Galaxy Bead Bracelet

The controlled swirl of these clay beads is so much fun to create! Mov- MATERIALS

ing a bead roller in one direction causes the bead stripes to curve, resulting in the pattern. The gold flecks in the bead are actually a finely fractured layers of gold leaf. The soft wool felt beads are premade, but you will get to customize them by adding small pieces of wool roving. Try to make each felt bead different by placing the roving colors in various areas.

Polymer clay in colors lo match felt beads

Gold leaf sheets

Strong round clear elastic stretch cord

AAAACO Professional Bead Roll Set 4

AMACO Professional Bead Bai Rack with piercing pins

Variety pack of 2cm wool felt

10 to 1 2 gold (10mm) diai disk beads

Small amounts of red, yellow-or and orchid wool roving

Clover felting brush/mat

Clover Pen-Style Needle Felting

G-S Hypo Cement

Slicing blade

Soft-bristled round brush

Baking rack

Ceramic baking tile

Future floor finish Handheld heat gun Scissors Pasta machine

1 Mix matching colors

Choose three warm felt bead colors and mix three 1 V2" (4cm) clay balls to match each color. Flatten each to a little less than Vq" (3mm) thick (pasta setting no. 2) and place on a ceramic baking tile. With a slicing blade, cut off the curved edges, forming rectangles. Save the scraps for step 5.

2 Cover with gold leaf and stack the layers

Cut pieces of gold leaf sheet the same size as the clay slabs. Place the leaf on the clay and tap it down with a soft-bristled round brush. Smooth the surfaces by rubbing over them gently with your finger. Stack the purple sheet onto the red and then the yellow onto the purple sheet. Press together gently to remove any air bubbles.

3 Cut and stack the layers

Slice the clay loaf in half and then cut each side in half again to create four equally wide sections Stack the four sections together from right to left so you keep the color order the same each time. Press the top of the stack gently to condense the loaf.

4 Cut slices

Allow the loaf to rest and cool for about 3 minutes (longer in warm weather) to become firmer. Using a long slicing blade, trim the side edges and save the scraps. Cut off a Vz" (3mm) thick slice at a time and gradually flatten it to a little less than W (2mm) thick (pasta setting no. 4).

5 Form the beads

Roll six 9/i6" (14mm) size smooth balls of scrap clay for the bead centers. Cut the striped !/i6M (2mm) thick slice (from step 4) in half and wrap two corners around the bead so they meet and touch. Fold the remaining two corner flaps inward in the same manner. Gently roll the clay into a smooth ball with no seams. The ball should measure no more and no less than Vs" (16mm). The size is very important for successful bead roller shapes, so adjust as needed. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining clay balls.

6 Shape the bead

Place a ball into the larger trough of the bead roller and secure the second half of the roller on top, lining up the same sections. Refer to the tool instructions for this step. Move just the top half of the tool back and forth to shape the bead.

7 Twist and alter the stripes

To twist the bead pattern, this time, do not roll the tool back and forth. Instead, set the bead near the farthest edge of the trough and slide the top part of the tool toward you about 2" (5cm). Repeat-placing the bead near the farthest edge and pulling the top toward you —2 more times. Check the bead pattern and repeat if necessary.

8 Pierce a hole in the beads

Turn the bead so it's parallel with the trough's long edges (shown with arrows), positioning it in the tool so the bead hole placement markings (a vertical line on the side of the tool) are lined up and in the center of the bead. Pierce the bead with a pin by pushing it through the tool opening to the opposite side of the tool. Twisting the pin will aid in piercing the clay. Remove the top half of the bead roller. Lift out the beaded pin and wiggle the pin to enlarge the hole so the stretch cord will to fit through it. Place the beaded pin on a bead baking rack. Repeat steps 6 through 8 for remaining beads.

9 Bake and glaze the beads

Bake the beads on the baking rack as directed for this thickness of clay. Remove from the oven and allow them to partially cool on the rack. While they are still warm, brush on a coat of Future floor finish. Heat them with a handheld heat gun until dry and then repeat adding another coat of floor finish. Reheat and apply a third coat and heat to dry. Allow the finish to cure thoroughly.

10 Decorate the felt beads and string bracelet

Place small pieces of coordinating colors of roving onto random areas of the felt beads. Holding a bead over the felting brush/mat, press the needle felting tool into the bead several times to secure the roving. Repeat for the remaining felt beads. String clay, gold and felt beads onto stretch cord as shown in the finished project photo. Measure around your wrist, adjust the number of beads and then tie a square knot in the cord ends. Trim the ends to l/e" (3mm) with scissors. Place a drop of G-S Hypo Cement on the knot and pull the knot into a felt bead. Allow the glue to dry.

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