Rumors of a Bead Fail Are Greatly Exaggerated
So, when last I left you, I promised to show you my bead fail. Ah, I had such little confidence in myself! Shame on me!
As I’ve mentioned before, my craft pursuits are usually the result of a tiny spark that leads to a stream of seemingly unrelated ideas – for instance, photography lead to image transfers that lead to art journaling that lead to portrait painting that lead to dolls. Of course, it wasn’t such a straight line, from photography to dolls, there was sewing and sculpting along the way too, but basically, one spark lead to another. This past weekend, after I finished up the doll, I switched to beads. How did I get to beads? Crochet to crochet jewelry to this class that’s starting next week (I’m always a sucker for an earlybird special!) to a desire not to invest in any more store bought beads. I’ve been down that jewelry hole before, you see. Gotten all excited about beading or wire wrapping or soldering, or whatever, and then I’ve gathered my materials, made a sizeable investment, made one thing, and that was the end. Not again, I said to myself. Small investment, this time. And, I stumbled on paper beads. I invested in 2 bead rollers (a big one and a small one) from this Etsy shop, and paper marking template from this shop. Of course, now I’ve made a $26 investment, but I’m still not paying any money for the beads, right? Whatever, I say to myself.
So, I marked up my paper with my template – for Pandora like, fat beads, with a large hole in the center to place a bead core, a fancy name for an eyelet. This, frankly, was a pain in the ass, and no fun at all. To make these beads, you have to cut three sizes of strips – one that’s the same size on both ends, a second stip, with one end that matches the width of the first strip, and tapers in to about half the other end, and a third strip, which matches the width of the second strip on the one end, and then tapers to a point on the end. That’s a lot of marking, cutting and rolling.
And, here are the four beads I finished:
Not quite finished, I didn’t even bother to put the cores in – I was just over them. For four beads, I had to measure and slice up 12 strips of paper! That adds up, my friends, and with scrapbook paper, and a rotary cutter, is zero fun.
So, I thought I was done with the beads after only 4 beads, but then I went back to the youtube drawing board, and found this video – Paper Beads 101, and it all just clicked. I don’t need to mark my paper – I can just measure on one end, cut to a point on the other. I don’t need to use scrapbook paper – I can use magazine paper, and it’ll fit right in my Fiskar’s paper cutter. And, I don’t need to use multiple strips for a bead, I can just use one.
With this measureless cutting technique (well, I did measure the one end to be 1/4′ but that was more about aligning the paper on the paper cutter, than measuring), I cut cut cut away my National Geographic magazine, tossed aside the big bead roller with the 5 mm hole for the eyelets, and started rolling up beads like a machine:
These small beads are perfect for my crochet project!
Of course, then there was the glazing. Unfortunately, even though I burned my hand on our grill (yes, the grill handle is there for a reason – don’t touch the top – oy! so stupid), I didn’t want to waste the evening, so I strung up my beads one handed, and created a makeshift drying rack out of my quilting hoop.
Doing this one handed was quite a feat, and probably stupid – since the beads are too close together, and the Glossy Accents will probably glue them together, and then they’ll be worthless, we’ll see when I get home! Fast and wrong.
Anyway, if you clicked on Paper Beads 101, she makes a bracelet that takes 300 beads. When I first watched it, thinking it was the excruciating process of the big beads, I thought, holy cow, no way, but in the span of the PSU/Pitt football game, I rolled all of the above, about 150 beads, so 300 – easy peasy.
Since I didn’t do such a good job with the glazing, I think I’m going to make a ladder bracelet with these, and then start the rolling machine going again for crochet class.
For which, by the way, between my bead fail and my bead success, I purchased the class kit – so much for not buying any more store bought beads. Although, of course, these are special vintage beads, plus charms! And a hook! And C-Lon thread!
I should have had more faith! Hmm, but now I have the special beads and the paper beads – win win!