Mulberry Paper Jewelry

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Introduction: Mulberry Paper Jewelry

Mulberry Paper is made from Kozo bark. It has long, strong fibers. Japan and Thailand are known for their beautiful and highly textured papers. The paper varies in thickness up to 1mm. Blick Art supplies and others carry these beautiful papers. A quick search on the Internet will give you many ordering options.

Supplies

You will need a needle and thread or a sewing machine (paper can be the texture and strength of felt)

Elmer's Glue

Scissors

Shape Template or Note Paper cutters. (These can often not cut through Mulberry paper but they leave an indentation to then cut around)

Jeweler's hole punch

Earwires

1mm leather cord

Step 1: Let's Get to Work

Gather your supplies and choose your colors. I have included directions for you to make two types of paper jewelry necklaces from cut paper circles. One technique uses stitchery only. The other uses Elmer's Glue to hold paper pieces together.

First you must make or use a shape template. I used a Note Maker punch to partially cut the circle shapes. There were places where the punch was not strong enough to cut through the paper. However, it left an indentation to follow with the scissors.

Now, you have a pile of circles in the colors and textures of your choice.

Step 2: Line Up Your Circles and Sew or Stitch Them

I was able to use silver thread on a sewing machine and slowly feed the shapes to be stitched. Some of the papers are strong enough to embroider a design on them as well. I started with the single black strand of circles for the necklace. I wanted the paper to lay flat against the back of the neck.

Next I stacked two circles on top of each other and stitched them in a chain. After they were connected I folded them to form a 3D shape. (see the red chain image).

Step 3: Add a Different Color or Texture Paper for Interest

In order to add some highlights and some jewelry aspects to the piece, I added some gold paper on the black disk in three places, on either side at the color change and in the middle of the red circle.

This was done with a needle and thread down the middle so that the attached circles could be folded into three dimensions.

I sewed two more circles together to make some matching earrings. They have one gold, one black and one red. When the sides are folded back the earrings swing in the breeze to reveal their colors.

I used the jewelers metal hole punch and made a hole in each earring and added a circular earwire.

If you have trouble wearing bigger earrings because they are too heavy these paper earrings are your answer.

Step 4: The Second Style of Necklace Is Glued and Strung on Leather Cording

You will find a large variety of thicker papers with textures and colors at any store the does stationary crafting. For the second necklace I am staying with the same colors and mulberry paper to illustrate the difference in stability of the paper when using the glue technique vs. the sewing method.

I cut gold, black and red papers into circles.

Next I folded each piece in half. I slipped two together and added white glue to the matching half of each side. Then added a third piece to the remaining sides. When dry, the shapes are much more firm and have a sculptural shape.

They would be difficult to sew with the hard dried glue so I used the jeweler's hole punch (a sharp nail will do as well) to make a hole near the top of each piece.

Then I strung two pieces of leather cording for remaining adjustable part of the necklace this adds interest and stability to the piece.

All kinds of beads can also be sewn into the design as you add your own creativity. The paper is strong enough. I added some pyrite beads. They catch the sun and reflect on the gold paper.

Step 5: Tying Off the Cord - Finished!

The knot is thicker with two cords so I only tied one slip knot at each end.

The leather held so I did not need a drop of glue on the ends but you might like to consider it.

First I crossed over the cord and tucked it under and back toward me.

Next I brought it up and over away from me.

I tucked the cord in the loop and tightened the cords around the two main necklace cords so that the knot slipped up and down the main cords.

Go to the other end and do the same thing. You will have a circular adjustable necklace that slips over your head.

Do you like the finished piece? I call it "The Kiss".

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    2 Comments

    1
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    These are neat! The paper look so soft :)

    0
    joppenheimer
    joppenheimer

    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh Thanks! Yes it is soft and light to wear. I like the way the colors change in the breeze. (a bit of a problem for outdoor photography. :-)