Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Paper Bead Experiment 1

I realized that I've been doing a lot of knitting lately- probably for a few reasons:
  • Lots of new yarn and projects in the works
  • I've had a lot of things on the schedule lately and knitting is something you can do on the go. 
  • I think it's it's also the weather, when I'm home I  just want to curl up on the couch and grab my knitting. (I'm totally ready for spring)
  • Or maybe it's as simple as-  I've just been on a knitting kick.

But for the last few days I've been itchy to play around with other types of crafts. It's been a long time since I've made paper beads, and have usually made the traditional rolled kind. I have a vague memory of making a mushy glue kind once or twice and since the rolled kind wasn't the look I was after- I thought I'd experiment with the mushy kind and see what I got.

I started by soaking random scraps of paper (from junk mail) in water (I also zapped the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds to heat the paper water mixture up). 

After soaking a while the scraps got nice and mushy, I put a few together and pressed the extra water out between two paper towels. Using a little glue as a binder I tried rolling the damp scraps into beads...

I got mixed results: 

Tacky craft glue worked better than general multi-purpose household glue. I also found that rolling the glue and paper together enough to get a solid bead would breakdown the surface too much resulting in a "fuzzy" bead. To avoid this I started wrapping each solidly rolled bead in another scrap of paper that only had glue on one side. This gave the last few beads I made a smoother finished look. 

I'll let them dry overnight, I may also add another layer (some paint or marker?) before sealing them with a glossy finish. Once I get a finished bead I like I'll make enough for a bracelet or necklace.

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