Monday, November 21, 2011

Use it Up - How to Paint Paper Beads

So, now I have a small handful of handmade paper beads. What to do with them next?

When you roll your paper beads from magazines and junk mail you really don't know how they'll look until you've rolled them. After all, the only bits that show are the very edges and they are often multi coloured but with a fair bit of black patterning. So what do you do when you don't like the colour of some of the beads?

Why, you recolour them of course!

I've decided to colour them up with some Sephora nail polish. This will do two things: it will brighten them up but it wall also seal them and make them durable for use in jewellery making.
Assortment of unpainted paper beads, needle tool and burgundy nail polish

About the only time I get to use nail polish is when I'm on vacation. Most of the time, my hands take a fair bit of punishment because they are always in some sort of arty stuff which will either chip the nail polish, partially remove it or generally make it look untidy. So when I buy a new nail colour, it gets used for a couple of weeks and then doesn't get used again for another year. So this is going to be a "use it up" project. You should choose whatever colour you would LOVE to wear in a necklace!

Painting the beads with nail polish is a straight forward process.... just place the bead back on the bead roller or on a needle tool and begin to paint.
Applying a coat of burgundy nail polish to a paper bead

This gorgeous burgundy colour from Sephora went on really easily and didn't dry too quickly which meant I was able to get all the way around the bead before the leading edge had dried so you couldn't see where I'd started.
Coating a handmade paper bead with nail polish

Just continue painting the bead until it's fully coloured. I was fairly generous with the nail varnish just as if I was painting my nails but I didn't put it on so thickly that it was dripping.

After one coat they were looking a little patchy so they will definitely need a second coat. I always find it better to do thinner coats and apply a couple of layers rather than do one really thick coat.
First coat of nail polish on a paper bead

Well, so far so good. I love the colour they've turned out. Now it's just wait and see how durable the nail polish is as a colouring medium. I'll make them up into jewellery to test them out.

Click here to see how it turned out!

Pin this idea!
How to use nail polish to colour paper beads inspiration sheet.

'Til next time.....

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Would you like to comment?

  1. What a brilliant idea! You are so incredibly clever :)

  2. Oh, my, Jennifer, thank you - you make me sound like a genius. But I'm sure someone else came up with this idea first.


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