Step 1: What You Will Need. . .
*A concept for what you want the piece to look like.
*A clean work station
*Assortment of filler beads
*images you would like to put on the beads
*Mod Podge sealer/glue
*Embossing fluid (I used inkssentials Glossy accents)
*A beading board
The following items are optional depending on whether or not you are making a necklace or a bracelet or depending on what style you choose.
*.5mm/.019" diameter stretchy jewelry cord (Pepperell crafts Stretch Magic) [used for bracelets]
*Nylon coated stainless steel Jewelry wire (tiger tail) [used for necklaces]
*A centerpiece (preferably flat)
*Flat beads (larger than fillers)
If you don't already have a collection of beads it may take some time to find them, but all of these products can be found at Michael's or Joann's reletively easy and inexpensively
Step 2: The Beads. . .
Next you will need the images you want to adhere to the beads. This could be a family photo, a quirky message or anything you want. I used images that matched my project proposal, which is a collection of creation and origin myths from many different cultures. The important thing is that you size the image to match the bead. They don't have to be sized uniformly but doing so will give you a more professional look.
Step 3: The Pictures. . .
Once you have them cut out, apply the Mod Podge (or superglue) to your bead, then place the picture with either extreme dexterity or tweezers/pliers. I like the Mod Podge better because it is easier to remove or slide around if you decide that you don't like the positioning. The stuff dries pretty quick so you don't have to wait very long before moving to the next step.
Step 4: The Gloss. . .
Take the Glossy Accents embossing fluid (usually used for scrap booking and rubber stamp making) and place it over the picture, directly in the center. Then slowly squeeze and work the fluid around in a clockwise motion. Be sure not to touch the edges! If you see any air bubbles quickly use a tooth pick to pop them, the hole should fill in if you caught it in time. If you don't feel comfortable doing this on your beads just yet you could always practice the motion on parchment paper.
Let the embossing fluid dry in an area where it won't be touched or get dust on it, and leave it alone. the bottle says an hour, be conservative and wait two hours while you eat or watch a movie, being absolutely sure to leave the beads alone!
Step 5: The Pattern. . .
Its really a personal thing.
Step 6: Stringing Them Up
You cut the string longer than you need, loop the ends through the clasps that you are using and attach a small metal clip that keeps the wire from moving. Tighten that down with pliers and it should hold. You can use a needle to facilitate the stringing but I don't. You may also notice that I used two clasps for my bracelet, I do this because I wear a medical alert tag and like to attach that to my beaded creations.
A Special Tip: Use the stretchy cord for bracelet. Since I am always using my hands my bracelets tend to move around and get torn up more than a necklace would which has lead many of my pieces to break or fall apart. Using the stretchy cord solves this problem beautifully and makes it easier to take on and off.
Step 7: The Set
As you can see I also made earrings while I was at it, they say create and trust, which I thought was appropriate for the set.