Unlimited Bead Design Options from a Single Polymer Clay Cane

Polymer Clay Beads from Dogwood Cane “Please continue to demonstrate different ways to use beads, canes etc. for those among us who are design challenged.” ~Elizabeth-S

Did you know that when you make a flower cane from polymer clay, you aren’t restricted to making flower beads with it?

As today’s photo shows, there are several different styles of beads you can make from just a single flower cane. All of the beads in the picture were made from the Dogwood Flower Cane. There is a step by step video tutorial on how to make this cane in the Polymer Members Clay Library (Vol-016).

Before the full flower cane is assembled, the individual petal cane can be used on its own to wrap football shaped beads. Or you can cut thick slices from the petal cane to make wings for a unique butterfly pendant.

Sections of a flower cane can also be used for rolling swirly beads like the squared off lentil in the photo above. And of course the petals can also be combined with a center to create a full flower cane that can use to make elegant cane slice beads.

So as you can see, the possibilities are endless! Please share your cane stories below. I really want this blog to become your forum for bouncing around creative ideas with each other, rather than just me teaching you stuff. Feel free to let the conversations go where they may :-)

Thank you to all of the other members who have helped with my questions and concerns.  I feel like Cindy has made us all a part of a special little clay family where we can help each other. So I am sending all a special THANK YOU! Keep Claying. ~Peggy-B

I LOVE Cindy’s site because it’s so much more than instruction (which is excellent) but a community which I was sorely lacking. My coffee and I are here every morning to see the next dose of polyclay fabulousness. ~Melinda-H

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Melinda, 19 November, 2009

    I like to mix my canes… I match a flower cane or two with a geometric cane a lot!!!! I have many beads using a mod cane and a flower cane… I love the look of mixing organic and geometric.

  2. Helen Sperring (honeyclay), 20 November, 2009

    WOW!!!!…….This is a real pathetic looking blog. I don’t think I ever saw such an empty blog before. Well I can think of a few suggestions. I wanted to try to flatten wire because Cindy does a lot of that. I have no anvil. Is that what they call those metal blocks? I was going crazy trying to think of something to use. Finally, the lightbulb lit. I used my big hammer to put the wire on and my little hammer to bang it…………..IT WORKED…….. Another clever thing I thought of is……..I can’t remember what’s on the video’s , so now I print the video page and under the picture is a blank page, so I write the directions there. Maybe these suggestions will help someone else, and maybe this blog will look a little better. By, By, to ALL. Honey

  3. Marina Lomberg, 21 November, 2009

    Dear Cindy!

    Thank you for your videos – they are emazing and very clear and helpful!

    I wonder if you have some tutorial on the appropriate way for slicing the cane.

    I have some problem to slice the cane which doesn’t have plain edges, like flower cane, for example.

    Thank you a lot and best wishes,
    Marina from Netanya, Israel

  4. Cindy Lietz, 21 November, 2009

    @Marina – Welcome from Israel! There are lots of articles and tips here at the blog about slicing canes. To find them, use the search box at the top of the page with “cane slicing” as the keyword. Also if you did not already know, I create weekly video tutorials and at least one of the videos each month is to do with polymer clay canes. You can see a list of the back issue videos by clicking the link by my name.

    @Helen and Melinda – thanks for “kickstarting” this blog post by getting the comments started. I appreciate it. The more you guys share your ideas, the better this blog becomes as a polymer clay resource for everyone who visits. The information in these comments sections is often better than what I share in the main article. So please do keep those comments coming!

  5. Laurel, 23 November, 2009

    Oh, oh, oh, I am sooooo excited!! I finally did it. I made a couple canes. They weren’t this one but one is a flower petal and the other is a leaf. The flower petal came out different than the picture on the instructions but still pretty. The leaf one came out totally like it should. I am soooo proud. Finally, finally. And you all are so right. They are so fun. Now I have these little canes I can make all kinds of things with. I made a really cool pendant already. Yea!!

  6. Cindy Lietz, 23 November, 2009

    Oh Laurel, congratulations on making your first successful canes! I am very proud of you! Send me some pictures, I’d love to see how they turned out!

  7. Barb42, 02 December, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    I have been making lot of beads, and have tried a few canes (they are not turning out quite as nice as I like but, practice will improve that skill. My question is how do I make the holes for the beads straight. I have tried the was you show us but mine almost never are my bead hole straight. I start in the middle on one end but always end up on the other end off to the side.

    I love making the beads into jewlery. I also love doing the wire work. practice mostly with wire I get from the wiring job that Larry has left over. Also read on the site recently that we should bake the beads for an hour.

    Hope you have a good day. I have to go to work, can’t wait till I get back home to play with the clay.


  8. Cindy Lietz, 02 December, 2009

    Hi Barb! Glad to see you’re making lots of beads! Getting straight holes in your beads can be tricky. Here are a few pointers…

    – Use a straight bead piercing wire or needle. Even a slight bend will cause problems.
    – Put cornstarch, water or rubbing alcohol on your pin to help ease it in.
    – Make sure pin is clean and smooth. Sand if needed.
    – Start at one side and go in about have way, then flip bead and start from that side. Hopefully the two meet.
    – Twist pin or bead back and forth while pushing lightly. Just pushing hard can cause problems.
    – Try to pierce bead after it has cooled a bit. If it is all soft and mushy, you will distort the bead and the hole will probably be crooked.
    – Try to look straight down on the bead, instead of at an angle.
    – Practice on a piece of scrap clay until you get the hang of it. This will take the pressure off of making a mistake.

    Have fun and hope that helps!

  9. Nellie Jäkkö, 11 December, 2009

    Cindy do you have a tutor on working with cured polymer clay canes. What to do with these. How to work with polymer clay canes and polymer clay together. Nellie

  10. Cindy Lietz, 11 December, 2009

    Hi Nellie,

    Although I have published lots of video tutorials on various cane making techniques, I have not yet done anything specific on working with already cured canes. I will add it to the list.

    The link by my name will take you to the index page where all of my video tutorials are listed. You can scan through them to see if anything interests you.

    By the way, what country are you from? I’m always interested in hearing about how popular polymer clay is in the various regions around the world.

  11. Nellie Jäkkö, 12 December, 2009

    I am an importer for dolls houses and furniture and miniatures in Finland. I bought 5000 canes for my customers and want to give them ideas how to use these other than for slicing these for salads, cakes etc.
    Nellie from Finland

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