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Topic: need help with stiffening seed bead ornaments  (Read 4869 times)
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maps
« on: May 10, 2005 12:42:07 PM »

Hi all!  I searched and searched, and couldn't find anything that helped me.  Here's the deal:  for Christmas I made these netted snowflake ornaments out of seed beads.  I got the project from Bead and Button, Oct. '04.




They are pretty and delicate looking, and I enjoyed making them.  The problem was finding a way to make them hang straight instead of all floppy.  The magazine said to dip them in floor wax, so I tried that.  It might have worked if I dipped them 15 times!  Dipping them twice, like the article said, only resulted in a hardness that loosened up upon handling.  I have no experience with products like this, so then I tried shellac spray.  It kind of worked, but again the beads loosened up upon handling.  And, the shellac made some of my beads "bleed".  This pic is poor, but you can kind of see the pink areas where the red beads bled.  And this was my favorite ornament!



I called bead stores and asked about this to no avail.  They only talked about ornaments using bigger beads and wire.  I stood in Michaels for an hour reading different bottles of sealer, etc., but I have never used any of them, and I didn't want to spend lots of money (and time) trying different kinds.  I would love to make more of these, but only if I can get them to be hard.  Please help!  Has anyone done this successfully before?  Any opinions on what kind of product to use?

Thanks, Molly
« Last Edit: May 10, 2005 12:52:50 PM by maps » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005 12:44:01 PM »

could you retry with a thin gauge wire?
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2005 12:48:36 PM »

Wow, those are pretty!  I made some snowflake ornaments at christmas time, but I used pony beads so I used floral wire.  Maybe you could find wire thin enough for seed beads..
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maps
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005 12:54:35 PM »

Wire would definitely make them stiff, but I have to pass through each bead many times, and I don't think the holes would be big enough.  One of the things I like about them is how lacy they look, and using bigger beads would change that I think.
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pibbgirl
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005 01:08:01 PM »

What kind of thread are you using now?  What comes to my mind is those ornaments where the string is dipped in watered down glue and then wrapped around the balloon, dried, then the balloon is popped and the string is stiff.   Maybe if you dipped them in something like that?  But I don't think that would work if you had a nylon thread or something like that.  If you find something that works let us know!
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maps
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2005 01:10:29 PM »

The article said to use Nymo D, so that's what I did.  I have never heard of dipping string in glue!  Sounds interesting.
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Emskyrooney
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2005 01:18:16 PM »

There is a product called Stiffy (I know- funny funny!) that is used to stiffen fabric.  You dip the fabric into the Stiffy and when it dries it is stiff like paper so you can fold it into boxes or whatever.  Perhaps this would work?  I think I bought it at Joann's or something like that, it was near the glue and wasn't very expensive.  You probably wouldn't want to dip the ornaments into it as that would gunk up the beads but perhaps you could paint it on or something.....

Beautiful ornaments by the way!!!
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maps
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005 01:21:24 PM »

Thanks!   Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2005 07:09:04 AM »

I find Nymo/silamide doesn't work when I'm wanting things to be stiff.   Sometimes preconditioning it (ie, using beeswax helps) I've done ornaments on fishing line (don't remember the weight) as well as PowerPro (20 lbs., 10 lbs will be to floppy).  I'm a big fan of PowerPro.  You could probably use Fireline as well.

Your ornaments look great, btw.

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maps
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2005 04:40:09 PM »

I think the Nymo would have worked if the floor wax had worked like it was supposed to.  Undecided  Do you think that fishing line would fit through a seed bead five times or more?  I've never used it, but I'll go buy some if it might work.  I really think there must be some kind of spray out there that would work though.
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