Tribal Style Fossil Shell Beads and Polymer Clay Faux Bone Jewelry

Fossil Shell Beads and Faux Bone “Really love the shape and the texturizing on the beads. This technique will come in handy. Thanks.” ~Adrienne-L

Do you need some complimentary bead designs to go with the faux bone beads you just learned how to make in the Video-019-3 tutorial? How about making some faux fossil shells!

These ancient looking beads are not only unique and rustic but they are also quite easy to make. They can be created in any earth tone color as well as any size that you need.

These look great! I would definitely like to learn how to make them. I come across the fossils at the GEM shows but they are so expensive to buy, so if I could learn to make little replicas that would be fantastic. They are also a nice focal bead to add to your earth tone style beads. Thanks, ~Lupe-M

Because of their natural, rustic style, they pair nicely with the faux bone and ivory beads, as well as with faux carved beads and hammered copper findings.

Cindy, I love the stylized version of the ammonite shell. I have a few pieces with the real fossils, but would love to make some like these. I think they would look great with all sorts of metals. Thanks for your terrific instructions on so many wonderful techniques. ~Rita-R

So if you are interested in creating some tribal style jewelry that is all the rage right now, you may want to check out the tutorial for the faux fossil shell beads. Here’s a link to the preview video if you are interested in having a look: Polymer Clay Tutorial | Fossil Shell Beads for Jewelry Making Fun

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  1. aims, 21 December, 2009

    I have this on my list to watch – and I’m getting pretty antsy to get at these things. Painting’s almost done though!

  2. Cindy Lietz, 21 December, 2009

    That is great to hear aims! This is going to be a fun New Year for you, once you get your renovations done. You will become a bead making fool! :-)

    Hope you have a great Christmas. Thank you so much for all your ideas and support. It has been fantastic to have you here!

  3. Susan, 22 December, 2009

    Dear Cindy,

    I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for such a kind offer. I will certainly be taking advantage of it and plan to spend some of my holiday choosing which videos I would like! I wish you very happy holidays!

    Polymer clay is like going on some great adventure and to have such a superb guide in Cindy, is a real treat.


  4. Cindy Lietz, 22 December, 2009

    Sounds good Susan! By the way… from a previous conversation you mentioned that you live in Florence, Italy. Your English is very good! Are you a “native” Italian or did you move there from somewhere else? I always enjoy hearing about where everyone is from and how polymer clay brings us all together on line in such a close knit community.

    Happy Holidays to you too!!!

  5. Susan B, 22 December, 2009

    Dear Cindy,

    How nice to hear from you! I am from the UK but have lived here in Florence Italy for almost 27 years, am married to an Italian and have two bilingual boys. I find that Italians are not particularly into crafts and I often have a very hard time explaining just how I use polymer clay to make beads! I have enjoyed doing various crafts over the years from rock painting to cross stitch but polymer clay has now become my number one passion and I love making beads, jewellery, keyrings etc. etc. I have three of my best fans and critics living right here with me so I can’t wait to show off the new techniques that I learn from you just to see their reactions.

    I am full of admiration for what you do and the online community you have created and am so happy to have found you on the internet!

    With all best wishes,

  6. Cindy Lietz, 22 December, 2009

    What a wonderful story! There are other members here, who are also from various parts of Italy. I always try my best to link people up in case there are opportunities for clayers to meet up with each other locally.

    This happened a while back with several of the polymer clay UK members. They are now staying in close contact with each other, which is great to see.

    You can click on the link by my name to read a bit of information about another “polymer clay addict” in Italy. Her name is Kathia Catania.


  7. Susan, 22 December, 2009

    Dear Cindy,

    I read about the UK ladies meeting up and rather wished that I could have joined them but it would also be great to touch base with other clayers here in Italy to swap stories.

    Ideally I would love to send you some photographs of some of my work BUT firstly I have to improve my photography which means making myself a light box. I have several days off work around Christmas and have promised myself to make one (I found the photo light box instructions on your website, naturally!). Then, if all goes well, perhaps I can take some “good” photographs to send to you rather than the snapshots I have taken so far.

    Tanti auguri e grazie mille

    p.s. I must tell you that I find it thrilling to be in touch with you personally – it is like having an audience with the Pope!

  8. Cindy Lietz, 22 December, 2009

    Susan – I am SO looking forward to seeing your photos!!! And wow… that is the first time I’ve been referenced in the same sentence with the Pope :-) …although someone else has brought up Mother Theresa before :-) :-)

  9. Carolyn Keller, 11 January, 2010

    Dear Cindy,

    I totally enjoy listening to your tutorials and then playing with polymer clay. I have been collecting all the tools for a few years and now have started to really play. I can sit for hours in my laundry room and do the laundry at the same time.

    Carolyn Keller

  10. Cindy Lietz, 11 January, 2010

    Hi Carolyn, It’s great to hear how polymer clay can even make it fun to do the laundry!!! :-) It’s treat to have you as part of the community.

  11. Christl Pelikan, 06 April, 2012

    Hi, Cindy,


    I wonder, if someone could give me advice about glueing polymer onto metal business card cases. I usually used crazy glue, which is a real challenge trying to center the PC sheet, but this time I had such a huge number to make, I used Weldbond. After 4 days, I had already given away 5 as presents, I realized, all I had to do is use my fingernail and all of the sheets came right off. Since everybody likes Weldbond, I wonder what I did wrong. In the beginning I used a bit too much, than I almost ran out and used very little, it made no difference, they all came off, even a week after I made them. HELP! Thanks for your advice!

  12. Cindy Lietz, 06 April, 2012

    Great question Christl, hopefully I can help. Usually when there is gluing problems, it is because of a few different things…

    1) One problem that is quite common, is something on the surface of the items you are gluing that is causing the glue not to stick, like a machine oil, fingerprints, dirt, or strange finish. Make sure to always clean both pieces you plan to glue together, with something like Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) and preferably the 99% if you can get it.

    2) Another problem happens when the surface is too slick, like what is probably the case with the metal card case. If you scratch the surface with a nail or course sand paper, that will help with adhesion. Crazy glue seems to work without the scratching but I have found that over time it breaks down and the piece falls apart.

    3) One last thing I can think of is that you may not have had enough glue. If the glue does not fill the space between the pieces fully, it won’t hold the pieces very well. I believe it works a little like a suction cup… if the air gets under a suction cup, the seal breaks and the item pops off. Same goes for glue.

    Hope that helps. Let us know what happens with your project.

  13. Nina, 06 April, 2012

    Hi Christl,

    good morning from Switzerland.

    I always use a 2 -component glue when I want to put clay on metal surfaces, this works much better.
    1. scratch the metal surface
    2. put a little bit of the mixed glue on it and spread over the whole surface.
    3. put the unbacked clay sheet on it and cure it
    4. let it cool slowly

    I never had problems doing it this way.
    I do not know which 2-component- glues you have in the states, but normally all will work.
    I also have Wellbond that I use for my mosaics only and never tried it with metal & clay.

    Hope I could help, please let me know if it works,

    Happy Easter from the Swiss Alps,


  14. Christl Pelikan, 29 April, 2012

    Thank you, dear Nina, for your kind advice. Unfortunately, I got to read it too late, but will keep in mind for my next gluing project. Please see the mail I sent to Cindy just now, which is also a reply for you.
    HAPPY CLAYING, Christl

  15. Christl Pelikan, 29 April, 2012

    Hello, dear Cindy, thank you so much for helping me with my, it seems, forever, GLUING PROBLEMS. Believe it or not, I just found your mail again and never saw the kind replies from Nina from Switzerland and from Dixi Ann Scott. So, thank you ALL very much!

    Those, by now 70, Business Card Cases (BCC) I had to create for the Moroccan Ambassador in New York have been the biggest headache I think I ever had with a project. Everything that can go wrong went wrong. I have been working on these BCC for the last 3 1/2 months now. Working in some cases with old clay sheets did not help. I used new clay sheets under the old ones, and, not surprisingly, discovered in daylight, of course, after baking, that I had created moonscapes of bubbles. So out went quite a few! As I had written to you, I used Weldbond for the first time. At the start of the gluing project I used a lot, then less and less, however, after 5 days of curing, all of them came off with just lifting a corner with my fingernail. Then I had to scratch the glue off 280 sides of PC sheets and the metal cases, it was a nightmare. Even soaking them in hot water, cold water, using very coarse sandpaper, Glue Gone, and everything else I could think of, I scratched the sides of some of the metal cases so badly, I cannot use them anymore.
    Since Super Glue had worked pretty much okay before, I went out to buy some. What an expensive proposition! Oh well, out of one tube (Loctite SG), I was able to glue 2 cases. I had bought some very expensive SG in Germany, I was able to do 5 cases with one tube, then here in New York, luckily, I found 20 g bottles of Gorilla Super Glue at the Home Depot. Hopefully, it will hold! I don’t understand this, on all the various tubes of glue it says, use very little or the bond will not work, go figure! I have trouble with gluing whether I use a little, a little more or a lot. Sooner or later somebody will call and say that something or other fell off. Not a good thing. I have to start working with TSL and Poly Bond, which I have never tried as glue. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR GOOD ADVICE!

    By now I have finished gluing most of the 70 BCC cases as well as my hands and fingers (!), before I read your mails and got your excellent tips. Since the BCC are ment as gifts for Diplomats, I will have to hold my breath and pray they don’t fall off, or my name will be mud forever!!!

    This project was a killer project in more than one way, I just had a back operation last October, a hip replacement coming up in June and all that sitting from morning through the night and morning again (never went to bed before 4 or 5 AM) took it’s toll. Two herniated discs have reactivated, pain all the time, sitting is very painful, also walking and standing, now laying down as well. In other words, I need a new model from top to bottom, fast! But, inspite of some problems once in a while, there is nothing, well almost nothing, better than playing and creating with Polymer Clay. THERE IS A POLYMER CLAY HEAVEN, THANK GOD I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND IT. IT’S BEEN A LIFE SAVER, GIVING ME JOY AND PLEASURE. ALSO, I HAVE TO SAY, THE POLYMER CLAY COMMUNITY IS REALLY THE MOST SHARING ART COMMUNITY THERE IS. THANK YOU CINDY, THANK YOU NINA AND DIXI, GLAD TO BE PART OF THIS WONDERFUL WORLD OF POLYMER CLAY, GLAD TO BE PART OF THIS TALENTED, CREATIVE AND SHARING POLYMER CLAY COMMUNITY! HAPPY CLAYING TO ALL OF US, GRATEFULLY, CHRISTL

  16. Dixie Ann Scott, 06 April, 2012

    Hi Christi, couldn’t you rough the metal up with sand paper and then use some bake and bond and put a thin layer on the metal, then attach your sheet and bake it again for about 15 mins at about 220 degrees. This worked really well for me.

  17. Christl Pelikan, 29 April, 2012

    Thanks for your reply and good advice, dear Dixie. Unfortunately, I did not get to see it in time for my gluing project, so next time. Please read my mail to Cindy just now, it is also a reply to you. HAPPY CLAYING, Christl

  18. Dixie Ann, 29 April, 2012

    Christi, please let us know how you eventually come out with your holders and what finally did work for you. I am so sorry you had to go through all the glue mess and make overs. Always remember though, if in doubt as what to do in the future, use the wonderful search feature from the blog, ask for tons of advice because “your family” is always willing to help and maybe a solution that will work will come up before going through all that stress. Please take care of yourself and not sit so long. I have to get up and move about every 45 mins. to keep those old joints working good. Back problems are a bane to us clayers. I know because I have 5 bulging discs from L1 up and a fractured T-12 right at my waist. Take care girl, we care.

  19. Pam S, 30 June, 2013

    Hi Cindy, I am planning to make polymer clay cabochons with larger holes for leather necklaces. My question is do I need to use bead inserts? Don’t know if they would be necessary to make the piece more functional or professional, or if they only serve as decorative. Also, don’t really know if there would even be room for a metal bead insert. I want to make the natural looking bone/ivory hand carved cabochons. Thanks

  20. Cindy Lietz, 03 July, 2013

    Hi Pam, I guess it really depends on whether the bead is going to be sliding around on your cording or not. If it will move a lot, then a bead core will not only look great, but it will make it wear better. If it doesn’t slide around on the cord, then it is up to you whether you add the core or not. It isn’t mandatory to have bead cores on large holed polymer clay beads. Thanks for commenting!

  21. Pam S, 04 July, 2013

    Thanks Cindy. Good to know. Do you happen to offer a bead core tutorial or video?

  22. Pam S, 04 July, 2013

    Dear Cindy, wondering if the bead core inserts are suppose to run through the entire bead or only placed just inside of either end of the bead. Hope to find some a bit smaller than what would go into a Pandora style bead, since I will be making the standard size cabochons. Where can I find the bead core inserts? Thanks bunches for all your help!

  23. Cindy Lietz, 10 July, 2013

    Hi Pam, sorry to take so long answering your questions. Am a little buried in tasks right now. I do have a course on adding bead cores to Pandora Style Beads. In there you will find the answers you need.

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