The Book of Books by Mahe Zehra Husein [Free tutorial and printable]

I made a paper-bead tutorial a year ago during a sleepless season. It was so popular, I couldn’t believe it. I ran a class at my studio and also gave a talk and workshop at the local women’s group about it. And then to my total surprise, I was approached by the wonderful Mahe Zehra Husein of AlteredUpcycling.com and asked if I’d put together an upcycled project for her publication The Book of Books. Obviously, I was ridiculously excited to be included and got to work straight away, adapting the paper beaded bracelet by making it from pages from a book. It’s one of my quickest but favourite makes to date. And oh so stylish. My primary photograph was even featured on the front page! There I am in the bottom left hand corner!paper bead necklace

 

 

I’ve included the tutorial again below, with the free printable patterns. But it’s definitely worth popping over to see what Mahe is up to at the moment, too!

Materials:

  • Printed pattern x1 for a bracelet or more for a necklace, depending on length.
  • PVA glue
  • cocktail sticks or skewers
  • shellac / varnish /Mod Podge (optional but recommended for longevity)
  • beading thread or elastic
  • seed beads (optional)

DSC02310

1. Print your pattern and cut out the skinny triangles.

 

 

 

 

DSC02313

2. Choose a triangle and start to roll it on to the cocktail stick, wide end first. DO NOT USE GLUE YET as it will stick your bead to the stick. (Ask me how I know!) Once you’ve done half an inch or so, you can add a spot of glue. It doesn’t matter too much if it oozes a little, because you can smooth it over the bead with your fingers. But don’t go wild.

 

 

DSC02316I actually prefer to switch to roll with my thumb at this point – I seem to be able to keep the bead tighter this way. I turn the stick with my right hand and use my thumb to press the paper down. As you get towards the end of the strip add another little dot of glue to secure the tail.

 

 

DSC023193.Your bead is now complete. Poke the end of the cocktail stick into something soft to hold it upright while the glue finishes drying. Take up your next skinny triangle and a new cocktail stick and repeat from step 1 until you have sufficient beads.

 

 

DSC023224. Once all the beads are made and dried, cover them with a coat of lacquer or mod-podge or varnish. This is optional but it will mean that you can wear your bracelet out in the rain. The beads are made of paper, so they’re never going to survive a bath! But you can keep them looking smart for a long time by giving them a coating of something. You could also make them lovely and shiny, if that’s your thing. Me, I prefer a matte finish, so I used a good quality gel matte medium to coat mine. (Don’t use a cheap one or they’ll end up sticky for ever!)

DSC023235. Again, once the drying time is done, you’re ready to string them up. Use anything that takes your fancy. Beading thread, ribbon, elastic, leather thong, embroidery thread even dental floss (not dental tape – it breaks too easily- and probably better to choose the non-minty type!) will all work. I alternated my paper beads with tiny glass seed beads for a bit of extra pretty.

To finish off: if you’re using elastic then just tie a knot. You can see mine there on the left – it will slip under a bead and become invisible once I’ve finished. If you’re using a non-stretchy type of thread, then you’ll need to engineer yourself a clasp of some sort. An extra bead through a loop works well. Or a button and loop. Or just a pretty bow if it’s a ribbon. There are some other ideas for fastenings right here.

DSC02329Voila!

If you’re here from Handmade Monday over at Lucy Blossom Crafts, HELLO THERE! Do drop me a lime to say hi! (And if you’d be interested in doing a guest blogging exchange with me, email jemmafifield@gmail.com)

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Paper bead freebie.

My Munkies have not been sleeping well the last few weeks. Which means Mama and Papa Munkie have also not been getting a lot of shut eye. This is the part of parenting that the books don’t mention. When there’s really nothing wrong but they just won’t can’t nod off at night. Or they’re waking up through the night in need of something that neither they nor we can identify. The books also don’t mention how 4 years after having a baby you will be required to maintain a long and detailed conversation about climbing frames, their construction, engineering processes and locations. With a detailed SWOT analysis of the different types ranked according to height from ground, distance from our home and proximity to ice cream vans. All this before 7.30am whilst in the shower. #ShouldHaveGotADog.

But I digress…

Not much sleep in the Munkie household. Meaning that evenings have been spent slumped in a heap rather than engaging in Makery. However, as much as I love to watch TV (Nashville… who knew?!) my fingers get itchy if they’re not doing something. So this is where the rolled paper paper beads come in. It’s so soothing to cut a strip, roll it around a cocktail stick, add a dab of glue and watch your bead stash grow. I began with some vintage pages to make tiny pearl-size spheres. So pretty. I think I’m going to make myself a double strand.

There are records of Victorians in England having rolled long strips of paper to make beads which they then linked together to make bead curtains. It was popular around the turn of the century in the USA. And more recently the crafting of rolled paper beads has proven to give a sustainable income to women in Uganda.

DSC02323I’ve enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d make a printable so you can make yourself a bracelet. Or perhaps a little gift for a friend. It won’t take long, but it looks really rather special.

You will need:

  • Printed pattern x1 for a bracelet or more for a necklace, depending on length.
  • PVA glue
  • cocktail sticks or skewers
  • shellac / varnish /Mod Podge (optional but recommended for longevity)
  • beading thread or elastic
  • seed beads (optional)

DSC02310

1. Print your pattern and cut out the skinny triangles.

 

 

 

 

DSC02313

2. Choose a triangle and start to roll it on to the cocktail stick, wide end first. DO NOT USE GLUE YET as it will stick your bead to the stick. (Ask me how I know!) Once you’ve done half an inch or so, you can add a spot of glue. It doesn’t matter too much if it oozes a little, because you can smooth it over the bead with your fingers. But don’t go wild.

 

DSC02316I actually prefer to switch to roll with my thumb at this point – I seem to be able to keep the bead tighter this way. I turn the stick with my right hand and use my thumb to press the paper down. As you get towards the end of the strip add another little dot of glue to secure the tail.

 

 

DSC023193. Your bead is now complete. Poke the end of the cocktail stick into something soft to hold it upright while the glue finishes drying. Take up your next skinny triangle and a new cocktail stick and repeat from step 1 until you have sufficient beads.

 

 

DSC023224. Once all the beads are made and dried, cover them with a coat of lacquer or mod-podge or varnish. This is optional but it will mean that you can wear your bracelet out in the rain. The beads are made of paper, so they’re never going to survive a bath! But you can keep them looking smart for a long time by giving them a coating of something. You could also make them lovely and shiny, if that’s your thing. Me, I prefer a matte finish, so I used a good quality gel matte medium to coat mine. (Don’t use a cheap one or they’ll end up sticky for ever!)

DSC023235. Again, once the drying time is done, you’re ready to string them up. Use anything that takes your fancy. Beading thread, ribbon, elastic, leather thong, embroidery thread even dental floss (not dental tape – it breaks too easily- and probably better to choose the non-minty type!) will all work. I alternated my paper beads with tiny glass seed beads for a bit of extra pretty.

To finish off: if you’re using elastic then just tie a knot. You can see mine there on the left – it will slip under a bead and become invisible once I’ve finished. If you’re using a non-stretchy type of thread, then you’ll need to engineer yourself a clasp of some sort. An extra bead through a loop works well. Or a button and loop. Or just a pretty bow if it’s a ribbon. There are some other ideas for fastenings right here.

DSC02329Voila!

Welcome to the new look MoonMunkie (and a super-special giveaway!)

As part of my plan to take over the world, this is the new online home for MoonMunkie. Please (please, please!) click the subscribe button, especially if you followed the old blog. It’s a bit of a risk for me, moving to a new domain, because I’d built up a modest but solid following at the old one. However, owning MoonMunkie.co.uk gives me more flexibility with what I can post and how I structure things. (Also lots of scope for not knowing the first thing about what I’m doing and getting cross because I can’t work it out!) So do please follow along and support me.

So, in the spirit of newness and excitement, I’m hosting a very exciting MoonMunkie giveaway throughout May. The winner will receive  a free private lesson for 2 people in the new studio, Bury St Edmunds, UK. All materials included. On a mutually convenient date in July or August.

I envisage it will be a bookbinding lesson, but if you’d prefer something different, we can arrange it. And overseas followers, don’t despair! I’m also giving away 2 runner up prizes! 2 people will each receive one of my new (and as yet unveiled!) bookbinding kits, complete with instructions and materials to make your own mini art journal.

How to win?

Well, subscribe to this page and comment below. I’d also be grateful if you could like MoonMunkie on facebook and share this giveaway with as many people as you can. I’m trying to hit 300 likes on facebook before the summer.

 

Thanks so much for dropping by.

 

Journal Charms

 

For the last week I’ve been working on a collection of gorgeous charms to add splendour to art journals, scrapbooks and cards. Made from paper clay, they are light and will withstand a fair beating. With a diameter of 3cm,  they will look stunning on the spine of any journal whilst being whimsical enough to be incorporated into a personal journal spread, greetings card or scrapbook layout.

Each charm has at least 4 layers of paint and/or distress ink  to build up a patina of rich colour and deep iridescence. They look opulent, aged and antique. In the future I anticipate that there will be a greater range of shapes, colours and expressions. I may even have time to do a few custom made ones, if the interest is there. For now, there are 4 sets to collect each with an expression and an image:

FLY & Butterfly

GROW & Flower

BE & Matryoshka

LOVE & Heart

As an added bonus, each packet has a digital print of a Moon Munkie journaling card – currently the young lady alongside the charms is known as Hazel – I hope to make a new card for each new series of charms.

So… if you like them, they’ll be on sale in my online shop which should be coming soon. Although if you’re desperate, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do. They will be available at Moon Munkie workshops – and participants may be finding a free one in their goody bags over the next month. I’ll also be giving away 1 of each set over at Facebook in the next day or so. So go over and hit like in order to be kept up to date with that.

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Mystery Make Goes Global!

Gosh, I’m so excited at this news that I can’t wait to tell you all  about it. Two otherMoon Munkie Mystery Makes are underway! I hadn’t realised, but 2 of the winners of the competition I ran are doing their giveaways straightaway! So why not head on over and take part… that way if you missed out on the Moon Munkie packages, you still have 2 more chances to win. And while you’re at it, why not run a Moon Munkie Mystery Make of your own? (Be sure to drop me a line so I can enter!)

So, drop what you’re doing and pop over right away to visit Sica at The Seek Speak and Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes  and you could pick up a package of goodies.

If you decide to run your own Moon Munkie Mystery Make, help yourself to my button and drop me a line at moonmunkiemakery-blog@yahoo.co.uk  and I’ll post about it too!