Projects

How to Make Coffee Bean Beads

It’s really a shame to think that something as super-sexy as the coffee bean is simply ground up and drunk. What a waste! (I mean, except for the spring it puts in my step. Until the jitters. And then the crash.) I know I’ve expounded about coffee beans before, but I just love them! Their shape is organic, but somehow modern and sleek, too. Perfect.

And I think coffee beans look especially wonderful in jewelry: they’re a cool design element that complements warm copper wire (with lavender glass beads – ooh pretty!). But wrangling coffee beans into bead form is really hard to do. (I tried to poke holes through coffee beans once and all I got was a bent needle. Roasted coffee beans are crazy-hard.)

So I figured out how to make fake coffee beans beads out of polymer clay. They’re divine and so addictive – just like the real thing.

Polymer Clay Coffee Bean Beads

Materials: brown polymer clay and black polymer clay (a tablespoon-sized lump of each), Future (or another acrylic floor finish).

Supplies: emery board (nail file), 3″ piece of 18 gauge wire, toaster oven or regular oven, baking sheet, a bit of quilt batting, old towel

Directions

1. Condition and mix brown and black clay until you have a well-combined lump of very dark brown clay.

2. Roll into balls the size of a coffee bean (or pinto bean), shaping them into an oval/bean shape.

3. Flatten one long side of the bean on the table slightly. Poke wire through the bean lengthwise.

4. Using the edge of an emery board, press a trench down the center of the flattened side. Remove wire.

5. Set shaped beans on a small piece of quilt batting set on baking sheet. (The quilt batting gives a soft surface so that baked clay does not have a shiny mark left from the baking sheet.) Bake according to package directions. Cool completely.

6. “Varnish” beans with Future acrylic floor finish, by dipping towel in Future and wiping it all over the beans. Let dry.

Mmmm, delicious!