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Putting on the Glitz!  - Beginner Polymer Clay & Glitter Bead Jewellery Project

I designed this project to show how easy it is to use the EJR Beads Glitz and Blendz Microfine glitters with polymer clay.

The result is an attractive multi-strand necklace, embellished with glittery clay beads and real amber chips. The beads are just one simple example, but you can make anything you like from glitter covered  polymer clay. Why not try making some sparkly greetings card toppers or scrapbook embellishments if jewellery is not your thing?

But even if you have never worked with beads or made jewellery before, this is a great place to start. You will find nearly everything you need in the EJR Beads online store. Anything that isn't there you probably have already in that junk drawer in the kitchen anyway. So what are you waiting for? This is not only easy - it is fun too!

Glitter beads project


You will need:



Glitter beads project 

Step 1

Condition the black polymer clay, kneading it by hand until it is soft and pliable. Roll some out into a log, approx 10 mm diameter. Leave the rest aside to be used later as and when it is needed.



Glitter beads project 

Step 2

Lay the log against the steel ruler. Using a tissue blade or craft knife, measure and cut the log into sections, each 15 mm long. You will need 18 sections in all for this project. Roll and cut more clay logs until you have enough sections.



Glitter beads project 

Step 3

Roll each section into a round ball. Set the three different Microfine glitters into dishes to make them easier to use. Coat each ball thoroughly with glitter, rolling it again in your palms after to set the glitter well into the clay. Coat 6 balls with each colour glitter.


Glitter beads project 

Step 4

Shape the balls to make them into the different types of beads. I have left 6 round, made 6 triangular by pinching the clay between my thumbs and forefingers, and rolled the final 6 along the surface to elongate them into barrel shapes. However, you can make them whatever shape you wish of course!


Glitter beads project 

Step 5

Pierce each bead to make the threading hole. Taking each in turn twist a wooden toothpick carefully into the clay from one side until it just starts to emerge on the opposite side. Using this mark as a guide, remove the toothpick and now pierce from this point back into the bead to complete the hole neatly.


Glitter beads project 

Step 6

Leave each bead on its toothpick for baking. Fold a piece of card concertina style to support the beads on a baking tray. Rest the beads on the folds as shown and then bake following the clay manufacturer's instructions. Once baked, allow all the beads to cool and then remove them from the wooden toothpicks.


Glitter beads project 

Step 7

Varnish all the beads to protect the glitter and bring out the colours. Support the beads on the end of the wooden toothpicks and stab them into a blob of scrap clay or a block of polystyrene until they are completely dry.


Glitter beads project 

Step 8

Cut a length of embroidery yarn. You will need around a metre and a half. Starting in the middle, make a knot and thread on one of the glitter beads. Knot the thread the other side of the bead to secure it in place.


Glitter beads project 

Step 9

Make another knot about 2 to 3 cm away from the glitter bead. Thread on a couple of amber chip beads and then knot again to secure the amber chips. You may need to use a needle or a piece of bent over wire to aid threading on the amber chips, but don't worry -they have quite big holes!


Glitter beads project 

Step 10

Continue working out from in the centre in each direction, knotting on amber chips and glitter beads alternately with a gap between each section. Continue until you have used 6 glitter beads in total. When finished, you should have a nice long tail-end of thread left over on each side of the beads.


Glitter beads project

Step 11

Repeat the process to make another two strands of knotted beads. Hold the three strands together and stagger them so the beads off-set nicely. When you are happy, knot the three strands together, close to where the last beads finish. Repeat the process for the opposite side.



Glitter beads project 

Step 12

Plait together the remaining threads on each side of the necklace to make the tie-cords. Use a little masking tape to secure the necklace to the table as you work. When you are happy with the length of the tie-cords (making sure they match) tie another knot to secure and then just wear and enjoy!


Text & Images Emma Ralph 2005. May not be printed, distributed or reproduced electronically without the author's written permission.