Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun Bead Charms

I cannot take credit for this since I got the idea from Harriet Reese. She gave me some great charms last year. She told me how she did hers, so I took the idea from her.
1. You can start with any glass or wood bead. It should be big enough or long enough so you can wrap some text around it. I chose some glass beads with an interesting background so I would not have to paint it. You would want to paint it if you are using wood beads. Square beads are also good for this.
2. Take some text and use a Distress pad on it. I used old paper, some green, and some vintage photo on it. Just swipe it across the text page. You should use text that is pretty sturdy. You do not want text that will be brittle.
3. Next, cut or tear off strips along the width of the text. It would be a line or two of text depending on the length of your bead. You don't want it to cover the entire surface of your bead since there would be no contrasting background.
4. Plop some gel medium on a plate. Get out a sheet of wax paper. Use a paintbrush or your fingers (guess which one I used!) and give the bead a layer of the gel medium. Wind the text around the bead about 2 times (more if you like the bulkiness), put a little gel medium underneath the end of the text, and roll it around your fingers. You want the text on there pretty flush so that it will not loosen up. The other end might unroll a little bit due to the slickness of the gel medium. Just unroll and reroll. Rolling it around in my fingers seem to tighten up the text. Apply another layer of gel medium over the text and the edges. Put the bead standing up on the was paper. It is okay if it does not stand up. The wax paper releases it when dry.
5. Put on a second coat of gel medium to make sure it can withstand some moisture and the paper does not start to unravel.
6. You can also opt to put on a final layer of Glossy Accents, Diamond Glaze, or a similar product.
7. Cut a piece of wire about an inch or two longer than the desired length of the charm. Use a pair of round nosed pliers and create a loop at the bottom. Add on beads. At the top of the charm, you can create a wire eye or just keep looping the wire around your round nosed pliers until you can go no further. Squeeze wire straight. That also gives you a loop for the jump ring.
8. You are done and ready to put it on your charm bracelet!


Angie in AZ said...

These are very cool. If the end of a toothpick would fit in the bead, it would give a "handle" to hold while working on it and then, you could stand the toothpick up in a styrofoam egg carton.

ominnimo said...

Thes beads sound great fun, must have a go! :o)