Thursday, December 17, 2009

December's Tart Lesson: Bedazzling Beads

Bedazzling beads are strung with round commercial beads to decorate this Christmas tree. Sue made a dozen embossed felt beads and then embellished this holiday quilt as an example of using this month's lesson.

This easy project will have you rolling and melting! The supplies in the kit for the most part can be melted and/or painted and embossed and then melted. Work carefully, protecting yourself with a respirator and working in a well-ventilated area. You will be making beads by rolling any of the materials onto a skewer, securing with either glue or a straight pin and melting the roll together. The kit lesson includes a triangle shape to use or design your own. A rectangle shape will give you a bead that is kind of clunky where the triangle shape gives you tapered ends. Experiment with different shapes. Any of the materials can be altered before rolling them, but we found that sometimes the paint interferes with melting. Again, experiment. Making beads is quick and easy so you won't be spending alot of time trying out any of the fabrics or papers. The photo below is a sample of the different materials made into beads of different shapes and sizes.

For illustration purposes we are showing the Kunin felt rolled and melted. The felt was cut into a long skinny triangle and rolled around the skewer and secured with a pin. Next it was heated with a heat tool which melted it. The bead can then be left as it is or painted.

Or you can paint the rolled bead before melting it. Here it has been painted with the silver acrylic paint, covered with gold embossing powder ready to be melted.

The felt was layered with a few angelina fibers and organza before being cut into a triangle. It was then melted as one unit.

Make lots and lots of beads to keep with your stash of embellishments, ready to be sewn on the next art quilt you construct!

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