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Yes! Those Beads Are Made Out of Paper!

Glues and Finishes for the Beads

White Glue

I use just plain white glue to secure the end of the rolled up strip of paper. Place a dab of glue on a scrap piece of paper and use a toothpick to apply the glue onto the inside of the end of the paper strip before taking the bead off of the rolling pin.

Different Glazes

When you are done rolling the beads, you are going to want to glaze the beads to protect them from moisture and to give them a shiny finish. The following explains what glazes I have used and my experience with each one. So far, the best one I have used is the Judikins Diamond Glaze.

The way I brush any glaze on the beads so they won't stick to the tooth pick is I brush them on the sides and the top. Then after that is dry. I turn the bead over and put it back on the pick and brush the top again, which does not have any glaze on it. I then brush the sides one more time. I only need to do this with the tube beads since they have flat ends. The tapered beads I just need to brush the glaze on being careful not to get the glaze onto the pick. I generally brush on 2 coats of any glaze.

Mod Podge Gloss Lustre

I used to use 2 coats Mod Podge and 1 coat Future Floor Finish to glaze my beads. The way I did it was to use a soft bristle children's craft brush and I would apply 2 coats of Gloss Mod Podge to each bead. I then put some of the floor finish into a small plastic container and with the bead on a toothpick, I dip the bead into the finish. I would then spin the toothpick between my fingers to spray off the extra floor finish. Then I stick the toothpick with the bead on it into a drying block. I found it time consuming and somewhat messy. Of course the finished beads came out really nice and almost non tacky. Without the Future Floor Finish, the beads were very tacky and would stick to each other.

Delta Ceramcoat Varnish

Before I started with major experimenting with different finishes, I used a coat of ModPodge and a Coat of Delta Ceramcoat Protect, Gloss Exterior/Interior Varnish. This varnish is actually a Super Tough Polyurethane. The bottle says it is for Indoor and Outdoor use. I do remember that my beads stuck together when I used this as the top coat for the beads and that is why I started my search for another type of glaze. It took me a few years but I finally found a glaze that does not make the beads stick together. Judikins Diamond Glaze

Judikins Diamond Glaze

I have since started using Judikins Diamon Glaze. It is fantastic! The finish dries hard and non tacky and crystal clear! So far it is the best finish I have found. I generally use a brush to coat the beads. I do use 2 coats for best results. I use a child's craft brush and a little cup to brush on this glaze. It really is my favorite at this time. You can get it from Amazon and other online retailers. One tip I like to use is I made a mixture of bees wax and mineral oil and made a waxy paste that I stick my toothpicks in before putting the bead on the pick. It helps to keep the bead from sticking to the toothpick!

Other Finishes I have Tried

Nail Polish

You can use any type of nail polish you like. I have tried a base coat/top coat clear nail polish. I have found this is a better finish for the final coat over the mod podge but it is a bit expensive. I only put one coat over the mod podge. I brush my beads with the mod podge, allow to dry then brush on the nail polish.

Glue and Water

I have tried this method an found that the colors ran so I do not recommend this unless you are coating magazine pages or other papers that are already pre-printed and not photocopied. Use 3 parts glue to 1 part water to just thin the glue down a little bit. You can then dip the beads into the mixture, shake them off then allow to dry completely. Do this at least 5 times to get good coverage.

Spray Varnish

I would only do this outside and only on beads which are made from magazines, giftwrap or brown paper bags since the colors would tend to run if you use too much at one time. The surface tends to be a little bumpy so you would want to sand your beads between coats. I would apply several thin coats for best results. I really did not like glazing the beads this way.

Other Finishes I have NOT Tried

Acrylic Paint

If you make your beads out of scrap paper and want to make them look different, you could paint them with any acrylic paint which dries quickly. I haven't tried this yet but the possibilities for how they would look are only limited by your imagination.

Liquid Polymer Clay

This would have to be brushed on and then you would bake the beads in the oven. I haven't tried this yet.

Candle and Bees Wax

This is the way it was done in the old days. If you use bees wax, you would end up with a yellowish finish. I personally would prefer to use the mod podge and Ceramcoat varnish or Judikins Diamond Glaze for my beads.