How to make clay bead bracelets

 Making your own clay bead bracelets can be a fun and rewarding craft project. With some basic supplies and following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to create unique bracelets from clay beads that you made yourself. This guide will teach you how to make clay bead bracelets step-by-step, from making the beads to stringing them into a finished bracelet.


Making the clay beads


To start, gather your supplies. You’ll need air-dry clay (such as Sculpey), acrylic paint, glaze/varnish, jewelry findings like crimp beads and jump rings, beading wire or string, and beads to incorporate if desired. You’ll also need basic tools like a pasta machine, clay roller, or beads roller for flattening the clay, toothpicks, a baking sheet, and an oven for curing the clay.

Once you have your supplies, making the clay beads is easy. Begin by conditioning or softening the clay by kneading it with your hands. This makes it smooth and pliable so it can be shaped.

Next, roll small balls of clay between your palms or use a clay gun to create uniform beads. The balls should be about 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch in diameter to start. Insert a toothpick into each ball halfway through while the clay is still soft. This will create a hole once baked so the beads can be strung.

 How to make clay bead bracelets

Follow the package instructions


Use a pasta machine, clay roller, or beads roller on a low setting to gently flatten the beads into disc shapes, removing the toothpicks beforehand. Ensure they are an even thickness, about 3-4 mm. The beads can be shaped into rounds, squares, rectangles, teardrop shapes, or textured with rubber stamps prior to baking.

Arrange beads in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Follow the package instructions to cure or harden the clay beads in the oven. Once cooled, additional clay layers can be added to each base bead for further shaping and design if desired.

When your beads are cured and cool, get creative with paints and glazes! Acrylic paint can be used to coat the bead bracelet clay beads in any color or pattern. Add polka dots, stripes, geometric designs or flowers using a small paint brush. Clear glazes or gloss varnishes will add shine and durable protection to finished clay beads.


 Clay bead bracelets quickly


Once painted, apply another coat of glaze or varnish and cure the beads again in the oven briefly to seal the paint. Add findings like crimp beads, jump rings, and beading wire or elastic string to connect the clay beads into a bracelet. Crimp the ends tightly and trim any excess wire. Then simply slip on the bracelet and wear your homemade clay bead jewelry!

If you want to make the clay bead bracelets quickly, try rolling out a sheet of conditioned clay to about 1⁄4 inch thickness. Use small plunger cutters, cookie cutters, or a knife to cut out uniform bead shapes from the slab. Rotate and reshape while still soft before curing the beads in the oven. This clay bead bracelet technique speeds up the shaping process so you can make multiple beads in batches.

You can create lots of unique clay bead bracelet designs with different shapes and colors of beads. Long round or paddle-shaped beads look great, as do square hammered beads and small nature-inspired leaf and flower beads. Add leftover clay canes or scrap clay pieces for one-of-a-kind textures and patterns. 


Beads can be painted singly with complex designs


The beads can be painted singly with complex designs or kept simple with solid colors. Whichever clay bead bracelet ideas you choose ,making and wearing your homemade jewelry is exciting!

So try making your own clay bead bracelets today using this easy step-by-step guide. With some clay, basic tools, and jewelry supplies, you’ll be creating gorgeous customizable bracelets in no time! The clay beads can also be used to make necklaces, earrings, keychains and more. Have fun being creative with clay jewelry.

Back to blog