Bead and Clay Ornaments

Seed beads, seed beads, how do I love thee? Tons because you’re so versatile and inexpensive! I’m also loving these fresh, simple seed bead and clay ornaments I made and used as a quick-to-come-together photo backdrop!

Bead and Clay Backdrop

You might recall seeing these bead ornaments as a back drop in my reed diffuser craft. So many of you asked me where I bought them – and like a true crafting addict, I didn’t buy them – so I rearranged some crafts to share them with you today.

Homemade Reed Diffuser

If we’re friends on Instagram, you might remember seeing a certain seed bead Christmas decoration that might {or might not} have caused me a boat load of frustration (said offender is below). It’s done now and I’ll share it around the holiday season because for some people, March is just too early to be thinking about Christmas. #thatisridiculous

For next Christmas, I want a luxe theme: a golden, Art Deco inspired look on a sparse, Charlie Brown tree (AKA Noble Fir) is speaking to me. I had a few ideas in mind, and started searching for pieces to take advantage of the after-Christmas sales, but couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I will need to make some pieces and fill it with commercially available pretties.

Art Deco Christmas Tree Decor

Because seed beads are ridiculously inexpensive and are available all year round, I chose to buy a few (million) and get to brainstorming a few ideas. A simple tool makes these bead and clay ornaments quick to come together and I don’t recommend working without them.

Supplies for Bead and Clay Ornaments

  • seed beads varies, but each package runs a couple of dollars
  • 1 skein embroidery thread – separated into individual strands $0.99
  • flexible needles – These are long, ridiculously thin needles that allow for the eye to squish down through even the smallest of beads. $2 for 10
  • clay flowers or discs, optional $2.50 for a small package of clay


Ridiculously Simple Instructions

Step 1: make the clay pieces

The small flowers and discs are created from white polymer clay. I have a set of Aspic cutters dedicated to clay and just rolled out the clay out very thin, using the key hole and shamrock shapes. Okay, so those are probably not the names of them, so here’s a picture. In my world (and for reference in this craft), meet keyhole and shamrock.


Because they are around a sixteenth of an inch, the clay pieces bake up and set in about 5 minutes so you can make these bead ornaments in one sitting. I put the key hole shape on the edge of the rolled clay to cut a circle and then used the end of my thumb to shape it. I did the same thing for the shamrock shaped pieces and then pierced each one through the center with a toothpick.

I baked them at 270 degrees for 5 minutes and they were set. Easy peasy. As you can see, they are pretty thin – I am reusing this picture from the reed diffuser post ‘cuz I forgot to take pictures of the clay pieces. #bloggerfail

Washi Tape Flags for DIY Reed Diffuser

Step 2: thread the beads and clay pieces

As you can guess, thread the bead needle with a loooooooong piece of embroidery thread. Because the eye of the needle squishes down, you’re going to use it for a boat load of beads at a single threading. You can cut the thread into smaller sections later – trust me, I’ve done it both ways and making a long one is definitely easier and you won’t use all 10 needles in one sitting.

Below is a photo before I thread the needle through the beads. It gives you an idea of how easy it is to thread and stack many beads on the needle before pulling through.

Flexible Bead Needle

To make the backdrop, just spaced a few of the bead and clay ornaments and taped them up. I’m going to put ornament hooks on them, but those are packed away up in the attic with the Christmas storage (AKA I’m putting it off ’til later).

I must admit it took me a while to love seed beads because they go everywhere if you just happen to bump the tray you’re working on because you’re an insomniac and don’t know how big your boo- well, you get the idea. What about you – have you worked with these tiny beads? If so, what do you do with them?

Bead and Clay Ornament Backdrop



  1. These are ridiculously awesome! I think my daughter would enjoy helping me.
    I read above about beads being good for depression. I don’t have that but I do have anxiety so I’d try anything!

    1. Tamara, You and I are so similar with that and I will say that a mindless, repetitive project that actually produces something is great therapy. For me, it allows my mind to wander just a bit and sort of relax itself.

  2. Nice DIY project Sarah! Thank you for adding your post to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!

    xx Erika

  3. This is making me laugh fiercely: “know how big your boo- well, you get the idea” been there done that! :D And the “bead-drop” is awesome!

  4. I’ve never tried beading but I’ve heard that beading is actually pretty good for depression. I think I might pick me up some and try them as well. I love the backdrop and there’s nothing like making your own.

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