Inception Totems in Polymer Clay and Obtaining Dice Beads

Spent today making things out of polymer clay. I forgot how fun this used to be!  I don’t want to leave yet! I still want to play around… try and make mini people versions of the characters, in this style.

Anyways, presenting the results of today:
totems copy
Inception totems! Inspired by this lovely poster by neirly@deviantart.

totems all
The whole set! I’m hoping to turn some of these into earrings pairs, and then use the others in a charm bracelet sort of thing.

I’m very happy with how Cobb and Ariadne’s totems turned out! The colors are good, but I just wish that there was more of a metallic flair. PMC is expensive, but perhaps I can paint these over with metallic acrylics?

eames 2
Eames’ came out decently, but really should be a bit more even. Still, not bad for my first try at the millefiori technique. I think next time, work with smaller logs, and maybe add a bit of texturing after cutting?

Arthur’s die drove me crazy. Why must it be translucent red!?  I tried mixing some of Sculpey Translucent with the red in varying amounts, but it doesn’t come out that clear. White die marks added with the double baking technique. I’ll settle for what I have now, but really want it to be less opaque.

Since translucent clay didn’t really work out, I thought of a few other options. I could try to learn about casting resin, but that would probably come out messy, expensive, and not worth the effort. Glass would be lovely, but I have no idea, no materials, and no tools to work it. So, I thought to buy some dice beads.

I spent a ton of time (probably a couple hours at least) looking up dice beads, but to no avail. First off, almost everything is made from plastics. Mass-produced, poor quality. And then I find these Czech pressed glass dice beads, 8mm. LOVELY. But, it’s just my luck that the item’s already been sold. Cue a tedious trawl through random webpages and eBay results for the supplier. So, most of the Czech glass is for dice cubes, meaning just a plain cube, without the die markings! Great.

Finally, I stumble across this listing for 50 Ruby Glass with White Pips 6mm Dice Beads ($5.99, free s/h). YES, I think, but then, I realize… wait, 6mm!? I’m aiming for something about 1/2 in long, which would be ~12mm. 8mm would be a compromise, but 6mm is going to be far too small. I search the proprietor’s other items, but no, they only have an 8mm size available in white or black.

What is a girl to do? Compromise on the material? The size? Whether its translucent or opaque?! So I have to choose to either stick with the clay dice, or to buy one of these:

  • 50 Ruby Glass with White Pips 6mm Dice Beads: $5.99 + SALES TAX ($0.50), free s/h = $6.49
  • DARICE Assorted mix of plastic dice beads, 12mm, 70pc
  • ETA2: Ruby Czech Glass dice beads, 8mm, 50pc
    • UnCommon Artistry: $5.50 + $2.00 s/h (+$1.70 insurance) = $7.50 ($9.20)
    • Bay Bead@vendio: $5.99 + SALES TAX ($0.50) + $2.40 s/h (+$1.65 insurance)  = $8.89 ($10.54)
      hmm, same vendor as the eBay one listed for 6mm. Do I contact the seller on eBay to ask about this item? Perhaps they’ll make a new listing, and I’d save on the shipping?

I’m leaning towards getting the 6mm glass beads, and coming up with a new way to work it into a design.  Studs? Something like this? A hoop, with it dangling in the center?  But then it won’t match with the other totems, so do I make even smaller mini-versions of those? That would be very difficult. Do I just have to go with the plastic dice then? Maybe it won’t be too bad. Also, a bit expensive for a bunch of plastic junk!

ETA: I feel so smart! I spent all yesterday searching for “dice beads” with all sorts of modifiers (“red, transparent, translucent, clear, czech glass…” the list goes on). Then, just now I found the brand of the plastic dice beads on a website (DARICE), and my google-fu has revealed that Joann’s stocks it! Joann’s is close, so I might as well go and buy a pack tomorrow.

ETA2: Oh search terms! Tried searching for “siam” instead of red or ruby, and YES! I found two suppliers for the 8mm Czech glass beads. Oh, now decisions to make again…




  1. Addie said

    Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and I love your clay totems! They’re so cute. I have also been looking everywhere for red translucent beads for some earrings I’m making. I’ve been having the same problems because I’m trying to find glass beads instead of acrylic or plastic, unless it is really high quality. And this post has been really helpful. You said that you also found two suppliers for your glass beads by putting in ‘siam’- Do you think you can send me the links to those?

  2. Addie said

    Oh, wait, nevermind, I see the links, haha. Anyway, thanks so much for the post! I appreciate it 🙂

    • eikosi said

      I’m glad to hear that my searching was useful for you. I’m sure that your project will come out beautifully! I’d love to see what you’ve made, once you’re done!

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