This week, I ran a paper bead workshop at a popular West Suffolk craft shop.
Thanks to the artistic skills and dexterity of Mandy, Beryl, Sonia, Clarissa and Alison, the workshop ran really smoothly and was good fun.
They were a brilliant group who picked everything up really swiftly; that meant there was plenty of time for a tea break and time to set the world to rights!
Keep On Crafting, at 98a Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, was a great venue for running a paper bead workshop.
As I have said before, the shop is an absolute gold-mine of crafting supplies and I defy anyone to leave there without a gazillion ideas for new projects.
Mandy is a great hostess too because she is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about everything she sells.
Mandy had TV crafting personality Lizzy Curtis demonstrating at the shop in the morning.
That left me with massive shoes to fill with my paper bead workshop in the afternoon!
Lizzy presents regularly on the Craft Channel and has made quite a name for herself in the world of crafting.
Thankfully, I had a different group to Lizzy Curtis so I was ok - it was just li'l ole me, not off the TV!
Mandy regularly has TV channel tutors demonstrating at the shop so it is well worth checking out her diary of upcoming workshops and demos here. Keep visiting the workshop page as the site will soon be updated with more classes.
There are some exciting Christmassy classes coming up and Clarissa, who was in my paper bead workshop, has been booked to do an Origami class. More about that in a future post.
None of my group had made paper beads before and they all took to it with lots of enthusiasm.
People are always amazed when I tell them the jewellery begins life as a sheet of paper. Once they see how the bead tool works - they really get it and they are off!
This is the bracelet we made (single strand though due to time limitations).
At the paper bead workshop, we used the Easy Beady tool which makes the whole process really quick and easy.
As a paper bead maker who was frustrated with other methods of making the beads, I set out to design a paper bead tool that was as efficient as possible and I would not be without mine which I have been using for many, many years.
The 3mm and the 5mm tool (for making Pandora style beads with a 5mm core). These are the newer style tools with a return to the curvy handle which is easier to hold.
You don't have to attend a paper bead workshop to get the tool.
Students at my workshops all get to use the tool to complete the class.They then have the option of buying a brand new one still in the packet at the end.
But you can also buy the paper bead tools on Etsy by clicking here if you don't have the time to attend a class. The Easy Beady tool comes with complete instructions and we are currently giving away the Easy Beady paper bead strip stencil templates (worth £5.99) when you buy the 3mm and 5mm tools together.
The paper beads you see on the right were the kind we made while waiting for the glaze to dry on the faux willow pattern beads we made in class.
The sealing/glazing process means the beads need up to an hour to be ready to string, so in every paper bead workshop I do, we use the drying time to explore how to make hand-coloured tapered beads.
The pictures above and below show workshop students using the tool to create their beads.
The Easy Beady paper bead tool is
really easy to use - once you get the
Please note that the handle you see in the workshop images above has now been replaced by the original style handle I used when I first began to make bead tools many years ago. The new (old!) style handle is more ergonomic and many of my students told me they preferred a handle with and indentation for the thumb and forefinger to rest in.
Would you like to attend a paper bead workshop?
I run classes close to home in Felixstowe - so if you want me to do a workshop for a group of friends or, a one-to-one, fill in the contact form and give me your phone number.