Ok- Time for a show of hands- who here is a paper hoarder??
Don’t worry- you are among friends. No judgment here. I find that not only that sometimes to I have a hard time cutting into my favorite sheets of paper, but sometimes when I do, I can’t even toss the little baby scraps. I just love them and want to own them all!!
But I’d drown in scraps if I didn’t find some ways of using them up….and frankly, it saves me money when I use up the bitty pieces instead of pitching them, only to need to cut into new sheets later. So today I’m sharing a great ways to use/recycle paper, magazines, and scraps in honor of Earth Day!
Let’s make faux-lampwork paper beads!
You can use any kind of light to text-weight paper fort this craft. I don’t care to use cardstock because it is hard to roll into paper beads. But if you have the patience, then go for it. But the process is pretty simple and easy.
- Supplies to make paper beads: white glue, toothpick/bamboo skewer, paper scraps.
- UTEE or clear embossing powder
- clear embossing powder like VersaMark
- heat gun
- gold leafing or embossing powder (optional)
1.) Make paper beads! I like tube-style beads for this, using my pretty origami papers and scrapbooking left overs. I particularly find that making beads using 1/2 inch paper strips is super easy. The longer the strip, the fatter the bead will be. Use white glue and a bamboo skewer or toothpick to form them, and then sick the ends in a roll of toweling to hold it until it’s dry.
2) Place your UTEE or clear embossing powder in a shallow dish. Keeping the bead firmly on the skewer, roll the bead across your clear embossing pad, making sure that it’s covered with media.
3.) Now roll or dip your bead into your clear UTEE. It should stick well. Now to melt it! Turn on your heat gun and place the bead into the stream of the heat, turning it to melt the bead all the way around.
4.) For a glassier look, repeat steps 2 and 3. You can also ::sparingly:: dip into some gold leafing or other colors of embossing powder to add extra colors and dimension- just be careful! You’ll need to keep that bead rotating when you heat it to keep the hot UTEE from dripping off and you will still want to see the colors of the paper inside.
5.) Keep twirling bead until cool. Then you can slip it off of the skewer. I like to finish the beads by wiring them up into jewelry, using bead caps and crystals to make the look a little more high-end.
I made you a little 5-minute demonstration video to show you just how easy it is:
And here are some more photos of my beads:
You Can really see the bits of mylar foil int he example above.
And here’s a finished necklace I wear, with a focal bead made from sheet music and encased in UTEE:
This one is a bit blurry, but you can see the iridescent effect in the UTEE. It reminds me of glass.
There you go. You can wear your favorite paper, use up some scraps, and make some gift-worthy jewelry for Mother’s Day all in one go.
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