The only thing better than a statement necklace is a statement necklace accompanied by a matching statement bracelet! So we decided to indulge in our bling obsession (bling-session?) by making geometric bead jewelry with oven-bake clay. The geometric trend is still going strong, inspiring everything from nail art to home decor (like these fabulous painted throw pillows), so we’re cutting our clay to mimic some of these amazing shapes.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this 14-sided shape: it’s literally cut, pierce, and bake! Plus you barely need to mold the clay at all.
– four packs of Premo! Sculpey Oven-Bake Clay
– suede cord (enough for both bracelet and necklace, roughly 1 and 1/2 yards)
– jewelry findings
– spring ring clasps
– o rings
– aluminum foil
– Sculpey Clay Tools Set of Three (we only needed to use two)
– jewelry pliers
– a coaster or other smooth flat surface
1. To make three small geo beads, cut one row of clay into thirds using a cutting tool – we made a total of 10 beads for our bracelet. To make one large geo bead, mold three rows of clay into a smooth cube shape, using a coaster or other flat surface to make its edges as sharp as possible – we made a total of three beads for our necklace.
2. Pierce a hole through the center of the bead using a piercing tool. Make sure the hole is large enough for the cord to fit through.
3. Mark the center on each vertical side of the beads with a cutting tool. Angle the tool down and cut through the clay. Do this to each edge, then flip the bead and repeat till your bead is fully “gem cut.”
4. Bake your beads according to the temperature and time listed on your materials.
5. To make the bracelet, string the small beads on the cord and measure around your wrist for a proper fit. Leave two inches of extra space on one end then cut the cord.
6. Attach the finding and o ring to one cord end with jewelry pliers, then tie a basic knot as close to the finding as possible. String the beads back on the cord.
7. Tie a knot on the other end and trim any extra cord. Fasten the finding, o ring, and spring ring clasp to the end.
8. To make the necklace, string the large beads on the cord. Attach the finding and o ring to one cord end with jewelry pliers, then fasten the finding, o ring, and spring ring clasp to the other end.
9. Center the beads on the necklace and tie a basic knot on either side of the beads. Wear this dashing duo together!
We went with a cool neutral color palette for our beads, though Premo! Sculpey has a rainbow of colors to choose from. But wait, what’s with those things in the middle? Why, they’re clay molding tools! They make cutting and piercing clay so easy that we definitely recommend shoveling out $7 for this special set.
If you’re still not sold, then you’ll need to rummage around for a blunt blade to cut the clay and some sort of hole-making tool… a chopstick may work just fine! Now are you ready to get your bead on?
First make the small beads for the bracelet. Divide one row of clay into thirds then chop out a square chunk. This will soon be your bead!
Next, gently push and twist the piercing tool through the bead – it may be a little brittle since we’re not handling the clay much. You can wiggle the tool around to make the hole large enough to fit your cord, which is crucial to prevent post-bake heartache! Once it glides through, you’re golden.
Now use the cutting tool to mark the center of each vertical edge – this is where you’ll make your first “jewel” cuts! At the mark, slice down through the clay at an angle. When you’re done, flip the bead over and slice off the edges from those same half-way marks. And there it is! Your first small geo bead.
Be sure to wipe the blade before you start on the next color if you want a clean coat, though a slightly speckled bead could look pretty sweet. We made copper ones, grey ones, and a sort of flesh-toned one (that turned orange in the oven!).
Can you believe just one row of clay makes three small beads? For now, set these little guys aside so we can start on the big beads for our statement necklace.
We want three mondo beads for our necklace – one in olive, one in copper, and one in grey. So take the three remaining clay “rows” and mold it into one big cube. Get your aggression out in this step! Be sure to smooth out any marks or lines, then press the bead into its ideal shape with a flat surface like a coaster. Now grab those special clay tools and turn it into one ginormous bead!
You don’t have to be as delicate piercing a bead of this size, plus it’s more flexible from being molded. Once you’ve checked that the cord glides through the bead, mark off the center of each vertical side and chop off its edges at an angle. Remember to leave no edge behind!
What a fun trio! We can’t wait to wear these stunners, so let’s get ’em ready to bake.
If you’re using Premo! Sculpey, set your oven to 275 degrees F or follow the instructions that go with the materials you’re using. Our packaging says it’ll take approximately 30 minutes per quarter inch, so we’ll cook the small beads for about an hour and 15 minutes, and we’ll let the large ones go for an hour and a half. Why not spend that down time on brit.co? ;)
When we took the beads out of the oven they felt a bit rubbery, but they hardened up fast. Can you believe the gorgeous “tan” our peach beads got?
To finish the bracelet, string the small beads on the cord and wrap it around your wrist to determine the fit. We made our bead holes fairly large, so we’re going to secure either end of the bracelet with a basic knot. Leave about an inch of cord per knot.
Once you’ve cut the cord, attach your jewelry findings. Be sure to add a knot and a spring ring clasp to the other end and you’re done!
What a stunner! Now you just have the necklace left to tackle, which is even quicker to make.
We want the necklace to be extra long and dramatic, so we’re just using the remainder of the cord for it. Pop on the beads, fasten the findings, and tie a knot on either end of the beads to match our knotted bracelet.
And there you have it: a striking jewelry set made out of clay! We love how posh this color palette is.
The big geo beads look amazing against a dark knitted sweater. And the small geo bead bracelet is just as stunning! Why would you ever wear one without the other?
Have you made clay jewelry before? What did you make? How did it turn out? Share your stories in the comments below!