Arte Es Vida

Wrapping Paper Bracelet by arteesvida
November 11, 2006, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Non-Traditional Jewelry

I hate little leftover bits of wrapping paper…I hate throwing anything away, but I certainly don’t want to store those little scraps until the next holiday season.  I also love the look of paper beads but I need my beads to wear HARD, regular paper beads are just too fragile for everyday wear.  But a bottle of UTEE under the Christmas tree opened up a whole new world in paper bead making for me!  Scrap wrapping paper cut into thin rectangles of equal size (mine was blue with gold stars)



Mod-Podge or water thinned school glue

Paint brush

Very thin wooden dowel (like a toothpick, pick up stick, or shish-kabob stick

Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (Suze Weinberg’s UTEE) in clear

Optional: Embossing powder in a color coordinating to the wrapping paper (I used gold)

Embossing ink pad or pen

Embossing heating tool, such as the Stampabilities Heat Gun

Protected heat-safe work space (I use a dress box lid covered in tin foil for my work space when I am heat embossing)

Glass beads to match your wrapping paper (I used a mix of Asian glass blues)

Tiger Tail (nylon coated steel) or heavy weight monofiliment

Two crimps

Bracelet clasp (toggle clasp or magnetic clasp…something allows the wearer to put it on by themselves)

Needle nose or crimping pliers


Cut your wrapping paper to size.  The width of your paper with will be the length of your bead and the length of your paper will determine its thickness (although this is less necessary since you will be using the UTEE on it).  Wrap one end of a piece of wrapping paper over your wooden dowel (I used a stick from my daughter’s Pick-Up Sticks game since it is long enough to comfortably handle but not too thick).  Using a paintbrush, brush Mod-Podge or water-thinned school glue over the rest of the back of the wrapping paper (the side that doesn’t show the printed pattern) and wrap it over and over itself on the wooden dowel.  Slide the bead off the wooden dowel and let dry completely. 

Repeat this process with the wrapping paper until you have enough beads to complete your project (should you choose to make a necklace or anklet you will need more beads than shown in the photo above.)


After the beads are dry, take one at a time and roll it first over your clear embossing inkpad, and then into the UTEE.  Using an embossing heating tool, heat the UTEE until it melts on all sides of the beads.  For working with UTEE, I used the same Pick-Up Stick to hold the end of the bead away from my fingers so I wouldn’t get burned, and I hold the bead over a small box covered in tin foil.  The tin foil lined box will absorb the heat from your embossing gun so you don’t burn your work station, and it will make clean up much easier…you can even retrieve stray UTEE from the bottom of the box to reuse.

While the first coat of UTEE is melted but still hot, roll the whole bead in a mixture of UTEE and embossing powder (I used gold to match the gold highlights in the wrapping paper).  If you choose not to use them embossing powder, just roll the bead into the plain UTEE instead.

Heat to melt the second coat.

If the second coat is not thick enough, you may need a third, but for this project two should be enough most of the time.

After the beads are completely dry, they will be solid and unbendable, unlike regular paper beads and will have a glassy sheen.  Adding some colored embossing powder to the mix will give them a fabulous lampwork glass look.

  String the beads, along with your glass filler beads (I used a mix of blue Asian glass to compliment the blue background in the wrapping paper).  Add a crimp at one end, then one half of your clasp.  Loop your stringing material (monofiliment or tiger tail) back over the loop at the end of the clasp and back through the crimp and several of the beads on your bracelet.  Using crimping pliers or needle nose pliers, smash the crimp into place to hold the beads in place.  Repeat the process using the other half of the clasp and the second crimp on the other side.  Make sure to pull tightly after running the stringing material back through so the beads are not loose over the stringing material. (This is especially important with tiger tail, since it has some “bite” to it if exposed to bare skin.)  For extra security, you can add a bit of clear drying jewel glue to each end of the bracelet where the stringing material wraps through the crimp.

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