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Upcycled Bead Fail

Paper Bead Fail

By Tamdoll

I think the failure here is in my over confidence.  I get an idea, I sit down to make it with a deadline only a day away, and I think I’ll be an expert at the first try.  Yeah, right.

Months ago, I signed up for a “Artful Media” swap with the Etsy Trashion Team – sending only recyclables to a swap partner and receiving the same in return, with the goal of making sellable art with what we’ve received.  As I packed up my paper goodies, I kept thinking “Oh, these papers are great, I’d make beads out of them.”  Because I had that book on my shelf about paper beads.  Because once I rolled a few up and glued them together.  Years ago.  So long ago I had forgotten what a pain it was.

Then I received my swap package.  Not what I expected.  Nice, but I didn’t think the beads could work.  Neither could I think of anything else to make with them.  So, beads it was going to be.  I was determined.

I sat, cut, rolled, glued.  Let them dry overnight.  They didn’t look so bad! They just needed to be sealed.  Since I had only one day till the deadline, I knew resin wouldn’t work, so I pulled out the heater tray thing and poured in powdered UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel).

I dipped. The straws the beads were on melted. The beads fell in.

I found some skewers to use to fish them out of the melted plastic and a couple fell through the slats on my deck (I was working outside.)  Did a limbo to crawl underneath and rescue the fallen pieces.. (because after rolling and gluing for an entire day, all I had was a handful of beads and nothing could be wasted!)  If I redipped each one, the powder melted again and I was able to spin them as they dried to be evenly coated.  Then the powder in the tray started to burn.  Everything started getting a yellowish cast.  Maybe they could look like amber?  caramels?  Maybe I should just throw them all under the deck?

What? You want a close up?

Paper Bead Fail Closeup

After these, the remaining beads got a traditional treatment, stamping and embossing with a heat gun to finish them off.  I blogged about it here – so if you really want to, you can read about it and see more pictures.  I ended up donating them (not the ones shown here!) as bracelet-making-kits because after that weekend of making the beads I couldn’t bear to work with them anymore.

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