Polymer Clay Tutorial | How To Make Faux Turquoise Beads

Faux Turquoise Bead Bracelet

Vid #89: A Messy And Fun Technique For Creating Authentic Looking Turquoise Beads:

Last week I wrote about how a food processor can come in real handy for making imitation turquoise beads. I also provided references to some video tutorials in the library about how to use a food processor as a polymer clay tool. If you missed that article, here is the link: Faux Turquoise Bead Bracelet

The video posted further down on this page will allow you to see my turquoise bead bracelet project in more detail. It is a short introduction clip for the full tutorial video that will be posted in the members library later this week.

In the full video, I walk you step by step through the process of combining paint, beach sand and polymer clay to make imitation turquoise beads that look very much like natural stones.

The full video features a recipe for mixing your own custom turquoise color, as well as ways to use the standard Premo turquoise color right out of the package.

The full video also goes into detail about making a faux turquoise cane. Slices from this cane cane be used for wrapping around larger beads and other projects. Or you can pre-bake the cane slices and embed them into other faux stone beads like amber and coral. You can even make the cane slices into one flat sheet for making bookmarks or wrapping around pens and tins. So many uses!

Other techniques discussed in the full tutorial video include: (1) Adding tiny nuggets of Gold or Copper colored clay into the turquoise mix, like what you might see in natural stone. (2) Customizing the color of the stone “veining” by using different black, brown or dark green paints.

If you like to make polymer clay beads, then making faux turquoise beads is a must on your list of techniques to learn. Just think of the possibilities for your jewelry designs!

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The full version of the Turquoise Beads preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-007 Back Issue Package.

In this Faux Turquoise Beadsvideo I demonstrate how to make realistic looking “stone” beads in three different shapes: round, square and nugget. I also show you how to make a faux turquoise cane, perfect for any project where you would use cane slices. Other topics include:

  • A custom turquoise color recipe.
  • Using standard prepackaged clay colors.
  • What to do if you don’t have a food processor.
  • Adding tiny nuggets of clay to simulate gold or copper deposits.
  • Using different paint colors to different veining effects.
  1. Cindy Lietz, 18 December, 2008

    If there are any other faux stones that you would like to see as tutorials in the video library, just let me know below.

  2. Cindy Erickson, 19 December, 2008

    Dear Cindy,

    Very cool! I have seen turquoise beads made in books, but it helps so very much to actually SEE it done! I will use this method when my inner child comes out and really wants to make mud pies! (or when I want to make turquoise-like jewelry!) :)

    I really like your longer videos like this one. I really get absorbed into what you are saying and doing. I always wish the videos weren’t over yet when they are, because you are such a nice person to listen to, you are so delightful, and your videos are so easy to watch with so much good information within.

    Thanks for showing us this method.

    :) Cindy E.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 21 December, 2008

    Thank you CindyE for you kind feedback! I am glad you like the longer video format. My plan is to continue with this because I’ve noticed other like the length as well.

    I am very grateful you always come and leave your comments here. It is not only valuable for me to learn how to better serve you, but it is also helpful for other visitors to hear from members who are benefiting from the videos in the library.

    For everyone else… please don’t be shy about commenting and asking questions here at the blog. Your voices are all welcome here at the friendly beads and beading community.

  4. Maria, 30 December, 2008

    That was so much fun to watch! It amazes me how beautiful and realistic the beads are after sanding. I would love to see more faux techniques. I made some rose quartz beads using iridescent flakes. Problem with them was that the flakes “flake” off in spots, but overall I think they look OK.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 02 January, 2009

    On those types of beads with the large inclusions you can add a super thin sheet of translucent clay to trap the pieces in. If you add on a layer like that, you won’t have to worry about sanding the pieces off either since you have a bit of a buffer.

    This tip also works when you’re making flower petal beads.

    Hope that helps Maria! Thank you for your comment!

  6. Debi S, 22 December, 2009

    I learn from anything you show us Cindy! Like CindyE says….nothing beats the videos because we can pause, rewind etc., etc. I am one of those visual people that learn much more from seeing it done! Anyone who works with polymer clay will benefit from this community.

    I for one would really appreciate seeing how to do paua shell (sp?) I have seen it in a couple of books, and have tried to do it. I end up with scrap clay! Seeing it done I’m sure will help me.

  7. Peggy, 22 December, 2009

    I am pretty sure your spelling is correct Debi. I also have seen pictures but never tried it. The technique reminds me a little of mokume gane. The finished results I have seen are beautiful. I would love to see you do a video on this Cindy.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 22 December, 2009

    Thank you Debi! That is so sweet. Here on the West Coast of Canada, we call Paua Shell… Abalone Shell. The faux abalone technique is a wonderful one. I could add it to the list if there is enough interest.

    Thank you too Peggy! I love how helpful you have become on this blog. Always responding to others when I can’t get there right away. You are becoming a ‘Tutor Sidekick’! Keep it up and have a fabulous holiday! :-)

  9. carolyn, 06 January, 2010

    I do not have a food processor but I do have a blender. Do you think that would work? I wouldn’t want to give it up as a blender unless you thought it would work, since I know that once something is used for PC it can’t be used for food.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 06 January, 2010

    Carolyn, I wouldn’t use a blender. I just don’t think it is going to work that well. You’re better off keeping your eye out for a cheap or used food processor you can use for the technique.

    In the meantime, you can do this by hand. Just put your clay on your cutting board and keep chopping it with your blade until you have the ‘crumbles’ that you need. It is much more work and the pieces are more angular this way, but it does work.

  11. Cindy Lietz, 14 April, 2010


    Turquoise Polymer Clay

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Turquoise Polymer Clay Beads), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Catalina. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

  12. Cindy Lietz, 17 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Jewelry Projects

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Faux Turquoise Beads), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Carole Holt. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

  13. Frans S, 05 October, 2011

    Keep up the great work, I read few articles on this site and I believe that your weblog is really interesting and has got lots of great info.

  14. Connie Tyler, 19 November, 2012

    Hi Cindy, When you added the turquoise, was it conditioned first? I always thought that all clay had to be conditioned before baking. Thanks. Connie

  15. Cindy Lietz, 19 November, 2012

    Great question Connie! Conditioning the clay first for a crumbly stone like Turquoise is not really necessary IMO as long as the clay will hold together. ( I am positive others would debate me on this.)

    I only condition my clay if it is unworkable (cracks or falls apart when passed through the pasta machine.) Some of the fresh clay I have bought is so soft that conditioning it before using, just traps bubbles in it so I don’t do it.

    I would like to do some ‘Test Labs’ on the topic, to see if my theories hold up to rigorous durability tests. From my experience though, conditioning clay isn’t always necessary to creating a durable and high quality product.

  16. Connie Tyler, 19 November, 2012

    Thank you so much Cindy for your fast reply. I think I will mix up and condition your recipe, put in in the freezer a little bit to firm it up real good and then throw it all into the processor along with the chunk of turquoise and then finish it off like you do with the sand and paint. Hugs, Connie

  17. Anne Brauker, 24 February, 2014


    I’ve really enjoyed watching quite a few of your tutorial videos. One of them mentioned how you favor the Premo! Product.

    I recently purchased Premo oven baked turquoise clay and baked to the directions of 275 F for 30 minutes. It turned brown. I did two tests with the same results.

    For quite sometime I have used the Fimo brand clay and never had a result with their turquoise color turning brown. So I can’t figure out what is happening. I really like working with the clay consistency of the Premo product.


    Anne Brauker
    Westminster, CO

  18. Cindy Lietz, 24 February, 2014

    Hi Anne, it sounds like your oven isn’t baking at the temp that you think it is. You need to get an oven thermometer. There are also several other things you can do to avoid scorching or burning your beads. Type baking into the search box at the top of the page and you will find there is tons of info that will help you. Thanks for commenting!

  19. Fran V, 25 April, 2014


    Have you ever tried washing off the paint from the outer surface after you have shaped the bead or cane but before baking? If it worked, it would save a LOT of sanding time.

    I absolutely love turquoise and want to try this technique. It’s pretty clear that using paint to create the veins is really the way to go, but I have no acrylic paint at the moment. So yesterday i just played with colors and made some round beads, teardrops, and some swirly lentils (my VERY FIRST BEADS! Yay!!!!). Some of them came out great. The colors are ok but not exciting, i’ll see if polishing makes that a bit better. About half of them are sanded so far, and I keep touching them and marveling at how smooth and buttery they are.

    What fun!

    And you, really, made all this possible for me. You are inspiring, and, as so many others have said, you really know how to teach some difficult things and make them clear and doable.


  20. Cindy Lietz, 25 April, 2014

    Hi Fran, thank you so much for your super sweet comments! I really appreciate you saying that and am happy that I have been able to help you be excited about working with polymer clay. As far as washing the paint off before baking, I have not tried that. It is a good idea, worth trying! Not sure if the water would seep into the cracks too much and cause the piece to come apart a bit, but if you were gentle and used a damp sponge or wipe it might just work and save a lot of time. Try it and let us know… it could be a better way!

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