Saturday, August 27, 2016

How to Construct a Painted Bead Necklace at Eleven PM on a Saturday Night

July 9, 2016.  Eleven o'clock pm.  I'm in my room, about to take on a three and a half hour project: making a necklace to match my outfit for the next morning, and I haven't even showered yet.  Because when inspiration strikes, YOU'VE GOT TO GRAB IT BY THE NECK AND HOLD ON TIGHT AND NOT LET GO, because if you do, IT MIGHT LEAVE YOU FOREVER!  So I did not let go.  (But just so you know, I don't recommend staying up that late.  Especially on a Saturday night.)

I specifically wanted to make a necklace that would match my outfit in the morning, and there was no way I was going to postpone wearing that outfit to another day, because I already had it all picked out!  Do you know how much planning goes into picking out a Sunday outfit?  (Okay, actually this one didn't take much planning.  It was just a dress.)

Get yo' supplies!  My supplies included:
Pearly white beads, different sizes
Smallish rocks
Glass jar
Green acrylic paint (or whatever color you want)
Elmer's liquid glue (not pictured)
Clear stretch cord
Round acrylic paintbrush.
Foam flower (not pictured)
Itty bitty glass beads in a color that goes with the paint

My supplies did NOT include:
White acrylic paint.  Why I put it in the picture, I don't know.  But give me a little grace here - it was like 11:30 by this point, probably.  I was tired.
The first* thing I did was to go outside and gather a few smallish rocks from the driveway.  I washed them off, and put them in a jar with the beads.  And...I SHOOK THAT JAR LIKE I MEANT IT!  Because I did mean it.

*Actually the first thing I did for this project was fiddle and tinker and mess around with different things to use for the necklace, until I found these beads, and was like, "Ah, perfecto!  I shall use them, with Rebecca's permission because they belong to her!"
But...apparently I shook it a little too hard.  The jar broke.
But!  The shaking worked, nonetheless!  I shook them a little more in another jar, gentler this time, and then they were ready.
All I had to do was peel the pearly white finish off of each. and every. individual. bead.  Noooo, not tedious at all!
After all the pearliness had been stripped away from those poor beads, I decided to shake them up with rocks one last time, to sand them.
Squirt!  Goes the paint.  Into the little white bowl thing.
Paint!  Goes the brush on the bead, which is on the toothpick.
Done!  Go all the little beads after they've been painted.
Alright, alright, alright (watch the video.  The whole thing, but especially 29 seconds in).  When they are all painted (and dry), mix together a wee bit of water with more than a wee bit of glue, and glaze every bead.  This is to minimize the chance that the paint will come off (refer to bottom of post for some important words on this topic).
The glue will take a bit longer to dry than the paint.  Ooh, and really important note here if you care about your brushes!  Please please please wash out all of the glue from your brushes!  Even if you don't care about your brushes, do it because I care about your brushes!
Because gravity is a thing, the glue will drip to the bottom, so there will be wet glue at the bottom of the bead, while the top is dry.  Like this:
In order to keep the glue from drying on the toothpick (and peeling off when you remove the bead), you'll want to flip the bead over before the glue spot at the bottom dries.  Like this:
HEY!  Would you look at that!  After only, like, two hours or something, the beads are done!
Now we've got to string them onto the elastic string.  Cut the elastic to whatever length you want.
It took me a long time and many tries to get a pattern of beads that I liked, because there were two sizes: big, and smaller than big (as you can see from the picture up yonder).  I wanted it to look random, but also consistent.  (I'm a woman - I'm hard to please.)
Playing around with a favorite letter of mine*...
*I'm not saying it is my favorite letter.  I don't think I have a favorite.  But obviously it's gonna be one of my favorites.

After all that, the necklace wasn't long enough with only the painted beads, so, for like the tenth time, I took them off the elastic (but made sure they stayed in the right order), and I put a little bitty glass bead in between each painted bead.
A note about these glass beads: aren't they pretty?  And also, see how they're not the same color as the painted beads?  This at first irked me, but they were the the best option of all the glass beads my sister owned,* and as it turned out, it worked quite well since the dress I wore the next day had many colors.

*I don't make jewelry.  I don't own beading supplies.  My sister doesn't often make jewelry either. But she has beading supplies.
Once there was a little bead between each painted bead, I still wanted it longer, so I added more little beads on the ends.
I added about two inches of little beads on each end.
When it was as long as I wanted it, I slipped one end of the elastic through one side of the hole in a little bead, and the other end of elastic through the other side of the same hole.  Like this:
Then I pulled it tight and knotted it.  I realized after wearing it the next day, that I should have pulled the elastic tighter.  I didn't want to pull it tighter and stretch it out, but it was going to stretch out anyway, by hanging around my neck.  So pull it tighter than you think you need to.
I knotted it a couple more times, than snipped off the leftover elastic!
I have this other necklace that I did not make, that I thought would look good paired with my homemade necklace.  I ended up just wearing the other necklace as a bracelet instead, but still, they look pretty snazzy togever.
So fashionable.  While I'm bragging about its fashionableness, I suppoooose I should also tell you about something not so grand.  Being, I wore the same outfit to my cousin's wedding last weekend, and ALAS!  When I was unpacking from the trip, I noticed to my VERY GREAT dismay that the paint been *gasp* dare I say?  ScerATCHED from some of the beads!

Needless to say, I was PUT.  OUT.  Yes, it pains me to tell you.  Probably it never would have happened if I was carefuller in how I packed them.  So just keep that in mind if you make this necklace, and pack it carefully!
So tell me, lovely ladies of the world, would you wear this?  Have any tips for sealing it so it won't get scratched?  What color would you paint it?

P.S.  If you noticed that there are three places in this post where there should be a space, know that I know, and it bothers me to death too, but it won't let me add spaces there!  If you know what's going on and how to fix it, plz holp.