Making beads out of clay, polymer or terracotta is nothing new. The jewelry made out of this cheap and flexible material is kind of rage now, isn't it? The technique is the same, only the purpose is different here.
- Air Dry Clay
- Craft Paint
How- To:Make small beads with the clay by rolling a bit of clay with your hands. Once you have desired shape with a skewer or needle make small hole through the beads. Make sure the hole you make is big enough to thread a relatively strong string. Make a batch with as many number as you need the garland to be.
Next is the most difficult step, to let the clay dry properly. This will take minimum a day based on temperature and humidity around. Once thoroughly dry , paint it in preferred color and thread and use where you want.
Now, using polymer clay makes the whole process faster and since you get them in variety colors you can even skip the painting part.
I prefer air dry clay for two reasons though. For one it is cheaper, for around $4 (after coupons) you get a large tub at Michaels Stores. Polymer clay is costlier at that. For second, polymer clay has "poly" that is PVC in it which makes air dry one better for us with my little helper having a helping hand in everything that goes on here. But if you have polymer clay available, go for it.
I have mixed wood beads here with my clay ones, for one I had them in hand, for two I love the look of wood tones mixed with the beads, for third I am lazy.