Thursday, November 09, 2017

My New Obsession

When I was about 13 years old, my mother gave me a small book of wall paper samples and taught me how to make paper beads.  I remember that at the time, I didn't really see the point.  I think it was partially because they were unfinished.  It was as popular craft back in her younger life, and it was particularly common to use wall paper samples.  I don't know if you can even get those samples today.  Recently I began researching how to make paper beads and I have become obsessed!

I watched a really good video on youtube about making paper beads.  I have to say that many of the videos I watched were not really that good.  But this one is excellent.  If you are interested, here is the link.  Click here.  I learned some really excellent techniques from her.  I have watched every video I could find, and have really come to the conclusion that I need to make a video too.  My main thinking is that I have taken what I have learned and now have put my own twist on it.  Also, I was so obsessed that I would have gladly welcomed another good video.

So three weeks ago I came to China again with my husband for his work.  I brought several things to do while I'm here, but the one thing I've spent most of my time doing is making paper beads!  I made a necklace for myself before I left home, and now I plan on making some for gifts for others.  I actually can't believe how many I've made here in China.  But they are turning out so beautiful, and I think the necklaces will be pretty.

A week or so ago I went with a friend to the pearl market here in Su Zhou.  I did buy some inexpensive pearls for gifts, but honestly, I prefer my paper beads to real pearls!  The lady I bought from also sold me some strands of beads to take back to use in making the necklaces.  I certainly couldn't buy them that cheap back in the States!  I also bought some black necklace cords.  But enough talking, let me show you some pictures of the beads I've been making!

I bought a small plastic box to put my beads in.  Then I decided I really needed some way to sort them by color, so I made paper boxes to store them in, inside the box.  I also bought a plastic box with organizing sections in it, but it didn't have enough walls, so I made some out of paper.  Here is that box:
Here is a picture of the smaller box with the paper boxes inside.  (You will notice I also keep a chart of the color patterns inside the lids):

You use permanent markers to color the beads, and just before I came to China, I bought some metallic ones.  They really make nice beads!

 I decided I wanted to make a patriotic one like one I saw online, so I made these beads.  I will also use the red and white ones in the picture of the plastic box above.
Here is a picture of the one I made for myself.  I added small clear beads in between, and also found some larger pink beads at a good price, so mixed them in too.

Now I can't wait to get home and glaze them so I can start stringing them!  :)


Inklings said...

They are pretty! What do you glaze them with? Mod podge? I also made beads with mom when I was young, but we only used old magazine pages to make them. I have never seen them done with wallpaper.

Delirious said...

I have been using the high gloss mod podge. There is another product called "Diamond glaze" that I am thinking of trying. I did try clear finger nail polish, but it's not really very good. The Mod podge works well though.

Becky said...

They look gorgeous. What a fun thing to do to keep busy!

Liz said...

I watched the video-very fascinating! Your beads are really pretty. Have fun!

Rummuser said...

Very nice indeed.

Amber said...

These are really pretty! I didn't think they would be this pretty when I first started reading about it but they really are! How pretty they must have been with the old wallpaper!

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