DIY Painted Wooden Bead Necklace

So I’ve had this idea sitting around in my head for a few months, it is really quite novel and I’m sure no one has thought of it before: paint wooden beads and string them into an awesome necklace! Put paint on things! Well, apparently Kate Spade beat me to the punch here, which I found from another DIY on painted wooden beads here, and then another one here. Damn. Someone else had the idea to paint things! Balls. (wooden ones. with paint). Also, holyshitthatballnecklaceis128dollars. americandollars. thatslike5euros. So I thought I better get on the ball with this before it swarms pinterest and I’m just another “craft your own painted ball thing.”

This little project was actually quite fun and I’ve done it with two color pallets and with different stringing methods. One of the great things about a project like this is being able to develop a particular color and texture set that you can use on multiple projects to give yourself coordinating accessories. For my first color scheme I’m using the same paint and ribbon from my DIY Summer Glitter Shoes, so I will have at least one thing that will match my shoes perfectly! This project also allows you to experiment with top trending colors (tangerine tango, neons, bright pastels, etc) without having to commit a lot of money to something that will be passe in a few months.

Painting the Beads:

Step 1:  Decide how many beads you want to be painted half color/wood, half color/color, whole, striped, or anything else you can imagine. On the aqua necklace I just randomly picked up beads and painted them, but with the neon one I did the painting more systematically. On the half ones, use the painter’s tape to tape off half of the bead- this is much more difficult than it seems. If you are OCD you may want to not do this part, because it is almost impossible to get it perfectly in half.

Step 2: Paint the beads!! Using the toothpick really helps, and I would also prop up the bead using my nails. Not recommended to do after a manicure.

Step 3: I also decided to glitter some of the beads. While the paint is still wet dip in glitter (this was easy to do with the glitter mixed into a bowl) and gently tap off of the excess. Warning. Glitter will get everywhere and will show up five weeks later still in your hair.

Step 4: Let each bead dry after each step. I found that hanging them between two paint bottles worked the best.

Step 5: When painting half and half beads, first paint one bead a whole color and when the paint is dry wrap it with painter’s tape and then paint the other color. Choose high contrasting colors and paint the second color thick enough to cover the first color- use multiple thin coats instead of one thick one.

Step 6: The same goes with the stripe beads- just use a thin bit of painter’s tape.

Step 7: Use clear nail polish to seal in the glitter (do this!!!) and add to the other beads to give a nice high-gloss finish. This will also smooth out brush strokes and make everything shiny. I suggest trying some with the wood left bare (Aqua Necklace) and some with the wood glossed (Neon Necklace).

Step 8: Let the beads dry again by suspension. Now, marvel at your awesomeness.

Stringing the Beads:

For my Aqua Necklace I did a simple stringing of the beads onto some coordinating ribbons and then used lots of bows to tie them together. See the photos below these instructions. With the Neon Necklace, I used chains and some ribbon along with some basic wire beading to string the beads onto the chain.

Step 1: Look at the awesome beads that are black and neon.

Step 2: The necklace bits: chain, chain with ribbon woven inside of it, and ribbon. I cut the chain to 22″, the woven chain to 24″, and the ribbon I just looped back around to the other side to get a length close to 26.”

Step 3: Wire bits: Get some needle-nose pliers and another set of pliers that you like to use, spacer beads (I chose black), and some straight pins. If you plan on doing more jewelry crafts then I suggest getting a set of jewelry pliers- they sell them at craft stores and bead shops.

Step 4: Find the place on your chain that you wish to attach the wooden bead. Run the straight pin through the spacer bead, then through the wooden bead, and then through the chain link.

Step 5: Use the needle-nose pliers to bend the wire down and then carefully cut the excess with a wire cutter.

Step 6: With the needle-nose pliers, bend the wire into a loop encasing the chain link. Make sure rough edges are not sticking out.

Step 7: Attach chain parts together with a jump ring on each side and tie the ribbon together in a knot. You can dab glue or Fray-Check on the knot to keep it tied. On one jump ring also attach a lobster hook and on the other jump ring attach a bit of left-over chain to make the necklace a bit adjustable.

Finished Products:

note: I used Fray-Check on the cut portions of the ribbons to keep them from unraveling.

I hope you enjoy this little project! Also, credit for the photography and the studio set up goes to Andre LaFleur, go see more of his work.

-Fearn

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Clutter Monster #3: Nail Polish Rack

For this installment of the Clutter Monster series I will try and attempt to attack my growing addiction to collecting nail polish by creating a rack You know, to hang on the wall. For organization. and things. and it is pretty. America.

For the Construction:

Photo One: These are the supplies I used to create my rack; I used balsa wood because it is a lightweight material that would be easy for me to cut without major hardware. If you have a larger collection I highly recommend moving up to a much sturdier wood, basic pine, and either having the materials cut for you at the hardware store or borrowing a saw. Hell. Just go ahead and buy a table saw. It is useful. for things. Also handy: measuring tape, wood glue, nails, hammer, level, painter’s tape, paint, brushes, and as you can see I also picked up some decorative trim from the craft store (right next to the balsa wood) to be used as a little railing.

Photo Two: Cutting the balsa wood is fairly easy, use something sturdy with a straight edge and a heavy duty box cutter. The edges will be rough and sand paper will help some, but as you will see later on that rough edges are just going to be part of using the balsa wood. I bought three pieces of 4 inch wide balsa wood that were 36 inches long. I cut them to give me three inner horizontal pieces, two exterior horizontal pieces, and two vertical pieces. The inner pieces were 1/2 an inch shorter than the exterior horizontal pieces to account for the 1/4 width of the wood, so they ended up being 11.5 inches and 12 inches respectfully. The vertical pieces were cut to 20 inches.

Photo Three: Assemblage. I stared on one of the vertical pieces and I first attached the base by applying a line of glue and then two nails. Since the balsa wood is sooooo soft the nails more or less just push in and require a light tap with the hammer to finish them off. Also, I made the measurements and design so that the vertical pieces sit on top of the base rather than to the outside of it. I then spaced the three inside pieces evenly across the inside and applied them in similar fashion: line of glue and two nails. Use the level to hep make sure everything is straight. Mine ended up a bit tipsy. That might have something to do with the beer. Maybe.

Photo Four: Slap the other side on! Not quite that easy, but it isn’t rocket science. Just make sure that the inside places are matching up to the marks they should be hitting and that the shelves are not pitched too far forward or backward. Again use some glue and nails to set everything once you have used a level to adjust the placement. Now the basic frame is done! Grab another beer!

Photo Five and Six: At this point I have decided to use the wood glue as a bit of a sealing agent and a smoothing putty. I gobbed it up on my finger and ran it across the abutting seams and then I used it to coat the inevitable rough side of the cut balsa wood in an attempt to smooth out the shards of soft wood. I probably could have used a second coat on the rough cut bits, but It was successfully painted over, which was the initial goal.

Photo Seven: Attach the rails. The rails are the decorative wood pieces and I just used big kitchen shears to cut them the full length across the front. These rails are to make sure that as you are moving polish on and off the rack you don’t accidentally knock all of the polishes off of the rest of the shelf. Not that I have ever done that. ever. Decide which direction is up and down and use the wood glue to place the rail about 2 inches above the shelf, and then place something heavy on top of the project to let the whole thing dry solid.

You are constructed!!

Here is just a friendly PSA:

For the Decoration:

Obviously this part is really up to you and your tastes, but racing stripes are cool. right? RIGHT?!

Photo One: I decided to go with black as my base as most polish containers have black on them and I thought adding too much color to it could distort the perception of color of the polish. Color theory is a thing I think about too much sometimes. I wanted to use spray paint because it was quick and easy and to give a good base coat. Balsa wood being soft soaks up acrylic paint so having a base coat or primer coat really helps the intended finish shine through. Alas, I ran out of spray paint before the whole thing had a coat on it so I just moved on to my acrylics.

Photo Two: I did a thick coat of Martha Stewart’s Satin Finish craft acrylic paint in black and decided that the sides needed some foofying up. foofying. I said it. Pulled out the painter’s tape once the black had dried completely and laid out a design. Make sure the edges are sealed.

Photo Three: To help remove the tape later fold over the edge so that you make a little tab. This is also helpful to do to the tape still on the roll. Especially if that tape happens to be clear packing tape.

Photo Four: Paint all the things! I used a gold metallic paint because I am awesome enough to use metallic paints.

Foto Phive: Look at the gold paint!!!

Photo Six: Pull off the paint while the paint is not quite dry yet. This is my favorite part! It is like watching a magic trick! except without the fear of being chopped in half. That is a good thing.

Photo Seven: I glued some felt to each the corners to help keep the rack from scratching the wall. It is a good life hack for those who want to protect their walls, or their apartment walls, or their parents walls. You’re welcome Mom.

Photo Eight: It is almost finished!! I covered the project with a coat of Krylon clear gloss spray paint as a nice little varnish. To hang: If you have a small collection (who does that really?!) a basic nail mount will work, but mine was too heavy for that. I used a picture frame mounting system: little triangle tabs attached at the second from top shelf that sit on nails in the wall.

Hang and Enjoy! Happy Crafting!!

-Fearn