Tube Beads for Jewelry Making using Gold Leaf and Fimo Polymer Clay

Crackled Gold Leaf Tube Beads

Vid #69: How to make jewelry tube beads with crackled metal leaf Fimo clay:

I’ve talked a lot lately about about using metals & foils with polyclay. The cool thing about these products is the crackling effect that you can create.

Since gold leaf is actually a metal, it does not stretch like polymer clay does. So when you layer the metal leafing on top of a sheet of Fimo, Premo or Sculpey, and then run it through your pasta machine, the leaf will crack. This technique gives the clay a unique aged look.

This ‘crackled’ clay sheet can then be cut into strips and wrapped around cylinders of new clay to create cool looking tube beads.

For more information about how metal products crackle differently from foils, here’s another article for you: Jones Tones Foil Paper, Mona Lisa Metal Leaf and Polymer Clay Beads

In the picture above, the base bead has the same copper Fimo color that the background of the crackled leaf sheet has. This makes the bead look as if the leafing was applied directly to it.

Another interesting alternative is to make the base bead a contrasting color. This shows off the fact that the gold leaf layer was actually wrapped around the tube, and it brings in a new color to the design.

These handmade tube beads are well suited for having larger holes running through them in order to accommodate thicker cording such as leather or hemp.

Perfect for Fimo necklaces, bracelets and polymer clay earrings, gold leaf tube beads for jewelry making can be used as accent beads or as the main focal beads in your next project.

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The full version of the “Gold Leaf” preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-005 Back Issue Package.

In this “Crackled Gold Leaf Tube Bead” video tutorial I provide instructions and demonstrate how to add crackled gold leaf Fimo clay to copper colored tube beads.

  1. Bonnie Jones, 03 August, 2008

    OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh love that look. I have all the ingredients..must try…thanks for the information.

  2. Kimberlee, 11 August, 2008

    I love metal leaf! I started using it in my work a year ago, and I’ve now listed some of my metal leaf / polymer clay creations as my signature pieces on Etsy. My shop is still growing, but you can see some examples of my work there.

    Usually I tear pieces off and apply them gently to the clay, smoothing with my finger. Depending on how quickly I apply the layers of embossing powder on top during baking, I can achieve more or less of a burnt look to the edges of the leafing.

    I do have one piece on there that was passed through the pasta machine to achieve the crackled look you wrote about here. I like it, too, for a different look.

    Thank you for doing an article on metal leaf and foils. I love the leaf and I want to try some foils. Any suggestions on where I can find Jones Tones Foils online? No one sells them locally. I’m looking for green and blue or aqua shades.

  3. Cindy Lietz, 11 August, 2008

    Thank you Kimberlee for your great comment! I checked out your Etsy store and your pendants are beautiful!

    I like the look of the larger pieces of leaf on the clay and the burnt edges look cool too!

    Here’s a link to aqua and blue colored Jones Tones Foils you can buy online. Keep up the lovely work!


    @Bonnie: Sorry for the belated response… I know that whatever you make will be gorgeous… it always is!!

    Cindy’s last post..Make Polymer Clay Bathroom Knobs | Glass Beads | Clay Color Mixing

  4. Donna Ingram, 11 October, 2008

    Love your Videos. You are the FIRST person to show me how to do a leaf quickly and correctly. THANKS GIRLFRIEND !!!!!

  5. Liz, 11 October, 2008

    Wonderful video. Great technique that appeals to me. Thank you. Liz

  6. Cindy Erickson, 11 October, 2008

    Thank you, Cindy. Can you tell me why it is that you leave a little un-foiled space at the end of each bead? Why not take the foil all the way to the ends, or cut the bead to have the foil at the ends after rolling the bead to get the seam incorporated? Thanks ahead of time for your response :)

    Sincerely, Cindy Erickson

  7. Barbara, 11 October, 2008


    Just want to let you know that I have learned so very much from watching your vidoes, and I enjoy your relaxed style of teaching. You have kept me going during some trying times. Thanks so much!


  8. Cindy Lietz, 12 October, 2008

    @Donna: You’re welcome Girlfriend!

    @Liz: You too!

    @Cindy E.: Actually Cindy you can do it the way you are suggesting if you like. What I should have done is made the base bead in a contrasting color to show how neat it looks done this way. Instead by using the same color base bead as the background sheet as on the foil sheet, the effect is lost a little. Either way you do it is up to you!

    @Barbara: Thank you for the touching comment. I appreciate it very much!

  9. Crazy Nancy, 13 October, 2008

    Great info and fine job you’re doing on the tutorials.
    I appreciate all the hard work it is for you and certainly will sign up for your monthly membership. That’s a drop in a bucket compared to the price of gasoline these days.
    Thanks again.

  10. Cindy Erickson, 13 October, 2008

    Thanks Cindy! That makes sense! I’ll have to try using a contrasting color for the base bead!

    Hugs to you, Cindy E

  11. Cindy Lietz, 14 October, 2008

    You’ve got a point Nancy! Thanks for the comment!

    That’s sounds good Cindy! Send me pics when you make some!

  12. Miguel, 08 May, 2010

    I want it to know how you can make and keep a hole in a cylinder bead after trying to curve the bead. After I curve the bead it closes and I can put a string throw it. Thank you.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 13 May, 2010

    FYI: A response to Miguel’s question just above, was addressed at another thread. The “CraftSmart Polymer Clay” link by my name will will take you there now.

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