Sunday 25 October 2015

Paper Bead Bracelet

I do like making paper beads. They are very simple to make and with the vast array of beautiful patterned papers on the market it's easy to find whatever colours or designs you desire. Alternatively, you can, of course, use recycled paper, wrapping paper, magazines, newspaper, etc. or even make them with plain paper and decorate them yourself. Haven't tried that yet but it's on my to-do list!

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.

The Be Creative paper pads are 8" x 8". For each bead I cut a strip of paper 1cm wide using the full length of the paper. Fortuitously, 8" is just the right length for the type of bead I wanted to make, which was a "Pandora" style bead with metal end pieces. The diameter of the finished bead will also depend on the weight (thickness) of the paper, and again, the Be Creative papers are such that my bead turned out exactly the right size to fit my end pieces, which have a 5mm diameter hole and are basically large eyelets. For different sizes of eyelets you would use a crochet hook (or it could be a knitting needle, or any cylindrical implement)  the diameter of which was 1mm larger than the diameter of the eyelet hole.

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 bracelet being modelled (after some persuasion!) by my grandson, who just happened to be there so he got the job!

Finally a photo of the complete set: bracelet, box and card.

I can definitely see myself making more of these, I think they will make lovely Christmas presents.

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:

Thursday 22 October 2015

New Stash!!

Had a lovely weekend staying with Sally, so we could go to the Be Creative Open Day at Once Upon A Stamp and also the Stamp Magic show in Doncaster. Sally was doing some make & takes for Be Creative, and I endeavoured to assist her, which meant I got to play with some of their lovely new goodies! I'm certainly impressed with the quality of the new range, particularly of the alcohol markers and the paper pads. I was delighted to be asked by Gordon & Justin to make some samples for them, and here is my first card!

I've used both the alcohol pens and some of the papers. The paper pads (8" x 8") are a good weight (180g) and double sided, and the designs are gorgeous. The pens are comfortable to hold, the ink is top quality and they blend beautifully.

I made an easel card, which I covered with two different designs of papers. They are so pretty that I didn't want to cover them up too much. I stamped the large rose (by Woodware) with Memento ink and coloured and shaded it with the alcohol markers. The stamp wasn't made to go with the papers but it could have been, they co-ordinate so well!

I don't have the full range of markers (yet!) but by blending several colours I managed to get the rose to tone with the papers. I found the Blue Grey (code BG5) extremely useful. By shading with it first where I wanted the shadows to be, and then blending over it with other colours, I was able to achieve the depth I wanted. (At least I hope I did!)

Being alcohol based, the markers are very versatile of course. In the new Be Creative range there are some beautiful embellishments, including tags, buttons, pearls and clear gems. No need to buy lots of different colours, they can be coloured with the markers! I tinted some of the gems blue to act as stoppers and scattered a few more randomly on the card. The tag wasn't quite the right colour, being mostly pink and green, so I sponged some Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink over it and then it matched perfectly! A sentiment by Chocolate Baroque, a length of sparkly ribbon and a butterfly cut from one of the papers completed the card. Here's a side view.

The papers are a perfect weight for making paper beads, so I'm thinking a bracelet and gift box to go with the card might be nice. Watch this space!

Sunday 4 October 2015

Fall in for our latest challenge at Stamping Sensations!

I can't say that autumn is my favourite season of the year (mainly because it's followed by winter!) but it does have aspects that I appreciate, including the misty mornings and mellow fruitfulness. Most of all, though, I like the colours. It's quite strange, as normally I prefer the cooler shades: blues, purples and greens. I think it is the combination of the autumn hues which appeals to me. So this month's theme at Stamping Sensations is right up my street, as it is

qti   AUTUMN COLOURS  tq s

Naturally you can interpret this in any way you like, as long as we can see some stamping as the main element of your project, along with typical autumn shades of green, yellow, orange, brown and red.

Our fab sponsor for October is Foil Play, who have a massive selection of products for card making and crafts, and they have very generously donated a £35 voucher for the lucky winner to spend in their online shop.

The main image on my card is the gorgeous Year Of Stamping Issue 9 - September stamp from Chocolate Baroque.

 I coloured the poppy pods with pencils (for some reason the colours are much brighter in real life than they appear on the photo) and added just a little colour at the top and bottom behind them to give a bit of depth to the background. I used Promarkers on the butterfly to make it stand out. The large poppy pod stamp is also by Chocolate Baroque and the sentiment is by Inkylicious. Leaves die by Cheery Lynn, and the background paper is from the Autumn Song Collection by Bo Bunny. Real poppy pod tops from my garden.

You'll find plenty of autumn inspiration over on the Stamping Sensations Challenge Blog, and my teamies would love it if you would visit their individual blogs too, where you will find all the details of how they created their beautiful projects. I look forward to seeing yours!