Collection of Lentil Bead Making Tutorial Videos All In One Place

Lentil Swirly Beads

The Jewelry Bead that’s Super Fun to Wear and Very Addictive to Make:

A bead shape I haven’t talked about in awhile, though I truly love the design of, is the lentil bead. Often refereed to by polymer clay artists as the swirly lentil, this bead shape is named after the lentil pea or bean, commonly used for soup making.

The shape of the lentil bead is circular with a dome’d face and back. What is particularly wonderful about polymer clay lentil beads is the fabulous swirl pattern that is created during the process of rolling the bead.

Polymer clay lentil bead rolling is so fun that most clayers get kind of addicted to the process, and end up swirling lentil beads out of almost every bit of clay within reach!

When I first saw this technique I thought, “What could be so addictive?” Then I realized, “Oh, that’s how you do the swirl.” Then I tried it. Ok, I admit it. I’m hooked! This has got to be one of the simplest techniques but the result looks so impressive. I lentil-ed a buncho fimo clay this weekend! Thanks Cindy. ~Cynister

Thank you so much for showing us how to make these. I love these beads and they are my favorite as well. ~Lori

Yes, they are VERY addictive!!!! ~Steph

Thank you Cindy! This is truly an addicting technique! ~Maria

If you have never made a lentil bead before, you will be pleased to know they are not that difficult to make. All you need to roll them is some clay and a flat piece of acrylic plexiglas or plastic. A clear cd case can even work for this.

Lentils can be rolled in any color combination. You can start with clay sliced from a polymer cane. Or use a piece of marbled clay. Scraps even work well for making wonderful lentil swirly bead designs.

Rolling a good Lentil Bead is such an important fundamental bead making skill to learn, that when I launched the Polymer Clay Members Library back in Fall 2008, the very first video in Volume-001 was all about making these unique beads.

There are so many cool tricks to rolling a polymer clay lentil that are best explained using video demonstrations. Such as…

  • The correct angle to hold your hands and how much pressure to apply so that your beads end up looking like round lentils instead of oval ones.
  • Techniques for ending up with more of a bicone look instead of the smoothed-over dome shape of the lentils. Easy to show on video. Much more difficult to describe in words.
  • Which direction to keep the bead spinning in, so that the swirl design does not get distorted.
  • How the size of the circle you make with your fingertips will determine the angle of the point on the front of the bead.
  • How to add cane slices so that the design doesn’t disappear during the swirling process.
  • How to get unique and interesting effects using your growing pile of scrap polymer clay.
  • How to pierce the lentil bead so as not to squash or deform all your hard work.

If you are interested in learning all these cool tricks for rolling polymer clay lentil beads… then hurry over to the Polymer Clay Members Library where you can purchase the Volume-001 back issue package for only $9.95 (this is the cost at the time of this printing… but prices are subject to change without notice).

If you would first like to see preview clips of all 4 of the lentil bead video tutorials in the Volume-001 library back issue package, you can do that at the following links:

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Jeeva, 26 February, 2009

    Hi Cindy, how do I join the video library . Your classes are very valuable as I intend to make clay jewellery. Thank you for the free videos. Jeeva.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 26 February, 2009

    Hi Jeeva,

    You are welcome for the free videos. I’m glad you found them to be valuable.

    To become a subscriber at my video library, you can follow the “Polymer Clay Library Membership” link by my name just above. Joining as a member allows you to receive my ongoing weekly tutorial videos at a much lower price than if you wait and buy them as back issues (as I described in the article at the top of this page).

    If you are brand new to polymer clay, the other thing you may want to consider is my 39 part polymer clay basics course. It will definitely get you started on the right foot.

  3. lynn watts, 27 February, 2009

    I would love to be able to do lentils that have the glittery swirl in it that I have seen in some other artists beads. It looks so pretty. Lynn Watts

  4. Anna Sabina, 27 February, 2009

    My biggest problem with lentils is they become more oblong than round. Some look really nice like that but I am trying to figure ot where and when I am pushing too hard before they get all “kaddy-whompas.”

  5. Cindy Lietz, 28 February, 2009

    @Lynn: If you have this video set you will see that by adding different clays you can easily get them to swirl together! You would just have to make one of the clays you use, a glitter clay. Then you will be creating lentils with the glittery swirls, just like the best of them! Its not really that hard to achieve. Just looks that way!

    @Anna: You know that part in the video where I show you to keep your fingers doing circles on the work surface, at the same height? That is where you need to practice. Any slant in the acrylic block will cause oval shaped lentils.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 14 August, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Kimisen, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Polymer Clay Beads” link by my name above to have a look at her lentil bead work.

  7. June Frederick, 07 December, 2009


    Wirework Lentil Bead by June Frederick

    Cindy I see everyone likes the wire work in one of your sections.

    Here is a picture of some wire work I have done with a Polymer clay Lentil Bead.

    Polymer Clay Goes fabulous with wire.

    June Frederick

  8. Cindy Lietz, 07 December, 2009

    Wonderful June! You certainly do know how to dress up a lentil bead, that’s for sure! Thanks so much for showing your photo. I’m sure others will be inspired by having the chance to see your work.

  9. j frederick, 09 December, 2009

    @Cindy Lietz from Wirework and Polymer Clay: thanks for posting my picture. ~June

  10. Cindy Lietz, 01 March, 2010

    Hi Everyone,

    Polymer Clay Projects

    Some new project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (lentil beads), have just been added in another post. The link by my name will take you where you can see full size photos along with descriptions and stories about each one.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 08 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Projects

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Polymer Clay Lentil Beads), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Brenda-M. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

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