I added a step to the description of the bead making process. This step is done just prior to rolling the bead in the Franklin Opals.
The beads tend to be thicker in the center as they melt, so I used a second knitting needle to gently push the thinner ends toward the middle while holding the bead in front of my heat gun. Then I rolled the beads across the clean sheet of paper again to smooth them out. This makes for a more uniform shape. If you're going for the irregular look, skip this step.
September 12, 2007
I learned about "End of the Day" glass from my grandmother. She had an "End of the Day" glass basket that eveyone in the family loved. "End of Day" glass refers to glassware made by glassworkers at the end of the day, often on their own time. It used up the leftover molten glass and was usually a mixture of many colors. The beads I made tonight reminded me of this glass.
These beads are made using a method very similar to that used in the Plastic Bag Bead post. Here's how I did it.
1. Start with very light weight, clear plastic, like the plastic bag from your newspaper or a dry cleaning bag.
2. Cut a strip about three inches wide and twelve inches long and fold it in half lengthwise.
3. Cut a ten inch piece of multi-colored "Fun Fur" (eyelash yard) and place it between the two layers of plastic.
4. Wrap this around a knitting needle or skewer and heat it with a heat gun. Because of the polyester content in the Fun Fur, it melts and becomes one with the plastic during the heating process. The beads tend to be thicker in the center as they melt, so I use a second knitting needle to gently push the ends toward the middle while holding the bead in front of my heat gun.
5. While still hot, roll it in Franklin Opals and heat until the Opals melt. Repeat this step several times until there is a thick coat of Opals all over the bead. Be sure to keep turning the bead while melting or the Opals will drip off. In this way, this process is similar to making glass beads. Continue turning as the bead cools.
Here's one I embellished.
This bead was wire wrapped and finished off with seed and bugle beads and a charm. I think it has "Geo Deco Thingie" written all over it!