Monday

TUTORIAL: DIY GEO CLAY BEADS





I wanted to recreate beads like the ones here. These two came from a necklace I bought at ICING years ago--plastic, imperfect things that were oddly shaped. I liked their shapes, but hated that they weren't opaque. I guess I wanted a hybrid of these beads + these swarovski beads. Rock shaped, geometric, beautiful.


Clay was the best bet, so I googled to try and find a tutorial: I was led to Dismount Creative, which is a great site.

I really enjoyed her tutorial, but found that when I sliced the sides BEFORE baking, the edges weren't as crisp as I wanted them to be. I might have been exerting too much pressure? They weren't looking like DC's at all, hers looked great! I was getting frustrated.

I finally got one as a good as I was probably going to get it, popped it into the oven and waited. I ended up taking an exacto knife and slicing the bead to try and straighten out the sides. It worked a lot better than I thought it would.

This is a variation of her brilliant tutorial. Hope everyone enjoys!






MATERIALS NEEDED:

You will also need a good, clean workspace and an oven. I used a toaster oven.

Don't forget to check the packaging details: TIME & TEMPS.

I'm using PREMO's WHITE GRANITE. I'm only using half the pack.


Condition the clay. You can use a pasta machine if you want. I just used my hands. Roll it into a ball. Repeat until you run out of clay. Try to make the balls into similar sizes.


When you're done making your balls, it's time to pierce them. (Making them into beads. If you want to make these into cabs or itty bitty studs you can skip this step.) You also can use a toothpick if you want a bigger hole.


Now you're ready to pop them into the oven. I put them on a small piece of foil. Do not reuse foil for cooking, please. Also, don't use kitchen utensils if you're planning to consume food with them again.

Let them bake! Make sure you follow the directions on the packaging. While waiting, I decided to go ahead and make some turquoise ones.
When your beads are ready, carefully take them out of the oven. You are now ready for the fun part--but take caution. The beads WILL be hot. They're easier to cut when warm. If you can't bear the heat, I recommend keeping a barrier between you and the bead.

I folded the aluminum over the beads to trap some heat in. The first couple beads will cut like butter, but as they cool down, it will get more tough to cut through. I cut either like how is pictured above, or I hold the bead and use my blade to cut straight down to make contact with the surface--I'm using a foam board. There is no rhyme or reason to the pattern. I just cut as I want too.

PLEASE BE CAREFUL.


A NOTE: In comparison to DC's method, this way DOES waste more clay. What you shave off can't be reused to make another bead. You can make more beads with DC's method. 

In one full package of clay, I can get about 25-30 beads. The clay costs about $2. 

You can also control the amount you shave off.
This is from half a pack of PREMO.


ANOTHER NOTE: When I cut some gold geo beads, I ended up cutting off the outside color. I don't know if it's because I took them out of the oven too early? but the outside hue was much more vibrant. You can see what I mean here. This is the only color so far that I have worked with that did this.


Now you're done to use the beads however you wish (: You can paint them, mix the colors, string them, anything!

Please comment if you've enjoyed this tutorial & have any comments or questions. Also, if you decide to try & make your own, please show me pictures!

Thank you.

- A



14 comments:

  1. Since when did you get so good at DIY

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to try this out!

    <33 Rena

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh
    my
    god.

    I didn't realize you were back!!! HI.
    We need to do playthings swaps ASAP. :)
    I've missed you!

    Happy New Year! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. These are SO great. I have made geo-esque beads from polymer using both techniques (cutting them before baking AND after). I need to try cutting the beads while they're still warm/hot...great idea! Also, your craft knife looks like it would work better than a plain ol' exacto blade.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow looks great - I have to make some for sure, when I get the time for it :o)
    I have a lot of clay just waiting for this!
    Thanks and have a great evening

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are really nice. Regarding the metallic clays -- the metallic particles in the clay actually have a grain or directionality (it's called "chatoyancy") that reflects light differently. That's why each slice of your bead differs so much. Some clay artists use this to their advantage getting some really cool designs with just one piece of clay. Knowing this, I like your gold bead that much better. Good tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you so much. I've been looking all over to find a way to make these. They look fantastic! Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  8. this is awesome! I'm trying to make these soon!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This gold did that because of the micah in the clay which gives it the appearance of metallic. When shaping and kneading and rolling your balls, you are pushing the tiny particles of micah on the top layer of the clay in a uniform manner while the clay underneath isn't being manipulated much, leaving the micah in the place where it was, resulting in two different appearances when shaving off that top layer

    ReplyDelete
  10. if you don't want to waste clay you can just pop the beads in the freezer for about a half hour or so until they harden and then you can cut them and they shouldn't go so..smooshy. if that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  11. How much clay (oz) makes how many beads?

    Great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  12. If you mix the shaved peices with workable clay you can make geo beads with a funfetti pattern. Also - chop shavings super small and mix in for a glitter effect

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...