These were all made from plain copy paper; some had printing on it, but most didn't. I colored them in different ways:
- Painted the paper before cutting the strips and rolling them.
- Painted the rolled beads with acrylic craft paints.
- Squirted different-colored lines of dimensional (fabric) paints on some wax paper and then rolled the beads in it.
- Rolled the beads in melted embossing powder (in a Ranger Melting Pot).
Except for the beads that were already covered in melted embossing powder, I sealed most of the rest by coating them with clear embossing ink and then (thick) clear embossing powder. Then I zapped them with a heat gun. This is a pretty thick coating, so it smooths out the surface and sometimes even hides the paper edges. It also makes the bead shiny, which I like.
I haven't sealed the insides yet because I can't think of a neat way to do it that doesn't take hours and won't block the holes. I know some people dip entire strings of them in varnish. But they're usually working outside; I'm in a rented apartment and can't afford to get varnish splashed and spilled on stuff I don't own. I do feel like I need to seal them so the paper on the inside won't be worn down by the stringing material. I'll figure something out.
I'm not sure what I'll do with them; I've discovered that I like making components - especially pendants - but I'm not great at finishing things! I do want to eventually sell what I make, but I don't know if people would buy stuff like this. The problem is - bead rolling is addictive! I like making them, and I like figuring out new ways to finish them.