” the cap looks good to make a cup-cake mould from, also a toothpaste cap, so just waiting for my mould-making stuff to arrive.
    Has anyone used a star-shaped icing nozzle fixed with a rubber-band to the plastic baggie containing the “frosting”?? As a few years ago I used to do a lot of sugar-craft, cake decorating, thought I would give this a try next week.
    Cup cakes are really popular here in UK for weddings so thought charm bracelets would make ideal bridesmaids gifts for the tiny bridesmaids, matching the colour scheme of the wedding cakes.

  20. I concur with earlier member posts – any number of medicinal tubes will have a lid that will do the same job as Cindy’s knob. PC and craft supplies are very expensive in Australia so I have become very adept at finding things around the house to use and I always find endless uses for all kinds of packaging. My daughter and I used beer caps painted silver to make a flan and apple pie for her doll’s house in a similar way to this project and they came out great.

    I am just happy to have found a use for those holeless seed beads – Thanks Cindy!

  21. I bought some mini Reese’s and made a mold from them but then thought they were too big for earrings or a charm. Then I found a bottle of peppermint extract that was smaller and that was good. Then Elaine suggested toothpaste caps. The samples have very small lids. Now I have enough to make a graduated bead necklace. I know it will be a delicious piece of jewelry.

  22. I’m embarrassed to say that I commented on the tutorial and hadn’t read the ‘whole’ list of supplies. I started reading the list down too far and didn’t catch that Cindy told us where to find a knob like she used. Sorry about that.

  23. I just finished watching this week’s tut after a very busy weekend. Normally, when I see polymer clay jewelry that looks like food, I skip by it…but not if it’s something from our dear Cindy, because I always know that her tuts will be special.

    I’m just not a food-jewelry kind of girl, but wouldn’t a cupcake charm be just right on a bookhook? What if you were to buy a cookbook for someone as a gift and include a bookhook with one of those cupcake charms on it? NOW I’m excited about polymer clay food!

    • @Linda K.: That is thinking outside the box!! Of course, you can make book charms with cupcakes! I’m making a mini scrapebook, a class is available at Michaels to learn how, and I thought of making little book charms for some of the tags and little photo pull outs. Polymer clay and scrapbooking goes hand and hand! Just think of the little brads and embellishments you could make! I like to make the bead caps, Cindy did a video on a while back, and use them as little embellishments.
      So, Cindy, more food and little goodies please!! I love everything miniature!!

  24. Hi Cindy, I was trying to get the no hole bead to make blue berry cup cake, but I couldn’t find anywhere here in my city. What’s the name of dollar store ?
    Thanks.

    • @Dia H: Dia you could make your own, but it would take some time. Just roll out blueberry colored clay until it’s a very thin string, then pull uniform pieces off and roll. Tedious, but you’d have little blue berries.

    • @Dia H: Jocelyn has a good point. I did make some muffins with tiny balls of blue clay I baked first then mixed into the clay. That is definitely one way of doing it.

      I got my no hole beads at Dollarama here in Canada. But I have seen them before in Michaels. You may have to look in the scrapbooking section or where the glitters are.

      Another place that has them is meyer-imports.com Their quality is pretty high though, so the colors on their beads may not bleed and give that desirable blueberry look, but they would still look pretty good.

      Keep your eyes open. If you find them, do come back and let us know where. It is always helpful for everyone else when you do.

  25. @Cindy and Jocelyn, Thanks for your advices.
    I will try to look for them in Michael, and inform in forum if I find them. If not then I will make with blue clay.

  26. Hi all,

    I found micro-beads ( no hole beads) online.

    Here are the links :
    Etsy Store name : Moldsrus
    etsy.com/listing/78329108/sale-was-999-now699fake-sprinkles-lot

    And on Ebay :
    ebay.com/itm/M00301-MOREZMORE-Microbeads-Micro-No-Hole-Beads-10Color-/140338688013?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20acd6700d#ht_3354wt_924

    I think Ebay is better, they sell various colors.

  27. I bought this back issue series for the bookmark lesson, but of course I had to watch the others… the cupcake video was a delight!!! Several times I have thought that certain tutorials would not hold my interest, but I always end up enjoying them. None of Cindy’s videos have disappointed me yet.

    • Hi Judith, those tiny ‘beads’ are sometimes called microbeads or no-hole beads. They are often in the store beside the glitters. They are meant to glue on cards or projects. Martha Stewart sells them as well as several other companies. You can find them in the scrapbooking section at stores like Michaels. Hope that helps!

  28. Hi Cindy!

    I was wondering, with these cupcakes / muffins; do you just push the bead holer through before baking, or do you hand drill these?
    If before baking- do you find it easier to go downwards from the top of the cupcake or other?

    Thanks! :D

    • Hi Carrie, I usually put the hole in this bead when raw and start from the bottom, because it makes it easier to get it in the center. Hope that helps!

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