Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY Paper Bead Ornaments And Garland

Above, Paper bead garland and snowflake.
       These aquatic themed, beaded garlands and snowflakes would make elegant additions to any ocean themed Christmas tree. Drape and hang them alongside mermaids, fish and shell ornaments to complete a unique customized tree.

Supply List:
  • magazine pages and/or old book covers (the brighter the better)
  • white glue
  • tacky glue 
  • clear nail polish
  • a selection of glass bead and aquatic themed beads
  • thin, light weight beading wire
  • a long, thin wooden skewer
Step-by-Step Directions:
  1. In order to make these paper beads you will first need to cut long narrow strips of paper tapered from one end. I've included a video by the Frugal Crafter below that demonstrates how this is done. 
  2. The strips of paper should be tapered with regularity and the strips must all be the same length if you wish your beads to all be of the same relative size and shape. This being said, however, it is not necessary for this to be the case if you should so choose to string paper beads of different shapes and sizes. It is a matter of preference in the end.
  3. You will need to brush the backside or "inside" layer of each paper strip with white glue.
  4. Begin rolling each bead by twisting the widest end of your tapered strip around the thin, wooden skewer. 
  5. Neatly wrap the glue side of the paper on top of itself as you roll the skewer between the tips of your fingers.
  6. Gently remove the skewer so that your paper bead holds it's shape. It will take of bit of practice on your part to perfect the process. But once you have tried twisting and shaping a few beads, you will quickly improve your technique. 
  7. Let these beads dry completely over night before brushing them with clear acrylic nail polish. 
  8. Then let them dry over night a second time before stringing them onto garlands with decorative shells, glass beads and tiny sea horse charms.
  9. In order to wire the beads into a snowflake shape, simply begin with wiring together two lengths of wire of equal shape into a cross pattern. 
  10. String paper beads onto these cross pieces along with blue glass beads.
  11. Then twist a fine wire about one end of the cross shape and add beads until you have shaped a circular pattern to bend around the beaded cross. Remember to wire together every section where the two shapes touch as you go.
  12. After you have made these two intersecting shapes, a circle and a cross, bend the circle forward and twist wire about the snowflake shape to keep it from being bent back into place. 
  13. I then wired a tiny shell to the center of my "snowflake" design.
  14. Twist a wire around one end of the beaded snowflake in order to hang the ornament.
A paper beaded snowflake made from two simple shapes, a cross and a circle. I wired a small shell to the center of the "snowflake."

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