Make Peace With Your Bead Roller

Amaco Tri-Bead Roller

Amaco Tri-Bead Roller

Maybe you’ve thought about buying the Amaco Tri-Bead Roller. Then again, maybe like me you have one gathering dust on a shelf.

It’s a nifty tool for making beads of uniform size. It has three channels for round, oval, and bicone beads. The reason these things gather dust on a shelf is that it’s tricky to measure clay so you get consistently good results.

Well, I recently decided to make peace with my bead roller. That meant spending time figuring out just how much clay to use. It involved quite a bit of trial and error. What works for me is to sheet clay on the #2 setting (next to thickest) on my Makins clay machine, then cutting out pieces with a 5/8″ square cutter.

Then I roll each piece into a ball, place it in the bead roller channel, put the top on the bead roller, and glide it back and forth five or six times.

As you experiment with various thicknesses of clay and/or various cutters, you’ll find that using too much clay will result in a bead that looks chewed, and too little will produce flat spots on the bead.

If you don’t have a pasta machine, use craft stick guides to roll a uniformly thick sheet of polymer clay.

4 Comments on Make Peace With Your Bead Roller

  1. Zan
    July 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Thanks Leanna! I believe you allowed me and my bead maker to make peace. It has been a battle to get the clay amount just righty. Roll on sister!!!

  2. Ginger Davis Allman
    July 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m pretty sure that the Amaco Tri Roller is supposed to come with a tool that measures clay so that you get just the right amount. Though your method certainly works. 🙂 You can contact Christina Butler at to see if she can get you one. Poly-Tools makes the bead tools for Amaco.

  3. Leanna Englert
    July 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm (3 years ago)

    Maybe I’m not being fair to the Tri-Bead roller. I love this tool
    Mine has the measuring device, but I find it a pain to use. I’m all for simplifying wherever I can.

  4. Sabrina
    April 12, 2016 at 7:41 am (2 years ago)

    I’ve used mine, and also let it sit in dust. I had the measuring device too, but it somehow disappeared (and I’m usually extremely careful with my clay tools). I’ll use these tips to experiment with the right amount of clay, because it is actually a handy, quick little tool for me. Thanks for posting!


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