Air Dry Clay Beads

These Air Dry Clay Beads are fun to make and fun to wear! I will show you how to shape three different beads, paint and finish, all ready to thread onto a necklace.

Is anyone else obsessed with The Great Pottery Throw Down? Its like the Bake Off, but with ceramics! I would highly recommend watching if you haven’t seen it, if only for judge Keith Brymer Jones getting so emotional over pots. This make is perfect if you are itching to get your hands dirty with some clay, but don’t have acess to a kiln, as I’m using air dry clay! And because its so easy to use, air dry clay can easily be used with kids, just bear in mind the beads will need a few hours to dry out before you can paint them.

Air Dry Clay Beads

 

Air Dry Clay Beads

You will need:

Air Dry Clay – White*

-Cocktail Stick

-Knitting Needle or Skewer

-Watercolour or Acrylic Paint

-Fine Sandpaper

Varnish*

Air Dry Clay Beads

How to make Air Dry Clay Beads:

1.Take a piece of clay and roll into a ball. I wanted nice chunky beads, so mine was about 1 inch/ 2.5cm in diameter.

Air Dry Clay Beads

2.Use a cocktail stick to make a hole. If the hole is off center, just roll the clay up and have another go!

Air Dry Clay Beads

3.Because I wanted to thread my beads onto a 2mm cord, I used a bamboo knitting needle to enlarge the hole.

Air Dry Clay Beads

4.Refine the shape and smooth any marks before sliding off the needle

Air Dry Clay Beads

5.To create the bicone shape, roll into a ball and make a hole as you did for the round bead. Once on the knitting needle or skewer, pinch one side of the bead to a point. Repeat on the other side.

Air Dry Clay Beads

6.Smooth out any bumps, before removing from the needle.

Air Dry Clay Beads

7.For the cylinder bead, first roll out a sausage shape

Air Dry Clay Beads

8.Squeeze the ends together to flatten them.

Air Dry Clay Beads

9.Gently use the cocktail stick to make the hole, its really easy to go off centre with this shape! Use the needle or skewer to enlarge the hole before smoothing the surface.

Air Dry Clay Beads

10. Once you have made all your beads, leave them to dry for a few hours.

Air Dry Clay Beads

11.Once they are totally dry, use a very fine grade sandpaper over the surface of the beads.

Air Dry Clay Beads

12.Cover your work surface, its about to get messy! Mix up your first colour- I added orange and a bit of pink watercolour to some opaque white acrylic paint and watered it down. Load your brush with the paint and tap the paint off onto the beads! The beads are quite porous so the paint will dry within a few minutes. Turn the beads around to cover all sides.

Air Dry Clay Beads

13.Once the first colour is dry, mix up your second colour. I went with pale green, again mixed with white and watered down. Again tap or flick the paint onto the beads, leaving one side to dry before turning them over to do the other side!

Air Dry Clay Beads

14.Keep turning the beads around and adding more paint if needed.

Air Dry Clay Beads

15.When all the paint is completely dry, apply a coat of varnish to protect the paint and give a nicer finish. Place the beads back onto the knitting needle or skewer to paint on the varnish. You can also use a spray sealer if you prefer! Leave to dry.

Air Dry Clay Beads

16.Thread onto some cord or a necklace and you are done!

Air Dry Clay Beads

Air Dry Clay Beads

If you have a go at making your own Air Dry Clay Beads, or have any questions feel free to comment below or message me on TwitterInstagram or Facebook! And if you don’t want to miss out on any future tutorials, I’d love for you to sign up to my monthly email! Happy Making!

***Products marked with are *  an affiliate link. This means that I earn a small fee if you buy a product using that link. I will only ever link to a product that I have used and personally recommend***

 

 

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