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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paper Bead Tutorial

Hey everyone – sorry I have been MIA but my work schedule was a little crazy this week so I did not have as much crafty time.

Last month I created my black and white paper beads for Michele’s monthly Craft your Stash challenge and I thought I would write a tutorial on how I made them and share some lessons learned.
For those of you who have a Silhouette there are two different patterns available:

If you do not have a Silhouette there are several patterns available online, I searched the web using the keywords “paper bead template” – you can look for links or I viewed the images available on Google.
Using the Silhouette patterns I played around with the size and the pattern to use. This is the pattern I used for the black and white bracelets and changed the size to 1.94” x 5.8”. After cutting several of this pattern on the Silhouette I then cut the pattern in half to create my beads but part of the fun is making the different patterns to determine what you like best.

The first lesson I learned is even with cutting this pattern in half the beads were really too long as the bracelet does not lay flat on my arm.  

For my new bracelets I decided to use a different pattern but the process is still the same when making the beads. I used this pattern and changed the size to 0.5” x 6.0”.

After you have determined the pattern you want to use then comes the fun of selecting the paper you would like to “wear” and you have so many options from newspapers, magazines, scrap paper you couldn’t throw away, or that new paper you have wanted to use but could not decide what to make. I wear a lot of black and white so I used coordinating black and white paper for my first set but for my do over I decided to use colors for Spring/Summer.
After you have cut your pattern from the paper of your choice using either your Silhouette or a template from the internet, it is time to start making the beads. The second lesson learned is I used bamboo skewers to roll my beads and if you look at the original picture you will see how large the base of the bead is so I decided to use toothpicks to roll my beads for the new bracelets. It depends on if you want a smaller or larger rolled bead. I am going to use my newest beads for the remainder of this tutorial.
1.   Select the paper bead pattern and paper of your choice. I selected the triangle pattern using the Lime Rickey line from Basic Grey and coordinating cardstock.
2.   Cut the number of templates for the desired number of beads. I am making extras to have more than one bracelet.
Tip: If using the Silhouette to cut your template use your exacto knife to cut over the cut lines to make sure you have a clean pattern to make your bead due to the small points.
3.   First make one complete roll around either a toothpick or skewer.
4.   Once you have one complete roll made use the glue of your choice (I used Mod Podge) and add glue to the portion of the pattern that has not been rolled.
Tip: I made my beads on Wax Paper so I could apply glue and not worry about the paper sticking to the area I was working on.

5.   Once you have glue applied to the remainder of the pattern, slowly roll the pattern to make your bead. This process should be done slowly so you can keep the pattern lined up or the bead will become longer instead of staying centered - depending on your pattern the point(s) should end in the center of your bead.
6.   As you get close to the end of your pattern I suggest applying additional glue to make sure the bead does not unravel.
7.   Continue steps 2 through 6 until you have made enough beads for your project.
8.   Once you have all of your beads completed it is now time to make them shine. I used Glossy Mod Podge to completely cover the outside of my paper beads and remember to coat the end of your beads as well. This will not only make them shine but it seals the paper as well. You will want to let them dry completely before you handle them so I used a piece of styrofoam (you can use anything you have handy) and toothpicks.

9.   Once the beads have dried you can now add them to the jewelry selection of your choice. For the black and white beads I used 0.5mm Stretch Magic jewelry cord because you can simply tie a knot (and glue the knot) since I am new to jewelry making. For my new bead bracelets I decided to learn a little about jewelry making, I used black 1mm leather cord and magnetic closures.
Whola – after following these easy steps you have your first bead bracelet, necklace, or even earrings. If you make or have made paper beads I would love to hear from you so drop me a comment to tell me what you have made and if not do you think this is a project you will try?
I have also pinned some paper bead projects on my Pinterest “Jewelry Ideas” board and some will link you to additional tutorials. Have fun rolling your beads!

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