by Gilly·Comments Off on Saucer Beads – What Are They?
Saucer beads can be quite tricky to master when you first get into making paper beads.
I tried all sorts of ways but then I found the best way to make saucer beads of all different sizes is to use the layering process.This works best of all for me.
To make the necklace you see above, I used an old 12 x 12 inch sheet of scrapbooking paper I had laying around. I cut it into quarter inch tapered strips and then layered them to get a variety of shapes and sizes.
Saucer beads of varying sizes can add shape and design to a necklace.
I designed this necklace on paper before I even made the beads, so I knew what shape the necklace would be. Using the saucer beads gives the necklace a focal point.
Having one larger one in the centre, followed by two smaller ones on either side and then two even smaller ones breaks up the line of the necklace.
One of the reasons I designed and made the Easy Beady paper bead tool was because I struggled to make paper beads that were of a consistent high quality.
The first very basic implements I made to roll beads, back in the mists of time, were from bamboo skewers, but they often dragged the middle of the beads out when I tried to pull them off the stick.
Large beads made with very narrow strips were very difficult to master using a bamboo roller and I experimented over the years with lots of different ideas using a stainless steel shaft with various wooden, plastic and paper handles.
But the only part that mattered the most was the stainless still shaft which made my paper bead making so much easier.
Saucer beads, while still fairly tricky, are much easier with a bead tool. My tools is available to buy on Esty. You can find them by clicking here.
The 5mm tool gives you a 5mm threading hole through your beads which is ideal for making Pandora style paper beads (also known as European style beads) which usually get threaded onto heavier weight stringing materials such as leather, or snake chain bracelets.
With this paper bead tool and some practice, you will be making brilliant saucer beads to make gorgeous jewellery to wear or give as gifts.
If you have any questions about saucer beads or any aspects of paper bead making, please contact me via the contact form.
I do hold paper bead workshops in Suffolk where I cover everything from the very basics for beginners to more advanced techniques such as layering for making saucer beads.
If you would prefer to have a go at making saucer beads on your own or live too far away to attend a workshop – just order the paper bead tool or any other of my paper bead supplies by following the links above.
Fun with art – my three favourite words! As adults, we are easily capable of getting a huge amount of fun out of art and craft – if we allow ourselves. Somehow, somewhere along the road of growing up, we stop ‘doing art’ because we can’t do it ‘properly’. As children, until we reach a certain age, we do not care whether we are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at art. If you watch children at play, having fun with art comes naturally. It was through my creative work with children that I began to think about art and craft in a different way. Children simply create and often forget about their ‘art’ once the crayons and paints are put away; their joy is in the doing.
With the paper bead tool, you will never get mad at junk mail again!
Instead, you will be saying thank you for all the wonderful free paper you are getting.
And think of the thrill when you make a really beautiful bracelet out of something that used to annoy you! Make unique presents that have cost you next to nothing.
Or create your own art work and make some really colourful beads that are truly unique and cannot be copied.
The possibilities for creating paper beads of all different shapes and sizes is endless with the paper bead tool.
I really enjoy colouring designs on plain paper and then making beads from it. If you add several coats of glaze, they look so amazing, no one guesses they are made from paper.
After experimenting with lots of different materials for many years, I came up with a paper bead tool that I absolutely loved using.
The design was nice and simple and very easy to use. It rolled nice tight beads that were easy to slide off and I was happy with that.
I eventually made the tools in two sizes, 3mm and 5mm.
The 3mm size allows you to make beads with a smaller core for threading on finer stringing material up to almost 3mm thick.
The 5mm size allows you to make beads with a larger core for threading on thicker stringing materials such as leather or Pandora style bracelets.
After the paper bead tool issue was conquered, I set about making myself templates to use over and over again so I didn’t have to measure every time.
For many years I used my drawn out templates with carbon paper because I had no printer or computer in those days.
Eventually, I refined my templates to sell to other people that I was teaching in craft groups.
In recent times, I extended that further to create downloadable templates for sale online that people can print off and stick onto their craft paper with removable glue tape while they cut with a craft knife.
And then I designed a set that can be used with electronic cutters such as Silhouette Cameo.
For easy cutting of paper bead strips without all the hassle of measuring and drawing lines, I have designed some templates you can download from my etsy shop.
They are very easy to use. Click here to find out how you can use my templates to cut quick, easy strips and then use the template paper to make more beads so there is no waste! You can also use the templates in image editing software such as Photoshop to overlay onto printable designs.
Easy ways to cut paper bead strips.
There are two ways to use the downloadable templates.
You can print the template, fix it to your chosen bead paper with removable adhesive tape and cut your strips along the lines with ruler and craft knife.
The picture to the left shows strips cut with that method. As you can see, this gives you the strips cut in your chosen paper and the left-over template strips. You can hand colour those with Sharpies and make more beads. No waste!
Or you can overlay the png file onto an image on screen (see the blue design above), print it and cut along the printed lines with ruler and craft knife or a guillotine. Visit my etsy shop today to get your downloadable templates.
Please note – we have now changed the handle design of the Easy Beady Paper Bead Tool back to the original one I used when we first began making paper bead tools for my students to buy.
The bead tool demonstrated in the video is the one that we produced to sell online to be lighter weight and easier for posting all over the world.
The original handle we used was bigger and heavier and pushed up postage costs. However, my workshop students who have tried both handle styles over the years preferred the heavier, more curvy handle on the 5mm tool and most people said they found the grip better on the curvier 3mm tool handle.
So we took the decision to sell the online paper bead tools with the old style handle.
We have also released our Easy Beady paper bead strip stencil template for sale on Etsy.
by Gilly·Comments Off on Paper Bead Making – What’s It All About?
Paper bead making is so simple if you have the right tool and a bit of know how.
Ever since I discovered the versatility and creativity of using paper to make pretty jewellery pieces, back in the 70s, I have been hooked. Paper bead making is one of my all-time favourite crafts.
Making paper beads has been an obsession of mine for decades but in more recent years, I started sharing my passion with others.
People are always asking me how I make my jewelry and as I have a background in running workshops, I love nothing better than sharing my passion with groups eager to learn.
One such workshop was group of artists who asked me to go along to one of their monthly meet ups and teach them the basics of paper bead making. The workshop was a great success; all the women in the group got hooked after finding how addictive the paper bead making process is.
Paper bead making intrigues a lot of people who don’t realise my bracelets are made of paper.
Many people comment on the paper bead bracelets I wear saying how pretty and unusual they are. When I tell them the bracelets are made from paper they are always shocked. The jewellery I make is created using a variety of techniques and materials.
For paper bead making, I use anything from plain paper to my own art work, junk mail, magazine pages and paper bags.
There is practically nothing in the paper line that I won’t consider for making my beads. My favourite trick is to go into my local card shop to buy someone a birthday card and then using the bag to make a present.
No, I’m not mean! I just love making something we usually screw up and throw away, into something beautiful to wear.
The birthday cards from my local shop always come in a pretty paper bag made of very thin but colourful paper. I open the bag out and use it to make paper beads.
One small bag makes enough paper beads to create a double strand bracelet. I add my own tiny gold beads and a charm and it makes a beautiful, unusual gift.
When I did the workshop with the artists, none of them had done paper bead making before.
I took one of the paper bags to show them, along with a bracelet I had made from one. They were really surprised at how delicate and pretty it was. The workshop that followed was fun and productive.
I then held a second one for them later in the month so they could complete their projects.
By the end of the second workshop, each person had made their own bracelet. At the start, they had been in awe of my little box full of paper bead jewellery.
They assumed it would be hard to for them to make similar pieces. But once they knew the technique, they were all converts to paper bead making!
I keep my paper bead making workshops to 10 people or less so I can give plenty of one on one help.
When people first see the bracelets I make, their first reaction is ‘wow, I couldn’t do that! How do you make beads like that from paper?’
But once they understand the process and the possibilities, they are making their own paper beads within the hour and can’t wait to go off and experiment with their own designs.
The key to successful paper bead making is having the right tool.
When I first began making my own very crude tools to make paper beads, I used bamboo which I split and bound to create the slot needed to ‘trap’ the paper when you wind it.
That worked ok but the beads were not always easy to remove once finished. They would get stuck and pull the centre out of the bead sometimes – very annoying!
So I worked hard to create the perfect paper beading tool to make the process enjoyable instead of frustrating.
I was no stranger to making my own tools and had used wood to create handles for various tools since I was quite young.
I used my paper bead tools for many years, often making them for other people and then selling them to my workshop students.
But once the internet arrived and I became familar with online selling, the world really opened up to me and I began selling my tools online and I branched out into downloadable paper bead strip templates to make life easier for crafters who hated all the measuring and drawing lines.
My bead tools have been through many changes of handles and I have recently come back to one of my original handles which has a gentle curve.
My students tell me they prefer that to the straight handle.
More recently, I have added a paper bead strip stencil to my range of paper bead supplies.