Textured Polymer Clay Beads – How To Make a Lasting Impression

Adding Texture To a Polymer Clay Bead

“As usual, such cool tips, this time about textures.” ~DaisySoapGirl

Just about anything goes as far as items to use for putting texture on your polymer clay beads. For example, a piece of drywall sandpaper screen as shown in today’s photo, is being used for adding a unique grid surface to a cube bead. This same grid pattern can be seen in a finished piece at this link: S-shaped faux raku beads.

Here are some more ‘textural’ surfaces to try pressing into your clay:

  • coarse grit sandpaper
  • rough stones
  • bark, wood
  • etched vinyl shower curtains
  • cut glass
  • deep grain leather
  • thick veined leaves
  • pumas stone
  • bristle brush
  • wicker
  • fabric
  • cork
  • sand
  • feathers
  • buttons
  • rubber stamps
  • crinkle tinfoil
  • saran wrap
  • string / cord / rope
  • micro beads glued to dowel
  • course salt
  • chain

For even more ideas, here’s a couple of links to older articles on the subject:

Share your texture stories below. What’s working for you? Or have you ever tried something that did not go as planned? Have you run into challenges that you would like to get some feedback on? Looking forward to your comments.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 19 August, 2009

    I know of someone who uses round velcro curlers for hair to make texture. Works well because the loops are pretty firm, makes a neat texture.

  2. Freda, 19 August, 2009

    A phyllis (phillips to you men) screw driver makes a good texture. I use it a lot with mokume gane.

  3. Arlene Harrison, 19 August, 2009

    Up until very recently, my favorite texture tool for the back of my pendants was a piece of lace. Very subtle but no fingerprints or shiny spots! Then I pulled a muscle in my shoulder and purchased one of the adhesive-type hot/cool strips to put on it. There was a plastic strip on the back – clear – with just the nicest honeycomb pattern on it. It has replaced my piece of lace!

    On a different note, last year our guild taught a class called “An Introduction to Polymer Clay”. Since it was coming up on holiday time, we decided to make a snowflake pin and a Santa ornament. To add curls to Santa’s beard and some texture to his hat, we made some “stamp logs”. We rolled scrap clay to about 3/4 inch around, cut them in 1 1/2 inch sections and baked them to make our “handle”. We then ran scrap clay at the thickest setting and impressed curliques in it using a rubber stamp. With a 3/4 round cutter, we made pieces to go on one end of each “handle”. We added a different texture [for the hat] on the other end of each “handle”. We made more than we needed for the class so I have a few of these still. I use one of these just about every time I sit down to clay.

  4. Lawrence, 19 August, 2009

    Some of my favorite texture tools are textured wallpaper sheets. Those large books of samples are usually free from paint stores after they expire. Brush with baby powder or corn starch and put through your pasta machine with a clay sheet at the widest setting – or use a brayer.
    Even non-textured sheets are great to make envelopes or backgrounds for other paper projects. Also less for our landfills…….

  5. Jocelyn, 19 August, 2009

    Love using an old “slat” piece of driftwood to press into the clay for texture, sprayed it several times with WD40 and washed and brushed it thoroughly first so it doesn’t leave any bits behind.

    Also used wet pieces of straw, pressed into the clay with a tile on top. Neat if you braid several strands together and use that, too.

  6. Jeanne, 19 August, 2009

    I like to use the cover from artificial tears, the point on the cover makes a great hole for canes, also roll the cover with the ribs to give you a cool design. Press the cap from a soda/beer bottle for a flat round bead with a nice edge. Take a firm toothbrush and tap on the clay for a different textured look.

  7. Carolyn Good, 19 August, 2009

    I get a similar effect by using plastic canvas — you can even use the circular plastic canvas that gives a fun circular pattern as well.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 20 August, 2009

    Just reading through everyone’s texture ideas and I am very impressed. Haven’t thought of some of them… very cool. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Anytime you think of something new and want to add to the list, feel free. This could be a great place to come back to when you need a little texture inspiration!

  9. Freda, 20 August, 2009

    Arlene – I’m curious about the “adhesive-type hot/cool strips”. I don’t understand what they are. Could you explain a little more?

  10. Arlene Harrison, 20 August, 2009

    Freda – the adhesive-type hot/cool strips have absolutely nothing to do with polymer clay LOL! It’s a pain medication on a piece of foam-like stuff that sticks to your skin where it hurts. Works great! I’m thinking it was the one by Therma-Care that had the cool honeycomb plastic strip on it.

  11. lynn watts, 21 August, 2009

    I have one I hope you won’t find to weird but when all your anti-perspirant is at it’s end,clean out the top part and see what lurks aft it’s all clean.I have one that has holes in it. It would be a good one for Mokume Gane just like the adding machine roll. I have not got to the ones the rest of the family has used up so I do not know if any other designs are on different brands. Lynn

  12. Alice Stroppel, 23 August, 2009

    Lots of great ideas here. Thanks for sharing everyone!

  13. carolyn, 14 January, 2010

    Plastic needlepoint canvas makes for a great geometric design,

  14. Phaedrakat, 25 February, 2010

    Wow, there are some good texture ideas here. While I’ve heard of some, there are some new ones I want to try!

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials