Friday, May 19, 2017

We're All Ears - May Reveal

For this month's We're All Ears challenge, the inspiration was Trash Transformed.

...In other words, we were challenged to take things that we would normally discard, and breathe new life into them.

Now, I love making things out of unconventional materials, and immediately I thought of paper beads. After all, they can be made from pretty much any form of paper... And, I don't know about you, but we're always getting fliers in the mail. 

So, when the inevitable advertisement showed up in our mailbox, instead of putting it in the recycling, I snatched it up and took it to my craft room instead.

I cut the pages of the flier into strips...

...and then rolled them into beads:

In this form, you can't even tell that they were originally listings for sofas and home organization solutions. ;)

Once I had the beads, I played around with a couple different designs involving glass crow beads--and ended up with these three pairs:

Two of them, I strung using waxed linen and large jumprings:

The other, I used silvertone spacers and headpins:

As a bonus, I also made a necklace-and-earring set, pairing the paper beads with glass, magnesite, and crystal:

...And that sneak peak will have to do, because I actually took the set over to a friend's house to show her what I made--and ended up leaving it there. Oops! 

But, wait, there's more!

Also in the mail, I received a wonderful package (of beads--are you surprised?) that had been wrapped in brilliantly orange tissue paper. Instead of throwing the tissue paper away, I decided to pair it with some wooden beads I had salvaged from an old necklace...

...And, using Mod Podge and additional sealant, I made these:

You can't quite tell, but these beads are practically luminous--and I knew that I wanted to make something bright and cheerful with them. For that reason, I dug out some of my dyed magnesite, and made these:

Like the other earrings I made for this challenge, this pair is quite lightweight... And they are so dangle-y and swing-y and fun. I'm apparently really enjoying bright colors right now, too... I blame the warming weather. :)

So, ta-da! That is what I made for this month's We're All Ears challenge. Be sure to head over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else made!

I really enjoyed this challenge, and am excited to make some more paper beads with the next set of fliers that shows up... And who knows? Maybe I'll be inspired with some of our other discards, as well. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today... Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!


  1. OMG I just LOVE that last pair. Tissue paper! An ingenius way to repurpose *any* bad beads I mistakenly bought in the past (only a few hundred of those :)).

  2. Perfect earrings for the challenge! The paper beads look terrific with bright colorful glass beads. The orange beads look very unique! Wonderful job!

  3. What a great idea to use tissue paper! I love the paper bead necklace and earrings set. Well done!

  4. Super use of materials! I am looking at junk mail in a whole new light. I used to teach making paper beads to my 7th grade students back in the early 90s. I would then melt a candle and dip the beads in the puddle of wax to seal them. Totally different look. Love the mod podge beads as well! I have a ton of wood beads and some pretty tissue....also try paper napkins. Peel away the 2 layers behind and you are left with stunning artwork (I used it in my mixed media all the time). So glad you played along! Enjoy the day!

  5. Your designs are very cute. I've never tried paper beads but they do look like fun

  6. Making paper beads is not as easy as it looks but it's how you used them - love the earrings with waxed linen! And I am sure most people wouldn't have guessed how you made the orange beads!

  7. I've never tried my hand at making paper beads... so cool that you made a whole collection of jewelry! You were a busy girl! That last pair may be my favorite. Love the super bright and cheery design you came up with.

  8. Oooooh, I like your take on this challenge! I hadn't even thought of making paper beads. And yours turned out so cool too. I especially like that last pair of earrings using the tissue paper. The bright colors are so summery and festive!


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