Hollow Polymer Clay “Puffy” Beads: Quick & Easy to Make, No Mess

Polymer Clay Puffy Beads “I’m a jewellery maker with a graphic design background… falling in love with this polymer clay material.” ~Naum-G

If you are a member at the Polymer Clay Library, you probably already know that I release 4 video tutorials each and every month based on the following four main categories:

(1) Cane Making
(2) Clay Techniques
(3) Wire/Metal Techniques
(4) Bead Shapes

As well, you may know that I like to discuss each of the tutorials before they are actually filmed, so that you guys can let me know if the topic is something that will be of interest. This approach also gives you a chance to ask specific questions, which I can then address for you when it comes time to film.

So today for the Category 4 (Bead Shapes) segment of Volume-023 (April’2010 Videos), I would like you to have a look at today’s photo above. I call them Puffy Beads.

They are cute little hollow beads that can be made into any shape that you have a shape cutter for. I’ve actually talked about them them once before in this post: Clouds and Raindrop Earrings

It’s so cool that polymer clay is versatile enough that we can use it to recreate so many different things. I love the earrings Cindy, I would totally wear something like that. You could make something similar with a snowflake… they remind me of the little symbols you see on the weather reports. ~Silverleaf

My Hollow Puff shapes and designs are MUCH quicker and easier to make than similar beads I’ve seen taught elsewhere. No big messes to worry about either…

I’ve tried using some of the dissolvable packing peanuts because I thought that would be great for making puffed hearts. But after baking the insides (peanuts) sort of oozed out into a big mess. I can’t seem to get it to work.

So what does everyone think? Should I include these Puffy Bead Shapes in the April-2010, Volume-023, video tutorial lineup? Leave your votes, notes and questions in the comments section below.

** 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. Cara L, 03 March, 2010

    yes please!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sue F, 03 March, 2010

    Definitely a “yes” from me! I know a couple of ways of making hollow puffy beads and would love to learn another.

  3. Cara, 03 March, 2010

    A yes from me too, they look like lovely smooth shapes (not that I would expect anything less from you Cindy and I am sure ours may not start of being so polished looking but with practise….)

  4. Anna Sabina, 03 March, 2010

    I think they are a nice addition to include with other beads.

    Anna, des Moines Iowa where it has finally gotten above 35 degrees.

  5. Elizabeth S., 03 March, 2010

    Oh, yes for me.

  6. Joyce M, 03 March, 2010

    Add me to this list as well. Looks great. Off to life’s happenings but will be right back here on Friday.

  7. Bonnie, 03 March, 2010

    Put me on the list, just cleaned my studio and found two boxes of clay that I forgot I had. These would be a good addition to my big box of beads.

  8. Lisa Whitham, 03 March, 2010

    Count me as a yes…

    ~Lisa :)

  9. illaya, 03 March, 2010

    Another yes vote for me. Puffy beads can be a real bugger in my book so learning an easier way is definitely a want to know thing. Thanks Cindy for asking.

  10. Laura B, 03 March, 2010

    Sure! Would definitely be interested in another technique for this!

  11. Lupe Meter, 03 March, 2010

    Most definitely, Cindy…would love to learn how to make these puppies!

  12. Sally, 03 March, 2010

    Yes please!

  13. aims, 03 March, 2010

    Include me in too Cindy! I love the look of them!

  14. Maria, 03 March, 2010

    YES, please!

  15. Bevie, 03 March, 2010

    that would be awesome!!

  16. Ritzs, 03 March, 2010

    again yes please Cindy i am intrigued

  17. Carole Holt, 03 March, 2010

    so am i. never seen them before so its another anything is possible with polymer clay ,another fabulous tut for our crafting arsenal

  18. Mary, 03 March, 2010

    Those puffy beads look adorable. Thanks, Cindy; looking forward to seeing how you work more of your magic. Oh, we’re all having so much fun, so how can this be legal – and calorie free!!? XX Mary U-

  19. Jill, 03 March, 2010


  20. carrie, 03 March, 2010

    Yes…tell me about the hollow beads….they look so smooth…….

  21. Linda K., 03 March, 2010

    Yes, for me, too!

  22. Genevieve, 03 March, 2010

    I love these! I vote yes!

  23. Laurel, 03 March, 2010

    Yes, Cindy. Puff away! I love the look of these cute pillows.

  24. Sue Werner, 03 March, 2010

    Yes! I’m very curious about how you make them!

  25. Silverleaf, 03 March, 2010

    I’ll be the lone voice of dissent here then – they don’t do much for me I’m afraid! But wouldn’t life be boring if we all liked the same things?

    And I’ll be happy to watch the video when the time comes, because I usually learn something useful even from the videos for techniques I don’t care for.

  26. Cindy Lietz, 03 March, 2010

    All right Silverleaf, now you have me a bit perplexed… not because you are willing to speak out about things you don’t care for. That I am completely fine with and agree that life would be boring if everyone liked the same thing.

    But what I don’t understand, is why your opinion changed from when you originally saw these beads in my cloud and raindrop earring design. At the time you said you loved them. It’s why I quoted you in the article above.

    The technique I used to make the purple puffy beads shown in today’s photo, is the exact same technique that I used to make those cloud and raindrop earrings. I thought I had made that clear, but perhaps I didn’t.

    Please do let me know if I need to clarify this in any way. Thanks so much.

    By the way… thanks everyone for voting. ALL of you rock!

  27. Silverleaf, 03 March, 2010

    How weird is that? I don’t know, perhaps it’s just the specific beads in the photo on this page that I don’t like? I do love the raindrop earrings – maybe I don’t care for the beads but I do like the finished product, if that makes any sense.

    Guess I wasn’t paying enough attention, because I failed to notice that the two projects were actually the same technique! Guess that’s what happens when you stay up all night organising and tagging your collection of colour recipes files… ;)

    After re-reading the article, you’re definitely clear. It’s my tired old fibro brain that’s the problem!

  28. Phaedrakat, 04 March, 2010

    You’ve shown us some wonderful bead shapes here, Cindy! They’re glorious in their perfect simplicity, beautifully shaped and finished. However, compared to what you usually show us, these look a bit plain. We’re used to seeing completed jewelry, or a variety of color, pattern, textures, materials, etc. We’re getting spoiled! So much so, we’re forgetting to appreciate how beautiful polymer clay is on its own. I think it’s cool that you have shown us only the bead shape/technique here. It forces us to engage our inner artiste to decide what colors, textures, shapes, surface techniques, or clay fabric we’ll use when you teach us your secret to making these pretty “puffy beads.” Anyway, this is a very long way for me to say, “Yes, I want to learn your technique!” I absolutely love your clouds & raindrops earrings, but I also love the clean, perfect lines of these beautifully finished blue beads with a cute puffy shape! What you’ve shown here is a truly magnificent type of bead, with a multitude of uses. It’s going to be a great tutorial video, I can feel it!

  29. Peggy Barnes, 04 March, 2010

    Oh Silverleaf THANK YOU for showing us if you don’t have the time or are too tired, what ever the reason. You can skip right over the quotes with no problem. So I say Cindy again please don’t change a thing. I like the way you use all of our quotes.
    Thanks and Uuuuuugggggggs to all, Peggy

  30. Peggy Barnes, 04 March, 2010

    Sorry I thought I had voted earlier but my vote is Yes Please do a tute on these beads. They look like I feel after eating too big of a meal. STUFFED. I think you should make an egg shaped one for Easter. Just think of the possibilities – oooooooooooooooooh!!!!!
    Thank you for the idea Cindy.

  31. Cindy Lietz, 04 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf and @Phaedrakat: One of the reasons I chose to show the solid color ‘plain’ beads was the reaction my daughter had when she saw all my puffy beads. Her taste is clean and modern and when she looked at the collection of colors and finishes, she thought these plain ones were the best.

    Personally I tend to always go for the variegated colors or the distressed finishes, but knowing she has a very artistic eye and seeing her often choose the plainer looking pieces, reminded me that not everyone has the same taste.

    (If you look at the picture in today’s Calla Lily Bead post you will see another example of this. I love the variegated pink lilies the best and my daughter loves the plainer purple and orange one the best.)

    What I am trying to do here is teach you all how to work with polymer clay. I want you to be able to find your own artistic voices, not just be a bunch of clones of my work. I know this is working after seeing the variety of bead project photos all of you sent in for the recent contest.

    So, now after seeing the raindrop beads and these plain purple ones, you can see the same bead shape can take on whatever your personal taste is… just by changing the colors, the surface technique and the way they were put together.

    Isn’t that the coolest thing about Polymer Clay?

  32. Silverleaf, 04 March, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Calla Lily Beads: Yeah, it is awesome that you’re helping us to develop our own artistic voice rather than just instructing us to produce copies of your work. Maybe I should challenge myself to adapt projects that don’t immediatlyimmediatlyimmediatlyimmediatly attract me into something a bit more “me”.

  33. carolyn, 04 March, 2010

    Yes, please. Hollow beads are especially good for earrings because they are so light. We can use bigger and bolder beads and still have them light enough for earrings.

    Will you be including the hollow lentil as well? This has come up a few times and I’d sure like to see how you do them. They do fit in the same technique group, don’t they?

  34. Phaedrakat, 04 March, 2010

    @carolyn: I’m just guessing, but if her technique can work for a heart, teardrop, and a round, I think it can make a lentil shape, as well. Is that the case, Cindy?

    @Cindy L: Absolutely, PC is extremely cool! What you said about wanting us to use our artistic voices is exactly what I was trying to say above. You just said it much more eloquently! ;~D

  35. Rachelle, 04 March, 2010


  36. Helen Sperring (honeyclay), 04 March, 2010

    I vote YES, Cindy. I’ve never done puffy beads and would love to learn how to do them. I’m dying to know what you put inside of them. They are so smooth and perfectly done. Count me in!!!!!! Honey

  37. Claycass, 04 March, 2010

    I look forward to your take on hollow beads. I have made some in the past, but I have not made any that have the uniform shapes of your beads. If you click my link – you can see them.

  38. Elizabeth K., 04 March, 2010

    Hi all, like the idea of the tut for hollow beads have been wondering about that. Always willing to learn whatever appears here, no need to ask me if I like.
    E XXX

  39. Susan Dyson, 05 March, 2010

    Cindy, naturally I vote yes! These beads are absolutely beautiful, so smooth, so simple. Puffed beads is one technique I have been struggling with. Can’t wait for you to teach me what I’m doing wrong.

  40. Marsha N, 05 March, 2010

    Oh, yes I would love to learn to make puffy beads, especially hearts. I have a thing for hearts! Thinking of puffy hearts though reminds me of a story from when my daughter (now 31) was just a little girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old. She asked me what her heritage would be. I knew this was an important moment, but didn’t really know what she meant so I started telling her about our family history and talked about our faith and how that would all be hers no matter what…and on and on. When I was done she said, “What about your puffy heart necklace?” LOL! I love that memory! That particular puffy heart was very cheap costume jewelry and of course I still have it, but I’d love to make some puffy hearts our of polymer clay!

  41. Hobokenmary, 05 March, 2010

    Yes! Please! They are simply adorable!!!

  42. Tiffany Morkovsky, 05 March, 2010

    I would love to learn this puffy bead technique! My 9 year old daughter loves to watch the videos with me, and I know she will love these too! They just look FUN! If there are any special supplies we may need for upcoming tutorials, it would be great if you could let us know ahead of time, just like with the buffalo flakes. I got mine yesterday, and can’t wait to learn the faux opal. We are in the process of rearranging the rooms downstairs, and one of them is going to be my craft room!!! I am sooo excited, my very own place to work.

  43. Beverly L, 05 March, 2010

    Absolutely. I would love a tutorial on these hollow puffy beads. I can not tell you how much I look forward to your newsletter each week. Thanks for all the work you do for us.

  44. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2010

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Love them. Just so you know, these beads are more of a cabochon shape. Flat on the back and rounded on the front. Not rounded on both sides. A hollow lentil can be made with this technique but it is trickier and has more steps. I won’t be covering that in the video.

    @Marsha: Oh my gosh Marsh, that is so cute! ‘Inheritance’ is a lot like ‘heritage’, I bet you have a hard time keeping a straight face when she said that! When the tutorial comes out, you’ll have to make her a whole bunch of puffy hearts! Sounds like she is a fan!

    @Tiffany Morkovsky: You won’t need anything special for this. Just shape cutters in the size bead that you want, and clay of course. I know you will have lots of fun doing these with your daughter. Just think of the nice memories you will have!

  45. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2010

    Sorry Marsha, I called you Marsh! I know you are a woman and not a swamp-like land feature! :-)

  46. Phaedrakat, 05 March, 2010

    @Cindy: Oh! I thought they were “puffy” on all the way around. In the picture, it looks like the shapes are rounded on both sides, not laying flat on a surface. Then again, I thought they were blue (and your comment said they’re purple!) Must be my computer — I sure hope it’s not my eyes!

    @Marsha: That is a cute comment your daughter made! Love that story. Kids do say the darndest things…

  47. Joyce M, 06 March, 2010

    I still want to keep my “Yes” vote in here but have to say that I also thought these beads were rounded all around. Have you addressed this before, Cindy? Seems to me I have seen this somewhere. Maybe in my clay dreams??? Or when I was surfing the net.

    I have a lovely “puffed” heart” bought in San Antonio, Texas many years ago when at a seminar, it looks to be glass, see-through, with a design that shows different on each side. It’s the piece of jewelry that has received more attention than any other piece I own. Its in the “costume” group but precious to me.

    Now in your technique will we be able to make two and put them together or is this another technique for another time? I will love it either or both ways?

    BTW this week’s Glowing Jelly Roll tut is wonderful. I am excited to get started. Just a couple of chores to get out of the way first. On my way….Have a wonderful day.

    Many thanks,

  48. Susan B, 06 March, 2010

    I too thought they were “puffy” both sides..duh! I think they will lay much better being flat one side and now I can see that they are indeed the same as the raindrop. A late but big YES for these too!

  49. Cheryl Hodges, 06 March, 2010

    i vote yes but I too thought they were puffed on both sides – anyway they look like that, smooth and rounded all over. A flat back would lay better but is it possible to make to puffed sides and join? I love the color and the simplicity too.

  50. cherie, 06 March, 2010

    absolutely I want to learn the puffy beads–looks amazing and I can’t wait!!!

  51. cherie, 06 March, 2010

    I need help with making some beads that look like jaspar–the green with salmon or pinkish orange mixed in–I have the two colors that I want to blend, my problem is that no matter how little I seem to blend them, once I put it thru the pasta machine it gets too blended to show the colors I need?? The clay needs to be flat so I can cut the square beads–so what am I doing wrong?? Somebunny nice, please help?? thank you

  52. carolyn, 07 March, 2010

    @cherie: Hi, Cherie – It sounds like you are referring to unakite. Unakite has striations and splotches. Sometime I think unakite looks just like a garden. This is one of my all time favorite semi-precious stones. I have an example of a unakite cab in one of my interchangeable sterling pendants on my website: lordstreasures.com/detail.php?id=3326 . The bottom cab is unakite.

    Is this the stone you are referring to? If so, I’d recommend, rather than blending, stack your colors randomly and use an extruder. After extruding run the clay through the pasta machine so it will be flat.

  53. Sue F, 07 March, 2010

    @cherie: I’d grate clay in the component colours separately, some coarsely and some finely, and then partially mix the different grated clays. I’d then gather the clay together and form it into a log or a slab, pressing everything together while trying not to twist the clay or blend it. Once I had my log or slab, I’d let it sit for a while to make sure it was nice and cool, and I’d then cut fairly thick, even slices from it using a tissue blade. Depending on the size of your log or slab, and which direction you cut it in, you might be able to use those slices directly for your square beads, or cut square beads directly from the slices. If not, place the slices side-by-side and touching on a flat surface to make a larger sheet, roll with a brayer in all directions so that the slices join up, and then if necessary feed that joined sheet through the pasta machine to even everything out. It would be important that the sheet be not much thicker than the setting on the pasta machine for that stage, however, as you don’t want to distort it or have the clay smear. Grating techniques like these work best with firm clay; if you use a softer clay, put it in the fridge for a while before grating.

  54. Silverleaf, 07 March, 2010

    @Sue F: You beat me to it! That’s exactly what I was going to say, lol. Think I might have a go at this one myself, it’s a beautiful stone, and I love making faux stones.

  55. Sue F, 07 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: I love making faux gemstones too. I have a whole stack of them that I can use for reference when I want a realistic effect… but sometimes I just take a bundle of scraps and invent my own stone!

  56. Silverleaf, 07 March, 2010

    @Sue F: Me too!! Who cares if there’s no real stone in a translucent turquoise colour with sparkly bits? ;)

    Just made some faux jade today with trans and dried herbs – three different green colours grated together. The beads are in the rock tumbler now along with some pale purple beads made from trans and alcohol inks with the Buffalo Snow type stuff I ordered from eBay for the faux opals tutorial. I’m planning on antiquing both sets of beads with acrylic paint when they’re done.

  57. carolyn, 07 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: You are soooo creative!

  58. Phaedrakat, 07 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Wow, it sounds like you’re making some really pretty stuff! I agree. “Faux” is freeing — you don’t have to mimic nature exactly. In fact, this is one way you can improve on nature!

    Actually, everybody sounds like they’re busy creating! Cindy’s tutorial has been really inspirational, huh? Lot’s of glowing goin’ on — all around the world!

  59. Silverleaf, 07 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Absolutely, that’s what I love about this site. I’m constantly getting inspired by things I see and read here. Thank you everyone!

  60. Phaedrakat, 07 March, 2010

    @cherie: When you first posted your question on the Dragonfly Pendant page, I thought you were trying to make Australian Rainbow jasper, with brick-red & green. I was trying to figure out how to do it, & decided to sleep on it. (My color-mixing experience is minimal, and the only “faux jasper’s” I’ve seen were in neutral tones, like Picture jasper.) I’m glad I waited to post — I had already started writing another one of my long-winded spiels with the wrong stone! I’m learning ways to keep my comments shorter… hehe

    This is wonderful, all the help everyone gives each other. This is an amazing community! Hurray for Cindy, and all the members of this site!

  61. Mary, 07 March, 2010

    Cindy, request alert! Cherie described her dilemma getting the right look with pink/orange/salmon & green beads she was attempting, Carolyn identified the stone Cherie was faux-ing (!) as, not jasper, but unakite and Sue F. suggested methods of getting the result Cherie was after with her square beads by grating the clay and other clever moves. Talk about teamwork – wow! Seeing the unakite cab on Carolyn’s site was a revelation – such a beautiful stone. Cindy, would you put that on your growing list of how-to-faux? Grateful thanks as always, Mary U-

  62. cherie, 07 March, 2010

    thank you all for all the wonderful help and ideas-will work on all of them to see which gives me the best results for what I am trying to achieve–again, I thank all of you and I too would love to see what Cindy comes up with for this one–

  63. carolyn, 07 March, 2010

    @cherie: Please let us know the results. Maybe if you email a photo to Cindy she could post it here. I rather like the idea of grating … or finely chopping then globbing and rolling. I may have to try that myself. But do let us know how things turn out for you … and what worked best. We are all here to learn together!

  64. cherie, 07 March, 2010

    and yes, that was about as close to the color of the stone as I guess I’ll find–my “real” beads are small squares but very similar in color-maybe a little more salmon and less reddish-but the idea is the same.

    Thank you all one more time, what a great place to be a part of! you guys have no idea how wonderful it is to be able to get answers so fast from so many…I purchased an item on Eb…a week or so ago, asked the seller what her technique was and the only answer I got was …years of working with polymer clay–how deflating and disappointing..the members here rock!!

  65. Phaedrakat, 07 March, 2010

    @cherie: OMG! How rude that seller was! It’s one thing to not want to share your technique so you can sell it, but you don’t have to be mean about it — especially to a customer!

  66. Silverleaf, 07 March, 2010

    @cherie: Yes, we’d love to see your results!

    Some people just don’t want to tell you their secrets in case you copy their work and take away their sales! I’m the sort that will tell anyone who asks exactly how I make things – I was in my local bead shop a couple of months ago showing the owner some of my pendants which she’d asked me to bring in, when a customer asked me how I’d made a particular one (based on Cindy’s Crackled Gold Leaf and Alcohol Ink technique). I gave her a rough idea how it was done, and as soon as she left the shop owner told me off for revealing my secrets! She says I should never say “Oh it’s easy, you just have to…” because then that person will go away and make their own version rather than buying one from me.

    I can sort of see where she’s coming from, but I still share. I figure if someone’s going to make their own pieces they’ll do it anyway, and I like to explain exactly how much work went into my jewellery.

  67. Cindy Lietz, 07 March, 2010

    “…the members here rock!!” >>> @cherie, I couldn’t agree with you MORE!!! The “teamwork” (as Mary put it) is phenomenal!

    @everyone – Please do keep on sharing. When someone needs help with something, your input is ALWAYS welcome and appreciated here at this friendly and supportive polymer clay community.

  68. cherie, 08 March, 2010

    When I get them done, I will most definitely send pix to Cindy and hopefully she will let you all see what I attempted to do–and once more thanks a million for all the help and support from super fellow “polygimists”–(hope you get the pun! lol)

  69. Phaedrakat, 08 March, 2010

    @cherie: Funny…lol. I love how everyone jumped right in to offer advice. It’s what I love about this site. It would make a great “member spotlight”, so make sure you send Cindy some pictures. Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

  70. cherie, 09 March, 2010

    I do have one little tip to pass on: when using the pasta machine, I don’t always have or take the time to clean it between colors, sooo….I keep one half package-(1 oz) of white on hand to run thru the machine before running a different color thru it–it will pick up most of any residue still on the rollers or hanging underneath where you may not see it. When the white sheet gets enough pieces and parts of other colors and appears to be a pretty cool looking bead, I make a bead out it and start a new “cleaner” sheet-works for me–thanks guys–chat later

  71. carolyn, 09 March, 2010

    @cherie: Super cool tip! Does this work to get the alcohol ink off the rollers also?

  72. Sue F, 09 March, 2010

    @carolyn: It did on the one occasion I had alcohol ink on mine. I do roughly the same thing, but mainly to get rid of the grey/black streaks that my pasta machine makes when you first use sections of the rollers that haven’t been used for some time, while making sure I won’t discolour whatever I feed through it next. The results of using clay for *that* kind of cleaning aren’t really suitable for making beads, however… unless you really, really like grey. ;)

  73. Genevieve, 09 March, 2010

    @cherie… What a cool idea, I love it!

  74. cherie, 09 March, 2010

    thank you, every once in a while I come up with one! lol

  75. Linda K., 09 March, 2010

    @Cherie, that is an amazingly good idea! I love that you use the clay for beads later. I’m definitely going to remember to do this.

  76. Phaedrakat, 09 March, 2010

    No kidding, the light-colored clay I’ve used to run thru the PM to catch stray colors or dark streaks don’t look pretty enough for beads. Then again, I haven’t been busy enough with lots of colors. When I get more caught up, my scrap piece will be pretty enough for beads – I’ll make it a goal!

  77. Sue F, 09 March, 2010

    I don’t get stray colours unless I’m using a softer clay like Premo. That doesn’t happen often so mine’s always grey. Perhaps I’ll use it for a “shades of grey” monochromatic bead set some time.

  78. cherie, 10 March, 2010

    I guess I don’t get the grey streaks from the machine because I do clean it with alcohol strips to get that off if its’ been sitting…so generally all I have on the clay is other tidbits of clay left over on the rollers—that 1 oz. will last a long time to pick up that kind of left overs..
    I am anxious to finish the piece I am working on..is anyone else in “The Muse” contest?? That is what the beads I am attempting to make are for.

  79. carolyn, 10 March, 2010

    @cherie: What is ‘The Muse’ contest?

  80. Phaedrakat, 10 March, 2010

    @carolyn: I did a search; it looks like “Use the Muse” is the 4th installment of a beading contest where you have to purchase a ‘kit’ that contains beads and a “muse,” one mystery item from the kit that you have to use in your creation. You can use as many or as few beads from the kit as you like, as well as things from your own stash. But you have to use ‘the muse’. Sounds kinda fun! You can find it at thebeadersmuse (dot com.)

    @Cherie: That IS the contest you’re talking about, right? Also, I was wondering if you’ve entered in the past?

  81. Marsha, 10 March, 2010

    @ Cindy Lietz – that’s OK about my name (Marsh)! My mother calls me Marsh and just a few of my really good friends! I loved it coming from you too! :)

    @cherie – that a great idea!

    @Everyone – I just love this site!!! I don’t always have time to try everything I read about here, but I always learn something and you all are just the best!!

  82. cherie, 10 March, 2010

    first here is a link to check it out: thebeadersmuse.com/journal/category/beading-contests
    it is sponsored by artbeads.com and there are very few kits left–the site can explain it all to you and there are links to past muse contests with pictures of the entries-winners and all entries. It’s a lot of fun, you can do any type of jewelry you like, so using the polymer clay is also an option here–the biggest rule and main rule is that you have to use the “muse” that they send you–and you can’t disclose the muse until the contest is over-otherwise you can add your own beads or just use the ones they send or don’t use any they send, except the muse of course-this is my first time entering and I am having fun with it, even tho I don’t like this times muse very well, but it’s growing on me–still looking forward to getting it done and submitting my entry

  83. cherie, 11 March, 2010

    ok, I need help with something else, am I correct that if you miss a weeks recipes-(I am a member) that you will not be able to get access to the bonus members recipe after that week is over??? I can’t get to the one from Creme Fraische from 20-4A and it really upsets me that I missed it–

  84. carolyn, 11 March, 2010

    @cherie: Cherie – You will find that recipe if you go to the members recipe site: beadvideos.com/category/recipe/. There you will find all the A recipes from the videos you have purchased.

  85. Cindy Lietz, 12 March, 2010

    First of all let me just say how delighted I am to see you all sharing tips and helping each other out here at the blog! I’m learning new stuff every day from you guys! Thanks!

    As well, I like the idea of adding faux unakite and other cool stones to the list of tutorials. There are really an unlimited number of stones we could end up making together. I’ve been tossing around some ideas in my head for making faux drusy gems (Google drusy and you’ll see how awesome they are). I am starting off with the basic fauxs, like turquoise, bone, opal and jade, but once we get through those we can move on to whatever we like, so keep those ideas and requests coming… You never know where we’ll end up!

  86. Beverly L, 16 March, 2010

    I just recently fell in love with drusy stones and have been trying to figure out how to make faux drusy stones out of polymer. I love the way they look like the crystal color is bursting out of the stone. I would love a tutorial on that, along with the other faux stones. I really love your tutorials and look forward to your newsletter every week. Thanks so much!

  87. Mary, 16 March, 2010

    @BLong: BLong, hello. What a challenge! Drusy stones:had a peek on Google and see drusy is like that sparkly stuff inside a geode, thousands of tiny crystals. Beautiful colours, B&W too, nice long Greek words -chrysocolla, psilomelane. Jewellery made from it seems to show the crystals ground back somewhat. Cindy, just when you thought it was safe to go snooze in the garden … As if!

  88. Phaedrakat, 16 March, 2010

    I love Leopardskin & Kambaba Jasper, well, also Picasso Jasper (and poppy, rainforest, ocean, dalmation, etc…) Lapiz lazuli is cool, but there are already tut’s for that all over the place. Someone mentioned Snowflake Obsidian, which is also cool (I love to wear this, easy match to my clothes!) And I’ve always been attracted to the look of Serpentine, esp. green/yellow…

    Actually, a lot of gemstones could be made the same way with PC, just with different colors. A strand of real gemstones like unakite or jasper has several different patterns, colors, & striations in it. We could have tuts to learn the different patterns instead of just a certain gemstone, then we could learn how to change them up by adding different striations/markings.

    After that, we’d be able to “create-a-gem” of our own! For example, Unakite and Sodalite look almost identical in their patterns, but the colors are totally different. That would make it a 2-fer tute! Does that make sense? The Leopardskin & Kambaba Jaspers I mentioned could work the same way; they have the same pattern to them, just different colors. ~just my 2 cents…

  89. Silverleaf, 16 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: That’s a great idea! That way we’d have a “toolkit” to make almost any kind of faux stone just by changing the colours or the size of the grated bits of clay or the type of inclusion.

    Endless possibilities!

    And while we’re talking about stones, a town about 20 miles away from me is famous for a type of semi-precious stone called Blue John. It’s only mined in two places in the world, and both are in Castleton. It’s a special type of fluorite with blue-purple and yellow colour and it’s really pretty, might be too transparent to recreate in PC though.

  90. Mary, 16 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: How intriguing. I found the Blue John website -beautiful stones, lovely banding patterns- and I wondered what will happen when it’s all mined out? Sad to think of that. There’s just that one mine in Derbyshire, so “rare” is an appropriate adjective for it – and then some. Silverleaf, did you see that stemmed goblet made from Blue John? Seems to be just the one craftsman working at the site. That “toolkit” idea of Phaedrakat’s, to adapt techniques is terrific. I don’t think Cindy ever sleeps as it is, but with her ever-growing list of show-us-how-to faux stones, well .. just sayin’.

  91. Phaedrakat, 17 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: That’s the first I’ve heard of Blue John, how very interesting! It’s lovely, and its locale makes it kinda like “your very own” semi-precious stone! If you haven’t done so already, get your hands on some; that way if/when they can no longer mine it, you’ll have a few stones of your own. (I didn’t see the prices, though, maybe this isn’t so easy to do??) That’s cool having something so rare mined practically in your own backyard!

    Thanks for understanding what I was trying to say about the gemstone “toolkit.” I’m guessing that Cindy wants to hear all of our ideas about Faux Gems or whatever kind of tuts we want to learn. She films them for us, so naturally, she wants us to be interested in them. Nothing is “set in stone” yet. (sorry for the pun) And she can always move things around on her list as the demands change. But she needs to know our preferences; if we don’t let her know, then she has to come up with something (which we will end up loving too, of course!) But if we tell her in advance, give lots of feedback and ideas, then we save her a step! She doesn’t have to try to figure it out herself; she can tally the “votes” and decide if she can actually create a video tutorial on the “thing” we’re asking about. So, everyone should give their ideas on which faux gems you’re interested in!

    Cindy will always be creative and come up will cool stuff to show us that we will want to learn (IMO). I’m just trying to make the point that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Meaning that if we ask to learn how to do something, then that might help Cindy focus her creativity. She can put her creative mind to work on that technique, as well as all the other cool stuff she’s got going on it there. (And yep, I still don’t know how she does it all!)

  92. Silverleaf, 17 March, 2010

    @Mary: Apparently they only mine 100kg a year, but I guess one day it will run out… won’t that be a shame? The goblet is fantastic! I’ve been to one of the mines, Treak Cliff Cavern – you can’t go in the actual mine itself but you can see the Blue John still left in the cavern. It’s quite a tourist attraction because the cave itself’s very beautiful, and they sell jewellery and other pieces made from Blue John

    @Phaedrakat: That’s a good idea, getting some Blue John for myself. I’ve been meaning to visit Castleton again soon anyway – I’m pretty sure they sell little imperfect chunks of rock as well as the worked pieces so if the worst comes to the worst I can just get one of those!

    And I totally vote for any kind of faux stone tutorial! I love semi-precious stones but I’m also interested in beach pebbles and other “non-precious” stones as well (like the ones Tina Holden does so well).

  93. Kat, 17 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Me,too — I love the beach pebbles, as well. (Tina H’s are very pretty.) I love the faux stone bracelets, very “natural”-looking jewelry. I had to go back to get a look at the awesome goblet you guys talked about, I didn’t see it the first time (clicked on a different site, not sure how!) I did see a picture of the Blue John in the cavern, though. How pretty that must look in person. And what a fun “field trip” if you decide to go! Hopefully, you’ll get a nice piece of Blue John stone for a reasonable price. And I hope that with the resticted amount they mine, it will last for a long, long time!

  94. Silverleaf, 17 March, 2010

    @Kat: Well maybe I’ll take my camera along soon – last time I went was in 1997, before digital cameras! I was17 then, which really makes me feel old… ;)

  95. Phaedrakat, 19 March, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Naw, you’re just a baby. It’s those new-fangled cameras, you know? Because I refuse to accept the fact that I’m old (I still feel young inside – well, at least in my head!) Oh, brother, I’m fooling no one. My body feels even older than I actually am! I noticed that the mining site had pricing for teachers & school tours — did you do something like that when you were in school?

  96. Silverleaf, 22 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Can’t say I feel 30 in my head, even if my body feel older at times too! We did go on a school trip – we had an exchange visit with a school in France, and when they came over to see us we organised some outings for them. I remember we went to York for the day too, and to Eyam (which is a little village famous because the Plague was there, and they isolated the entire village even though they knew most people there would die, because they didn’t want to infect the surrounding area).

  97. Mary, 16 March, 2010

    Forgot to say, Cindy has already put the gremlins in that remarkable mind of hers to work on the drusy project (see above) so it’s On Her List. XX M.

  98. cherie, 20 March, 2010

    Hi guys, Well, I sent some pix to Cindy so it’s up to her whether she wants to let everyone see the “beads” I made–they are not perfectly square and that’s the way I intended them to look–I thought the colors came out pretty good for a first try–thanks to all who helped me

  99. Cindy Lietz, 20 March, 2010

    Hi Cherie – Yes I did receive the pictures you emailed to me. Did you get my reply email to you?

  100. cherie, 21 March, 2010

    sure did and will gladly send the finalized phots in when the project is done–has to be after the contest is closed or I will be in big doo doo for exposing the muse! lol-thanks again to all who helped me-I am very happy with the results

  101. Phaedrakat, 22 March, 2010

    @Cherie: Can’t wait to see your Faux-whatever pics! (I can’t remember what you ended up deciding to make. I just remember everyone gave different ideas & tips on how to go about it…) Also, good luck on the muse contest. I, at least, understand about you not wanting to be in doo-doo… :D

  102. Cheryl Hodges, 22 March, 2010

    Googled ‘Drusy’- they’re awesome. Would love a tut on them.

  103. Cindy Lietz, 18 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Faux Unakite

    Hello to Everyone,

    A couple of new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Faux Unakite), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Cherie-S. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a write up. Hopefully the information will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

    @Cherie: …can’t wait to see your finished jewelry photos. What you should do is email them to me and submit an update article so I can post another (follow up) Spotlight feature for you. I’m sure there are many readers here who are anxious to see how your unakite project turned out.

  104. Suguna S, 10 February, 2014

    Hi cindy ..I have subscribed to your blog recently..I would love to purchase your old tutorials ..

    Baking tips one
    Puffy beads and the one with peeking puffed beads

    Please let me know how do I purchase? And the cost ?

    Also I would like to know if u need to purchase all the tutorial series in a volume or can I mix n match..


  105. Cindy Lietz, 10 February, 2014

    Hi Suguna, Thanks for the compliments! As for tutorials to buy, what I suggest would be an excellent start, would be to buy the Beginner’s Course. It has everything you need to have a good solid foundation in working with polymer clay including baking. There are 39 videos in the course for only $37.

    For the Puffy Bead Tutorial, that is in Volume-023 which also includes the Faux Jade Tutorial, Hammered Metal Bezels Tutorial and the Johnny Jump Up Cane (Pansy) Tutorial. Each Volume is only $9.95 and videos within each Volume can not be mixed and matched.

    In regards to a Peeking Puffy Bead, I take it that you are referring to the post you saw with the cutout version of the puffy bead. Unfortunately I do not have a tutorial on that bead. That was an adaptation that one of our students did on her own, after watching the Puffy Bead Tutorial.

    If you are looking for any other tutorial, just type your keywords into the search box at the top of the page and you should be able to find what you need. Hope you enjoy the tutorials! Thanks for commenting!

  106. Suguna S, 11 February, 2014


    Thanks Cindy. I have already picked baking…sanding etc..so i think i will buy your volumes that i need directly. I am looking at all the archives and picking up the ones suitable for me.

    Hope to subscribe soon !! Thanks for posting wonderful information !

  107. Cindy Lietz, 12 February, 2014

    Sounds great Suguna! Glad to have you here!

  108. Suguna S, 02 March, 2014

    Hi Cindy..I tried out a puffy pendant based on your tutorial..the top of the pendant is puffy an neat..but what happens is the back has gone concave..slightly..I did not drill a hole fearing this kind of problem could happen..is it because of the thickness of the clay? Or is it a baking problem..i used a baking tray with cornstarch..and covered with aluminium foil..and the entire oven ws insulated in ceramic tiles…

    Did anyone else face similar problem..please advice..

  109. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2014

    Hi Suguna, I would try baking your piece on a piece of office paper on top of a tile, instead of on the cornstarch. That should help the back stay flatter. As well, maybe let your piece cool down in the oven instead of shocking it by cooling too quickly. It could be that the air inside has compressed too quickly when it cooled and the clay caved in a little. Test these theories on a couple of smaller pieces and see if it makes any difference. Good luck!

  110. Suguna S, 19 April, 2014

    Thank Cindy! I got it fixed finally after a month of trial!

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