Sculpey® Chunky Bead Necklace
- Sculpey® UltraLight Clay, 4 oz.
- Sculpey® III Clay, 2 oz. – Copper
- Premo! Sculpey® Accents, 2 oz. – Antique Gold
- Sculpey® Clay Extruder with Medium Round Circle Dye in Place
- Sculpey® Clay Conditioning Machine
- Pearl Ex Powders – Spring Green and Bright Copper
- Craft Paint – Dark Grey or Black
- Paintbrush, Small
- Texture Stamp (or Very Rough Sandpaper)
- Wire, 18 ga. – Copper
- Jewelry Wire Cutters
- Round Nose Pliers
- Chain – Antique Bronze (8-10") and Antique Copper (8-10")
- Trinket Pin – Antique Copper
- Drill (with Small Drill Bit)
Step 1 Create your inner core balls from the UltraLight clay. I have one ball about 1" in diameter and six that are about ¾" diameter and two smaller ½" diameter balls. NOTE: If you have kids that want to help, this is a GREAT project for them. Bake the beads according to the clay package directions.
Step 2 Roll out 1/3 of the package of Sculpey® III Copper clay on the widest setting on the Sculpey® clay conditioning machine, repeat several times until the clay is smooth and pliant. Set the machine down to about five and roll the clay back through to create a paper-thin sheet of clay. Tear small pieces of this sheet and collage them onto a BAKED UltraLight ball.
Step 3 Lightly texture the completely wrapped ball on your texture stamp or piece of rough sandpaper. The texture does NOT need to be deep!
Step 4 Touch your finger inside the lid of the Spring Green Pearl Ex and lightly swipe some green highlights onto the bead. Repeat with the Copper Pearl Ex.
Step 5 Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for all your beads. Bake according to the clay package directions for about 15 minutes. (We are just baking the thin shell of clay on the outside, remember?)
Step 6 After the beads have baked and cooled, it's time to antique them! Paint the surface of the bead with your craft paint and then quickly wipe the surface with a wet paper towel to remove the paint from the upper surfaces. This will really bring out the clay colors, textures and Pearl Ex highlights. Set aside to dry.
Step 7 Drill your beads with the drill tool, using a drill bit slightly larger than the wire you are using. UltraLight clay is REALLY easy to drill through! You can even drill these beads by hand through the UltraLight.
Step 8 The bead “cage” is created just as if you were using wire to make them. Start with an extruded piece of Antique Gold clay about 10" long. Coil the two ends in opposite directions as shown. (NOTE: extruding clay is also a great project for kids to do for you!)
Step 9 Cut a 3" piece of your wire and stick one end of the wire through the center of one of the coils. Thread the wire through the bead and through the center of the other coil of clay. Tighten the coils if you need to by twisting in opposite directions. Set the bead aside and repeat Steps 8 and 9 for all the beads. Bake the beads again according to the clay package directions (15 minutes again, since we are baking only the extruded clay this time!)
Step 10 Create a medium-large loop in one end of the wire and trim the other side of the wire to about ½" from the bead on the other side of the wire. Grasp the end of the wire with your needle nose pliers and roll towards you to create a medium-large loop that should be fairly snug against the bead. Repeat for all the beads.
Step 11 Link all the beads together with the largest bead in the center and the smaller beads on the ends. Attach both chains to one of the smaller beads, using the loop you created in the wire. Attach the other sides of the chains to the other small bead.
Step 12 Open the chains at the center length and remove any excess length you don't need. Use the Trinket pin for your closure!