November 28, 2011

Paper Bead Christmas Garland

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com
Last week I made a few Paper Beads. After painting the beads I decided to make a Christmas garland with them. This garland is very similar to the Garland that I made last week. It's currently draped around a window inside our travel trailer. Our Christmas tree is outside in our screen room, so this garland makes the perfect Christmas touch inside. Painting the beads was a pain in the rear. I ended up stringing them onto yarn to paint them. I also let them dry while strung. Because of the paper that I used two coats of paint were needed. Even with two some dark spots can still be seen. A third is really necessary. Having paper with prints that compliment your project will make things much easier since the beads won't have to be painted. Spray painting might be an easier way to paint the beads. I'll will have to give it a try next time.

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com

November 27, 2011

Make Your Own Christmas Beaded Garland

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com
This year I found myself able to have a Christmas tree for the first time in four years. Because we have a ton of decorations in storage in Wisconsin, I don't want to buy a bunch of new things.  I made this garland today for our tree out of beads I already had. I'm planning on making all of my decorations this year, and will post the projects as they are completed.

Beaded Christmas garlands are simple and common. Although garlands can be bought already completed, making your own garland allows you to customize the garland for your home's holiday decor. The project is easy, and the possibilities are endless. 

Step by step directions aren't really needed for a project of this sort. Just about any type of string material can be used to string the beads on. Beading wire, fishing line, bead thread, or even yarn if the bead holes are large enough.  A simple knot on one end and your ready to start. I chose to use jewelry crimps to make loops on the ends of my garland. These loops can later be used to hang the garland if needed. Let your creativity be your guide. Happy Holidays!

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com
What I Used To Make A 8 Foot Garland:
93- 10mm Acrylic Beads
67- 15mm Acrylic Beads
25- 20x13 Acrylic Beads
8 1/2 Feet Beading Wire
Jewelry Crimps for each end

November 25, 2011

Make Your Own Paper Beads

Paper beads have been  made for a long time. The idea isn't new by any means.  Beads made this way use to be common place, but seldom are these beads made in the home anymore or worn in jewelry designs. I remember the first time I learned of paper beads. My grandmother had given me a necklace made of handmade paper beads that she purchased at her church craft fair. I wore the necklace for years, and still have it in storage.  I hadn't thought of the necklace in ages until flipping through a jewelry supply catalog recently. The catalog had a metal tool for sale that is used to make paper beads. Seeing the tool made me think of the necklace and about trying to make my own paper beads. Chances to reuse things that would other wise be garbage are always my favorite.

The Tool:
I used a screwdriver instead of the tool specifically made to make paper beads. I tried using a pen, pencil, and a bamboo skewer to roll the paper around, but none worked. Metal keeps the bead from sticking to the rod, so it can be easily removed. Crochet or knitting hooks could also be used as long as they are metal.

The Paper:
We don't keep much scrap paper around, so my paper choices were kind of limited. I practiced making beads with different weights of paper. I found that thicker paper is needed for a beginner to make a well formed bead. Maybe with practice newsprint could be used. I tried with bad results. I believe the necklace that I own is made of paper beads from wallpaper scrap. The thickness of the wallpaper would be perfect for making paper beads. If I had some I would certainly try using it. The bright colors of the wallpaper would also make a better fit then most magazine pages. I ended up using the back and front covers of a couple of magazines. The prints/colors aren't really idea for jewelry, but made good practice. Cutting the paper was my biggest hangup. The paper needs to be cut at at a sharp angle and be 9-10 inches long. It took a little of trial and error to get it just right. Changing the paper triangle size easily changes the bead dimensions. Be creative!

The Other Stuff::
The only other things you will need to make paper beads are regular white school glue, a paint brush (useful but not necessary), paint or clear coat (also not necessary), and a pair of scissors. The glue is used to form the bead and to seal it. The optional paint or clear coat can also be used to seal and finish the beads. The paint brush is used to apply the small amounts of glue needed in the project. You can use your finger, but it gets messy!

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com

How To Do It:

1) Cut triangles of proper proportions out of preselected scrap paper. Read the paragraph above to help you choose your paper. 

2)Begin to wrap paper around screwdriver (see above for other tools) rod while applying a light coating of school glue to the inside of the paper triangle. Start wrapping paper from the base of the triangle. Layer of glue should be very thin. Wipe off drips.

3) Continue to wrap the paper around the screwdriver rod while applying glue until the entire triangle is rolled with the point on top. Remove bead from rod and allow to dry.

4)When dry, apply a thin coating of glue to seal bead. You can also paint or clear coat the bead at this time. Allow to dry again.

5)Enjoy your new creations!

UPDATE 12/01/2011: I've been making lots of these beads lately. Here are a few tips that I found to make the process easier. When I made my first batch I thought it would be as simple as wrapping paper around a rod. It pretty much was, but the beads weren't very uniformed. I didn't research how to make paper beads before I tried my first batch. I just made my own technique, so needless to say the technique needed to be worked on.

1) Don't spread glue on the whole strip of paper, just the last inch or so towards the point. It will stay fine with only a small amount of glue. 

2) Wooden skewers can be used to roll the beads around as long as you only add the glue to the last inch. These small skewers allow for smaller beads.

3) A ruler is a big help when cutting the paper for the beads. I now draw all the triangles out before I cut verses cutting freehand. Much more uniform shape for the beads.

November 14, 2011

Nose To The Grind Stone

The Queen of Procrastinators has finally finished something! To be fair, I've been producing and listing lots of jewelry on Etsy and have even started my Christmas gift craft projects. I've just procrastinated finishing any of my many crochet projects. In the last week I finally finished the crocheted sweater dress that I started a couple of months ago for my niece. I also finished a hat that I have no idea when I started. I found my knitting looms under the bed, and a hat was already started. I finished it last night and plan to send it to my other niece, Alexis. 

Girls' Sweater Dress Complete!

Besides making things for sale and gifts, I've been working on writing down patterns for a few custom crafts that I have made. Writing patterns seems to be something you have to do as you are crocheting. I'm having a hard time going back after I've created something to figure out exactly how many stitches where used.! I need written directions for a couple of my crochet creations. In the future I would like to make more, and need them to be uniform. Without a pattern I can reproduce projects, but their proportions may not always be the same. Of course there is a great benefit to this blog if I can finish some of my own patterns. The main theme of posts so far have been about selling things, which was not the main intention of the blog. I would like it to be a place to share different craft ideas and projects with others, and get their feedback about said projects. Selling stuff is secondary, and as much of a hobby as making the creations! Practice makes perfect!

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I've been working with acrylic beads and wire to create bead flowers. My Triple Flower Suncatcher was the first thing I made using the idea. I love it! It is so cute shinning in the bright sunlight of the desert. I made a pretty pink single strand suncatcher that was going to be for sale. After looking at it for awhile I decided to send it to my sister as a decoration for Kylie's grave. It's winter there now, so the suncatcher will have to be put out next spring. 

Copyright © 2011 TownsEndCrafts.Com All Rights Reserved.

November 11, 2011

New Additions To Our Etsy Shop

Four new necklace and earring sets were added to our Etsy shop today! More new jewelry is coming within the next week. Lots of great gifts can be found in our shop. Christmas is right around the corner!
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