How To Make Beads | Football Beads For Making Custom Sports Jewelry

Football Beads

How You Hold Your Hands When Rolling Bead Shapes is Key:

I actually learned how to roll the football bead when trying to make round beads. No matter how hard I tried to get the beads round, they kept ending up in the football shape. Good thing I like how they look. Otherwise I would have been very frustrated! Sound familiar?

If you have been following along with my weekly video tutorials at the polymer clay video library, you will know that one of the tricks for rolling perfectly rounds beads is to hold your lower hand stationary. However, with football beads, you actually will want to move both of your hands.

A football bead is rolled in your palms moving both hands in large circles. The larger the circle you make, the pointer the beads will be. The smaller the circle the rounder the ends.

You can create interesting design effects in your football beads by using marbled polymer clay. As you roll the bead in the same direction in your hands, the two or more colors of the marbled clay will twist. This twisting of the clay leaves really nice spirals on each end of the football bead.

So go grab a chunk of clay and give it a whirl! It’s fun… and when you get good at rolling these beads, you’ll be cranking out football beads much faster than any bead roller could ever do!

And if you make jewelry to sell on Etsy or wherever, you might want to consider niche marketing to sport enthusiasts. There is a large demand for sports jewelry and beads.

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BY THE WAY… all the above information (and more) about making football shaped beads, is covered in Tutorial Video #19 of my 39 Part Polymer Clay Fundamentals Course. If you would like to see a sneak preview clip for this course video, here is the link:
Football Beads You Make with Polymer Clay

Or if you want to go straight to the course order page, here is that link: Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals

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Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


  1. Cindy Lietz, 11 December, 2008

    You can drill football beads from end to end like they are most commonly done. Or you can drill them through the side for a more spiky look when they are strung! And by drilling 2 holes through the side, they also make great buttons.

  2. Cathey, 14 December, 2008

    How expensive is it to get the supplies and materials to start making beads?

  3. Cindy Lietz, 14 December, 2008

    That’s a great question Cathey!

    Well that really depends on what techniques you want to do. You can make some great beads just with your hands. a couple blocks of clay and a bamboo skewer.

    But for under $100 you can get a pasta machine, acrylic roller, a clay blade, a tile, a bead rack, and a few different colors of clay, plus more if you shop well!

    You could also easily spend hundreds buying, texture sheets, molds, stamps, pigments, inks, gold leaf, jewelry findings, etc.

    As far as bead making goes though, it is very inexpensive compared to glass bead making and the results can be very professional looking. Plus it is very fun to do!

  4. Kelly, 27 December, 2008

    I have more trouble getting my beads perfectly round, than football shaped! Football beads (which I have been calling oval beads – is that wrong?) are pretty simple and make a great shape for earrings!! =)

  5. Cindy Lietz, 28 December, 2008

    Yeah those round beads are trickier for sure than the football beads! There is nothing wrong with calling them oval beads if you want. Thanks for the comment Kelly!

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