A long, long time ago (well in Internet terms, anyway) I had a tutorial up for these beads. I'm putting together a "quickie" tutorial for them here. This pre-supposes a basic knowledge of working with polymer clay, for which there is a LOT of information on the internet, so without further ado:
Polymer clay, a roller or pasta machine, cutting blade (a wall paper scraping blade works well for larger cuts, a craft knife is handing for finer trimming,) wooden spools, and acrylic paint
Paint your wooden spools with the acrylic paint.
This is my oh-so-fancy palette. Ahem.
Condition your clay, roll it out into sheets, and decorate it (Stamping, swirled colors, canework, etc.) however you choose. I rolled it out on the third thickest setting on my pasta machine. The top one is colors swirled together, the second one is covered with canes, and the third one is stamped. Trim the clay with your blade so it will fit in the middle of the spool.
Wrap the clay around the spool, and trim it so the edges meet. You can smooth the seam if it's canework or swirled colors, you'll want to avoid pressing and fussing too much if it's stamped or textured. You might need to trim a little clay off at the top or bottom. Bake according to the manufacturer's directions.