(Note: if you are here from my YouTube Channel, details of my Esty, Folksy and Amazon shops can be found at the end of this post. You will also find the link to the free digital design at the end too.)
Paper bead ideas come to me all the time as I have been obsessed with paper beads since the 70s.
And as someone who is also obsessed with sploshing paint around, despite having no particular talent for it, I always have hundreds of ordinary but colorful abstract paintings laying around begging to be turned into paper beads.
One of my favourite ways of making abstract art is by using a Gelli plate with acrylics and like many gelatin print enthusiasts, I have literally hundreds, if not thousands of fairly mediocre paintings stuffed in portfolios and drawers.
Many people use their Gelatin prints to make beautiful cards but making paper beads is another fantastic way to use your art to save it from being shut away forever.
Watch my latest YouTube video to see how I do it.
It’s exciting to actually use all the hundreds of gelli plate prints we produce to create truly unique pieces of jewelry from paper beads
Paper bead ideas in action! This is what I made from a single Gelli print that was hiding away in my stash of ‘nothing special’ prints.
For those who don’t know what Gelli/Gelatin Plate printing is, it’s a very easy and exciting way to paint using a thick, floppy rectangle of what looks and feels like Jello (jelly if you are in the UK).
It’s used in conjunction with a small roller or brayer as it is also known.
The exciting thing about gelatin printing (also called mono printing) is that while it is used by professional artists to produce stunning pieces of wall art, it can also be used by amateurs and hobbyists to experiment with paint in an easy way that enables them to produce beautiful, unique work.
If you want to see how I create my gelatin prints for journals, click here to watch.
And later in this post, I will introduce you to professional artist Miranda Grayling who combines Gelli plate with mono printing and silk screen printing to produce stunning artwork which sells really well.
Paper bead ideas come thick and fast when you go though your stash of ‘unremarkable’ prints.
And lets face it, unless we are professional artists or highly competant amateurs, us Gelatin printers do have stacks of so-so prints that we don’t quite know what to do with.
We all play with Gelli printing for different reasons. My reason is definitely because it is a source of calm when I feel stressed.
For me, the act, or process of creating the prints is the main reason I create that way.
The end product is not the focus of each session. I think this has become even more obvious to me during this awful world crisis where we have all been locked up.
Out of all the arts and crafts I do, Gelli plate/Mono printing has been the activity I have gravitated to the most when I have felt unusually stressed and low during the last few months.
I haven’t really been thinking about what I am producing. The real purpose was to simply do something creative and enjoy the time while I was doing it without worrying about the end result.
And so now I have an even bigger stock of Gelli print paintings/stroke backgrounds to use for my paper bead ideas.
The many paintings I produced over the last 7 months, while feeling upset and worried like millions of other people, kept me busy while my emotions were up and down.
It was an escape because sometimes I would spend hours and hours just doing print after print after print to keep from going mad.
I have now paused the printing and am slowly begining to cut the prints up to make jewelry.
While I have been having fun cutting up my Gelli prints, my friend Miranda has been busy selling hers at an exhibition in Denmark.
Miranda Grayling is a UK based artist who regularly sells her work at exhibitions both here and abroad.
I highlight her work here to show the spectrum of ability that the Gelli plate printing supports.
Anyone from an absolute, ‘never done it before’, beginner to a pro like Miranda can use the Gelli plate to explore their creativity and grow as a creator.
It should be said though, that Miranda does also combine her mono-printing with silk-screen printing to create her beautiful collages but for hobbyists who are learning, the Gelli plate alone does hold a myriad of possibilities for making wonderful layered images.
You can visit Miranda’s FaceBook page, Artwork By Miranda by clicking here.
And now for the free digital download I promised in my video…
Please see here for the Terms & Conditions of using my free printables. There aren’t many but please respect them.
If you want to buy the bead tool and the paper bead template (I use in the video), for easily marking out your bead strips see below for info.
If you are UK or Europe based, please go to my Folksy shop.
If you are USA based or any other non European country, please go to my Etsy shop.
If you want to buy a Gelli plate and brayer (roller) see below for details of my Amazon shops.
My shops are stocked with an array of the lovely art and craft products I use in my videos. Well worth a browse.
Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you have a ton of fun exploring these paper bead ideas – pop over to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment.