Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Making coin beads

On request of one of my russian blog readers I made a quick tutorial on how to make coin beads.
We'll be making these beads:

Start with measuring out equal amounts of scrap clay for each bead core.

Roll scrap clay into balls. Roll out a very thin sheet of pretty clay, which will be a background for your canes' slices.
In order to get millefiori beads all of the same size, you have to be sure that at each step you add the same amount of clay: same size of a bead core, same size of a background wrap clay, same amount of canes' slices on each bead.

Wrap a bead core into a background clay sheet.

Pinch the ends of pretty clay, hiding scrap clay.

Roll bead into a ball.

The ideal spherical shape of the beads is not necessary at this step.

Slice your canes. I've picked my favorite colour combination of green and yellow.

Put equal amount of cane slices on each bead.

Roll bead into a ball, trying to make it as spherical as possible this time.

Now beads are ready to be turned into coins:

Prepare a surface for flattening the beads. The baking paper is ideal for this purpose. If you press raw bead onto glass or tile surface, you might deform the bead when pulling it of the glass surface or a tile. The paper can be easily peeled of the clay leaving a bead undeformed.

On top of the paper put tiles or thick paper cards. The height of this level will determine the thickness of your beads.

Put your beads between the tiles. Press your beads very lightly with your finger to make sure beads don't roll away. At this step you can choose which part of the bead you want to be a flat surface of the coin in future.

Leave enough space between the beads.

Put another sheet of paper on top of the beads.

Press your beads with a tile or a piece of glass.

I prefer to use glass since I like seeing what I am doing :))

Now you have coin beads all of the same thickness.

Bake the beads:

And here is my result :))


  1. Beautiful! You make it seem so easy, when (for me at least) it is anything but!
    I can't wait to see more of your beautiful creations :)

  2. Gorgeous beads, and such a simple techinique...I had never thought to try them this way though. Thanks so much for sharing your techinique!

  3. Thank you soo mucho for the tutorial!
    The last beads are soo beautiful!

  4. Thanks for this lovely tutorial. I love the trick with the tiles to get the uniform thickness. Just recently I was searching for sth to use when I make my own texture sheets. It's so obvious now when you told us. Thanks again and the beads are fabulous!!!

  5. Gorgeous beads, and great technique for making the coin shape (and keeping the beads a uniform size). Did you drill the holes before or after baking?

  6. Thank you everyone! I am happy you liked my tutorial!
    Dora, I drill holes in beads after baking :)

  7. Great tutorial! I will surely use it!

  8. I've seen these in different things made with polymer clay but did not know how to make them consistently the same size. Thank you very much for sharing. I've added a link on our Guild's webpage so you may see a bit more traffic which I figure is always a good thing.

  9. Maja, I am glad you liked it! :)
    Arlene, thanks! Traffic is a good thing for me too :))

  10. Your work is beautiful! Great tutorials!

  11. i love this design im going to try and do this. thanks for the idea!

  12. These are BEAUTIFUL!!!! I loved the cane you used but the entire process is WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing. I have a question, did you just drill holes in them after you baked them?

  13. I love all of your tutorials!! Thank you sooo much for taking the time to teach us!! I was also wondering about the holes. I can never seem to get the holes through the center of my beads! Is there a secret??

  14. I used Dremel to make holes in beads

  15. That a wonderful work done by you. Love the clear way of explaining in this tutorial. I was not able to get how these were made till now. Now i learnt it.. thanks a lot for ur tutorial..