Want to know how to make big beads that are light and use less clay?
One of the popular trends this year is really large chunky beads and pendants. When you are making oversized beads out of polymer clay, you run into a couple of problems. First the weight of the bead; and next the amount of clay it takes to make just a few beads. As well, because of the sheer size of the bead, it can be tricky to get it to cure properly without having to bake it for a really long time (2 hours plus).
Recently, several subscribers of my Polymer Clay Guest List have asked this common question in some form or another… "How do I make large polymer clay beads (tennis ball sized) without using too much clay?" And… "What can I use to dummy out the inside and not add much weight to it?" Here’s a link to where you can see where questions like this and others have come up: Polymer Clay Instructions
One really neat way to solve this big bead problem is to wad up a piece of tin foil as a dummy bead. You could also use masking tape instead of tinfoil if you like. Compact it as tight as you can so it is really hard and so that it holds its shape. Cover the ball with a thick sheet of polymer clay. You can then continue making your bead, adding canes, patterns, texture, etc.
It can be a little tricky to pierce the bead when there is foil or masking tape inside. Try using something strong and sharp like a darning needle or knitting needle since bamboo or wire won’t be strong enough. Once pierced, bake the bead as normal.
Make sure when you make beads like this that the outer clay layer is thick enough that it won’t wear thin when you are sanding it.
It is important when you are learning how to make polymer clay beads that you ask as many questions as you can. I know that many of you out there have lots of questions. Don’t wait to see if someone else speaks up first. Ask right now in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you. This blog and my beginner bead making course will become a much better resource for you if you do!