Seal Those Paper Beads

by Johnnie Collier

Make Paper Beads

Last week, I showed you a the best video I have found on making paper beads, here.  The method used to seal the beads involved painting each one individually with glaze, for a total of 3 coats.  Ugh… how time consuming.  I knew there must be a better way.  Today, I will share how I sealed 125 beads in 5 minutes (not including dry time, of course)!

Supplies:

  • Paper beads
  • Minwax Polycrylic
  • Fishing line
  • Toothpicks
  • Newspaper
  • Some kind of place to hang your strands of beads to dry

sealing make paper beads

BTW, that handy little sharp tool you see, a needle tool I think, is way handier than toothpicks for rolling paper beads.  Just saying.  I got it in the clay section in a pack of tools at Michael’s.

Instructions:

  • So easy.  Just string your paper beads on fishing line (cause it is strong and cheap).  I tie toothpicks at both ends of the string of beads so that I don’t lose any, and to hang the strands from in the drying step.  Here are some strung beads…Make Paper beads
  • Now, dip the strung beads in polycrylic, submerging every bead.  You hands will be dripping with the stuff.  Do this over newspapers to protect the surface, and do it where you plan to hang them.  I use my closet wire shelving, with plenty of newspaper on the floor to catch the drips.  As you pull the strand out of the polycrylic, run it between 2 fingers over the can, to remove excess polycrylic.  It will still be drippy, but you won’t waste as much.

make paper beads; sealing

  • My handy dandy drying area:

make paper beads

  • Tips:  I like to separate the beads from one another about 1 hour into drying so that they don’t completely dry together.  You can even turn the strands, hanging them from the other end.  After 2 hours, I dip them one more time and let dry for an hour or so.

I think this method is way easier, and quicker, especially if you are sealing a lot of beads at once.  Since I am so obsessed with making these things, they are everywhere, and I needed to find a quicker way to do this.  The dry time is slower than if I individually paint each one, but the hands on time is literally 5 minutes, leaving me to do one of the 10 other projects I have going at any given moment.  I love the shine and durability afforded by the polycrylic too.  Check out some comparisons…

BEFORE:

make paper beadsmake paper beads

make paper beadsAFTER:

make paper beads

Make Paper Beads

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