Polymer Clay Jewelry Made with Several Styles of Flower Petal Beads

Rose Petal Beads by Marsha Nelson

Spotlight: “I must admit that it’s kind of scary to send photos… my work is still new and evolving!” ~Marsha-N

I am so proud of you Marsha for being brave enough to send in photos of your flower bead jewelry. There is no need to feel scared. Your work is gorgeous! But I do understand that it can sometimes be difficult to show stuff when you feel your designs are still evolving.

One thing to realize when creating polymer clay beads, is that you must begin somewhere and go on from there. You should be proud of where you are at and look forward to where you can go with your skills.

It is the journey you must focus on. Because it is in the learning that all the fun is. The fact that you can take a little lump of clay and create beautiful beads is a wonder in itself. If there were no challenges, no mistakes, only perfection… that sense of joy and accomplishment you felt when something turns out fantastic, would be lost. The beauty would therefore be meaningless.

Even though you felt nervous sending me the photos Marsha, I bet it feels good to see your lovely jewelry ‘in the spotlight’. To see the items up on the page in all their glory. Doesn’t it?

For those of you who are not familiar with flower petal beads, they are created using translucent polymer clay and real dried flower petals.

Related links for this spotlight feature include: (1) Flower Petal Beads; (2) Rose Petal Beads; (3) Memorial Jewelry; (4) Keepsake Flower Beads; (5) Rosary Beads (6) Building Confidence as a Polymer Clay Artist

Here is What Marsha Wrote…


Here you go!  I must admit that it’s kind of scary to send photos to you – my work is still new and evolving!

These are the photos I have on my brochure.  The captions from the brochure are as follows:

Photo 1: Stretch bracelet made with red rose petal beads and garnet Czech glass beads.

Photo 2: Bracelet made with yellow carnation petal beads and topaz Czech glass beads with a gold plated lobster clasp.

Photo 3: Key ring fob made with yellow and peach carnation petals.

Photo 4: Necklace made with bronze/yellow variegated chrysanthemum petal beads and custom wood beads.

Photo 5: Necklace made with pink rose petal beads, jet black Czech glass beads and silver plated chain.

All the round beads are 8mm.  All flower petal beads have been sanded, polished and sealed with an acrylic finish (Future).

I also make earrings with a simple 8mm round flower petal bead (but I’m not entirely happy with the photo so I didn’t include it here!).

Thanks for all you do for us!


Rose Petal Beads by Marsha Nelson Rose Petal Beads by Marsha Nelson
Rose Petal Beads by Marsha Nelson Rose Petal Beads by Marsha Nelson

Don’t you all just love it that Marsha sent in these great photos, of her flower petal beads and her finished jewelry projects? Please thank her for doing so and tell her what you like about her designs. I think you did a wonderful job Marsha and I for one would be thrilled to see more of your work. Keep on Evolving!

** If you have been inspired by my teachings and would like to be featured in an upcoming Spotlight Article, then please do write up something creative and email it to me along with a selection of your project pics. Make sure to send me high resolution photos that I’ll be able to zoom in on to show the details of your work. If you don’t already have my email address, simply leave a comment below and I will get it to you right away.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Freda, 10 August, 2009

    Great job Marsha. I like each of the pieces and would hate to have to choose only one. Keep up the good work!

  2. Ken H., 10 August, 2009

    Very Nice, I really like the key ring. I understand about the photos, getting them right can make you crazy!

  3. Jackie Mello, 10 August, 2009

    Very nice Marsha! What a great idea – using dried flowers as inclusions. I’ve heard of herbs and spices but never dried flowers. The pics are great – don’t fret. We are all super-judgemental of our own work. If we weren’t we’d never evolve as artists.

  4. Catherine, 10 August, 2009

    Beautiful work Marsha. Your flower combinations are nice and different from the ones I have seen. Thanks for being brave enough to share!

  5. Silverleaf, 10 August, 2009

    How lovely! Inclusion is one of my favourite techniques. :) Haven’t tried flowers yet (tried pretty much everything else!)

    I like the way you’ve paired your clay beads with glass beads – makes them look even more special, like they’re too precious to use more than a small amount for one piece.

  6. Melinda, 10 August, 2009

    Wow, I love the flower inclusions. Your beads are fabulous!!! I love the natural yet vibrant colors. The shapes are simple which gives them so much possibility!

  7. Lisa Whitham, 10 August, 2009

    Beautiful – I love the color combinations… You should be very proud of such beautiful beads!

  8. Carrie, 10 August, 2009

    Marsha, these are beautiful! I do have a question though. How does the color of the flowers stay after they are dried? Every flower I have ever dried just turns brown.

  9. aims, 10 August, 2009

    I love your beads Marsha! I even said ‘wow!’

    They look like beautiful stones – so glassy and pretty!

  10. Joyce, 10 August, 2009

    A wonderful job, Marsha. I agree that sometimes we are too critical of ourselves but you don’t need to be with this beautiful work. I like the designs and color combinations. Do show us more as time goes on, will be watching.

  11. Catalina, 10 August, 2009

    I haven’t made any beads from flowers like these but my husband has! Only he didn’t use translucent clay. They came out pretty good but they would have been even better if a little translucent clay was used. I didn’t know what he was doing at the time. (I guess I wasn’t keeping an eye on him :) And then it was too late. But, I would like to try it.

    I wondered if you didn’t dry the flowers how would that turn out? I even thought of sealing the flower petals before kneading them in the clay.

    Anyways, love your beads! Be proud of your work we all are!

  12. Laurel, 10 August, 2009

    These are beautiful! I love your combinations too. I wasn’t on the blog when Cindy first showed these so this is new to me. Very cool though. Now I want to make some. :)

  13. Polyanya, 11 August, 2009

    Marsha what lovely beads and I love the way you’ve made them up into jewellery. Really good photos too – you should feel very pleased with yourself.

  14. Anna Sabina, 11 August, 2009

    Very nice beads. You do beautiful work. I have not tried the flower inclusion but have some dried rose petals ready to toss in some clay.

    Catalina. Where did you ever find your husband? We already saw the beautiful studio in your home and now we hear he makes beads. God bless this man !!!!

  15. Catalina, 11 August, 2009

    Anna, If I told you were I found him you wouldn’t believe me! But, how he came to make the beads was when his father passed away last March. I told him I wanted a rose from his Dad’s funeral flowers to make the flower beads. I guess I didn’t get to it fast enough and he got a hold of the dried flowers and made his own beads. He chose a light pink but he didn’t use a translucent clay. But, the beads came out pretty though. I made a cute bracelet for my mother-in-law as a keepsake. I actually wanted to try to punch a heart shape out of the petals and lay it on a bead like a decal. I’m just not sure if it will work.

  16. Jocelyn, 11 August, 2009

    Gorgeous work Marsha. Those inclusion beads look like actual stone, especially with the settings you placed them in. I love your necklaces, and the fact that you combined glass beads with the focal beads. It makes the inclusion bead pop out.

  17. Laurel, 12 August, 2009

    Cool idea Cat. Let us know if it works.

  18. Marsha N, 12 August, 2009

    I am overwhelmed!!! Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

    Ken: I’m glad you like the key ring. I had men in mind when I designed it.

    Carrie: In my experience, the color of the petals after drying really depends on the flowers. My son got married last month and there were blue delphiniums, green mums, and green carnations (among others of course) in the bouquets and boutonnières. The delphiniums and green carnations held their colors very well but the green mums faded. You just never know until you try!

    Catalina: I’m not sure what would happen if the flower petals weren’t dry. I know Cindy always says they have to be completely dry and so that’s what I do!! :)

    Cindy: Thank you for teaching me through this blog, for all your encouragement, and for including my work in this spotlight. I highly recommend your videos and articles to anyone getting started or wanting to improve with polymer clay bead making! You’re the best!!!

    I have to credit my husband, John, for the photographs. He works hard at it!!

    Thanks again, everyone!!! I am humbled and greatly encouraged!

  19. Heather Graef, 12 July, 2010

    @Marsha: Its a little late to comment on this post, but I like your flower petal beads. Ken mentioned possibly pressing the petals, and Carrie asked about fading. Well, I’ve been reading up on a lot of techniques on this blog today, and it sounds like the PYM II Sealant (aka “SuperSeal” in the USA) (pymii.com) works really well on a lot of things – maybe use it on the petals to seal them before adding to the clay. I’m going to try it as soon as I get a chance.

    So, you used some of the flowers from your son’s wedding… this made me think of a nice gift idea – pendants made with some of the petals for bride/bridesmaids gifts (or cuff links for guys?). Random thoughts…

  20. Catalina, 12 July, 2010

    @Heather Graef:great idea using PYM II for preserving the color of the pedals. I got to try this. Maybe Carolyn has tried this. If you have, Carolyn, let us know!

  21. Phaedrakat, 12 July, 2010

    @Catalina: I wonder if UV resin would work? It’s bakeable, so — maybe?

  22. Heather Graef, 12 July, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: The PYM II is supposedly protects against UV.

  23. Ken H., 13 August, 2009

    For some of the flowers, could you not press them. I’ve seen picture frames with little floral arrangements of pressed flowers, where the flowers are still as colorful as if they were fresh.

  24. Jocelyn, 13 August, 2009

    Ken, for any type of dried flower I have every tried, in order to keep the color intense and the blossums close to original, you have to monitor light (bad) and humidity (also bad).

    Dried in the basement on and off the stem, did flat flower pressing, and also dried blossums covered in that builder’s sand (which is how it eventually ended up in the Lortone, LOL). My Mom could get fantastic dried hydrangea blossums, could never get it to work for me.

    All were gorgeous, but, the seasons and exposure seem to take their toll. Come to view it as a “instant” or “short term” process. Never stop me from doing it, but, aside from using the petals in a stable inclusion, like polymer clay, the long term results are tough to maintain at least here in New England.

  25. Nancy Reddick, 13 August, 2009

    Marsha, your inclusion beads are beautiful. They do look like real stones. You should be very proud of yourself. I think my favorite is pic 2 love the amber color beads as an accent.

  26. lynn watts, 14 August, 2009

    Marsha your beads are GORGEOUS & BEAUTIFUL. the trans makes the world of difference. all your pieces are eye candy. Thanks for sharing your wonderful work . Can’t wait to see more. Lynn

  27. Kathleen, 14 February, 2010

    Is there a way to use fresh flowers too? Do you know the process if you wanted to use fresh flowers? How would you keep the color bright?

  28. Phaedrakat, 15 February, 2010

    @Kathleen: Hi! I haven’t tried this, but I know I read about someone using fresh flowers. It was on one of the other pages. Look at the links about halfway through Cindy’s article (above the set of photos.) Then do a find (Control – F) on each page for “fresh.” Or you can read through them all. They’ve all got information in them, as well as other photos.

    Happy claying!

  29. Phaedrakat, 15 February, 2010

    @Kathleen: I went ahead and looked at the links. The one that mentioned fresh flowers was the Rosary Beads article.

    I think there’s more out there, but I can’t seem to find it right now. You can try using the search box for other articles. Or perhaps someone else has information…?

  30. Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2010

    Thank you everyone for your comments! And a special thank you to Phaedrakat for all your extra help answering the questions! You are doing a stupendous job :-)

    The busier things get around here, the more the rest of you are going to need to try and find the answers you need by doing quick searches on your own. I have linked to an article by my name for help on navigating this site so that you can get the most out of it.

    As well, it would be great if some more of the regulars would help out in answering questions too, so that poor Phaedrakat doesn’t get burned out. This site has become an excellent resource because of all of you. So please help out by responding to questions that get posted by others, whenever you are able.

    99% of all the questions asked on this blog have already been answered. It is just a matter of doing a search, to find it.

    Thanks everyone, for all you do to make this a helpful polymer clay community! :-)

    BTW Kathleen, you can sometimes use fresh flowers if they are quite dry to start otherwise they can go brown and the moisture can cause problems during the baking process. For more you will need to use the search box at the top pf the page like Phaedrakat so kindly suggested.

  31. Phaedrakat, 02 March, 2010

    @Marsha, or anyone else who makes memory bracelets: Carolyn Winters has red roses from her brothers funeral, and would like them made into memory bracelets. Leave a comment for her at the link if you can create keepsake bracelets for Carolyn & her daughter.

  32. Marsha, 02 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat, I commented to Carolyn Winters at the link you provided. Thank you so much for spreading the word on her behalf. The keepsake jewelry is a special way to honor and remember a loved one.

  33. Phaedrakat, 02 March, 2010

    @Marsha: Oh, Good! I hope she gets back to you, so you can help her. Your jewelry is lovely!

  34. Marsha, 02 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Thank you!

  35. Heather Graef, 12 July, 2010

    Oh, now I see the keepsake jewelry idea has already been mentioned! Great minds think alike : )

  36. Marsha, 12 July, 2010

    Heather, Thank you for your comments! I would be interested to know how the PYM II works on sealing the petals before they’re dried. One caution I would have is that if you tear or chop the petals after you spray them with the sealant, their natural moisture could leach out through the torn/cut edges which would not be a good thing. Let me know how it works for you! For now, I’m content to dry the flowers well before mixing them with the clay.

  37. Heather Graef, 12 July, 2010

    @Marsha: Hi Marsha, I was thinking that the petals should be dry before PYM… I’ll come back and leave a comment on this post if I try these ideas out. Good luck with your beads! ~H

  38. Sue F, 12 July, 2010

    @Heather Graef, Catalina, Marsha: I’ve tried using PYM2 to seal leaves to preserve their colour, but it didn’t work. I gave some leaves several sprays, front and back and around the edges, and I left some leaves alone for a control. The PYM2-ed leaves still shrivelled and changed colour after some time. They were MAYBE very slightly richer in colour than the leaves that were dried without giving them any PYM2 coats first, but that’s probably just because the PYM2-ed leaves are shiny from the PYM2 which would make them appear darker anyway. The PYM2 definitely didn’t preserve the original colours that the leaves had straight from the plant. I haven’t tried it with flowers or petals but I expect it would be the same.

  39. Heather Graef, 12 July, 2010

    @Sue F: Thanks for the input Sue. Have a good evening.

  40. Marsha, 12 July, 2010

    While it would be nice if we could somehow keep the flowers’ original color, I kind of like the surprise that comes with the drying process as well as how the dried petals will then react with the clay. I always prepare my customers for the possible surprise and they’ve all accepted it very well. It’s good to experiment though and I do apprciate hearing what has been tried. Thanks to everyone who has commented here!

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