Having made my easel card the other day using Be Creative papers, I wanted to make a bracelet with the matching papers. Here are the materials I used. (I also used Diamond Glaze to seal the beads, but forgot to put it in the photo!) The crochet hook, around which the paper is rolled, is size 6.00mm.
I thought it might be fun to see whether I could do a photo tutorial (my first ever!) to show how I made my beads, so here it is!
1. First stretch the paper strip by holding it between your thumb and the crochet hook (wrong side next to the hook) and pulling it through from one end to the other so that the paper starts to curl. This will make it easier to roll, especially when using thicker paper.
2. Decide which end of your paper strip will form the outside of the finished bead, ie, the end which will still be showing after you've rolled it up. At that end, using your finger nail or (very carefully!) the tip of a craft knife blade, separate the two layers of paper (the Be Creative papers are double sided) and tear off about a centimetre of the inside (or wrong side) layer.
Then, with the wrong side facing you, tear off a tiny piece of the right side (as little as possible so the strip isn't shortened too much). This will prevent a harsh edge on the finished bead. If using thinner paper, Step 2 could be omitted.
3. Begin rolling the paper strip around the crochet hook, keeping it as tight and as even as possible. After the strip has gone round once and met itself, secure the end with a thin layer of glue. You only need a little. I used the Be Creative Glue Wand. The fine roller ball tip makes precise placement very easy. Make sure you stick the paper just to itself and not to the crochet hook, otherwise it will be very difficult to remove the bead from the hook. I speak from experience! It is important to glue down the inside end so that it will not distort when you insert the end pieces.
4. Continue rolling the paper around the hook. There is no need to use more glue until you get to the end. About a centimetre from the end, stop rolling, add a thin layer of glue making sure the end is covered, and then complete the roll up. You may need to hold it in place for a few seconds until it is stuck.
5. Slide the bead off the hook, and if necessary stand it on its end and gently press down on it with something flat, eg. an acrylic mount, to even it up.
6. Put a small blob of blutack or similar just inside the bead (see photo) to secure it to a cocktail stick.
Seal the bead with a non-yellowing glaze or varnish, eg. Diamond Glaze for a glossy finish, or Ranger Glue n Seal Matte if you prefer a matte finish. Set aside to dry, then repeat with a second coat.
7. Finally, glue an eyelet into place in each end and admire your finished bead!
I needed six paper beads interspersed with various other beads (see first photo) to make my bracelet. Having decided on my design I simply threaded them on to a length of clear stretchy bracelet elastic (from good craft shops or available online, eg. from eBay or Amazon, as are the eyelets) knotted the ends tightly together and tucked them inside a bead. If you're worried about it coming undone, a spot of superglue on the knot should do the trick, but make sure it doesn't touch the beads before it's dry.
My next task was to make a gift box for the bracelet.
The patterned papers I used are all from the same Be Creative paper pad from which I made the beads, also the card in my previous post. Here are some close ups of the details.
The brand new Be Creative website is scheduled to be launched this coming December, but if you can't wait until then, all the products I've used are available now from Once Upon A Stamp. Some of the products are on their website, but others, eg. the paper pads are not yet. However, Once Upon A Stamp will be very happy to take orders for any of the products by telephone. Contact details are on their website.
Anyway, I really enjoyed making my bracelet and doing the tutorial. I hope someone out there may find it useful. Any feedback will be gratefully received, positive or otherwise, especially ideas for how I could improve it, should I ever do another one! Thanks for looking!
Edit: Several people have asked where I got the eyelets from. Here are a few eBay links.
And from Amazon: