How to Embed Seed Beads into Crystal Clay

SKU VID-1589
Designer: Becky Nunn
Skill Level: Intermediate
In this video Becky Nunn of Nunn Design shows you how to embed seed beads into crystal clay with the beads still on the strand. Once the beads are embedded into the epoxy clay, you remove the strand and are left with a perfectly lined up row of beads in the clay.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
hi this is becky nunn with nunn design guest designer here at a to create fun pieces like this and in this example you can see that I used an open back bezel and it's actually double-sided you can use it to embed into little earrings you can use it to embed for a little accents here I embedded it in the earring post and also in a round channel bead so you can create looks like this here it is again in the same channel bead but in a necklace form here they are as accents in the earring and on this piece up here this is the piece that I'm going to show us how to make for this video you'll need to select some Nunn design bezels to work with you can choose either open back fizzles or solid back bezels as you're seeing here you could do this same technique even in a ring or some of the earrings you can also use any of the itse bottles in this video I'm going to show you how you can use a bezel like this and the bezel like this in an open back bezel so you'll need some bezels and you'll need to have some crystal clay this is a two-part epoxy clay you have in your kit the resin itself it comes with a pair of gloves and it also comes with a little beeswax toothpick that allows you to pick things up and this product you have two to two-and-a-half hours to work with it after you've mixed it and then it fully air dries and cures in fourteen to sixteen hours and there's no baking required so inside of the kit the crystal clay kit you'll receive everything that you'll need for the crystal clay part you'll also want to have some seed beads I'm using the Preciosa traditional Czech seed beads that are already pre on this on the string like you see it there and you'll need I already pinched off two equal sized balls of the clay and have mixed it together so the first part of this is you're going to take your bezels that you're going to work with I'm going to use this one and this one and we're gonna clean them thoroughly with a little bit of rubbing alcohol so the rubbing alcohol helps release any of the oxidization that is on the bezels these are lead-free cast pewter bezels that are made in the United States and then we plate them with 24 karat gold 0.999 fine silver and then we have a copper I like to go ahead and clean my bezels thoroughly because it's first of all that's a really good idea to do it and it also helps the epoxies the resins and the clay attached fully to the bezels go ahead and get a little bit of the rubbing alcohol on your q-tip and just gently rub away at the bezel and you'll pick up any excess oxidization that's on the piece go ahead and do a little bezel here when I'm working with the black clay the chances of me discoloring my clay at all is pretty minimal but if you're working with white or other colors you want to make sure that the oxidization and that your bezels are just very clean I like to work with little business cards it doesn't matter so much on this because I can move these pieces around and it's not going to spill but it still allows me a surface to rest my pieces on alright now that you're done with the rubbing alcohol I need to put a backing on to the back of this so that my crystal clay will stay in position so I have a little bit of packing tape just peel off a small amount cut it they your bezel down on to the tape and press down firmly and then you can burnish it down fully onto the tape by moving it back and forth and once it's furnished and fully adhered onto there go ahead and cut off your excess so it doesn't stick on to other things like the sleeve of your shirt or something like that alright so the next step we're gonna do with this is we're going to have mixed I already pinched off the equal sized balls and I've let my clay sit for just about 15 minutes because right when I mixed it it was very very very soft and moist and if you let it sit for a little while it'll help activate it and so it'll get a little bit firmer before we start to embed it into the bezel so the next step is you're gonna pinch off size that's appropriate to whatever you're working on so I'm gonna guess that that ball there is going to be about the size of filling this bezel it might actually even be a little bit shy of filling the Buzzle cuz I want it to come flush to the top of that surface so I have a little ball about that size estimating that that's probably gonna be enough this is something that's just gonna take time and figuring out so you might have to mix the pull this apart roll it into a boss to get in there see I have too much or too little you'll just get the hang of it with time so once I have the clay amount that I think that I need I'm using the palms of my hands to make a nice round ball with the clay and I'm picking up my bezel and I'm patting the clay down in to the bezel so one of the reasons why I wanted it to be a nice smooth ball before I started to do this is because if you have a little crease into the clay it's just much easier to start out with a nice smooth ball versus having a a crease in there I mean you my thumb to push the clay up and into this little corner up here and I'm also using my fingers underneath to give it support so I pressed it all the way up into that corner and I'm pulling it back down into this area now if I had too much clay I could pinch off a little bit and then continue to Pat it down again or if I didn't have enough clay I can press this in and then add more clay so I'd mix another small ball in a nice round circle press it in and then put it over the top of it but my ultimate goal is to have a nice flush surface in which to embed the seed beads into I'm gonna focus my only MASINT monk mainly on this piece right now and so the next step of what this is that we're gonna need to do is I'm gonna wipe the crystal clay off my fingers I want to make sure that my fingers and my hand stay really clean because this clay will get on to the surface of my bezels and once it's hardened it will be like cement next I'm going back in and I'm wiping off any of that crystal clay that got on the rim and I can see that I have a little bit of a gap over here so it's my opportunity to move that clay over into that area and make sure that it's flush right to that edge wiping it down alright next I'm ready to start embedding the chain into the bezel actually what we're gonna use the seed beads on this one so I'm gonna find my end mark after I've used some I tie a little loop on there so that I can easily identify which one I'm ready to work with you just pull that loop out and we're ready to start embedding this so for the starters of this I'm keeping a nice taut so might my all my seed beads are kept a very tight together so I tightened this around my finger and I'm laying it down into the base of the bezel I'm mostly wanting just to tack it into position this first this first little bit is one of the more challenging parts is just getting that as the seed bead started so I laid it down into the base of the clay and I'm slightly tacking it down and I'm keeping it right on the outside edge of the clay and you see how this started to give us a little gap make sure that I pull my string tight so that I keep all of those seed beads tightly together and I continue to move around the outside edge gently tacking it and putting it into place see I'm keeping my finger on this so that it keeps the seed beads tight on the string so you have a little gap there I'm actually getting to the end of my seed beads so I'm coming around for the first time when you're doing this it might be a good idea to do a closed backpedal but I really wanted to show you how you can use an open back bezel the closed back bezel you won't have to deal with this tape that's underneath and that's causing it to get stuck onto the string so I've come all the way around to the ending to where I started and I'm double checking to see my closing point I still need a couple more seed beads in there and I think I might be close to the end of my strand so I'll show you how you can actually add more on to that area I'm gonna pull that out whoa hang on I have to remove this I'm gonna go ahead and cut my string on this end so I can remove it from this cluster which might have been a good idea to start with once I have it all the way back up to pretty much my starting point I'm going to tack it down a little bit more firmly and now I'm ready to pull my string out so there it goes so now all my beads are embedded into the clay and I can go back in and add a single bead right up here to get a nice sharp point at this at the very top now I'm pressing down the clay very firmly I'm pressing the seed beads down into the clay firmly so that they're fully attached now you don't want to push too hard because it'll get kind of wonky and the surface will be all different levels but that'll give you a great outside edge to start with so I'm gonna actually remove my cyst next round I'm gonna actually remove it looks like had some Oh strand I'm gonna remove it from this strand I have a long bit of seed beads to work with you see beads are sold by the Hank so you have a lot of of these beads to work with so starting at the very top right where we stopped off we're gonna embed the first bit just gently pressing down again I'm keeping tight the string of beads so that there's not a lot of slack and gaps in between rotating it around pressing it into position see what I mean it kind of more challenging on this tape because this keeps on getting attached to the tape it might be handy to have a toothpick or two handy so that you can actually I want to keep this in place and make sure that my seed beads don't get unraveled by unhear this from my tape surface there we go and lay that down into the clay then once you have this all the way embedded we're gonna do the same thing as we did last time and pull out our string so all of that is now into position and we're ready to pull out the string I'm gonna keep my finger here so that I can keep these beginning beads in position and I pulled out the string and now all my seed beads are in are in place next round start at the beginning press down move the strand of seed beads around in the drop position bring it up to the top stuck on a tape again now we're ready to pull this out so keep the start and stop point in position where you need it and then pull the string gently and remove all of the seed beads off of the string move it into position so I'm moving the beads around slightly I'm pressing them out to the side so that they're right next to the next row that they just were embedded in and I'm making them making sure that they're fully down into the clay next starting point so at some point we're not going to be able to make this curve here with the seed beads and so you can start and stop and strips I think we're still gonna make this curve here so our next round is embedded we look at where that last seed beads gonna drop in I'm gonna cover it up for a second while I pull this string out I'm just holding it in position while that string is removed and now all my beads are in the clay I think we're starting to get to the place where we can't do that radius turn I'm gonna just do a strip I'm gonna start right here at the top do my best let me see if I can use a toothpick so you can see better so my fingers aren't in the way I'm gonna move that bead and put it into position right at the top pick up some of that slack move that top bead into position right there yikes I might just let some of those beads on the top they'll just come off so that see I had a couple of extra beads I didn't start right where my first bead was I just kind of started a little bit farther down and then I can't do the radius very well let me see if I can I don't think I can oh I'm gonna do it I'm gonna use my toothpick to move those beads tighter I'm putting my finger down right where my ending point is so that I can remove the string and keep those beads I had two extra beads on there and so these extra little beads we're gonna use that beeswax toothpick that was in the kit I can find it so that I can pick it up and lay it down into that little starting stop area I can't seem to find it so I'm gonna have to just use a toothpick to show you yeah hopefully I'll work I got the toothpick slightly wet and then you can just lay that top bead right inside of there and press it down into position and you can continue to do that with the other pieces if you want to like like pulled out and there looks like there's a beat or two that's missing here so I'm just gonna add another bead right there and for these last couple of beads I can come in here and add a couple more once your beads are all in position use your fingers I'm gonna pick this piece up I'm actually pressing down and pressing up at the same time kind of in a pinching fashion and I'm embedding all of those seed beads down into the crystal clay so there you have it that's pretty fun huh so when your piece is you've got all of these little guys embedded down in there firmly you're gonna want to come back in again and just wipe it gently and remove any of that crystal clay you might have had a little bit on your fingers or some of it might have gotten on the beads so you can wipe it away and you'll also see if any of the beads pop out that's indicated that your bead wasn't fully embedded into the surface and then you can use your toothpicks to add more beads as you saw there but it's really important that you press firmly and embed these down into the clay so that they will fully be adhered then on the backside when this piece is cured about 12 hours you'll take your piece here's one that I did earlier this is now rock rock-hard and I'm going to just remove this tape on this piece you see how I I trimmed it the tape much tighter I highly would have recommended that I do that because you can see that I got it I got some of the seed beads stuck on the side and on this piece I had a really tight trim of where that tape was and so it didn't interfere as much with the string once this is fully cured you're just gonna peel back the tape off the back side and you have a nice finished pendant after 12 hours your crystal clay will be fully cured and you can link the pieces together using the Nunn design jump rings and finishing off with the lobster clasp or you can make a charm bracelet or you can even use it on a little bitsy bottle or make some earrings if you'd like to see me making this piece please join us in the facebook live episode in which I will show you how to make this project right here this is becky nunn with nunn design showing how you can embed seed beads into crystal clay to make fun jewelry projects thanks for joining us

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