Saturday, June 13, 2015

Junk Mail Revisited

For my Creative Paperclay® Design Team tip of the month in April, I wrote about free craft supplies from junk mail.  Of course for that blog my posts generally involve things that relate to using clay, but here I'd like to share with you more things that can be done with junk mail.  The beads below may look a little bit like exotic sea shells, but they are really just the variety of exotic junk mail known as security envelopes.

paper from security envelopes, rolled and glazed with
black/brown acrylic glaze mix, then varnished

To make your own, all you need is a security envelope (or other paper of your choice), scissors, white glue, and a round toothpick (for small to medium beads, like the ones shown here, for larger beads you can use a bamboo skewer or dowel but will need to adjust the length of the paper strip accordingly to make the shapes come out well).

Simply cut out a strip of paper in the desired shape/width, then, starting at the large end, roll onto the toothpick.  Start gluing after you've gone around the toothpick a few times.  Finish with varnish, or paint as desired.  I've provided patterns, but you can just "freestyle it" and come up with some pretty amazing beads as well.


All of these bead were made from one business size security envelope - excluding large window!






















When painting the beads or adding varnish, I use a home-made drying rack - paint one end of the bead, slide it onto the pin with the wet side up, let it dry, then turn over and paint the other side.

A simple drying rack can be made by pushing straight pins
through a piece of cardboard

Add extra cardboard to the sides and you can fold them over
for safe storage of the rack



Naturally, an envelope with a different pattern creates a different type of bead.
It's fun to see how the different types of security patterns turn out.


Any type of paper can be used to make the beads, interesting results can come from newspaper ads, colored envelopes, etc.  The possibilities are endless!



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