Monday, March 15, 2010

Paste Painted Paper Beads

I love the way these beads came out. If I had used red rather than orange, they'd look like little barber shop poles...

I painted these beads with tinted cornstarch paste. That gave me the ability to craw designs in the paint before it dried, which gave a nice texture to the paper. Plus it was a lot of fun! Here's how I did it.

I made a cornstarch paste by mixing 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Once it was well blended, I added another cup of water and heated it until it was thick. I stirred in a final 1/2 cup of water, then let it cool.

Once it was cool, I stirred in some acrylic paint in the color I wanted. Then I used a big, thick paintbrush to wet my paper, then painted a thickish layer of the colored paste over the whole page.

Once you're at that stage, let your imagination run wild to choose an implement to etch a design in your paint. I did these by drawing a silicone basting brush in diagonal lines across the paper. I did another page by scrunching up waxed paper and dabbing it over the paper.

Once the paper was dry, I ironed the back side at low heat before I cut and rolled it into beads. These strips were 3/4 inch at the wide end and 3/8 inch at the narrow end. I also did some 3/8 inch little round beads with the triangles that resulted from cutting the paper into blunt strips. My paper was 12x18 inches to start with.

Again, I encourage you to experiment in your own art. Don't be boring!


  1. Melissa, this is really pretty! I love the swirls, I have to try this, I hope you don't mind if I link up some of my post to yours. Janice Mae

  2. Janice Mae, That would be great. Glad you're feeling inspired. Melissa