I had some "beads" left over from my previous cardboard necklace, so I thought I'd try combining them with one of my most favorite materials, pom-poms. Yes.
First, I trimmed the corners from the triangular beads, just to try a different shape. These look a bit more crystal-like, I think.
Then, I took a look at my bag of pom-poms. (I feel every home should have a ziplock bag of pom-poms, in case of emergencies.) I happen to have several different shades of blue, so I figured I'd paint the cardboard beads in a range of blues, too.
Then, I laid everything out the way I wanted to string it. This helped me figure out which beads in the lineup will be at the center of the necklace.
Because this necklace is made solely of super-light-weight materials, I wanted to weigh it down somehow. I glued two dimes to the backs of the two center beads. I recommend doing this before you string everything together, which as you can see, is not how I did it. (This photo also illustrates why you should always paint first, decoupage second.)
I cut small pieces of regular white copy paper to match the shapes of the two be-coined beads. I coated each paper bit with glue, then smoothed it over the coin and the back of the bead. This will help the dime stay right where it is.
Now it's time to put it together. You do need an actual embroidery needle for this project; a yarn needle isn't sharp enough to go easily through a pom-pom. I threaded mine with embroidery floss, because I have a rainbow of colors on hand. Knot the end of a long-ish piece (about 20 inches), and thread on a pom-pom, then a cardboard bead, then another pom-pom, and so on. Just make sure to both start and end with a pom-pom; the poms stay tightly on the string and they'll keep your beads from sliding around. The finished piece:
But wait, there's more! I had a few of the other decoupaged beads left, so I made a third necklace with the alternating-pom-poms scheme, below.
Something about working with such inexpensive materials really opens me up to trying more off-beat color and pattern combos than I otherwise might. I hope you get a chance to make your own cardboard bead necklace. They are truly fun!
I love old books. I can't pass up a chance to look through the "discard" rack at the library, which is where I found this treasure. It's a book called Books! by Murray McCain and John Alcorn, published in 1962.
My copy was free, and understandably, the dust jacket has seen better days.
The inside flaps tell you what you're getting into.
The contents of the book are a beautiful jumble of fonts and illustration styles, all in hot pink, red, and a sort of mustardy brown. And it is all about books, and how wonderful they are. This speaks to me.
The next few pages describe the physical attributes of a book: paper, binding, thread, glue, dust jacket. Also, they can come in all shapes and sizes, but, "Most books are just right for holding." And then:
There are books about all sorts of topics, and books that help teach you things, and even books to color in.
First off, there are hard words, like "planetarium," "if," and "Paderewski." Then, there are:
(How much do I love that two of the "words to think about" are "manhood" and "the President"? A whole lot.)
This page starts off a few pages about letters, which form words, and punctuation. "Put them all together, and you get books!" After listing a few more ideas about what books can do — that some books are about things that happened a hundred years ago, and some books are about things that may happen the day after tomorrow — we close with:
Thank you Books! for celebrating what I love about books! And, hooray for library discards!
I love off-beat makers' markets like the all-across-the-nation Renegade Craft Fairs. Through their handy website and list of contributing makers, I discovered these perfect stuffed bears from COMMONFOLK.
They come in multiple sizes and soft, earthy colors. All have that same cute expression, which I alternately read as beseeching, worried, sleepy, and content, depending on my own current mood.
They're all hand-sewn and hand-embroidered in the U.S., yet they are pretty affordable. Click on the photos to go to COMMONFOLK's shop.
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.