In this post about paper bead techniques you will find the following:
A link to my YouTube video showing how to make gold tipped paper beads.
The free printable downloads I have for you in this post and the links to download them.
A brief outline of why I created this technique and how it benefits your paper bead making.
Links to my Etsy shop where you can buy my paper bead making tools and bead strip template I use in the video.
Links to my Amazon shops where you can buy many other craft tools and supplies.
(If you want to jump straight to the video, click here.)
Paper bead techniques, if used creatively, can add something very special to your finished paper beads.
The thing that has always bugged me about paper beads is leaving the ends unfinished.
Depending on the shape of your bead, you can sometimes use metal bead cores to finish them off nicely and give your beads a bit more strength and rigidity, as with the pink European Style paper bead in the image below.
But what if you are rolling tapered beads? Most tapered beads are not suitable for bead cores, as you can see in the image below of the blue bead.
So I spent ages trying to think of a paper bead technique that would address the issue of unfinished ends/core holes.
And BAM! It finally hit me a few weeks back how I could strengthen the ends of tapered beads while giving them a really finished, professional look.
I have also added the Arteza Irridescent paints that I use in the video, to my UK Amazon storefront. Unfortunately, the same paints are showing as unavailable on Amazon.com right now so I added a set of metallic paints that I know are very good for people who shop on .com.
Paper bead tools and templates.
If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying an electronic cutter, check out my bead strip templates in my Etsy shop. You will find my paper bead rolling tools there too.
(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.
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 byprofessional 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.
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.
Making Jewelry To Sell – Five Things Beginners Need To Know.
In this post, I am going to talk about making jewelry to sell and giving you suggestions for a quick and easy way to begin, even if you are not artistic or full of creative ideas.
By the end of this post, you will know how to quickly begin creating attractive handmade jewelry that you can sell online or at craft fairs.
Although I do sell craft printables on Etsy, I also regularly give away free printables on here for those who may appreciate having designs they can use when making jewlery to sell.
In this and future posts, I will be showing paid for designs that you can buy for a few dollars in my Etsy shop but I will also be giving out new free printables on here as well to ensure everyone has access to designs they can use freely.
So for those who are new to making handmade jewlery, here are the five main things you need to know when making jewlery to sell.
Your handmade pendant/bracelet/bag charm/keychain must be quick and easy to make. Otherwise, you will not be able to make enough stock to make a worthwhile profit. You should be able to make plenty of stock quickly if you want to make money. And unless you are making high-end gold or silver handmade jewelry, you will not be able to set your prices based on how long it took you to create a piece.
If you are a beginner to crafts or handmade jewlery, a very good place to start is making glass cabochon jewelry which is quick and easy to make but is also attractive and looks professional.
The four main elements of glass cabochon jewlery are:
The pendant bezel, which is the metal tray that the design sits in.
The design – an image that sits under the glass cabochon.
The glass cabochon, or dome, that sits on top of the design to protect it
2. Your jewelry needs to be made with good quality, robust materials that will not fall apart.
The challenge you face in selling handmade jewelry is sourcing good findings that don’t cost the earth and yet still produce an impressive, good quality product you can sell at the right price.
The pendant trays and glass cabochons that I use in my jewelry are a good example of how it is possible to find good quality supplies at the right price.
And I will be giving links further down, showing where you can get these supplies to use either with your own designs or, with the free designs I post on here.
In the images above, you can see three of my previous free printables which are still available. All you need to do is click the link to go to the post where you will find links to the videos showing how I used them. And in those videos you will be given a password to get into the download page for each design.
3. Your jewelry needs to be priced just right in order to attract buyers.
To see what I mean, have a look at the handmade jewelry being sold on platforms such as Etsy. Look for stores that have lots of sales and take note of their pricing and quality.
Then look for stores that have beautiful handmade jewelry but very low sales and look at the pricing. Is it too high? Is that why people are not buying?
You can learn a lot about the handmade market by Etsy surfing and seeing what sells well and at what price.
Being able to source decent findings, at a good price and of a standard good enough to use as a base for your designs, is the key to being able to sell at a price people will be willing to pay.
If your base supplies are very expensive and it takes you two days to make one item of jewelry, the chances are you will not be able to charge enough to cover your time and costs and make a profit.
4. Your jewelry needs to be unique and any designs used must not infringe copyright.
Cabochon jewelry is all based around having an eyecatching design at the heart of the piece. That is the point of cabochon pendants, keychains, bag charms, fridge magnets or card toppers. You need an attractive design that will go under the glass cabochon and be the main focus of the piece.
But what if you are not confident with your design skills or artistic capability?
Does that mean you can use pictures from the internet instead of creating your own designs?
This is where you need to be very careful.
Using designs that belong to individuals or organisations without their permission is a bad move.
The rule of thumb is this – if you did not create the image/painting/drawing you want to use, there will be copyright issues to consider and consider them you must.
Using any images, icons, characters from, for example, a Disney movie could get you into a lot of trouble.
Do not be fooled by those who appear to be getting away with breaking copyright by using well known characters, logos, names, images etc on their products – do not follow suit.
Whatever money you make is not worth what will happen when copyright owners catch up with you. It really isn’t. So what do you do?
You can either buy designs from online shops such as Etsy or look for free printables like the ones I give away on here.
If you buy designs, you must check to see if you are allowed to use them to make items you are going to sell.
The same goes for free printables. Always check with the seller’s Terms & Conditions for the limitations are on how you can use them. Most sellers publish their T’s & C’s on the page where they are selling the download.
My free printables can be used freely to make jewelry, bag charms, fridge magnets, card toppers or keychains to sell.
The only restriction I place on my free printables is that they must only be used to create a jewelry item in which the design is used. They must not be sold on, or given away, as a sheet of designs or repackaged in any way to be sold as is.
There are Terms & Conditions on the download pages with each free download.
If in doubt, you can always contact me through the contact form to ask.
5. Presentation – Your handmade items need to be presented/packaged properly
Before you begin to make items to sell, you need to give some thought to how you will package them.
Organza bags such as those you see above are a great way to present your pendants etc.
They are easy to get online and will not add too much to the costs of making your items.
Another way to present your work that will not cost you too much is to fix your jewelry to a piece of card that you have stamped with a decorative stamp.
You could combine this with the organza bag if you wanted to – just slip the card into the bag and this will finish things off nicely.
You can also buy small boxes but of course the more sophisticated your packaging, the more your costs will eat into your profit.
As you can see, making jewelry to sell is fairly straightforward if you follow these five tips.
If you still feel daunted by the thought of what you will use for designs, just go ahead and watch my YouTube video tutorials in which I give the passwords for the pages on this site where the free printables are, download the designs, print them off and make your first pendants, bag charms, keychains, fridge magnets, card toppers or whatever other items you can think of.
Here are links to the YouTube videos showing how I used my previous giveaways:
There is also another set of Zodiac signs, in white and on a different background, available to download in my Etsy shop.
So now that you have some designs to use, where do you get these bezels, glass cabochons and chains?
It’s easy – everything you need to start making cabochon pendants to sell is all under one roof in my Amazon storefront. Follow this link if you are UK based and then go to the Craft Supplies section where you will find everything you need.
Hi – are you here for the free printables to make these with?
To get my free printables, you will need the links to the pages where they are stored.
Please note, these free printables are a thank you for those who follow my YouTube videos. To get acess to the free downloads, you will need to watch my most recent YouTube video and make a note of the passwords I give during the tutorial that will open the free printables downloads pages.
The smallest pendant was made using the last free printable I published back on May 23rd 2020.
And if you have never seen the supplies I use before or simply don’t know where to get them (supplies such as the glass cabochons/domes and pendant bezels) visit one of my Amazon storefronts and browse through there, I have most of what you will need listed there.
Free printables are now a regular feature of this craft blog and this week…
…I am pleased to bring you a colorful design depicting the sun, moon and stars.
Free printables are very easy to use (as long as you have access to a printer of course!)
Each week, I create a new page on here with a new free printable for you.
The page is always password protected, so you will need the password to get in.
To get that free printable password, you need to watch the YouTube tutorial that shows how I used the images.
In that video I will give out the password and all you need to do is write it down, come back here, follow this link and put in the password.
Simple! There is no catch to getting the free printable, the only thing I ask in return is that you watch the video and if you like what I do, perhaps subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel – that’s it! Not a bad deal really😍
Once you have your free printable, you need to print it off on good paper.
But should it be on glossy or matte paper?
Well that depends on how you are going to use your design.
If you intend putting a glass dome over the top using a medium such as Diamond Glaze or Glossy Accents, you will need to use a matte finish photographic paper.
As you can see above, using a special medium like Glossy Accents to stick the design to the glass dome is very effective when your design is printed onto matte paper.
But if you like printing onto glossy paper, as I do, what happens if you try to use a wet medium to stick the glass dome on?
The same pendant design on the right was stuck to the glass dome with a special, crystal clear double sided tape designed to be invisible.
In all the years I have been making glass pendants, this is the fastest, easiest, least messy way I have found to fix glass domes in place on my designs for pendants.
When I first decided to experiment with using double sided tape to do this, I had all sorts of disasters. Most double sided tapes have lines in them that you don’t realise are there until you use the tape on something transparent, such as between a glass dome and a design.
Every single ordinary double sided tape I used from the craft store had marks in it.
And then I discovered a company online called SK Tapes and I found the perfect tape to stick the glass domes to my designs.
This tape is made for commercial use for companies making signs and nameplates etc, however, listed in the description on their website, it does also say for use in arts and crafts.
It’s not as straightforward ordering this as it would be if you were ordering, say, on Amazon for example. You can’t just go and make a few clicks to order.
You have to go to their website and go to the products drop-down menu and click through to double-sided tapes (it’s at the top of the menu). Once you are on the double-sided tapes page, click on the one that says, Butt Cut Double-Sided.
On that page is an enquiry button and I sent them a message from there.
When they came back to me, I told them what I wanted, the 25mm one, paid over the phone and they sent it straight out.
It is expensive, but, this is a quality commercial product. Last year, I paid £12.96 for my roll but that included postage and Sales Tax. And it will last me absolutely ages.
USA readers may know of similar products stateside that we don’t have here.
And if you do, please scroll down and leave a comment to let people know what it is called. Or you can leave a comment under the video over on YouTube.
If you want any of the other items I used in my tutorial, such as pendant trays, glass domes, paper punches or ball chains, you can visit my Amazon shops and have a look through the items I have listed on there.
Next week my YouTube tutorial will be showing you how to use the smallest design on the sun, moon and stars free printable to make a dainty little pendant that will appeal to those who prefer smaller, more delicate necklaces.
Come back next week and join me for that. And if you like my free printables, please consider subscribing to this blog and also my YouTube channel. In the future I will be giving free printable designs to my blog subscribers only, so make sure you sign up now so I know who you are.
It’s really easy to subscribe and I do not share your email address with anyone.
Enjoy your sun, moon and stars free printable – and see you next week.
(If you are missing the weekly craft tutorial, I’ll let you into a secret, it’s not on YouTube yet but last week I made a step-by-step tutorial over on Instructables showing how to make a beautiful bracelet from a piece of wallpaper and an old pair of pantyhose/tights. See image below.)
Art chill-out is a video I put together last week showing a collection of my artwork.
Why? Well sadly I hurt my back and was unable to complete my usual weekly craft tutorial as I was flat on my back.
So, armed with only my iPad, I decided to use a folder full of images I took of my artwork and create a video using the iMovie app.
Then I selected some chilled music to add and I was able to go ahead and publish a video as I usually do each Saturday at 8.30pm London time..
My Art Chill-Out video is for anyone who wants to relax and unwind for ten minutes.
The music is quite soothing and the images are colorful. They are all created by me through painting, photography or digital art. Sometimes I create my pieces using a combination of all three.
So if the current worldwide pandemic mess is stressing you out, watch my art chill-out video and escape into surrealism and fantasy for 10 minutes of peace.
But if it’s crafts that are keeping you sane, go over to my Instrucables page and find out how to turn junk into something useable, wearable and/or very pretty.
See you next week with another craft tutorial and another free craft printable!
And next week I will be giving you an image in three sizes to make a beautiful pendant with a sun moon and stars theme. So subscribe to this blog now if you don’t want to miss out on your free printables.
And if you really want to keep up, go over to my YouTube channel and subscribe there too.
Oh and I hope you enjoy my art chillout video (there is a clue in the video to next Saturday’s free printable😍), can you find it?
Paper beads still remain my favourite go-to craft of all time.
And with this ongoing crisis, which we all hope will end soon 🤞, I am really enjoying sharing some of my printable paper bead designs for free. My latest YouTube tutorial shows how I used my design, seen below, to make the double strand bracelet above.
This week is Crafting In a Crisis No 5 and as with the other free downloads, you need to watch the video over on YouTube using the links further up this page and get the password from the video.
In the video I show you yet another way to easily make paper beads without a proper bead tool.
Once you have watched the video and you have the password, you need to come back here and click this link.
That will take you to the password protected page where the free printable is. And all you have to do is use the password I gave during the video and choose between US Letter size and UK A4 size. That’s it!
What can you do in return?
All I ask is that you subscribe to this blog. And that is optional. You don’t have to and you can still get any free downloads that I have previously offered to non-subscribers in the past but it would make me very happy to have you here.
Also, at some point soon, I am going to start making my future free printables available to subscribers only.
So subscribe today by clicking on the subscribe button in the menu on the left – see video below. You may have to click the gear icon on the left to get the menu to appear if you are reading this on a held-held device.
It would be lovely to have you subscribe to my YouTube channel as well when you go over to watch the tutorial that goes with this blog post.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope see you next week with a tutorial on how to make faux wooden beads with another free printable I will be uploading.
And for those who don’t have access to the 1mm elastic like I use in my videos for stringing the beads…
…I have a special tip in next week’s tutorial for how you can still make your stretchy bracelet without elastic. Yes really! I’ve been racking my brains for how it couild be done while people can’t get out to buy craft supplies and I have cracked it!
You won’t believe how easy it is!
Hope you enjoy using your DIY Boho bracelet template – see you next week.