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Tips & Techniques

Get tips and techniques to become a better beader at Lima Beads.


Using Lillypilly Metal Sheets & Discs

Lillypilly’s metal sheets and discs are a playful addition to your metal working collection. It is an incredibly durable, lightweight metal due to the electrochemical anodized finish. Here are some ideas to get started with your designs.


You can use metal shears on all of the Lillypilly sheet metal from 36 gauge all the way to the thickest, 22 gauge. Cut out random shapes or standard shapes like: circles, rectangles, squares and triangles. Using the shears will give you a more organic look than what the hole punches will offer. I actually like this way the best.

Punching Shapes

The McGill paper punches work wonders with the 36 gauge sheet.  It is as thin as paper and only requires a touch more “oomph” to punch through. I had great results. If you’re looking for perfectly calibrated shapes, this is definitely the way to go.


I recommend using a firm surface when stamping designs into the metal. My rubber block was too soft and didn’t allow me to get the letter definition that I wanted. I ended up using my metal block and was really happy with the result. You can use any of our metal stamps including the letter stamps if you want to form words like the pictured design. If you’re new to stamping, check out this tutorial on stamping metal blanks.

Creating Components

The greatest thing about these pre-made discs or sheets is that you can use them however you like by putting holes exactly where you want them.  I created a simple connector and an earring disc using just the handheld hole punch… so easy!

Adding Color

You can add color to your anodized aluminum pieces with ink pens and colored pencils! Color the areas that are silver to create unique designs. Sharpies and other permanent markers produce darker, more vibrant colors. Non-permanent ink pens and markers create softer, subtler coloring. You can use a polishing pad to remove ink from unwanted areas. When using non-permanent inks, wipe off colored areas with a damp cloth or sponge to remove ink that hasn’t penetrated into the aluminum.


Using these fabulous Lillypilly pieces as the backdrop for your resin pieces adds vibrance and depth. The colors really pop out under the resin. To use in resin, we recommend using the 36 gauge metal since it acts like paper in many ways. However, if you don’t have that on hand, any thickness can be used.

Cut out your desired shape using a paper punch (36 gauge only) or shears (any gauge metal). Once your shape is cut, secure it to the back of your bezel using an adhesive such as our Lima Studios 5 minute crystal clear epoxy or E6000. Don’t use tape on the patinated pieces–it will pull color off when you remove it. Make sure the sheet is pressed down firmly until the adhesive dries and then you’ll be ready to pour your resin.

Things to Avoid…

Here are a few things to avoid when using Lillypilly metal sheets and discs.

  • We wouldn’t recommend texturing hammers on the patinated embossed sheets or the patterned anodized aluminum
  • Stamping on a soft rubber block doesn’t give a great impression in the metal
  • Don’t try to use paper punches on sheets heavier than 36 gauge. You may break your punch.

Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. No Photo
    rrobis1120 says:

    Do you have to do anything to the edges of the metal pieces that are cut out? I would think the edges are sharp.

  2. Harmony on Strings
    Harmony on Strings says:

    I use an emory board to smooth them off a bit but would like a better way

  3. Beadlady3 aka Cindy
    Beadlady3 aka Cindy says:

    I use a 4-way nail buffer to smooth the edges! It is finer than an emory board and you can also get some nice shine.

  4. No Photo
    C Flanery says:

    When I cut the shapes with my metal shears some of the patina flakes off,especially on the edges. Do I need to seal it first? If so, which sealer do you recommend?

  5. Kris
    Kris says:

    Oh…the possibilities! :)

  6. grayscrafts
    grayscrafts says:

    How about cutting them out using a jeweler’s saw and then finish the edges off using flat file and polishing papers?
    As I understand, you can’t solder on LiliPillies. Do you need to seal them before using resin, or there is no color bleed?

  7. No Photo
    Margot R says:

    is it possible to run these sheets through a rolling mill? I’d like to transfer some designs on to silver sheet.

  8. No Photo
    P Way says:

    Do you make larger sheets; specifically 4 x 4, or 4 x 6, or 6 x 6? I am interested in wrapping a wood frame on a mirror.

  9. No Photo
    L Marcario says:

    I was wondering about the rolling mill as well and would purchase some if they can be used that way. Thanks Laura

  10. Kate
    Kate says:

    Thinking about using a rolling mill? The sheets are very thin– the impressions are probably not going to be deep enough to even show up if you run these through the roller.

    Regarding sealing your pieces– the embellishments are raw and have not been sealed so if you’re experiencing loss, I do recommend sealing it with any of the sealers from our website or as LillyPilly recommends paste wax (which you can pick up at your local hardware store).

  11. S Golden
    S Golden says:

    I would like larger sheets, 6×6 would be nice.

  12. No Photo
    N Kimmons says:

    I would like larger sheets as well

  13. No Photo
    M gates says:

    how about larger sheets?

  14. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Just checked into the larger sheets. It doesn’t appear that we’ll be able to get 6×6, but we are considering 3×6. This would allow them to be wrapped for cuffs, etc. Stay tuned!

  15. No Photo
    Sassy Bohemian says:

    I keep looking at these but I just can’t decide what I would do with them. I’m new at using different mediums but do have a bohemian style. Thoughts from anyone?

  16. No Photo
    Czech Chick says:

    I will appreciate the larger sheets! Great news.
    Also, I have hard time locating your 3×3″ sheets in plain basic colors – black, silver, copper. Am I looking at the wrong place? Are they on back order?

  17. Kate
    Kate says:

    @CzechChick – all our sheet squares can be found here: http://www.limabeads.com/Sheet-Metal-Squares-C5599

  18. J Batt
    J Batt says:

    On the lillypilly pre cut discs, are the edges anodized, also?

  19. No Photo
    shunter3 says:

    If you go to your local home depot you can find small files fairly cheap .They work great for sanding those rough edges and they have different shapes for whatever your needs are

  20. No Photo
    mallen476 says:

    You can buy larger sections of the exact copper sheets/finishes from http://www.colorcopper.com/col.....-36-gauge/
    Looks like Lillypilly gets them there and just cuts the sheets into 3×3 squares to re-sell. They are identical.

  21. No Photo
    srobinson123 says:

    How would one emboss pattern onto these? I know some of these already have texture but I’m wondering if you want to add your own texture to a non-textured Lillypilly sheet how would you do that? I saw the comment above about not recommending them for a rolling mill…does that refer to the BigKick machine? I’ve never used these before but would like to try something like this into my jewelry designs and am wondering what else I’d need to purchase to emboss them. Thanks!

  22. No Photo
    Jan D says:

    This conversation has been so interesting, I was curious about the longer strips of the copper as well. So thanks for letting me know. I really learned a lot about sealing and punching and cutting this metal… so thanks so much!

  23. No Photo
    aunthatties says:

    Has anyone tried a line of clear nail polish on the area where the metal might flake off during cutting? It’s not as thick as sealer and after everything is dry and cut,you can simply buff it off with wax. Then, continue on to seal it with you choice of materials.
    Linda Hall

  24. No Photo
    M walker says:

    is it possible to cut a band to surround a stone or to frame around a smooth gemstone with the thinnest
    sheet metal?

  25. Vivian
    Vivian says:

    I think that rolling the edges and then gold plating that edge or adding a coordinating shade works well.


  26. Jeanne S
    Jeanne S says:

    Putting them in bezels and then filling it with resin really makes the design pop.

  27. D Douglas
    D Douglas says:

    The 3″x6″ would be really great for a bangle. When do you think you might get some of them in? Maybe you all can send us all emails when they arrive.

  28. D Douglas
    D Douglas says:

    Vivian-I’m hugely impressed by the design you have on here. Like you I’ve thought about rolling the edges but I haven’t thought of a good way to do that. Would you please post on here how you did it? :)

  29. No Photo
    Kata J says:

    Is it really possible to stamp on Lillypilly discs? I mean don’t the letters leave marks on the other side of the metal? Thanks :)

  30. M Hemann
    M Hemann says:

    I love your comment section. I have learned so much.

  31. No Photo
    Moogie says:

    I used my Bigkick on a 3 X 6 36 gauge Lillypilly flat patinated sheet & it worked great using the Decoemboss die.

  32. No Photo
    Tonihstone says:

    I order so much from you folks. It is my favorite go to store. I love your beads!


  33. Boni J
    Boni J says:

    Love, love Lima Beads! Huge selection, such original designs!

  34. No Photo
    BEAD WABBIT says:

    Can these sheets be die cut on a Big Kick/Big Shot machine using normal dies or something like Sizzix BigZ dies? The BigZ dies are steel and seems like they should work, but not sure about the regular dies. Thanks.

  35. No Photo
    angmoore2011 says:

    I completely fell in love with the color of these little LillyPilly sheets and ordered my favorite just to check it out, hoping to use it on a pair of earrings. I’m concerned that the 36 gauge is not strong enough to hold up as a link if I were to punch a hole in it and place a jump ring? I feel like the jump ring might rip right off. Has anyone tried this? Before I go punching a hole, I just wanted to check.

    They sure are beautiful! I want to use them properly! Thanks!

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