Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mother's day rolled paper bracelet

I carried on with my rolled paper beads theme to make this bracelet for a mother's day present: 

I made straight beads rather than the usual sort of tapered oval/bicone ones, by rolling rectangles of paper instead of triangles. It's slightly fiddlier in that you have to get the paper exactly straight to start with, with no room for error, and also the pattern will show on the outside of the roll much more obviously so you have to bear that in mind when choosing paper. I used an advert for a Honda car, which has lots of shades of purple in it. I alternated which end of the paper came out on top for a variety of bead colours.

Then I decided to do something a little bit different from just stringing them together, and did this sort of ladder design. The beads are side-by-side, rather than end-to-end. It's quite simple to do, but mine was massively complicated by the fact that I didn't have any proper bead-stringing thread and had to use embroidery thread. I wanted to use a cotton cord, but all the ones I've got were too thick to go through the beads twice (as it has to for this design) and far too thick to go through the fastener, and we don't have any bead shops to get more from in Newcastle. None at all. Not one. So, embroidery thread it was, the benefit of which is that it comes in every shade in the world so you can pick the right one. Combined with some nice purple beads for the ends, I was happy with the colours.

To make the bracelet, you have to start from the middle of the thread so that you have two ends (on needles is easiest, though dangerous). Each time you add a paper bead, you need to thread each end first through a seed bead, then each end goes through the paper bead, from opposite ends of the bead so that the threads cross over inside the bead. Once you get into it it's quite a quick process (though using embroidery thread means it keeps on getting knotted and splitting - don't use this).

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