Faux Jade Polymer Clay Technique for Making Jewelry and Beads

Polymer Clay Jade “Faux semi
precious stones
are great fun to make and
there are almost infinite
possibilities.” ~Sue-F

Making faux stones using polymer clay is very popular since polymer is so good at mimicking the real thing. Faux Jade is an excellent stone to start out with. It is not only simple to do, but also turns out very authentic looking.

My faux jade recipes use alcohol ink and embossing powders for creating the look of the naturally occurring stone. As you can see in the photo above, these faux beauties can be made in several different color variations, including greens, yellows, pinks, purples and reds. Faux Jade can also be molded, stampedĀ  or impressioned to simulate some fun carved effects.

I realize that Faux Jade has been taught elsewhere. But since it is such a crowd pleaser, I figured I had better add my version of this popular tutorial to the members library. It is such a versatile technique, and every polymer clay bead maker should have it in their bag of tricks.

BTW, I love your green tribal guy backed by a “Ridiculously Awesome Hammered Metal Bezel.” Cool! ~Phaedrakat

@Phaedrakat: Yes, absolutely dead cool! Does anyone remember “Hawaiian Eye” (Connie Stevens, Robert Conrad), on TV yonks ago? Cindy’s green mask sent me right back to the Shell Bar (where Cricket sang) and similar ornaments around that set. Thinks: hmmm, Hawaiian theme pendant? I see how this creative thing works – it’s contagious, isn’t it? Sparks fly from one to another. How wonderful to discover such a thing at this stage of my life. Thanks, everyone. Oh, and imagine that Green Man in GITD! What a stir he’d cause. ~Mary-U

I strung up (very quickly) a multi jade bracelet to show my friends and I’ve already gotten five requests for a bracelet. I am so excited, this is the first time that a hobby has become self sufficient (WOW!). ~Ken-H

I’m so into the faux’s. Of the two designs I’ve created so far, the faux jade has sold infinitely more than my first. ~Ken-H

As long as the general consensus is positive, I’ll include a faux jade tutorial in next month’s Volume-023 line up. After Jade has been covered, we can move on to some more complicated faux stones in future tutorials.

So far, here is how the 4-part, April-2010, Volume-023 series is shaping up:

(1) Cane Making: [to be determined]
(2) Clay Techniques: Faux Jade [proposed]
(3) Wire/Metal: Hammered Copper Bezel [confirmed]
(4) Bead Shapes: Hollow “Puffy” Beads [confirmed]

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Carole Holt, 14 March, 2010

    yes please ,i think that this will be another winner, it is always useful to know as many techniques as possible and these faux stones look fantastic.

  2. Ritzs, 14 March, 2010

    Yes please for the April tut’s. They sound like lots of fun and I always love to learn cane making from such a great teacher that is so easy to follow and always teaches something new and unique.

  3. Elizabeth S., 14 March, 2010

    Absolute yes for me!

  4. Maureen G, 14 March, 2010

    It all sounds great!!! Can’t wait to see what the cane making will be!

  5. Cara, 14 March, 2010

    Yes from me too, I do have several tutorials for it in books but haven’t got round to trying it yet so a video from Cindy might be just the thing to get me going with it. I’d love to see some pictures of Ken – H’s popular jade bracelets too.

  6. Bonnie, 14 March, 2010

    And a BIG YES from me.

    Ken H., show us your bracelets and do it quick. :0).

  7. Lisa Whitham, 14 March, 2010

    Yes from me too… And I want to see Ken H’s jade bracelets, come’on Ken give us a look!

    ~Lisa :)

  8. Cindy Graveline, 14 March, 2010

    I’d love a faux jade video! :)

  9. JoyceM, 14 March, 2010

    I vote yes also for the faux jade.

  10. rose m, 14 March, 2010

    Faux jade would be great. I made a faux jade fish focal bead which I love & would really like to see another method (since I can’t remember how I made mine). I’ve bought a few real stone beads to copy sometime – lava rock, coral, and something black with white circles in it. I think the lava rock will be easy to faux, but would like a video sometime on the coral. I’ve made Cindy’s faux turquoise and it came out great. Lots of fun.

  11. Ken H., 14 March, 2010

    You have reminded me that I never showed my photos of the faux jade pieces I have made. I sorry to everyone, I get scattered sometimes.

  12. Elizabeth S., 14 March, 2010

    Does this mean that you are going to send photos asap? We’re waaaaiting@Ken H.:

  13. carolyn, 14 March, 2010

    Yes, to faux jade! And I thought you were going to include the pansy cane in this line up.

  14. Ken H., 14 March, 2010

    I would really like to see how you do your Jade, please do the jade video.

  15. Cheryl Hodges, 14 March, 2010

    I have a recipe for faux jade but would definitely prefer a video from you. Your teaching is so good , we can follow step by step. So I vote yes! Ken, would love to see your photos of the faux jade jewellery too.

  16. Peggy Barnes, 14 March, 2010

    YES for me on faux jade and if I could make a suggestion any chance for a sunflower cane. There are so many different colored sunflowers anymore a basic sunflower cane would open a whole new world of flower canes. I love sunflowers a definite favorite of mine. They are one of those flowers that put a smile on your face and a sunny warm feeling in your heart. Please on the sunflower and Yes on the faux jade
    Anyone else interested in that fuzzy warm feeling with a lovely smile.
    Uuuuugggggggs to all, Peggy

    When you give a loved one or even a stranger a warm smile it will make your day as well as theirs 99.9% of the time. Heel with a smile.
    The cost is affordable and results enormously rewarding.

  17. DJ, 14 March, 2010

    Another yes from me for the faux jade.
    Love the ideas mentioned too about the canes – Carolyn’s pansy inquiry and Peggy suggesting the sunflower. Looking forward to whatever is chosen!

  18. Linda K., 14 March, 2010

    Yes, I’d like to learn how to do any kind of faux stone you want to teach us. Jade sounds great!

  19. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    Faux jade, yes please, Cindy.

  20. Sue F, 14 March, 2010

    For canes, I’d request animal print canes, which I’ve seen others request too in various threads. Tiger skin, leopard skin, etc… even a paw print cane would be cool. I’ve seen various approaches to these, and have played with a tiger skin cane on my own, but it would be great to see Cindy’s take on them too. (I’m not into flowers or flower canes, sorry, guys and gals!)

    Faux jade sounds good. This is one time when plaquing in translucent clay can actually help! Again, I’ve seen many varying approaches to this but would like to see more. Then I can try them all out and see which produce faux jades closest to the types of real jade that I’d like to mimic.

  21. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    @Sue F: Sue, may I ask, what is ‘plaquing’ in translucent clay? Is it a common problem? And how does it show itself? And I add my vote to yours and others in anything Cindy cares to do with animal prints,giraffe, tiger, leopard, cheetah: a paw print cane sounds especially endearing. Cheers, Mary U.

  22. Phaedrakat, 14 March, 2010

    @Mary: Hi Mary, check out this article on translucent clay — it has information about plaquing (points 3 & 4 in the article. It is a common problem, looks like ‘moon’ shapes in the trans. clay. It’s thought to be caused by moisture or over-working your clay.

    I agree with you about the animal prints! Go Zebra! Tiger! Leopard! (my 3 faves…)

  23. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Thanks Phaedrakat: terrific article, you and Cindy are mines of information. And check out my frangipani (from my own garden) gravatar. I might yet get a grip on this techie stuff! Never too late, they say! Woo hoo. Claying is opening up Brand New Worlds! XXX Mary

  24. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    @Mary: thanks Phaedrakat, for letting me know. O, hubris is always punished severely and I spoke too quickly about getting the Gravatar thingy working. Funny thing is, I can see it on this page and it has even popped up in earlier, pre-Gravatar comments. Yes, same email address. Very pretty deep apricot-nearly-orange frangipani. Thought about putting my face there but decided you’d enjoy the frangi more!

  25. Sue F, 14 March, 2010

    @Mary: I’ve been able to see your frangipani gravatar for at least a few hours, Mary. Definitely since before Phaedrakat’s “I wonder why it’s not working” comment appeared, anyway. Perhaps it’s a browser cacheing setting? I always override the default settings for when to check whether files have been updated or not because updates are often missed if you leave it up to the browser to figure it out on its own.

  26. Phaedrakat, 14 March, 2010

    @Sue F: Oh,no! I need to clear my cache, and Mary will become visible? I’m on it… Sorry Mary!

  27. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: No apology necessary, Phaedrakat. Gosh we’re on a steep learning curve here!

  28. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    @Sue F: Thanks, Sue, I appreciate your help. Are you in Melbourne?

  29. Sue F, 15 March, 2010

    Hi Mary, I’m in Sydney, actually. :)

  30. Mary, 15 March, 2010

    @Sue F: Hi Sue. It’s obvious you’re a very experienced pc artist: would you mind if I ask if you know of any polyshops in Sydney -somewhere I could browse? I’ve found only two online suppliers in Australia (one in Sydney, the other in Melbourne) but Cindy’s members talk of so many places where they can see before they buy and they’re obviously household words known to all. There must be heaps of them in Canada and the US: here in Oz, not so much. And there are no classes I’ve found except one in Melbourne (bit far to go!) and one in Marrickville for mucho$$$. I’m in Nelson Bay but get to Sydney now and again. Thank goodness for Cindy’s tutorials. Thanks, Sue.

  31. Mary, 14 March, 2010

    Elizabeth K., Carolyn and Phaedrakat – ah, ladies, I see you have a touch of the Frangi Fever. As Phaedrakat suggests, the petals should not be difficult for sensitive hands to shape and Carolyn has already succeeded, from memory – she hasn’t even got them growing in the back yard as some of us do! Elizabeth, there’s one Oz online store (inTelopea in Sydney) selling Frangipani cutters for petals in 14, 22, 28,32 & 40mm sizes but you probably won’t need that sort of help. Then there are the leaves, beautiful, big, spear-shaped leaves, heavily patterned with pronounced veins – just a sculptural dream. Cindy, oh, Cindy! Can you hear the sub-tropics calling? XXX Mary U.

  32. Phaedrakat, 14 March, 2010

    Poor Ken, do you feel a bit of peer pressure here? This thread made me laugh. “Come on, Ken H.! Show us your jade bracelets!” So, uh, just put your Url in the comment spot, Ken. Lead us to your photos; we know you have ’em!

  33. Ken H., 14 March, 2010

    Out of respect for Cindy, I will wait until she shows us her technique for the faux Jade, while she uses ink and embossing powders, I use small amounts of regular PC to tint the translucent, I have photos and will provide the recipes for my jade at that time, again out of respect to Cindy and not to step on her toes.

    Philadelphia, PA

  34. Joyce M, 14 March, 2010

    @Ken H.: Ken, how considerate of you. I have seen an instruction using PC as the coloring agent but have not tried the faux jade. It will be so nice to have two methods to arrive at the same results, though maybe a little different. Thanks ahead of time for your willingness to share. Looking forward to seeing your take on this technique and congratulations on your sales. Enjoy

    Joyce M

  35. Phaedrakat, 14 March, 2010

    I’m not seeing your Gravatar yet, Mary. Maybe it takes a little while to show up? I’ll keep refreshing the page, and let you know when I see it. You are using the same email you made the Gravatar with, right?

  36. Phaedrakat, 14 March, 2010

    I wonder why it’s not working? Very strange. Maybe try putting another picture there. (You can swap them back and forth, even.) Then, you can see if it was a problem with your picture, or something else. Then, when it works, change it back to the frangi’s if you want. I think they’re beautiful flowers, but I’d like to see you, too! Good luck!

  37. Lisa Whitham, 15 March, 2010

    Hmmm, If we’re voting on canes…I’d love to learn the pirate/skull & crossbones cane. You see, we just got our very first Harley-Davidson and I think beads made with the pirate cane would go soooo well with our leathers…

    ~Lisa – in Michigan, trying to wait patiently for riding weather… :D

  38. Phaedrakat, 15 March, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: Congratulations, you Bad-mama! Hope you get good weather!

    Ride on~

  39. Lisa Whitham, 15 March, 2010

    @Mary – What a pretty flower for your Gravatar! But, I’d love to see you too…are you just bashful? ;)
    ~Lisa :)

  40. Mary, 15 March, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: Glad you like my frangi, Lisa. Once when I was moving house, I took this one out of her pot (she was just a baby then, about 5′ tall) and carried her, wrapped in plastic, on the bus to our new home. Pretty laid back bus drivers in this neck of the woods. The other frangipanis had to fend for themselves with the moving men (and I had to leave lots behind, boo hoo!) but this one’s extra special. When I find a pic of me that’s sufficiently air-brushed and tarted up, I might swap it for the frangi! Oh, and brrrmmmm brrrrmmm and a yo heave ho, you pirate you! XXX Mary

  41. Kat, 15 March, 2010

    @Mary: Finally, I see your Gravatar! I can’t believe it took me so long; my computer’s a mess. I apologize, Mary. I sure hope you weren’t checking and rechecking on your end. (Only to find out that the – how’d you put it? – “Sadly Ignorant” person was ME!) Please, forgive me? :(

    I have to say, your frangi is even more gorgeous than the pictures I saw yesterday, when searching to identify the flower of which you all spoke. The color’s amazing – it’s no wonder you carried it with you on that trek. I’m glad she survived the move; it’s obvious she’s loved!

    Have a lovely day, and keep in mind it’s never good for one’s health to hold a grudge, especially when the other party’s action was a complete accident. I’m looking out for you here, ya know? ;-)

  42. Silverleaf, 15 March, 2010

    Yes from me too, I’ve made faux jade a few times from different “recipes” and it would be cool to add another variation to my arsenal.

    The last time I made jade, I took my fave bits from several techniques, and this is what I came up with: Premo Frost coloured with alcohol inks (I tend towards the more yellowish greens but jade can be lots of different colours) with dried herbs mixed in, some rolled into tube beads and textured with a rubber stamp and some small round beads. I cut fine cracks into both sets of beads with a blade. After baking I antiqued them with acrylic paint in a tan colour, then sanded and buffed in the rock tumbler and applied 2 coats of Future. They might not look 100% like jade, but they do look very natural and I’m very pleased with them.

  43. carolyn, 15 March, 2010

    Cindy – I’m so glad you pointed out that jade comes in different colors. I have a pair of earrings that I purchased when I was in Hong Kong and there are 5 different colors – and all are jade! Most people think jade is only green – oh, how they are missing out on the beauty of the rest of God’s jade pallet.

  44. Helen Sperring (honeyclay), 15 March, 2010

    I vote yes for all four tutes. Everything you teach is just GREAT. Mary, I love your frangipani gravatar. The color is beautiful. I would have even walked to save that frangi. I have seven of them, but none as beautiful as that one. They’re kind of addicting, too. So easy to cut and root. Did you ever try to make a frangi cane? I’ve seen them on line but I never tried. The only thing I don’t like about them is picking up the leaves when they fall off!!! I even love the way they look when they’re bare. Happy Claying Everyone!!!! Honey from sunny West Palm beach, Fla.

  45. Mary, 15 March, 2010

    @Helen Sperring (honeyclay): Hello Helen (or do you prefer Honey?), I’m so glad you like my little frangi in her eye-stopping colour -no shrinking violet she!- and aren’t we -you in W.PalmBeach FL, me in Nelson Bay NSW- lucky to be able to grow these fantastic trees? And they’re so forgiving: just break off a big thick bit, let it dry out for a few days and pop it in the ground. Such outrageous fertility! They bring back childhood memories for me too – it seems everyone had a frangipani tree and a banana plant in the backyard. I’d love to try to make a pc frangipani flower, petal by petal, beginning with the cream and yellow and then attempting the variegated rubra ones. But a cane? Hmm. I’d like to, but need to practise (in the US you spell it practice) more and acquire skill. That’s one of my clay dreams, anyhow. Lovely to talk to you. Cheers, Mary

  46. Cindy Lietz, 12 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Projects

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Faux Jade Polymer Clay Jewelry Beads), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Ken-H. 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.

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment in this thread. Your feedback, support and engaging conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address everyone individually, please know that I do read everything. ~Cindy

  47. Hobokenmary, 22 April, 2010

    YES YES YES…please give us a tutorial on creating faux jade.

  48. Cindy Lietz, 22 April, 2010

    @Hobokenmary: You are in luck. The faux jade tutorial is already filmed and posted at the library (Vol-023-2).

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