Polymer Clay Tutorials | Piercing Lentil Beads | Unique Bead Shapes

Hole Piercing Through Lentil Swirly Bead

6 tips on how to pierce holes through swirly lentils for jewelry making projects:

The polymer clay lentil bead (aka swirly beads) has a very unique shape that resembles natural lentils used in various culinary dishes. But it’s this unique form that poses challenges when drilling holes through them for stringing into necklaces, bracelets and other handmade jewellery projects.

Here are 6 important tips to keep in mind:

1) Always let a freshly swirled lentil bead rest for awhile before putting a hole through it. This allows the clay to cool and firm up right to the core of the bead. Less distortion will happen when making the holes.

2) Wear gloves or coat your finger tips with cornstarch to avoid getting finger prints on your bead.

3) Use a light touch. Try not to squeeze your bead while you are piercing it.

4) Cover your bead piercing pins with cornstarch so that they enter the clay with less resistance.

5) Twist the pin gently as you push it into the clay.

6) Go slow. This will create less distortion at the edges of the bead and will allow you to redirect the hole if it is a little off.

For all of you visual learners, the next edition of my upcoming Polymer Clay Tutorial Video Newsletter will demonstrate the bead piercing techniques listed above. No matter how well I try to describe this process in words, a video is always better for learning exactly how to do it right. If you don’t already receive my newsletter, you can sign up here: Polymer Clay Tutorials Guest List

And if you have never swirled these unique bead shapes before, here are a few previous posts to check out:

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  1. Marianne Huber, 07 August, 2008

    These are great tips for lentil beads…however, I think I will use them for all types of beads. The pin in the cornstarch (it’s one of those)..Why didn’t I think of that when I was pushing pins into beads over the weekend and the can of cornstarch was sitting right next to me.
    Thanks for great ideas.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 07 August, 2008

    Thank you Marianne! Stay tuned for the video this week. Actually seeing it done really helps!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Rose Pendant Necklace – A Summer Polymer Clay Jewelry Making Project

  3. Debbie McLelland, 14 September, 2008

    Cindy, a Question:

    Is it a good idea to use a lentil bead roller or maker that I have seen for sale? Or do you make all of yours by hand? I have also seen the “Tri-Bead” makers.

    What do you suggest?

    Sorry everyone is this is a silly question, I am very new at all this. Be patient, I’ll learn eventually. :)

  4. Cindy Lietz, 15 September, 2008

    I like to roll lentil beads by hand. I personally find the bead rollers a bit of a pain and quicker to do by hand. Though there are some cool things you can do with a bead roller, so they are not all bad!

  5. Cindy Lietz, 14 August, 2009

    **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures have just been added to a Spotlight Feature showcasing Kimisen, a member who is very much appreciated here at this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Home Jewelry Business” link by my name above to have a look at her lentil bead work.

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