Thursday, August 27, 2015

Simple Floral Lampwork Bead

       I love lampwork beads but I have no money. So it's time to real cheap and make them myself the easy cheatin' way! Here's how:

 First you need these items:

 1. vegetable oil

 2. cornstarch

 3. a bead mandrel ir knitting needle

 4. a protective mat

 5. a paintbrush

 6. a mini glue gun

 7. Mod Podge colored hot melt sticks, I chose milk glass and  pink from the Neon color collection

 9. plastic or glass bowl

Step 1.

   Mix  about a tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch in your mixing container. Stir with the end of a paintbrush. It should look like this:


Step 2.
     With a paintbrush, apply the mixture to your bead mandrel, or knitting needle. This act as a release agent for easy removal. Don't panic, I didn't leave out this item- the white bracket tool is not needed for most people, I have limited use of my left hand so this serves as a handy helper.

Step 3.

Plug in and load up your mini glue gun with the colored glue stick of your choice, this will be the color of your base bead. When hot and free flowing, squeeze out a bead of hot glue around the mandrel until it is a loop connected as one piece. 

Keep twirling the mandrel so that glue settles evenly all around, once cooled stop twirling. 

If you want the bead thicker, you may add an additional loop of hot glue alongside the fist loop making sure that the hot glue is adhered to the first loop. Repeat until your bead is the length you would like.
Do not throw those pesky hot glue strings away! We will use these in another tutorial. 

Now for the fun part. It's time to put on the flowers. But first you have to change hot glue colors in the glue gun. Pull the previous color glue stick out of the glue gun, it is easy while still hot. Place the color glue stick you would like the flowers to be inside the glue gun. Foe a few squeezes there will be a mixture of the two colors- do not waste this! Until the color comes out clean, you can make marbled cabochons by squeezing out drops on a silicon, or non stick pad. You can use these in later projects. I removed white hot glue and added pink for my flowers.

Now that the hot glue flow is a clean color gently squeeze out small dots of hot glue in the desired area where you would like flowers. Make sure your flowers are placed on all sides of the bead so they show up if the bead turns on the string.

Flowers are finished. Now we have to make leaves. To minimize the hassle of changing colors after each bead, make several marbled beads on the mandrel. These complement your focal beads...

.... or just make more cabochons. I changed from pink to green.

Place leaves around your flowers by squeezing out a dot similar to the way you made the flowers, but pull the glue gun out slowly. This will make the dot elongated like a leaf. Place them here and there in a sporadic manner.

Trim off the glue strings.
Rub with your finger for a matte finish.
Use water based varnish for a glossy finish.
Stain with black, or umber colored paint for an antiqued finish.

Make several for your own jewelry designs.

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