Introduction: Make a Humanities Project; High Gloss Beaded Necklace and Bracelet

I was assigned a creative project for my humanities class, and since detailed instructions were required, and it turned out so great, I just had to make an instructable.

Step 1: What You Will Need. . .

Here is 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)
*Bracelet clasps
*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. . .

First step is to find the beads that you want to use for this glossy method. It is best if you use flat beads. I played with a bunch of different ideas for this one particular piece, I finally decided on a nice shell bead with a color that matched my theme. But you could use metal, wood, or frankly any other material you would usually put on necklace, as long as it is relatively flat.

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. . .

After you have selected the pictures and the beads you will then measure the size of the beads, and cut out a template out of scratch paper. Using this template draw the perimeter of your template on the pictures in pencil and get cutting! You can make them as uniform or as different as you want. I decided to make mine look more hand made so I chose to keep any imperfections in the cutting that was made.

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. . .

Now that you have the pictures glued in place I am going to show you an interesting trick to creating a nice glossy finish on them that will keep them from peeling off and create a much more professional look.

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. . .

Now that you have your beads dried and ready to go, its time to make a pattern with them. For this you will need a standard beading board. The best way is to think of what you want the pattern to look like and then start placing some beads down. Work with it, its like a painting or any other work of art, you can plan ahead but a certain amount of it will be skill and good judgment. I am not going to teach you how to pattern your necklaces, but remember to have plenty of filler beads on hand.

Its really a personal thing.

Step 6: Stringing Them Up

Now it is pretty straight forward from here,

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

Now you have made your own high gloss embossed bead set! Hurray!

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.