Making Your Own Bead Cones | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Polymer Bead Cones - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #250: “Cindy, you and Doug make it so fun and easy for us. Thank you both for helping me spread my wings.” ~Jeanne-C

Bead cones are findings that really should be in everyone’s jewelry making toolkit. They are usually made of metal, and often used for finishing off, both single and multi-strand necklace cord ends as demonstrated in the Vol-040-4 Bead Cones Tutorial.

This week I thought it would be beneficial for you guys to learn about making your own bead cones out of polymer clay. As you will see in the preview video below, polymer bead cones can also be made to resemble organic looking flower shapes, perfect for many types of earrings, pendants and charms. Of course, you can always use them like a ‘normal’ bead cone too.

Let your creativity flow!

What I love is that whatever is being taught here also encourages us go further beyond just what is covered in the lesson. I think there’s a Buzz Lightyear quote in there “…to infinity and beyond!” ;0) It’s a true compliment to Cindy that the lessons open up our ideas, not simply limit everyone to only the tutorials. . ~DJ

Cindy, you give me inspiration to go above and beyond! ~Marlene-C

Cindy, you and Doug make it so fun and easy for us. Thank you both for helping me spread my wings. I would also like to thank everyone here on the blog, just to let you know when I see your beautiful pictures and accomplishments it encourages me to try harder. Thanks everyone! ~Jeanne-C

So… coming up tomorrow (Friday, April 6 2012) in the Vol-047-1 members video at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I will be teaching all of you how to make your own Polymer Bead Cones in an unlimited variety of styles for use in your creative jewelry projects.



Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-047-1 Polymer Bead Cones:

– mica powder
– inks
– eye shadow
gilder’s paste
– stiff brush
– fluffy brush
– paper towel
– small cutter
– clay blade
pasta machine
– rubber stamps or texture plates
– small drill bit or needle tool
– mister bottle of water

By the way, many of the “shopping” links I provide for the various tools and supplies used in my tutorials, are “affiliate” resources. That means companies like Amazon and the other suppliers I refer, pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials so low… at only $3.32 per month. And, the prices for products that you may purchase through my links, are exactly the same as what you would normally pay. So please do feel free to click away whenever you need to pick up a few things for your studio. Thanks so much for supporting this site :-)

Here’s a sneak peak of this week’s tutorial…

The full version of the “Polymer Bead Cones” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-047 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy give yourself ten gold stars and 10 for Doug too, as the quality you both give is 100%. Anybody who is still dithering about becoming a member, you are missing out. Take the plunge and sign up, I am sure it will change your life. Trouble is there is no know cure for this addiction (but I’m happy with that!!!). Cheers. ~Elaine-F

Cindy and Doug, you definitely deserve an award… or recognition of some sort for the amazing content you produce. Thanks so much for keeping the cost of the videos low, and the quality SKY HIGH!!! ~Phaedrakat

I don’t buy books much anymore… but I HAVE learned enough here, to be able to go back and figure out the missing information that the books I do have, omitted. For the small amount I gladly pay for the tutorials, the knowledge I’ve gained allows me to make the instructions in the books easy to figure out. ~Ken-H

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Polymer Clay Bead Cones video tutorial:

  • See examples of Polymer Bead Cones, made in a variety of sizes and finishes and then assembled into beautiful polymer clay jewelry pieces.
  • Learn the reasons why you may just want to get yourself a set of tools form the cake decorating section of your local craft store.
  • Find a cool use for cheap dollar store make-up that you probably never thought could look so good.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Polymer Bead Cones” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-047 Back Issue Package.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Monique U, 05 April, 2012

    Cindy, this is such a lovely design! Looks deceptively simple but endlessly adaptable to many styles and colours. I am grateful to have all the required equipment for this week’s project LOL. Of course, I was already eager to start collecting your beautiful Bergenia Blossom and Grape Hyacinth palettes tomorrow (bet they’ll make awesome cones). Looking forward to another great month of jewelry ideas!

  2. pollyanna, 05 April, 2012

    The bead cones are wonderful. Will be nice to make my own to match my beads.,

  3. Jocelyn, 05 April, 2012

    Love the cones!

    There’s a way to use a set of these where you can pull a scarf through them and use them to arrange all sorts of shapes.

    Will google, lol……………………………

  4. Lesley Symons, 05 April, 2012

    Jocelyn you read my mind! I was just thinking about using them on a scarf when I read your post.

    Another great tute to look forward to! My Easter visitors are all arriving tomorrow, so I shall be up early to watch this one. And I’m really, really looking forward to the Bergenia palette too – superb combination of colours, I am definitely making a necklace in this colourway just for me. Wow, lots of treats!!!!!

  5. pattw35, 05 April, 2012

    What a pleasant surprise. I have played around with bead cones but, to make my own………GRAND!

    This is going to be so much fun. I have a multi stand necklace, that I haven’t finished. It is because I couldn’t decide on what bead cones to use. So glad I didn’t finish . Now I can make something special. Thanks and thanks again. This is a BIG winner………..

    You bring smiles to our faces every Friday. Not many do that . Your happy voice smiling thru the videos – what a lovely way to spend our Fridays. You brighten up our lives………………….

  6. pattw35, 05 April, 2012

    opps ……… dyslexia keyboard did it again. That should be “strand”, sorry.

  7. Angela M, 05 April, 2012

    Cindy the psychic strikes again. Bead cones, I’m so excited, hooray!

    I also have a piece I started and haven’t finished because I need cones and didn’t want to spend so much on the commercial variety, pretty as they can be. I’ve been thinking on making polymer cones but haven’t yet come up with a method that was foolproof. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

    Thanks Cindy :)

  8. Jeanne C., 05 April, 2012

    I really like the pendants you made. Looking forward as always to Fridays tut!

  9. Lupe Meter, 05 April, 2012

    Bead cones!! I have been wanting to make some…looking forward to Friday’s tute! 8)

  10. Jocelyn C, 05 April, 2012

    Another great tute filled with different products, techniques and tools. Totally surprised by the way you made the cone shape.

    How can you resist not putting tiny little silver, brass or copper bells inside?

    Googled polymer clay scarves and found two pics showing the use of cones with scarves. Of course you’d have to make the end hole bigger….

    These are mighty cones, maybe you could shape them on a funnel or on metal or silicone baking cone shapes. Cindy’s smaller more delicate versions would be sweet on light summer scarves.

    This cone shaped scarf pin could easily work in a cone shape.

  11. Lesley Symons, 06 April, 2012

    Thanks for those links Jocelyn … these look beautiful, especially the big one. You certainly would need a hefty cone to shape these on …. hmmm, surely there’s something in the house somewhere ….

    I’m also inspired to make some earrings after watching the tute – would look lovely made with the art sheets ….

    I used to decorate cakes, and I’ve found a lot of my cake equipment really useful with clay. I use the shaping tools on a regular basis, and the leaf and petal cutters, leaf veiners etc etc also work well with clay.

    Such a pity there’ll be no time to play till after Easter!!!

  12. sandy triplett, 06 April, 2012

    Hmmm, wonder if an empty cone from serger thread would work. I have several of them, looks like it should. Just remember if you have to buy the thread for the cone, get the cheap ones. Joann’s has them for about $2

  13. Dixie Ann Scott, 06 April, 2012

    Jocelyn thanks for the links, those cones are so pretty. I am wondering if you could use a styrofoam cone like they use to decorate christmas trees with.
    Hmmm, gives me something to look around for the next time I am in Michaels. Coneheads, hee, hee

  14. Jocelyn, 06 April, 2012

    Not sure how styro would react to the heat…..maybe papermache cones made for Christmas trees? You could cover it with foil.

    The more I look at the flattened cone shape, shimmery translucent, with the hanging appendages, it makes me think of mid to deep sea creatures.

  15. Dixie Ann, 06 April, 2012

    You would have to take it off the styrofoam before baking. I just meant to use it as a form to make the cone. You still could roll it for a stamp impression while it was on the form and then remove it for baking?

  16. Jocelyn, 06 April, 2012

    Sound great so long as it will stand under it’s own weight while baking. It tends to droop. I’ve had some adorable shapes come out for this reason.

    But if you wanted a true straight cone I would bake it on some shape and remove it while hot. You can still do some shaping while it’s hot off the form.

    Once you get it where you want it, just run cool water over it to “freeze” the shape.

  17. Silverleaf, 07 April, 2012

    Expanded styrofoam shrinks when it’s heated. I’ve seen this used to make hollow polymer beads and boxes, since the styrofoam form gets really really small so it can be removed through a hole in the piece. Haven’t tried it myself, but I definitely saw it online somewhere.

  18. Christl Pelikan, 06 April, 2012

    Cindy, Amazing how you come up with such great ideas every single week! Thank you!!

    I forgot to hit the “notify me” button when I asked for help with my glueing problem. Hope that’s still possible.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2012

    Hi Christl, I answered your gluing question over here:

    Let us know if the tips help.

  20. Dia H, 06 April, 2012

    Great Tutorial Cindy!!. Love the cone with ball head pin . I will try this week. BTW, I would love to learn how to make copper ball head pin.
    Can you make it possible??? .Please Please .Please!!!


  21. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2012

    Hi Dia, I kinda did a balled headpin tutorial in a round about way, by taking a collection of other people’s YouTube tutes and giving my own commentary on them. It was a awhile ago on this 5th Friday post… Make Your Own Jewelry Headpins

  22. pollyanna, 06 April, 2012

    Great ideas as usual. I love how you give us ideas on how to make them ‘ours’.

  23. pattw35, 06 April, 2012

    Isn’t this great gang ? How useful is it ? Waaaaaay to go Cindy !! Love this tute !!! FYI – you can use a chandileer light bulb for a really big cone…..teehee

    My mind is spinning –see you later…………

  24. Dixie Ann Scott, 06 April, 2012

    Cindy, what a lovely, easy and creative way to make bead cones.
    I never would have thought to use that tool. You really know how to
    fire up our brains every Friday. I must admit I have become an addict for your tutorials. Your creative processes are amazing.

  25. DJ, 06 April, 2012

    This is fabulous!! I really like the simplicity of these, your pieces look a bit like pretty textured sea glass…the subtle textures are lovely. I’m usually drawn to bright, rich colors but the softness here with the cones is just awesome! AND no sanding! I can see these working as clusters too. Thanks again for the inspiration Cindy and Doug.

  26. Elaine Faulks, 07 April, 2012

    Thanks to Pattw35 for her tip.

    ( I nearly threw an old pointy type dud lighbulb away, but dived into the recycle bin and retrieved it for an attempt to make monster size bead cones) Thought these would make great tie-backs for my embroidered door curtains. A while ago I took the door off (stored in the shed) as it was taking up too much space and was then able then to fit my huge antique table and chairs into my room.

    I love these curtains (had them for years) they are a light tan floaty material with leaves and tendrils embroidered in a shimmering cream thread. They never came with tie-backs so I just tie a loose knot at the bottom to hold them open and when I want to close them I untie it!

    Now what cupboard or box did I stash my cream cord? I will have to make four of these monster cones to use as tassels. Love the organic translucent look and the copper dangles will give them the weight to hang elegantly. Wow CINDY, now you have my mind racing.

    Wouldn’t a whole bunch of these look great. Strung on invisable thread at different heights across a window. You could match them to your decor.

    Or small shimmery pearl ones with pearl dangles wired to a hair slide/clip or similar for a bridal headdress, with tiny matching ones for the bridesmaids. I think the possibilities are endless. Don’t know how you do it CINDY, you never fail to get my creative brain going at overdrive!!!!! Thank you…Happy Easter to All………………………..Cheers xx…………..

  27. Phaedrakat, 07 April, 2012

    Very cool! Love the look of your pieces, Cindy — just lovely. This tute is beyond simple…your method will create cones very quickly — and gorgeous, too! My brain is cracklin’ with ideas; I’m inspired, for sure!

    Several people are talking about alternate “forms”, so I thought I’d point out a discussion of this topic from over a year ago (the Bead CAPS video post…) Linda asked what she could use a mandrel to shape and bake polymer cones.

    Items mentioned were metal cake decorating tips, sharpened pencil ends, stiff paper/thin cardboard forms (remove wedge shape from a cut-out circle, then overlap ends & join,) or forms made with alum. foil.

    Thanks so much, Cindy. Your tutorials are always entertaining…they make me wanna PLAY and CREATE…

  28. pollyanna, 07 April, 2012

    good too ‘see’ you Kat my friend. Hope you are doing okay.

  29. Phaedrakat, 27 April, 2012

    Hi Pollyanna & Patt! Sorry it took so long to see your comments and respond. Times have been quite tough lately, so your greetings and well-wishes mean so much! Thanks…hugs and my best to you both (and to the rest of my beloved clay family!)

  30. pattw35, 07 April, 2012

    Hi Phaedrakat ! Glad to see you here ! Hang in there gf !

  31. Dia H, 07 April, 2012

    Thanks, Cindy.

    I will try it then.

  32. Peggy Barnes, 09 April, 2012

    Hi Everyone !!!

    Wow Cindy just watched the tute and loved all the different options. You can set your mind a twirling with this one. I have my shingles back in my eye again so I’m still not able to work with my clay much. I will be going to to University of Iowa Hospital to see specialist end of April, hopefully they will be able to help me out a little more. Can’t wait to be a regular again here and visit with everyone each week. Till then many Uuggs and prayers and clay for me too.

  33. Dixie Ann, 09 April, 2012

    Peggy, am sorry to hear you got your shingles back. UIHC is a great place to go. I only live 22 miles from there in CR and my best friend just had a tumor removed from between her ear and throat. She is doing very well. I sure hope they can help you with your situation. It’s too bad you don’t live in CR we could visit and share clay stuff. I am wishing you the best.

  34. Phaedrakat, 27 April, 2012

    Oh, Peggy, I can’t believe your shingles have come back. It must be unbearable — not fair!. You are one of the sweetest, most generous people I know…you do not deserve this to happen to you! (Not that anyone does, of course…but ya know what I mean…) I hope the specialist solves this thing once and for all. Lots of prayers & painless hugs (Uuuuuggggs!) headed your way! Hang in there, my friend! ~Kat

  35. pattw35, 30 April, 2012

    Peggy – So sorry for your woes ! The darn shingles are persistant. Hope you get relief and can comes and play clay soooooooooon !!! WE miss you !!

  36. Sheila B, 16 April, 2012

    You are amazing…. love this. Have only been doing polymer for about a month and am addicted. So different from my metals, etc.

    Take good care,


  37. Patricia R, 22 April, 2012

    Hey Cindy, love love love these earrings you’ve made here, so beautiful. I would like to do some similar ones but I have no clue as to how to do the stamens. What gauge of wire is best to use in this project? Please help!

  38. Cindy Lietz, 07 May, 2012

    You are in luck Patricia! We just filmed a tutorial on making Stamen Bails that will be out later this week. Everything you need to know will be in there. Have fun!

  39. Ken Hamilton, 25 April, 2012

    Could you not use the Wilton cake decorating tips as a form if you desired a more true cone shape, or would the metal cause trouble with scorching?

  40. Jocelyn, 27 April, 2012

    If it did darken, I’d use an old tip from Cindy and soak it in bleach. Having access to both sides of the object might cause it to lighten up a lot.

  41. Cindy Lietz, 29 April, 2012

    I’m sorry Ken, I meant to get back to you on this sooner. I think the Decorating tip would work well for this technique. You could always bake it on there for ten minutes or so so it would hold its shape, then pop it off to let it bake on its own the rest of the way. That would prevent any scorching from heat spikes (plus you could bake more at a time that way). Of course Jocelyn is right about the bleach thing, should it darken in any way. Why don’t you try it? Let us know how it goes!

    (BTW it is nice to hear from you. It has been great having you as part of our clay family all these years. Have you talked with Carolyn lately? Haven’t heard from her for awhile and am hoping she is doing OK.)

  42. Ken Hamilton, 29 April, 2012

    I just wished her a happy birthday (4/29) on FB, due to the pneumonia a while back she had to move to a lower altitude, and is going through setting up a new household.

    I don’t think I’ll be able to do any claying until after Aug., I will be singing the role of Sparafucile (the assassin) in Rigoletto, while it’s not that long of a role, it is a major role and some of the music is quite complicated. I hope (fingers crossed) that the production will be videotaped and I will put my scenes up on FB.

  43. Christl Pelikan, 29 April, 2012

    How wonderful Ken, you are not only a polymer clay enthusiast but also an opera singer! I love Opera, Verdi, Puccini, particularly Rigoletto (singing Gilda in the shower!!) Looking forward to your post on FB. Do you ever sing in New York or somewhere in Germany? I wish you much success! All the best, Christl

  44. Ken Hamilton, 29 April, 2012

    Thank you so much! Oh how I wish, I sing with smaller companies in the Philadelphia area, I’ve thought about doing and “audition” tour in europe, but can never get enough continuous time off from my day job to be able to do it. My degree from college in in Voice Performance, I would absolutely love to do this full time, but reality keeps knocking on the door, and I’m not financially secure enough to take the “Leap of Faith” I’m hoping this Rigoletto production helps get me over this next hurdle.

  45. pattw35, 30 April, 2012

    Hooray ! Congrats Ken. Good role and maybe a spring-board ! Hope all the best.

    I e-mailed Carolyn for her birthday. Hope she heals soon. She has been gone for so long. Miss her nice comments.

  46. Ken Hamilton, 30 April, 2012

    From your mouth to the Divine’s ears. :>)

  47. Jocelyn, 04 May, 2012

    Miss Carolyn as well. She is an accomplished artist, and I own and have given as gifts many of her creations.

    Ken, I do not think the membership would object if you wanted to throw up a couple of links to your work. I’d treasure the opportunity to listen to you again.

  48. Peggy Barnes, 29 April, 2012

    Thanks for the concern everyone. Went to specialist and so far no permanent damage to my eye. The decrease in sight should eventually come back. I just have to be careful and try to treat all flare-ups as quickly as I can because I have scar tissue on my cornea and every time it returns I have a chance of getting more and this is what could cause partial or total blindness. Thank God it is just the one eye Rt. so even if it should come to that I am still very Blessed with the sight I have in my left eye. I was told if I want to try to work with my clay I can cover my Rt eye for short periods of time but I should try to do as much as I can without covering it. So hopefully the first of next week I am going to start working with my clay again. Thanks to Cindy and Doug I have so many wonderful tutes I can start working on. I am so far behind not sure if I will ever catch up but it will sure be fun trying. God willing I will be back to bug you all again with questions and comments. I have missed everyone so much and it looks like this family is growing bigger and bigger all the time. Can’t wait to learn more about everyone I haven’t met and most eager to visit again with all those I do know and remember.Watch out I’m back and hopefully to stay for a very exciting year of claying with my family. Can’t wait to see what you have waiting for us Cindy. No doubt Doug will show us in true top of the line filming.
    Many Uuuuugggs for all.

  49. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 29 April, 2012

    It’s great to hear that you are on the mend Peggy. You are such a trooper and we’ve all missed you around here.

    For anyone that wants to wish Peggy well, there is also some dialog happening over at this thread as well.

  50. Natalie H, 04 May, 2012

    I know how it feels to be behind on Cindys wonderful tutes… I have ben out. Of it since. I broke my ankle in. January … Last week mu friend asked me to share a table with her at a local temples. Craft fair … I told her I did. Of have enough stuff to sell.. So she said you have almost 3 weeks .. I started worked up a storm. Making up me beads..some for necklaces,pendants etc and today I w etcto
    Micheals and picked up some more white.,white pearl and green glitter also some findings ( bails,chains satin cord ,etc) best buy was New bottle caps from the mix media section at Micheals…..going to use the with glue on bails or pins with my multiple number of canes that I made and am still making.. The arorua. Technique looks great in the bezels. I founder a geat use for the end pieces … When stacked side by. Side it gives a great design .. Similare to using and extruder Ans stacking them .
    I will let w everyone l is how it tries out.. It’s on May 20


  51. Dixie Ann, 30 April, 2012

    Ken, I would love to hear you sing. Everyone in my family loves opera. My half-sister is a direct descendent of Fredrick Handel so we grew up with beautiful music and a great appreciation in the Music Arts. I wish you all the luck in the world in your singing career.
    Every roll is important no matter how small. The performer makes it
    his or her own. It is so exciting to learn of other clayers talents.

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