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

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.


1 year ago

very helpful, thanx!

I'm making beads right now. I hand wrap mine over an American size 6 crochet needle. I secure the wrap with multiple coats of Elmer's white glue. I use my fingers... enjoying the shape of each individual bead. Once dry they get coated with clear nail polish from the dollar store. The final touch is inserting a 3mm metal end cap, using e6000 glue. If needed they can be re-coated. But they are all hand made and unique. I also have Modge Podge gloss if an even shinier undercoat is desired.

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.

I too am using the PC petrifier and its a great product. You said that you have a binder clip at each end of the line. Do you find that the bottom one or two beads get clogged up at all? I had followed Beyond Bracelets instructions to put two waste beads at the bottom but they get clogged up fairly quickly and I have to then change them up often. Maybe I will try the binder clip, I would imagine they are dripping with glaze as well.

Ive been looking for a cheap source of final coat varnish as what Ive tried so far has been expensive for the amount of beads I have been finishing. I've found this floor finishing product that is basically a polyurethane I may give that a go as its 18.99 for a. gallon jug. The Varathane product I have been using is expensive, 21.99 for a pint.

Since writing last time, I have made a few changes with the way I glaze my beads. I still use the PC-Petrifier but now I put the binder clip at one end and I still use waste beads but what I use for waste beads have changed. I use E-Beads and mini pony beads. I also use a crimp bead at each end to keep the beads on the strand. I put the binder clip only on one end, to hang the strand. What I do is put a crimp bead on one end, add the little E Bead, then 2 mini pony beads, then my paper beads, then 2 more mini pony beads, 1 more E Bead and one more crimp bead. I dip them 4 times in the PC petrifier, let them soak about 10-20 seconds, then about an hour and a half later, dip them a second time and invert the strand. Then I repeat this 2 more times. I then add a final coat of either Vibrance or Liquid laminate. The mini pony beads are big enough to take on the extra glaze and I do not have to make the waste beads. The E bead is just so the mini pony beads don't come off of the strand. I do buy the PC-Petrifier by the gallon and I have a gallon of Liquid Laminate I bought a few years ago and now am using it for my paper bead curtains.

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

great project for kids to do.

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.


5 years ago

You can dip them in wax. Cheap... and shiny if buffed.

I put them on a nail to dip them.