Monthly Archives: June 2010

Hand Made Beads

In my humble opinion beads are a big part of what makes the difference between good or great accessories.
I always come across wonderful shapes, colors and material and come home with a bundle of inspiring material that makes me feel enthusiastic about creating new designs every time I start a project.

However, even though there’s such a wide range of beads to choose from and even more available than I can bring home with me, I still need to create my own (although seriously, I bring kilos worth of beads when I do restock) , it’s some sort of compulsion in my case, to make something “unique” that can’t be found elsewhere.

Now, talking about originality, I’ve heard the saying:

There’s nothing new under the sun

That still doesn’t mean there can’t be something specially made for someone or with a particular idea in mind.

I thought of sharing how I make the little doll beads I use. In this case it’s inspired on a Mexican clay angel figure I saw on an “Árbol de la vida” (tree of life). Although I’ve only gotten the molding part done. I’ll do the painting later and will probably add those pictures under these as well.

Set up your work space, step 1 of tutorial
Here you can see I have the little heads set on silver plated wire and I’m getting ready to make the body part. I keep the rest of the paste I’ll be using later under a wet napkin.

press the dough with your fingers and roll it into a long string
I need both bodies to be equal in length and width

flatten and insert in the wires right under the head bead
Tiny strips to make 4 arms

shape the arms in a similar way except thinner and cut them at equal lengths
Folded in half and cut. I find that working in pairs is easier when making 2 similar items.

attach to the bodies and smooth the seam with water until it disappears
And attached to the body and smoothed over to make the joint invisible.

flatten the dough until it's very thin and cut out the garment shape
Now, this angel was wearing a roman warrior-like outfit, so I need to make skirts for them.

I placed 2 layers over each other and cut them both at the same time
The first skirt I made by folding the already thinned layer and cutting the shape out, then splitting it back open to separate the 2 “skirts”.

Then split them apart being very careful not to tear the dough
Here they are apart.

And attached the skirt with water on both sides of the doll
Then I attached it to one of the bodies.

Here you can see it goes all around the doll bead
Bottom view, you can see how it goes all around the figure.

I rolled a thin layer of dough to make the next doll's garments
For the second angel I thought of getting the measure from the figure.

Here both doll beads have their skirts on
Both of them got skirts now.

Shape the wings in the same way
Now I shaped one of the wings and placed it on top of another layer to cut out the other one following the first one’s shape.

Then made sure it was proportionate to the doll bead's body
Made sure they were the right size for the angel’s body.

Glue them to the back of the doll with more water
Attached them on the back.

Rolled another bit of dough to make a helmet for the doll bead
Did the same for the other angel and started making a helmet. The one I saw was wearing one. So I made a very thin strip with paste.

attached the stripe around the doll's head
Attached it around the head.

It's easier to keep the similarity by working on both at once
For both of them.

This is blurry! I made a tiny round ball of dough and cut it in half
Then cut a tiny ball of paste in half. I’m sorry for the blurry picture.

Then attached it above the doll's forehead
And attached it on top to make the front of the helmets.

That’s how far they have gone for now :)

If you would like to read about how I paint them I’ve just published a blog post about it! 

Posted in Blog, cold porcelain miniature doll beads, handmade miniature doll beads step by step pictures, miniature angel bead, miniature doll bead tutorial, pasta francesa, pasta rusa, starch clay, sterp by step pictures 3 Comments