Polymer Clay Tutorial | Embedded Wire Links and Loops [Video]

Embedded Wire Loops in Polymer Clay BeadsVid #167: “Wow, are
these babies versatile!
The link is cool for making
fantastic toggles.”

Although it is common to just embed eye pins and jump rings as metal attachment loops in polymer clay beads, I use a different approach that adds a lot more strength. It is especially important to have strong metal links when making toggles for your handmade polymer clay clasps.

On Friday, August 13th at the Polymer Clay Library (Vol-027-2), the member video tutorial will teach you all about embedded links that will hold up to even the toughest wear and tear.

I never would have thought to make my own toggle clasps! You are very clever when it comes to the simplest of tasks, which is one thing my mind lacks! ~Carrie-W

Cindy – Awesome Rocker Beads! Wow, are these babies versatile! The link is cool for making fantastic toggles. Now I know what you used on your Faux Agate bracelet.

Phaedrakat, good catch on seeing the rocker bead toggle on the faux agate bracelet! Cindy, these are great. For the toggle, do you insert the hanger before baking?

Cindy – That faux agate bracelet is simply beautiful – I love the color tones. I would also love to learn how to make that neat toggle closure. ~Cheryl-H

Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-027-2 Embedded Links:

  • Unbaked polymer clay bead, toggle or pendant that you will add a link to.
  • 20 gauge half-hard or hard wire.
  • Round nose jewelry pliers.
  • Flush cutters.
  • Flat or chain nose pliers.
  • Sculpey Bake and Bond or Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS).
  • Skewer or toothpick.

The full version of the Vid-027-2 Embedded Links video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday August 13th, 2010. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

Cindy Lietz Signature

Polymer 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 “Embedded Links” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-027 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Regarding the monthly membership, it’s very low – I barely notice the $9.95 after 90 days (and 12 tutes!) The tutorials end up costing around 80 cents each, which is lower than any video tutorial out there! Especially when you consider the quality of Cindy’s videos – so very good! The only thing I regretted when I joined was waiting – I missed out on paying the low price as the videos I’d seen being discussed at the blog, got put into the back issue library! Hope you decide to join us! ~Phaedrakat

Where else can you be a member and get sooooo many great things?????? Best thing I ever did. Thank you so much Cindy. ~Helen-S

Hello, I have been a member on Cindy’s site since September of 2008, and I love it! First of all, Cindy Lietz is a real sweetheart. She really appreciates all her members and even those who just stop by for a visit. She has created a vast library of information and adds to it every week. A great deal of her instruction and information is Free, no cost. Her videos are well done: she shows you close-up angles, details, and tapes at a speed that is easy to follow. But my goodness, for $3.32 per month, how can you go wrong! I feel very fortunate to have discovered her site. I have found nothing else online to compare with what she offers. Also her blog has great commentary from Cindy and other Poly artists. Polymer clay lovers… I highly recommend this wonderful site! ~Debbie-M

The following topics are included in this week’s Embedded Links video tutorial:

  • See examples of several uses for embedded links such as toggles, clasps, and pendants.
  • Discussion of the type of wire needed as well as tools and supplies.
  • Learn tricks and tips for achieving a strong link that not only functions well, but looks good too.
  • And finally, find out how to get the perfect seamless look where your link has been embedded, for a clean professional look to your work.

The full version of the “Embedded Links” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-027 Back Issue Package.


  1. Phaedrakat, 10 August, 2010

    Looks like fun—I’d love to see tips on making extra strong links. Ya can’t go wrong with that info…Wow! There are some truly gorgeous beads, toggles, jewelry, etc. in this teaser video! Too many “beauties” to talk about this late at night. Still, there’s the texture/effect on that heart bead, and the… OK, guess I’d better try to sleep again. Probably dream of strong & lovely toggles, strung onto fabulous bracelets, necklaces, and more—and they cannot be broken… :) zzzzzzz

  2. Tanya L, 10 August, 2010

    Oh, Cindy, this is gonna be another great one! I’m still catching up on back issues, so ever since I bought the ones with the wire wrapped cord ends, hand made links, messy wraps, hammered copper and the hand made clasps I’m always thinking about what I can make, what I can do with them. This is going to give me the ability to make matching toggle sets for almost anything I make! Can’t wait til Friday! Yeah, Kat, that heart is a beauty!

  3. Brenda, 10 August, 2010

    All I can say is SWEET!!! I love your hexagon bead.. Where can we find those? Playdoh com?

  4. Lupe Meter, 10 August, 2010

    I agree with Brenda…love the hexagon bead, Cindy! I would like to make my own toggles, so this is would be good to learn. I am not always sure that that my links are sturdy enough. Looking forward to the tute!

  5. Cheryl Hodges, 10 August, 2010

    Look forward to this video. I t will be neat to be able to make our own matching customized toggles as well as the wire loops for pendants etc. I love the hexagaon bead too. Guess it can be used as a bead, part of the toggle or even a pendant!

  6. DJ, 12 August, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: I’m afraid my resources aren’t very helpful. So far I’ve had the best shipping price with Artbeads.com. jewelrysupply.com isn’t too bad (about $7 or so on my last purchase). rings-things.com was a lot more expensive. Like Cindy I’ve tried Home Depot locally as well as Rona for copper and brass (HD was better $$-wise). Wish I could be more help Cheryl :(

  7. Anne O, 10 August, 2010

    Hi Cindy, this is going to be a good tut, as I have tried in the past to imbed hooks and they have always looked untidy and not finished, or if I glue one in I’m always unsure if its going to stay in, and sometimes the glue can be seen. I have bought a lot of your back issues but there are just a few questions ” I joined up half way through a group of tuts, do I have to buy the holes set of 4 again for 9.99 or can I buy them separately? And I thought I saw an add on here about being able to buy a group of tuts cheaper, or was I dreaming? I have tried to find it again please , as I would like to buy them all ! Thank you for your brilliant videos ,I can’t tell you how much finding this site has helped me and gave me something to look forward to reading/watch! Thanks again Anne x

  8. Cheryl Hodges, 10 August, 2010

    Is the half hard wire 20 guage the same as the wire you use for wire wrapping? I’ve used 20 guage silver artistic wire for wire wrapping; can I use that? Where would I get the hard wire?

  9. Phaedrakat, 10 August, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Are you looking for a local wire supplier in Canada, or something online? I noticed you asked a similar question on the Delphinium Flower Earrings post—where to get sterling silver wire & Bali beads. I guess you need a nice Canadian neighbor to cough up their secret supplier names! LOL ;D

    Search talk:[There are lots of member recommendations all over the blog. It’s a bit of work finding them with a search though, since “where to buy wire” brings up so many articles. You could try “where to buy silver wire, Canada” or other keywords. Another thing to try—the articles for wire-related tutorials (Dangle Bangle has a few supplier names, as does the one for Handmade Earwires, etc.) Then there’s the names that come up frequently, like Parawire.com or Jatayu.com (or the “deals on eBay!”) I have lots of suppliers bookmarked on my laptop, but it’s at the Dr.’s… Best of luck!]

    @Honey Sperring: Funny! Now I’m picturing your hubby chasin’ you to bed! LOL I’ll try to message you later on FB—I’m hurting too much here at the desktop & need to go lay down! ~Kat

    @Cindy Lietz: The topic may not be “sexy”, but it makes the sexy last a loooong time! ;D BTW, I have that same hex cutter from Michael’s, so I’ll definitely be copycattin’ your toggles… (Giving you design credit, of course.) :D

  10. Cindy Lietz, 11 August, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Maybe Lawrence, DJ, Cindy G. or Ashlyn know of some good online Canadian Suppliers as well. I’ve only bought wire locally and at bead shows but a couple do have websites. Home Depot, capilanorock.ca and metaldesignz.com Hope that helps!

  11. Koolbraider, 10 August, 2010

    Artistic Wire is color coated copper wire and is always “soft”. “Half hard” is wire that has been treated to make it somewhat hard to change its shape by bending. If you want to make AW half hard you can slightly hammer it but you would need to hammer the entire wire’s length before wrapping. The coating is really durable if you want to hammer on a finished piece. Regular wire, like silver or copper, comes in soft, half hard, and hard (and that means really “hard” to wrap with, believe me!). Fine silver usually comes very soft because it doesn’t have as much copper (don’t remember what silver is alloyed with to make it harder, but it’s the alloying metal that causes silver to tarnish). Fine silver tarnishes very slowly because of that reason.

    I usually make my own ear wires with soft wire but hammer them a bit to harden them. If you want wire to keep its shape it’s a good idea to harden it a bit. Sometimes just the act of wrapping is enough to harden wire. This tutorial is exactly what I need because I’ve been adding jump rings and loops but I’m sure that I’m not doing enough.

  12. Elizabeth S., 10 August, 2010

    Another wonderful addition to our growing repertoire!

  13. Cindy Lietz, 10 August, 2010

    Glad you guys are looking forward to this one. Although the topic isn’t that ‘sexy’, it is important lesson to learn. That last thing you want is for your jewelry to be falling apart because of weak links.

    @Brenda: I made my hexagon bead with metal cutters that I got at Michael’s. But you never know, Playdoh might sell cutters too.

    @Anne O: Welcome to you. I’m so clad you are enjoying the site and the videos. I will have a look at your account and send a private email about which videos you are supposed to have access to. In regards buying “a group back issues cheaper,” the standard discount that is available anytime to subscribing members, is 10% off when you buy 6 or more back issues in a single transaction. All you do is send me an email to let me know which ones you want, and I will send you special instructions on how to make the “bulk” payment.

    @Cheryl Hodges: As Koolbraider said, the wire you use for wire wrapping is going to be too soft, unless you work harden it.

  14. Anne O, 10 August, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Delphinium Flower Petal Beads: thank you Cindy ill make a very big list ! Lol

  15. pollyanna, 10 August, 2010

    I’m looking forward to this as well. Will be very helpful.

  16. Melinda Herron, 10 August, 2010

    Fabulous, I tried this a couple times with mixed results and I’m excited to see how you do it Cindy….

    Also can I just have to say those round beads with the hexagon clasp are so yummy!!! I’m trying to figure out if they are a cane, or inclusion, or maybe mokume gane (I saw some leaf in there) but they are pretty like bubble gum and peonies!

  17. Ken H, 10 August, 2010

    Ooooooo fantastic, another way to customize jewelry, can’t wait till Friday

  18. Honey Sperring, 10 August, 2010

    Oh Wow…..This is just what I was waiting for. I’ve been looking for a way to make my jewelry stronger. Remember my broken necklace ? Boy was my face red…..This is really great. I can’t wait to see this one. Thanks Cindy. I feel like this tute was made especially for me…….Kat what are you doing up at 4:30 in the morning ? I guess your like me. I went to bed at 3:00. My husband woke up at three and saw me on the computer and chased me to bed……Ahhhh….Caught Again…..I still have a lot of reading to do, so off I go……..Honey

  19. Ashlyn, 10 August, 2010

    Wow this one sounds really useful, I have been at a loss as to how to make embedded eye pins and the like more durable and less likely to slide right out. Looking forward to this!

  20. carolyn, 10 August, 2010

    Can hardly wait, Cindy. I have developed my own tricks for embedding wire loops and wonder if our minds were running in the same channels. Sure do like your toggle ideas!

  21. pattw, 11 August, 2010

    Me too ! Just what we need to have more professional looking jewelry

  22. Cheryl Hodges, 11 August, 2010

    @ Kat – I would like to find a supplier in Canada because of shipping. I’m also going to check up Art Beads they have $1 shipping to Canada.

  23. Ken H, 11 August, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: I don’t know if it applies to Canadian sales but Fire mountain has a flat $5 shipping charge and their wire is reasonable, especially if your going to get other things as well. Fire Mountain has a scale pricing system if you order between x & y number of items the price is such,if you go over y but up to z it’s a lower price per item. There are several levels of this so I wait and pile up a big order. Hope this helped.

  24. Cheryl Hodges, 11 August, 2010

    @ Ann O – Welcome to our claying community. You’re going to enjoy the videos. Cindy is an awesome teacher and everyone here is so helpful and caring.

  25. Judy, 13 August, 2010

    Just watched the tute here in the UK. I get it before you Trans Atlantic folks unless you are claying at midnight, your time. Genius, Cindy! Thanks. I am on my way to my claying table, just as soon as I’ve showered and dressed.

  26. carolyn, 13 August, 2010

    Well, some of us on this side of the world do watch Cindy at 1 a.m. and I found it well worth the viewing. It is similar to what I’ve been doing but with Cindy’s very own improvements. Thanks a bunch, Cindy!

  27. Judy, 13 August, 2010

    @carolyn: Mad. Quite mad! :-))))) I turn into a pumkin round about 11. See you on FB, Carolyn

  28. carolyn, 13 August, 2010

    Funny … I haven’t gotten the newsletter yet with the color cards … I watched the video by going directly to the list of videos.

  29. Linda K., 13 August, 2010

    @carolyn: Carolyn, I didn’t get my email yet either and it’s after 9 AM on the US east coast. I was just about to email Cindy directly.

  30. Janet R, 13 August, 2010

    Well it is just past 6:30 am here in Atlantic Canada, and I have’t even had my first cup of coffee, but have watched this Friday’s video already. I have only been a member for a couple of week’s but can’t tell you how much I look forward to each week’s video’s already. Thanks Cindy for the great instruction and the down to earth way you present it. Janet

  31. Brenda, 13 August, 2010

    Love the tutorial Cindy and Doug! My head is spinning with Idea’s.

    I just had an “AH-HA” moment. For those that have trouble manipulating the wire. I bet you could use the hooks from the sewing department for this. Ladies do you know what I am talking about? Wispers “bra latches” *giggles* XD Yay!

  32. Linda K., 13 August, 2010

    @Brenda: Just get a card of large Hooks and Eyes.

    A few months ago I bought a bunch of sterling and gold filled earwires online that were referred to as “Precious” because they were smaller than what the supplier usually sells. I bought them because they were SO cheap. When I got them, I saw that they were much too small for my needs as earwires, but they would be perfect for embedding in clay. I just didn’t know what to do after I embedded them. After seeing this video, I’m ready to use them!

  33. Brenda, 13 August, 2010

    @Linda K.: I will make my own using Cindy’s Tutoral. I like saying “look what I made” :) I didn’t think about the colored ones. I would have never thought of making hooks like this until the video. I know I have some old clothing that can see the trash that I can use the hooks off of. “Recycle Baby” LOL

    Some people have that corp-tunnel syndrom and have trouble twisting that hard wire. When watching the Video I thought to myself that I have bought those before when making a dress for the top hook. Cutie!!!!

  34. Tanya L, 13 August, 2010

    @Brenda: Brenda, I watched the part of the video again where Cindy’s forming the loops. I thought she repositioned the round nose pliers a few times, and she does when she’s forming the small loops. I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to do the same when making the bigger center one too. And I think, knowing that you can reposition the round nose pliers while forming your loops, people with hand and wrist problems may be able to do this and other wire working techniques they wouldn’t attempt before. (I never moved my pliers while forming a loop before.. and I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis in my hands and arms. That’s why this stuck out for me!!! Another life saver from Cindy!!)

  35. Jocelyn, 13 August, 2010

    @Brenda: Bingo!!! Brenda you are a genius! These are cheap and come in lots of colors too, any fabric store has racks of them. Be sure you get metal and not plastic. In some cases, I’ll bet you could use both ends and get lovely discrete little hook and eye clasps, especially with Cindy’s glue finish technique. Also, if do, remember to bend the “hook” in more so it holds securely. They are made to hold under pressure, but be easy to release, thus usage in the undergarment industry.

  36. Cindy Graveline, 13 August, 2010

    I found wire recently in Quebec at Rona and Canac-Marquis, they’re stores like Home Depot…

    I did not receive the weekly email today, it seems I’m not the only one…

    And I just want to say that yesterday I found a bunch of Studio by Sculpey tools and the mini-cutters that Cindy uses in the Blend and Switch technique at Omer Deserres(my local craft store)!!! I was so happy when I saw all this stuff on the shelves!!!

  37. Cindy Lietz, 13 August, 2010

    Wouldn’t Ya Know It… Friday the 13th and my Email Service Provider experiences technical difficulties. The following message was in my inbox this morning when I awoke…

    “Overnight there was a power outage at our data center. Our team has been working on getting everything back up to 100% all night. At this point all of those issues arising from the power outage have been resolved, and your newsletter has now been delivered to your subscribers. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    So… all’s well that end’s well. Glad you guys are enjoying today’s tute :-)

  38. Tanya L, 13 August, 2010

    Thanks Cindy! Happy Friday the 13th! :) What a way to start YOUR day..

  39. carolyn, 13 August, 2010

    Hmmm – we all must be careful what we say about Cindy’s processes … don’t want to give away her special techniques. If we want to be explicit we can do so on the More Than Clay blog: facebook.com/group.php?gid=134566473251166

  40. Cindy Lietz, 13 August, 2010

    Thanks for pointing this out Carolyn.

    For some reason over the last 2 weeks, there have been a lot more comments going into a bit too much detail regarding the techniques taught in the paid member videos. For those who do not realize it, this blog is an “open” community that is free for everyone to follow. So as Carolyn so kindly pointed out, please do be careful about not giving away the special sauce :-) — thanks so much.

    Now in regards to discussing the tutorials at the private Facebook group that Carolyn mentioned, unfortunately, you will have to be careful there too. Please remember that most members actually do not have full access to all of the videos in the library. Again, thanks in advance for your understanding with this matter.

  41. carolyn, 13 August, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Faux Dichroic Glass Member Photos: Cindy, thanks for pointing that out about the More Than Clay blog. I had made an assumption … oops!

  42. Tanya L, 13 August, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Faux Dichroic Glass Member Photos: Cindy, my deepest apologies.. Definitely NOT thinking when typing, only thinking about the doing! I promise to try to keep this in mind during future responses..

  43. Phaedrakat, 28 March, 2011

    @Natalie H: You’re right, Natalie — those should work fine… But, as Cindy mentioned here, we have to be careful not to discuss/give away secrets or tips from the video. Since this blog is open to all, everyone can read the comments…not only paid members.

    Sorry about that; I promise I’m not trying to scold you! Just wanted to let you know in case you hadn’t thought of it. Besides, you’re not alone…if you read some of the earlier comments, you’ll see others had the same idea, LOL! Anyway, have fun & hope you enjoy your videos~

  44. Phaedrakat, 13 August, 2010

    Fantastic video, Cindy! I’ve been doing something very similar (just use a slightly different wire shape.) This definitely creates a strong link, which is crucial to jewelry & other pieces that stay together. (Poor Honey, I keep thinking about your “was my face red!” necklace! Sympathies!) Thanks for this important PC tutorial Cindy. You said it wasn’t necessarily “sexy” — but it was kinda hot! ;D ~Kat

  45. DJ, 13 August, 2010

    As one of those “midnight-owl” people, I’ve watched many of your lessons fresh off the internet! I agree with everyone about the value of this wire links tutorial … may not be as glamorous, but it allows us to further figure out how to put beads and items together into a final piece. I’m still learning, and it’s great to now be able to add these kinds of tips/details to an idea, knowing that you can make it work. Or choose between a few ways of finishing and pick a method that works best. I couldn’t do that a year ago…have learned sooo much from joining (for less than the cost of a single lesson elsewhere!!).

  46. Koolbraider, 13 August, 2010

    Okay, who else was thinking this lesson was about links in text, like “embedded” links??? No chance of anyone getting any info from me!!! I do have to say this has solved my problems and I won’t worry about doing this in the future (links in beads, not text…).

  47. Tanya L, 13 August, 2010

    @Koolbraider: Yeah, the ones you have to use on Flckr and can’t on facebook (I do have that right, right?).

  48. Brenda, 13 August, 2010

    UH-OH” I am sorry Cindy! You can delete that post if you want.. It won’t hurt my feelings at all. I feel bad that I wasn’t thinking. Instead of talking out loud, I was typing out loud.. Again I am sorry!!! I will be more careful next time with my postings.

  49. Elizabeth S., 13 August, 2010

    The thought of being able to make strong matching clasps for jewelry pieces is awesome! Seems to me it’s the perfect “unique” factor. I’m excited to try it out. Thanks, cindy and Doug

  50. Elizabeth Kerr, 13 August, 2010

    Hi all, glad to hear I’m not the only one on my comp, at 1or2am. I used to get chased to bed, but on my own I guess I stay here because I can. Altho it is Sat av right now.
    Cindy, thanks for the great tut on Embedded Hooks.
    Could have been aimed at me as I really only use Eye pins, so it will be a great help, so now I can do it this way.
    I always pull the hooks or pins out and put super glue on them and put them back to be safe, so this version will certainly help.
    Love the toggle so will make something like them for future use.
    Thanks again.
    Now all go get some sleep.

  51. Sue C, 13 August, 2010

    Wow, I wish I had seen this technique a while back. It is so neat the way the wire sits in the bead and holds quite well. I have tried to do a similar idea but Cindy’s is the best.
    Way to go Cindy.

  52. Peggy Barnes, 13 August, 2010

    Just watched the tute and I have to THANK Cindy and Doug for another great idea passed on to all of us at very little cost. More and more of that sweet Lietz giving and asking very little in return. You two are the best!!!!
    Many Uuuuuggggs, Peggy

  53. Natalie H, 27 March, 2011

    After watching this video.. it is great.. I thought that we could also use one half of a closure that is used in sewing.. the part that looks just like what you made with the cooper wire.. these come in different sizes… in black and silver color….. they would have this at Walmart and Target or any store that has sewing supplies… Let me know if this is a good idea… I think it would be just as strong as the 20 gauge cooper wire.

  54. Natalie H, 28 March, 2011

    Sorry about that..I am new to using the blog and thought I was helping out fellow paid members… what are we actually allowed to discuss on the blog with out giving too much info..i know that Cindy works very hard on her videos and I would not want to compromise them or her in any way.
    I did get a lot out of her video and now I know how to sucessfuly put a link in my charms and have them stay..
    So, once again please accept my appology.. How much input or suggestions about the videos are we allowed to mention on the blog………Is there somewere else on the site that we can give suggestions safely..since you said that facebook is not that safe either.

  55. Cindy Lietz, 28 March, 2011

    Thanks guys… Doug and I are putting some thought into possibly adding some private commenting sections for discussing the tutes in more detail. If only there were more hours in the days…

  56. Jocelyn, 08 April, 2011

    Kat, you are so precious, and we are so blessed you post here, lol!

  57. Phaedrakat, 09 April, 2011

    @Jocelyn: Wow, thank you! Still, I feel as though there’s a “but” coming…?? ;-D LMAO, Kat

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