April 14, 2015

A Serious Look at Silly Plastic Beads

Take a Step Back

Sometimes, I'm fascinated by the silliest things.  But I know it can't just be me.  I'm going to start this post on a serious project and end in la-la land.  You've been warned.

So, here's the serious project - and it's more of a re-work than anything. Or an exercise in identifying potential - which I guess is the overall theme of this post. I found this broken bracelet at the swap meet the same day I was lucky enough to buy the stash of Thai Buddhist Amulets.  The asking price was originally $8 to which I replied - Are you insane?  In the end, I bought it for $1.

Fantastic Plastic

The bracelet is plastic. But I couldn't help but love the design.  Even if I do nothing but make a mold from it, it's certainly worth $1.

And I did make a mold before I cleaned it up.  And then I restrung it with some glass 8/0 spacer beads. It needed a decent scrubbing with a paint brush and I had to ream the hole in one bead to remove the old glued in knot.  But, I'm very happy with this little find. Adding the 8/0 beads makes it fit more like a bangle than a tight elastic bracelet.  Just look at that pattern! So cool.


Here's where things get seriously crazy.  I mentioned in my last post that a hobby outlet is going out of business and I picked up lots of goodies on sale for next to nothing.  Lots of very practical things like chains and findings and charms.  But what fun is showing you that stuff?

Here's my ridiculously sublime find that I affectionately call the Tub O Beads.  One pound of plastic goodness - for ages 6 and up! So here's a sampling of what has me captivated...

There's these plastic rings.  They are mainly orange tones - but it's a subtle carnelian color orange and I swear to you - I think I can use these.

And then there's these animal beads.  C'mon - cute even for a 12 year old.  The best part is that the hole on most of them goes through the mouth - and pardon the details - out the butt. Kitschy?

And everyone loves flowers - so I pulled out a few different ones.  But as you can probably imagine there are lots and lots more.

And then there's leaves and patterned beads.  The funny thing is that these are oddly sophisticated for a kids bucket of beads.  The colors are muted. The patterns are detailed. I can see using these to roll patterns on clay, to make stamps or maybe even in real jewelry (gasp).

And last but not least are these simple round, rondelle and faceted barrel beads.  Again, I think it's the colors that sets them apart.

This bucket o beads is exactly the type of beads that I would have fallen in love with as a kid and, well, obviously I'm just not over it.  And yes - I bought two buckets!  

Hopefully, I'll be able to use them and if worse comes to worse, I'm sure I can invite some friends kids over and I'm sure they'll see the potential. 

Still searching

And here's the funny part - I searched for One Pound Plastic Beads on Amazon and found the assortment above.  I guess mine are seconds because of the drab colors - but I got a much better deal. And I actually like the muted tones better.

So happy...


  1. I always look at those little tubs at the craft store! It is just so much fun to channel your inner six year old! I recently bought a string of glass lady bug beads. I have no idea what I could possibly use them for, but they sure make me smile every time I look at them! I can't wait to see what designs you come up with for these beads!

  2. If you're not having fun, it's not worth doing. Loved this post. I get giggly too when I see plastic beads.