Feb 5, 2013

Paper Bead Necklace

A girl can't have too much jewelry.  Am I right??

This Christmas I decided to make all the lovely ladies in my family a necklace.  And I wanted it to be something more than just store-bought beads strung together.  Not that there is anything at all wrong with that, I just wanted to make as many elements as possible.  So I went about making the beads myself!

Let me tell you...this project is a GREAT excuse to sit and look through all of the magazines that have been piling up, especially around the holidays. :)

While thoroughly enjoying my magazine perusal, and getting completely and totally tempted by every single little thing....I made a point to look specifically for pretty colours and patterns.  They will make the bead designs.  

I started with toothpicks, Elmer's glue [Elmer's Glue-All White Glue, 4 oz. (Google Affiliate Ad)], and a bunch of magazines.  Then I cut long shapes out of the magazines, with the colour/pattern I wanted to emphasize at one end.  In the below picture, the polka dots were my intended target.
Then I rolled the paper around the toothpick, making sure to roll evenly and tightly, with the thinner side at the end of the roll.  Once it is almost all the way rolled, add a dab of glue and press the end piece to the rest of the rolled paper, until it dries.  It doesn't take very long at all...maybe 10 seconds.
I don't have a picture of the next stage.  Sorry!  Wanting the beads to be sealed and water-proof, I painted two coats (allowing to thoroughly dry in between) of Mod Podge Glossy [Plaid 131002 Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre Finish-8 Ounces (Google Affiliate Ad)].  In order to dry completely without getting messed up, I poked one end of each toothpick into a foam piece.
 Once they were completely dry, I strung them on Stretch Magic Cord [Pepperell SMJ-0517 Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord 1mm 5 Meters-Pk (Google Affiliate Ad)] and finished them off with a necklace clasp.
Each necklace I made varied in length and bead combination.  It was fun picking out what beads I wanted for each person to personalize them. 
 Hope you have fun with this project.  I know I did!  And if you make one, please let me know how it turned out!  I'd love to hear about your experience and/or see pictures of your finished product. :)

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