Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial -- More on paper beads

I found a wonderful article on e-how about making Mexican paper beads.  Below I have posted the instructions for making these beads that you will find on the site:

  1. Step 1
    Tear the old newspapers into long, thin stripes. Using scissors cut the strips of newspaper into small pieces over a large bowl.

  2. Step 2
    Fill a large pot with 4 inches of water (or the amount you feel is needed to cover the paper completely). Bring the water to a hard boil. Once the water is boiling remove the pot from the heated area.

  3. Step 3
    Empty the pieces of newspaper into the boiling water. Stir with a long-handled cooking utensil to help the paper dissolve. Allow the pieces of paper to dissolve for at lest one hour or more before continuing to the next step.

  4. Step 4
    Drain the water from the pot. Use your hands to mash out as much water from the paper as possible.

  5. Step 5
    Remove the paper from the pot, squeezing as much water out as possible. Place the paper into a large bowl. Mix glue into the paper; it's best to use your hands for this task. Add enough glue to the paper so that it will hold together when formed into ball shape.

  6. Step 6
    Knead the glue and the paper with your hands until thoroughly mixed. Add glue as needed till the paper can be formed into round balls and hold their shape.

  7. Step 7
    Roll the mixture between your palms to form round-shaped beads. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible as you roll.

  8. Step 8
    Allow the beads to dry for a few days. Roll each bead every few hours until they are completely dry.

  9. Step 9
    Create a hole in each bead using a drill. Choose a drill bit that is slightly larger than the stringing material that you will use to string the beads.

  10. Step 10
    Sand the rough areas that were left by the drill. Sand any rough areas on the surface of the bead.

  11. Step 11
    Paint the beads with colors commonly found in Mexican jewelry such as turquoise, adobe, brown, black, red or ivory. Use different brushes and colors to create your own unique effects. Set the beads aside to dry for 24 hours.

  12. Step 12
    Coat the beads with a clear varnish. Add repeated coats until you have the desired effect. Let each coat of varnish dry for at least 24 hours.

    I think this sounds like fun, but to see how beautiful these beads turn out you need to visit another blog, A Storybook Life.   Here are a couple of the wonderful photos you can find there, but the best part is all the comments where you can get more information about how to make these beads.