Clay Cane Leaf Beads for Making Handmade Jewelry from Polymer Clay

Leaf Cane Slice Beads

Create your own custom hand made beads for truly unique jewellry designs:

Just as the leaves on a tree give dimension, color and movement to it’s branches, polymer clay leaf beads can do the same for your jewellery making projects.

Pair them with a flower bead and glass accents for a garden inspired necklace… Or string your leaf beads on the ends of a beaded fringe bracelet.

What I love about making leaf shaped beads out of polymer clay canes, is the endless color combinations and designs you can create.

Clay cane colors can easily be customized by mixing your own polymer clay palette and then combining those colors into any assortment your creative mind can dream up.

Leaf bead patterns don’t always have to be created in greens either. Red and orange leaves are fantastic for Fall patterns. And blues, silvers and whites make stunning winter leaves.

You can also create realistic looking natural effects in your leave canes to mimic shading and veining. Leafy bead designs can be graphic and bold, or fine and detailed, depending on your own personal taste.

Several types of foliage can be modeled into clay canes from ferns, to holly, to ivy, to maple leaves. The sky is pretty much the limit.

Once you’ve designed an original leaf cane you can use it to make cane slice beads like the ones pictured above. Or use it to make several different types of polymer clay beads for jewelry making.

One option is to slice the leaf cane extremely thin, combine the slices with other flower canework and create a polymer clay ‘fabric’ or slab for backgrounds and pendants. This is the technique Elaine Robitaille used in her polymer clay necklace pictured in a previous post. If you look carefully at her flower-shaped, clay pendant design you will see she has included several leaf canes into her stunning art jewelry piece.

So… when you are making handmade jewelry and want to include unique leaf beads into the design, you should consider creating them yourself using polymer clay cane techniques. By making custom jewelry beads, you can be certain that your artistic jewelery creations will be truly one-of-a-kind.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Cindy Lietz, 19 July, 2008

    What is your favorite type of leaf? Do you think it would make a great clay cane design?

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Canes and Jewelry Bead Making

  2. Marsha, 25 July, 2008

    A few months ago I took a beginner polymer clay bead making class with a local artist and we quickly made a leaf cane similar to this one. It was just an overview and my cane was terrible. I’m looking forward to learning more about it and actually learning how to do it!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 29 July, 2008

    Looking forward to teaching you Marsha!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Slicing Fimo Nail Art Canes | Sculpey Polymer Clay Cake Toppers

  4. Jackie, 07 October, 2008

    New to polymer clay. Looking forward to your Millefore Video series. I am not sure the beginner series is for me I may be just a little beyond that. I am having trouble reducing my small canes. Perhaps I am just not patient enough. I make very small flower canes and the petals are coming out just a little distorted. I would also love to learn how to make a rose cane like the one Marsdesign makes. I have studied that cane over and over. Broke it down. It looks ok, but not as wonderful and her canes. They are so precise and no distortion of the pedals. What is the trick to make them so perfect? What class do you recommend I buy from you to make my flower canes as beautiful as Marsdesign from Israel are? Thinking the beginning series is too basic perhaps? Let me know, looking forward to your input. I use Kato clay at this time. Purchased some Premo but seems really soft and I read the new formula is having problems.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 07 October, 2008

    Hi Jackie,

    Welcome to the blog. When reducing canes it is important to have all the clays you are working with, at the same consistency. Hard clay moves slower than soft clay and a cane with both will distort easily.

    There are ways to fix the Premo you have to work well in canes, even though your package may be too soft. The beginner’s course shows techniques for firming soft clay and softening hard clay, which may be of some help for you.

    It is also important to make sure your cane has rested before reducing. This ensures the clay is the same temperature throughout the whole cane, and moves evenly.

    I will have some cane making courses ready soon. Hope this info was helpful for you.

  6. Jackie, 07 October, 2008

    Thanks Cindy. Looking forward to the Library and Millefore videos too. Perhaps I need to back up and take the basics.

  7. Sharon Doran, 14 March, 2009

    I have never ever made jewelery or used Clay of any kind, so the story is I want to learn to make Polymer Clay jewelery, etc.

    I am a beginner and I want to learn the right way and I want to be good at it. So, where do I start and what are the right books and DVDs I need to start with? Thank you for helping me with this.

    Sharon Doran

  8. Cindy Lietz, 14 March, 2009


    To answer your question about learning how to work with polymer clay the right way, I highly recommend my 39 part polymer clay basics course. It is the most complete and comprehensive beginners course on the web today, in full motion video. Plus, even after you complete the course, you have access to me here at the blog, to answer any questions you need extra help with.

    You can click the link by my name above to read some comments from students who have already taken the course.

    Or here is the direct link to the course info and order page beside my name link in the other comments further up on this page. One of the links says ‘Beginner Bead Making Primer Course’ and the other, “Polymer Clay Bead Making’. They both take you to the same page.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Sharon Doran, 14 March, 2009

    I can’t seem to get the info I need to get started. That is with the way to order , etc. Can the videos be copied to a Dvd for future watching. If so I can watch it on my portable DVD player in the work area.
    Sharon Doran

  10. Cindy Lietz, 14 March, 2009

    Hi Sharon – I see that your order was processed successfully for the Polymer Clay Basics Course. Welcome!

    In regards to being able to get the course on DVD, that is not possible at this time. I’ve had a number of others request it and am still evaluating the level of interest before going to the expense of making that option available.

    The link by my name above will take you to a “central” comment where I’ve compiled links to other places on this blog where there are ongoing discussions about DVD options.

  11. Pam B, 11 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy

    I think your course is excellent! I have learnt so much in such a short time. Your videos are very easy to follow – you explain everything in an easy to understand way. I look forward to Fridays as I’ve never done before!

    Thank you Cindy

    Kind regards,
    Pam Breakwell (UK)

  12. Cindy Lietz, 11 November, 2009


    Thank you so much for taking the time to write those very kind words. Sharing feedback like this really gives others great insight about what they can expect from the video tutorials. I truly appreciate your help.

    Very much looking forward to hearing more about how your beads and jewelry projects are coming along. Be sure to share your stories and/or ask questions at the blog if you need assistance with anything.

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