Polymer Clay Tutorial | Sculpted Mushroom Bead Shape [Video]

Polymer Clay Mushroom BeadsVid #158: “And the
sculptural elements –
extremely useful info to
have in my bag of
tricks.” ~Kat

Mushroom Beads and Mushroom Jewelry are very popular these days. Just type those keywords into the search box at Etsy, and you will find over 10,000 listings of mushroom related jewelry items. So on Friday, June 4th at the Polymer Clay Library (Vol-025-1), the member video tutorial will teach you how to make this funky looking mushroom bead shape … and how to add some sculpted design elements as well.

I love the mushroom it’s really adorable, I’m sure my nieces would be thrilled too. Yes from me if this becomes a lesson. Lots of great info too, Thanks! ~DJ

This baby mushroom is adorable! Colorful, beautifully sculpted and detailed, a very cute little ‘shroom. My niece would LOVE this necklace. I’m voting “yes” on this little ‘shroom. It’s very cute, and there are lots of people who are into the whimsical, fairy jewelry. It’s not my style, necessarily — it’s a bit too cute for jewelry that I’d wear. But I could use it on a key chain, or as part of a purse charm, etc. Not to mention, selling, gift-giving, etc. The shape is very unique, and I imagine Cindy has a quick and painless way to teach us how to make it. And the sculptural elements – extremely useful info to have in my bag of tricks. Being able to embellish with flowers, little tendrils, etc. is always handy! And what technique was used for the stripes on the ‘shroom? All-in-all, this seems like a very good tut to improve skills! ~Kat

Your mushroom is so very very cute, the colors and super shine. And the embellishments make this little gem of a guy’s possibilities endless. ~Peggy-B

Cindy, you’ve done it again.  If you had asked us if we wanted to learn how to make a mushroom without showing it to us, I would have had a hard time getting enthused…but this mushroom is just SO cute! I say YES, for all the same reasons that Kat wrote about. ~Linda-K

I think the mushroom bead is so cool and I to would love to learn how to make it. ~Ritzs

The mushroom pendant is very cute. I would love to learn how to make it, and so would my 9 year old daughter. You should see some of the things she has made with clay. She loves to watch your videos with me. We sit at the computer and each hold an ear bud to learn our new lesson. She has quite the knack for it. She does beading and string too. Its fun to have her fresh look on things! ~Tiffany-M

I like the mushroom, it’s cute and should it come up, would like to see how it’s made. ~Ken-H

I love this little mushroom. It reminds me of the early seventies when my big sister and I made candles in our basement. We had a mushroom candle mold that looked a lot like this little guy. ~Jill-V

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-025-1: Mushroom Beads:

  • A variety of polymer clay colors of your choice. You can also use  polymer clay canes as part of your designs if you choose.
  • Sculpey Detailing Tools (optional).
  • Sculpey Etch and Pearl Tool Set (optional).
  • Needle Tool (optional).
  • Clear Finish such as PYMII, Studio by Sculpey Glossy Glaze or Future Floor Polish.
  • Sanding kit for touching up any fingerprints and flaws. This is especially important on beads with a smooth surface.

The full version of the Vid-025-1 Mushroom Beads video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday June 4th, 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 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 “Mushroom Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-025 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

Even if you’re already confident in your polymer clay ability and knowledge, Cindy’s tutorials are very useful. As a group, we are able to suggest what tutorials will be taught next. I personally am not all about animal prints, but I did learn a few tips and techniques from the video that I didn’t have before (and that’s why I’m here). I’m lucky enough to have a learning style that works well with books. So I have a huge arsenal of books in my personal collection. However, there are a lot of people who find video to be a far better resource for them. These tutorials are a fantastic resource for anyone who’s learning style requires that. That being said, being a member of this site is so much more than the weekly tutorials. The funny stories and anecdotes from all the members is the added bonus for me. (I still giggle when I enter a hardware store, knowing that there are so many like me who get the weird looks and the strange questions regarding the items I am buying and why :) ~Ellabella

The following topics are included in this week’s Mushroom Beads video tutorial:

  • See examples of several different styles of mushroom beads using sculptural elements and cane designs.
  • Discussion of the clay and tools needed to be able to form this neat little bead.
  • Learn how to add sculptural elements to your mushroom bead for even more pizzazz.
  • Tips on how to get the hole in your mushroom bead just right.
  • Learn how to get an unusual finish on your beads using alcohol ink and a paintbrush.

The full version of the “Mushroom Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-025 Back Issue Package.

  1. Elizabeth S., 01 June, 2010

    Were it not for this site I wouldn’t even know that mushroom beads were popular. That you stay on top of all this for us, Cindy, is just another perk! I can tell that the possibilities for these cuties are endless and I can’t wait to see how they are done.

  2. Koolbraider, 01 June, 2010

    Yay for mushrooms!!! The sculpture part is what I’m very weak in. What better to learn than such a cute piece? And of course it’s also a good excuse to think about a new tool.

    I just realised: this starts a new volume of lessons!!! Is it Friday yet?

  3. Ken H, 01 June, 2010

    Great, I can’t wait till Friday, and either I’ve been oblivious or someone is trying to tell me something, All i’ve been seeing lately are beaded lanyards all over the place, including this morning on the way to work. I don’t know if it’s that I just wasn’t paying attention or all of a sudden they’re showing up, and now Cindy, I’m sorry I was ambivilant, because the one I saw today was quite nice.

  4. Maria, 01 June, 2010

    Oh wow!!! And so many techniques to be shown too, like the cool alcohol ink effect – can’t wait for Friday! If I didn’t know better, I would swear that little bee is made of glass…

  5. Silverleaf, 01 June, 2010

    Not my style really (too cutesy) but I’m sure I’ll learn something useful anyway!

  6. Carolyn K, 01 June, 2010

    I’m thinking these will be a fun piece to make for children. Does anyone know where to find pandora blanks. I would like to learn how to apply polymer clay to these very popular bead findings. They would look great with the leopard or the zebra canes. Cindy, would you have any input on this. Thanks.

  7. Phaedrakat, 01 June, 2010

    @Carolyn K: Ken’s right, the conversations starts here: Pandora Beads

    Cindy mentioned a link for silver ones at metalclayfindings.com. The request was for more inexpensive cores, so Bette L. suggested a particular Etsy search to find them. It worked the last time I checked…

    Good luck! I hope Cindy does a tute on these, I’d love to learn some tricks on how to make them…

  8. Ken H, 01 June, 2010

    The inserts were mentioned on april 14th, or if I’m wrong it was the spotlight for the version of the faux turquoise done without a food processor. The advice was to go to Etsy and search for ‘Grommet Eyelet Rivets Pandora Style Bead ‘ under supplies

  9. Carolyn K, 01 June, 2010

    Ken, thank you for the input. I think I can figure out how to assemble them just from looking at the grommet. I wasn’t aware of the other spotlight. This may be fun.

  10. Phaedrakat, 01 June, 2010

    Whoops, sorry about that. I should’ve refreshed my page!

    What a cute little mushroom! I can’t believe we’re into a whole new month of tutorials! Wow, time flies when you’re having fun (or trying to, at least!) This will be a fun tute, I’m lucky that I have the tools. I got em on clearance at JoAnn’s. Can’t wait!

  11. Linda K., 01 June, 2010

    The timing for this mushroom tutorial is perfect for me. A week from Friday my 6-year-old grandniece is coming to spend the weekend with me. She loves to paint with me in my studio, but this time I’m going to teach her about polymer clay. I think the mushroom might be fun for her to try.

  12. Cheryl Hodges, 01 June, 2010

    Such a cute little mushroom. I’d love to learn how to make the mushroom bead , also to be able to pierce it right. The sculptured flower on top looks like icing – it will be great to learn how to do these embellishments.

  13. Phaedrakat, 01 June, 2010

    I keep having computer prob’s — finally the preview started up for me! I’m glad I got to see; they’re such an adorable group of ‘shrooms! And that little bee is very cool. It’s gonna be fun learning the sculptural details — I haven’t played with that sort of thing much. I’m interested in the alcohol ink effect, too. Fun, fun, fun!

  14. Ritzs, 02 June, 2010

    This looks just the thing to make for my youngest grandchildren (6 in total) Oldest at 27 Youngest at 4. But that’s enough of that. I am so exited my UV lamp came today (for the Resin Tutorial) 36watt from eBay £20 pounds new and postage included, just a little info for our u k members.

  15. Phaedrakat, 02 June, 2010

    @Ritzs: Congrat’s on finding a good lamp deal! I’m on the lookout for a “great” deal (it needs to be fantastic, since money’s tight!) But in the meantime, I plan to use the strong sunshine we’ve got going every day. My resin’s in the mail, so I’ll be experimenting very soon. It’s going to be so fun. I know you’ve already played with resin, but you’ll probably enjoy it even more now with your new toy. I can’t wait to see pictures of the “pretties” you’ll be making with it! Have fun~

  16. Peggy Barnes, 02 June, 2010

    What a lovely way to start June out. I love the summer and I am going to love this tute. I have the tools, desire and hope I will have the energy. Watch out Friday here I come. Thanks once again Cindy and Doug feels like another winner is on its way.
    Uuuuuggggs, Peggy

  17. Phaedrakat, 02 June, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Hi Peggy, just wanted to check on you. Are you feeling better after your root canal? I know it’s not all done, but I’m hoping you’ve recuperated a bit from the other day? Best wishes to you! And Painless (REALLY PAINLESS!) Hugs, too… ~Kat

  18. Peggy Barnes, 04 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Much better Thank You so much for asking. I have one more root canal and crown to do in another week but the pain I had before the first one made having it done more than worth the 3 hours of an opened mouth. I always have been pretty good at opening my mouth. Just not always at the right time. I will be glad when all this dental work is done. The dentist thinks some of the meds that I am on which cause dry mouth is a very big reason for all my recent problems. I did find out though for anyone who has dry mouth problems since this is one of the worse things there is on your teeth you can get medicine to help with dry mouth. I constantly have a glass of water by my side sipping away. Guess I better start sipping some more.
    Hope you are feeling better as well Kat. No fun when there is so many interesting clay projects put in front of you by Cindy and Doug and you just don’t feel well enough to be able to enjoy working on them. God Bless and take care kind friend.
    Have a wonderful clay playing weekend everyone.
    Uuuuuggggs to all , Peggy

  19. Phaedrakat, 06 June, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Very funny about not having trouble “opening your mouth!” I’m glad you’ve got one of your root canals out of the way (boy, do I hate those!) and that the pain is already reduced. I’m glad you mentioned the “dry mouth” issue. I’ve been having more teeth problems in the past year or so, and I also take a lot of meds that make my mouth dry. No coincidence, I’m guessing! Of course, the fact that you can take yet another pill (for pill side-effects) is a bit ironic. I’m like you, in that I’ve always got a glass of water nearby. I’ve always been that way, though — a big water drinker. I drink about a gallon of it daily, so I can’t possibly drink much more. I need to talk to a dentist though, and see if there’s something else I can do to help prevent further problems with my teeth. I also want to wish you luck with your next root canal and crown. Don’t worry – “just” one more! It shouldn’t be too bad, since they probably did the more painful one first, right? Good luck with all of it, Peggy. You’re such a sweetie!

    That was so nice of you to help Christine le Grice find info — and so quickly! How cool is that?! You are truly an awesome person, Peggy. And oh, so kind! My prayers are with you! I hope you have quite a few fun clay days, too.

    As for me, I’m haven’t been able to clay yet. Not only due to neck & back pain, but because of drama & crazy stuff going on at home. It mostly has to do with the pool and with school letting out very soon. All this family stuff causes stress, which makes my pain worse. The viscious circle again: pain, depression, stress — over & over. But some things are completely unexpected, and can’t be helped. Like what happened with my sister’s friend.

    My sister (who lives with me, & buying the pool) just had a friend kill herself. It’s not an official ruling yet, but it looks like it. The woman has an 8 yr. old boy, but didn’t have custody of him. She was very depressed about it, but I still can’t imagine her leaving her son like that. My sister had no idea her friend was that depressed, so she’s feeling guilty for having missed it. Of course things are really tense around here. We’re trying to comfort my sister, while trying to keep her kids from hearing too much and having to worry (they lost their own father a few years ago in an auto accident.) I’ve been praying for the woman’s son & family, as well as for my sister and her kids. It’s such a sad situation.

    Sorry for bringing up this tragedy. It’s just when things like that happen, it makes you think about the good things in your life and how you should be thankful. Cherish what you have, and everyone else. There are people hurting out there. Help them if you can! My prayers go out to all of you, and I hope you will reach out to others, and be good to each other. Be happy, and enjoy your loved ones and family! Teach someone to clay, as its tactile properties and artistic qualities can help with healing. Try to be a good listener, sometimes that’s what someone really needs. You never know how badly someone might just need to be heard at a certain moment. Bless you!

  20. Linda K., 06 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Kat, I’m so sorry about your sister’s friend. A member of my extended family (someone I barely knew) took his own life last week and left a pregnant wife and 2-year-old son–with no income, now that he’s gone. The only thing I can say about someone who leaves children in this manner is that the person has fallen into the depths of mental illness and it takes away all logic and common sense. I will keep your sister’s friend in my prayers.

  21. Phaedrakat, 06 June, 2010

    @Linda K.: I agree with what you said, Linda. It has to be either deep mental illness, or complete selfishness. I’d prefer to belief the former, especially when kids are involved. I’m very sorry to hear about that happening, and I will pray for you and your family, and for the poor woman and children left behind.

    These days you see more and more of this happening; people feel like they have nowhere to turn. It’s very, very sad, and the people left behind are really messed up by it all. Still, I’m kind of wishing I could “take back” the comment I left above (at 3:44 am.) It’s pretty dark, even for me! Whew. No more posting in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep! Sorry about that.

  22. Linda K., 07 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Kat, maybe you were meant to post it…it might help prevent someone else from suffering the same kind of tragedy.

  23. Silverleaf, 08 June, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: It’s not something I usually mention to people I don’t know well, but you guys feel like family so here goes.

    I wanted to kill myself at one point. I was 24, had been diagnosed with depression 9 months previously and we still hadn’t found the right meds for me and I was waiting for cognitive behaviour therapy treatment. It was Christmas time, and I spent about 2 weeks being totally convinced that everyone around me would be better off if I was not around, that I’d be doing them a big favour. I can’t even describe how bad I felt, apart from that everything was completely hopeless, and there was only one way I could get the hurting to stop.

    Obviously I didn’t do it, but only because I didn’t have the energy to decide how I’d go about it, and because I finally got referred to a psychiatric nurse who helped me to turn things around. And I do get depressed still, but now I have the tools to cope with it and mostly I’m okay.

    I’m not trying to get sympathy, just wanted to explain that I know from experience that people who are depressed enough to consider suicide just can’t see straight – they are either hurting so much and can’t imagine things ever getting any better, or they genuinely think that the world would be better off without them. It’s such a shame that a lot of people don’t reach out for help, possibly because they are ashamed (there’s such stigma attached to mental illness) or don’t believe that anyone CAN help.

    Personally, I’d like to see “life skills” type classes in schools and colleges – things like how to be assertive, how to recognise and challenge negative thought processes, how to cope in various situations, how to not take things personally, how to be kind to yourself and reward yourself, how to combat the idea that mental illness is the sign of a weak person, how everyone is entitled to make their own choices, things like that. It would give young people coping tools for all the stuff that life throws at them, and stop some problems before they even get started.

  24. Cindy Lietz, 17 June, 2010

    @Silverleaf: Anna I meant to say something here awhile ago, but I couldn’t remember what thread I read it in and hadn’t hunted it down yet. When I read Linda’s comment today I was pleased it surfaced again and came here right away.

    I agree that you are a very brave woman to share with us what you went through. I think that for so many people, depression is a private battle and people can feel very isolated and alone. You telling us your story will bring courage to others to find help. You are such a vibrant and positive support around here and I can’t image the world without you. I am very happy that you decided to work things through instead of the sad alternative. I am positive the little hedgehogs you save feel the same way!

    Thank you so much for having the trust in us all, to feel safe enough to share your pain. It means a lot to me and everyone else here. :-)

  25. Tantesherry, 31 August, 2011

    @Phaedrakat: Phaedrakat and Peggy was watching the little mushroom video and I like to read the comments after–anyway I take enough morphine and other quicker relief pain meds to (pardon me) kill a big dog– so I can relate to the dry mouth deal– I know it’s been over a year but if you are still looking for some relief ask your pharmasist about an oral demulcent–I like the brand Oasis in the spray—btw I love dogs and cats and… ;D

  26. Phaedrakat, 01 September, 2011

    @Tantesherry: Thanks! ;D I’m still in the same boat, and seeking relief for symptoms. I’ll look into Oasis (or ask pharmacist for demulcent.) Thanks alot for the tip — I really wish you the best of luck with your pain…

  27. DJ, 02 June, 2010

    This is just packed with interesting things to learn!! Love all the variations on the mushrooms…this will be fun.

  28. Peggy Barnes, 04 June, 2010

    Now that is what I call a tute full of info. I watched it twice and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Like you said you can use all the ideas on so many other pieces of polymer also.
    Cindy you are a students DREAM TEACHER and Doug you are the teachers DREAM PARTNER. As I have said before the 2 of you make the ultimate team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks for another great start that is sure to be another great month of TUTES!!
    Have another great weekend off. Uuuuugggggs to all, Peggy

  29. carolyn, 04 June, 2010


  30. Tina Adams, 04 June, 2010

    Nice tut, I too was unaware mushrooms are the in thing, I really liked how you put the flower, leaves and vines together ! Thanks again Cindy !

  31. Silverleaf, 04 June, 2010

    I like the alcohol ink idea, I’ll definitely try that. :)

  32. Carole Holt, 04 June, 2010

    Thanks again for adding another string to my learning curve you sure do make Fridays fun and these little shrooms will be a breeze to make for me and my grandaughters. They look so good. See you Monday have a grate weekend everyone.

  33. christine le grice, 04 June, 2010

    Brilliant, love these mushrooms. Was doubtful until I saw the video but now I have to try it! Been suffering from episcleritis [eye inflammation], anybody know anything about it ? Odd thing for this site but the medics don’t seem to agree on treatment and I’m trying to find any information.It does hinder polymer play time so it is kinda relevant.

  34. Peggy, 05 June, 2010

    @christine le grice:
    So sorry you are having problems. I have never heard of this before. I will ask around and if you don’t mind I will put you on our prayer chain at church and also have you in my prayers. I truly hope you get better soon.
    Many Uuuuuuggggggs, Peggy

  35. Peggy, 05 June, 2010

    @christine le grice:
    Wow that didn’t take long. I called my mother and it so happens she knows a lady at church that had this. Most of the time it is not serious and it is an inflammatory condition in the eye. It can clear up on its own within a couple of weeks. You also can use a saline solution on your eye. Some Dr.s will give you anti-inflammatories or mild steroids for it.

    My Mom did say that you should not take chances with your eyes and make sure you have had this confirmed by an Optometrist or a regular Dr.
    If they don’t want to treat it with anything more than Saline solution you can go to a Naturalist store and they can probably recommend something and tell you how to use it. But again Be very careful with your eyes. So many people just don’t think of having any kind of problems with their eyes and will just ignore it. Sounds like you are on the right track. How long have you been having problems? I think I would tell your Dr. or Optometrist who ever you saw that you are paying them to tell you how to take care of this problem so get off your duff and tell me.
    Hope this helps some. Uuuuuuggggs, Peggy

  36. Phaedrakat, 06 June, 2010

    @christine le grice: I’m sorry to hear about your eye problem. Don’t worry so much about “relevance,” we care! Sounds like Peggy found some info for you. I just wanted to let you know that I wish you the best. Good luck with this, and I sure hope the docs get themselves “together” on this. It’s rough when they have different opinions on how best to pursue treatment. Do take charge like Peggy suggested — they do work for you, and they had better be doing their absolute best! Anyway, my thoughts are with you on this; may you be feeling better and seeing well very, very soon!

  37. pollyanna, 04 June, 2010

    Love it !!!!! I tried making one a few days ago and it looks okay but with the tute I see where I [as usual] did things the hard way….lol. This is fantastic and can’t wait to try one with the inks…..yipppeeee!
    Thanks, Cindy once again.

  38. Phaedrakat, 06 June, 2010

    Love the video, such cute little mushrooms! I love all of the sculptured detailing tips, these will come in handy for all kinds of things. I love the way the alcohol ink transformed the clay in this example. This tip is HUGE — can’t wait to try it! You’re so awesome, Cindy. You really must do a lot of experimenting before coming up with such amazing things to teach us. Our teacher does a lot of studying, I’ll bet!

    The mushroom shape is another great idea. I love how well-thought out your videos are. You teach us things that are easy to remember and recreate. We can also build on the techniques we learn from you, so that a mushroom becomes other things, too. Thanks for sharing so much information with us. You and your hubby provide so much. Every Friday I’m reminded of just how much, and I’m so very happy that I’m a member. Love it all!

  39. christine le grice, 06 June, 2010

    thanks so much peggy, I really appreciate your concern and interest. Ihave seen an opthamologist and three doctors and while Iappreciate it is not serious, it is unsightly and embarrasing. I have had it on and off for 2 years and the frequency is increasing. I shall tackle the doctors with renewed determination !

  40. Linda K., 17 June, 2010

    Silverleaf, you’re very brave to share this with us. I’m glad that you were able to find help to get through that terrible time. I think that what you’ve told us can give hope to someone else who is suffering from severe depression and to help others better understand what their friends and loved ones might be going through.

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