Crafts · International Beading Week

International Beading Week – Day 4 – Clay Beads

Do you want to make your own cool, one-of-a-kind beads?

Do you have clay just lying around?

Do you need more beads for your projects?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then today’s craft is for you!

(In case you are wondering, I answered yes to the first two questions. As for the last one, no, I definitely do not need more beads. See below.)


You will need:

  • Clay (pretty obvious, being as these are clay beads)
  • A skewer/wire/Lego umbrella stick/charm loop for poking holes (skewers and wires are the best, but I didn’t have any skewers in the house so I used an umbrella stick and a Q-Tip cut in half)
  • Paper to protect your work surface

Other helpful things might include:

  • seed beads to decorate your clay beads
  • things to make texture on your beads (eg. Lego bricks/flowers, textured beads, pretty much anything!)

Get creative! Below are a few of my favourite ways to make beads, and above are some supplies you might need, but above all, experiment! Try new things! Be wild and dream up new designs!

Before I actually get started, I’m going to show you some examples of what you could make. I made these beads quite a few years ago (maybe four or more) so I was kinda young, but it just goes to show that anyone of any age can make beautiful beads without too much difficulty. Honestly, sometimes the hardest part of making a bead is puncturing the hole without messing up the bead or making it too wide.

Anyways, above are beads of different sizes and shapes. There are large beads, medium beads and small beads, round beads and flat beads, swirled beads and twisted beads, to name just a few.

Twisted Swirl Beads


Roll out snakes in the colours you want the beads to be, lay them side by side and twist them together. (I had a really hard time getting the picture of me twisting them. Try twisting snakes together, balancing a camera on your knee and pressing the button to take a picture – all at the same time! I eventually figured out the countdown/timer thing, but that only took away the ‘pressing the button’ part.)


Now cut a bit off your twisted snake and roll it towards itself so the two ends meet. You may need to smooth out where they meet, then poke a hole with the wire.

Twisted Beads


For twisted beads, roll out some snakes, stick them together and twist them, same as above. However, to form the bead, cut off a longer bit of the snake, roll it some more to create a smaller snake and wrap (neatly or randomly, your choice) around a skewer (or Q-tip cut in half). If you are having difficulty removing your beads from the skewer/poke-y thing, freezing the clay (still on the skewer) and then removing should do the trick.

Swirled Beads


This works best for those random little scraps you might have at the end of bead-making. Simply gather your bits and pieces, roll them into a ball (you may need tto squish them together a bit – remember you are aiming for marbelized, not a solid colour) and poke a hole!

Easily the easiest way to create really pretty beads!

Beaded Beads


Make your bead and then use smaller beads to encrust and decorate your bead. I used size 10 seed beads for the green one and just stuck them in, while for the purple bead, it is a size 6 seed bead stuck in the middle.

Textured Beads


I used Lego pieces to sandwich, roll or press into my beads. There is really no wrong way to do this!

As I said before, be creative and see what your brain and hands come up with!

Here are all my finished beads.

(That’s kind of a blurry photo.)

Happy Beading,


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