Piercing Beads with Small Pins vs Making Large Hole Beads

Piercing Beads

Vid #27: Size Does Matter When It comes to Piercing or Drilling Holes in Beads:

Although there are ways to drill holes in beads after the polymer clay baking process is complete, it is usually easier (and safer) to pierce them beforehand.

Most bead racks come with long metal pins designed for making small bead holes. However, for large bead holes you can use bamboo skewers, knitting needles, metal rods and even plastic drinking straws to punch through the clay.

Be sure to use lots of cornstarch on your bead piercing tools. This will help to keep them from sticking to the polymer clay which can cause your beads to become distorted.

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The full version of the “Making Holes in Beads” preview video shown above, is included in my Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals Course [SEE Video #27 of 39]. In it I discuss how to make both small holes and large holes in all kinds of beads including lentils, bicone, round and tube bead shapes. I even demonstrate a unique paper and leather punch tool for making holes in flat pendants after they have been baked. Finally, I show you how to do bead piercing so that the hole exits the bead on the other side, exactly where you want it to.

  1. Ernie, 20 April, 2008

    I always new that size matters! Fortunately I have no worries at all in that department, my special bead drill bits are very well endowed. Now I would like to endow you with a meme (I’m so clever).

  2. Cindy Lietz, 21 April, 2008

    hehehe You’re a funny guy! Good to hear you have such good tools in your shed!

    About the meme… those things drive me crazy! (Watch, one day they’ll be my favorite thing. I like to change my mind sometimes!) Even as a kid I threw out chain letters no matter how much bad luck I was supposed to get by breaking it… Guess I like to live life on the edge!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Jelly Roll Cane – Perfect for Polymer Clay Beginners

  3. Sarah, 20 January, 2011

    I read on line that you can use paper punches to cut sheets of baked clay. Is this true? And if so do you have any tips on how to do it?

  4. Cindy Lietz, 20 January, 2011

    Hi Sarah,

    Yes you can use paper punches to put holes through clay, although you will will likely have better luck with leather punches because they have finer tips to work with. Most paper hole punches are pretty blunt and large and will be difficult to use with clay that has any thickness to it.

    I demonstrate how to use a paper / leather punch in the beginners course video referenced above in this post.

  5. Nesha D, 06 August, 2011

    How to punch holes in beadelles? what kind of machine is used for that?

  6. Cindy Lietz, 09 August, 2011

    @Nesha D: Are you making them out of polymer clay? Because I just use a regular drill bit to drill holes in my beads by hand. No need for a machine

  7. Nesha D, 09 August, 2011

    @Cindy Lietz:
    Thank you! In this case I was referring to Beads like Beadelles; We ended up drilling through them, but I wonder why ALL of the colors don’t come with ANY size hole bc it wasn’t rocket science drilling through them.

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