Cool Glass Beads

Here's my first idea for small DYI presents for this holiday season*: Another glass bead project. I love these little glass beads that are found in craft stores or dollar stores, usually with the floral supplies. And I love micro-glass beads even more - I actually found my little collection at a very good dollar store that has a wicked craft/scrapbooking section (don't tell anyone, but I even buy tiny canvases from there too - and funky paper and plain frames and boxes).

It's a lot of fun to create personalized magnets with them (I had a post about the how-to a few months ago, so I won't go over too much technical detail). This time, instead of just using pictures to glue on the underside, I decided to try some more dimensional designs on the surface.

I used Tacky Glue to make swirls or lines on the surface of the glass bead, then dipped it in the micro-glass bead container - easy peasy! You can also use ModPodge or plain white glue - they all dry clear and give an excellent result.

I also used dimensional paint with a few micro-beads on top (Pébéo makes lovely multi-surface puff paints with different textures - I used Pearl (in Pearl) and Crystal (in Turquoise) here).

Once the glue or the paint is totally dry, the micro-beads stay put - pretty much. You can try to cover them with ModPodge or some other finishing product that dries clear - but I don't think it's worth the bother myself. If you do try this project, let me know what your experience with that is.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create a grouping of those with a theme - anything: different hues of the same colour, or use the same colour with different geometric shapes, 3 or 4 contrasting colours...
  • If you have the patience, create a magnetic alphabet set for an small child - or just the letters in their namem, they'll get a kick out of it.
  • Pack them in a pretty box with shredded paper for a unique present.
Hubby suggested we also try to string them up to create tree ornaments. I think I'll give it a try, they are so shimmery and delightful - they'd make lovely little presents. I'll show you if I succeed.
* Look at that, it's only the second day of December and I actually managed a post on this subject - yay me!


Frances said...

lovely Rima and great to hear your creative flow. I love using beads for decoration, but decorating them in this way is a sooper-dooper idea. Yay you.
Now - any ideas how I can do anything creative? I'm finding it so hard to get time to do things. Help - o wise one. AND - where is the challenge you promised us? tee hee

All Things Bright and Beautiful....Creative Flair Chic said...

what a great idea - I'm a glass fan - I'll have to try this out!

Bobbie said...

LOVE THESE! They are like tiny treasures found on the beach or something. Beautiful! With the instructions how can one go wrong? Yay you!

Sweet Irene said...

Don't go crazy now before Christmas gluing little beads and making everybody's Christmas present. There isn't actually that much time left. The clock is ticking!

It's good to see you so creative, though. I have been feeling that way myself too, but I give myself no deadlines. I'll just see what happens. I am giving away some art that I have already made and framed. Easy as pie!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Rima,

these are very cool! I particularly like the first and the last ... shall I choose so you know which to give me? *joking*

Thanks for these ideas .. maybe after Christmas!!

~ Diane Clancy

Neda said...

Wow...already in the holiday spirit! I am still stuck somewhere back around Easter eggs...have to catch up and this is a great idea to try with the kids. I love the shimmering blues, almost looks like lacquer. Good job, sis :)

Debi said...

I can imagine these displayed in a clear bowl. Like Bobbie wrote, they are reminiscent of sea glass. I think that's why I like the top and bottom ones best, like Diane as well -- those are most like sea coral or sea weed. Actually the littlest ones at the top look like little cells with a nuclei which also appeals to me greatly.

They look really really fun, Rima. Thank you for this DYI!!!

Kris Cahill said...

Love these! They're like fun little pieces of jewelry.

Mita said...

very cool...=]

interesting blog so far.