Clay bead necklaces are quite popular right now. I could understand if some of you don't like the art teacher look of it, but I do. Make a bunch in a neutral color palette, or go for bright and bold colors for something that stands out. Either way, using oven-baked clay to make beads is a really easy way to create some unique jewelry for yourself (or your friends). Better yet, don't make these alone, and invite your friends to spend an evening making some clay bead necklaces together!
-2 oz packs of oven-baked clay in various colors
-40" leather cording
Step One: Pinch a quarter of the clay off, roll into a ball, and gently pierce the middle completely through with a wooden skewer. Make sure the hole is large enough for your cording to pass through. This creates the large 1" beads. To make smaller beads (about 1/2"), pinch off an eighth of the clay, roll into a ball, and gently pierce the middle completely through with a wooden skewer. Create a total of 11 clay beads in various sizes for your looped necklace. If you have any extras, you can create more necklaces!
Step Two: On a baking sheet with parchment paper on top, place the beads and allow to bake per package directions. Usually, it's about 15 minutes for every quarter inch at about 275°F. Once done, allow to cool completely.
Step Three: Arrange the beads in the order you would like them to be on the cording. This diagram helps illustrate how to loop the beads to create the two tiers of the looped necklace. With one end of the cording, string five beads through to create the top tier. With that same cording end, continue to string five beads through to create the bottom tier, then insert that cording end up through the second bead on the top tier, and continue through the remaining beads on that tier. Add one more bead through that end to finish it off. If you want the necklace to be adjustable, create a sliding knot with the two ends of the cording, or just knot the two ends together for your desired length.
These necklaces are so easy to make that you will want to make tons more. Get daring and try other interesting shapes, or paint some designs on the beads to add patterns. These are some other necklaces I made in the past, and it would be fun to try that shape again, but this time with some colorful clay beads. Anyone already try their hand at making some clay bead necklaces? –Rubyellen
Credits // Author and photography: Rubyellen Bratcher. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.