The cheeky monkeys and I had a lot of crafty fun over their school summer holidays, and I am finally getting around to sharing some tutorials of the creations we made. Today's tutorial is for a very simple "gumball" necklace which even small children can attempt with little adult help (the oven is the main step requiring adult intervention). And the beauty of this project? You can easily make it in a multitude of colour schemes and designs!
- your favourite brand of polymer clay (I happened to use Sculpey)
- baker's twine in the length you want for your necklace
- jewellery crimps or cord tips
- 5mm and 7mm jump rings
- bolt ring clasp or lobster clasp
- gel superglue
- wooden skewer
- jewellery pliers
- sharp implement for cutting clay (I used an old store VIP card)
1. Cut off a roughly 2cm by 2cm piece of the polymer clay and condition it according to the packet instructions. Roll your clay into a ball shape between your palms.
2. Turn your clay ball into a bead by carefully inserting a wooden skewer through the centre. Just as carefully remove the skewer, then gently re-roll your bead to get it back into shape. Make sure that your bead hole is nice and centred and open at both ends.
3. Continue making gumball beads in your desired colours. You can even mix two or three different colours together to create multicoloured, swirled beads. When you have as many beads as you need (I made five beads per necklace, but any odd number of beads will generally look good), bake them according to the clay manufacturer's instructions.
4. While you are waiting for the beads to bake and cool down, cut the baker's twine to your desired necklace length. Once the beads are cool, thread them onto the twine and move them to the centre of the twine. Take one jewellery crimp and add a dab of gel superglue to the base. Carefully place one end of your twine onto the crimp and glue and squeeze the crimp shut.
5. Repeat for the other end of the baker's twine and clean up any excess glue which has squeezed out the ends. Leave your necklace in a well-ventilated area to allow the glue to cure and dry.
6. Once the glue has dried, attach your bolt ring or lobster clasp to one end with the 5mm jump ring. Attach the 7mm jump ring to the other end, and voila, you have your gumball necklace!
1. Any kind of string or cording can be used for this necklace. If you make large enough holes in your clay beads, you can even string them onto fine chain.
2. Want something a little different? Try shaping your clay beads into cubes or faceted geo shapes. Cubes can probably be easily molded by hand, but I would recommend using a sharp knife to cut the facets for geo beads.