Polymer Clay Lentil Beads – Making Them Can Be Very Addictive

Lentil Bead Making Tutorial Video

Vid #47: When Making Lentil Beads, Here’s Why You Should Only Roll Them in One Direction:

Making Polymer Clay Lentil Beads by hand is one of the most addictive and fun beading or jewelry making techniques you can learn. This uniquely shaped bead is often referred to as a swirly bead because of the way the polymer clay colors spiral together during the rolling process. They can be used to make very elegant bracelets and earrings.

Remember to always roll your lentil beads in only one direction. If you switch directions, the beautiful swirly pattern will unswirl and become all muddled. Referring to them as “muddled beads” just doesn’t have the same ring now does it :-).

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The full version of the Lentil Beads preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-001 Back Issue Package.

Although the lentil bead design is pretty simple, it does take some practice to get the technique right for rolling them by hand. The topics covered in this Lentil Swirly Beadsvideo include:

  • Using the plexiglas acrylic sheet from the Amaco Professional Bead Rack for rolling polymer clay lentil bead shapes by hand.
  • No plexiglas… no problem. You can improvise with a clear plastic CD ROM case.
  • Where and how to hold your fingers so that your lentil beads turn out perfect every time.
  • Applying the right pressure so that your round lentil beads don’t turn into ovals.
  • Modifying the lentil bead rolling technique to create bicone beads instead.
  1. Kristy, 31 March, 2008

    Oh these are my FAVORITE type of beads! So neat

  2. Cindy Lietz, 31 March, 2008

    Oh they are cool aren’t they!! You can drill them from the side, like I did here or you can drill right through the center of the bead for a completely different look. Probably the most addicting part to these beads is rolling them. Once you get started, you start grabbing every stray bit of clay you have to roll them into a lentil bead!!!

    CIndy Lietz’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Image Transfers – Some Mistakes To Avoid

  3. Cindy Lietz, 02 April, 2008

    It’s best to practice with scrap clay. Once you get comfortable with this lentil bead making technique, then start working with mixtures of different colors. And remember if it’s too perfect, it won’t look handcrafted.

    For more videos about lentil beads watch:
    Making Lentil Bead Holes Using Piercing Wire and a Gentle Touch
    Lentil Beads From Scrap Polymer Clay will Surprise You Everytime

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Bullseye Cane Making Tip for Polymer Clay Beginners

  4. Lori Smith, 22 May, 2008

    Thank you so much for showing us how to make these. I love these beads and they are my favorite as well.

  5. tova, 22 May, 2008

    hi cindy

    i am from israel’ and wriht not so good’ as you can see/ i enjoy your videos and learn a lot/

    thank you

  6. Sherry, 23 May, 2008


    Thank you for the free tutorial videos which I enjoy very much. The lentil bead video was very simple and informative. You are a great help to the polymer clay beginners like myself. Thanks again.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 23 May, 2008

    …this comment came to me via email so I added it in here myself. It’s from Stephanie and she mentions about a common problem that many people have when first learning how to roll lentil beads…

    "AWESOME!!!!! THANKS SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!! I’ve been wanting to know how to prevent the oval shape . . . this is perfect!!!!"

    Thanks Stephanie… I appreciate your kind words. Cindy.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Alcohol Ink Techniques and Recipes for Polymer Clay Artists

  8. SC Steph’sStuff, 23 May, 2008

    I LOVE this video Cindy!!! Thanks ever so much for posting it! Yes, they are VERY addictive!!!!

  9. denby, 23 May, 2008

    Get video! I will have to try this technique! Thanks!

  10. Nora White, 23 May, 2008

    Your video demonstration for making lentil beads is great! I love the way they swirl. I’ll have to try the cd case idea. I have a lot of them laying around. Nora

  11. Cindy Lietz, 23 May, 2008

    @Lori: Thanks so much for coming by to leave a comment! I’m glad lentils are your favorite, mine too!

    @Tova: I am so proud that you left me a message! I love it when people visit from other countries! I’m so glad you learned something even though English is not your first language. The power of video!

    @Sherry: Thank you! I’ve always felt the beginner was getting left behind. I’m so glad this video helped you!

    @Steph: I know!!! Isn’t it nuts!! Once you get rolling, you may never stop!!

    @denby: Thanks so much for dropping by! Let me know how it goes for you.

    @Nora White: Thanks! I’d love to see what you end up making!

    BTW next weeks video newsletter episode will be just as good. For anyone reading this who is not already on my Guest List, here’s the link where you can sign up to receive a full version of one of my video tutorials pretty much every week (for free). Here’s the link: Polymer Clay Tutor Guest List

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Polymer Clay Sale at Michaels Arts and Crafts

  12. Maria, 23 May, 2008

    Thank you Cindy! Now I understand why I was getting oval beads. This is truly an addicting technique! Two of my friends have placed orders for these necklaces. I didn’t make them yet because they were coming out lopsided because I was too impatient to let them cool before piercing them. Now I will wait.

    What is the trick to making patterned beads? Are those cane slices on top of solid color beads or are those rounded pieces of canes?

  13. Cindy Lietz, 24 May, 2008

    Thanks for your comments Maria!

    Yes the patterns on the other lentils you saw in the video were added with cane slices. Most of them are done with cane slices on plain beads, but the odd one was done on a multicolored bead. Canes are too precious to make the whole bead out of, unless it is some cane ends or scraps.

    I will be showing a video on adding cane slices to lentil beads in a cane course in the future. So stay tuned for info on that.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Meet Polymer Clay Doll Artist Bonnie Jones

  14. Cynister, 17 June, 2008

    When I first saw this technique I thought, “What could be so addictive?” Then I realized, “Oh, that’s how you do the swirl.” Then I tried it. Ok, I admit it. I’m hooked! This has got to be one of the simplest techniques but the result looks so impressive. I lentil-ed a buncho f clay this weekend! Thanks Cindy

  15. Cindy Lietz, 18 June, 2008

    See I told you!…

    Cindy last blog post..A Polymer Clay Glitter Story – Ellen DeGeneres vs The Crafty Chica

  16. Sherry Westeen, 20 May, 2009

    Lentil Beads by Sherry Westeen

    Oh my gosh Cindy. Yesterday I started watching the library videos and thought I would just learn one thing at a time. I watched the Volume-001 lentil bead series and I am hooked. I burned our supper (chicken on the grill is a pain in the butt anyway) because I got so caught up in this new creative ability of mine that I forgot it was on the grill. I can’t stop! All of my clay scraps were used for “practice”. I now have none left. Let me know what you think. Tomorrow, I would like to learn Mokume Gane Technique if I can pull away from this! Thank you so much for having such wonderful videos. You make it so easy to learn.

    Sherry Westeen
    AKA: Klay Kisses

  17. Cindy Lietz, 20 May, 2009

    Sherry – I love it that you jumped right in with both feet. You have wonderful enthusiasm and your beads turned out beautiful!!! Sorry about your burnt chicken dinner. Hopefully your DH and family weren’t too terribly mad. Can’t wait to see your Mokume Gane pics and hear more fun stories from you :)

  18. Cindy Lietz, 14 August, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Kimisen, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Etsy Jewelry Business” link by my name above to have a look at her lentil bead work.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 25 September, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Monica Daris, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Polymer Clay Lentil Beads” link by my name above to have a look.

  20. MalindaJ, 08 January, 2010

    I finally got my clay and made my first lentil bead!!!! It was only one color since I want to get the technique down before I start mixing for the swirls. It was so easy and turned out so great! The one problem I’m having is that I can’t get a crisp edge. The edge is a bit too rounded. Also, in rolling I’m too easily turning it into a disk! (which will come in handy for sure but is not the desired outcome) Any tips?!

    Keep up the great work Cindy. I can’t wait to walk through every single video and master all of the great teqniques you are teaching us!

  21. Cindy Lietz, 08 January, 2010

    Glad you are having fun Malinda! If you don’t push as hard when you are doing your swirls the edges will be crisper and the the bead won’t be as flat. In fact it will be quite pointy. Like a bicone bead. You can press a little harder near the end once your swirl is done and your edges are crisp. Just don’t press so hard that you flatten it out again.

  22. MalindaJ, 08 January, 2010

    Thank you so much for your super fast response Cindy! I was able to get a nice edge finally! I am having other issues now, LOL! For one thing, I’m using Fimo clay and the colors get all over my hands! Is this normal? The black is especially icky and when trying to do the lentil with black and turquoise it really muddied up the color. It color is even rubbing onto my tools.

    The other problem I had was I could not ge the colors to swirl. I kept rolling and rolling and rolling (thus muddying up the black just from the contact) but only got the slightest hint of a swirl only at the tip! It is quite cool in the room I’m working, though the clay was soft and easy to work with. Do you think maybe it wasn’t warm enough or does my technique still need work? Pooh!

    Other than that I am just loving playing with the clay!

  23. Cindy Lietz, 11 March, 2010


    Sorry for the delay in responding to your follow up questions. The Jan/Feb Bead Giveaway contest had me scrambling a bit to keep up with everything. But at least I can now say “…Better late than never.” :-)

    In the Q&A part of today’s post about Lentil Beads, I provided some feedback regarding your lentil beads techniques questions posted above.

    The link by my name will take you to today’s blog post. Once you are there, scroll down the page a bit to get to the Q&A section. Hope the information is helpful for you.

  24. Sandy Henry, 10 July, 2015

    i just wanted to make sure everything was up to date. Don had a stroke and I have not been on for ever. I retired last week and I am learning from the beginning along with teaching my 9 and 7 year old granddaughters the art of polymer clay. I hope all is well with your family. I just viewed the video on cleaning your polymer clay machine. I also used a 5/7 card with a baby wipe and it seems to work pretty good. Thanks for have the site up for so long.

  25. Cindy Lietz, 14 July, 2015

    Hi Sandy, all is well with us. Thanks for the update! I hope Don is OK and is recovering well. Good to hear that you are getting back into the clay with your grandkids. That will be a good way to relieve stress and have some creative time together. Take care, ~ Cindy

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