Polymer Clay Tutorial | Christmas Holly Leaf and Red Berry Canes

Holly and Berry Canes

Vid #130: “Just to know its coming is awesome. Such excitement used to only come at Christmas, now you bring it to us every Friday.”

Just down the street from our house is a large Holly Bush in the yard of an elderly neighbour who has lived in the area since she was a child. Every year around this time (or in the next month or so any ways) the Holly Bush gets covered in beautiful rich red berries… almost as if to taunt the winter birds into braving her prickly leaves which guard the precious fruit.

Although Holly bushes and trees are often seen as a symbol of Christmas, to me they represent the beauty of what Winter can bring to the landscape. Polymer clay beads made with the Holly leaf and berry designs, can be worn all season long.

I love it!!!! The great thing about Holly is that it is not just for the Christmas season. Holly can be worn all winter and by people of different cultures and faiths. When will you be showing us these techniques? ~Anna-S

Well Anna, I’ll be teaching these Holly Cane techniques this coming Friday. So your wait is almost over.

Just to know its coming is awesome. Friday will be a truly fun day at home. Well, after watching the video there’ll be a short trip to JoAnn’s for any supplies needed but then to dig in and try my wings [this is in reference to Vol-016-2 Butterfly Pendant Tutorial]. Such excitement used to only come at Christmas, now you bring it to us every Friday, Thanks Cindy. ~Joyce-M

So excited for holiday canes! The holly leaves and berries are lovely. I can’t wait! ~Phoenix-F

Looking forward to Friday and the Holly and Berry canes!!! Lynda-D

The full version of the Vid-018-1 tutorial will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday November 6th, 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.

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 “Holly & Berry Canes” 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:

Very good tutorial** today. I’m so glad you kept your cane at a reasonable size… I’ve seen lots of sites where they use literally pounds of clay to make a cane. I would just sit back amazed and astounded at the sheer volume of clay and huge amount of money. Now eventually I got past that hurdle and scaled back measurements for my canes and eventually learned the little tips you freely gave out in these tutorials. I really wish I had this a year ago. Fabulous teaching!!!! AND I love the petal which is different than any of the petals I’ve learned before and the center made by the extruder is GREAT!!!! It makes such a nice natural center. I will definitely be using that center a lot! Thanks. ~Melinda-H

** Reference to the Gerbera Flower Cane Tutorial.

The following topics are included in this “Holly and Berry Cane” video tutorial:

  • See examples of several bead shapes, pendants and focal beads using these Holly Leaf and Berry Canes.
  • Discussion of the versatility of the canes by reducing them to different sizes and combining them in different ways.
  • Learn how to build the canes to achieve their unique design.
  • Demonstration on how to add white to get the ‘highlight’ feature on your berry cane.
  • How to use a simple tool to get the ruffled look of the holly leaf.
  • Discussion on how to use the cane design for other purposes besides bead making, such as for ornaments or scrapbooking embellishments.

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

  1. Anna Sabina, 03 November, 2009

    This makes me want to play hookie and stay home from work on Friday. I have heard that you must have a male and female holly bush to get one to berries; maybe that is a myth. Holly sure is pretty with it’s dark waxy pointed leaves and bright red berries. I can hardly wait until Friday.

  2. aims, 03 November, 2009

    I can hardly wait too……(will my craft room be ready in time? – I sure hope so!)

  3. Silverleaf, 03 November, 2009

    You’re right Anna, holly (at least European holly) is dioecious, meaning it has separate male and female plants.

    There’s lots of holly in the hedges in my garden, the birds keep planting it I think!

    Like the canes Cindy. :)

  4. Maria, 03 November, 2009

    I can hardly wait for Friday Cindy! Wondering though if you will explain how you’re going to hang the candy cane pendant? Do you need to pierce the top and add a ring to it? I find I need some advice sometimes with how to get the right attachments and findings for pendants. Appreciate your and “the community’s” advice on this. Thanks.

  5. Ritzs, 03 November, 2009

    This is not at all fair i feel i am being teased LOL… as i cant go make all these wonderful things until i get back home. But having said that i still cant wait for Friday. keep em coming Cindy.

  6. Melinda, 03 November, 2009

    Oh, and I have Friday off!!! Woo Hoo!

  7. Laurel, 03 November, 2009

    Crud!! I will have to wait a bit too before I can watch and try it. It looks wonderful but I work Friday and have a craft fair to go sell at on Saturday. But another great reason to look forward to Sunday will be this video.

  8. Peggy, 03 November, 2009

    Me too! I will be gone Friday thru Sunday late afternoon. And always very tired after a trip. Probably won’t get a chance to work on until Monday. That will make waiting for the next Friday a whole lot quicker. Always have to find the bright side. I just love all your video’s Cindy
    Thanks so much.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 04 November, 2009

    Thanks guys! You are all so cute… like kids at Christmas or something! :-)

    Maria, in the video I show the loop I use to hang the pendant. It is one of the figure 8 loops I showed you how to make in Vol-012-3 Hammered Copper Findings video. If you don’t have it, click the link by my name for more info.

  10. squash, 05 November, 2009

    Hi, Cindy! Your Christmas necklace is so very very beautiful! I’m in love with the focal bead with its dimensional cane. And the whole arrangement of the beads and wire is wonderful! Can’t wait to see the full video!

  11. Sue Werner, 05 November, 2009

    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.

  12. Theresa, 06 November, 2009

    There was no sound on this video. :( Enjoyed it though. lol

  13. Maria, 06 November, 2009

    Enjoyed the video Cindy. But I still don’t understand the hook concept – how does the candy cane not slide out from the figure eight? Is the copper just very tightly wrapped around it? It looks like it’s just loosely on there…

  14. Cindy Lietz, 06 November, 2009

    @Squash: Great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your comments about the Christmas necklace.

    @Sue: What a great idea! I’ll try and add a materials list to these posts with the teaser videos in them. That way everyone can see what they will need. I love all your suggestions btw. You are a real asset to have around here!

    @Theresa – Video without sound… well that just won’t do now will it. The audio issue could be cause by a number of things: (1) Stating the obvious, make sure your computer speakers are turned on and/or the volume is turned up; (2) Be sure you did not accidentally click the little speaker icon at the bottom right of the video player… that is a mute button; (3) Make sure the volume slider bar at the bottom right of the video player, is positioned all the way to the right. One of those three suggestions will likely solve your sound problem. If not, the next step is to re-boot your computer to re-set your browser. Beyond this you may have to do some more in depth trouble shooting using suggestions in this video player help file.

    @Maria: Yes the loop is actually loose, but it is just tight enough and the hook on the candy cane is just long enough, that believe it or not, it doesn’t come off the loop when you wear it. But if you feel more comfortable with something more secure then adding an eye hook and jump ring is the way you should go. I wrote a post about adding eye hooks to your charms awhile back. If you click the link by my name it will take you there.

  15. Anette V, 07 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy. Have you ever thought about bringing out a book with some of your projects in? Like a step-by-step book? And also, why not think about making a dvd with some of the projects? I will be the first to buy both. That would really be fantastic. Just a thought…….
    Thank you for everything you do for our Polymer clay artists, I have learned so much from you already and always look forward to Fridays.
    Anette. (From South Africa)

  16. Cindy Lietz, 07 November, 2009

    @Anette – Thanks so much for your kind words. And in regards to your book + DVD suggestions, I appreciate your thoughts on that too. The more you guys speak about things like this, the more it is likely to happen :-) A big welcome to you from South Africa!!! It’s great to have you as part of the community.

  17. Cindy Lietz, 07 November, 2009

    When I make custom color references in the library tutorial videos, I usually use the A-Series Color Palettes. However, with this week’s Volume-018-1 Holly & Berry Cane tutorial, I ended up using a B-Series Color Palette from Vol-017-B [Alpine Succulent Flower].

    I now realize that some members may not already have access to this particular set of Alpine Succulent color recipes. This would be the case if you have not been receiving my Weekly Guest List emails each Friday morning.

    So I am posting the recipes here for your convenience:

    Vol-017-1B: Succulent Red
    3 parts Cadmium Red (Premo)
    3 parts Alizarin Crimson (Premo)
    1 part White (Premo)

    Vol-017-2B: Frosted Leaf
    14 parts White (Premo)
    1 part Green (Premo)
    1/4 part Black (Premo)
    3 parts Cadmium Yellow (Premo)

    Vol-017-3B: Succulent Green
    2 parts Green (Premo)
    2 parts Black (Premo)
    1/2 part White (Premo)
    2 parts Cadmium Yellow (Premo)

    Vol-017-4B: Forest Floor
    10 parts Green (Premo)
    2 1/2 parts Alizarin Crimson (Premo)
    6 parts Black (Premo)
    4 parts Cadmium Yellow (Premo)
    1/2 part White (Premo)

    Samples of the actual clay colors for the above 4 recipes are shown in the Holly & Berry Cane video at the members library.

    Now if you are not receiving my weekly Guest List newsletters, and want to, you can follow the link by my name to subscribe. By doing so you will receive 2 B-Series color recipe cards to download to your computer every Friday for free. Please note, you do not need to be a paid library member to receive these B-Series color recipes.

    If you know you are already subscribed the Guest List, but you are not receiving the Friday emails (they go out like clockwork), then you need to whitelist or allow my contact information.

    This will ensure that my newsletter emails to you are not getting “filtered” by your Internet Service provider.

    In a worst case scenario where an email deliverability problem persists, the easiest work around is to re-subscribe to the Polymer Clay Guest List using a completely different email address from a free email service. Gmail works well.

    Please note that it is OK to use a different email for the Polymer Clay Guest List, than the one you use for the members library.

  18. Tantesherry, 21 September, 2012

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for putting the alpine succulent palette up here at the blog

    thinking of Christmas (already) made me want to revisit the holly berry tutorial -luved it – But then went looking for the color recipes …. no there :/ SO Like a brick to the head it hit me ‘search box’. Within 3 or 4 clicks I found the whole palette with all the recipes for the canes -yayyayyayyay….can’t do the happy dance – just had major dental surgery in the hospital monday—- so the yay yays will have to do

    Happy Fall Ya’ll

  19. Tina Adams, 09 November, 2009

    Thank you so much for posting the colors, that is so helpful. I have some holiday challenges I need to work on and this will be so wonderful !

    Thanks again, Tina

  20. Cindy Lietz, 09 November, 2009

    You’re welcome Tina. FYI – I moved your blog link to the name field for your comment. Putting live links in the body of these blog comments triggers a “filter” that automatically sends those comments to my blog spam folder… where they usually get deleted because I rarely check there.

    Enjoy the Christmas holiday color recipes!

  21. Tina Adams, 14 November, 2009

    @Cindy Lietz: Thanks Cindy, I always love clicking on everyone’s blog and website that post to your group, some very talented artist indeed !

    Take care,

  22. Elizabeth K, 12 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    Here I am with my Holly Berry Canes and what I did with them. I was lucky enough to have all the recipes for the colours so went ahead and made them all up before I started. I loved the Succulent red and the Frosted Leaf colours.

    As you can see in the photo below, I made 2 necklaces, and another pendant, and a bell like decoration. Haven’t finished that one properly yet. Finished most of them by sanding and polishing with Denim cloth. Was very pleased with the shine I got with the denim. Put some gold glitter in the Forest Floor clay color.

    OK onto the next project. Thanks for all your efforts.

    Love, Elizabeth K.

    Holly Leaf and Berry Canes by Elizabeth Kerr

  23. Cindy Lietz, 13 November, 2009

    Lovely Elizabeth!!! It is so rewarding for me to see how you are actually applying the stuff you are learning. Keep up the great work!

  24. Elizabeth K, 13 November, 2009

    Hi Cindy and all,
    Seeing my work here is so exciting. The main factor is the personal service from you, being right on the ball for the feedback from us. thank you so much XX

  25. Sarah Wood, 07 December, 2009

    Hi Cindy! I wanted to share what I have been doing with your Holly cane leaves and berries.

    Holly and Berry Cane Christmas Tins and Wreath Ornaments by Sarah Wood

    They were great fun to make. I happened to have a few of the International Coffee tins hanging around waiting for a new wardrobe. I covered them and made these holiday tins. After I had made several, I noticed I had all these cane ends on my work table. I mixed and sliced and layered until I ended up with some cute little wreath pins to help celebrate the season! Merry Christmas! Sarah.

  26. Jackie Norris, 07 December, 2009

    Hi Cindy just wanted to tell you I have really gained a lot of confidence from all the things everyone said to me in the Spotlight features.

    ADDED LINKS: Jackie’s Spotlight Features:
    1) A Polymer Clay Tribute, In Loving Memory of Vance, Her Biggest Fan
    2) Making Polymer Clay Beads and Jewelry to Help Cope with a Sad Loss

    Holly and Berry Cane Christmas Ornament by Jackie Norris

    I actually made an ornament from the holly leaf tutorial and got brave and submitted it to the Michael’s Christmas Contest that they have going on. So thanks again for your wonderful videos and encouragement. You are awesome.

  27. Cindy Lietz, 07 December, 2009

    Love, love, love to see these photos!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Phaedrakat, 18 April, 2010

    While searching for something else, I ended up at this post. I realized, I never commented on this video! So I went back & watched it again, and of course—I loved it! Cindy’s videos are always awesome & informative, and I always learn something.

    This is such a festive cane, and the colors are great! I won’t be making this exact cane right now, but I will in the fall. This holly leaf is really cool, & the technique can be adapted to create other kinds of leaves, if you want. And the berries—the little white speck makes them look so cute! This technique can also be used in other ways, to make a variety of canes, even summery ones (which is what I’m thinking of.) With a different color palette, and my imagination—I just might be making variations of this sooner than I thought!

    I also wanted to complement those who submitted pictures of their versions of this yummy holly leaf & red berry cane. They all look great, giving me some great ideas for next Christmas!

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