Bead Craft


Bead craft is the practise of using beads to make or decorate objects. Altered book artists use beads in many ways.

circle bookThe image to the left is a book that I have cut into a circle. It is fully open in the picture, with front and back covers visible. The book is doubled themed: it is both a tribute to the late Johnny Cash, and an depiction of the dreadful forest fires that occurred in British Columbia in the summer of 2003. I have named the altered book "Ring of Fire."

If you live in the US, is one of the best places to purchase beads, wire, dimensional adhesives and other craft supplies. The prices are great and they have a large selection.

The orangy-red ring around the outside consists of beads that have been sprinkled over double-sided adhesive tape. The orange things shooting out at the bottom left (indicating flames) are the same red and orange beads strung on a piece of wire.

The center circle is black shelf liner that has been heat embossed with rust colored embossing powder. That's another story, however.

Suggestions for Using Bead Craft in Altered Books

  • String the beads on artistic wire. Attach the wire to the book by sewing, taping, or using brads and eyelets. I have found it difficult to glue wire to paper.

  • Glue the beads to the paper. I prefer using doubled sided tape for this. You simply attach one side of the tape to your paper. Then, remove the top cover of the tape, and sprinkle your beads on the sticky party. Shake off the extra beads and return to the container.

  • Enclose the beads in a shaker box. Refer to the techniques page of this web site for instructions on making shaker boxes.

  • Put the beads in a small bottle or vial. Glue the bottle in a niche.

  • Glue the beads to ribbon or fabric. Again, I'd use double sided tape. Attach ribbon to your page.

  • Stick the beads into the surface of shapes or figures made from polymer modeling clay. Bake, and attach to book.

  • Sprinkle beads into hot UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel). Attach your UTEE'd project to the book. Refer to the techniques sections for tips on working with UTEE.

  • Mix the beads in gobs of a dimensional adhesive like Judikin's Dimensional Magic or Aleene's® Paper Glaze while the glaze is still wet. Allow to set.

  • Place a few tiny beads under one of those glass lenses that you can purchase in craft shops. Sorry, I don't know the name of the things. They look like large, clear contact lenses. Put a bit of dimensional adhesive around the rim of the lens and glue to your paper.

bead craft book The Complete Guide to Beading Techniques This book contains all you will ever need to know about bead craft.

Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished with Bead Craft