Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday's Worktable

I honestly feel like I have a zillion* things on my plate right now. 

So, what did I do today?

...I procrastinated.

Ah, yes, the time-honored tradition of procrastination. You see, instead of working on said zillion projects, I randomly started doing something else entirely: making beads out of a phonebook. You read that right... Phonebook. 

I found the aforementioned phonebook while I was rooting through some boxes yesterday... I had originally saved it for packing material (really good for packing dishes, in case you're wondering), but decided it might be better suited for a more glamorous purpose:

...Drying phonebook paper-pulp beads.

To make the above beads, I roughly followed the directions found on this website... Although, really, I mostly made it up as I went along. (And, as a side-note, this was not my first time doing this... Last month, I used the same method to make some beads out of a different type of packing paper. I'll post about those at some point, hopefully. Same general idea, though.)

The process itself was rather simple. I started off by ripping sheets of the phone book into shreds:

Then I poured boiling water over them and let them soak for a few hours. 

Then, once they had soaked for a nice long time, I transferred the wet mushy pulp into the food processor and gave it a few pulses. (My husband jokes that I never use our food processor for actual food, only craft materials... And, yeah, it's true.)

I then took the processed pulp, squeezed the excess water out of it (seen on the left), and then added some ModPodge (seen on the right). The directions I linked to above suggest Elmers or any type of glue that dries clear, just as a binder... And, since ModPodge was what I had on hand, it's what I used.

I kneaded it together by hand, and this is what the resulting mush looked like:

And then for the fun (tedious) part: making the beads, one a time. They aren't perfectly round, because I formed them with my fingertips... Rolling them made them fall apart, so I had to pinch them into shape. 

Half of the finished beads... I made enough to fill two cookie trays.

Then, I let the beads sit for about a half hour. Once they dried just a bit, I went through and added the holes with a toothpick. 

One. At. A. Time.

This was the time that I realized that I had made a huge batch--adding the holes took more than an hour.

Holes added! And now, to sit and dry completely.

Once they are dry, I'm going to sand down the rough edges and paint them. I'm really looking forward to that part... Oh, the possibilities!

...So, that's what I've been doing today instead of working on all of the other projects I wanted to do. Still, it was a great deal of fun... And working with them is something to look forward to, once my schedule clears up a bit!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

* - Yes, a zillion. That's the highly scientific measurement of things that I need to do. *grin*

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