Polymer Clay Tutorial | Faux Pebble Beads | Beach Jewelry Projects

Faux Pebble Beads

Vid #105: A Case Where Fake Is Better Than The Real Thing:

You are going to love making these faux beach pebble beads! So earthy and organic looking… they feel like something Mother Earth would wear herself! This week’s tutorial video in the members library (to be released on Friday May 8th), will show you everything you need to know with lots of close up shots of the step by step process.

The advantage of making your own faux pebble beads as opposed to grabbing a handful of rocks from the beach, is that (1) They are way lighter to wear; (2) They are far easier to drill holes into; and (3) You can make them any size or shape you like.

Plus, you can add sentimental value to your creations by mixing in sand that you collected from a special beach vacation or romantic getaway.

I love the freedom of making these beads! They are not fussy or difficult to learn how to do. And you can use so many different color and texture combinations. The sky’s the limit with creativity.

Now for those that don’t like to do a lot of finish sanding, these faux stones may be a dream come true for you. They can be left rough to resemble the look of natural rock, or just simply tossed into a rock tumbler for a quick polish.

On the other hand, you could also spend time creating a high gloss finish like what you might see on smooth polished gravel from a fast moving river or stream bed. It’s up to you!

These faux pebbles look fantastic matched up with beach glass, real shells orĀ  other natural materials such as hemp, leather and suede. The masculine look of this type of jewelry can provide you with some great gift giving ideas for the men in your life. But I know a lot of women that like this style as well… me being one of them!

There are definitely other polymer clay artists that make faux pebble beads and jewelry besides myself. But I think you are going to appreciate some of the unique tips and tricks I provide in this week’s members tutorial.

The full version of the video will be available in the library on Friday (May 8). But further down on this page is a little sneak peak clip for you to watch right now if you like.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

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

The full version of the “Faux Pebble” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-012 Back Issue Package.

The following topics are covered in this “Faux Pebble Beads” video:

  • Lots of tips for keeping your faux pebbles and stones looking very real and authentic.
  • Discussion of designs and patterns found in natural rocks, including: Striations; Mottling; Granite Flecks; and Gold Pyrite Speckles.
  • Adding Adirondack alcohol inks to replicate the look of iron or rust staining.
  • Using different grades and colors of sand for mixing into your polymer clay.
  • Choosing which colors of polymer clay to start with.
  • Using translucent clay to simulate the look of natural agate stones.
  • Ideas for using up old and hard baked clay from past projects that did not work out so well.
  • Why you should not throw out your burned clay mistakes.
  • Tool talk specific to working with gritty materials.
  • Using real rocks as molds for creating texture on your faux stones.
  • A simple bead and cord jewelry finding clasp that works especially well with rustic or earthy necklaces and bracelets.
  • How to keep the bead hole in faux pebbles looking as natural as possible.
  • Finishing techniques for either a rough or polished look, depending on your preference.

  1. Lindsay Weirich, 06 May, 2009

    Love the look and no sanding, that’s my style!

  2. Sherry W, 07 May, 2009

    What a cool idea! I will be making these for sure.

  3. Maria, 08 May, 2009

    How fun! and I really like the lacing through the bead rock idea – very clever and effective. I’m looking forward to doing this!

  4. Cheryl, 08 May, 2009


    Thanks SO MUCH for ALL of your tutorials, color cards, tips, ideas and feedback to other members! I have learned so much in the past few months and have you to thank!

    Continued success! I’ll be a member for a very long time!

    I’m off to make some rocks!

  5. Cindy Lietz, 08 May, 2009

    Thank you Lindsay, Klaykisses, Maria and Cheryl! I am so glad you are enjoying the videos! You all Rock!! (Tee hee hee… Couldn’t resist! :-))

  6. Adrienne lindsey, 08 May, 2009

    Hi Cindy, well once again you have out done yourself with the tutorial. I love the faux pebbles. Have wondered what the recipe was so was glad you featured this here.
    Thanks again,

  7. Carolyn Good, 09 May, 2009

    They say great minds think alike! So funny I posted on a similar topic the same morning! But mine floats! hee hee lol !

  8. Freda, 09 May, 2009

    I’ve been wanting to make stone beads and now I’ll have the info to do it. I don’t have any sand, but I can use a little dirt or spices. I was wondering how it would be to mix a little kosher salt in to make craters. The salt would disappear either in baking or from washing after baking and there would be craters in the bead.

  9. Illaya, 10 May, 2009

    My grandson last night thrilled me by asking if he could make jewelry. He and his sister are coming today for a play day. So as usual your timing is perfect with this topic.

    I am so gifted on this special day to have you for inspiration and guidance. Thank you Cindy.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 12 May, 2009

    Thanks guys! :-)

    Freda, sure you can use kosher salt for craters. In fact, that is what is used for making faux lava rock beads!

  11. nancy reddick, 15 June, 2009

    Just wanted to post a quick comment. Signed up for the tuts this past Friday, just wanted to say thank you … you have a great teaching style, and a good camera person. Have enjoyed the ones so far… Can’t wait for Friday again…

  12. Cindy Lietz, 20 June, 2009

    Thanks Nancy and welcome to the site! My husband does the camera work and will be pleased that you like his work. Have fun with the tutorials and get involved with the community that is developing here. Thanks for your comment!

  13. Donna McNett, 28 July, 2009

    I signed up for your email to get to know how to make River Rocks…. I would like to know how to make them but I would rather just buy some to my specifications from you. How much would you charge per rock for a size of 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ with thickness of 1/4″+ and with 2 holes in the short dimension?

  14. Cindy Lietz, 28 July, 2009

    Hi Donna! It would probably be cheaper for you to make them yourself, plus they are quite easy to do. Do you have the video for making them yet? In the post above there is a link just under the video that will help you to purchase the tutorial, if you haven’t yet.

    How many river rock beads are you thinking of ordering? And would they need to be different colors or all the same? That would make a difference in the price.

  15. James Peacock, 13 September, 2009

    Well, I tried to play your preview video’s, but all I get is you saying “In today’s Video…” and it plays over and over and over – “In today’s video”

  16. Cindy Lietz, 13 September, 2009

    James, Sorry you are having troubles viewing the videos. What you described is an issue that is happening with your web browser. There are several things that can cause this, all of which are curable.

    If you are interested in fixing the problem, then follow the “Polymer Clay Tutorials” link by my name above. It will take you to a summary comment of possible fixes, one of which will work for you.

    And the upside is that what you do now to address your browser problems at my site, will also making easier for you to video at other sites too.

  17. Cindy Lietz, 13 November, 2009

    **PHOTO ADDED: A “Faux Pebble” project picture has just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Zuleykha McMillan, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the link by my name to have a look.

  18. Marsha Colby, 15 February, 2010

    I’m a beader, but a beginner with polymer clay. I especially want to make the pebble/stone beads in Vol 012, which I’ve purchased in the last few minutes. Thank you. I love your website already. I googled : “How to make polymer clay river stones” and you came up. Lucky me!


  19. Phaedrakat, 15 February, 2010

    @Marsha Colby: Welcome! You’re going to be happy you joined. Knowing how to make polymer beads will be a great addition to your jewelry making. You can make any kind of bead you want, with any size hole in it. Good to “meet” you!

  20. Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2010

    It’s lucky for everyone else here too… that you ended up finding the site. From what you wrote in your library profile, you sound like a very fun person. Welcome! It’s great to have you here!

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