Making Round Beads with Hollow Centers for Fimo Clay Jewelry Projects

Making Hollow Round Beads

How To Lighten Up Large Polymer Clay Beads By Making Them Hollow:

Q: I enjoy reading your comments and instructions. I have a question how do you make a 1″ round
hollow bead? ~Rezvan Kline

A: One way to make a hollow bead is to roll out a flat sheet of polymer clay and use a circle cutter to make two equal sized rounds. You can then bake each of these clay pieces separately over something spherical and heat safe, like a small light bulb, glass ball ornament or marble.

After both of the half spheres are baked hard, you will need to sand the edges a bit so that the two halves of the ball fit together nicely. These two halves will be glued together using a super glue like Krazy Glue. The seam can then be disguised with a snake of clay or can be left alone if you like.

Now this technique takes a little practice to get the spheres even. In order to make a nicely formed bead you will need the baking surface to be round enough. How well you match the two halves will determine how round your bead turns out.

I have heard of people using demi-sphere (half ball) molds for making hollow beads. You can sometimes find these as chocolate molds or specialty food molds used by the catering industry.

Some of those demi-sphere molds are convex and some are concave. Either would work as long as they were heat safe.

For large hollow beads you will need to make sure they are baked properly for strength. Read this article for some info about how to do that: Rules For Baking Beads

Also it is important to use a strong brand of clay. Here’s a link to an article that will help you pick the right clay for the job: Best Polymer Clays

After the bead has been baked, glued, sanded and buffed, you can carefully drill it or glue on a bail to make your pendant or other jewelry item.

Hopefully Rezvan, this hollow bead tutorial was helpful for you. If you or anyone else has further questions about the techniques, just leave me a comment below!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Lietz, 01 October, 2008

    Did you know you that some people make ‘oven fried marbles’ by baking in the oven until hot and plunging into ice water? They look all crackled inside and are cool for wrapping with wire and making into pendants!

    Maybe you could bake some hollow polymer clay beads on marbles and then plunge the marbles into ice water… two techniques in one!

  2. Rezvan, 20 October, 2008

    Hi Cindy,

    Thank you for responding to my email regarding how to make hollow 1″ round bead. I glue them together and looks great. However, I don’t want to put hole through it to string it and since it has glue I can’t attach another piece of polymer clay pierce through it and put it back in the oven. So, how to you make a bail and string this piece?


  3. Cindy Lietz, 20 October, 2008

    Hi Rezvan, I’m so glad they turned out! There are many different types of metal bails that can be glued on with a super glue like Krazy Glue. They are sometimes called mounting bails. A quick search for ‘glue on jewelry bails’ will give you tons of places you can buy them.

  4. Rezvan, 20 October, 2008

    Hi again Cindy,

    What if I want to use polymer clay as a bail. Would that be possible and would glue holds the piece on prebaked poly clay.


  5. Cindy Lietz, 21 October, 2008

    Yep. Krazy Glue or any other super glue will work for gluing baked clay to baked clay. So go ahead and design a polymer clay bail and bake it. Then glue it to your bead.

  6. Shelly, 21 October, 2008

    Ok, another question for you. I did a search and didn’t find anything. Can you bake a magnet into the clay or is it best to glue after baking. Just thinking it would be more durable if it is baked as part of the piece.
    **Having way tooooo much fun with this** Thanks, Shelly

  7. Cindy Lietz, 21 October, 2008

    Great question Shelly! You can embed the magnet into the clay if you want there are no compatibility issues. The only issue is that if there is too much clay over the magnet it will lose strength. So take that into consideration in your design.

    If you are talking about just pushing the magnet into the clay and having it exposed you will have to glue it in after baking since the clay and magnet won’t bond to each other.

  8. Mary Ellen, 13 November, 2008

    Have you ever baked the marbles to crack them? If so, how long and what temp?

  9. Cindy Lietz, 15 November, 2008

    I’ve baked those flat marbles, Mary Ellen. I just put some in with a batch of clay beads and dumped them into water when I took them out. Crackled quite nicely!

  10. Lynn, 18 February, 2010

    Hi Cindy, Love this weeks tutorial!

    I teach Polymer Clay classes to elementary school children. I remember seeing a jewelry site that had a tutorial and samples of bracelet beads made with the flat back clear marbles.I just can’t seem to find any info and my bookmarks don’t help. Does anyone have any info on this technique?

    Thank you, Lynn

  11. Phaedrakat, 18 February, 2010

    Hi Lynn, I’ve seen some jewelry tutorials featuring flat-back clear marbles, usually with photos underneath. I haven’t tried any of them myself, though. I did a few google searches using variations of these words “tut clear flat back marble polymer clay” and found several projects to choose from. The one you’re looking for is probably among them. Also, had a “photo bangle” tut in both video & written forms – is that the one you were looking for?

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