When making paper beads, is there anything you can substitute for clear varnish?

Like maybe glue or something? Or is clear varnish the only thing you can use?

Nail polish does work great but it is rather expensive if you are going to make a lot of beads. I wind my beads on a bead roller I made which makes a 1/16" hole. I use Judikins Diamond Glaze and or Mod Podge Dimensional Magic to coat my beads. I pour a small amount into a small 3 oz paper cup and dip my beads into the glaze. I use plastic toothpicks, I found on Amazon, to stick my beads on to dip them. The beads stick a little to the stick so I use flat nose pliers to hold the pick while I twist off the bead. If you use wood toothpicks, and they get stuck, it is next to impossible to remove the bead from the pick. If you want the colors of your bead to get enhanced more, you can brush on regular gloss mod podge first then dip them in the final glaze. I found beads made with regular high gloss modge podge tend to stick to each other when stored. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

I have an update to my answer! I now dip all of my beads into 4 coats of PC-Petrifier, a wood hardener and 1 coat of Janice Mae's Vibrance. I string them on a 12" piece of 50lb test fishing line and using a mini binder clip at each end, I hang them on a drying rack I made using PVC pipe and skewers. I invert them after each coat of glaze for even coverage. Between coats, I remove all of the strands of beads from the drying rack and break apart the beads to loosen them on the fishing line before dipping them again. I find that if I have a combination of tube beads and tapered beads, I alternate them on the strand so the tube beads get completely covered on the ends. I have started doing it this way about a month ago and so far I have glazed well over 1500 beads. It is much faster than glazing them one at a time. I do let the first coat soak in the PC-Petrifier for about 30 seconds to allow the paper to soak up the glaze. I also allow the first coat to dry at least 6 hours before dipping them a second time. The rest of the dips just need to be dipped for a couple of seconds and be allowed to dry about an hour and a half. I allow the coat of Vibrance to dry a couple of hours before removing the beads.

rickharris1 year ago
Yep Nail varnish is great AND comes with it's own brush and in many colours.

great project for kids to do.
Jessie Marie (author)  rickharris1 year ago
Thanks, and good points, too.
rachl0091 year ago
Clear nail polish?

I've made paper beads where you wrap a long strip of magazine paper around a straw or toothpick. I used white glue to stick it to itself, and after it dried I painted them with clear nail polish. It made them shiny and stiffer.

You could also use mod podge, which is basically white glue, but it wouldn't be as shiny, I think.
Jessie Marie (author)  rachl0091 year ago
Thanks for the tips!
mole11 year ago
You can dip them in wax. Cheap... and shiny if buffed.
mole1 mole11 year ago
I put them on a nail to dip them.
Jessie Marie (author)  mole11 year ago
Okay, thanks for the tip!