Making Beads with a Mod Polymer Clay Cane for Cool Jewelry Projects

Mod Cane and Tube Bead

Jewellry making is more fun when the beads you use are made by YOU!

The upper left image in this photo is a modern funky polka dot cane. Slices from this cane were added to the surface of the tube bead also pictured.

What makes the ‘Mod’ polymer clay cane such an excellent cane for beginners is how easy it is to build. Using an extruder tool, you squeeze out long snakes of clay using different shades of clay. These multi-colored snakes are then cut and stacked to make a block of clay or ‘cane’ which can then be thinly sliced and added to any shaped clay bead or pendant.

Extruder canes such as these can be made in any color combination you choose. For the cane in this project, I used the color recipes posted in this article: Mixing Polymer Clay

When you make several different types of canes from the same palette it is easy to coordinate handmade bead designs into your jewelry making patterns.

Creating a variety of different styled beads in the same color palette can make for an interesting piece of jewellry that still flows nicely because of the identical colors it contains.

A good example of how versatile one simple color palette can be is the big difference between how the modern polka dot bead above looks, compared to this flower bead made from the exact same polymer clay color recipes.

So like I always say (well maybe this is the first time I’ve said it), if you are busy making beads and polymer clay canes for your jewelry projects and designs, nothing bad will ever happen to you :)   …   And that’s my good Karma advice for the today. Talk to you tomorrow. Same time, same place.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Marianne Huber, 25 July, 2008

    I’ve got an extruder. I bought it on sale a long time ago and now I know what to do with it. I will try this type of cane for my fingernail canes. Yeeaaa

  2. Marsha, 25 July, 2008

    Fascinating!! Where do I get an extruder? I have so much to learn!!! Cindy, I like your theory that nothing bad can happen if you’re busy making canes and beads!! I think you are absolutely right!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 29 July, 2008

    Trust me Marsha… Bad things can happen when your not doing polymer clay! For example, when I got pregnant, I was not doing polymer clay!! :-) [EDIT… Oooops, I didn’t say that quite right… I love having my kids…I just meant…. Well, You know… Bad things!!  *wink, wink*]

    My favorite extruder is the Makin’s Professional Clay Extruder. It is the green Aluminum one with the twist in handle. Avoid plastic ones or the squeeze trigger ones. Plastic will break and the squeeze triggers are too hard to squeeze. Michaels carries them.

    Cindy’s last post..Slicing Fimo Nail Art Canes | Sculpey Polymer Clay Cake Toppers

  4. Cindy Erickson, 04 August, 2008

    Cindy, You really have a way of making what looks impossible, POSSIBLE! Thanks! It never fails…every time I see something new on your site, I get all excited, my heart starts beating fast, and I just have to start working right away to try my hand at what I just saw here!

    To put the cane slices on the bead, do you first make and bake a plain bead, and then cover it with the cane slices?

    I will have to try the Makins extruder. I got the cheaper brand, tried it once, and decided that that was enough of that! I would have to be a body builder to get the clay to come out with it, but it looks like the Makins brand probably gives a lot more leverage. I actually saw a woman on a craft show using her feet to get the cheaper brand extruder to work! I don’t know if I am athletic enough for that!

    :) Hugs to you,
    Cindy Erickson

  5. Cindy Lietz, 05 August, 2008

    Cindy You are a delight! Really her foot to squeeze the handle?! That’s nuts! The green metal extruder by Makin’s is the one to get. It has a twist in handle and not a squeeze trigger. My wrists would never be able to handle the abuse of a squeeze handle! I would hate to use my foot and possible get dirt in my clay!

    I put the cane slices on a raw bead. A video on the technique is scheduled to play in the video newsletter in the next few weeks. So anyone wanting to know how to add cane slices to a bead, (in this case a lentil bead) needs to make sure to get on my Polymer Clay Guest List in order to get access to the video!

  6. Toni, 29 August, 2008

    Okay, I have a ton of how-to books. I am now inspired to actually give it a try.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 30 August, 2008

    That is really great Toni! Glad you’re here!

  8. Luthien, 27 April, 2010

    Does anyone know if polymer clay is harmful to pregnant ladies or their baby? I’m about 6 weeks pregnant, I don’t know if I should continue making polymer clay jewelry or not … sigh … I wonder if anyone has continued playing with polymer clay thru pregnancy. Thanks for your help! HUGS!

  9. Cindy Lietz, 28 April, 2010

    @Luthien: That is a very good question Luthien. No one has asked that before, here at the blog. The best thing to do is to ask the manufacture of the clays you are using or wanting to use. They will have the best information for you. Then when you get a response, let us all know what they say. This will help others who may be wondering the same thing, but just haven’t asked yet.

    I am curious… has anyone else contacted the different polymer clay companies in regards to safely working with polymer clay during pregnancy? If you you have, could you share your findings with us? This would be very helpful! Thanks!

  10. Phaedrakat, 28 April, 2010

    @Luthien: Congratulations!

  11. Linda K., 28 April, 2010

    Congratulations, Luthien!!

  12. Phaedrakat, 11 May, 2010

    Did Luthien ever let us know what she found out about pregnancy & polymer clay? I’m curious. — Not for THAT reason, unfortunately I was never blessed that way :( Anyway, it’s too long a story, but I’d like to know. Does anyone know of any safely concerns, either pro or con — preggers & polymer?

  13. Jocelyn, 19 July, 2010

    Cindy, my apologies, but I had to bump this one. Think it’s one of the first blogs here, and I know it’s the one I found first. Was so intrigued by the format and style of the blog, wonder how long it took me to join after that?

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