How to Make and Color Clay Beads

Clay beads are a great kids craft. You can make necklaces, bracelets, or hanging ornaments. Then, you can color them with markers. Use your imagination!


  1. Image titled Gather all the items that are nedeed Step 1
    Purchase or find the items on the Things You'll Need list.
  2. Image titled Cover the table with a newspaper to protect it Step 2
    Cover a flat surface (such as a table) with newspaper, to protect it.
  3. Image titled Take off the clay_'s plastic cover and put it underneath it Step 3
    Take the plastic covering off of the clay and lay it out on the table with the plastic wrap underneath.
  4. Image titled Start cutting the clay into cubes using the knife Step 4
    Use a knife to cut the clay into cubes. For a necklace, they should probably be bigger (about 1/2 in by 1/2 in). If you plan to make a bracelet, they should be smaller.
  5. Image titled Roll cubes into a ball on either both hands or on the table Step 5
    Using your hands or the table surface, roll the cubes into balls one by one. Try to make them as round as possible.
  6. Image titled Carefully pick the clay balls and poke a hole in the middle using a straw Step 6
    Pick them up carefully and poke a hole through the middle with a straw. If the straw gets full of clay, get another one.
  7. Image titled Put the beads on a paper towel and leave it there to dry Step 7
    Leave the beads out on a paper towel until they dry. You may have to wait a few days, or it could be a few weeks.
  8. Image titled Set the beads in a bin when already dry Step 8
    When the beads are dry, set them in a bin in front of you.
  9. Image titled Be creative by making designs on the beads using the markers Step 9
    Use markers to draw designs on the beads. Be creative!
  10. Image titled String the beads on a thin wire Step 10
    String the beads on a piece of thin wire. Make sure you leave about an inch on either side of the wire to close it off. You can also use yarn, but wire is best to support the heavy beads.
  11. Image titled Twist both ends ofthe wire and be sure to flatten them together Step 11
    Close off the wire by twisting the loose ends and folding them down flat. If you are using yarn, just use a square knot.
  12. Image titled You got yourself a masterpiece Step 12
    Admire your finished product.


  • If you are looking for money, these are great to sell.
  • Unless you have access to a kiln, you should use self-drying clay for this project.
  • Young children should be supervised, since they are using a messy material.
  • It's best to use washable markers with younger kids. Older ones could use permanent ones, like Sharpies.


  • Once the beads are dry, be very careful not to drop them - they will break.
  • Make sure you close the wire up carefully, or it may scratch of get caught on something (or someone).

Things You'll Need

  • Square sheet of clay (the kind that will dry without being fired) or Play-Doh, for smaller kids
  • Old newspaper
  • Smock and/or old clothes
  • Markers
  • Straw(s)
  • Thin wire or strong yarn
  • Knife

Article Info

Categories: Making Beads | Clay Projects