Dried Flower Jewelry Bead Techniques, Plus Other Cool Inclusions

Polymer Clay Dried Flower Petal Inclusions

Inject Some Fun Into Your Polymer Clay Using Flower Petals, Kids Crayons and Kitchen Spices:

Mixing anything into polymer clay that adds visual interest, color or texture, is called an inclusion. Here are some ideas you can try out:

1) Flowers: Add crumbled up dried flower petals to translucent polymer clay for an interesting effect. Using flowers from special occasions and memorials can be a very personal way to bring special meaning to your jewelry pieces. See the following articles for more detailed information:

2) Crayons: Adding crayon shavings to polymer clay is a simple and cool technique. The wax melts while baking, and the beads have a colorful mottled look. More info here:

3) Spices: Mix spices from your kitchen into polymer clay. This is a wonderful way to make richly colored and somewhat aromatic beads. They often end up resembling different colored stones. To learn more about spice beads, here is a link:

There are many other inclusions you could add to your polymer clay beads which I will list on another day. But first I would love to hear about some inclusion projects that you have already tried out. Share your thoughts below…

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Lisa Crone, 30 March, 2009

    Hi Cindy! Thanks for stopping by abeadaday! What a cool idea for adding things to clay. Very interesting. Hope you don’t mind if I mention it on Twitter and facebook this week. Take care, Lisa C.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 30 March, 2009

    Tweet to your heart’s delight! Feel free to friend me on Facebook if you like. You’ll find be listed as Cindy Lietz (go figure :)

    And on Twitter, I’m just now getting started. You can follow me here: http://twitter.com/cindylietz … and I’ll be sure to follow you back.

    Talk soon…

  3. Cindy Graveline, 30 March, 2009

    I love to add inclusions to polymer clay! Ground coffee makes a really cool stone effect and smell great too. I tried also many spices, black pepper, metallic crayons shaving…

    I just add you on Facebook :)

  4. TrudyM, 23 April, 2011

    @Cindy Graveline: I must have been channeling Ms. Cindy because in the middle of reading an art blog, I thought, coffee grounds! So, do you let them dry and then use them, or use them moist?

  5. Cindy Graveline, 23 April, 2011

    @TrudyM: I use already ground coffee, like Maxwell House, because that’s what I buy.

  6. Phaedrakat, 26 April, 2011

    @TrudyM: Hi Trudy! If you decide to go with your “used” grounds, be sure to let them dry first. Moisture in translucent clay can cause plaquing & other issues. Sometimes it’s useful (for faux stones, etc.)…but unless you’re trying for a certain effect, you should ensure your inclusions are completely dry before adding to your clay… :D ~Kat

    PS: For more info on this effect, type “plaquing” in the search box, or check out some of the other articles on translucent clay!

  7. Cindy Lietz, 30 March, 2009

    Love the coffee grounds idea! And yes I saw you there on Face book. So many ways to connect these days! Very fun.

  8. Maria, 31 March, 2009

    Hi Cindy,
    I actually had a bad experience with my inclusions. I used red pepper with translucent clay on a pendant last year. I came across it this year and found that the metal jewelry findings had rusted on it! The spice seemed dry when I used it. What do you think could have gone wrong?

  9. Cindy Lietz, 31 March, 2009

    That sounds a little strange Maria. Sounds more like it was an issue with the findings and not the peppers. Was there any moisture near your piece? What kind of metal were the findings?

  10. Maria, 05 April, 2009

    I had about 30 pendants on a felt board hung up by metal brackets. The findings were headpins from a local craft store. This was the only pendant which had rust on it. The others were made without using spices and look fine. Maybe a drop of water did get on just that pendant? I’m sure weirder things have happened, (ie water drop on that specific pendant and none of the rest)

  11. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2009

    Does does sound a little too coincidental, doesn’t it? Maybe something in the peppers ate at the metal to cause it to rust? Or possibly the peppers, weren’t as dry as they seemed?

    I have never heard of anyone else having this problem, so I’m not positive what the problem was. You could try those beads on a material that doesn’t rust, like stainless steel, silver, gold or copper. That might help. Hope you don’t run into that problem again… sounds like a pain!

  12. Shirley W, 03 December, 2013

    I dry roses, crush, then incorporate into Polymer clay to make beads and pendants. The flower petals turn dark brown after baking. How to keep proper color in flowers?

  13. Cindy Lietz, 09 December, 2013

    Hi Shirley, the heat from the oven is what darkens the flower petal colors. There is not much you can do about that. You can compensate for the loss of the original color by tinting your clay to match. I show you how to do this in my Rose Petal Beads Tutorial.

  14. Joanie McMorris, 30 January, 2020

    I have just begun making beads from dried flowers with polymer clay. I am just unsure about glaze/finish. And am I supposed to sand/buff the beads? Any help you can give I would greatly appreciate.

  15. Cindy Lietz, 04 February, 2020

    Hi Joanie, with flower petal beads you can sand them to a lovely finish, but keep in mind any large petals on the surface will come off during the sanding process and leave small dents and crevices. Personally I love that look, it looks like stone, but if you don’t you may want to use a polyurethane or a UV Resin instead. I do have a tutorial for making flower petal beads that you may want to purchase. Here’s the link if you’re interested… Vol-034 Tutorial Bundle [Rose Petal Beads | Filling Bezels with Clay | Wax Polishing | Grape Hyacinth Cane]

  16. Kelly A Wymer, 25 June, 2020

    Hi.. I am confused :-) do I use new coffee or used coffee grounds added to the clay? Thank you :-)

  17. Cindy Lietz, 25 June, 2020

    Hi Kelly you could use either as long as they were dry.

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials