Blue Gingham Heart Shaped Beads For Valentines Jewelry Projects

Blue Gingham Heart Bead

A Unique Sliced Heart Bead That’s Simple To Make Using Polymer Clay Cane Slices:

Just like most of my ideas, this blue gingham heart shape bead came from experimentation. Playing with chunks of clay and ends of canes, seeing if I could come up with something new and different.

Since it is just a few weeks before Valentines Day, most crafters and beaders are thinking hearts. Heart pendants, heart charms and of course heart beads.

The other day I showed you a complicated heart shaped polymer clay pendant, complete with butterfly wings. Large, elaborate and time consuming to make.

Now I know that a lot of us polymer clay artists like to make these sorts of intricate clay projects. It’s kind of a challenge to see how far we can push the envelope, so to speak.

But are these ‘artistic statements’ what our customers really want to wear? I don’t know. One thing I have noticed is that I get a lot more compliments on the simple pieces I have made, than on the complicated ones.

Realizing this, I decided to try making a heart bead that was simple to make, simple in design, yet still cool to look at. So this is what I came up with.

To make this heart shaped bead I took a small piece of turquoise clay (it was on my desk) and rolled it into a ball. I then shaped it into a teardrop shape and sliced into the round end about a third. When the sliced portions were separated, the bead became a heart. Cool!

Thinking the design could still use some uniqueness, I saw the blue gingham cane sitting there. Starting over, I balled up the clay again and covered it in thin slices from the gingham cane. Then shaped and sliced the bead again to create the heart.

This time the effect was very cool. The slicing revealed the inside color of the heart bead and the cane provided a neat patterned contrast.

What a neat looking, simple, heart shaped bead! I Love it! Bet it could be incorporated into a jewelry pattern a lot easier than my winged heart could. And it was way faster to make, which means I can make a lot of them all at once.

I’ll probably keep making the more complicated ‘artistic statement’ pieces for myself, but will also include the more simple, more wearable pieces for my customers.

So tell me what do think? Complicated? or Simple? Which is better?

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Lietz, 27 January, 2009

    Do you like to create pieces more for the challenge or more for the wearability? I am curious!

  2. Adrienne lindsey, 28 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy, I enjoy making both kinds. But I think my favorite would be “creating for the challenge”. I find when depression hits me, just simple beads helps me to focus my energy much more quickly and then I can get more creative and tackle the more challenging types of clay work I enjoy.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 28 January, 2009

    I need a clear mind too when I create for a challenge. I am glad to hear that you make beads to help you out of depression. That is a very healthy way of dealing with it. Good for you!

  4. Anna Sabina, 07 February, 2009


  5. Cindy Lietz, 09 February, 2009

    That is so great Anna! I make the hole from the point of the heart up through the split in the center, but you could put the hole wear ever you like.

  6. Phaedrakat, 12 February, 2010

    I soooo love this gingham heart! Now that you have done a video on making these [Heart Shaped Beads for Valentine Jewelry], I just need to buckle down and make the gingham!

    (I’m still trying to find a Makin’s extruder, though. So, I’m going to have to make it with layers of clay, like a checkerboard cane, instead.)

    Cute, cute, cute!

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