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DIY Colorful Polymer Clay Beaded Keychain Tutorial
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DIY Colorful Polymer Clay Beaded Keychain Tutorial

Polymer Clay Beaded Keychain

I’m always on the hunt for handmade crafts that are fun, practical, and make great DIY gifts. Handmade polymer clay beaded keychain are the perfect craft for teens just learning to drive, tweens getting their first house key, or anyone who prefers colorful clay over generic plastic beads. Another perfect place for tweens to use these is in their school backpack. Lately, I’ve seen everyone with a polymer clay heishi beaded keychain. I love to give trends their twist, so I decided to make larger beads instead. 

In this blog post, I’m sharing three methods to make a handmade polymer clay beaded keychain. 

What’s the best clay to use for DIY a polymer clay beaded keychain?

My absolute favorite clay to use for DIY polymer clay beaded keychains is Sculpey polymer clay. Sculpey clay is a breeze to work with. It’s super pliable, so you can shape it just right, and it bakes up strong, ensuring your keychains will last through countless uses. Plus, the range of colors means you can easily adapt your DIY keychain to any style. 

What you’ll need to make DIY a beaded polymer clay keychain

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How to make DIY polymer clay beaded key chain

1. Each colorful beaded keychain will have about 6-7 beads. Start by selecting the clay colors you wish to use for your keychain. Take a 1⁄4 of each colored clay and set the rest aside.

Choose the colors for your keychain

2. Take the white clay and make seven balls about the size of a blueberry. The white clay ball will be used as the foundation color of the bead and you will create a variety of designs in the next step that you can apply to the white clay balls, which will become your beads for your keychain.

Roll the white clay into small balls and set aside

3. Begin designing your own beads for your keychain using a few different techniques.

The Spiral

A. Take at least 3 colors and roll each color into one blueberry sized ball

B. Using your thumb, press each clay ball until it is the thickness of a quarter

C. Layer one piece of clay on top of another

Stack the pieces of clay on top of each other

D. Gently push down using the palm of your hand

E. Using your hands, roll the clay like a jelly roll

F. Using the blue plastic clay slicer, very thinly slice the clay jelly roll and apply the slices onto a white ball by lightly pressing

Cut pieces from the roll and apply to the bead

G. Gently roll the clay ball until the design is smooth and the bead is round

Gently roll the clay until the design is smooth

H. Carefully use a skewer to make a bead hole through the middle

The Bullseye

A. Take at least 3 colors and make the first one the size and shape of a tic-tac

B. Make the second color the shape of a tic-tac but slightly larger than the first color

C. Make the third clay color an even larger tic-tac and make sure it is the same tic-tac shape

D. Using your pencil, roll each clay ball until it is the thickness of a quarter

E. Select one of the flattened clay colors and place the smallest size tic-tac on top. Place it at the very end of the flattened clay and roll it up in the clay to form a cane 

Place the smalles size tic-tac on one flattened color. Roll it up

F. Take the cane and place it on the end of the third flattened clay color and roll it up 

Take the cane you just created and roll it up in the third color

G. Take your completed cane and use your hands to roll it to the thickness of a pencil

H. Use the blue plastic clay slicer and make small very thin slices from the cane and apply the slices onto a white ball by lightly pressing

Cut thin slices from the cane and lightly press onto the white ball

I. Gently roll the clay until the design is smooth and the bead is round

Gently roll the ball until smooth

J. Carefully use a skewer to make a bead hole through the middle

The Marbled Bead

A. Use any scraps of clay and push them together with the white clay

B. Begin twisting the clay until the marbling design forms

Twist colors together to form a marble design

C. Roll clay into a ball

D. Carefully make a hole using the skewer

4. For the best baking results, bake at 225 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Be sure not to raise the temperature burnt clay has an awful smell! Use an oven thermometer to be sure the temp is right.

Use a skewer to make a bead hole before baking

5. Using the elastic, tie one end to the key ring. String the beads onto the elastic. Tie the opposite end of the elastic onto the keyring.

Enjoy your custom polymer clay keychain!

FAQs about DIY beaded polymer clay keychains

Can I use air dry clay to make a DIY beaded polymer clay keychain?

You can give air dry clay a try for your beaded keychain project. It’s a fun alternative to polymer clay and doesn’t require baking. Just keep in mind that air clay tends to be a bit more delicate than polymer clay once it dries, so handle your keychains with care.

Can I make clay charms for my keychain?

Yes! Sculpey clay is super versatile. Once you’ve created your clay keychain you can use the scraps to create clay charms. Get creative and see what kind of clever design you can make. You may need something like an iron ring to attach the clay charms.

What’s the best way to seal and protect my beaded polymer clay  keychain?

After baking, you can use a clear sealant or varnish to protect your keychain from wear and tear. This step also gives your beads a lovely glossy finish. If you use all white beads, it might even give it a faux pearl effect. Simply follow the instructions on your chosen sealant product for the best results.

Tips & tricks for working with Sculpey polymer clay

  • Don’t throw away extra clay! Use it to make extra beads or try a different method.
  • You can clean up Sculpey using a baby wipe or any household
    cleaners.
  • Sculpey does not dry out. 
  • Store extra clay in aluminum foil or a Ziploc bag. Do not store in an
    acrylic container.