Polymer Clay Tutorial | Making Calla Lily Beads from a Flower Cane

Polymer Clay Lily Bead

Vid #121: “I want to make some Calla Lily pendants for a friend. Love your ideas and easy to follow video instruction.” ~Lynn-V

Oooooh you guys are going to love these Lily Beads! They are so simple to make yet so incredibly pretty, that you’ll feel like a genius after making a few for yourself. At least that’s how I feel when I make them! :-)

This week’s video tutorial (Volume 016-1) to be posted in the Polymer Clay Library on Friday September 4th, is a continuation of what you learned last month in Volume 015. The Calla Lilies in the photo above were made using the Gerbera Flower Petal Cane (Vid-015-3) as well as the Flower Cane Centers (Vid-015-2).

If you don’t have access to the Volume 015 tutorials yet, you will still be able to make this Lily Beads using a solid color of clay instead of the style shown above with striations.

These Calla Lily beads make beautiful pendants, charms and earrings. They can be made in any color combination you desire, including the classic white/green Calla Lily flower with the golden yellow center that you commonly see in florists shops.

The full Volume 016-1 tutorial will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday September 4th, 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 “Calla Lilly” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-016 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

GOD BLESS YOU, CINDY LIETZ!!!  I have been waiting for this video** but knew you would only share it when the technique was perfected. Cuz, that’s how you are. You make the mistakes so we don’t have to. For anyone who has not joined as a member, this is something you definitely should do. The monthly fee is minimal and you will save that amount in aggravation. ~Anna

** Reference is to the Faux Raku Polymer Clay Videos in Vol-014 at the Polymer Clay Library.

The following topics are covered in this “Calla Lily Bead” video tutorial:

  • See examples of the completed Calla Lily Beads in a variety of color combinations as well as in finished jewelry pieces.
  • How to use slices from the Gerbera Flower Petal Cane and Flower Cane Centers to create a beautiful traditional Lily shaped bead.
  • Learn how to avoid leaving finger prints while making this bead so you can minimize the amount of sanding required.
  • Tricks for using cornstarch to make sure your clay sticks only where it is supposed to.
  • Examples of different ways to pierce the bead, depending on how you are going to use in your jewelry making projects.
  • How to bake the Calla Lily Bead so that it holds it’s shape and doesn’t sag during baking.

The full version of the “Calla Lilly” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-016 Back Issue Package.

  1. Lisa Whitham, 31 August, 2009

    I can’t wait for Friday!!! :)

  2. aims, 31 August, 2009

    Hooray! I can hardly wait!

  3. Klay Kisses, 01 September, 2009

    Oh man….today is only Tuesday…Uuggg!

  4. Jocelyn, 02 September, 2009

    Cindy, these are great! Wish my Mom was still here, she loved lilies and was one of the few who could get them to grow in her home as potted plants. Home was a jungle, especially in the years we all were in and out of college living situations. She saved more plants…and they loved her for it.

    As a matter of fact, think I will attempt a bouquet of these flowers to put in one of her miniature vases she collected on her memorial shelf I’ve set up here. It will give me comfort and joy to see them next to her pictures and other memorabilia, daily.

  5. Melinda, 03 September, 2009

    How fabulous. I tried my hand at some of these before the video BUT they weren’t quite a pretty as yours…. you make it look so very easy!

  6. Carol, 04 September, 2009

    I watched the Calla Lily video and can’t wait to get started making these beads. Thank you for this.

    I would love to learn how to make the copper headpins that you used, and hope that you would be willing to show us how to do it.

    I do have a question about baking in the cornstarch. When I tried it with some other flower beads that you demonstrated, I had difficulty in removing all of the cornstarch. They came out kind of powdery and stayed that way. How do you make sure that it is all removed before putting a finish on them?

    Thanks so much, Cindy. You help make the weekends even better than they were before. I love Friday!

  7. Maria, 04 September, 2009

    Cindy – I was married in 1987 also! A good year! In regard to Carol’s above comment, something you said this time made me understand why my things were coming out so powdery. Now I know that you don’t want to let your pieces stay in the cornstarch too long before baking. I was just leaving them in before for extended periods of time. My mom has Calla Lily wallpaper in her bathroom and I’ve been trying to make her something as an accent. Now I’ll be able to. Thanks again, Cindy!

  8. Cindy Lietz, 04 September, 2009

    Thanks you everyone!

    @Jocelyn: That sounds like a lovely idea, to honor your mom with making her some of her favorite flowers. Calla Lilly’s can be tricky to grow. Your mom must have had a very green thumb!

    @Melinda: It is as easy as it looks if you know how to do it! Now you shouldn’t have any problems with them.

    @Carol: Maria could be right. Maybe you’re leaving them in the cornstarch too long before baking. If you wash the beads well in water after baking and sand light where you can reach, there shouldn’t be any residual cornstarch left over. If you’re still having trouble with it, use a stiff brush like a toothbrush, to get it off.

    @Maria: It is important to only put your pieces in the cornstarch, right before baking. You should have less problems now that you know that. Follow the info I gave Carol if you have any powder on your beads after baking. I bet your mom will be thrilled when you make her some custom decor pieces for her bathroom!

  9. aims, 04 September, 2009

    Thank you Cindy! I did ask about making these a little while ago. I too just love Calla Lilies and I’m really going to enjoy making these!

  10. Carol C, 04 September, 2009

    Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate that we can all share info here.

    I’m going to give your suggestions a try this weekend.

  11. Rosita, 05 September, 2009

    Why I must put the calas in corn starch. Must I have to cook them, with the corn starch.
    How I can get the recipe of number 015-. In video number o16-1, you make reference of the colors that where used.
    Because that I¨m just starting to work in Polymer clay. Could it be possible to send me a picture of the cane. So I can get the position of the colors that you used and how did you rolled it,these is how I can.
    optain the figures that you got.

  12. Rosita, 05 September, 2009

    Tkanks. I will appreciate that you can give me the answers

  13. Cindy Lietz, 05 September, 2009

    Hi Rosita. Welcome to the library! It’s great to have you as a member!

    Baking on cornstarch helps to support the sculptural shape of the Calla Lily beads so they don’t end up with flat spots. There are many free articles here at the blog on this topic that you can read for more info. To find them, use the search box at the top of the page with keywords like:

    Baking and Cornstarch

    The Volume-015 videos that were referenced in the Volume-016-1 Calla Lily tutrial, are available at this link: Flower Cane Tutorials

    In your comment above, you said that you are just starting to work with polymer clay. The weekly tutorials assume that you know the basics of working with polymer clay. So if you are a brand new, you may want to go through the polymer clay beginners course (see link by my name above).

  14. Donna Ingram, 07 September, 2009

    There you go making me want to do some more beads.. LOL and you make it look so dang easy. I will show you mine when I can get to them.

  15. Jennifer, 09 September, 2009

    This might be a silly question, but do you sand the lily beads? I assume that you do not buff them as they are more fragile?


  16. Cindy Lietz, 10 September, 2009

    @Donna: I would love to see pictures of your Calla Lily Beads! Do send me an email with the photos attached when you have them ready.

    @Jenniffer: I try to have them as perfect as possible before baking especially on the inside where sanding is difficult. Then I sand where I can, with a 400grit, then 600 and 800 and 1200 grits until nice and smooth. I prefer to buff by hand with a piece of felt rather than use the Dremel, since they get caught too easily in the wheel and may get broken.

  17. Julie Jennings, 11 September, 2009

    Cindy, I love the Calla Lilly Beads…You are fantastic.

  18. Cindy Lietz, 09 November, 2009

    @Julie – Glad you like the Calla Lily Beads. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures of calla lily beads have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Melinda Herron. She is a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Bead Making Projects” link by my name to have a look.

  19. brenda, 03 June, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Bead Making Projects: I wanted to know if you ever watch the tv show “Criminal Minds” ? The Gal, Penelope (Kristen Vangness) that works the computers on the show was wearing your Calla Lily earrings !!!!! They had the messy wrap too… it was one of last years shows.. She is a funky girl :) fun looking. check her out.

  20. Phaedrakat, 03 June, 2010

    @brenda: Really? I watch that show all the time. Do you remember the name of the episode? I’d like to see that…

  21. Linda K., 05 June, 2010

    @brenda: Oh, I watch that show all the time, too. I love the Garcia (Penelope) character. I love how she combines her clothes, jewelry, and hairstyles, but I think she looked better as a blond. I’ll have to watch out for those earrings when my husband is watching the reruns. Maybe they’re Cindy’s!

  22. Cindy Lietz, 09 June, 2010

    @brenda: Sorry Brenda for not responding sooner.

    That is so cool! I love that character. She is so unique and definitely outside the box! I would love to have seen that. I wonder if someone made my lilies from a tutorial and either bought or gave them to wardrobe cause I didn’t sell them a pair. Would be really neat to know if they really were my design, I would love that! :-)

  23. Mary, 23 February, 2010

    I’m in love! Just got this Volume-016 back issue pakcage with the Calla Lily beads tutorial! Gorgeous! Trawling around I found a website with such breath-takingly beautiful pics of calla lilies I thought everyone might enjoy it just for the eye candy and for inspiration too. I had no idea Callas came in so many colours – four different shades of black, just for starters! Hot pinks and oranges, the Green Goddess of course and so many others. An absolute feast for the eyes and a spur to polymer clayers. And I learned a new word, too: that piece that sticks up in the middle is called a ‘spathe’. The site is here: flowers.pacificcallas.com/

  24. Kat, 11 March, 2010

    @Mary: Hi Mary, have you made any of your own Calla Lillies yet? I was just wondering; I saw some that another member, Carolyn, showed some that she made at her blog today. Thanks for the link to nature’s beauties!

  25. Patricia Rasmuson, 15 March, 2012

    Hi Cindy,

    Just wanted to let you know that the center of the Calla Lily is called “spadix”. I was curious to know what it was called so I looked it up. Gotta love the internet it’s so informational.

    I’m new to polymer clay creations, and your videos are helping a tremendous amount. You’ve been a great inspiration. Thanks!


  26. Cindy Lietz, 15 March, 2012

    Glad to hear you are enjoying the videos Patricia. Thanks for letting me know :-)

    And also thanks for posting the info about the the Spadix center. I love it when you guys update these threads with useful information and tips :-) :-)

  27. Fran V, 30 June, 2014

    This is a wonderful tutorial. And a splendid wedding picture!!! Wow. Thanks for sharing that bit of your private life with us.

  28. Jackie Rumsey, 06 July, 2020

    Hi Cindy!! I absolutely love the calla lily beads! I as wondering…how did you get them so shiny? Just from sanding and buffing?

  29. Cindy Lietz, 06 July, 2020

    Hi Jackie, I did those probably 10 years ago, but looking at it it looks I used a polyurethane or an acrylic varnish. An excellent option for you would be to use Duraclear Gloss Varnish by Americana. You can pick it up at places like Michaels or Amazon.

    On sanding… a bead like this is pretty finicky for getting a high gloss by sanding. So you will want to make sure the piece is as smooth and flaw free as possible before baking so you can avoid too much sanding in the first place. If the finish isn’t buttery smooth after baking and you just wanted to improve the look and feel, you could start with a high grit sandpaper, 600g or 800g on the outside and then use a varnish after that.

    Hope that helps!

  30. Jackie Rumsey, 06 July, 2020

    Thank you so much for the advice! I’ll try the high grit sanding and tbe duraclear. I’m a little addicted to these right now. Trying lots of color combos. ? Thanks again!

  31. Cindy Lietz, 07 July, 2020

    You’re welcome Jackie! What a fun (and healthy) addition to have! :)

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