Saturday, October 24, 2009

Handmade Beads with baby wipes

Thank you to the ladies who played along with my guessing game last night, our winner is Sarah from Vintage Figments who tried so hard to get it right, and finally did. They are indeed beads :)
I will be sending you a surprise gift Sarah, hope you had fun.
So here are my finished beads, something I have wanted to try and never got around to, like so many other things.

I kept seeing them in magazines and in books and they were either fabric or tyvek, which is a fiber you can heat. Well I couldn't find any, so I thought I will try it with my dirty baby wipes. Don't worry, I don't use them on baby bums. I use baby wipes a lot in my art room, so if they are covered in paint I let them dry out, or if they are for cleaning my hands on I rinse them out, then paint them. You can use them just like fabric rather than throwing them away.

When the beads are dry you can wrap wire and beads around them or just fibers on there own like I did here, and I left a few as they are. See how you can make something pretty with those baby wipes?
I am no chemist and it could even be dangerous or toxic so if you are going to try what I did, you have to be in a well ventilated area or wear a mask, and be very careful not to start a fire. Sounds scary I know, but it's not really.

The purple beads are done with inks. I used a baby wipe I had only used for cleaning glue and paint off my hands, then blended two shades of ink on it. I then made a few lines with Liquitex metallic copper ink.

When it is dry tear it into strips, any size you want. I used a fat knitting needle and some Golden Gloss Gel Medium to roll it , but try not to get the gel medium on the knitting needle because you will have a heck of a time getting it off after it dries.

Here they are after they are dry, that's all I did to these, although I may have speaded up the drying with my heat gun a bit.

The others I made the same way but my baby wipe was thick with paint and quite stiff, so the end result was a stiffer bead. I painted over the beads when dry with Folk Art metallic paints mixed with a touch of gel medium then used my heat gun to get some bubbles going on.
Do not heat them while they are on your knitting needle. It will melt. Mine did!
I then used a wooden dowel instead.

This photo looks shiny because of the flash , they are not too, too shiny, and you can always use Matte Gel medium if you want a different look. I am sure Modge Podge or even regular craft glue would work too, I just like my Gel medium :)

So there you have it, now what will I do with them? I have no idea yet, but it sure was fun making them. I have seen them used for jewelry and for embellishing, and I am sure I will come up with something. Let me know if you give it a try I would love to see them :)

Have a great weekend,