Saturday, April 13, 2013

Polymer Clay How To - faceted crackle beads

I always find a new tool sparks my imagination and really brings out the fun in creating, so for today's post I'm going to show my latest tool and what new things I've made with it…

Come and meet my cute little pink food processor!


I've been wanting a food processor for quite some time and when I found this little 3 cup one, it had to be mine!

Come on and grab some polymer clay and have some fun with today's mini tutorial…

It starts with a baggie of polymer scraps. You don't want to use brand new polymer scraps——let them sit for a while till they are at that crumbly stage so they'll chop better.

Break up the large chunks and fill the processor up to the highest blade with your scraps——more than that and the processor won't be able to chop very well.


Chop until they break up and start to form little nuggets.

Next squeeze a contrasting paint color into a sandwich baggie. This is what will make the crackle effect in your new beads.

Spread it around.

Add your polymer nuggets and gently mix, adding more paint as necessary.

All coated.

Then spread your painted nuggets onto a sheet of copy paper to dry a bit——you want the paint mostly dry for the next step. Move them around occasionally to keep them from sticking to the paper.

Now it's time for the glue! Drizzle you nuggets with liquid polymer and gently stir to coat.

Form rounds, pressing firmly so the nuggets will hold together. This part is REALLY messy, so have some handwipes nearby to clean your hands after every couple beads!

After you've shaped your rounds, let them sit until the liquid clay is dry to the touch and then pierce and cut away the outside layer, creating random facets.

And that's it… just pop your new beads into the oven and bake!


Experiment with other color combinations…

Or skip the gooey painting and liquid polymer part at the beginning and instead keep the rough shape of the beads and add a wash after curing…

Have fun!!



29 comments :

  1. Wow! They look amazing! I am still trying to build the nerve to get into polymer clay so it is nice to have clear tutorials with photos to learn from. Thank you!

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  2. Great technique Renekah - I had no idea that's how it was done.

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial! Always wondered what to do with those dried up clay bits. So versatile.

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  4. Almost like faux turquoise, but I never thought of using multi-colour scraps. Another well-presented tutorial, Rebekah!

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  5. These are awesome (as is your cute little food processor). I really like the effects you get on the beads. They look like real rocks. I don't work with clay right now but this is inspiring.

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  6. Does look like a messy technique, but the end result is very cool and worth the mess. Just had the pin this post to one of my Pinterest boards. TFS!

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  7. That's so cool, thank you so much for sharing this technique!

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  8. I really like the look of these beads!!! I am just so intimidated by polymer clay. I thought all clay had to be "baked"? These just dry on their own? That is sooo cool!!! Have a Blessed Day!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial, Rebekah. I love to use up leftover scraps, and it is only recently that I discovered how easy it is to clean up a blender after chopping clay. (Expecting it to be an awful mess kept me from trying it for a long time.

      Robin:
      I was intimidated too, in the beginning. There were no classes where I live and I learned everything from books and a couple of good forums. It's been almost 4 years now, and I am no longer intimidated, but am enjoying myself immensely. So hang in there!

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    2. Robin, you will have to bake or cure the polymer clay according to the directions on the package.

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  9. That looks like so much fun! Now, I want a food processor. LOL

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  10. Thanks for sharing this tutorial! You always write such wonderful how-to's. Almost enough to make me want to start playing with PC...

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  11. Looks like so much fun & I love the finished beads!

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  12. awesome! Love to see this process!

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  13. Very cool beads! Thanks for sharing the process!

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  14. I don't do polymer yet but I want to. I gotta get some

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  15. Awesome !!!
    Thank you very.very much for a great tut !
    I am definitely going to try this!
    I LOVE the look of those beads
    m.e. :)

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  16. These do have to be cured, just like all polymer clay, right? Have you glazed any of the ones you made to see if what they'd look like shiny?

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    1. Yes, they do have to be cured… sorry, I left that part out of the tutorial. I haven't tried glazing any of these beads yet—I've always preferred the "natural" baked finish—it suits my jewelry designs best… and also because it's less work and I have yet to find a shiny glaze that I really like.

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  17. I love this idea because i always have bits and pieces left over also, they come out so beautiful! You didn't mention about putting the clay in the oven. I know Polymer hardens and cures when baked. Did you put the clay in the oven after you added the paint and formed the ball/bead?

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    1. Baking is the last step, after piercing and cutting the facets… so sorry, the part about the liquid clay drying did make it a bit confusing. I updated the tutorial so it's clearer. :-)

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  18. Love them!! Cool technique!! Thanks for sharing...

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  19. Very cool idea ! Thank You for sharing ! I'm sure there's a lot that could be done with this tutorial ! Awesome ! As to the comment that Kathy Lindermer left this is for her! Don't be afraid to let your creative side come out and play in 2006 I started watching Carol Duvall she had a craft show and she had Donna Kato as a guest, from that moment on I just knew polymer clay was my medium so I ran(drove) to the nearest Michael's and bought my first pasta machine and my first acrylic roller and a couple of blades and I was hooked !! You can do so,so, much with polymer clay it is one of the most versatile mediums in the world! With all the videos and books out there (Amazon) Polymer Clay Express for all clay supplies, theres no way you shouldn't just jump in and enjoy yourself ! let your muse be free and join the thousands of people out there who love polymer clay! I promise you won't regret it !And Thank you ! Rebecka for sharing that's another wonderful thing about polymer clay communities they love to share ! Thank You Donna Kato and Carol Duvall for making it possible for me to set my creative muse free !!

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  20. Super duper! I love these beads! Thank you so much for sharing your technique.

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  21. Thanks for sharing, Rebekah. Brilliantly simple - fantastic results. This equals the Stroppel cane in the Using Scrap Clay league!

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  22. Thank you Rebekah for this wonderful tutorial. My guild holds workshops for Bottles of Hope, and after a handful of classes with folks who have never worked with clay before, and perhaps have done nothing artistic before, there is a LOT of scrap clay. So I've been casting about to find various ways to use the scrap clay. This will be GREAT! Thanks!

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