Focal Beads – Handmade by You

Focal Bead

Unique Focal Beads Are What Give Character to Your Handcrafted Jewelry Projects:

However, it’s often difficult and time consuming to find the perfect focal beads for sale at your favorite wholesale or retail bead supply shop.

That’s why I love to make my own, and would suggest that you do too. My material of choice for making focal beads is polymer clay because of it’s versatility. So here’s my…

Top 10 List of Reasons To Make Your
Own Focal Beads Using Polymer Clay:

#1: You can choose your own colors – One of the most frustrating things about buying beads that are already made, is not being able to find the right colors or color combinations for your project. When you make your own polymer clay beads, you can mix the clay to get whatever color you desire.

#2: You can make your beads whatever size and shape you want. With ready made beads, even when you find the right color, the size may be off. Or they may be too dainty or too chunky for your jewelry design idea.

#3: You can make the holes in the beads what ever size you need. People who work with hemp know how much of a problem it is finding pretty beads with large enough holes. Alternatively, you may need to string a large bead onto fine wire, but the hole is so big that the bead just ‘slops around’.

#4: Sometimes it’s just really difficult to find unique beads. A lot of the bigger chain craft stores carry beads from all the same suppliers. So even if you go from big store to big store, you see the same stuff… Boring!

#5: Because polymer clay is so versatile, you can have your beads looking like they were made from almost any type of material, including: wood, glass, ceramic, pewter, gemstone, ivory, jade, turquoise, coral, copper, silver, pearl, leather, and on and on and on. Making antique or vintage beads with polymer clay is also a fun thing to do.

#6: It is way cheaper in most cases to make your own beads than to purchase ready made beads, especially with beads made from gemstones. You can make tons of beads from a single block of clay. Sometimes buying the beads that you want for a project becomes so expensive that you end up wondering if it is worth it. I’m really talking about the focal beads here. Filler beads are cheap and look nice as accents to your more special handmade beads. So you may still want to purchase some beads for that purpose.

#7: You can make truly one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Since no two handmade polymer clay beads are identical, your pieces will really be unique when you make the beads yourself.

#8: You can make very personalized beads. Transferring any photo to polymer clay is quite easy if you know the tricks. Choose a photo for it’s colors, it’s design or simply for who’s-in-it. Image transfer beads are wonderful because they allow you to preserve very special, treasured memories of family or loved ones.

#9: You will impress your friends! Show your friends a beautiful bracelet and tell them you made all the beads yourself. They may be so impressed that they’ll buy it right off your arm!

#10: It is much more fun to make your own beads than to buy beads off the shelf. Let’s face it, us crafty types need to create. If you love to work with beads and want to take your creativity to a whole new level, then making your own polymer clay beads for your beading projects, just seems like the natural thing to do.


  1. Cindy Lietz, 29 March, 2008

    I came up with what I think are the top 10 reasons to make your own beads out of polymer clay. Did I miss anything?

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Pasta Machine for Polymer Clay

  2. Kristy, 29 March, 2008

    Awesome list Cindy!!!!

    Another reason may be that a person may find that they love to make beads and possibly sell their beads…cha ching $$

  3. Sher :), 29 March, 2008

    I tried polymer clay a while back, but I just wasn’t able to really dedicate the time to it.
    There are sure some beautiful beads made with pc!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I think I’d better figure out a way to fit some sort of yoga into my day. :)

  4. Cindy Lietz, 30 March, 2008

    Great point Kristy! There are lots of people who have turned their love of making polymer clay beads into a profitable business… Cha Ching $$ :-)

    Sher, the cool thing about polymer clay is that it doesn’t ‘go bad’, so you can come back to it anytime. When you find the time to make beads again, make sure to come back here for ideas and help. I will help you ‘flatten the learning curve’ so it doesn’t have to take up so much of your time to make great beads.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Lentil Beads – Making Them Can Be Very Addictive!

  5. Melissa, 10 March, 2009

    I am a newbie! I was wondering about painting polymer clay. Is that possible? Do you know a good online store that sells the clay, or do you sell it?

  6. Cindy Lietz, 12 March, 2009

    Hi Melissa! Welcome to my blog! Yes you can paint polymer clay. I have used acrylics on polymer clay after it’s baked with great success.

    As far as buying clay online I don’t carry it myself. When I purchase clay online it is usually through eBay. But I usually buy from my local Michaels store when it goes on sale.

    If you are in Canada, I hear Shades of Clay is good and in the states Polymer Clay Express is supposed to be good. Donna Kato also sells her own brand of Kato clay at her site, Prairie Craft. But since I haven’t dealt with any of them so I’m not able to make any qualified recommendations.

    However, I do recommend buying Premo or Fimo clay and not Sculpey III.

    The best thing to do if you’re a Newbie is to go through my Polymer Clay Bead Making Course for Beginners. The 39 videos will help you with which clay, colors, tools and techniques you will need to get you started properly, so you don’t waste your time or money making mistakes.

    If you click the link by my name, it will send you to more information on that.

    Hope that was of help for you. Feel free to come back to the blog with any other questions you may have!

  7. April Larson, 22 January, 2010

    I’ve been a full time lampworker for about 20 years and have been looking to expand into another medium. We have talked about polymer clay for years, but really didn’t know where to start. Your Beginner Video Course cleared up most all of our questions : )

    Thanks again,
    April Larson

  8. Cindy Lietz, 22 January, 2010

    Wonderful! Be sure to follow the blog here regularly as well. There are daily articles and pictures that provide valuable information to support what you learn in the video tutorials. Looking forward to hearing how things are coming along for you with your polymer clay projects. All the best!

  9. Martin T, 02 September, 2021

    NIce post on beads jewellery.

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