I don't know exactly what's gotten into me, but I've suddenly developed a deep love of wooden bead painting. Or, as I like to refer to it, Ball Bedazzling. Which has led to many a bizarro convo with the hubs. You see, our usual evening routine involves me working at the dining room table or in my sewing room while he's in the bedroom reading. Every now and then we'll holler at each other and attempt conversation which is practically impossible because we can't really hear one another. So the other night, our yell-chat sounded like this:
Hubs: What are you doing down there?
Me: Bead painting.
Me: I am PAINTING. BEADS. FOR A NECKLACE.
Hubs: I still can't hear you.
Me: PAINTING MY BALLS!
I've long been admiring these bauble-y necklaces from Anthropologie but I'm the worst at buying jewelry. Mostly cuz I know there's a pretty good chance I'll take it off at some point during the day, stuff it in a pocket, wash my clothes without checking said pocket and, well, you can guess the rest. Kinda like that time I left a silver crayon in my pocket and everything came out glittey. Which I thought was super cool...but hubs didn't seem to take to his new sparkle shorts.
Yeah. Lots gets lost in translation at my house. I'm thinking of investing in some walkie talkies for us. Or maybe just a coupla cans and a string. Sounds like a super fun DIY.
Speaking of, this beading painting business is seriously fun and addictive. If you're into painting your balls, that is.
|The key to stringing up your necklace it making sure that you have a small bead in between large ones. If not, when you wear the necklace, the two large beads create a small gap and you can see the unsightly elastic.|
Now I know my version isn't as classy as Anthro's but I really like the goofy playfulness of it. And I have decided that these are my new favorite colors in the universe. Please note all the sparkles.
At the craft store, I picked up four different sizes of wooden beads and about a dozen of those cheapo bottles of acrylic paint. My local craft joint had Martha Stewart paint which I found to be of much higher quality than the usual generic stuff. I splurged on her metallic colored paints (and by "splurged" I mean, like, $1.75 a tube).
I quickly found that you can't paint these bad boys while holding them in your grubby man hands. So I used the backsides of paint brushes to hold them. For the smaller beads, I used q-tips (that I snipped one end off of) and wooden skewers.
Many of the beads I painted two toned. For this, I would paint the bead all one color (always using the lighter of the two colors as the background) and then paint the other half. Now, I do have a steady hand but I also use a couple of tricks. One is that I hold my painting arm firmly against my body to keep it from shaking. Then I lower my paint brush onto the bead and rotate the paintbrush that is holding the bead with my other hand. This helps me to create an even-ish line.
For the stripes, I used a very small brush and again, used my other hand to rotate. The key here is to rotate that brush evenly so that your stripes are equally spaced. And the great thing is, if you mess up, let that bead dry and paint over it. They are super forgiving. Unlike my husband in his sparkle shorts.
Making polka dots proved to be the easiest. I used a Q-tip and just rotated the bead to get them evenly spaced. Once all the beads were complete and dry, I slathered them with a thin coat of matte Modge Podge to prevent them from chipping.
While visiting family this weekend, I parked myself on the couch and set to work. I decided that I wanted my first necklace to be about the same size as this pie plate. I used it to plan out my design. Once determined, I started stringing my beads on elastic string and double knot tied the ends. Think glorified candy necklace. Cuz that's pretty much what it is.
|For the smaller and larger necklace, I simply made them different sizes than the first. Seriously easy, ya'll. If painting all those wee balls didn't cross my eyes, I'd probably be making a bracelet to match.|