Tutorial: Adding Polymer Canes to Baked Premo, Sculpey + Fimo Beads

Adding Cane Slices To Round Beads

Two methods for covering base beads with polymer clay cane slices:

To put the cane slices on a bead, do you first make and bake a plain bead, and then cover it with the cane slices? ~Cindy Erickson

A: Well Cindy E. you can cover a bead with polymer clay slices a couple of different ways. The first method is to do as you mentioned… by covering a bead that has been baked.

To do that you can take scrap pieces of polymer clay and shape them into a bead of any size or shape. Pierce the bead with your bead piercing pin and bake the bead as you normally would. The nice thing is that you don’t have to worry about fingerprints since they will be covered up later by the cane slices.

After baking, it is a good idea to wipe down the beads with rubbing alcohol to make sure they are clean. This will ensure that the cane slices will not have a problem sticking to the surface of the baked bead.

Cut thin slices from your Premo, Sculpey or Fimo canes, and then layer them onto the bead. Use your finger, palm or an acrylic roller to smooth down the cane slices until there are no spaces or creases showing.

Follow the normal steps for avoiding fingerprints and then bake as you would any other bead.

The Pros to adding slices to already baked beads:

  • Bead shape does not distort.
  • Easy to smooth out creases between cane slices.
  • Can cover up old ‘ugly’ beads.

The Cons:

  • Beads made in two steps take longer.
  • Can get air pockets between canes and base bead if you are not careful.
  • It can be difficult to find the hole in baked bead after the cane slices have been added.

The other method for covering a bead with polymer clay cane slices is to add them onto a raw clay base bead. To learn how to do that, read this polymer clay tutorial: Fimo Cane Slices on Round Beads

If this quick tutorial for adding polymer canes to baked premo, sculpey and fimo beads was helpful… please let me know by leaving a comment below. Or feel free to ask further questions about this topic. I’d be glad to help you out.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cindy Lietz, 16 September, 2008

    Have you tried both methods for adding clay cane slices to beads before? If so, what method do you prefer?

  2. Cindy Erickson, 21 September, 2008


    Thank you so much for answering this question for me! I am learning so much from you. You are so good to all of us…you ALWAYS get around to answering our questions!!! I just do not have any idea as to where you find the time…you are a gem for sure! I believe I will try the method that you mentioned first…it sounds like there will be less chances of problems if I first bake a “scrap bead” and then cover it with slices of cane.

    Thanks Cindy…you are the best!!!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 21 September, 2008

    You are welcome! Try both ways Cindy to see which you prefer. I actually find the raw on raw easier, but sounds like the raw on baked is more appealing to you. Let me know how they work for you.

  4. Jenny Smith, 08 October, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    I have been trying to create beads using a translucent based cane. Very simple swirl type. When I cure the bead, it comes out cloudy. I am using premo frost as I’ve heard that using frost reduces the hazard of cloudiness. i’ve also leached the clay beforehand.

    Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 09 October, 2009

    Hi Jenny, great question! You are probably not doing anything wrong. Translucent clay is actually not clear but more of a cloudy translucent clay when baked. When used in a cane it can become almost invisible if sliced thin enough and placed on backgrounds that hide it well. Darker colors tend to show the cloudiness more than lighter colors, but you will need to experiment to see which work best.

    Sanding and buffing will help make the translucent ‘disappear’ as well, but it usually will always leave a bit of a halo unless you are extremely skilled at slicing paper thin slices. You do need to be careful of not sanding of the image however, since it will be very thin to begin with.

    Frost is your best choice for transparency, as well as Kato Polyclay. Keep your hands dry to avoid introducing moisture, which will cause more cloudiness and plaqueing (little moons). Popping your beads into a bath of ice water right after baking can also help with clarity.

    Hope that helps!

  6. Jenny Smith, 09 October, 2009

    Thanks so much Cindy! The ice bath and keeping hands free of moisture are 2 things I haven’t attempted to try. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  7. Cindy Lietz, 27 October, 2009

    Hope it helps Jenny!

  8. Christine Willis, 11 February, 2010

    Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for your help. I’m wondering why it is that when I make canes and put them onto beads the pattern doesn’t stay as it should when I roll them to smooth them out. I’ve looked at the way people use their canes and those I’ve seen have been beautifully clean and clear, yet smooth as well. Not too sure how to over come this problem.
    Any help will be gratefully received.
    Chris from Australia

  9. Phaedrakat, 21 February, 2010

    @Christine Willis: Hi, Chris from Australia! Here is a link to Cindy’s article about Adding Cane Slices to Round Beads.

    Of special note is the consistency of your cane slice and how you roll the bead after adding it (don’t press too hard!).

    The video under the article is now a part of her Fundamentals/Beginners bead making course, which is an amazing set of videos, especially if you are just getting started in polymer clay and want to learn the best way to do things. Cindy has all kinds of tips and tricks that will get you on your way.

    You can also find lots more info all over this blog by using the search box at the top left of the page. Just type in a keyword or two, like “cane slice,” and you’ll get a list of articles on the subject. Don’t forget to read the comments below the articles, as they often have quite a bit of extra information. There are also Tags you can click on under each article, by Cindy’s signature, that lead to similar types of articles. Good luck with your claying adventures, and nice to meet you!

  10. Marion Rayner, 18 April, 2013

    Hi Cindy – is it possible to put polymer clay on non-polymer beads by applying liquid clay first?
    Thanks – Marion

  11. Cindy Lietz, 19 April, 2013

    That would depend on whether the non-polymer bead was oven safe or not. But yes it can be done Marion. Why don’t you test it and let us know how it turns out for you?

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