How to design Black & White bead jewelry

This is a brief tutorial about how to design and make your own beautiful black and white bead jewelry. There are several steps involved with the process. I added in one color to my designs – and you can adjust as you like to match your vision.

Step 1 Design the Black and White Beads

The first step is to draw out what kind of beads you want to create. You can also search Pinterest or another site to see what kinds of beads are out there. In my drawings below are the beads and the designs I had in mind. In this step you can imagine how you are going to build the beads.

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Step 2 Collecting all the materials and make space

Once you have an idea of what you want to create it’s time to make some more space and get all the materials you need together. I took a trip to my local art store and purchased everything. What I got was – a tray with metal sticks to bake the clay with, a kit with assorted clay tools, 2 packs of polymer clay / black and white colors, bead maker set, pasta like maker for pressing clay into long ropes and one for flat paper like results.

Bead making materials

 

Step 3 Make your bead shapes

Now that you have the materials and the basic design you can start to make your bead shapes. What I found is that I got a little creative in the process. I did make the shapes that I wanted to make but I also make some others. The process is step by step. Below is one photo showing how I went from the original clay to the final bead. Important things to notice when you first start working with the material are – how hard or soft is it? Does that change as you work with the material? TIP – don’t forget that to make jewelry in the in the end you need to have some way to string it… large or small holes can impact the final design.

You can start with one color – make black or white – black and white, gray, ombre, patterns, textures and also add paint at the end for some additional color.

Process of making a bead

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Step 4 Prep and bake the beads

The next step is to get all the beads ready for the oven. The little ones bake faster so you might have to decide if you want to do one or two batches in the oven based on time. A well-ventilated area is important – so do it at the time when you can have a fan and windows open. Also – be sure to check the bake time specification on the package so you know what the right time should be in the oven for your beads.

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Step 5 Cooling off and sorting

Once the beads are out of the oven they need some time to cool off. Then you can remove them from the tray and begin to sort them for future use in making your jewelry designs.

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Here are some of the final jewelry pieces from this project. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are inspired to make some of your own black and white beads.

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