Flat Pirate Focal Beads for Handmade Bracelet and Jewelry Projects

Pirate Focal Bead Cuff Bracelet

Adding Fun Themes To Beaded Jewelry Using Specialty Polymer Clay Art Beads You Make Yourself:

Lately I have been putting more importance on larger polymer focal beads in my jewelry deigns. Here is a funky pirate-theme beaded bracelet, mostly created with glass and shell beads arranged to showcase the main clay pirate bead. This eye catching flat bead design is actually the only polymer clay item used in this jewelry piece.

The concept I had for this bracelet was a piece of jewelry you might find in a treasure chest washed up on shore. I wanted it to have the feeling of the ocean, beach glass, shells and jewels… along with an ‘x-marks-the-spot’ feature.

To support the concept and to give some width to this cuff style bracelet, two holed shell beads were used in their natural Mother of Pearl color. Glass seed beads in matte and iridescent browns gave the feeling of sand. And the pitted glass barrel beads reminded me of beach glass and of rum barrels… perfect for this pirate booty!

Antiqued silver bicone beads draw the seed beads into an X shape to complete the design.

All in all I am very pleased with the look of this beaded cuff bracelet. It has a rustic, yet sophisticated sassy-ness to it. What a great way to show off your handmade polymer clay beads.

If you are new to making polymer clay beads and you have no idea how a pirate crossbones bead like this is made, it is done through a process call Millefiori cane work.

A polymer clay cane is built so that the pattern goes through the length of the log of clay. Then when the cane is cut into pieces, you end up with identical copies of the design in every slice. Beads are then created with these slices in a variety of different ways.

It is a very exciting way to create your own polymer clay art beads and focal beads. If you would like to learn more about pirate canes and pirate theme jewelry projects, here are 3 other article links for you:

So tell me what you think. Do you like this cuff bracelet design? Would you like to learn how to make a pirate cane or some pirate theme focal beads? Please let me know in the comments below!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Lietz, 07 November, 2008

    Do you like to limit the number of polymer clay beads in your jewelry pieces and treat them like focal beads? Or do you prefer using other types of beads as the focus?

  2. Illlaya Brown, 10 November, 2008


    It really depends upon the design. A lot of my pieces tend to be one of a kind. So I like to put several focus beads and make the piece so that it can be wore in different positions to show off a particular bead. I guess you would call my designs mostly Asymetrical. Lots of them have multiple strands on one side and a single stand on the other with larger beads to balance the weight of the piece.

    I am such a collector that my stash is huge and I have a blast pulling beads out based on color and bead design. My pieces will have a combination of gemstones, clay beads and lampwork with fillers to carry the rhythm of the piece. I am a textural nut, so this method works great for me.


  3. Cindy Lietz, 12 November, 2008

    I like your idea Illaya for being able to rotate the necklace to focus on different focal beads. If you can get enough money for the time you have put into all your focal beads, then all the power to you! Your designs sound lovely and fun to make. Thank you for your great comment!

  4. Lisa Crone, 11 July, 2009

    That is so cool! I just love your creativity!!

  5. Cindy Lietz, 11 July, 2009

    Thanks Lisa! These flat pirate focal beads are very fun to work with as they bring so much character to any jewelry design!

  6. Phaedrakat, 11 February, 2010

    I love your pirate bead! This bracelet is adorable. I would love to make something like this. It would appeal to my young neices and my (old like me) sisters & friends! My mom would even go for it…(if she wore jewelry.) But I could make my mama a keychain or (I’m getting some great ideas on how to use it — now I just need to know how to make it!

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