Friday, August 01, 2008

Got Scraps? Paper Beads

Ok, I can finally share my latest obsession!! Paper Beads. It's a great way to use up the little leftover strips of paper and create unique jewelry. I had no problem making the's the jewelry assembly I needed a little help with. Thanks to Rian, I just got a little mini lesson and I'm good to go.

Gather your paper scraps....

Cut your scraps/strips into triangle strips. I played with this a lot....
  • I used a ruler and carefully drew perfect triangles
  • I cut triangles from cardboard and used traced them

and finally... I figured out it was quicker and easier to just line it up on my papercutter and go for it. They don't have to be "perfect."

The width of the wide end is the length of your finished bead. I like mine to be about 3/4 inch. I cut a bunch of strips and carry them around in a zip top bag to work on when I have time. It doesn't matter if they get wrinkled from hanging out in your's a very travel friendly project.

Put a little gluestick on the strip, starting about 1 inch from the end of the widest end. Do not put it all the way to the end or you will glue your strip to the toothpick. :-) As you roll the paper, adjust it to make the bead even. It will be awkward at first, but you'll get the hang of it. I like to put a little drop of liquid glue on the narrow end to fasten it. It seems to hold the best.

Place your finished bead on a toothpick and roll across your versamark pad and then dip into embossing powder. Heat until melted and then dip in the powder again. Heat until melted. I kind of roll the toothpick between my fingers while heating. It helps the melted powder to stay even around the bead, instead of dripping to one side.

I like to use Ultra Thick Embossing Powder and then I only have to heat/emboss twice. If you use finer powder, it will take approx. four dips to reach the same thickness.

(Sorry no pictures. Check back in a couple of days and I'll try to add pictures of that part of the process.)

Here's a sampling of my finished beads. All papers used are from Close To My Heart. Starting with the green beads and moving clockwise, I used....

Creative Basics Boom Di Aida Collection
The next section has a mixture...dark beads are from It's a guy Thing, light beads are Sonata
Next is Majestic Blue - my favorites!!!
Purple beads are from Paper Garden as are the next section
Black beads are Silhouette
and the center section is Creative Basics Silhouette collection

Once you've made your beads you can turn them into unique jewelry...

You can also use the beads on cards or scrapbook pages, create zipper pulls for bags or backpacks, earrings, necklaces.....

I have a few more I'm creating. Stay tuned for more pictures.

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