A Sugru Hack To Keep Amaco Bead Rack Pins in Place

Sugru Hack Amaco Bead RackVid #276: Even if you turn the whole rack upside down… your pins still won’t budge! ~Cindy Lietz

Does your bead rack drive you crazy when the bead pins keep falling out of the slots?

Does the mere action of closing the door on your toaster oven, cause all your carefully rolled / sculpted beads to take a tumble… leaving marks on them, or worse… burnt because they ended up laying against the hot metal frame of your bead rack while baking? This just happened to me a few weeks ago with my Ranunculus Beads Project.

Well, say goodbye to those annoying problems with this awesome Bead Rack Hack that I came up with using a cool new product called Sugru!

Want to see just how strong Sugru actually is? Then watch this video:

Worried about sticking Sugru to something special and ruining it? The following video shows how easily it can be removed:

And as I said in the first PcT video further up on this page, it was Terry Morris from Epoxy Jewelry who originally introduced the Sugru product to me. He thought that I might be able to think up some creative ways to use it with polymer clay. Boy was he right! I absolutely love it!!

Terry, is now carrying Sugru in his online shop, so I would recommend that you pick some up from him as soon as possible. In fact, his price is currently less than what you would pay direct from the Sugru Site.

Make sure you let Terry know that the Polymer Clay Tutor sent ya… maybe he’ll send me some more stuff to play around with, so that I can come up with even more creative ideas to share with all of you.

Oh and please tell all your polymer clay friends about this video post. I would love for it go viral… well not exactly Justin Bieber viral… but sharing it amongst everyone in the polymer clay community would be awesome!

Just think… you’ll be able to fall in love with your Amaco bead rack all over again :-)

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Dixie Ann, 09 August, 2012

    Cindy I never would have guessed you used the Sugru. I had seen it on Terrys site but didn’t think I would have a use for it. Wow! have you changed my mind. That is amazing stuff. Once you see it in action you think of all kinds of things you can use it for. Thanks so much for the great tips and the video. I’m on my way over there now to order some!

  2. Barbara Como, 09 August, 2012

    HI Cindy

    What a life saver you are, maybe I should say bead saver. The bead rake has been such a pain, I love your idea. I ordered some Sugru right after I watched the videos. Now I am thinking of other things I can fix or improve on. Thank You and have a great safe trip, can’t wait to see some of the video


  3. Barbara P, 09 August, 2012

    Interesting, but I’m wondering why you wouldn’t just use polymer to fix the bead rack.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 09 August, 2012

    Good question! Sugru has some distinct advantages over polymer for? this particular situation. It’s incredibly sticky and adheres to the bead rack really well with no need for glues. Because it’s a silicone rubber product it’s much more ‘grippy’ and flexible than polymer, so you can make the slot tight fitting to hug the wire without slipping. In the video, I could turn the rack upside-down with no problems. If you can get polymer to do that as effectively, then go for it!

  5. Tantesherry, 09 August, 2012

    This is So Cool
    yay – no more falling bead pins
    Thanks for just being so dang clever Cindy!

    have you pinned it on your board at Pinterest yet?
    that might help w/ the viral goal :)

    headed to Terry’s website to buy some asap

  6. Cindy Lietz, 09 August, 2012

    Yes I have pinned it Sherry, hopefully people find it helpful. It is great to have finally solved that annoying bead pin falling problem! Now I am off to test whether or not it will also work for keeping the handle from falling off, and/or fixing the handle on the c-clamp. I see a lot of potential with this cool new product!

  7. pattw35, 09 August, 2012

    I have “cussed” the bead rack so many times.I do my curing in the garage. So from my studio to the convection oven is about 23 steps. I’ve dropped beads every inch of the way LOL. So a great big thanks you for this very USEFUL trick.

  8. Sandra J, 09 August, 2012

    looks like a cool product. Loved the dragon fly, looks simple, but any chance of a tute?
    going to Terry;s site now to have a look see.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 12 August, 2012

    Well Sandra, I could do a dragonfly bead tute if enough people are interested. Anyone else want the Dragonfly Tutorial?

  10. Dixie Ann, 12 August, 2012

    Yes, Yes, Yes, please do the Dragonfly tutorial
    You have my vote!

  11. Ken Hamilton, 13 August, 2012


  12. pollyanna, 13 August, 2012

    yepper here!

  13. Hilde Bettens, 14 August, 2012

    Yes please !

  14. Edie, 15 August, 2012

    YES would love to see a Dragonfly!

  15. Ella Moore, 16 August, 2012

    I love dragonflies!!!

  16. Sandra, 16 August, 2012

    Only just read your note my laptop battery has died :(. I hope there are enough who want the dragonfly tute !?

  17. Cherie, 07 September, 2012

    Yes, Love dragonflies!

  18. Natalie Herbin, 09 August, 2012

    Wow, how great, it to have cused when the bead pins fall off the rack as you close the toaster door. I have to make a list of things that I need to order from Terry Morris..

  19. Anna Sabina, 09 August, 2012

    Totally Amazing and Way Cool. May use it to repair my pasta machine handle or figure out an adaption to keep the handle from falling out of the crank all the time!!!

  20. Lesley Symons, 10 August, 2012

    Wow, that’s really resourceful! I don’t personally use a bead rack, but I googled Sugru and it seems to have a zillion possibilities! Thanks for the tip, I will certainly be buying some!

    And yes, that dragonfly was just lovely ……. :-))

  21. Marion Rayner, 10 August, 2012

    I saw those red ‘blobs’ last time and thought you’d made them out of polymer clay! I thought ‘that’s clever’ but this is even better, esp. if the pins don’t fall off, something I’ve had a lot of trouble with. You want as many beads on the rack as possible if it’s going to take best part of an hour each time, so I put on lots of beads all arranged so they don’t bump into each other and then inevitably one falls off and as I try to put it back they all do, like dominoes! I’ve often wondered how to get around this, and as usual you make it all so easy Cindy.
    Great stuff, it and you !!

  22. Lavedia E, 10 August, 2012


  23. Elaine Faulks, 10 August, 2012

    I had held off buying an Amaco bead rack as thought the way the pins fell off so easily was a major design fault for a product that was quite expensive.

    I had made my own using retangle shaped alliminum take away dishes. 3 put inside each other and the edges hammered together and the grooves made with a steel knitting needle. Used bluetack to hold the pins on with another dish inverted over the beads to tent them. Not very pretty but works……………………..Now looking at SUGRU I might change my mind and order the rack.

    Thanks CINDY, just love the way you experiment to solve our problems. Also thanks to LESLEY SIMONS for reminding me about Clayaround ( for hard to find colours). Good to know we have this great UK supplier, will order right away……………………………cheers xx……………………………………….

  24. pattw35, 10 August, 2012

    Cindy – btw- Your BRACELETS you wore during the Sugra trick , will we see those in a tute ? Love the look. P L E A S E

  25. Cindy Lietz, 11 August, 2012

    Hmmm let me think…. YES of course… coming up in the next tutorial actually! ;) Thanks for noticing Patt!

  26. Tantesherry, 12 August, 2012

    Really ? YAY :D
    it is so pretty can’t wait to learn all the ends and out:)

  27. Elaine Faulks, 11 August, 2012

    Wow CINDY I looked at the SUGRU site. I must be slipping as knew nothing about this wonderful stuff until you featured it ( even if it was invented here in the UK).

    My brain is now woking overtime at all the uses it can be put to. Definately going to make more comfortable handles for my tools and cover the jaws of my pliers to protect when working with wire.

    Not been playing with clay much since the start of the 2012 Olympic games as they have been so exciting and just watched the ladies mountain bike race and wish I had their courage.Haven’t all the women competitors been brilliant? I hope these games will inspire more of our youngsters to take up a sport.

    Thanks again CINDY for introducing us to SUGRU but you had better hide it as I can see Doug and the kids “borrowing” it!…………………………….cheers xx………………………………………

  28. Cindy Lietz, 11 August, 2012

    Love the idea of putting Sugru on your tools to avoid getting nicks in your wire Elaine! Hadn’t thought of that yet. I wonder if it would be longer lasting than the tool dip is supposed to last? I think it might be, since it is a little stiffer and thicker than the tool magic stuff is. You are so right about hiding it form the kids and Doug, but I need to add my Dad and my neighbour… after talking about it with them, they now want to get their hands on some!

  29. Jocelyn, 11 August, 2012

    Incredible new product that will change the way we look at protecting our hands and our hardware. Can make things quieter. Image you could use it to solve vibrating problems.

    Lots of videos on YouTube, this one texturizes and shows it used to shield heat:


    Thanks for sharing such a great bead saver and versatile new tool, and will use the link to Terry’s site to order.

  30. Maria, 11 August, 2012

    Hi Cindy,
    I left the same comment on you-tube but wanted to repeat it here. Any thoughts on how to hack the stupid pasta machine handle from falling out all the time? (usually on my feet!) : )

  31. Angela M., 12 August, 2012

    Hi Maria,

    I put a finger cut off from a latex medical glove on the end of the pasta machine handle and then put the handle in its groove and it’s never fallen out since doing this. A tube-shaped balloon would also work.

    Angela M.

  32. Angela M., 12 August, 2012

    One more thing-I put one of the cut-off glove fingers on the handle part that you hold while turning the pasta machine and the glove protects the handle from clay build-up. The finger can be cleaned with alcohol or just thrown away and replaced when it gets dirty.

    Angela M.

  33. Maria, 13 August, 2012

    I’ll try it! Thanks Angela!

  34. Tantesherry, 14 August, 2012

    hi all

    rcvd my sugru yesterday from Terry (with candy, I <3 candy)

    got busy right away hacking my bead racks (I've got 2)

    it took 3 whole packs and a bit of a 4th to complete – used the remainder of the black to hack my poor abused mp3 player that I'm forever dropping on the (tile) floor :/

    so by 3pm est today it will ready — Yay —- thanks for the heads up on this product Cindy it is totally amazing

    PS No more virtual keyboard for me YAY YAY YAY ….. having a working keyboard again is such a pleasure :D

  35. Tantesherry, 16 August, 2012

    hi all – need help again :/
    to make a long story as short as I can…
    I’ve made about a pound of 10mm hand rolled “round” beads that coordinate with large hole tube beads
    my problem is while drilling the holes(with 3 progressively larger bits) in the small round beads the edges around the holes are cracking/breaking….
    So my 1st thought was they were cured at the wrong (too low) temperature…
    So I bought another oven thermometer to test against the one I’ve been using…
    Put Both thermometers in the oven and set it to 265 ( my oven tends to lean hotter)…
    BUT there was a difference of 25 degrees!! Now I’m stuck – which one do I trust?
    my little guys are waiting on their newly hacked bead rack till I know what to do
    Thanks for wading through this, Sherry :)

  36. Dixie Ann, 16 August, 2012

    Hi Sherry, I had the same problem only I was baking mine too low temp. I also bought another thermometer. My old oven was too hot so I baked at a lower temp for a longer period of time. That seemed to help. Now with my new convection oven it is 25 degrees off so I have to bake at 250 degrees because it is actually 275 degrees. I would suggest you put both thermometers in both ovens and set them in 5 different areas for 10 mins each. Middle, left and right rear, left and right front Use a timer each time. Note the temp each time you move them. Once you finish note the location and temp in each oven and then use the one that comes closest to what you want for a setting. I just did this and I know that I have to bake my stuff on the right 2/3 rds of my oven at 250 degrees. The left 1/3 of my oven is actually hotter at 295
    degrees. I also continue to use 2 thermometers. My beads don’t crack anymore. Also if you use a tumbler some beads tend to crack if you don’t use enough water in it and some beads will just crack anyway. Hope that helps.

  37. Tantesherry, 16 August, 2012

    Hi Dixie :)
    Thank you for such a fast and well thought out reply

    seems I’ve some experimenting to do this weekend

    and if you’ve found such a large temp. flux in your oven, seems like knowledge any poly/clayer would find interesting if not down right invaluable about their own oven

    Lets see:
    I’ve been curing for an hour since Cindy said it was ok — so that’s not it
    and I’m not going to tumble these

    one question though Do both of your thermometers read the same?
    ok 2 ?’s Is there a way to test or calibrate oven thermometers?

    Once again thank you Dixie, off to prep supper:)

  38. Dixie Ann, 16 August, 2012

    Hi Sherry, with my old oven I baked stuff at 265 for 30 min. let it cool down completely then baked it again for another 30 min. let it cool down again and baked another 15 min. My oven was actually baking at about 285 and this actually made the piece stronger. I still use this technique with translucents along with the ice water bath.With my new oven I do use both thermometers. I keep one in the back left corner where it is the hottest and the other I put right in the center. I just move it over when I bake something and so far everything is working out okay. I tent the pieces every time also if I can since the fan blows directly on what I am baking. For any ROUND or Lentil bead I always pierce them before putting on the bead rack. Then I drill them after with two size hand bits like you do. I have not had any beads crack this way. Flat pieces I always drill the hole afterwards. I think if you experiment like I did, things will work themselves out. Like Cindy suggests, I also bake for an hour. Good luck Doll, sometimes it’s a real pain in the #&*

  39. Tantesherry, 20 August, 2012

    Hi Dixie and All :)

    found that if I use the left side of my oven the temp doesn’t flux as bad
    also by putting Both thermometers side by side they Are in synk

    so after re-curing for another hour at the right temp I’d guess that 95% of my cracking problem while drilling out the bead holes from piercing pin size to a 1/8th inch hole is solved -YAY

    Also want to say thank you to Terry for sending Cindy the Sugru in the first place !!! If you hadn’t we would have had no choice but to continue cursing that darn bead rack.

  40. Dixie Ann, 20 August, 2012

    YAY Sherry! doesn’t it feel really great when you get
    a pesky problem solved. Now you have 2 taken care of so you can really celebrate! Nice going Doll.

  41. Tantesherry, 21 August, 2012


  42. Suzanne B, 29 September, 2013

    Your Sugru bead rack tutorial is how I found about Sugru. I’m wondering if it can also be used as molds for polymer clay? Thanks!

  43. Cindy Lietz, 29 September, 2013

    Hi Suzanne,

    Sugru is meant to stick to things. You can use water as a resist, but it still might be tricky to get a clean mold from it. Sugru is absolutely perfect for certain things, like the bead rack, making ergonomic handles and other places where it’s stickiness and heat proof qualities are an advantage. But it would be kind of expensive to use in large amounts. Other molding materials like Simple Silicone Putty would be a much better choice for making molds for polymer clay.

  44. Jocelyn C, 22 October, 2013

    The Amaco Bead Rack is on sale, 50% off until October 28, 2013 at PolymerClaySuperstore

    Also the oven is 50% off and many other items are 25% off.

  45. elaine faulks, 22 October, 2013

    Just spent a wet and windy afternoon here in the UK with my lovely sister-in-law. We were carving out pumpkins. Either we are getting weak or probably weak with laughter using the teeny tiny tools supplied to hack through these tough cookies!

    Then had a phone call from no.1 daughter. She’s booked me on a flight to MIAMI second week in November whoo hooo, now I can visit all those stores that you guys are always talking about and the discounts they give. Can’t wait to shop in Michael’s, Hobby Lobby etc.( Only packing my suitcase half full as have a lorra lorra shopping to do.)

    BTW would love to meet up for coffee and chat to other PCT followers who live in or around Miami. Who sells the best coffee?……..cheers…..xx C U soon………

  46. Dixie Ann, 22 October, 2013

    OMG Elaine, that is terrific news. I am so excited for you. You should be able to find anything your heart desires in Miami including sunshine and beach fun. Maybe you can even find some exciting shells and things along with all the fun things in clay from all our favorite stores. You sure won’t have any problems finding some excellent coffee! Good luck doll and have fun!

  47. Dixie Ann, 22 October, 2013

    BTW, since we’re in the Sugru blog area, mine has been in the fridge for the last year and a half and finally found a use for it besides the bead rack. It was still good and was able to make brackets for my swing arm lamp bulb holder. The dang things were getting so brittle and snapped off which left me only 1 bracket left holding the bulb and of course it kept falling out. So wow, it really worked and I am a happy camper cause those lamps cost upwards of $100. Whoo-Hoo for Sugru! :)

  48. Vicky B, 24 October, 2013

    It’s one of those product that makes you go “Why didn’t I think of that!?

  49. Bertha Adamson, 16 January, 2014

    Discovered today that The Container Store is now carrying Sugru in its US stores and on its website. They have 3-pack packages in black or white for $9.99. I nearly hugged the store clerk when she happened to point out this new product they were carrying. I have a project that I think Sugru will be perfect for but I thought I would have to place another order from the UK. (If you haven’t been to a Container Store it is heaven for organizational disciples. If you are the type of person who hasn’t met a storage device you haven’t coveted you’ve been warned.)

    Also be careful ordering Sugru from unknown sources. According to news from the makers of Sugru there is fake Sugru coming out of China. The packaging looks real but the content is just play-doh type clay!

  50. Veldena Ladson, 17 September, 2014

    Hi Cindy,
    Just wanted to let you know that Terry Morris is no longer offering the Sugru on his site. :-( But both Amazon and Ebay carry the 8 piece set starting at $22.00 w/ free shipping.


  51. Chelsea H, 22 September, 2014

    Currently Thinkgeek.com also carries Sugru and they almost always have some sort of either shipping promo, percentage off promo, or spend this amount get that amount off promo as well. We find that it covers the shipping most of the time. They had Sugru for $20 in the multi colored packs when we ordered in a couple weeks ago.

    One bonus for getting it from Amazon however, they have multi packs of all one color so if you only want packs of all white or all blue for instance you can get that on Amazon! (and very likely Ebay.)

    I just thought I would offer another option of where to get Sugru because it is such an awesome product.

  52. Krithika P, 02 January, 2015

    I tried this idea with Amazing Mold Putty and it worked pretty well! It’s a little crackly when I squish it on so it took me a while to figure out the right amount of putty and the right amount of pressure needed. But once I got it, it worked great!

  53. Cindy Lietz, 05 January, 2015

    Hey that is excellent news Krithika! I know a lot of people have the amazing mold putty in their studios already so I am glad it can be used for this purpose as well. Thank you for coming back and letting us know!

  54. Natalie HERBIN, 21 January, 2015

    Well Cindy
    I finally started working in my studio down here in summy Florida. The first thing I wanted to do was put the sugru ony bead rack.. Just made it with using only pne package… Letting it dry and then I’ll try it out in my new Oster convection toaster oven that we bougj for the kitchen…. Going to make sure I tent all my items.. Can’t use the oven because I can’t get a constant temperor ire.. It an 19 year old oven????..
    Went toy first Polymer Clay guild meeting on Monday night.. Get to see people in person who love working with PC asicj as I do…
    I learned how toakey own textured plate. Did one for practice and then came home an made a Hamsa one with dots and swirls in it.. Hubby is making me a 3x 2 1/2 wood block to place the textired Hamsa on .. How can I send you a picture of what I am making… It’s so great to work with my PC… Haven touched it since May????…
    Got a lot of catching up to do on my tutorial s…. Also have an Art showing this Sunday… Can’t sell but can do it after the show ( it’s on our development were home owners show off the talents)
    Then I have to fairs coming up… Things aw looking good
    Only down side is that I had more surgery last Monday… But I have to think positive … It could have been worse if I didn’t catch it

  55. Dixie Ann, 21 January, 2015

    Hi Natalie, sorry to hear you had surgery, I hope all is well for you. I nominated you for the FaceBook 5 day PC challenge but didn’t realize you had moved to Florida.
    Take care Doll, good to see you again on the blog.

  56. Cindy Lietz, 30 January, 2015

    Hi Natalie, sorry to take so long to respond. Hope you are feeling well now. It is great to hear that you still working on your clay projects. The place to post pictures in at the Members Facebook Photo Gallery.

    Take care!

  57. Natalie Herbin, 22 January, 2015

    Hi Cindy
    We I put the sugru on the bead rack..put card stock and then some batting the. My flat pendant pieces and my hand made texture pattern on the bottom of the bead rack Cover it with more batting and.more stock…. Still had room for 2 rows of beads on the bead rack .. Used my home
    Oster r convection. Toaster oven set at 275 for hour and wow they all came out great!!!!!
    Can’t wait to make more… No more slicking

  58. Cindy Lietz, 30 January, 2015

    Natalie that is awesome! Keep it up!

  59. Peg Carter, 27 January, 2015

    I just finally ordered my Sugru today. But not before I read their story and looked at some of the hacks that customers have sent in. It’s an amazing story (spoiler alert- the girl is the smart one!) and very inspiring. So if any of you have purchased this and haven’t seen the hundreds of uses, go take a look at sugru.com.

  60. Cindy Lietz, 30 January, 2015

    You make an excellent point Peg! I think you’re going to love how great the Sugru really is. It is awesome for the bead rack of course but I have found I have used it in all sorts of other cool places too. And you’re right about the ideas they have on their site being inspiring. It is a really interesting product with tons of possibilities!

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials