Coolest Polymer Clay Jewelry Making Tutorials Get Bumped Forward

Hammering Copper Wire“I love this place – always something new to learn. Thanks, Cindy!” ~Beadspiration

Lately I’ve been feeling a little like one of Santa’s Elves… hammering away in my workshop making creative stuff to show you guys! As your Polymer Clay Tutor, I am constantly working on new and innovative ideas that can be made into video tutorials.

Fortunately, ideas flow pretty easily for me. Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day to get all of them done as quickly as I would like. Oh well… at least no one will get bored around here.

I am always chopping at the bit for new ideas and new techniques. I love coming here everyday to see what’s new and exciting! I don’t find the options overwhelming but exhilarating! ~Melinda-H

I just love this site. How any one can be lonely or bored with so much to do beats me. Keep up the lovely work. We are so lucky to have a teacher like Cindy who puts her all into everything, don’t know how she does it, yes does she ever sleep. Thank you so much Cindy XXXXX. ~Elizabeth-K

As new projects get added to the list, and the planning for videos is done, some of the ideas bump out others because they are just too cool to have to wait for.

This is the case with a wire working idea I came up with just yesterday. It was inspired by some neat jewelry designs where a focal bead can easily be removed from the pendant and replaced with another bead so you can get many looks from one piece.

While in the midst of doing some business chores, a thought popped into my head about making a wire wrapped pendant with a bar down the center for sliding beads onto. So I quickly sketched the concept on paper so as not to lose it.

Now after creating several prototypes, I think I’ve got something that you guys are really going to like. It’s a little awkward to make, but I promise to break it down as simply as possible when it comes time to film the video tutorial. In the meantime, I’ll show you some example pictures in upcoming posts, to get your opinion on the design.

Dear Cindy, Each of your videos is so jam-packed with information… yet, because you really know how to teach, you make it all so seem so simple and doable. You explain, in detail, how every part of each process works. Each time I finish a video that you have made, I go away knowing, without a doubt, how to do what I have just been taught. Sincerely, ~Cindy-E

I just thought that today in this post, I’d describe a bit about the process of how my ideas go from an initial spark; to a paper sketch; to prototype; to the actual item; and then finally made into a video tutorial.

I am curious… are there any new ideas, techniques, bead shapes, wire projects, jewelry designs, etc that you would like to see me add to the list of upcoming tutorials? Planning for the new year (2010) is well underway, so get your requests in now if you have some.

To help jog your memory a bit, here is a post where I’ve listed some ideas already on the list: Polymer Clay How To Videos

And here’s a post where I’ve summarized some of the common polymer clay problems that were identified in a color recipe card giveaway that coincided with the opening of the members library a year ago in October 2008: Bead Making Challenges

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  1. sarahwww, 04 November, 2009

    Yay for wire work that helps with our Polymer clay jewelry! (Still looking forward to the Holly cane too!)

  2. Elizabeth S., 04 November, 2009

    I’ll take anything that comes out of that amazingly creative brain of yours!!! Like Sara I love to learn wire working so I can’t wait for this coming one. I’m also into the “joy of extruding” lol, since you taught the jupiter bead technique and just bought those adapter thingies for my Makins where the clay comes out with a hollowed out core. I haven’t tried them yet but would love to learn some more bead designs that involve my favorite toy. Since you asked I just want to throw the request into the mix. As always thank you!

    Elizabeth S. – El Paso, TX

  3. LauraB, 04 November, 2009

    Canes, canes and more canes for me! I’d love to know how to make a rose cane, how to get started on planning and making kaleidoscope canes and face canes, for sure!

    Although I find the info interesting, I’m not so keen on the wire wrapping and all of that, but am more interested in more advanced work and techniques with the actual clay.

  4. Lisa Whitham, 04 November, 2009

    I’ve been bitten by the wire working bug..!! It just goes so well with chunky polymer beads! I haven’t done much wire work yet – I’m waiting to order a jeweler’s saw to make my jump rings better. I seem to get a pointy side when using my flush cutters. And how do you make an oval jump ring? I thought about using a popcicle stick, but that seems a little big…maybe if I split it in half lenghtwise. *wheels turning*
    I too am excited about the up coming holly cane. I just love the necklace you used as an example to show us the different ways to use the cane. Gorgeous!!
    Thanks so much for everything you teach us Cindy!!!!!


  5. Melinda, 04 November, 2009

    That pendant sounds intriguing. I love wire working as well. It is so much fun and so very very pretty!

  6. Alexa, 04 November, 2009

    Hey Cindy,
    I became a member of your site and I am very happy.
    I am really looking forward to seeing Holly cane video.
    Can you do something with snowflakes and something with cats? I love cats, I have two Persian cats myself.

    Alexa (From Russia, Living in Belgium)

  7. Cindy Lietz, 04 November, 2009

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! It is great to get feedback from you all.

    Nice to see you here Alexa. Welcome! Cats and snowflakes are great ideas to add to my list. Thanks for sharing!

    BTW, Alexa is originally from Russia and is now living in Belgium. It sure would be nice if you all could give her a warm welcome to the blog from your part of the world. This is really turning into an International community!

    As I can see from the comments, some people love wire work, some love canes and some of you love techniques. That is why I am now trying my best to balance out each month’s tutorials in a way that should work nicely for everyone.

    My plan is to include 1 technique video, 1 bead shape video, 1 cane making video and 1 jewelry making video (wire work, tools, tumbling, polishing, etc.) into each month. There may be times when the balance is off a bit, but that is the general plan.

    For Lisa’s question on oval jump rings, I would definitely try your idea to see if it works. I do know there are some oval shaped mandrels out there that are made for that sort of thing, but since I don’t have one, I can’t offer you any advice.

    Thanks again everyone for your support of this blog and of each other. It is so fun to be able to share ideas with you all!

  8. Peggy, 04 November, 2009

    I don’t think I need to vote Cindy, you said it all and your idea of a month’s worth of videos is great. Leave it to you to find a way to please everyone. Although I really don’t think you could make a one of us unhappy with anything you come up with. Not only are you blessed with this constant thinking mind of yours but God has blessed you with many talents the best one is knowing how to share everything with all of us. Just learning everything I have from you and being blessed to of found your site is enough for me. Once again I want to THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!!!!!!!! YOU ARE AS KIND AS YOU ARE TALENTED!!!!!!!!!

    Alexa I would like to welcome you to the best crafting site in the WORLD. If you find a half of what I have found from this site you will have a blast here. Welcome and enjoy each day.
    Clayfull hugs, from Peggy in the state of Iowa in the good ol USA

  9. Silverleaf, 04 November, 2009

    Welcome Alexa! “Cat” happens to be one of the about 10 words I know in Russian. :) (I can’t write it, but I can say it!)

    Maybe one day I’ll study Russian properly, it’s such a fun-sounding language.

    Hope you enjoy yourself here. xxx

  10. Alexa, 07 November, 2009

    Thank you so much.
    That’s nice that you know few Russian words . :)
    Russian cat are: koshka.
    ^_^ xxx

  11. DJ, 04 November, 2009

    I love the idea of combining a variety of things each month. I agree with just about everything mentioned…although slightly partial to the kaleidoscope canes; focal bead variations; wire work and techniques combined with different mediums. It’s all inspiring though – the pretty and the practical!

    Sketching/writing down ideas as they come is what I have to do as well or else I have a terrible time trying to recall something later on.
    I’m not too far away…really enjoy hearing where others are from too.
    Richmond, BC, Canada

  12. Lisa Whitham, 04 November, 2009

    @Alexa – Welcome to the best blog/learning site there is for polymer clay and jewelry making! It’s a great community where there are always answers for your questions…

    Hello from Midland, Michigan, USA,

  13. Sue F, 04 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    It must be extremely difficult to balance such a wide variety of reader interests!

    To throw my own preferences into the mix:

    My main area of interest is polymer clay techniques: surface effects, faux techniques, tricks with liquid polymer clay, etc. It’s always interesting to see new approaches and consider how they fit with your own style.

    Canes are OK occasionally — it goes in phases with me — but mainly abstract and geometric designs. I personally don’t like floral or “pretty” stuff, although I’m in the minority there! But I’d second Alexa’s comment about snowflakes: they’re very cool as ghost canes and the possibilities are endless.

    I’m pretty comfortable with wirework and my vast range of tools already, so that’s not the kind of thing I come here for. Not that I don’t have more to learn (!), but it’s a peripheral subject here where it’s the focus of other sites.

    The only specific request I’d have would be metal-cored big-hole polymer clay beads, as would be used with Pandora-style bracelets. I haven’t tried making these yet, and while I have ideas about how to tackle them your take would be great to see! Things like fitting the beads to the metal cores, particularly with the single-piece cores rather than the half cores that glue in from each side…

    Could I also suggest hollow focals, of the type where you make the two sides separately and then glue them together, as a possible subject? They’re light even when large, use relatively little clay, are easy to make and can be done with any kind of design or pattern, but not many people make them which is a bit of a shame.

    Thanks for encouraging reader input… I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


  14. Candy, 07 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy,
    I, too, would love to see a tutorial on making the Pandora-style beads.

  15. Sue F, 04 November, 2009


    Have a look here for oval jumpring mandrels (they should be able to be used independently).

    Connie and her team are lovely people to deal with, and their prices are generally excellent too.

  16. squash, 05 November, 2009

    Hi, Cindy! If it were for me, I’d gladly watch videos about the faux semiprecious stones every Friday. I enjoyed all the “faux” videos I’ve seen here until now. Of course, the faux raku was just the icing on the cake. And I love all the innovations you come up with and that we can see nowhere else on the net. On the other hand, all the techniques you teach are so instructive, even if we tried them before. So I’m sure you’ll continue to be great, whatever technique you’ll show us.

  17. Polyanya, 05 November, 2009

    I posted a comment on this yesterday but it doesnt seem to have registered – so I’ll put my request in again. I’d like resin techniques and lava beads please Cindy, thank you.

  18. Lisa Whitham, 05 November, 2009

    @Sue – Thanks! :) I’ll go have a peek…


  19. Ritzs, 05 November, 2009

    Hi, Cindy I love everything you show us but i would especially love some more canes

  20. Ritzs, 05 November, 2009

    Hi Alexa, welcome to a great site, and more so a great teacher Ritzs U.K.

  21. Maureen G, 06 November, 2009

    Hi Alexa. Welcome! You’re going to love it here.

    From the great state of New Jersey!

  22. aims, 06 November, 2009

    Hey Sue! I’m with you. I’m not the floral – ‘pretty’ style either. I like bold and ‘out there’ – I love mokume gane for that reason.

    And yes Cindy – learning to make that pandora style bead would be very interesting.

    I’ve done a couple of hollow beads and getting them to join up seems to be pretty tricky. I’ve had to resort to running a thin extruded line around them to cover the join. Is this normal?

  23. Helen Sperring, 06 November, 2009

    Hi Alexa, You are so lucky. Being a member on this site is the best thing I ever did. I know you’ll love it Welcome ………Cindy, are there any more ways to do the skinner blends? If there are, I would love to see them. Honey, West Palm Beach, Florida

  24. Sue F, 06 November, 2009


    That’s nice to know! LOL
    I definitely agree about bold and ‘out there’. I also like modern minimalist, asymmetric, tribal… not QUITE everything except for “pretty”, but almost. ;)

    When I make hollow beads I sand the individual halves side-to-be-glued down, which increases the surface area for the glue and normally is enough to get them to line up well with a nice sharp edge (you can kind-of cheat a bit at this stage if they aren’t quite the same shape, e.g. sand more where there’s an overhang). I haven’t had to run anything around them to cover the join — I sand the surfaces to be glued until they fit together with no gap at all — although occasionally there’ll be a tiny nick or something that I want to patch.

    I sometimes also make them flat on one side. I still sand the cured moulded halves so that they’ll sit flat against that will become their backs. But then I just put a bit of liquid polymer clay on the edges of the moulded half (instead of glue), place them onto a sheet of uncured polymer clay, and trim around the edge so that it’s exactly the same size and shape (even if that shape is wobbly). That also avoids a join “gap”, and while it doesn’t give a sharp edge like the other technique, if the colour of the backing clay goes well with the face (e.g. black or a contrasting colour for a bold look, or a complementary colour for a coordinated look) it still looks nicely finished.

    You could probably make sharp-edged flat-backed versions by sanding the interior edges of the cured moulded halves more, so that if you placed them on a sheet of uncured polymer clay and then pressed them down they’d act a bit like like a cutter while still having enough contact area to join properly, but I haven’t tried that exact way to date. (Maybe I will next time I have enough free time to play with my clay again!)

  25. Alexa, 07 November, 2009

    I think i did somthing wrong with this comments. °_°

    Thank you so much everyone.
    I am very glad I’m here and I look forward to learn many new things.

  26. Mary N, 07 November, 2009

    Hi CIndy, I have been looking for holiday canes and the ones that I love are made for nail art already baked. I want small canes for beads and to make pens with. Can I buy the baked cane and warm it up and use it like a raw cane or is it too hard already? I have a craft show to get ready for so, no time to make them myself and all my jewelry too. I’m about to purchase your Volume 12 videos to make some gold and silver leaf pendants with ink, love that technique. Thnaks for getting me started.

  27. Cindy Lietz, 08 November, 2009

    Thank you everyone for your awesome detailed feedback. I couldn’t do this without you!!

    And thanks everyone for welcoming Alexa, that is lovely of you all to do that!

    @DJ: I had no idea you lived so close to me. Someday we’ll have to meet up!

    @Sue: Your input is excellent as always! I will definitely take your ideas into consideration in my future planning.

    @Helen: Yes there is more than one way to do the Skinner Blend. I will consider ways to share some of them. However, you’ll probably find my Tear Drop Blend is the quickest and easiest though. :-)

    @Mary: Baked cane slices can be added to raw clay but there will be a little seam that shows all the way around since they won’t ‘meld’ together like two soft clays will. I would use a liquid clay like Studio by Sculpey’s Bake and Bond to ‘glue’ the baked slice to the raw clay before you bake it. If you are under a time constraint, I would stick to simple designs and techniques otherwise you will run out of time to do quality work. You are better off with fewer good quality pieces than a bunch of low quality ones if you want to make sales.

  28. Mary, 08 November, 2009

    Thanks Cindy, for the instruction of the baked canes. I made a jelly roll design today and covered some pens but, I will not attempt to make the hard ones. I have been buying my canes from girls on Etsy and making things that way. I have my jewelry to design and make also so, no time to make my canes. I’m pretty picky so, I would never get much done.

    One more thing, Michaels has their clay on sale for 4 for 5.00 this week , time to stock up.

    Thanks for answering my questions so fast.

  29. Cindy Lietz, 08 November, 2009

    You’re welcome Mary. And thanks for the heads up on the Michael’s clay sale.

  30. Tiffani D, 15 December, 2010

    Hi Cindy! I have greatly enjoyed your site and now find myself with a question I cannot seem to find the answer to.

    I have crafted pandora-style beads out of clay using flowers from my father’s memorial service for my sister and mother for Christmas. I now need to apply a finish and was leaning towards a resin. I am unsure how to maintain the hole in bead if I use the resin. Any suggestions??


  31. Cindy Lietz, 19 December, 2010

    @Tiffani D: Thank you Tiffani for your sweet words.

    The trouble with resin on a round bead is that it can create large unsightly drips. It is something that some people have been able to do, but as of yet, I do not know their secret!

    I plan to play around more with resin on round beads and see if I can come up with a satisfactory technique. If anyone else has done this successfully we would all love to hear your secrets! ;-)

  32. Phaedrakat, 28 December, 2010

    Me, too! I’d love to know the secrets of the ‘resin’d’ round beads. C’mon, please share if you’re “in the know”… :D

  33. Debi Singleton, 30 December, 2010

    I am hoping eventually to learn to make rose canes similar to the ones that Misha Barton makes. (I hope I didn’t mutilate her name.) Face canes are amazing as well. The work you did with sheet metal around the little squares was beyond beautiful and very unique. I can’t think of anytime that you haven’t had amazing tutes repeatedly. No complaints of your system whatso ever. Putting in my hopes and very happy with ALL that I learn here. Thanks ever so much Cindy.

  34. Phaedrakat, 04 January, 2011

    @Debi Singleton: Thanks, Debi, for reminding me about a couple things… ;D

    I’d love that “rose cane” tutorial, too. I’ve begged Cindy to add this to her list several times…keeping my fingers crossed!

    And Cindy’s beautiful copper-wrapped earrings: I have some some of the foil tape she used (in both silver & copper,) but I haven’t tried it with clay. I wonder if Cindy’s planning an upcoming video of this technique? I think it would be an awesome tute. The foil tape adds a great effect, but I can see where some tips & tricks would come in quite handy. Either way, the “Tuscany” earrings of Cindy’s you pointed out are very, very cool!

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