Monday, February 09, 2004

Project - Making Paper Beads with Dagny and Lil

Sunday is family dinner night. Our family drives across Tucson for a great meal and a few games of cards with Ruth and John, my husband's folks. One weekend, Dagny (Mom's friend and next-door neighbor) invited me over to look at her paper beads. This weekend, I had my camera handy so I could snap some photos. Dagny demonstrated how to make the beads, with the step-by-step instructions illustrated here. ~ Article and Photos by Kim M. Bayne

Materials List
· Covers of Colorful Paper Church Bulletins or Flyers, about 4.75-Inches Wide, or Your Choice of Paper (gift wrap, gift bags, decorative paper placemats, etc.)
· Ruler
· Pencil or Pen
· Pair Of Scissors or Paper Trimmer
· Box of Round Wooden Toothpicks
· Tacky Glue
· Sewing Needle and Thread
· Ace Instant Drying Lacquer or Acrylic Sealer Spray, in Matte Or Satin Finish
· Beading Thread and Crimp Beads
· Small Spacer Beads made of Glass, Ceramic, Plastic, Metal, Whatever -- Gold, Silver; Pearl-Like Blue, Lavender, Purple or Your Choice

The Steps
(Click to enlarge each image. Another browser window will open.)

1. Choose your paper. For print materials, like church flyers, you may have to collect a few copies before you have enough beading paper with the same color scheme. This means going to church regularly and/or asking friends to save the flyers for you. Besides using flyers from the church she attends, Dagny collects flyers from other churches in the area.

2. With the color/picture side down and print side up, mark the flyer in 5/8-inch increments across the long sides.
Paper Beads MeasuringPaper Beads Measuring

3. Draw diagonal lines across the paper to create elongated triangles.
Paper Beads Marking

4. Cut the triangles using scissors or a paper trimmer.
Paper Beads Cutting

5. Put a bit of tacky glue on a strip of paper at the short end (on the picture side). With the print on the inside, wrap the triangle strip around the toothpick, taking care to tuck in the end before starting. Roll the paper up, like you're making a crescent roll. Apply tacky glue on the inside of the paper as you roll.
Paper Beads Rolling

6. Put the toothpick aside and allow the bead to dry. Using a new toothpick, start work on your next bead. Continue until you have about 36 beads.
Paper Beads Sample

7. Pull the toothpicks out of the beads and string them on a "dummy" thread temporarily, using a needle and any type of sewing thread. Tie the thread together at the end.
Paper Beads Sample

8. Take your string of beads outside and spray them with lacquer or acrylic sealer. Allow the beads to dry overnight.

9. The next day, cut the "dummy" thread and remove the beads. Restring the beads on beading thread or wire, alternating paper beads with your favorite glass or other bead.

10. After restringing the paper beads, hide your final knot (or crimp bead, if applicable) within a paper bead.

Paper Beads Necklace 1Paper Beads Necklace 2Paper Beads Necklace 3Paper Beads Necklace 4
Paper Bead Necklaces by Dagny and Lil

Paper Beads 1
Dagny Sharp, 77, and her sister Lillian Lindsay, 91.

Project Tips
· Pick a color scheme before you start and start collecting flyers to match.
· If you use flyers or brochures, don't worry about words over the picture. The print adds a nice design to the bead.
· To avoid paper curling, apply the glue to the strip of paper while you roll, rather than all at once.
· Avoid getting glue on the toothpick or it will stick to the paper and you won't be able to remove it from the bead.
· Dagny says, "If you don't want to muss your hair, make your necklace long enough to slip over your head." (I'm making a paper beads necklace and matching earrings for my mother-in-law and I don't think she wants to wrestle with a clasp, either.)
· Lil says "Try rolling the paper strip with the print on the outside." Alternate paper beads with black and white beads to complete the look.

Product Resource Guide
Project photos taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

Article Description: Dagny Sharp, 77, and her sister Lillian Lindsay, 91, show Kim Bayne how to make paper beads using colorful church bulletins.

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