Polymer Clay Tutorial | Book Beads | Perfect Gifts for Teachers

Polymer Clay Book Beads

Vid #131: “Hooray! I’m a bit of a bookworm as well so the book beads will be a nice present!” ~Silverleaf

Thanks for your enthusiasm Silverleaf! Thank you’s are also in order for Sue Werner. Based on a suggestion she recently offered, these weekly video announcement posts are going to take on a whole new purpose, which should be really helpful for many of you.

First read Sue’s comment below. She posted it last week in reference to the Holly and Berry Cane Tutorial. And then I’ll fill you in on the details.

Cindy, just a suggestion since I am so excited to try this cane as soon as I can view the video… and I hope I have all my supplies on hand. Is it possible for you to list the clay colors we will need a few days before these great videos come out? (or the name of the color recipes if that is what you used?) Our nearest store is where I work, but about 35 miles from home. Since these come out on the weekend, sometimes I can’t try them until I can get back in town to pick up supplies :-(  Just a thought. I know how hard you work on all these videos and the blog. But a heads up on the colors we will need would be a great help. ~Sue-W

Well Sue, your wish is my command. But I’m going to do one better. Rather than listing just the colors, what I’ll do is provide you guys with a complete tools and materials list for each video.

Supplies List: Video-018-2: Book Beads:

Polymer Clay:

  • White Clay (Premo, Kato, Fimo or Studio by Sculpey. I used 1/2 cube of Studio by Sculpey in the color Whipped Cream.
  • Colored Clay (Premo, Kato, Fimo or Studio by Sculpey. I used 1 cube of Studio by Sculpey in the color Denim.


  • Pasta Machine and or Acrylic Roller.
  • Clay Blade.
  • Skinny Dowel (Etch and Pearl Tool, knitting needle, bamboo skewer, small mandrel, round tooth pick, etc.).
  • Piercing tool (needle, etc.).
  • Plastic Clay Knife (anything smooth and dull for pressing in lines).
  • Small Alphabet Rubber Stamp (Optional).

Other Supplies and Materials:

  • Cornstarch.
  • Piece of coarse weave fabric (denim, canvas, linen, etc.).
  • Acrylic paints and/or Antiquing Medium.
  • Small brush for antiquing.
  • Paper towels.
  • Large jump ring for inserting in hole for hanging on jewelry, bookmark etc.
  • Ceramic tile and piece of card stock for baking beads on.

The full version of the Vid-018-2 tutorial will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday November 13th, 2009. But if you would like to see a sneak peak intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

But first, a special announcement from Anna (aka Silverleaf)…

My birthday is on Friday Nov 13th so hooray! I’m a bit of a bookworm as well so the book beads will be a nice present to console myself – I’m having a birthday with a zero in it and still not quite come to terms with it yet! ~Silverleaf

Happy Birthday Anna!!! So… are you going to be making book beads on your birthday or is it going to be a night out on the town?

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor




Click Video Play Button

Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
>> Polymer Clay Tutorials <<

The full version of the “Book Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-018 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Cindy, I have found that your tutorials are so easy to follow and easy to understand. I prefer to learn by seeing and your videos definitely do that and more. I am so glad that I came across your website because I found that your videos and membership are so reasonably priced. Again, thanks for your hard work and I, too, soon hope to submit some of my works for your Spotlight. ~Catherine-R

The following topics are included in this “Book Beads” video tutorial:

  • See examples of several different book beads in a variety of sizes, colors, textures and finishes.
  • Discussion of the type of clay to use and how much you will need.
  • Learn how to build the bead shape so that it looks like a real book.
  • Demonstration on how to use a chunk of scrap fabric to get a realistic looking cover texture for your book.
  • How to use a simple tool to get the look of pages in your book bead.
  • Discussion on how to use a rubber stamp to personalize your book beads.
  • Ideas for bringing out the texture and highlighting the features of your book beads using paint and antiquing medium.

The full version of the “Book Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-018 Back Issue Package.

  1. Linda B., 10 November, 2009

    What a great idea. My thanks to Sue and you Cindy for the supply list….

  2. sarahwww, 10 November, 2009

    Great idea on the colors and materials!
    The book beads look cute.

    Maybe in a few years (or months) we can work on a “Kindle” or “Nook” bead! LOL

  3. JoyceM, 10 November, 2009

    Thank you Sue for your “supplies List” suggestion and Cindy for your response to provide us with this information. Now Fridays will have more time for the actual creation. Really looking forward to this book tut.

  4. Jeanne, 10 November, 2009

    Posting the supply list is very helpful. Since I teach a lot of craft classes I always supply a list of materials needed 3 weeks in advance allowing everyone to take advantage of sales.

    It’s so true about the clay community being so friendly, I have met the most wonderful artist. Every year in Tucson we have the largest bead, gem and mineral show held in Feb. with people coming from all over the world. At the Bead True Blue show we’ve had Julie Picarello, Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg, Lisa Pavelka, Christi Friesen to name just a few who hold classes during the week. This year our guild will have their 5th annual dinner with the polymer clay artist that are here for the show. It’s a grand evening mingling with them and having a show and tell.

  5. Silverleaf, 10 November, 2009

    Great idea Sue!

    You know, I’m already thinking about whether you could make an actual book as a pendant, with real paper and a polymer clay cover. I do know how to bind books so I probably could do it. How exciting!

    And as for my birthday… no real plans as yet. I’ll probably go out to a nature reserve in the daytime as I haven’t been birdwatching for such a long time and I miss it. I think a meal with friends then drinks on Saturday night. So pretty dull really! ;) I’d be out partying with my university choir friends except everyone’s away this week as it’s “reading week”, so I’ll probably arrange something for next week instead.

    So maybe I’ll have time for book beads after all. :)

  6. Phoenix, 10 November, 2009

    Oh, I’m going to have so much fun with this :)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the supply list! It’s going to help out a bunch! Thanks Sue and Cindy!!

  7. Helen Sperring, 10 November, 2009

    Happy Birthday, Silverleaf!!!!!!!! Enjoy your day…… I thought Jeanne’s idea of posting three weeks in advance for the sales was a great idea, too. I always wait for a sale before I buy my clay. I don’t buy anything unless its on sale or if I have a coupon. Things are tight, today.

    I love the list of materials, too, Cindy. This site just keeps getting better and better. Love it. Clay on, everyone!!!!!!! Honey

  8. Peggy, 10 November, 2009

    I agree Thanks for the idea Sue and Cindy you always come through for us. Just like a teacher always wanting to give the best to her students.

    Happy Birthday Silverleaf!!

    Looking forward to Friday.

  9. Lisa Whitham, 11 November, 2009

    YaY for the colors and materials list! Thanks Sue and Cindy!

    Happy Birthday Silverleaf!!!


  10. Maria C, 11 November, 2009

    My daughter loves to read. This book-bookmark will make a wonderful stocking stuffer for her! Thanks.

  11. Laura B, 12 November, 2009

    Great idea to give the materials list! Very much appreciated!

  12. Elizabeth K, 13 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy
    loved watching the book tut just now and as usual you have inspired lots of ideas as to what to do with it.
    I can see myself doing minatue art journals for friends that journal Mmmm… have to put more thought into that one.
    Anyway thanks for the tut it is so cute.
    Bye Love

  13. Peggy Barnes, 13 November, 2009

    Love Love Love it. This is a perfect gift for me and my Grandkids to make for their teachers at school and church. We are going to give it a try right away.

    Thanks again Cindy for another fantastic lesson. You are terrific!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Adrienne lindsey, 13 November, 2009

    I have 2 grandchildren who absolutely love to read and will love getting this as a stocking stuffer this Christmas. Thanks for the great instructions on your movie clip.

  15. Shannon, 14 November, 2009

    These book beads are too cute! I want to make a stack of books for an art doll and this will be perfect! Thank you!

  16. Tina Adams, 14 November, 2009

    Question, there was mention of a list of materials, where might I find that ? I love this, I got a couple books for one of my challenges and was wondering how they did it, now thanks to Cindy I know !

  17. Elizabeth K, 19 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy and all. Just loved the book beads and am making more. Here is my first efforts.

    Book Beads by Elizabeth Kerr

    I did not have any wire to use and have just used the black leather cord temporarily, and I used some small stamps since I had no Alphabet ones. Will have to find them too. Everyone here who has seen them just love them. Thanks for your great tutoring. Love E.

  18. Elizabeth K, 20 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy thanks for finding the time to put my Book beads up here. hope they inspire others as they are fun to do.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 23 November, 2009

    Thank you everyone for the great comments! So sorry that I didn’t reply sooner, but as you may be able to see, it’s getting pretty busy around here!!

    @Tina: The supply list is posted in the post above.

    @Elizabeth K: You are very welcome. How could I not post your cute beads! Thanks for sending me the photos!

  20. carolyn, 07 January, 2010

    Is it possible to condition clay too much? I used the denim by Studio Sculpey and it became so limp I could hardly make the covers. What am I doing wrong? I used the largest setting on my pasta machine. The clay was so ‘goopey’ I just couldn’t keep the edges of the book crisp looking like yours. Just not sure what I am doing wrong. Any advice most appreciated.

  21. Rose, 11 January, 2010

    Is it necessary to condition the white clay used for the pages? Since it doesn’t need rolling, I wondered if I could simple cut a piece the size I need and go from there. I’m finding a lot of information on how to condition, but nothing on whether it always needs to be done. I use Premo clay.

  22. carolyn, 11 January, 2010

    Rose, I’m not sure what Cindy would say, but I did not condition the white and they came out just fine.

    And speaking of conditioning clay, I am wondering if clay needs to be re-conditioned if it has been sitting around for a while before it gets used after being conditioned.

  23. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2010

    @Carolyn and Rose: Sometimes if you condition too long you can trap unnecessary air bubbles into the clay. Once the clay is softened and feels thoroughly mixed that should be fine. Although for the book bead, it would not be critical to condition the clay for the pages, I would get into the habit of conditioning all your clay, to ensure the plasticizers are mixed throughout and you will have the strength needed to make a quality bead. If the clay seems too goopy, you can leach out some of the excess plasticizers or put the clay in the fridge to firm up.

    Hope that helps!

  24. Cindy Lietz, 28 January, 2010

    @Carolyn – In regards to your question about re-conditioning clay… it depends on how long your conditioned piece has been sitting around. If it’s only been a day or two, then ‘warming’ it up is fine. If it’s been a year, then start over and re-condition it from the beginning. The second video in the Polymer Clay Beginners Course (How To Condition Clay Properly), provides you with tips on how to tell for yourself if your clay is conditioned well enough. I also posted a bit more information for you regarding this topic at (Checkerboard) link by my name.

  25. Phaedrakat, 04 March, 2010

    OMG, I never realized just HOW CUTE these are! I’ve glanced over them before, but there’s always so much to see, that I’ve never stopped to appreciate them — as I should have. There are many, many readers in my life. I have to make some of these just as soon as I’m able to clay. I just need to purchase this back issue, and I’ll know how to make Cindy’s Amazing Book Beads from Vol-018.

  26. Cindy Lietz, 12 May, 2010

    NEW PHOTOS ADDED… that relate to the theme of this page… Polymer Clay Book Beads. Click on the link by my name for the full story.

    Polymer Clay Projects

  27. Kat Skye, 22 August, 2011

    Love these beads! But what did you use as a mandrel for your jump rings? So far I have not found anything that makes them big enough. TIA!


  28. Carolyn Fiene, 23 August, 2011

    I use dowels as mandrels for my larger jump rings.

  29. Kat Skye, 23 August, 2011

    Thanks Carolyn! Had thought of that – it’s getting them that is the problem. Have to wait for hubby to remember to go get it. And well, you know how that goes!! But ask I will. Had tried a sharpie – not big enough.

    What gauge wire did you use. I used 16 gauge. Too big?

    Thanks again for the quick response!!


  30. Carolyn Fiene, 23 August, 2011

    @Kat Skye: I can’t remember the gauge but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t 16, probably 18 … 18 is what I have the most of of the two. I’m pretty stingy with my 16. I only use that when it is absolutely necessary.

  31. Patricia M, 28 March, 2012

    Hi Cindy,

    Just wanted to let you know that your Polymer Clay Basics Course is awesome! I have learned a lot from your videos. Before finding your course I was watching You Tube videos to try and figure out how to use polymer clay. Some of them were ok, but nothing like yours. You go into great detail, and for a beginner like me it helps tremendously.

    I have already made some of the Book Beads. My youngest daughter, Brittany and her soon to be in-laws read a lot so I think a cool looking bookmark is something that will be used a lot and appreciated as well. I look forward to learning more from you.

    Thanks! Patricia

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