Rolling Round Polymer Clay Beads By Hand

Round Polymer Clay Beads Rolled By HandVideo #325: How to move and position your hands so that your beads don’t get all wonky looking.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Challenges when rolling round polymer clay beads by hand.
  • How to measure clay so your beads are all the same size.
  • The way to move your hands so that your beads don’t get all wonky looking.
  • Reasons why it is important to let your beads ‘rest’ for a while after rolling.
  • How to pierce your hand rolled beads so that the hole is perfectly straight.
  • With a little practice, you’ll be rolling perfectly round polymer clay beads by hand, which believe it or not, is faster, easier and much more special than rolling beads with a commercial bead roller.

By the way, if you have a polymer clay question or challenge you’d like me to address in an upcoming video vlog, do post it in the comments below. I’d love to help you find quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Rosy Simpson, 31 December, 2012

    It has been hard to roll a round bead. Cindy, thank you so much, now I know how to do it. This was so loving, of you to take the time to make us all understand how to do this.

  2. Patricia R, 31 December, 2012

    Great tip Cindy! As always you are a great teacher! :)

  3. Andrea Paradiso, 31 December, 2012

    Merry Christmas, sweet Cindy, to you and yours! Thank you all for all the gifts you’ve brought me since I joined! They are all coming in quite handy. Cannot wait for more!

  4. Jocelyn, 31 December, 2012

    Cindy, those beads look lovely, do you have a picture of the finished set? I’ll bet Doug’s Mom just loved them.

  5. Polymer Clay Tutor Doug Lietz, 31 December, 2012

    Hi Jocelyn… yes she did love them. They were made with flowers we preserved in memory of my Dad. Here is a picture collage of the resulting necklace and earrings. Happy New Year!

    Memorial Jewelry For My Mom

  6. Jocelyn, 31 December, 2012

    I get choked up looking at it because of the love that Cindy put into every second of this design and construction. While working on something like this you think about those who are gone and those who are here, and in this case, how beloved your Mom is to Cindy. It has excellent karma, if that makes sense. You must be so proud, Doug.

  7. Dixie Ann, 31 December, 2012

    Thank you Cindy, that was a great tip! You always teach us something different! The beads are gorgeous and I especially loved the golden one that looked like flecks of mica and gold in it. Was this a special bead technique that you have done a video on?

  8. Cindy Lietz, 01 January, 2013

    Those beads were made using the Rose Petal Bead Tutorial, Dixie Ann. Do you have that one?

  9. Dixie Ann, 01 January, 2013

    I do have all your videos now Cindy! Did you do something different when you made the gold colored ones?
    The reason I’m asking is it looks so much different from the Rose petal beads, almost reminds me of Amber and it is so beautiful along side the others. You have such a great eye for color.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 02 January, 2013

    Sorry Dixie, I didn’t have access to my records when I answered this and couldn’t remember whether you had all the videos or not. Also I see I misunderstood which golden beads you were talking about. The small round yellow flower beads were made with the rose petal bead tutorial, but the larger golden, sparkly and really clear beads are not polymer clay at all and are actually a gemstone called Ice Flake Quartz. They would be difficult to accurately copy them in polymer since they are so glassy clear. (Maybe with one of the other brands of translucent such as Pardo which is much clearer than Premo Translucent it would be possible, but that would have to be tested.)

    On the topic of using gemstones with polymer clay:

    I love to make jewelry projects where I use a mixture of real stones and polymer. It brings a weight and quality to the piece, as well as puts a spotlight onto the polymer pieces… showcasing them for what they are capable of doing that could be impossible with the real gemstone.

    For example, you can make your polymer pieces in any size, shape, color combination that you want and aren’t restricted to what is available on the market. As well, nature is able to produce some amazing qualities that are difficult for man-made materials to ‘master’ exactly. So mixing the two is win-win. They each enhance the other and cause the viewer to value the piece in a higher manner.

    Think of it this way… if you were to create a piece of art that combined 24K Gold and a folded piece of paper, would you tend to up the value of the paper, since it was valued so high by the artist that it deserved to be paired with the gold? Also, would you then question that perhaps the paper was possibly MORE valuable than the gold itself, since gold is known to be expensive and wouldn’t logically be used unless the paper was at least equal or more valuable?

    The same goes with Polymer Clay. It is just a hunk of PLASTIC if you treat it like that and pair it with low quality metals (nickel etc), crappy beads and dollar store findings. It becomes ART when you decide it deserves better and pair it with, better metals, higher quality beads and finer finishing techniques.

    Just something for everyone to think about as they go into this New Year. Do I want to improve my work and make nicer pieces? And want are the little things I can do, that make all the difference in the world, between what makes a piece a 2 (on the scale of 1 to 10) and a 8,9 or even a10?

  11. Dixie Ann, 02 January, 2013

    Thank you so much Cindy, you explained it so well and I highly agree with you on the quality of one’s work. I started doing this last year and it has really paid off. I think thats why I spotted the gemstone right away. It did not detract from the beauty of the polymer clay but instead really enhanced the look and quality of the overall piece. Such a great teacher you are!

  12. pattw35, 31 December, 2012

    What a wonderful and meaningful gift. It will be cherished forever.

    Round beads have always given me a fit! Either I press too hard or not hard enough. Guess what I will be doing for the few days? Yep- rolling ROUND beads. Thanks for your expertise!.

    Waiting for Friday – what are we going to make?

  13. Cindy Lietz, 01 January, 2013

    I’m not telling Patt… it’s a secret!

  14. Melodie F, 01 January, 2013

    Great instruction as usual. You know something about everything! Love it! Happy New Year.

  15. tantesherry, 01 January, 2013

    Wow, that turned out Beautiful !!
    Happy New Year Everyone :D

  16. Dixie Ann, 01 January, 2013

    Happy New Year to all of our Clay Family. Here is a great tip that I found on the Wire Sculpture blog about using a product called ProtectaClear for metals such as copper, bronze, nickel silver etc. Since most of us work with wire one way or another with our Polymer Clay you might find this useful. Enjoy!

  17. Cindy Lietz, 01 January, 2013

    Great find Dixie! I am going to have to look into that. I see that it is safe against skin and prevents tarnish, corrosion and oils. Sounds like it should work beautifully for coating copper and brass earwires that can sometimes turn peoples ears green. Also would be great for copper wire and copper sheet necklaces and bracelets that can also leave some people with green skin. Looks like it is easy to apply too. Thanks for the product tip!

  18. Sue F, 01 January, 2013

    Hi Cindy,

    I just wanted to say that the necklace you’re wearing in this video — which I remember seeing in Video 040-2: Faux Coral Heishi Beads — looks fabulous! Beautiful colours and a lovely mix of bead shapes… love it! :D

    Best wishes to you and the rest of the Lietz clan for the new year,


  19. Cindy Lietz, 02 January, 2013

    Thank you so much Sue, Happy New Year to you too! I for one am looking forward to all the cool stuff we will learn from one another this year. Think it’s going to be an awesome year!

  20. Freda K, 01 January, 2013

    I have tried so hard to get really round beads and I don’t think any of them are really round like yours. Always a little wonky. Tomorrow’s the day. I’m going to try your way. I do most of the things you mention. I always let my beads sit for a few hours before putting the hole in, but haven’t tried rerolling them at that time. Also, I haven’t tried rolling them on the side of my palm.

    Round, round wholly round beads here I come.

  21. Susie W, 09 January, 2013

    Thanks for the timely video, as I have been working on a project requiring round beads. And, yes, I also prefer HAND made beads to bead-roller creations. The tip of using a cutter for uniformity was very helpful. Now I’m going to experiment to see what size of bead each of my cutters will create with my pasta machine on the thickest setting. That should be even more helpful. Thanks again.

  22. Cheryl Dumba, 28 March, 2019

    I’m a beginner and I want to know the best (cheap/easiest) way to bake round polymer clay beads?


  23. Cindy Lietz, 29 March, 2019

    Just do an accordion fold of cardstock and set your beads in there to bake. That’s the cheapest and easiest thing to do if you don’t want to buy a bead rack or try to make one out of a tin pan or something.

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