Earrings with Upcycled Paper Beads, Bugle Beads and Swarovski Crystal Beads
Roll With It
-- Designer --
Jamie, Jewelry Production Specialist, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®To learn more about Jamie Smedley, read her jewelry artist success story here
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Start this upcycled earring project by tearing a page from your favorite magazine or catalog.
Design Tip: Lightweight paper is easier to roll onto the beads.
Using a pencil and ruler, measure two 1x7 inch strips on the back side of the sheet of paper. Using the scissors, cut the strips apart.
Before the glue dries, place glass bugle beads onto the glue line, leaving a small gap in between each bead to allow room for trimming the paper later on. Set aside and let the glue dry (approximately 5 minutes).
Trim the paper between each bead, as close to each bead as possible.
Roll the paper tightly around the bead until it is completely encased. Set the bead aside to allow the glue to dry (approximately 10 minutes). Repeat to make 12 beads (six for each earring).
Use the scissors to trim any excess paper extending past the ends of the beads so you have a crisp clean edge.
Cut a 3-foot length of black Nymo® beading thread, stretch it and wax the entire length. Thread one end through a Wide-Eye Needle™.
Note: Stretching and waxing your thread will ensure it is properly conditioned, preventing damage from any rough edges on the bugle beads.
Thread the needle through an uncovered bugle bead and a paper-covered bugle bead. Slide the beads to the end of the thread, fold the beads so they are positioned side-by-side and then knot the thread to secure them in place.
Connect the beads using the single-needle ladder stitch. Begin by threading another paper-covered bugle bead onto your needle and slide the bead to the tied knot. Pass the needle through the first paper-covered bugle bead and then back through the second paper-covered bugle bead (making a circle with the thread), pulling the thread taut so the two paper-covered beads are drawn snug to each other.
Note: Be careful not to pull the thread too taut, as the tension may cause the thread to break.
Repeat this until you have six paper-covered bugle beads sewn together in a row. Do not clip the thread.
Wrap the ladder-stitched bugle beads from Step 8 around the uncovered bugle bead so the uncovered bead is in the center, creating a column. Pass your needle through the paper-covered bugle bead sewn closest to the uncovered bugle and back through the uncovered bugle bead. Repeat a few times then knot to secure the column.
Design Tip: When rolling the column, keep the paper seams of each bead rotated towards the center of the column and hidden from view.
Using the remaining thread, pass the needle through one 3mm Czech fire-polished bead and bring it down to the base of the column. Pass your needle under the closest connecting stitch that holds the bugle beads together. Pull your thread taut to keep the fire-polished bead snug to the rim of the column.
Repeat this until you have sewn six beads along the rim of the column. Pass the needle through the center bead and sew six 3mm fire-polished beads to the other side of the column rim. Knot the thread and apply a drop of G-S Hypo cement. Allow the glue to dry for 10 minutes before clipping the thread.
Note: Beaded columns are not water resistant. You can coat them with DesignaSeal for additional protection and added sheen. If you plan to use an artist's fixative, apply it prior to Step 11.
Repeat Steps 7 - 12 to complete your second earring.
- Use the beaded columns as pendants to create matching jewelry sets
- Use an eyepin instead of a headpin when finishing the columns then use the loops to connect columns together to create upcycled beaded chains
The pieces featured in the Gallery of Designs are copyrighted designs and are provided for inspiration only. We encourage you to substitute different colors, products and techniques to make the design your own.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is proud to feature your artwork, and we invite you to submit images of your favorite projects to the Customer photographs section. Here's how you can be included:
- Email your name and attached image to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please describe your project (ie: necklace, bracelet, home décor) and include the main components of your design, if known.
- If you've named your piece, please let us know!
- Photos should be a minimum of 500x500 pixels (or 6.94 inches)
- To best showcase your artwork, place dark designs on a light background and light artwork on a dark background.
- For additional photography tips, click here.