Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tutorial: Polymer Clay Bead Basics Part 2- 5 Shapes

In my last tutorial, I showed you how to cover a core bead with scrap clay and how to put the hole in the bead.  You can see that one here.

In this one, I will be sharing 8 basic bead shapes and all of them start as a ball.

Shape 1- Barrel
Roll a ball straight back and forth on the table to form a cylinder with rounded ends.

Pierce the bead from end to end as shown in Bead Basics Part 1.

Shape 2- Teardrop
Pinch 1 side of the ball between two fingers while rolling it back and forth to form the point of the teardrop.

To make your teardrop narrower, roll the fat part back and forth a little.

You can pierce the bead across the point of the teardrop...

... or from top to bottom.

Shape 3- Kiss
Make a teardrop shape as above and then gently press the bottom of the bead on your work surface to flatten it.

Pierce from top to bottom or across the point.

Shape 4- Pyramid
Make a kiss shape as above.  Set the bead down on the work surface and then use two fingers on each side of the bead to press 4 sides flat.  Turn and press repeatedly to make the shape.
Pinch each of the corners tightly between two fingers to define the shape.  Press each side on the table to even things out.

Pierce the bead across the point or from top to bottom.

Shape 5- Tetrahedron
Make a kiss as above.  Set the bead down on the table and then press in three sides of the shape as though you are going to make a pyramid (only with one less side).  Pierce from one point to the opposite flat side...

... or from the middle of one edge to the middle of the opposite edge.


The "Bead Basics" Series of Tutorials:
Part 1: Covering a Core
Part 3: 6 More Bead Shapes
Part 4: Covering a Core with a Solid Color
Part 5: Impressed Beads


  1. I found this very informative. Thank you for sharing. Beej

  2. Thank you this so very helpful. God Bless.