The cornstarch peanuts will dissolve in water. To make a big bead base you add a drop of water to a few of them and mush them together into a ball... well at least as close to a ball as you can. Mine didn't seem to get really round. You let the peanut mush dry. You can then wrap clay around the peanut. You need to poke holes through the clay for bead stringing as well as to get water in the bead to dissolve the peanut mush after baking. The hole needs to be fairly big but not too big.
I found that the beads were light weight but also that they could break if not careful. You can of course make the clay thicker around the peanut mush.
I also found it tedious to get the peanut mush out of the bead after baking. It turned into a green slimy sludge that I had to blow out of the beads after soaking them in water. It took several times of soaking and blowing through the beads... my jaws were hurting like when you blow up too many balloons... not so fun.
I am always interested in trying new techniques. So when I saw the big beads in this book I had to give it a try! I purchased Ancient Modern Polymer Clay and Wire Jewelry by Ronna Sarvas Weltman. I love her polymer work. It is very organic looking.
I made a necklace and some earrings using the technique in her book with aluminum foil as a base for the big beads. It worked well. The beads are light in weight and I could get a more round bead.
Something else I learned from the book... I used brown shoe polish to antique the beads. I am thinking that Renaissance Wax and shoe polish are made from the same chemicals because they sure smell the same! It was interesting to learn some new techniques!