Yesterday, I promised another stunning wall art design, so today, check out this inspired, DIY Wall Art. This Paper & Bead Wall Art is an amazing collection of colors and textures, from the pretty printed papers to the strands of homemade beads. Gorgeous! While it’s pretty as is, you know how I like to talk about making a project your own, right? So, go ahead and change up the papers and colors. If making the paper beads seems like one step too many, use purchased beads instead. Or, try making just one panel instead of all three. I’m all for short cuts, if it means you have more time to create!
Have you ever made paper beads? I remember making paper beads like this with my grandma. She’d lived through the Great Depression and other hard times, and she knew how to repurpose and make do. Instead of throwing out a magazine, she’d make pretty paper beads with the pages. If you decide to make these beads, make a few extra and string a necklace for yourself.
To make Paper & Bead Wall Art, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
- 12” x 36” x 1” sheet
- 12” x 12” x ½” sheet
- Coordinating papers to cover the fronts and sides of your foam squares (Kathleen chose an Asian print paper for the larger squares, and a crinkled, bronze tissue for the smaller squares)
- Coordinating papers for the paper beads (Kathleen used purple, cranberry and gold)
- Purchased beads to coordinate with the paper beads (Kathleen used assorted gold and purple beads)
- Jewelry wire: Gold and purple
- Small eye screws, six
- Jump rings, six
- Bamboo garden stake, 30”
- Paper paste (Kathleen used Yes! Paste)
- Thick, white craft glue
- Tools needed: Scissors; Xacto® knife or serrated knife; sharp pencil; ruler or T-square; 1” putty knife; jewelry needle-nose piers; wooden skewer; ¾” dowel (just a small length will do); optional: rubber brayer
To make Paper & Bead Wall Art:
1. Measure and score three, 8″ squares on the 1″ thick sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Cut out the squares along the scored lines.
2. Measure, score and cut out two, 3-1/2” squares and one, 5” square from the ½” thick foam sheet.
3. Cut out papers:
- Cut three, 8” squares for the fronts of the 8” foam squares
- Cut out 1” wide strips for the sides of the 8” squares
- Cut out two 3-1/2” squares and one 5” square for the fronts of the smaller foam squares
- Cut out ½” wide strips for the sides of the smaller squares
4. Spread a thin, even coat of paper paste onto the fronts of the foam squares. Center paper onto the paste, and carefully smooth out each piece. Optional: Roll with a brayer. Repeat for the sides of each square. Let glue dry.
5. Make paper beads:
- Cut papers into strips varying from 1/8” to ½” wide and about 1” long.
- Wrap each strip around a wood skewer, and secure the end of each strip with thick, white craft glue.
- Press the bead tightly between your fingers till glue holds.
- Let glue dry.
6. Following Step 5, create two, 3-1/2” paper tubes and one 5” paper tube. You will hang the beads from these tubes.
7. Insert and glue two eye screws into the top edge of each 8” square.
8. Center and glue the 3-1/2” and 5” squares onto the larger, 8” squares.
9. String your beads:
- The right and left panels have three strings of beads, and the center panel will have five.
- Mix and match your paper beads and purchased beads into 11 collections of six – 12 beads each.
- Cut 11, 8”-9” lengths of purple jewelry wire.
- Thread an anchor bead onto a wire, and twist the wire to keep it in place. Thread on remaining beads.
- Repeat, till you’ve completed all 11 beaded wires.
- Wrap the top end of each strand around the paper tubes you made in Step 6. The 5” paper tube is for the center panel.
- Clip off excess wire.
10. Glue the paper tubes onto the tops of the ½” foam squares. Let glue dry.
11. Make six loops from the gold wire by wrapping a length of gold wire several times around the ¾” dowel or other similar tool. Twist together the ends on each loop to secure them. Note: The loops need to be large enough to fit over the bamboo pole, so test fit one first to be sure it fits.
12. Arrange the three foam squares in the order you’d like them to hang. Attach a jump ring to each eye screw. Thread a gold wire loop onto each jump ring, and then close the jump ring.
13. Thread the loops onto the bamboo pole and hang your artwork.
How would you change up the Paper & Beads Wall Art? Would you make the rolled, paper beads, or use all purchased beads? Or maybe you’d use a soothing palette or blues and greens? Or contemporary white and black? Or?