How to make your own beads [glass, bread, plastic, clay, wood, paper, papier mache]

1. Bread beads

Materials needed: baked bread, lime or lemon, color, brushes, lacquer.
Tools needed: broom-stick, art knife.

Steps

  • Make preliminary sketches and idea development of the bead to be produced
  • Remove the outer hard brown cover of the bread
  • Crush or break the inner soft portion of the bread into smaller bits and put it into a fine container
  • Add some amount of white glue and lemon to the bread dough and knead
  • Roll and cut the kneaded bread dough into the expected sizes
  • Mold into the expected shapes and sizes
  • Use broom stick to create or perforate hole in the bread dough
  • Allow it to dry
  • Decorate it using color and brushes
  • Apply lacquer to it to make it shinny and attractive
  • Allow it to dry and string

2. Bead and loop

  • Cut wire into strips. All of the same size
  • Hold the tip of the wire and coil to make a loop on one side with the round nose plier
  • Put bead through the other side
  • Make another loop to lock the bead
  • Make several of them and use jump ring to join them to form chains

3. Seed beads

Materials needed: seeds, color, lacquer and thread.
Tools needed: an awl, hand drill, needle.

Steps

  • Make preliminary sketches and idea development of the bead to be produced
  • Collect seeds from the locality
  • Dry seeds for some time
  • Perforate the seeds for threading. If seeds are too hard for perforating, heat sand in a pan and arrange the seeds in it to be soften
  • Remove their radicles and thread through it
  • Decorate it by either vanishing or painting to enhance its beauty

4. Wooden beads

Materials needed: wood, color, and lacquer.
Tools needed: saw, scorching iron, file, chisel, brushes, sand paper, awl, bodkin, hand drill, art knife.

Steps

  • Cut wood into size and shape desired with a suitable woodworking tool
  • Use file and sand paper to smoothen the shapes
  • Create threading hole in the wood pieces with either a drill or hot iron
  • Decorate the beads by scorching, painting or spraying with lacquer and vanish to give it a glossy effect
  • Thread the pieces of beads together

5. Plastic beads

Materials needed: discarded plastics (cups, bucket, plates, bowls, basins etc.), color, lacquer and thread.
Tools needed: hand saw, an awl, thin metal, pan or empty tin, hand drill, bodkin, awl, needle.

Steps 1

  • Make preliminary sketches and idea development of the bead to be produced
  • Collect discarded plastics from the locality
  • Break plastic material into pieces
  • Melt plastic pieces in a container
  • Allow the melted plastic to cool a little bit and mold into the desired shapes and sizes
  • Use a scorching tool to make hole in them
  • Polish and string

Steps 2

  • Make preliminary sketches and idea development of the bead to be produced
  • Collect discarded plastics from the locality
  • Cut plastic material into strips
  • Set light to one end of the strip and hold the burning strip over a bowl of water
  • Allow the melting plastic to drop into the water to solidify
  • Collect the droppings and perforate them

Steps 3

  • Make preliminary sketches and idea development of the bead to be produced
  • Collect discarded plastics from the locality
  • Shape plastics into geometric shapes such as round, triangle, rectangle, Square etc.
  • Use bodkin or heated metal to create hole in the
  • Polish and string

6. Clay beads

Materials needed: clay, color, and lacquer.
Tools needed: broom-stick, kiln, brushes and art knife.

Steps

  • Make preliminary sketches.
  • Prepare the clay using dry or wet method
  • Knead the clay to remove trapped bubbles.
  • Roll the clay.
  • Cut the clay into required shapes and sizes
  • Mold into the expected shapes and sizes
  • Pierce or create holes in them.
  • Allow it to dry
  • Fire the beads
  • Decorate the beads
  • String the beads

7. Paper beads

Materials needed: paper, glue, color or dye, lacquer.
Tools needed: broom-stick, pair of scissors, ruler, brushes, and art knife.

Steps

  • Make preliminary sketches
  • Use pencil/pen to draw the outline of the bead you want to produce
  • Use pencil/pen and ruler to measure and rule the lines on the paper
  • Cut the pieces of papers into strips using scissors or the knife
  • Roll the strips round a piece of broom stick or matchstick using the glue
  • Decorate the beads by painting, spaying or vanishing

8. Papier mache beads

Materials needed: paper, glue, color or dye, lacquer.
Tools needed: broom-stick, pair of scissors, ruler, brushes, and art knife.

Steps

  • Make preliminary sketches
  • Soak paper for some times
  • Remove from water and squeeze out excess water
  • Pound the soaked paper to get fine particles
  • Mix pounded paper with glue or starch
  • Mold to the desired shapes and sizes
  • Use broom stick to create hole in the beads
  • Allow to dry
  • Polish the beads by filing to make it smooth
  • Decorate the beads by painting, spaying or vanishing

9. Glass beads

Materials needed: scrap glass, clay, cassava leave stalk, suede (color), fuel for grease/oil
Tools needed: metal mortar, metal pestle, grinding stone, file, sieve, bricks, and mold

Stage 1: Designing and making clay mold

Steps:

Prepare clay slab
Make holes of the desired shape and size in the slab
Allow to dry

Stage 2: Designing and building a brick kiln

Steps:

  • Make a design of the kiln
  • Make a dimension of the kiln to be made
  • Prepare bricks
  • Construction of kiln according to the design

Stage 3: Preparing glass powder

Steps:

  • Break glasses into pieces
  • Pound or grind broken glasses into fine particles
  • Sieve pounded glasses into fine powder
  • Store for use

Stage 4: Making beads from glass

Steps:

  • Paint the holes of the mold with kaolin or oil
  • Fix a cassava leaf-stalk into each hole
  • Fill the holes with powdered glass
  • Add colored powder to the glass powder for decoration
  • Pack mold in the kiln for firing
  • Allow to fire
  • Remove from the kiln and allow to dry
  • Smooth beads by filling the rough edges and polish
  • Design if necessary

Source: Jewelry theories & practices for Senior High School by Juliana E. Ankutse-Ashiagbor