Polymer Clay Silverware Textured Beads

November 10, 2012 , In: General

I’ve been on a bead making rampage these days! In between the critter
making and the pony sanding, I’ve been squeezing in a few new ideas. So today I thought I’d share the process of my latest ones with you: silverware textured beads.

chose three different fancy handled knives for this project. I got
these at Goodwill——you never what neat textures you’ll find when digging
through the silverware bins there!

used a two-part molding compound to make the impressions and for these I
kept the sides fairly low since I wasn’t going to be casting beads with
them——just texturing.

And here they are all cured. I just love this stuff——it sets up so fast and there’s no need for any mold release!

I shaped my bead cores in polymer clay, making them a little smaller
than I wanted the final beads to be. I baked them in the oven for 15
minutes just to set the clay.

After cooling, I coated each bead with a very small amount of liquid clay and wrapped them in thin sheets of polymer clay.

then I rolled and pressed each bead into the mold to apply the
texture——having the baked core enabled me to get good detail without
misshaping the bead. I put each bead on a wooden toothpick, so I wouldn’t have to use my fingers to press the beads into the mold.

here’s how they looked after texturing. I baked them for an hour for
the final curing and after cooling I gave each bead a wash of acrylic
paint to bring out the details.

finished! There are so many different ways and different textures you
could use to make these beads——try it out and have fun!!


Rebekah Payne

Rebekah Payne is the designer and creator behind Tree Wings Studio. What started out as just a few beads for her own jewelry creations quickly grew into more than a hobby and she now spends every spare moment busy in her studio crafting beads for jewelry designers around the world… and the occasional piece of jewelry for herself. She loves fine details, rustic charm, earthy hues, and all things textural. These days her medium of choice is polymer clay, but she also dabbles in wire-working and uses various fibers and leather.
  1. Reply

    Some people are just so darned clever! Great technique … and work! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  2. Reply

    Ok, that's just seriously cool. Thank you so much for showing the process. I might have figured out most of it, but the liquid clay part and the thin sheet would have escaped me. I'm going to totally guess and say the reason you did that was so you could roll the bead in the texture, without destroying the shape of the bead…would that be right? Your final look is just fab!

    • Reply

      Yes, that's it Shirley! There's nothing worse than smushing beads when trying to texture them!

  3. Reply

    What a great idea and what gorgeous beads you created as a result Rebekah. I'm going to be scouting around for silverware for my metal clay work for sure now – thanks for the tip.

    • Terri
    • November 10, 2012

    Fabulous creations!!!

    • Kathy
    • November 10, 2012

    Great idea! So creative!

  4. Reply

    Very cool! Great post and thanks for sharing!

    • Gale
    • November 10, 2012

    I've always loved silverware textures, and it's ingenious how you've transferred all that over to another medium. You're coloring really does bring out the details, too. Thanks for sharing. (Now I have to find out what a "two part molding compound" is….)

    • Reply

      I get my molding compound from firemountiangems.com — search H202244BS… and have fun! Once you start making molds, you'll find it's very, very hard to stop! 😉

    • LisaS
    • November 10, 2012

    Great results! Thanks for taking us through the process;)

  5. Reply


    Thank you for sharing some of your amazing talent Rebekah 🙂

  6. Reply

    Fabulous beads! Love all the textures, Rebekah… if, like me, you have a collection of mismatched utensils (never did bother getting the fancy-schmancy set LOL) you can even bypass the thrift store. Is that moulding compound a silicone-based one?

    • Reply

      Yep, I'm not into any of that fancy-schmancy stuff either! I love when things are a little different! lol The molding compound I use is silicone-based. Check it out on firemountaingems.com — search H202244BS. So glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

  7. Reply

    This was soooo interesting. Thank you for sharing! I never in a million years would have thought of using old silverware. Very cool!

  8. Reply

    They are very pretty! I don't understand why you have to wrap in the the thin clay sheets. Is it to coat them in the liquid clay? Love the silverware idea, great thinking!

    • Reply

      Thanks Gypsea! For each of these beads I started with a baked core, then I put a thin coat of liquid clay onto the core to help the sheets of raw clay stick better… and then I roll the covered bead in the mold… the raw clay picks up the detail and the beads stay the same shape since the core is hard.

  9. Reply

    I've used textures from silverware before but not like this, great idea and I've always loved these beads!

    • Mags
    • November 10, 2012

    This is such a clever idea!Thank you for sharing this with us!Defenitely thing to try out!

  10. Reply

    Wow, those are fantastic! I might just get brave enough to mess with that clay one of these days – you make it look so fun!

  11. Reply

    These beads are awesome! I have tried doing textures but always mess up my bead shape. You have solved a great mystery for me! Thank you!

  12. Reply

    Wow! I can't believe those are polymer clay! I have renewed respect for what can be done! Thank you so much for sharing your skills with the rest of us!

  13. Reply

    OH OH OH OH I loved seeing the process and those beads are amazing! I have loved your beads for a while and now I totally see why! You create with fun and beauty in mind!!!!

  14. Reply

    This is great, Rebekah! I just have one question about the finishing touches, if you can share. After you paint, do you seal or varnish the beads? I'm always worried about the paint coming off, so I seal them. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!

    • Reply

      Great question Leah! For these particular beads, I simply put them back in the oven at 200 degrees and bake for 15 minutes to heat-cure the paint and that gives it an excellent hold. Some of my other beads I do use a finish on——I use delta ceramcoat matte varnish and then I always heat cure after that——heat-curing is real trick to making them durable.

    • Reply

      Thanks so much, Rebekah! I was looking into heat curing, but wasn't sure if it was for specific acrylic paints or not. Great to know!

  15. Reply

    great idea!!!! Thank you for showing us! Hugs, Doris

  16. Reply

    Beautiful beads! And what a great idea!

  17. Reply

    Love your beads and you sharing your technique with us in your tutorial! Many thanks!

  18. Reply

    love this, and thank you soooo much for sharing! I am so green to polymer that all i do is read and read and drool over color!!!! LOL!!! Slowly I am getting there!

    Thx again

  19. Reply

    Beautiful! I like it! <3

  20. Reply

    So pretty!

Leave a Reply