Apple and Pear Polymer Clay Beads with Leaf Shaped Copper Bails

Apple Pear Bead Copper Findings

Creative Ideas For Dangling Your Beads:

A fun idea for adding custom jewelry findings to your apple beads or Anjou pear fruit beads, is to bend some copper wire headpins into leaf or stem shapes. This adds character to your pieces that your customers will absolutely love.

The little leaf bails in the photo above were very quick to make. I used a small flame torch to make some headpins out of copper wire, with a little ball on the end so the bead doesn’t slip off the end. After the fruit bead was slipped onto the head pin, the top of the pin was bent with a chain nosed pliers to make the leaf shape.

You can’t actually see the balled heads of the pins in the photo, because they are hidden underneath the apple and pear beads. But they do a nice job of helping to define the area where you would normally see the blossom formation in a piece of real fruit.

By the way, you could also use any style of commercially made headpins as an alternative to making them yourself, as I did with my torch.

These beads can now dangle nicely on a jump ring, a small chain or a pair of ear wires. The apple and pear combo even look cute paired together as a mismatched set of summer or fall earrings.

In the past I have added some wire working and hammered copper tutorial content to the members library. I’d be happy to add more if you are interested. If so, let me know specifically what you would like to see. Topics… frequency… that sort of thing. This site is all about what works best for you guys.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. sarahwww, 06 August, 2009

    Cute, cute, cute!
    Love to see wire work and the “how-to”

  2. Joyce, 06 August, 2009

    How cute, would love to see the wire working “how to” also.

  3. Melinda, 06 August, 2009

    So you hardened the wire with a torch? Is that what I’m understanding. They are very pretty. I’m working on some copper right now and I’m having an issue getting it to flatten…as I pound it, it gets harder with dents in it but it’s still in a fairly round shape, not flattening out like your beautiful work. Is there something I’m doing wrong?

  4. Laurel, 06 August, 2009


    What type of hammer are you using? It really needs to have a flat, unmarred head to get a flat, smooth wire. Also, I “recenlty” learned, that you should do gentle taps, not big ‘ole whams (like I had been doing). Not as much fun as whacking away but more effective, less damaging and easier to control. :)

  5. Ken H., 06 August, 2009

    Yes, I would like to see some more wire working, Maybe after a few bead tutorials show some ideas on how the beads might be “set” with findings. Are they the green ones from the tutorial or did you make a yellow version?

  6. aims, 06 August, 2009

    I too am interested in wireworking Cindy. Wrapping or making bezels for the beads in different ways would be interesting.

  7. Arlene Harrison, 06 August, 2009

    Count me in on the “YES, PLEASE” column for anything to do with working with wire with the beads. I’m learning, slowly but surely, but haven’t gotten much beyond the bare basics — in other words, I make a mean earring but did you notice that I used ribbon for the copper hookmark? There was a reason for that!!! (BIG GRIN)

  8. Cindy Lietz, 06 August, 2009

    Good to know that you’re interested in wire working combined with polymer clay beads. I will make sure to add tutes from time to time.

    @Melinda: I edited the post above to explain the process a little better. I don’t actually use the torch to make the leaf, just to make the headpin. Hope that make more sense to you.

    About the hammer… There are special hammers meant for jewelry making with lovely polished smooth surfaces for hammering without leaving dents. They are called “chasing hammers’. If you don’t have one of these, then the best bet is to purposely put dints in the metal so it doesn’t matter if you scratch or dent your wire.

    If you don’t want dents and don’t want to buy the special hammer, you can wrap the hammer head with a piece of denim or leather and secure with a rubber band. This will help protect the wire from scratches and dents. It will work in a pinch.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 06 August, 2009

    Sorry Ken I just realized I missed what you said. Those are the same green beads I did in the demo. Probably a combo of the Butterscotch ink on them and the way the light hits them, makes them look more yellow than before.

  10. Polyanya, 07 August, 2009

    Lovely idea Cindy, did you hand sand these or put them through the tumbler?

  11. Melinda, 07 August, 2009

    I have a hammer that’s similar to yours that you used in the tutorial where you made the copper findings, however I’m still having a problem flattening out the copper but it might have something to do with my choice of a metal block… the only thing I had was an old flat squarish frying pan and perhaps I just don’t have it secure enough on the surface to get a flattening effect. I actually like the little dents it’s putting in the copper wire. I just wish I could flattening it out more… perhaps I’m also just not patient enough and it takes more time.

  12. Jocelyn, 08 August, 2009

    Love these little fruit. For the hand torch mentioned, does anyone have good sites and models to share? Looks like fun!

  13. Cindy Lietz, 12 August, 2009

    @Polyanya: I hand sanded before inking.

    @Melinda: You need to hammer with the flat side first then with the round end. Hold the handle closer to the end so it has more power when you hit with it. Looks like I will have to have more hammered wire technique videos in the future.

    @Jocelyn: I just used a propane torch that Doug had for soldering the plumbing joints. There are little butane torches at Walmart that would work for about $20 – $30.

  14. Ken H., 12 August, 2009

    I’d be especially up for learning how to make the head pins with the torch. :)

  15. Polyanya, 12 August, 2009

    Yes me too and I’ve been hammering copper today (on a stone!) and have made little dents, but they seem to have gone after I sanded with 200 and then 1000 wet and dry – the clasps are oxidizing now.

  16. Melinda, 13 August, 2009

    I finally figured out what my issue with the copper hammering is: It’s the surface I’m hammering on. It’s not hard or sturdy enough. I figured it out because of my best friend (who is very hasty and never afraid to make a mistake). She grabbed my piece of wire that I was lamenting over and before I could say anything, took it outside to the patio and whacked it a couple times on the cement with the hammer. It was fabulously flat on one side… the other side was well…. more like cement, even with some pieces of cement embedded in it but it definitely “cemented” these ideas into my head that:
    1. It is indeed possible to hammer copper (which I was beginning to believe was a elaborate myth)
    2. It is my surface I need to change and I’m looking into that as I write.
    3. Another person rummaging around in the “studio” is often times an asset.

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