Sculpted Parrot Tulip Beads | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Polymer Clay Parrot Tulip BeadsVideo #213: “Wouldn’t it be fun to do a series… from around the world, tulips from Holland, the waters of Aruba, colors from the Rainforest. ” ~Jeanne-C

Yes Jeanne… a world tour does sound like fun. With last week’s Tulip Cane project, and this week’s Parrot Tulip Beads, it looks like things are heading in the right direction.

Just below is a color-filled video that I found on YouTube, to help get everyone in the mood for tomorrow’s lesson. It is especially nice for those from Chicago, since that is where the Parrot Tulips in the clip were filmed.

Beautiful colors! I’m glad you can envision colors, Cindy. Nature is a great source for inspiration and living in Arizona I enjoy the earth tones of the desert, the wonderful colors from our cactus and wildflowers, the color influence from Mexico and of course the sunsets. Trying to duplicate them is a tough one for me. Have you ever considered doing a southwest color palette? Wouldn’t it be fun to do a series on colors from around the world, tulips from Holland, the waters of Aruba, colors from the Rainforest! Wow one could stay a wake all night just dreaming up colors. As a very new clayer I find your website very informative, you’re a very gifted person. ~Jeanne-C

In last week’s Vol-038-3 Tulip Cane Tutorial, I asked everyone to set aside a section of your cane to use in this week’s sculpted Parrot Tulip Bead. I hope you did, because you’ll definitely need it for tomorrow’s Vol-038-4 video at the Polymer Clay Library (Fri July 22nd, 2011).


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-038-4 Parrot Tulip Beads:

  • A section of the petal cane you made made in the Vol-038-3 Backgroundless Tulip Cane Tutorial. It should be at least 1 inch (3cmm) long.
  • Clay Blade.
  • Large Ball Stylus from the Sculpey Style and Detailing Tool Set. As an alternative, you could use anything with a rounded end. See video for ideas.
  • Bead rack and bead piercing pins. I use the Amaco Bead Rack.
  • Sculpey Glossy Glaze (optional).
  • Fine grit Sandpaper, 400 grit or higher (optional).
  • Sculpey Work and Bake Clay Mat for working on (optional).

The full version of the Vol-038-4 Parrot Tulip Beads video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday July 22, 2011. 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

The full version of the “Parrot Tulip Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-038 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I am continuously impressed every Friday when a new tutorial comes out! As a complete newbie to polymer clay, I started out by purchasing Cindy’s beginner course. The amount of information jam packed into that course is priceless! I looked around my area for polymer clay courses, and was unable to find one for under $70 for a 3 hour class. By purchasing Cindy’s course, I instantly had access to 2.5 hours of polymer clay instruction, and I could watch in the privacy of my own home! If you’re anything like me, you only retain about 75% of the information the first time around. With Cindy’s course I can re-watch as many times as necessary, and even bring my laptop into my craft area! I then purchased the membership, and continued to be impressed! I have since purchased almost all of the back issue packages! The creativity, quality and ease with which the lessons are presented make working with polymer clay so easy! I’m constantly amazed by what I am able to create! For only $9.95 every 3 months? Definitely well worth the money! Thanks Cindy! ~Melissa-G

Cindy’s video tutes are amazing! The Polymer Clay Tutor’s videos teach you everything, step by step… and up-close, like you’re right there learning with her. If you’re interested in working with polymer clay, this is definitely the right place! Sign up for Cindy’s free newsletter and get 3 free videos, as well as new color recipes each week. I joined — became a member — a year ago, and I absolutely love it! It’s really the best way to learn on the web… and it’s incredibly inexpensive. ~Phaedrakat

Just want to say this site runs very, and I mean, VERY well! Cindy, you give more than our money’s worth! ~Catalina

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Parrot Tulip Beads video tutorial:

  • See several examples of Parrot Tulip Beads made into pendants, links, earrings and necklaces.
  • Discussion of the tools and techniques needed to create these gorgeous and realistic focal sculpted polymer clay beads.
  • Learn the tricks for getting the realistic, ruffled edged petals, representative of the real Parrot Tulip.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with your own unique jewelry designs using this stunning polymer clay bead design.

The full version of the “Parrot Tulip Beads” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Volume-038 Back Issue Package.


  1. Marion R, 21 July, 2011

    Absolutely delighted to find myself paid up for the next 90 days! I know it’s all automatic, but thank you anyway Cindy. Joining your ‘club’ is the best thing I ever did, I used to mess around with Polymer Clay some years ago, but always had problems and gradually lost incentive. In particular, I have no colour sense, so, having your fabulous colour cards every week is just a dream. I actually read on a beading artist’s blog that she got angry with people wanting to know exactly what colours she’d used and wondered why they didn’t just try for themselves. Well, I could tell her why! Whenever I tried I just got grimaces from people. I think it’s necessary to have someone to get you started and give you a few designs/patterns to practice to gain confidence, so you can then ‘paint outside the lines’ without worrying about how it will turn out. So, thank you again dear tutor, I hope you’ll be around forever!

  2. Cindy Lietz, 21 July, 2011

    Thanks guys! This is going to be a fun tutorial and I look forward to seeing fields of your beautiful tulips… or a least a few bowls full! :-)

    @Marion: Wow Marion, you have really made my day with your comment! That bead artist can’t be a teacher, because she never would have said that if she was a good one. Color is something that can be difficult for people to work with, and I am very happy to share with you all, the combinations that work for me. I am very pleased that you are learning and enjoying yourself here. Thank you for saying what you said!

    @Jocelyn: I like the moral to your story…. good advice :-)

    @Lupe Meter: I think the message you are referring to was from me. I left a comment on one of your older blog posts from April… and your blog only allows me to use my polymerclaytutor signature and not my regular name and link. There are a lot of other Cindy’s in the crafting world though. That was one of the reasons I started using the Polymer Clay Tutor name in the first place. But this time the Cindy was me! :-)

  3. Tantesherry, 21 July, 2011

    Simpley Beautiful

  4. pollyanna, 21 July, 2011

    looking forward to tomorrow….how do we get the frills??? :)

  5. Koolbraider, 21 July, 2011

    I love parrot tulips so am really looking forward to this!

  6. Lupe Meter, 21 July, 2011

    Love the vibrant colors, Cindy! Looking forward to another great video! Thank you for your comments the other day!

  7. Jocelyn, 21 July, 2011

    Agree with you Koolbraider….tulips, all kinds, are surely one of my favorite flowers, and Cindy “understands” them, lol. Cannot wait until tomorrow.

    Years ago, I sent to Holland and purchased hundreds of Emporer White Tulips for my Mom. The whole family spend several days planting them all over the property in the fall.

    Spring. We waited, and waited and waited. Not a leaf. We did, however, detect a rise in the chipmunk population. Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore and dug some up. Absolutely eaten and useless, every last plant.


  8. Jocelyn, 21 July, 2011

    You live in the woods, you put good stuff in wired cages, then bury it and pray for the best.

  9. Lupe Meter, 21 July, 2011

    It’s me again…scratch the last part of my comment…having one of those days, I guess! It was another Cindy who left a message for me! lol

  10. Jeanne C., 21 July, 2011

    The parrot tulip is so pretty, looking forward to tomorrows tut! :)

  11. Teresa D, 21 July, 2011

    Is it here yet? How many of us start checking our email at mid-nite to see if the tute is here? Count my hands raised.(lol)

  12. Marion, 22 July, 2011

    Yes, I’m counting the minutes too, just before 8am every Friday here in the UK. And this one is brilliant – in more than one way! Thank you Cindy, this is gorgeous.

    I just did a search to see if you’ve had any requests for a Mandala cane but it came up empty. I’m wondering what the difference is between a regular cane and a Mandala? Maybe you could squeeze one in sometime? Thanks again!

  13. Cindy Lietz, 22 July, 2011

    @Marion: Mandala in Sanskrit means circle. Basically a Mandala Cane is a round cane with repeating geometric patterns. Much like Kaleidoscope Cane only circular and the patterns tend to radiate from the center. Yes I could come up with some Mandala Cane designs in the future. Just will need to play around with some colors and patterns and see what would be nice to teach. I’ll put it on the list!

  14. Freda K, 22 July, 2011

    Since my husband has a large bed of yellow tulips every year I was interested in this video. Gorgeous pieces.

  15. pollyanna, 22 July, 2011

    This was fantastic. As soon as the heat goes down I will try it. Just beautiful and parrot tulips come in such great colors. thanks so much for the wonderful instructions.

  16. Elaine Faulks, 22 July, 2011

    Wow Cindy, these are the best yet,I love how delicate the frills look,so must order these new premo colours as the combination is perfect.
    (Will have to buy the tulip bulbs in the autumn (fall) to plant in my new window boxes.My favourite coffe mug has similar tulips on it and often looked at it and wondered if I could replicate it in PC. Now I can, thanks Cindy your timing is amazing.

  17. Jocelyn, 22 July, 2011

    @Elaine Faulks: El, window boxes, if frozen solid all winter, are not happy places for tulips. I’d put your investment in smaller pots, which fit in the boxes, therefore winterable in the garage or a protected spot. If they sit in frozen water, they rot.

  18. Jocelyn, 22 July, 2011

    Cindy, this is another great tutorial, and those parrot tulips look as lifelike and rain kissed as if you just brought them in from the garden.

    Makes me think about the monster plant, which, I think the maker said was based on tulips like those in the video. Cannot remember the name of the play/movie…..

    Fantasy flowers, making those frilled edges big bold and beautiful, would be the direction I take next. Finally, a frilly noir parrot tulip, lol.

  19. pollyanna, 22 July, 2011

    @Jocelyn: Was it little shop of horrors? I think the plant was Audrey.

  20. Phaedrakat, 23 July, 2011

    Wow! Those tulips are attention-grabbers, for sure…very unique! Cindy, I think you were quite clever with these tutes. Teaching the Tulip Cane last week, then using a bit of it this week to make beautiful, frilly-petal’d beads — smart! The Pirate Tulip beads are lovely, and I agree with Silverleaf that this technique can be used for other things, as well. Very useful, indeed! Thanks so much for your video tutorials… :)

    @Jocelyn: How sad! Awaiting those blooms, not to mention the money spent…those dastardly chipmunks! Sorry that happened to you… :'(
    BTW, I agree with you about the movie reference!

    Audrey: “Fe-eed Me!” — Little Shop of Horrors —
    Definitely! LSOH includes a couple of my mom’s favorite (movie) songs, so it’s been seen/played many times over the years. Consequently, every family member is familiar with its lines & songs, whether they wanna be or not (LOL!) Any time a large, exotic, or slightly “scary” plant ends up in our midst…someone ends up saying, “Fe-eed Me”. The plant often gets dubbed “Audrey 2,” as well… ;-)

  21. Cindy Lietz, 23 July, 2011

    @Phaedrakat: Thanks! Just reading your comment and saw that you said Pirate Tulip instead of Parrot Tulip… I must admit my brain went straight to making one of these beads with a Pirate Cane!! Now wouldn’t that be appropriate for the LSOH!!! lol Would be a OOAK that for sure.

    With all this Little Shop talk, that reminds me that I recorded that movie a few weeks ago on my PVR. Thought the kids might get a kick out of it. Now I really want to see it again and picture my beads trying to eat people! As always, things are pretty fun around here at the blog! :-)

  22. Jocelyn, 24 July, 2011

    @Cindy Lietz from Pirate Cane Bead Bracelet: Hah! You know Cindy, the cutest Halloween gift might be incorporting your pirate cane design into frilly black tulips. Inside as a surprise, or outside.

  23. Phaedrakat, 28 July, 2011

    @Cindy L.: Ooops! Pirate vs. Parrot Tulip — what the heck? Sorry about that…it was 4 am, and I couldn’t sleep (back pain.) At least something good came of it — remembering your cool pirate cane. How bizarre & fun those beads would be, right? (Definitely not your typical floral, LOL!) ;D

    Your kids are a bit older than my nephews, but they may really enjoy Little Shop. My nephews normally only watch video games, but they thought LSOHs was good fun! (OK, they aren’t THAT picky, but still…) Hopefully, your kids will like the movie, but perhaps you better not mention anything about your beads eating people. Have fun, and sorry again about trying to put some “Arrrr…ya scurvy mate” in your lovely Parrot Tulips. ;D

  24. pattw35, 22 July, 2011

    Wonderful Tute, Cindy. I have one more wall to paint in the bedroom and THEN I can do some tulip canes and parrot tulips. My hands are itching to get claying. I did a search and found quite a few colors in the parrot tulips. I want to try ALL of them. Thanks again – the new colors Are great. (Though I do miss Cobalt Blue and Zinc Yellow – sigh).

    All your tutes are so awe inspiring. I have learned so much using your videos. Thank you , Doug and the kids for being so generous ;D

  25. Silverleaf, 22 July, 2011

    Great stuff, the technique for making the ruffled edges will definitely come in useful for other projects too.

  26. Karonkay, 25 July, 2011

    Loved thes and went straight away to make them, did something wrong with the placement of the petals mine look like an unopened hibiscus flower. Still very pretty… but wrong.
    Going to try again today in a different color. But I do love the way the green and yellow mingled to really simulate a flower bud. I will turn my failure into a beautiful necklace though so all is not lost.
    Hugs – Karonkay

  27. pattw35, 25 July, 2011

    @Karonkay: What do unopened Hibiscus flower look like? Post you version, please. Something even more unique ! Way to go – likey……….

  28. Karonkay, 25 July, 2011

    posted them just now on my facebook . not sure how to get them here. Lucky I figured out posting to my facebook page! HELP! I would like you to see my goofy parrot tulips!

  29. Cindy Lietz, 25 July, 2011

    @Karonkay: I saw your flowers and you’re right Karon they do look like Hibiscus. I think your teardrop is upside down and it changed the shape of your blossom.

    Like I side on Facebook, it’s no matter, they are still gorgeous. Just tell people they are hibiscus and all is fine. The next batch will be Tulips ! LOL

    Maybe you got it mixed up with the Iris Bead tutorial? The teardrop on that one is the other way around.

  30. Karonkay, 25 July, 2011

    Cindy, you were so right! I turned the center upside down! I cannot believe that you figured it out so quick. So now I have Hibiscus as well as parrot tulips! But The colors are great and I like both. Really got my money’s worth from that video. Two lessons for the price of one! Thank you for all your help I absolutely love these videos. I can make such pretty things! what a high it is when they come out so beautiful that you want to make more. And in every color you can think of. do you think people will get tired of the hibiscus & tulips? LOL!

  31. Cindy Lietz, 26 July, 2011

    @Karonkay: Nah… not possible to get tired of tulips and hibiscus!! Thanks for saying what you said about the tutorials. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that excitement and passion in your voice. It is all about making what you love… and loving what you make!

  32. Elaine Faulks, 26 July, 2011

    To Joyclyn, thanks for your tip about tulip bulbs. Pressed the reply button next to your name but nothing happened!!I have some metal plant holders that I planted up with mini pink tulips three years ago. This winter we had the worst snow with more than 15 inches in the back garden. But hey, come April a miracle happened, my pink tulips were in bloom!! Isn’t nature wonderful.I think my back garden is quite sheltered as everything seems to bloom a month early and my bird house has be occupied by a bluetit family, hooray. Just hope the local neighborhood cat doesn’t find out..

  33. Jocelyn, 27 July, 2011

    @Elaine Faulks: Lucky girl! Was thinking of the kind of window boxes that get sealed in by snow and dripping ice for the winter, like the ones we have around here. If the box is well drained and not frozen with water, then you are in excellent shape. Hope they are beautiful for you again next year.

  34. Cindy Peterson, 12 November, 2012

    Cindy – I am having fun making these tulip beads, sweet peas, poinsettia flower earrings, etc. Based on what you taught me during our recent PcT Roadtrip visit, I’m now working on making the flowers a little smaller for the earrings. Thank you for providing such great videos, I am understanding the size issue much better now.

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