Polymer Clay Tutorial | Urban Style Graffiti Art Beads (Video)

Polymer Clay Graffiti Bead Technique

Vid #117: How to Make Personalized Beads that Let You Have Your Say:

Have you ever wanted to make a fun statement with your polymer clay jewelry? Well now you can share exactly what’s on your mind with these funky word beads, that have the unique look of a paint peeling, graffiti covered wall!

Coming up this Friday (July 31) in the Members Library (Volume 015-1), is a brand new tutorial video that will show you how to make these urban styled graffiti art beads.

As is the case with many of the other bead making techniques I teach, this one also provides an unlimited number of design possibilities. By changing up the colors and the word choices, you can end up with so many different fun possibilities.

I can’t wait to showcase your bead and jewelry projects in some of the upcoming Spotlight features for next month. For more info about these urban style beads, have a look at these posts:

Using methods similar to faux Mokume Gane, I have created this original technique in a unique style and flair that I hope you will enjoy.

The full tutorial will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday, July 31st, 2009 [Volume 015-1]. But to watch a sneak peak intro clip right now if you like, scroll down the page a bit and enjoy.

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Here’s That “Link Below” Referred To at End of the Video
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The full version of the “Graffiti Bead” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-015 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

These [Deep Crackle Raku Beads]** are absolutely gorgeous Cindy.  I’ve admired this finish on pottery, and I am very excited to learn how to do it!  I must add that your videos are worth MORE than every penny a membership costs. Especially to me. I live in a very rural area and your tutes make me feel as if I am visiting your studio without leaving my own home. Well done, and thanks. ~Sue

** Also See Vol-014-3 Faux Raku Video in the Volume 014 Back Issue Package at the Polymer Clay Library.

The following topics are covered in this “Graffiti Bead” video:

  • How to create funky urban styled beads using words and phrases that ‘speak your language’.
  • See several examples of beads made using different colors combinations as well as different words and sayings.
  • Why the thickness of your clay is important in order to create that unique graffiti look of peeled paint.
  • Correct use of rubber stamps with this polymer clay technique to leave a lasting impression on your beads.
  • Steps for using a flexible clay blade to reveal your word choices and design elements.
  • Ideas for using your sheet of graffiti art clay in a variety of bead shapes, sizes and jewelry projects.

The full version of the “Graffiti Bead” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-015 Back Issue Package.

  1. Laurel, 29 July, 2009

    Awesome! These look really cool. I can’t wait.

  2. nancy reddick, 31 July, 2009

    wooooooohooooooooo, I’ll say it again. Can’t wait to get started on these beads. Great technique, did not expect the way you did this at all. thanks once again Cindy for a great video…

  3. Claycass, 31 July, 2009

    Cindy I must say that I do like that! Nice technique.

  4. Lynn, 31 July, 2009

    Cool Graffiti Beads technique – love the colors you used… Thanks Cindy!

  5. Linda Knight, 31 July, 2009

    Cindy – I don’t always have internet access, we are retired and travel some. I was wondering if there is a way to save the videos on my hard drive. I know I can save videos that we take of the grandchildren into our pictures folder and play them.

    Thanks and love learning all of your wonderful techniques. It would be fun to see what people make – I’m working on a use for the grafitti beads – very cute!!! Thanks!

  6. Sherry W, 31 July, 2009

    WOW Cindy!! I have been waiting for this one and cannot wait to get started. My brain is on fire right now with the future possibilities of this technique. Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Pictures to come…This time I mean it. I get carried away and then go M.I.A. in my craft room and forget about my friends. Yes, guilty as charged. My punishment should be to get sent to my room. Okay, if I have to….shucky-darn! See ya soon!

  7. Brenda Anthony, 31 July, 2009

    Yes! How to save the videos. That’s the question for us computer newbies!

  8. Cindy Lietz, 31 July, 2009

    I’m loving Friday’s as much as you guys because I get to feel your excitement and energy… and because I get to look forward to receiving more spotlight photos and stories about the projects you end making.

    This Graffiti Bead technique in particular has so many different directions it can go based on your own personal style and creativity.

    So make sure you are snapping pictures of your work along the way. In addition to showcasing your most prized finished beads and jewelry pieces, I’m also interested in hearing about challenges that you may have come up against and how you dealt with them. This kind of input is SO valuable for others to learn from as well.

    @Linda Knight – in the last part of your comment you said… “…it would be fun to see what people make.” If you did not know yet, midway through July I started publishing “Spotlight” features based on stories and photos submitted by you guys. To find them, use “Spotlight” as the keyword in the search box at the top of this page. Another way to find them is to use the “14: Feature Guests” link in the left side bar navigation. The “Jupiter Beads Spotlight Feature” link by my name just above, will take you to the first Spotlight article where I introduce the concept.

    In regards to saving the videos to your hard drive, it is not possible at this time. I’m using a “streaming” video file format that makes it possible for most everyone around the world to watch on most any kind of computer. To make the videos downloadable, I would need to create a second type of video file format that works on iPods and such. It’s on my list of things to do… if only there were more hours in the day to get everything done as quick as I would like :)

    One thing to note about how the library is currently set up, is that as long as you keep your subscription current, the videos that accumulate in your account never expire. So even if you travel or are away from the internet for a while, all of the new content (and the archived content) will be there when you get back.

    That’s why I call it a library… only in some ways it is better than a bricks and mortar library because the “Virtual” books (Videos) are always there for your enjoyment. No having to wait for returns before you get your chance to check out the content.

  9. Cindy Graveline, 31 July, 2009

    I was thinking it might be this way, and I was right! Already use this technique many months ago, but with pattern stamps, not words stamps…

  10. Jamie, 31 July, 2009

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, then your videos are worth billions! And now we can print them all on our beads with your great tutorial. Thanks a million Cindy! XOXO Jamie

  11. Laurel, 31 July, 2009

    Very cool! I love the way the words stretch out of shape funky like. If you used small letter stamps you could do peoples names too. Of course the name could not be real long but it would be a fun thing to do. I am anxious to try this technique. Thanks Cindy for keeping us inspired.

  12. Carol, 31 July, 2009

    Hi Cindy:
    I watched your video with interest, because, even though I may have tried a particular technique before, you always seem to give a fresh approach to ideas I have seen before. You continually inspire me again, and again. Last weekend, my daughter (11) wanted to learn how to make some polymer clay beads so I showed her your Jupiter beads. You would not believe how many different styles of beads we made using this method. It was so easy for my daughter and so much fun. There was a lot of oohing and aahing in the kitchen. It certainly made good use of a lot of scrap and old clay I had been hanging onto. I think I need to introduce “sanding” to her now and put her to some real work.

    I love the cutting tool you are using now Where did you get it? It looks like a “must have” to me.

  13. Nancy Reddick, 01 August, 2009

    Well, I tried this technique last night. As you know I was very excited about it. Well I will tell you the trials I had with this technique. I kept digging in too deep I guess, I kept cutting off at least one letter on each word. I am gathering that I did not press hard enough on the clay with my stamp.Will try another batch today, I was able to get one successful bead. Thanks again Cindy for these wonderful tutorials. It is great to be able to clay along with the tutorial at your own pace.

  14. Cindy Lietz, 01 August, 2009

    Thank you guys for your kind words!

    @Nancy: I suspect you’re right about not pushing the stamp in deep enough. Also, remember to only slice away tiny amounts of clay at a time. You may need to do a see saw type movement with your blade.

    Use the clay that didn’t work out as your first layer, or for your core beads. Never worry about taking a few times to get a new technique. Even simple techniques can take some practice if you are new to polymer clay. Try is a few more times and let me know if you need any more help.

    You’re right about it being great to be able to go at your own pace along with the video. It is also nice to make mistakes at home where there isn’t a classroom full of people watching. :-)

  15. Cindy Lietz, 01 August, 2009

    Oops I’m sorry carol, you asked a question about the cutting tool. That is one of the blades fro the new Studio by Sculpey Blade set. I only put one handle on so the end so I could pull the end through canes and use in techniques like the one in this video, without getting in the way. If you click the link by my name you will see a picture of one of the ripple blades that comes in the set.

  16. GAILLYNNE, 02 August, 2009

    Hi, I’m a new member and learning my way around the site. I’m having trouble with the videos. They start for a couple of words and then stop. What am I doing wrong?

  17. Cindy Lietz, 02 August, 2009

    Hi Gail – Welcome to the library. Sorry you are having trouble with the videos. Based on how you described the problem, it sounds like a browser issue. No worries though, it is fixable. Please follow the “Polymer Clay Tutorial” link by my name above. It will take you to another post where I provided links to video trouble shooting tips. If the problem persists after working through these trouble shooting tips on your end, shoot me an email and I will see what else I can do to help you out. ~Cindy

  18. Laurel, 03 August, 2009

    I have trouble watching the videos when I try to watch them through AOL. They do exactly what you are describing. If I just use Internet Explorer, they work just fine. Don’t know if this helps but it works for me.

  19. Cindy Lietz, 03 August, 2009

    Thanks Laurel for chiming in about the IE work around you use. Gail does use AOL as an Internet Service Provider, so I’m guessing that is where her problem is originating.

    Unfortunately I don’t have control over the way AOL runs their web browser service. I wish I did because they sure do seem to create a lot of problems for a lot of people when it comes to watching online videos. Fortunately however, there are always simple work around’s, as Laurel just pointed out.

  20. Jocelyn, 03 August, 2009

    What a fun project! Could also see using these beads with sharp defined logos or “sayings” that support charitable causes like breast cancer, and lung and heart disease.

    With a stamp custom made for the purpose, you could also use these to make excellent beads/pendants for events, or even to give as beads “In Memoriam” with a loved ones initials or name and date, at a service.

  21. Cindy Lietz, 04 August, 2009

    Fantastic idea Jocelyn! That would be an excellent way to really put a deeper meaning into the beads!

  22. Cindy Erickson, 04 August, 2009

    Very Very cool, Cindy!!!

    I really love this one! I’ve been spending most of my free time oil painting lately, but this technique makes my clay call out to me quite loudly! I’m going to try this soon!

    Thanks for sharing as always :)

    Hugs to you!
    Cindy E.

  23. Cindy Lietz, 05 August, 2009

    It’s great to see you back Cindy E!! We’ve missed you around here!

  24. Jocelyn, 05 August, 2009

    Nancy, I had a lot of problems mastering the slicing too. Found for me, using one of those long flex tissue blades, and bending it into a U shape, then cutting with just the inner U portion helped give me the control I needed. Think I learned this from watching Donna Kato work on the old Carol DuVal show, since she is one that has her own type of “flex” blade on her site. Hope this helps.

  25. Nancy Reddick, 06 August, 2009

    Thanks Jocelyn, I will try putting more of a curve in my blade, I do think I was coming at it kind of straight… ok, well now I will have to try and make some more tomorrw…. thanks again…

  26. Nancy Reddick, 06 August, 2009

    Cindy love your oil paintings, making me want to pull out some of paints again….

  27. Tina Adams, 24 August, 2009

    OHHHHHHHH I knew I shouldn’t have balled up my last attempt at the torn water color clay, the colors would have worked great for this one…really cool tut !

  28. Lorri Tinges, 27 June, 2011

    I am wondering what company the word stamp sets you use on the graffiti bead video are sold from. I would really like to purchase some of these as I have been unable to find single word stamps in my area. I have tried searching on the internet to no avail. I am hoping you will share this information so that I can make some of these beads. I have almost all of your videos and want to purchase the items used in the videos to make all of the awesome beads. It stinks to live in a small town with no access to the best craft products. Thanks for your time on this issue! I will anxiously wait for your answer. Keep creating masterpieces!

  29. Cindy Lietz, 27 June, 2011

    @Lorri Tinges: Sorry you’re having trouble finding similar word stamps. The ones I have were actually from a dollar store. They just had there store name on the package, which is Dollarama.

    I don’t know if you will be able to find those exact ones, but I just did a search on Google for ‘Word Stamps’ and found many different stamps available that would work. I also found a stamp set on eBay that contained 84 common words with a magnetic base for making stamped poetry.

    I know it can be frustrating to not be able to get the exact supplies sometimes. But the great thing about polymer clay is that it is so adaptable that you can usually make something work, if you are flexible and exercise some creative license with the materials. Good luck. I hope you find something suitable!

  30. Katy Alexis, 12 February, 2016

    Wow, how fun… I love it “Say what you want to say… with your beads” :) I never thought I’d want word stamps…. but I’ll admit they’re going on my wish list…

  31. Cindy Lietz, 12 February, 2016

    And there are so many cool word stamps out there now to collect Katy! Just so you know, in the rubberstamping world, word stamps especially ones that have more than one word are called ‘sentiments’ so if you are doing a search for them online, they will be easier to find if you use sentiment in your search. With the production costs of the polymer cling stamps being much lower than the older rubber and wood stamps, companies can easily introduce hundreds of designs every year so there are so many more to choose from now then there were when I shot that video. Technologies change so quickly in this industry! Have fun!

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