Make Your Own Pandora-Style Beads!

Ok, so this may require that you dabble in a medium you have never thought about before, but if you're willing to try your hand at a little polymer clay to make your own large-hole beads, it looks like Sculpey–one of the authorities in polymer clay–is about to make it easy! The Premo Bead Cores (to be released this spring) are two-piece cores that make it simple to create any length of polymer clay beads that fit onto charm bracelets like Pandora, Trollbeads, Biagi, and Chamilia. Simply form your clay bead around the two core pieces and bake as you would any other polymer clay piece! Premo Bead Cores look similar to those currently being sold by Metal Clay Findings for metal clay and lampwork artists. What I really love about these is that the silver ends of the bead cores give the beads a nice finished look.

These bracelets have really become popular in the past couple of years as a new take on charm bracelets. The appeal is that you can tell your story with beads, reflecting your own personal style, hobbies, and other interests. They are completely customizable, allowing the wearer to add or rearrange charms depending on their mood or outfit!

If polymer clay just isn't your thing, you can find a variety of large-hole beads that will fit onto these types of bracelets from many bead vendors. Here at Jewelry Stringing, we recently received some beautiful dyed wood rondelles from Rings & Things (at left), which will be featured in our wood- and nut-themed "Beads to Buy" department in the Summer issue. I just love all of the vibrant colors! also carries a wide selection of large-hole beads. I think their "word" beads are my favorite, although you can never go wrong with a little bling! And if you really want to bling it up, pick up a few of JP Designs's large-hole beads, which are embedded with loads of Swarovski crystals.

Even more options can be found at Beadaholique. Their silver and gold styles are a standout in my book, but you can find beads to suit any taste!


(Two images on the left:; Second from the right: Beadaholique; Right image: JP Designs)

I received a few large-hole beads as a Christmas gift but I'm excited to try and make my own from polymer clay. I can't wait to pick up some of Sculpey's bead cores once they arrive at my favorite craft store and see if I can whip up a few that will go nicely with my own! Then I'll have a truly customized bracelet in no time!

Have you ever made a Pandora-style bracelet using large-hole beads from various vendors? What are your favorite beads to use?

Happy beading,

Debbie Blair

Managing Editor

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