Arabesque Bracelet-Silk Screen Polymer Clay Tutorial

Arabesque Bracelet-Silk Screen Polymer Clay Tutorial

Hi there. Sandy here. Welcome to another polymer
clay video at my YouTube channel and my blog, Today I’m going to show
you, oh really, several different simple techniques that we use to make these lentil beads and
make this bracelet. So the first thing I like to do when I’m making
a project like this is choose an assortment of the colors I want to use. It really helps
you to get a rich look. So I’ve got a whole bunch of different blues here that I just
pulled out of my scrap bin. I always like to include either a metallic or some pearl,
that just adds some sparkle. And I’ve conditioned each of these colors separately and then rolled
them out on my pasta machine. And now all you need to do is stack them and it doesn’t
really matter what order, just make a stack of all this clay and then you can begin compressing
it and shape it into a bit of a log. Try not to trap any air. And then we’ll roll it out
and once you have it rolled out enough, you can start twisting it. Roll it out some more, twist it some more.
When it starts getting long, you can cut it in half. Roll out both pieces, twist them
together and do this probably three or four times in total. Now once you’re starting to
see stripes and just a little bit of mixing of the colors, take your acrylic rod and just
roll that out flat. Now if you don’t have a pasta machine you can do all of this with
your acrylic roller, but a pasta machine is great. So I’m going to send this through mine
on the thickest setting. So now you can see it’s starting to get some
interesting stripes and a nice blend and you might like one side better than the other.
So what you need to do is fold it in half with the side you like better on the outside
and send that again through your pasta machine or again you can just roll it out with your
roller. I’m going to do this just until I get some nice striping, usually about three
times total and then I stop. Here it is after another roll. Fold, a third
roll. I think I’m going to do it one more time, and that’s nice. We get some nice subtle
shading and striping. Now I’m going to send this through the pasta machine on a medium
setting. And so here it is. I rolled this out on a five on my Atlas, which is just a
smidge over a millimeter thick. Isn’t that pretty? Now the next thing we’re going to do is silk
screening and what I have to do this is the Sculpey clay silk screen kit. It’s actually
a really nice kit. It comes with two bottles of paint, a gold and a silver, a squeegee
for applying your paint and four silk screens and they’re really pretty designs. There’s
this one with the kind of peacock feathers, two sheets with six different round designs,
and then this one, which is really pretty with the bird. I’m going to put four of these
on here and just kind of press it down lightly and you want the shiny side down against your
clay and then take your paint and this paint that comes with the kit is the perfect viscosity
for doing silk screening. I’ve tried using other paint and I never can get it to come
out quite as nice as with this paint. So you just put a line and now you take the
scraper squeegee, set it on the silk screen right before the paint and you just want to
do one decisive movement, angling it at about a 45 degree angle, scrape that paint over
the screen and clay. Just like that. If you can avoid it, you don’t want to have to do
it again, but one more. There. And then you want to immediately peel off your silk screen
and then go wash your screen and your scraper. If you let the paint dry in your silk screen,
it will be ruined and you won’t be able to use it again. And the silk screening is as
simple as that. So you have the clay, unbaked clay with painted silk screen designs. So I’m going to set this aside to dry and
here’s a sheet I did earlier and let the paint dry completely. And now it’s time to cut out
circles, so we can use our hollow bead maker. This is a great form made by Sculpey and what
you need to find are circle cutters that are as close as you can get to each of these.
So this one fits this middle one pretty well. This one’s a little big for this one, but
it will do and I’ll show you how to make it just right. And this one is pretty close to
the small one. So I have a couple different circle cutter sets. You might have to find
a few. This one you’ll find in the cake decorating section. It’s fun because it’s got a scallop
and just a circle. So for each bead you’re going to need to cut
out two of these. So once you’ve cut your circles, you can remove the excess clay and
don’t think because it has paint on it that it’s waste. You can just mix it right up and
use it for something else. Put it in your scrap bin. And then we’ll use the hollow bead
maker to form these and the way it works is these pieces just go right over these shapes.
Now sometimes I make these sheets and then I leave them for a long time and so the clay
is quite firm and difficult to form. This was just rolled out so it’s behaving very
nicely, but if it doesn’t, you can take one of these. It’s a heat gun used for embossing,
a craft heat gun. Not the kind that you use to strip paint. That gets too hot. Use it
to warm the former for about 5-10 seconds and that will let your older clay form nicely.
But you can see this is forming pretty well. So you just center it over there and I like
to take a little scrap of paper and I’ll use it to press it down and then also where it’s
not quite meeting the edge there, I’ll press it down a little bit more. This helps keep
fingerprints off. It helps you to smooth it off. So you just put all of your pieces, if
it’s a little small, you can just use this piece of paper and kind of ease it down and
make it bigger. If it’s a little big, what you can do is use the cutter. Let’s see if
I can do this so you can see what I’m doing. Use the cutter to just trim right along the
edge. Now I trimmed a little, I trimmed way too much there. If I’m not doing it for the
camera, I might trim just a little too much. So I’m just going to stretch it to form it
and then I can use my paper, push it down, just trim off that little bit. You can use
your nail to kind of push that into shape and once you have all of your pieces on there
the way you want them, then you can bake it at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature
for 20 minutes. Once your pieces are baked, then it’s time
to sand the back side. We want to smooth out any rough edges. This is not the ideal spot.
Where I usually do this is in my kitchen sink with a thin stream of water running and then
you can just put this on, move it in circles and sand it and it goes much easier with a
little bit of water. Sand it until all those rough edges are gone and it’s nice and flat
so that two of these met together will make a nice smooth finish. So once you have the under side of each of
your bead halves sanded, then you need to decide where the stringing holes are going
to go. Mine are just going to be strung straight across and this is an excellent tool for doing
that. If you don’t have one of these though, you can just use a craft knife to carve out
a little ‘v’ shaped notch, but this will actually make a ‘u’ shape, which is perfect. And so
on one of the halves, you just position that, support the other side with your finger and
just press in. You can wiggle it a little and that just pops out half a circle and then
you can use a pencil to draw a line, but I’m just going to eyeball it and make the same
kind of a notch on the other side. Now once that’s made, you want to take your other half
and take a little time. You see that went together pretty well. They may not be perfectly
round so just try to position it in such a way so that they fit together the best you
can get them and then you can take your tool and just make a little bit of a mark on the
other half just so you know where you’re going to make your hole. I can see that one, and
then repeat. Now unless you’ve measured them and made a perfectly straight across line,
you’ll have to pay attention to which way they’re going. They’ll only work one way. The easiest way that I’ve found to glue these
together is get them lined up just the way you want them and then put the index finger
and thumb on your non-dominant hand right over those holes and give your bead a little
squeeze to open it up and then apply a very small amount of super glue along this edge
and then you can squeeze them back together making sure your stringing holes are still
aligned and then turn it and repeat, opening up the other side and applying glue to that
side. Now if you happen have some little edges that are sticking out, this one is pretty
good, but if you have some, take a nice sharp craft knife and just shave off the smallest
amount. It’s really easy to go too deep really quickly on this, so you just want to shave
off the tiniest of slivers so you don’t ruin your nice round shape. Now of course you can use your beads whatever
way you like in what ever kind of jewelry piece you want. What I’ve done is I’ve strung
three of the smallest and then three of the second smallest alternating. I’ve put some
beads in between them and then I’ve also made them some custom little end caps. Now let
me show you how easy that is to do. What you’ll want are these types of end caps
that are filigreed and stamped. You don’t want the hard ones that are cast, they’re
thicker, because what we’re going to do is take a pair of nylon jaw pliers, put your
bead cap right in there and just give it a gentle squeeze. And it might zing away, but
it will fold like a taco. You don’t need to fold it as much as you might think and then
these get strung on either side of your lentil bead and they provide a really nice finish. I opted to make mine an elastic bracelet because
one thing that’s difficult with hollow beads is getting the bead stringing wire out the
other hole. It’s easy to get it in one, but it can be tricky to get it out the other.
So I used a long needle to thread my elastic through the beads. So to finish this type
of bracelet, you just tie your elastic cord into a square knot and then put a little super
glue on it. Pop that knot into the hole of the bead that it’s next to and once it’s dry,
you just trim off the tails. If you’re interested in the supplies I used
in this project, there’s a link in the upper right to go to my accompanying blog post.
And if you’re new here and you haven’t already subscribed to my YouTube channel, make sure
you do for three new tutorials every week. I upload every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And here’s another look at the project we
made. If you liked it, give it a thumbs up, share and leave me a comment below. Happy
creating. Bye bye.


  1. Cool project ☺
    Sandy, you kno how much I adore your channel. I've noticed you changed the way ur ending the videos… Not sure how well I'm liking that… It's difficult to see the final piece in the small lil square frame with the other previous video images….
    Constructive feedback is all 😉 Much luv✌💖🌼

  2. Thank you! I have made these same beads but drilled my holes once they are baked. After watching your video, I think I may purchase the tool you were using! Would you please tell me what it's called and where you purchased it? Thank you so much! You are a very good teacher. Your voice is soothing yet bold and you are very clear in your instructions! I am happy I found your channel! Blessings!

  3. This is a great tutorial, thank you.  One problem I do have is that I made the beads with the design only on one side.  I strung them but the beads swivel so I cannot keep the pattern side showing on my necklace.  Is there a solution to this please?

  4. Hi again Sandy- I know this isn't a brand new video so you may not see it, but I figured I'd leave this anyway just in case. Another great video, thank you so much! I have the Sculpey silkscreen set & the hollow bead maker & so rarely use them because I can never seem to come up w/ ways to use them, so I really love this! I'm really sorry if you mentioned this in the tutorial but I do not remember hearing it. I'm wondering if you can possibly recall which setting you rolled the striped clay out on during the final roll through right before you silk screened them? A long time ago I made a pair of earrings using the hollow bead maker. I rolled clay through on thickest setting but when I tried placing both sides of the hollow bead together, they were both way too thick to actually form a bead with. I just hang them together, back to back, which looked very nice & gave the earrings some.nice movement, but they are way too heavy to wear since the pieces of clay are so thick. But I'm always nervous to roll claythrough on ahthinner setting. I know it's dumb but I always feel like it won't be stable or sturdy enough & that it'll just very easily crack or crumble. So if you happen to remember which setting you used it would help to give me the confidence to roll it out thinner than my thickest setting. Thank you again so much for the wonderful tutorial & if you even see this for taking the time to read my very long winded question😊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.